Our Premium Selection of Top Online CBT Therapy Programs

Make sure you weigh-in all the options of using technology to get access to the best online CBT therapy programs.

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Calmerry is an online consulting platform connecting clients with first-class mental care professionals. The mission of the company is providing easy access to quality therapy and emotional support affordable to anyone. It hosts a supportive environment and a growing community of fully certified and detailly vetted therapists who draw upon clinical practices

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Pros

  • Licensed and vetted therapists
  • Flexibility in scheduling
  • Daily support sessions are available
  • Individual matching of clients and therapists
  • Affordable rates
  • One-on-one video sessions
  • No commute is necessary
  • Digital worksheets provided
  • Confidentiality

Cons

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The Online Therapy program is a well-thought program that can offer a lot to those in need of emotional support. The staff is highly qualified and has years of experience with treating mental health problems using proven and well-researched CBT methods.

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Pros

  • Access to hands-on tools 24/7
  • Available internationally
  • Evidence-based
  • Experienced & qualified therapists
  • HIPAA complaint
  • Live sessions
  • Long-term results

Cons

  • Can’t be used for emergency medical needs
  • No group therapies
  • No in-person, face-to-face, appointments
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Talkspace is the perfect substitution for traditional therapy. With 80% of Talkspace users finding this way of therapy as effective or more effective than traditional therapy, it’s the right choice for people who are looking for some help and support.

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Pros

  • Multiple monthly subscription plans are available
  • Convenient communication options
  • Teen counseling
  • Couples therapy
  • Medication management services
  • Licensed therapists
  • Option to choose your therapist from recommended suggestions

Cons

  • Group therapy is not available
  • No therapist bios are posted on the website
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Sesame offers coverage across the US, employing over 10 thousand medical practitioners that have since helped over 100 thousand patients. The platform allows doctors to charge their own price per appointment, lowering the overall expenses by as much as 60% by cutting out the middleman between patients and physicians. With Sesame, the platform users get clear care that involves just you, your doctor, and one upfront price.

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Pros

  • One transparent price per appointment.
  • No insurance is required.
  • Saves up to 60% by cutting out the middleman.
  • Doctors can provide prescriptions and order lab work.
  • Offers door-to-door delivery of medications.
  • All doctors are vetted and board-certified.

Cons

  • Appointment charges must be paid directly.
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HealthSapiens is an NYC-based online healthcare platform that connects patients with medical professionals. The medicine ranges from modern healthcare to traditional and alternative medicine. Doctors and therapists are available at all times, offering 24/7 medical support and guidance. The platform covers all 50 states via internet-connected devices and phones, and the platform charges a flat-rate monthly fee and no co-pay or per-visit fees.

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Pros

  • 24/7 availability to healthcare
  • Accessible from anywhere
  • Covers all 50 US states
  • No co-pay and per-visit charges
  • Licensed medical professionals
  • Low monthly payment plans
  • Affordable family plans
  • Confidential & private

Cons

  • Requires strong internet connection.
  • Does not accept insurance.
  • Therapists are automatically assigned.

Consumer Opinion Guide has developed a list of proven, top-rated online CBT therapy programs to help you find a licensed therapist who will allow you the mental healthcare support necessary to overcome your issues. With our resources, we have combed through reviews and ratings to deliver a listing of the best online CBT therapy providers with the highest rating scores.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been proven to be quite effective in treating numerous mental illnesses, including anxiety and mood disorders. It does so by taking into account how our thoughts affect our behavior and other emotions. In fact, CBT is as effective as mild and moderate antidepressants when it comes to treating depression. According to various experts, the best results are achieved when CBT and psychopharmacology are combined in a single treatment plan. The main issue with traditional CBT therapy, however, is that it is extremely resource-intensive. That means that many patients are simply not able to profit from it.

But with the advent of technology and the introduction of online CBT therapy, things are looking up for those patients that simply did not have the chance to get CBT any other way. What is online CBT, does it work, and what are the advantages and disadvantages? Consumer Opinion Guide offers the answers in addition to a list of the best online CBT therapy providers.

What is Online CBT Therapy?

Online CBT treatment involves psychotherapy on CBT principles and delivers itself via online channels rather than in-person. CBT itself is based on Beck’s Cognitive Triad. This stipulates that emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are all connected and influence each other. The basic premise is that patients cannot control the world but they can control how they choose to interpret it. What a CBT therapist does is isolate specific problems and issues and develop strategies to address them by changing patients’ patterns of thinking and behavior.

person thinking
CBT is all about how our thoughts influence our lives.

CBT has clearly defined goals as well as self-contained modules, which require minimal intervention from the therapist, making the therapy almost perfectly suited for online use. Most online CBT programs share similar features, such as patient-guided, short-term, goal-oriented, and similar. The programs usually consist of 8 to 12 modules and they can be made available to the patient via their smartphone or tablet, or online through their PC. They can come with or without therapist support, can be free as well as paid, and their delivery and content vary by the condition that is being treated.

Does it work?

