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Many companies offer online therapy sessions for young adults ages 13–19. Some companies may offer a psychiatrist who can prescribe certain medications for conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Medical News Today chooses counseling options according to the following criteria:

  • Age suitability: Services that offer therapy to teens.
  • Communication method: Services that offer a range of communication methods, such as by phone, text, or video.
  • Specialization: Services that offer therapists that specialize in different areas of concern.
  • Cost: Services that fit a range of budgets.

Medical News Todayfollows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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Below is an exploration of some of the best companies that offer teen counseling.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Disclaimer: All the services tested below were tried by Medical News Today editors. All opinions are their own. Due to the sensitive nature of the services in this article, the editor chose to write anonymously for their review.

Best for ad-hoc support: 7 Cups

  • Who it is best for: teens looking for someone to talk with when necessary
  • Specialties: free counseling, live chat
  • Choose own therapist: no
  • Accepts insurance: no

7 Cups offers free support rooms for individuals ages 13–17 years, allowing them to chat with a trained listener.

Read our review of the best free online therapy options here.

Trained listeners are not qualified therapists; these chat sessions should not substitute professional mental health care. However, teens may find them beneficial if they want someone to talk with or need emotional support.

7 Cups’ free chat rooms are not suitable for those with severe mental health conditions or those experiencing suicidal thoughts. However, listeners can refer them to appropriate crisis resources.

Pricing and plans

This platform offers ongoing support for teens from licensed therapists at around $150 per month.

Reviews and reputation

7 Cups also has accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has a B grade. Customers give the company an average of 2.79 out of 5 stars from 14 reviews. Positive comments mention great emotional support, while less favorable ones mention payment issues and lack of contact from customer services.

Trustpilot gives 7 Cups an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from 474 reviews. Positive comments stated that this service is a great place for receiving and providing support, while negative reviews mention a lack of security and privacy from internet trolls.

Our tester’s experience of 7Cup’s free service

“I’d only recommend it for people who just want a listening ear and don’t need robust or specialist advice. Many of the listeners are very young and they don’t have a lot of experience in helping people with mental health conditions. There is also very little standardization in how listeners fill out their profiles.

“Some have a lot of information on how they approach people’s problems and how they like to help, others don’t have any information at all.

“[I’d recommend this service for] younger people, people looking for a free counseling-like service, those looking for casual chats about things they’re struggling with.”

Medical News Today Editor


  • offers free counseling for teenagers
  • has a large number of topic-specific discussions and forums
  • texting with therapists offers flexibility


  • listeners are not qualified therapists
  • therapy is only text-based
  • does not accept insurance
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Best for support with stress and bullying: Teen Counseling

  • Who it is best for: teens with stress, anxiety, bullying issues, eating disorders, and other mental health issues
  • Specialties: private therapy rooms, counseling on various platforms
  • Choose own therapist: no
  • Accepts insurance: no

Teen Counseling is a platform that forms part of BetterHelp. It works with licensed professionals who help people deal with stress, anxiety, bullying issues, eating disorders, and other concerns. The service is for teens ages 13–19.

Teen Counseling allows teens to communicate with a counselor in a private therapy room. Parents or caregivers do not have access to these rooms.

The service hosts sessions through messaging, phone calls, video conferencing, and live chat, which are available via smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers.

Pricing and plans

Therapy sessions cost around $60–$90 per week. Prices depend on a person’s location, preferences, and the availability of Teen Counseling therapists.

Reviews and reputation

Teen Counseling has a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 with Trustpilot. This overall score comes from 44 reviews. Positive comments mention great service and positive outcomes, while negative reviews mention communication issues and long wait times when assigning therapists to people.


  • a person can message their therapist at any time
  • offers many different methods of communication with therapists
  • therapists on this platform are all licensed and accredited in their states


  • does not accept insurance
  • while the company provides a general idea of costs, it is difficult to know the exact amount until the platform matches people with a therapist
  • requires guardian consent
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Best for live sessions: Talkspace

  • Who it is best for: teens who prefer live online therapy sessions
  • Specialties: over 3,000 licensed therapists, various communication platforms
  • Choose own therapist: yes
  • Accepts insurance: yes, and accepts HSA/FSA payments

In 2018, Talkspace began offering teen counseling for ages 13–17.

