The Best Free Online Therapy Services In The USA In 2024

Online Therapy

Bliss
Free program based on CBT offered globally by Canadian nonprofit, endorsed for mental health by APA. Self-guided, 8 sessions for mood control.
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Online Therapy

7 Cups
7 Cups offers private support and free teen chat rooms. Trained volunteers listen and help, providing relief by just talking about your feelings.
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Online Therapy

Crisis Text Line
In any mental crisis, text Crisis Line for non-judgmental support and coping strategies from certified counselors, aiding in your next steps.
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Online Therapy

Alcoholics Anonymous
2020 research shows AA's 12-step as top for alcohol abuse management. Free virtual meetings available; SMART Recovery offers an alternative.
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DRK Beauty Healing
DRK Beauty Healing helps women and non-binary people of color in the US find free therapy with licensed therapists. Five sessions offered.
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Accessing free online therapy and finding the best mental health care can be challenging, but there are excellent options available at no cost in the USA right now.

In this article, we will explore the top 10 free, or virtually free, very low-cost online therapy providers in America as of 2024, providing you with the latest information on how to receive professional help without any financial burden.

Online licensed therapist helping with someone's mental health

What is online therapy?

Online therapy, also known as teletherapy, e-therapy, or e-counseling, is a form of mental health treatment delivered virtually via the Internet. It offers individuals a convenient way to access therapeutic services from their homes or other private settings from licensed mental health professionals.

This type of therapy gives people access to one-on-one counseling with licensed therapists via phone calls, video conferencing platforms such as Skype or Zoom, chat rooms, and emails.[1]

Can free online therapy help?

Absolutely! Free online therapy can be a great option for those who are seeking help and support for those who may not have the time or financial resources to make regular in-person visits to a therapist. Though it is obviously much different than traditional face-to-face counseling sessions, research shows that it can be just as effective.  [2]

What can free online therapy help with?

Depression and Anxiety

Online therapy can provide emotional support and guidance for individuals experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Therapists providing free online therapy can help clients develop coping skills and strategies to manage their symptoms at their own pace.

Relationship issues

Online therapy can help individuals address issues within their relationships, whether it be with a romantic partner, family member, or friend. Therapists can help clients identify communication patterns, manage conflict, and develop healthier relationship habits.

Stress management

Online therapy can teach clients stress-reduction techniques and help them develop coping skills to manage stress.

Trauma and PTSD

Online therapy can be helpful for individuals who have experienced trauma or are living with PTSD. Therapists can provide support and guidance through therapy sessions as clients work through their trauma and develop coping skills to manage their symptoms.

Substance abuse

Online therapy can be a helpful resource for individuals struggling with substance abuse issues. Therapists can provide support and guidance as clients work towards recovery and develop coping skills to manage triggers and cravings. [3]

What are the benefits of free therapy services?

  • Access to free mental health support
  • Reduced financial burden
  • Improved mental health outcomes
  • Increased motivation to seek help
  • Confidentiality
  • Flexibility
  • Culturally responsive services
  • Reduced stigma
  • Support networks
  • Improved quality of life [4]

How to choose the best affordable therapy services?

Communications strategies

Convenience is the key to online therapy with mental health professionals available to everyone. We emphasized mental health services that provide patients with a variety of communication options, such as texting, video and phone chat, email, and live online therapy chat.

We also looked for online treatment services that provide 24/7 on-demand support and a standalone mobile application.

In-demand therapists

As mental health is such a personal experience, each person's needs for therapy are unique. We evaluate free counseling services that provide you the choice to pick your therapist from a variety of available free online therapists.

Many include an initial evaluation procedure to find any current symptoms and match you with the best online certified professional therapist or mental health coach.

Available care

You can get help when you need it most by using online therapy. We evaluated the accessibility of various medical services, such as same-day or on-demand appointments. We also took into account how long a patient would have to wait for a free online therapy appointment.