There are numerous studies that tried to assess the effectiveness of online behavioral therapy. Between 2000 and 2012 alone there were around 1100 articles that were discussing how effective online CBT is. However, most of the early studies into the matter have not been designed rigorously.

In recent years, the quality of the studies themselves has been significantly improved, and there is a lot more literature on the subject, with randomized controlled trials, degree of therapist involvement, the format of online modules, and the types of communication all being considered.

The problem with all these studies is that it is extremely difficult to compare them, as they all have different study cases. Instead of trying to encompass the whole picture that is online CBT therapy, we will instead focus on specific, most common, mental illnesses, and how online CBT deals with them.

Online CBT therapy for Anxiety

Studies show that some of the best online CBT therapy for anxiety programs demonstrate results equivalent to or better than in-person therapy. We will not get into the extreme details of these studies, as it all gets very technical. The main drawback from all these studies is that online CBT therapy for anxiety increases benefits for patients and therapists’ efficiency. Furthermore, the data shows that the quality of care is not compromised at any point, despite the fact that online CBT therapy for anxiety requires far fewer resources than traditional therapy does.

Online CBT therapy for Depression

Depression is also one of the most documented mental illnesses when it comes to CBT therapy. Most studies show that the best online CBT therapy programs are at least at the equivalent of traditional therapy solutions or marginally better. For example, The Australia and New Zealand Horizon Scanning Network ran a study that involved online CBT therapy that showed a substantially higher recovery rate for patients with depression. These improvements were also sustained for at least eight months.

Online CBT therapy for Physical Illnesses

person in a wheelchair
CBT can help with mental issues due to physical illness.

Unlike online CBT therapy for anxiety, there are far fewer studies for CBT therapy for patients with physical illnesses. That being said, the therapy was studied with patients that have various physical diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, as well as diabetes.

Effectiveness of CBT in mental issues due to diabetes

For example, one specific study tried to evaluate the effectiveness of online CBT therapy for depression in around 250 patients that had diabetes. The core program was divided into eight lessons and spaced out throughout eight weeks. The measurements were taken at the baseline, one month later, and immediately after treatment.

The patients who received online CBT treatment showed considerable improvement in their depression in the “one month later” category, according to the intention-to-treat analysis. As per per-protocol-analysis, both the diabetes-related issues and depression symptoms were reduced at the same point in time.

Effectiveness of CBT in mental issues due to cancer

Another study, using the CBT program Cancer Coping Online, utilized six modules that were delivered weekly. It involved only 12 patients that were evaluated at the baseline as well as seven weeks after treatment’s start. The study showed that there were significant reductions in hopelessness, negative affect, as well as anxiety for patients that were enrolled in the program.

Furthermore, the study also found a distinct difference between the information-only version of the program and the interactive one. Patients had much better results when they were able to interact with the program.

Effectiveness of CBT in mental issues due to multiple sclerosis

This particular study utilized a fully-automated online CBT therapy program, named Deprexis, to see its effects on depression in patients with multiple sclerosis. Deprexis had 10 sequential modules and the patients were assessed at baseline, immediately after the treatment, as well as at the six-month follow-up mark. The study showed that there was a clear improvement in patients who were enrolled in the program.

All three studies taken together support the conclusion that online CBT therapy is an effective treatment for any mental issues that are caused by physical illnesses. Furthermore, it is extremely helpful with patients with mobility issues. It allows them to get the best psychological care from the comfort of their own homes.

Long-term treatment effectiveness of online CBT therapy

Most studies of online CBT treatment track a follow-up period of eight weeks to two years after treatment. But one particular study focuses on a period of five years. The results of this study clearly show that online CBT therapy is quite effective even after five years.

There is also evidence that having additional sessions after the therapy is over, to refresh the principles, is a great long-term solution. An example of this is a study that evaluates booster sessions for patients with OCD. Without going into technical details and statistics, the patients with booster sessions show a slight improvement and retention of effects of the therapy. This clearly indicates that booster sessions hold promise.

Recommended specialists for online CBT therapy:

Advantages of online CBT therapy over traditional CBT therapy

Online CBT therapy session in progress.
You can access online CBT from pretty much anywhere.

The main premise of online behavioral therapy lies in two main advantages: Clinical Efficiency and Patient Empowerment.

Patient empowerment comes with many aspects. For example, by utilizing online CBT, patients have the ability to schedule their treatment and receive therapy from any location that has Internet access. This is extremely important in rural areas where there are fewer services. Then there’s the fact that having a therapy session from your own home is far more comfortable. And with numerous options that we have today, patients can choose from thousands of CBT therapists. All of this clearly indicates that patient empowerment is clearly in favor of online CBT therapy. With our premium selection of online counseling programs, you can

When it comes to clinical efficiency, there are also numerous benefits that online CBT offers. For example, it allows therapists to effectively treat more patients in less time. The fact of the matter is that online CBT is far less time-consuming and requires fewer resources. For example, therapists that practice online CBT spend about 10 minutes per patient, per week, according to a 2014 editorial. And there is another study that shows six therapists treating as many as 195 patients simultaneously! The case study was CBT for irritable bowel syndrome.

