In this Teen Counseling review, I’ll reveal how effective this smartphone app is for teenagers seeking therapy.
I’ll explain how this app works, what you can expect and whether it’s worth the money.
I’ll also compare it to other therapy apps on the market, so you can decide whether Teen Counseling is the best choice for you.
Let’s dive right into it.
Teen Counseling: Overview
Teen Counseling was founded in 2013, as a sister company of the world’s most popular online counseling app – Betterhelp.
It allows teenagers aged between 13 – 19 to gain access to licensed therapists from the comfort of their own home.
Teens can communicate with their assigned counselor via text, phone calls or video calls.
More than 1,000 licensed therapists – specialising in teen counseling – are available to help.
They are all highly experienced in one-on-one counseling with teenagers.
Teen Counseling provides a private space for teens to discuss whatever is on their minds, including issues surrounding stress, anxiety, bullying, family problems. All communications remain confidential – even from parents – except in extreme circumstances.
You’ll need to pay a monthly subscription to use Teen Counseling. Both of its price tiers are far cheaper than face-to-face counseling (and most online therapy apps too).
The two price tiers are as follows:
- Unlimited text counseling: $180 per month. Phone or video calls can be purchased for $25 per session with this tier.
- Unlimited text and live counseling: $260 per month. This package includes four live phone or video counseling sessions per month.
You’ll always be billed monthly. Payments recur automatically until you cancel your membership.
As a highly experienced licensed therapist, I’d say the $260 per month tier provides much better value for money.
Counseling is far more effective when the professional is able to read their client’s body language and facial expressions. The majority of communication is non-verbal, after all. Regular video calls make it easier for a client to develop a personal bond with their therapist too.
The Teen Counseling website states that its services are ‘generally not covered’ by health insurance.
I couldn’t find any discount vouchers or free trials at the time of this Teen Counseling review either.
|🟢 Competitively priced|
|🟢 Counselors specialise in dealing with teenagers|
|🟢 Unrivalled privacy and confidentiality.|
|🔺 Not as much freedom to choose your counselor compared to other apps.|
Is Online Counseling Right For Your Teenager? What To Consider Before Investing In Teen Counseling
Many teens have managed to improve their mental health through regular communications with a therapist.
Indeed, many teenagers may prefer online therapy to visiting a therapist’s office. In many cases, it’s an easier sell for teenagers. After all, it’s cheaper, more convenient and less intimidating.
It could be harder to build a trusting connection over video calls (and especially text counseling), compared to face-to-face therapy. However, this concern is arguably disappearing as web connections improve.
The Teen Counselling website has a list of who the service is not suitable for, including:
- individuals younger than 13 or older than 19;
- individuals without access to a web-connected device;
- individuals in an urgent or emergency situation;
- individuals diagnosed with a severe mental illness, or those in need of psychological supervision or psychiatric care.
The counselors working for Teen Counseling are unable to officially diagnose a teenager with a mental health condition, prescribe medication or fulfil any court orders.
Teen Counseling Features And Benefits
Below, I’ll rate the key aspects of Teen Counseling out of five stars.
The process for getting started with Teen Counseling will differ depending on whether you’re the teenager or their parent/guardian.
If you’re a teenager, you’ll be immediately prompted to fill out a questionnaire about your situation. This questionnaire will be used to pair you with a suitable therapist, usually within 24 hours.
Next, you’ll enter a parent’s email address so they can give consent for you to begin therapy. This is in conjunction with local laws.
If you’re a parent, you’ll do this on your child’s behalf, approve of the chosen therapist, then you’ll be prompted to send an online invite for your child to sign up.
Some online therapy apps offer a more personalised method – and more choice – when it comes to selecting a therapist.
However, it’s possible to swap therapists at any time.
Teen Counseling is available on desktop or mobile (iOS/Android). Either way, all communications between the teenager and their therapist will take place in a private chat room.
The simple nature of this app means that even the most technophobic teenager will be able to pick it up.
They will be prompted to schedule their video calls (if they have paid for any) straight away.
The chat room remains open 24/7, so teens can leave a message for their therapist whenever they feel like it.
Teen Counseling Therapists
All Teen Counseling therapists are licensed trained psychologists (Ph.D/Psy.D), Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), or Professional Counselors (LPC). They all have gained a Master’s degree or Doctoral Degree in their field.
Put simply, they’re all more than qualified for the job.
Even so, it is possible to swap therapists whenever you wish.
It’s possible to pay for Teen Counseling via Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover or PayPal.
Privacy & Security
Teen Counselling has a top-of-the range SSL encryption system. All chats are protected with 256-bit encryption too.
All counselors using the app are bound to local and federal privacy laws, including HIPAA.
The counselor will always call through the app only. They won’t receive your phone number or email address.
No information is shared with insurers or other individuals, including parents except in extreme circumstances.
These include the therapist learning that:
- the teen or someone they know is planning on self-harming, hurting others or committing suicide;
- the teen or someone they know is being abused or neglected.
Privacy & Security:
Teen Counseling runs a ticket-based email customer service. You can typically expect a response within 24 hours.
You can cancel your Teen Counseling subscription whenever you like. When you do, users can continue communicating with their therapist for the remainder of the month they paid for.
What Do People Think Of Teen Counseling?
Teen Counseling is littered with negative reviews on both the iOS store and the Google Play store. However, these are mostly from teenagers who were denied access to the platform.
A lot of teenagers were upset that they needed parental consent to use the app. Others didn’t like that they were deemed unsuitable for counseling.
Most reviewers who did use the app seemed to get a lot out of it.
Alternatives To Teen Counseling
Below is a summary of two alternatives to Teen Counseling and how they compare.
Talkspace has online therapy services for teenagers and adults.
Its ‘Talkspace for Teens’ service is for those aged between 13-17. With it, you get unlimited text therapy for $260 per month. Your therapist responds daily, on weekdays only. You can add live video calls for $65 each.
Talkspace is an extremely professional service, packed with qualified therapists, but it’s a lot more expensive than Teen Counseling. In my opinion, Teen Counseling offers better value for money.
To learn more about Talkspace, you can read my full review or navigate to its website.
7 Cups Of Tea
7 Cups Of Tea is a text-only mobile counseling service, available to anyone aged over 13.
There’s a free version of this app, where teenagers can talk to the app’s team of volunteer ‘listeners’. There is a lengthy screening and training process in order to become a 7 Cups ‘listener’, but these individuals are not licensed therapists.
Teenagers can only talk to teenage listeners or approved adult listeners.
With the paid version of this app, you can access unlimited text therapy with a licensed therapist. It costs $150/month.
Teens can access the free version of this app without parental permission, but they’ll need their parents’ consent to use the paid version.
Conclusion: Teen Counseling Can Do A Lot Of Good For Teenagers
I hope this Teen Counseling review has shed some light on the benefits of online counseling for teenagers.
I’d happily recommend this app to any teen who is suitable for online counseling.
If you have any further questions about this Teen Counseling review or the service itself, feel free to leave them in the comments.