The free online counseling and therapy services that we reviewed provide emotional support and mental health counseling to people all over the world.

How to choose an online therapy service that benefits you?

Determine your specific needs

Consider what you're hoping to achieve through therapy and what type of therapy might be best suited for your concerns. For example, if you're dealing with anxiety, you might seek out a therapist who specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Research your options

Look into different online therapy services and read reviews and testimonials from other clients. Check the therapist's credentials, experience, and approach to therapy.

Assess the platform

Ensure that the online therapy service platform you want to make use of is secure, easy to use, and has all the features you need. For example, you may want a service that allows you to message your therapist outside of your scheduled sessions. Not all of the free online therapy services cater to that.

Evaluate the therapist's

It's important to feel comfortable and connected with your therapist, so consider their communication style and whether you feel comfortable with them. It is always a good idea to schedule a consultation or a brief session to see if it's a good fit before committing to a full course of treatment.

Free Online Therapy Services

Free Online Therapy Services Table

Free online therapy services that Shrink's Office recommends

Shrink's Office recommends a variety of online therapy services that offer a range of specialties and approaches. We have identified the following as particularly helpful for a number of people:

Bliss

Bliss offers online therapy sessions

Pros

  • Based on research-backed CBT principles
  • Self-paced
  • User-friendly and anonymous

Cons

  • No crisis line
  • No expert assistance
  • No human interaction

Price: Free

Therapy or support: Support

Format: Online

Available nationwide: Yes

Insurance accepted: n/a

Rating: 4.7/5

Description

Drawing from principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the Canadian nonprofit Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions offers this free program to all individuals. The American Psychological Association endorses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a successful treatment for depression and other mental health issues.

Even though the application was developed by a Canadian group, anyone can access it.

Throughout eight engaging sessions, you'll learn new ways to monitor and control changes in your mood and emotions as well as tactics for bringing about constructive change. Because these lessons are self-guided, you can complete them whenever you have the time.

Why do we recommend this online therapy service?

If you're searching for a private, self-paced program, Bliss is a very useful resource. You'll discover cognitive and behavioral techniques as you progress through the program that can help you feel better every day. [5]

7 Cups

7 cups is an example of free mental health support

Pros

  • 24/7 free assistance from expert listeners in private chat rooms
  • High user scores
  • Help is based on peer-reviewed studies

Cons

  • The listener is not a licensed therapist
  • Certain listeners are more helpful than others

Price: Free chat for teens

Therapy or support: Free support; therapy for a fee

Format: Online

Available nationwide: Yes

Insurance accepted: No

Rating: 4.6/5

Description

Opening up about what's troubling you can sometimes be enough to bring some relief because talking about your feelings can truly make a difference.

Regardless of what you're going through, 7 Cups has trained volunteer listeners ready to lend a sympathetic ear and offer private emotional support. While 7 Cups has support and self-help tools for people of all ages, it specifically caters to kids aged 13 to 17 with free teen chat rooms and community support forums.

Teens can communicate with a "listener," a trained volunteer. Even though these listeners don't provide professionally licensed therapy, conversing with them could nevertheless be helpful.

Why do we recommend this online therapy service?

Teens can speak to trained volunteers any time to converse or express themselves through 7 Cups, which is unique. [6]

Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line offers free services for those in emotional distress

Pros

  • Accessible around the clock by text
  • Available on Whatsapp, and Facebook
  • You text a certified crisis counselor who replies

Cons

  • This is not therapy
  • Only available in the United States

Price: Free

Therapy or support: Support

Format: Text

Available nationwide: Yes

Insurance accepted: n/a

Rating: 2.2/5

Description

Each person's experience of an emotional or mental health crisis will be quite different. You might have suicidal thoughts, consider harming yourself, or feel as though terrible feelings are consuming you.

Sometimes it's hard to focus on anything else because of these strong emotions.

