What Parents Should Know About Thriveworks Online Therapy

Thriveworks offers affordable and convenient online family therapy.

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Unlike many online therapy providers, Thriveworks offers both in-person and virtual psychiatry and therapy sessions in 43 states. Additionally, its providers accept insurance, offer both night and weekend availability, and serve both adults and children.

Pros & Cons


  • Provides individual, couples, children’s, and family therapy
  • Health insurance accepted
  • In-person and online therapy options
  • Available in 43 states
  • Over 380 in-person treatment locations
  • Offers psychiatry
  • Medication management available
  • Provides a wide range of therapy options
  • You choose the therapist from bios


  • Not available in 7 states
  • Cannot see therapist bios until after sign-up
  • No ability to chat with therapist between sessions
  • In-person locations for kids limited to 19 states
  • Cancellation requires talking to customer service
  • Few therapists available in some areas

One in five Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year and another one in five children will also endure a seriously debilitating mental illness at some point in their lives. And yet, an estimated 122 million Americans—37% of the population—live in therapy deserts, or areas where access to mental health care is limited or nonexistent. We’d need an additional 6,398 mental health providers to fill these coverage gaps. But the rise in telehealth has led to some changes that make affordable care—including mental health care—at least a little bit easier to access. And Thriveworks, an online therapy service that offers both in-person and virtual care, is one of those providers that’s trying to help bridge the gap. 

So, to evaluate Thriveworks against its online therapy competitors and determine whether it provides quality care people need, we surveyed 105 users and interviewed subject matter experts about its services. In addition, I signed up to test Thriveworks, along with three other testers, so we could get a sense of how therapy actually works at the company across multiple states. Here’s how the company fared in our research.

What Is Thriveworks?

Thriveworks is a therapy company founded in 2008 by A.J. Centore, Ph.D., a licensed therapist. Its mission was to provide accessible mental health care and “to help people live happy and successful lives.” And unlike many of the other providers we reviewed, it does so in-person at 380 brick-and-mortar locations, as well as online. This means that its network of over 3,000 licensed therapists and psychiatrists are able to treat adult and child therapy seekers in 43 states. New York, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are the only states it cannot serve.

What Services Does Thriveworks Offer?

Thriveworks provides virtual and in-person therapy to individuals, couples, and children. In some states, however, kids under 14 can only be treated in-person. For kids under 12, Thriveworks’ TherapyLand behavioral health centers—currently in 19 locations across 14 states—provide a positive, welcoming place for children to receive care through age-appropriate modalities like play therapy.

The company also provides virtual and in-person psychiatry, as well as family counseling, addiction counseling, and group therapy in some states.

All therapy sessions last about 50 minutes but can be shorter or longer based on your needs and the therapist’s availability. Psychiatry sessions last about 15 to 30 minutes, which is the norm across many providers.

Who Is Thriveworks for?

Thriveworks is for people looking for help with a variety of mental health conditions, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Relationship issues
  • Family issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Grief
  • Domestic abuse
  • LGBTQ+ issues 
  • Trauma 

If you are struggling with more serious mental health concerns, such as bipolar disorder, severe depression, or suicidal thoughts, Thriveworks will not be a good fit. We recommend seeking in-person services.

How Much Does Thriveworks Cost?

At Thriveworks, you pay per therapy session you attend—this price is $99 if you’re paying out-of-pocket, but could cost less if you have health insurance and your plan covers the Thriveworks therapist you choose. (I, unfortunately, could not use my insurance with my therapist, but more on that below.)

Thriveworks’ pay-per-session model may be more expensive for folks paying out-of-pocket for their therapy than some of the other therapy companies we reviewed. This is likely why, of the 105 users we surveyed, only 47% of users found its services affordable or very affordable, with 41% of users saying that the services were only somewhat affordable. Only 11% found it either not very affordable or not affordable at all. 

It’s also worth noting that Thriveworks used to charge a $39 monthly membership fee on top of the cost of each session, a practice it discontinued in January 2023. However, many users have complained online that they found it difficult to cancel the membership fee when they left Thriveworks—though this was not an issue for me or any of our other testers.

Unlike other services, Thriveworks does not offer sliding scale rates or other discounts. Still, 79% of our survey respondents said they felt Thriveworks was a good value for the money.

Does Thriveworks Accept Insurance?

Yes. In fact, Thriveworks accepts many insurance providers, including Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross, Cigna, Humana, Optum, and United. It accepts more plans than most of the 55 companies we reviewed. Of the users we surveyed, 67% said they could use their insurance to pay for therapy sessions. 

