Free and Paid Anxiety Counseling Online
Anxiety counseling online can be helpful if you have social anxiety, as it does not require you to meet in-person with a therapist at a time when you may be experiencing severe anxiety. Online counseling can also be helpful if you have a hectic schedule and fitting in a face-to-face meeting just isn’t possible.
Online counseling for social anxiety takes various forms, all the way from interactive self-paced programs to actual exchanges with a real-live therapist. Services also vary widely in how much they cost, ranging from free (for unlicensed or self-help) to hundreds of dollars.
Only you can decide what works best for you when looking for anxiety counseling online. However, I’ve outlined below some of the main offerings in terms of online counseling for social anxiety. I’ve ordered them from least expensive to most expensive so that you can get a sense of the investment required.
Note that these are not reviews, as I’ve not personally used all of these services, nor have I evaluated their effectiveness. However, I’ve tried to choose those that are based on proven strategies for overcoming social anxiety, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. If you have used any of them, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
I have personally used the Woebot app and have found it particularly helpful for tracking your mood and challenging unhelpful thoughts. The only downside is that this robot app cannot actually understand your replies (it works like a texting session), though it can pick up on some words and respond accordingly.
I just recently discovered Mellow Talk. This site offers the chance to talk to a stranger to vent or look for advice. In this way, it’s kind of like talking to a friend rather than a therapist. However, it might help if you just need someone to talk to and have nobody to reach out to in real life.
7 Cups of Tea
I’ve actually used 7 Cups of Tea myself both as a volunteer listener and on occasion to talk to someone about problems I was going through. The free service connects you with trained volunteers, but you can also pay to speak to a licensed therapist.
BRAVE-Online for Kids and Teens
BRAVE is an interactive online CBT program for children and teenagers to prevent anxiety. It also offers complimentary programs for parents. The program can be completed on your own or with the help of an online therapist. The program is free of charge for those in Australia or those participating in research studies.
Overcoming Social Anxiety Online Program
This program from Kyle Macdonald costs whatever you choose to pay, though it indicates most people pay $3.99. You receive lifetime access to a secure website membership area, a treatment program with 30 video sessions, customized workbooks, and updates to program content. You also get access to a private Facebook support group.
This Way Up Social Phobia Course
This Way Up offers a self-paced social phobia course designed to be completed within 3 months at the most. You are granted 90 days access, and once you complete the course, you are given 12 more months of access for practicing. The cost is $59 Australian for three month’s access. If you have a doctor or psychologist who wants to supervise your progress, they will receive updates.
AI Therapy offers a fully automated online treatment program for social anxiety based on research and clinical experience. You listen to pre-recorded sound files while working through lessons. The program is also customized based on the symptoms that you report. Topics discussed include challenging your thinking, behavioral experiments, and relapse prevention. The program cost is $149.99 CAD for six months of unlimited access.
Modern Therapy offers online therapy similar to that offered by Talkspace or Betterhelp (see below). However, they have pricing options as low as $25 a week. Readers of this site can also receive one week free by using the promo code “aboutsocialanxiety” when registering through the link above.
Online-therapy offers a complete toolbox based on cognitive behavioral therapy specifically for helping you with social anxiety. They offer different pricing options, starting at $39 per week with feedback from a therapist. As an About Social Anxiety reader, you will also receive a 20% discount when you sign up through the link above.
Social Anxiety Institute
The Social Anxiety Institute offers an online treatment program. The 25-session series includes audio therapy, handouts, videos, and a discussion forum costs $159.99 USD or $29.99 per month for 6 months.
Joyable offers coaching and appears mostly aimed at employees of companies. You correspond with a coach by phone, text, or email. You start by completing a quiz to assess your goals. Then, their online program based on cognitive behavioral therapy takes place over 12 weeks. You can also try the free trial for 7 days. The cost after the trial is $99 USD per month.
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The basic model of BetterHelp is that you have unlimited access to licensed and experienced mental health professionals through your choice of emails, live chats, telephone calls, or video conferencing.
The cost is currently $35 to $80 USD per week for this unlimited access. As one of my readers, you will receive 20% off your first month when you sign up using this link! I’ve tried the service myself and recommend it as the best option to access a therapist online.
Talkspace starts at $49 USD a week. This provides you with unlimited messaging therapy. You can also purchase live chat therapy for $79 USD per week.
Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders
The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders offers online therapy through live chat or video sessions. There is no indication of the cost.
Ginger.io provides in-the-moment emotional support through mental health coaches who can also connect you with psychologists and psychiatrists. It is supposed to be app-based chat support. There is no indication of cost.