You can talk to a certified counselor through Crisis Text Line who will listen to you without passing judgment and work with you to discover coping mechanisms so you can stay safe. Crisis Text Line counselors can provide mental health resources to make your next actions simpler.

Why do we recommend this online therapy service?

When a mental health emergency arises, the Crisis Text Line provides urgent assistance. [7]

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics anonymous offer free counseling sessions

Pros

  • Open to everyone
  • Regular and accessible to everyone worldwide
  • Convenient for people who might find it challenging to attend AA meetings in person

Cons

  • Lacks the face-to-face interaction of AA meetings
  • Meetings are scheduled at specified times

Price: Free

Therapy or support: Support

Format: Video

Available nationwide: Yes

Insurance accepted: n/a

Rating: 4/5

Description

According to research from 2020, the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12-step program is the best way to manage alcohol abuse issues.

You can also access virtual meetings online, which you might not be aware of. Every meeting is free, and they take place regularly throughout the day. If 12-step programs aren't for you, SMART Recovery offers a different method of free online addiction support.

Why do we recommend this online therapy service?

These accessible gatherings give recovering addicts a sense of accountability and community from the comfort of their homes.

Pros of Alcoholics Anonymous

  • Open to everyone
  • Regular and accessible to everyone worldwide
  • Convenient for people who might find it challenging to attend AA meetings in person. [7]

DRK Beauty Healing

DRK Beauty Healing helps those with mental health concerns

Pros

  • Open to all women and nonbinary people of color, and LGBTQIA+ people; others may also apply.
  • For the first five therapy sessions, there are no costs.
  • All medical professionals hold a license or are under the direction of one

Cons

  • Clinicians have various professional backgrounds and areas of specialty
  • Not accessible in every state

Price: Free

Therapy or support: Therapy

Format: Video on the phone

Available nationwide: America only

Insurance accepted: No

Rating: 4/5

Description

If you're a woman of color or a non-binary person of color residing in the US, DRK Beauty Healing can assist you in finding a licensed therapist in your state for therapy sessions that is free.

The directory allows you to look for a therapist of your choice, however not all states may have access to them. A minimum of five complimentary sessions are provided by participating physicians.

Why do we recommend this online therapy service?

Women of color and non-binary people of color have a special chance to get free teletherapy sessions with qualified clinicians thanks to DRK Beauty Healing. [8]

Therapy aid coalition

Therapy aid coalition offers affordable online therapy

Pros

  • In all 50 states, thousands of therapists are participating
  • Temporary free and inexpensive services

Cons

  • Serves only those impacted by particular disasters
  • Not a crisis line for a disaster
  • Some doctors might charge for their services (but many have very low short-term rates)

Price: Free or at a low cost

Therapy or support: Therapy

Format: Online

Available nationwide: Yes

Insurance accepted: Yes

Rating: 4.2/5

Description

With the help of this service, those in need and those impacted by crises and disasters can access free or sliding-scale mental health care. The website also includes links to alternative kinds of therapy that are both free and inexpensive.

You can get up to four sessions with a therapist of your choice for free or at a moderate fee provided you meet the requirements for the service. Therapists can provide in-person therapy or online services that are free or low cost.

Why do we recommend this online therapy service?

In the United States, essential workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can get assistance through the non-profit group Treatment Aid Coalition.

The organization not only focuses on COVID-19 but also provides assistance to people affected by crises and natural catastrophes. Such as;

  • Those displaced by wildfires in Colorado and California
  • Those affected by the shooting at the King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. [9]

Postpartum support international

Postpartum support international helps distressed mothers

Pros

  • Provides male and female call-in groups
  • Available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada
  • 24/7 help
  • Free resources

Cons

  • Volunteers cannot provide crisis support
  • Volunteers are not licensed professionals

Price: Free

Therapy or support: Support

Format: Video on the phone

Available nationwide: Yes

Insurance accepted: n/a

Rating: 4.3/5

Description

About 6.5% to 20% of new mothers and 8% to 10% of new dads have postpartum depression.