Furthermore, the asynchronous therapist communication that online CBT offers is extremely advantageous due to minimizing the need for immediate availability. A patient can communicate with their therapist via a messaging app, eliminating the need for scheduling altogether.

What about cost-effectiveness?

What most patients are wondering about is whether online CBT therapy for anxiety, for example, is cost-effective. In the past, this was not the case as online programs require substantial time and money to create. But, today, with a much greater program base, it is usually a lot more cost-effective to undergo online therapy instead of a traditional one. Online therapy eliminates travel costs, making it significantly cost-effective in situations where patients need to drive over long distances to see a therapist.

Furthermore, patients can opt for free online CBT programs, which are unbeatable when it comes to cost-effectiveness. Of course, these programs show significantly lower results than the ones with a live therapist.

The main issue with online CBT therapy, however, is that most insurances do not cover it. Patients need to pay for the therapy out of their own pockets. There are some options that will have your insurance partially pay for the therapy but they are few and far between. If you are reliant on insurance to cover the therapy costs, you may want to stick with traditional therapy options for the most part.

Disadvantages of online CBT therapy

Even the best online CBT therapy comes with some disadvantages. For example, the lack of direct patient monitoring can be quite problematic at times. This is due to the lack of “therapeutic alliance”, or human relationship, as well as the difficulty of adjusting the therapy according to the patient’s progress. The second main disadvantage is that patients adhere to online therapy less than the traditional one. Especially without therapist support. While it may be extremely cost-effective to enroll in a free program, there is no one to support you through it. Programs with therapist support have greater adherence, but also show lower adherence levels when comparing them to traditional CBT.

Technology accessibility

a farm on a meadow
There are many areas without Internet coverage.

Next, there’s the issue of technology accessibility. As many as 25% of the Western population might not even own a computer or have access to the Internet. Some of the online CBT programs also might have significant bandwidth or hardware requirements. The situation is improving every day, however, and soon these limitations will be a thing of the past. But for now, they are still quite significant overall.

Possibility of improper treatment

Then there’s the possibility of improper treatment with online CBT. For example, some of the online diagnostic tools are dependent on self-reporting. Using them often leads to misdiagnosis and improper treatment. Programs with therapist supervision are much better in this regard.

Possibility of fake services and poor quality programs

Lastly, we cannot discount the possibility of providers simply offering poor program quality or even fake services. It is imperative that prospective patients choose their therapy providers with caution. Luckily, the Internet offers numerous places where customers can leave a review and help others seeking treatment. Proper research is key when deciding on an online CBT program. Furthermore, patients also need to be careful when selecting a therapist. Taking the time to read the therapists’ biographies and credentials is of paramount importance.

When is online CBT therapy not recommended?

While the best online CBT therapy for anxiety is undoubtedly successful, the fact of the matter is that CBT is not for everyone. For example, experts do not recommend CBT for severely ill patients. Another example of where online CBT is not applicable is adolescent anxiety. Studies show no improvement over traditional therapy in these cases. And, of course, people without any technical skills may struggle to get the full benefit of any online therapy.

How to select an ideal CBT therapist?

The first thing you need to ensure is that your therapist has all the necessary credentials. CBT requires years of experience, degrees, and credentials to practice.

The next step is making sure that you are comfortable with the therapist and his/her approach to CBT. You can arrange a phone or video call before you commit to therapy sessions, making this part rather easy. Even a brief encounter with your therapist can tell you a lot, so you will want to pay attention. After the talk with the therapist, ask yourself the following:

  • Did the therapist interrupt you frequently?
  • Who did most of the talking?
  • Did you feel that the therapist was a good listener?

The fact of the matter is that online therapy sessions can feel awkward at times. It is very important to pay attention to what your intuition, or “gut feeling” is telling you.

Lastly, take your time when choosing a therapist. If you have a problem that you need to solve right now, then you can simply go with the first qualified individual you find. You will have no problems setting up online training sessions in any case. But for the best results, you will want to talk to several therapists and see which one suits your family the best. It is perfectly alright to communicate with more than one therapist and go with the one that your family likes the most. Of course, you can save a whole lot of time and stress by going directly to the best of the top online therapy companies based on reviews.

Start working on your struggles and take the next step towards happiness

Every beginning is tough, especially so in the last couple of years. Certain issues can follow us for years unless we do something about it. With this in mind, Consumer Opinion Guide has devoted its resources to finding the very best of the best online CBT therapy for anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. We want to give people the means to get the best possible online CBT counseling without having to waste weeks searching for the perfect therapist. Let us help you take those first steps and explore our list of top-rated online therapists for anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions!

Our Rating System

The research we do is based on reviews that come from verified users just like yourself. We may use our own reviews as well as third-party reviews to establish the star rating for all the companies on our website. Our team constantly works in monitoring new reviews and incorporating them into the overall rating of all the businesses listed on our website.