When I tried to use my Humana insurance, however, it wouldn’t let me because the therapist I saw was not credentialed enough for my insurance to cover. 

"Some insurance plans will only cover therapy services if the provider has certain credentials, such as a clinical social work license,” says subject matter expert and mental health editor Hannah Owens. “So while providers like licensed master social workers (LMSWs) can provide therapy working for online therapy companies, they do not have a clinical license, so their services might not be covered by your specific insurance plan if it requires one.”

In addition, Owens explains, “less common licenses, like licensed professional clinical counselors, might also not be included in insurance coverage.”

It's also worth noting that not all providers accept all insurances that Thriveworks lists on its site, so you’ll need to filter therapists by which insurance plans they accept if it’s important to you to work with a therapist who takes insurance.

Navigating the Thriveworks Website

When you land on the Thriveworks homepage, you are immediately met with the photo of a smiling person and the words “Live better with the help of a therapist or psychiatrist.” Below that, you’ll find big yellow button that says “Book a session” with a link to “Find an office near you.” 


While the “Book a session” button takes you to the online booking portal, the “Find an office near you” link allows you to search for brick-and-mortar offices by state. 


Scrolling further down the homepage, there is a list of major media outlets that have featured Thriveworks, and below that is a map of the United States showing where over 380 Thriveworks offices are located, along with a list format of what services you get with Thriveworks vs. “traditional counseling practice.” This list includes “offices open early and late,” “sessions within 3 to 5 days for new clients,” and “care at 380+ locations.”


The remainder of the homepage provides resources for therapy seekers, including a short mental health video and links to blog posts about things such as increasing motivation with ADHD, anxiety medicine options, and coping skills. The bottom of the page offers a place to sign up for emails, a list of resources (including e-books and articles on therapy-specific needs such as anxiety, depression, grief, and loss), along with links to the brand's social media pages. 

Thriveworks footer

Of our surveyed users, 68% found the website easy or very easy to navigate, and I personally agree. Compared to many of its competitors, Thriveworks’ free resources are definitely impressive. The FAQ page is robust, and the articles are regularly updated and helpful—you can even search for articles based on a specific mental health concern.

The company’s social media presence is also informative, though it pales in comparison to larger companies such as Talkspace and BetterHelp, whose followers number in the tens or even hundreds of thousands. Thriveworks has a TikTok account (3,600+ followers) with lots of fun therapist videos, an Instagram feed (5,200+ followers) with motivational quotes and videos from therapists, and a regularly updated Facebook page (7,700+ followers). Thriveworks engages with comments on each of its social channels and is very thoughtful in its responses, which is a definite plus in my book.

Signing Up for Therapy at Thriveworks 

Signing up for therapy at Thriveworks is very easy and straightforward. First, you’ll first need to decide if you want to book online sessions or find a local office. 

Even though I was testing this company’s online therapy services, I was curious what Thriveworks could offer me in-person—especially since there was, according to the website, an office location 15 minutes from where I live. However, when I tried searching for a therapist near me offering in-person sessions, I was pretty disappointed: The closest therapist was two hours away, meaning that had I been set on in-person, I would have been out of luck. A two-hour commute isn’t feasible for me (or most people). 

So I went back to the homepage and clicked “Book a Session” to find someone online instead. This took me to a page that allowed me to search for a provider based on distance, availability, therapy type, or mental health condition. You can also filter results by your insurance plan or the therapeutic modality or approach you’d like to try, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and which language you’d like your sessions to be in.

Another important filter is for the age of the client. You can choose ages 0-5, 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18-64, and 65+. However, while choosing a certain age group will change the results you get in your list of available therapists, providers do not always indicate explicitly in their bios that they treat that age group. You will have to reach out to the therapist directly to confirm that they treat the age group you are looking for. Additionally, the range of ages that Thriveworks therapists can treat may change depending on your location—some places may not have therapists who work with younger children, which was the case with me. I only saw filter options for “14-17” and “18-64.”

These filters are pretty comprehensive, but they’re not the most culturally inclusive. For example, you cannot refine your search to look for a therapist of a particular ethnic, cultural, or racial background or religion. Still, 88% of our surveyed users were pleased with the diversity of therapists offered.

In addition, the filters weren’t all that helpful in my state because all my searches resulted in exactly one result. There was only one therapist in my state accepting new online clients. 