Read our review of Talkspace here.

The company works with over 3,000 licensed therapists available to contact via text, video, photo, and audio messages. These therapists specialize in specific mental health conditions.

The platform will match people with several therapists. People can then choose which one they would like to connect with. Talkspace hosts sessions in a private room with a secure connection, and a person can chat with a licensed professional anytime. They can also switch therapists at no additional charge.

Pricing and plans

Talkspace offers three subscription plans, and the pricing depends on how many live sessions an individual requests, their location, and therapist availability. Below is a table with the Talkspace plans available and approximate pricing:

  • Messaging therapy: Includes text, video, and audio messaging. Prices start from $69 per week.
  • Live therapy: Includes four 45-minute live sessions a month. Prices start from $99 per week.
  • Live + messaging therapy: This is the most expensive plan and includes text, video, and audio messaging, plus four 45-minute live sessions per month. Prices start from $109 per week.

Reviews and reputation

The service has a rating of 3 stars out of 5 with Trustpilot from 250 reviews. Less favorable comments note insensitive customer services, high costs, and a lack of therapist availability and response to messages. Positive comments mention good therapists and quick matches.


  • includes unlimited messaging feature
  • accepts insurance
  • online reviews say the app is user-friendly


  • live counseling sessions capped at 30 minutes
  • only offers access to medication to people over 18
  • can take a long time to receive 3 top therapist matches
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Best for teens who need medication: MDLIVE

  • Who it is best for: teens who may also need medication
  • Specialties: psychiatry, medication management
  • Choose own therapist: yes
  • Accepts insurance: yes

MDLIVE provides physical and mental health services for adults, children, and teens, allowing them to engage in video appointments with counselors or psychiatrists.

Parents and caregivers may find this service helpful if they think a child may benefit from medication or if they need to discuss their current prescription.

Learn more about the best online psychiatry services here.

Pricing and plans

MDLIVE’s pricing varies depending on the type of consultation and an individual’s insurance plan. However, initial sessions with psychiatrists can cost up to $284, with follow-up visits costing $108. Talk therapy sessions cost up to $108, depending on insurance.

Reviews and reputation

MDLive has an average customer rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot from over 11,800 reviews.

Positive comments mention secure and fast service, while negative reviews discuss doctors being dismissive, repeated appointment cancellations, and difficulty registering or logging in.


  • accepts insurance
  • can offer prescription medications to teens who need them
  • online appointments are available quicker than in-person sessions


  • psychiatrist availability may be more limited than regular therapists
  • no options for text therapy
  • online reviews describe technical problems with the app
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Best for all ages: Thriveworks

  • Who it is best for: people looking for free resources
  • Specialties: couple therapy and mental health care
  • Choose own therapist: yes
  • Accepts insurance: yes

Thriveworks is a company that offers in-person and online therapy sessions. It is suitable for individual therapy, child therapy, and couples therapy.

On the website, people can also find free e-books and information about anxiety, depression, and self-care.

Those who prefer online therapy can opt for phone or video counseling, but the company also offers in-person sessions. All sessions take place within five days of booking an appointment, lasting around 50–60 minutes.

Pricing and plans

Costs vary depending on a person’s insurance, if any, and the therapist they choose. Thriveworks accepts insurance from providers such as Aetna, Cigna, and Humana.

With insurance, the cost starts at $10 per session. Without insurance, a first-time counseling session costs from $200, with subsequent visits costing from $160. An intake visit for psychiatric care or medication management starts at $300 without insurance, and follow-up sessions cost from $210 each.

Reviews and reputation

Thriveworks does not hold accreditation with the BBB, but the organization gives the company an A+ grade. It has an average of 1.07 out of 5 stars rating from 56 reviews. Trustpilot gives the company an average rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars from 32 reviews.

Positive reviews on the platforms state that customer care representatives are helpful when resolving issues. Negative reviews report that the company may not accept insurance payments and may continue charging accounts after canceling subscriptions.