Postpartum Support International (PSI) provides peer-to-peer support groups and group calls with qualified mental health experts. Useful resources, tools, and articles are provided for women facing postpartum depression.

Why do we recommend this online therapy service?

All of PSI's tools, including the group calls with a certified mental health specialist, are available without charge. There is also peer-to-peer support accessible. [11]

CIMHS free online therapy for depression

CIMHS

Pros

  • Can be accessed from anywhere
  • Utilizes a combination of psychotherapy treatment and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Teaches techniques to manage, monitor, and improve overall mental health

Cons

  • No crisis line
  • No expert assistance

Price: Free

Therapy or support: Support

Format: Online

Available nationwide: Yes

Insurance accepted: n/a

Rating: 4/5

Description

CIMHS offers an eight-session interactive internet therapy program for depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT for short, is a psychotherapy approach that forms the foundation of the program. Depression can be effectively treated with CBT, according to studies.

The program is made to instruct you in methods that have been demonstrated to be successful in enhancing your mood and mental well-being.

Why do we recommend this online therapy service?

We recommend the CIMHS online therapy service because it is accessible, convenient, and user-friendly according to patient feedback. One patient specifically mentioned that the program is easy to follow, professional, and concise in its content delivery.

While some patients mentioned that they wished the application had more motivational features, the positive feedback on the program's accessibility and clarity of content make it a strong option for those seeking online therapy. [12]

TickTalkTo

TickTalkTo provides depression support

Pros

  • IOS and Android app support
  • Chat with a happiness expert free

Cons

  • Doesn't offer crisis counseling or emergency support
  • The cost of paid services isn't transparent

Price: Free

Therapy or support: Therapy

Format: Online

Available nationwide: Yes

Insurance accepted: Yes

Rating: 3.6/5

Description

TickTalkTo's iOS and Android mobile apps make accessible conversation therapy available to everyone. You can get in touch with accredited happiness coaches who offer telepsychology services if you're searching for online mental health treatment, emotional support, or services. Also, TickTalkTo can connect you with a professional to deal with difficult situations.

Why do we recommend this online therapy service?

TickTalkTo is a highly accessible online therapy service that provides quality counseling by vetting all psychologists on the platform. The platform matches users with a happiness coach who can assess their situation and connect them with the best-fit therapist for their needs.

TickTalkTo also partners with clinics and hospitals to optimize digital clinic and telepsychology services, providing private, confidential, and anonymous healthcare to underserved communities. The service is free with a happiness expert, and specialist counseling is available via customized payment plans, making it an affordable option for those seeking mental health support. [13]

FAQ

What are the risks of online therapy?

The lack of a patient-therapist relationship. With online therapy, you don't get the chance to meet your therapist or build an in-person connection with them before beginning treatment, which can have an impact on the trust you develop with them as well as how effective their treatments are for you. Another risk of online therapy is confidentiality and privacy issues.

What should I expect from my online therapist?

When engaging in online therapy, you should expect to have an open dialogue with your therapist that is focused on building a strong therapeutic alliance and fostering progress toward your treatment goals. Your therapist will work collaboratively with you to identify ways in which they can best support you during the course of your treatment.

References

  1. HelpGuide: What is online therapy?
  2. American Psychological Association: Worsening mental health crisis pressures psychologist workforce
  3. Evidence-Based Psychotherapy: Advantages and Challenges
  4. Find a Psychologist: The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy: What the Research Tells Us
  5. Bliss Counselling | Compassion that helps
  6. 7 Cups: Free Online Therapist & Counseling
  7. Crisis Text Line | Text HOME To 741741 free
  8. Alcoholics Anonymous
  9. DRK Beauty Healing | Healing is Our Birthright
  10. Therapy Aid Coalition: Free And Low Fee Therapy
  11. Postpartum Support International - PSI
  12. CIMHS Free Online Therapy for Depression
  13. TickTalkTo

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