While only having the choice of one therapist was not ideal, her bio, which listed her credentials, experience, the types of therapy she offered, and availability, all sounded good. She had seven years of experience offering individual, group, family, kids, and couples counseling, and she noted that she treated a variety of issues, including some that applied to me. So I was happy to sign up to try therapy with her. 

It took only five minutes from there to book my online therapy appointment, which was straightforward and did not require any intake questions. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to see the therapist within 48 hours—the first availability of the last online therapy provider I used was two weeks from the time I scheduled the session.  

After signing up, I had access to an online private portal where I could update my insurance information, credit card details, and any other personal information should my previously provided contact or payment details change. Not knowing about the insurance issue at the time, I was pleased with my Thriveworks experience thus far. Even though I had to pay for the membership upon sign-up, therapy sessions are billed the day of service. Seventy-three percent of our survey respondents agree with me, saying they felt the sign-up process was easy or very easy.

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at Thriveworks?

Thriveworks offers two options for therapy sessions, either live video via Zoom or a phone call. I opted for live video sessions since I like the personal touch of face-to-face interaction. During the 48 hours between sign-up and the session, I received two reminder emails, and then a third email arrived 10 minutes prior to the session with the live Zoom link. 

 Live Video Sessions

Five minutes before my session, I logged into my Thriveworks patient portal and clicked on the Zoom link from within the portal. I quickly realized it was not working, and it left me unable to log in to the call. I was immediately discouraged, because I had dealt with this issue with another online provider. While I love the ease of online therapy, the technical issues can certainly lead to more angst than I started with. 

About a minute later, though, I received a call from my new therapist. She explained there was an issue with the link I received and had me enter her personal call ID into the Zoom page to access the session. I was able to easily do what she asked and soon found myself face-to-face with her on a Zoom call. 

Over the next hour and 15 minutes—longer than the advertised 50 minutes per session—she asked intake questions and listened attentively to my long answers. She made it clear that the intake process was very important and she wanted to make sure we covered all necessary information. I repeatedly thanked her for her time and care. She could have cut me off when the session time was up and I would have understood, but she let the session go on as long as it needed to complete her intake questions.

She was incredibly kind and personable, and made me feel at ease from the beginning. I was also comforted by the fact that she had children close to the same age as mine. Since I was there to talk about life, and family woes, I felt like she had an even deeper understanding of my parenting and family concerns. After the appointment, I checked my credit card statement and was pleased to see I was not charged for the time we went over in the session. 

During my second session, my son walked into my office and joined the session for a few minutes to say hello but quickly left. I was grateful that my therapist was receptive to my son stopping in. I felt it allowed her to have an even deeper understanding of my family dynamic. Even though I didn’t love paying out-of-pocket for the sessions, she was so wonderful that I opted to continue seeing her for a few more sessions. I thought my therapist was knowledgeable and a great listener, and she laid out a great therapy plan for me. Of our surveyed users, 88% said they were pleased with their therapist’s qualifications.


Children’s Therapy Sessions

We had another tester sign up for Thriveworks’ children’s therapy services and she reported that her 11-year-old daughter’s session began with reviewing the basic information that the tester had provided in order to sign up for sessions in the first place, including the credit card used. This made her daughter feel uncomfortable, especially after the therapist then immediately launched into a full intake survey, including asking her daughter about any thoughts of harming herself. Our tester’s daughter felt that this shift in focus was abrupt and made her nervous about how the rest of the appointment was going to go, as well as ambivalent about sharing more about herself in the session.

However, after this initial awkwardness, our tester said that it soon became clear that this therapist was a good match for her daughter. The therapist was able to make our tester’s daughter feel more comfortable and eventually she did open up, making the session overall a success. 

Our tester stayed for the entirety of her daughter’s first session at the therapist’s behest, and did the same for her second session. Her daughter told her that being able to sit with her mother on her bed and access the session from her computer made her feel more relaxed and secure, indicating that virtual sessions were a good choice for her daughter.


While I did not opt for psychiatry or medication management services at Thriveworks, the sign-up process is the same, for both adults and children. However, depending on your location, it might be difficult to find a psychiatrist who treats children. To test this service, we used the search function to filter for psychiatric services for children of different ages across a variety of locations, and often, there were no providers available. 

That said, when I checked, the availability for an appointment for myself was three to five days from sign-up, not 48 hours. Still, compared to national averages regarding wait times to access psychiatric services, three to five days is incredibly reasonable, considering most people must wait weeks or even months for in-person psychiatry appointments. Even with other online psychiatry services, such as Talkiatry, there is often a week-long wait for appointments. 