  • people can choose phone calls or video chats to speak to therapists
  • accepts insurance from most major insurers
  • sessions are 50-60 minutes long, giving people more time to discuss concerns


  • sessions can be expensive for people without insurance
  • psychiatrists have limited availability
  • lacks a messaging option
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Best for talk therapy: Amwell

  • Who it is best for: children and teens who want talk therapy
  • Specialties: online therapy, psychiatry, pediatrics, and feminine health
  • Choose own therapist: yes
  • Accepts insurance: yes

Amwell offers talk therapy to people ages ten and above. The therapist on this platform can help people with concerns such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and life transitions.

While Amwell does offer psychiatry, this is only available to people 18 years of age and above.

Pricing and plans

Each visit costs between $109–$279. Amwell accepts insurance from several providers such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Medica.

Reviews and reputation

Amwell does not hold accreditation with the BBB, and the organization gives the company a B grade. Customers on this platform give Amwell an average rating of 1 out of 5 stars from four reviews. On Trustpilot, customers give the company an average of 1.8 out of 5 stars from over 2,000 reviews.

Positive reviews state that the therapy is effective, and people connect with their therapists within 24 hours of scheduling an appointment. Negative reviewers report that people had difficulties accessing appointments and receiving refunds.


  • the company does not store or save sessions, increasing privacy
  • offers the option for a person’s primary care provider to coordinate with Amwell psychiatrist
  • accepts insurance


  • psychiatrists cannot treat anyone under 18 years of age
  • some online reviews describe problems connecting to their appointments
  • no text-based therapy option
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Best for night appointments: Synergy eTherapy

  • Who it is best for: teens who can only access therapy at night or over weekends
  • Specialties: teen, grief, e-yoga, and couples therapy
  • Choose own therapist: yes
  • Accepts insurance: yes

Synergy eTherapy offers teen counseling at all times of the week, including during the night and the weekend. This may benefit those who cannot take time away from school or work to attend therapy.

The company is only available to people who reside in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

Pricing and plans

Synergy eTherapy offers a free initial consultation. Any other consultations cost between $100–250. Some therapists may accept insurance from providers such as Optum and Aetna.

Reviews and reputation

The company does not currently hold accreditation with the BBB, and the organization gives Synergy eTherapy an A+ grade. There are no customer reviews on this platform.

At the time of publishing, Synergy eTherapy does not have a Trustpilot page.


  • offers a free initial consultation
  • flexible scheduling
  • safeguards privacy


  • not available in all states
  • not much information to guide therapist selection
  • the therapist decides whether or not to accept a person’s insurance
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The table below compares each of the teen counseling services in this article.

PriceAge rangeFormatTherapistsInsurance
7 Cupsfree
• from $150 per month
13–17live chat• trained volunteer listeners
• licensed therapists
$60–$90 per week13–19• online messaging
• phone calls
• video conferencing
• live chat
• psychologists
• marriage and family
• licensed therapists
• social workers
Talkspace$69–$109 per week13–17• online text
• video
• photo
• audio messages
• licensed therapists
• psychiatrists
MDLIVE$108–$284 initial visit
$108 per follow-up visit
10 and abovevideo appointments• licensed therapists
• psychiatrists
Thriveworks$10–$300 per sessionany age• phone
• video
• in-person
• clinical social workers
• licensed psychologists
• licensed marriage therapists
• counselors • psychiatrists
Amwellfrom $109–$279 per session10 and abovevideo appointments• psychologists
• social workers
• psychiatrists
from $100 per session13 and above• phone
• video
• clinical psychologists
• family therapists
• psychotherapists

Online therapy is not the only options for teens. A person can also explore in-person therapy. However, there are pros and cons to both types.

Some benefits of online therapy for teens include:

  • flexibility and convenience of not needing to attend a physical office
  • less stigma attached as a teen can have their session at home without being seen by anybody they know
  • teens are usually comfortable with using the internet, meaning they may feel more relaxed
  • online therapy can often be less expensive than in-person therapy
  • beneficial for those who do not have access to quality therapists in their area

Research states that 72% of adolescents would be happy to use online therapy if they needed to. The participants’ reasons for liking the idea of online therapy was reduced stigma and increased accessibility.