As to be expected, psychiatry sessions are shorter than talk therapy sessions. According to the users we surveyed, most sessions are 15 to 30 minutes. Only 5% of our respondents used Thriveworks for psychiatry, but of those who used that service, an impressive 98% of them felt psychiatry and medication management through this company was good, very good, or excellent.

Thriveworks says it can treat symptoms of mental illness such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders; relationship issues; grief and loss; child, adolescent, and teen challenges; and stress. However, Thriveworks providers are unable to prescribe stimulant medications (such as Adderall, Concerta, and Focalin) or benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Ativan, and Lorazepam), as these are controlled substances. This is different from online therapy companies like Cerebral, who have recently come under fire for unethical prescription practices, including prescribing controlled substances without proper oversight and for prescribing medication to minors without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

Overall, 89% of users were pleased with the psychiatry and medication management services at Thriveworks. In addition, 90% rated their prescriber’s bedside manner as good, very good, or excellent, and 61% felt their prescriber really took the time to listen to them. Other positive reactions to Thriveworks’ psychiatry services included that their prescriber never made them feel rushed during a session, that their prescriber was empathetic and caring, and that their prescriber took their concerns and reported side effects seriously.

What Happens If I Miss a Session at Thriveworks?

If you miss a session or don’t cancel within 23.5 hours of your next scheduled appointment, you’ll have to pay the full out-of-pocket fee of $99.

Switching Therapists

I didn’t have the option to switch therapists because there was only one in my area available, but for the purposes of this review, I did ask what the process was. 

My current therapist told me that either she could refer me to a new therapist or I could cancel my therapy sessions with her and then choose a new therapist and book a session with them just as I did with her. I could also call the support line, and someone could handle the process for me.

Pausing or Canceling Thriveworks

When it came time to cancel my therapy through Thriveworks, I cancelled all future sessions with my therapist via the appointment tab in my portal and emailed the support team to let them know I wanted to cancel. They asked me for the name of my therapist and asked if there was anything they could do to keep me. I explained that there was nothing and that was the end of it.

Quality of Care and User Satisfaction

I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of signing up at Thriveworks and by how wonderful the therapist was, especially considering she was my only option. That said, the issue with the insurance was not great and left me wondering what credentials my therapist had and what exactly was lacking for Humana not to cover her services. I also thought it was a little odd that despite an office in my area, the only therapist option I had was over 120 miles from my house. Still, would I use Thriveworks again? Absolutely. Would I go back to the therapist I saw if she could accept my insurance? Definitely. 

I’m not alone in my satisfaction with Thriveworks’ services. Of the users we surveyed, 90% were overall satisfied with their Thriveworks experience, rating it as good, very good, or excellent. 

Thirty-one percent of our users rated their therapist’s qualifications as excellent, 37% thought their qualifications were very good, and 19% thought they were good. Eighty percent would be likely or very likely to recommend Thriveworks to a friend or someone like them, and 70% would start their search here again if they needed to look for a new provider.

Considering some of the benefits of Thriveworks that it advertises as better than a “typical counseling practice,” 7% of users chose Thriveworks because it offers early morning, evening, and weekend sessions, and 7% chose it because it offers in-person services. Seventy-eight percent of users felt most or all of their needs were met by their provider, with 52% saying they thought they would still be seeing their therapist six months from now. I can honestly say if my insurance covered my therapist, I would still be seeing her as well.


Privacy Policies

As with many online companies, including telehealth providers, Thriveworks collects your personal data and activity while on its website. According to its privacy policy, the company reserves the right to share your data with its affiliates, explaining that “Your email address will only be used by us and our affiliates. We do not sell or rent e-mail addresses to anyone outside Thriveworks and our affiliates.” This is more protection than many other online therapy companies, including BetterHelp, provide.

The policy also states that “We may share Personally Identifiable Information, except for email addresses, with certain other companies to provide them an opportunity to offer products or services that may be of interest to you, which may contribute revenue to Thriveworks.” This means that Thriveworks collects and sells its clients’ personal information for advertising purposes. Larger online therapy companies like BetterHelp have gotten into trouble for practices like this, selling users’ protected information for profit.

All that said, Thriveworks is HIPAA-compliant, unlike some other big competitors such as BetterHelp, so you can rest assured your therapy sessions are private.