However, on the other hand, some people may prefer in-person therapy. Some advantages of in-person therapy over online therapy include:

  • insurance companies do not always cover online therapy
  • technology issues, for example, if the internet goes down, a person may not be able to attend their session
  • texting and messaging services may not be ideal for individuals who struggle to express themselves with written communication
  • blurred boundaries may occur when teens are able to send messages to their therapist 24/7

2021 research asked therapists to identify key challenges with online therapy. These challenges included:

  • being unable to emotionally connect with the participant
  • distractions
  • patient privacy
  • therapist boundaries

The National Institute of Mental Health highlights some signs that may help parents or caregivers identify that a child may need mental health care, including:

  • mood swings
  • behavioral changes
  • low energy or lack of motivation at school
  • physical changes, such as showering less and decreased energy
  • engaging in harmful behaviors, such as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol
  • spending increasing amounts of time alone
  • claiming people are trying to control their mind
  • hearing things other people cannot hear
  • loss of interest in things they would usually enjoy

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of teen depression here.

If a person needs support with self-harm, they can also consider calling the self-injury hotline at 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8388).

Seeking help from a therapist is not always the most suitable choice. In an emergency or crisis, a person should call local emergency services or text TALK to 741741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor.

If someone is showing signs of suicidal ideation or behavior, a trusted adult should call emergency services.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recommends finding a therapist who listens to the individual’s feelings and helps them reach their goals at their own pace.

People in therapy should not feel as though the therapist is judging them. The aim of each session is to ensure a person is comfortable and feels as though they are progressing toward their goals.

It is also important that people feel able to give their therapist feedback. If a person finds assignments difficult or would prefer to approach concerns in other ways, they must feel able to talk with their therapist to adjust treatment if necessary.

People may find it easier to connect with a therapist if they share a similar background and ethnicity and if the therapist specializes in a person’s particular concerns.

If a teen does not feel comfortable discussing their concerns with a therapist, choosing another healthcare professional they can connect with may be best.

Other factors that can affect therapist choice may include:

  • Specialization: Refers to the area the therapist focuses on, such as family, stress, or addiction.
  • Pricing: A person should consider checking costs and a counseling service’s pricing plans. Costs may vary by specialization, insurance plan, and session type.
  • Reviews: Checking the company, provider, or therapist’s reviews may help individuals learn about the experiences of others.
  • Treatments: The American Psychological Association states that a person should ask a therapist what treatments they offer and whether they are effective for dealing with specific needs.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 800-273-8255.

Click here for more links and local resources.

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Mental health conditions are not uncommon, and this is especially true in teenagers. Experts estimate that as many as 49.5% of American teenagers have had a mental health condition at some point in their lives. Anxiety disorders, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and eating disorders are among the most common concerns.

Research has shown that online therapy can be helpful for teenagers dealing with conditions such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, online therapy can help provide care for teenagers who otherwise cannot access mental health care.

Teens tend to have a positive attitude towards online therapy, with 72% of adolescents in one survey stating they would use it if they needed support. The study also found that adolescents felt that using online therapy made treatment more accessible and reduced its stigma.

A person typically signs up for online counseling via the service’s website. To sign up, they may input information about their personal details, requirements, and reasons for signing up for counseling.

The service will then match an individual to a counselor. Once it finds a match, people can schedule appointments with their counselor as and when necessary.

Many services have various communication platforms to choose from, such as messaging, phone calls, and video chats.

Billing generally occurs monthly or annually, depending on the service and the plan a person chooses.

Types of teen counseling

There are different types of teen therapy available, including:

  • Talk therapy: Talk therapy includes one-to-one sessions with a qualified therapist, who may ask questions to learn more about a person’s feelings and difficulties. They could also help devise coping strategies.
  • Family therapy: Family therapy sessions require the individual to attend therapy with family. These may help if there are challenges affecting relationships between family members.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy sessions focus on specific topics and allow the person to learn more from their peers by sharing experiences and how they handled specific scenarios. A qualified mental health care professional often leads group therapy sessions.
  • Psychiatric care: Individuals with specific mental health conditions may benefit from speaking with a psychiatrist, who may also prescribe medications.

Learn more about different types of therapy.

Teen counseling techniques

Counselors and therapists may use different techniques to help teens deal with challenges. Some techniques include:

  • Building rapport: A therapist will try to build a personal connection with an individual, and a first session allows for introductions and discussions on hobbies, likes, dislikes, and more. A therapist should always strive to ensure that a young adult does not feel judged during their sessions.
  • Questioning: Therapy sessions aim to create a safe space, allowing a person to feel as comfortable as possible. A therapist may ask questions to develop a strong understanding of the teen’s beliefs and perspectives.
  • Positivity: Many people experience negative thoughts and internally criticize themselves. Attending counseling sessions to improve low self-esteem or build confidence can help with these thoughts. A therapist may try to teach young adults to acknowledge and identify their negative thoughts, let them go, and change them to positive thoughts.

The Child Mind Institute states that some individuals may not admit that they have an issue. They may also believe no one can help them. This can also be a symptom of their condition, as depression can affect how they think and prevent them from thinking positively.

As a result, the institute suggests that parents or caregivers ask teens what they are looking for and what they wish to achieve from mental health treatment. They can also ask them what they want to improve, as the therapist can then determine how they can help achieve their goal.

Mentalhealth.gov offers other ways to approach the subject of mental health with a teen, including:

  • discussing the topic when they feel comfortable and safe in their environment, whether at home, in another familiar indoor location, outdoors, or with a trusted adult
  • straightforward communication
  • asking if they would like to talk with someone else about their difficulties
  • letting them know that it is okay to speak with an adult and that this can help in some situations
  • asking them what is happening with them and how they are feeling
  • expressing concern for their well-being and asking them directly if they are planning to harm themselves or others

Learn more about the warning signs of suicide.

Below are answers to the most common questions about teen counseling.

Does insurance cover online therapy?

Some insurance providers cover online counseling costs just as they would with in-person appointments.

However, online therapists that do not accept insurance plans may offer less expensive sessions, as online visits do not include office space costs.

Individuals can contact their insurance provider or employer to check their mental health benefits.

Can treatment involve parents or caregivers?

Many online therapy platforms require input from a parent or caregiver if the person is under 18 years of age. Therapists may discuss with parents and caregivers how the sessions will proceed and what to expect.

Can a minor sign up without parental consent?

Those under 18 years of age may require their parent or caregiver’s consent to book consultations with a therapist, but this can vary depending on their state of residence.

Is the session information shared or confidential?

Therapy sessions are confidential.

However, therapists may have to inform the police or other organizations if a person is harming themselves or others. They may also notify authorities if there is an indication of abuse.

Under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which became legislation in 1996, for those aged under 18 years, confidential information has protection from third parties, but not from parents. This means that those under 18 years of age receive much less confidentiality.

Is online therapy the best option for me?

Online therapy may benefit individuals who feel they cannot attend or are uncomfortable attending in-person appointments. It can also help those with limited access to mental health care in their area.

However, online therapy sessions are not suitable for those in crisis or who have suicidal thoughts. They are typically also unsuitable for people experiencing a severe mental health condition that requires immediate attention.

Is teen counseling expensive?

The cost of teen counseling varies between services. On average, the price can range from $60 to $200 per week. If a person has concerns about the cost, they should aim to find a company that accepts insurance as payment.

Do I need insurance for counseling?

A person does not need insurance to have online counseling, and many teen counseling services do not accept insurance as payment. Individuals should check whether their chosen service accepts insurance before signing up.

Are online therapists licensed?

Reputable companies do not allow unlicensed therapists on their platforms.

People can search for their therapist on databases such as the American Psychology Association’s psychologist locator.

Is online counseling the best option?

Online counseling may be a good option for teens who prefer attending online sessions or those who have a busy schedule. Online counseling can fit into a person’s work and school schedule easier than in-person therapy.

However, online counseling cannot help people who are currently in crisis. People should always contact emergency services if they, or someone they know, are at risk of harming themselves or others.

Online teen counseling can help those requiring emotional support and mental health care.

Online therapy may prove less expensive than in-person visits, while some online services may accept health insurance coverage.

A therapist may use various techniques to help teenagers or young adults. With this in mind, parents and caregivers should consider different factors before committing to a particular therapy. These include therapy type, pricing, a therapist’s specialization, and others.