Thriveworks vs. Its Competitors

I would recommend Thriveworks services to friends and family, and I’m not alone: 80% of our surveyed users said the same.  A further 87% found its services to be better than other teletherapy providers they had used in the past. Across the board, Thriveworks performs as well as many of its larger competitors, such as Talkspace and MDLIVE, and actually outperforms companies like BetterHelp, LifeStance Health, and Online-Therapy.com overall. Thriveworks has excellent user satisfaction— equal to the user satisfaction rates at its big name rival Talkspace. Both companies had 90% of users that rated the company’s services as excellent, very good, or good.

Thriveworks operates on a pay-per-session model, similar to competitors such as Teladoc. Talkspace, in comparison, is a subscription-only service, so you pay a monthly fee ranging from $276 to $516 depending on your therapy plan, which may include a number of live sessions as well as text-based therapy.

Thriveworks, like Talkspace, also accepts insurance—and this is a perk that sets it apart from another big competitor, BetterHelp, which does not. Plus, according to our users, the number of insurance plans accepted by Thriveworks means that 67% were able to use their benefits for therapy, compared to only 57% that said the same at Talkspace. Teladoc, however, accepts the most insurance plans, with over 60 listed, and 82% of Teladoc users could use their insurance to pay for services.

Forty-seven percent of Thriveworks’ users found its services affordable or very affordable, though this number pales in comparison to Teladoc’s 66% and Talkspace’s and BetterHelp’s 58%. However, it is comparable to Online-Therapy.com’s 51%.

Thriveworks also stands out from its competitors because it offers a wide variety of services, including individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, psychiatry, and children’s therapy. In particular, the fact that it offers therapy to kids is particularly noteworthy because of the 55 companies we reviewed, only two—Little Otter and Thriveworks—treated kids under 10. Thriveworks has Little Otter beat in terms of accessibility though: it serves 43 states, compared to Little Otter’s 11, and accepts multiple insurance plans rather than just one. It also costs less out-of-pocket than Little Otter, which charges $200 per session. Plus, Little Otter only treats kids and their families—Thriveworks offers a whole range of services. Perhaps this is why Thriveworks had a better user satisfaction rate and why 78% felt it had good value for money compared to 72% that said the same at Little Otter. 

However, Amwell, an online telehealth company that also provides mental health care, also treats kids ages 10 and above, and generally scores better than Thriveworks across the board. Sixty-six percent of Amwell users found its services affordable or very affordable, and 88% of users rated it good, very good, or excellent overall. Additionally, 87% of Amwell users reported that they found a therapist who met most or all of their needs, whereas 78% of Thriveworks users felt the same.

Final Verdict

Thriveworks is a great option for people seeking affordable, convenient online or in-person talk therapy, psychiatry, and medication management for every member of their household. It’s an especially great option for families with children 12 and under who live close to one of its children's TherapyPlay centers. Its therapists and psychiatrists can address a wide range of mental health issues, and can provide family, couples, addiction, and marriage counseling, along with medication management. Having the option to schedule in-person or online sessions also adds a level of flexibility many online therapy providers do not have.

With most major medical insurance carriers accepted, the company can be a very affordable option. The bottom line is that Thriveworks has a lot to offer young and old seeking mental health care at an affordable price. 


To fairly and accurately review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 55 companies and surveyed 105 current users of each. This allowed us to directly compare services offered by gathering qualitative and quantitative data about each company and its users’ experiences.

Specifically, we evaluated each company on the following factors: website usability, the sign-up and therapist matching processes, therapist qualifications, types of therapy offered, the service's quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, average cost and value for money, whether it accepts insurance, how easy it is to change therapists, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood that clients would recommend them.

We also signed up for the companies in order to get a sense of how this process worked, how easy to use the platform is, and how therapy takes place at the company. We worked with subject matter experts to get their expert analysis on how suited this company is to provide quality care to therapy seekers.

Key Specs

  • Price: $99 per therapy session if paid out-of-pocket
  • Is Insurance Accepted? Yes
  • Types of Therapy Offered: Individual, couples, family, kids, teen, group, medication management, psychiatry, substance use treatment, eating disorder treatment
  • Communication Options: Email, live audio/phone, live video, in-person
  • HIPAA Compliant? Yes
  • Is There an App? Yes
  • Accepts HSA or FSA? Yes
  • Prescriptions Available? Yes
  • Billing Cadence: Pay-per-session
Edited by Hannah Owens
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Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. About mental health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021.

  2. What is telemental health?. National Institute of Mental Health.

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