Thriveworks Counseling Review: Tried And Tested (2023)


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Jessica is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience in both lifestyle and clinical health topics.
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Our Verdict

Clinician-founded and established in 2008, Thriveworks is a therapy platform that aims to connect users with virtual and in-person mental health care professionals across the U.S. While the company itself has some iffy reviews on Trustpilot, our reviewer found its scheduling process and therapist experience to be satisfactory.

Thriveworks: Key Features

  • A U.S.-based mental healthcare platform offering virtual and in-person therapy services
  • Over 380 in-person counseling centers across the country
  • Users have access to 2,000+ online therapists in all 50 states, according to the company

Author and clinician AJ (Anthony) Centore, Ph.D., founded Thriveworks in 2008 aiming to create a mental healthcare solution that “works better for everyone,” according to the company. Thriveworks’ mission, according to its website, is to hold the title of “America’s most valued mental healthcare company.” The platform offers U.S.-based individuals access to online and in-person mental healthcare, via virtual therapy sessions provided by their national directory of licensed mental health professionals, and at their national chain of in-person counseling centers.

  • The site has a comprehensive therapist directory featuring licensed mental health professionals in all 50 states
  • Has over 380 in-person counseling centers throughout the U.S. 
  • Flexible and convenient appointment scheduling system
  • Self-pay options start at $200, which may be cost prohibitive for some 
  • Users must contact support to update their billing/payment information
  • Customer service team can be difficult to get ahold of, depending on the time of day

Thriveworks at a Glance

  • Thriveworks aims to make it easier for people to find mental healthcare, both online and in person, and connect users to qualified therapists in their state.
  • Services are pay-per-session, with insurance co-pays ranging between $0 to $50 and self-pay options starting at $200.
  • Over 575 insurance plans are accepted at Thriveworks, including Cigna, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Healthcare.

How Does Thriveworks Work?

Individuals desiring to book a session with a Thriveworks-associated mental health provider can schedule appointments via its website or mobile app. Whether booking a virtual or in-person session, users are directed to the site’s therapist directory to find a licensed mental health professional in their state who specializes in the area that they need assistance with and accepts their form of insurance.

Thriveworks’ network of mental health professionals includes licensed clinical social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. The company prides itself in recruiting only the top 4% of counselors and psychiatrists, according to its website.

After selecting a therapist of their choice, a user creates an account to complete the scheduling process. Upon logging in, the registration page has a list of patient information for the user to verify (i.e., full name, date of birth, etc.) and a client agreement form (that simply requires checking a box). From there, users are directed to a page that requests their billing and credit card information. No transactions are made initially however, as users pay post-session by default. Completing this registration process confirms the appointment.

First-time users will receive an email prompting them to additionally register for Thriveworks’ patient portal, where users can access any patient forms that their therapist may need. The therapist may also email the user with a link for the video conferencing call, which users can also access via the patient portal. Virtual therapy sessions take place on Zoom, where the user and client will have a HIPAA-compliant session. All sessions last for up to an hour, according to one of the company’s customer service representatives.

Thriveworks connects users with providers specializing in various counseling approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Psychiatry and medication management services are also available. Some main concerns and issues Thriveworks therapists can help with, according to its website, are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Relationships
  • ADHD
  • Trauma/PTSD
  • Grief/Loss
  • Addiction
  • LGBTQIA+ related issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Anger
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Coping skills
  • Stress
  • Life transitions
  • Postpartum/pregnancy
  • Sexual abuse/issues
  • Self-esteem
  • Sleep/insomnia

Session follow-ups may involve a therapist sending resources to the user based on what was discussed. To book a follow-up session, a user can simply log into the patient portal.

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How Much Does Thriveworks Cost?

Thriveworks users pay per session, and have the option to either for users to either opt for self-pay or insurance co-pays. The self-pay option starts at $200 while insurance co-pays range between $0 to $50. Thriveworks bills self-pay patients the first Wednesday after a session and insurance-covered users the Wednesday after each claim is processed.

What Experts Say About Thriveworks

The benefit of Thriveworks is that the platform offers access to both in-person and virtual mental healthcare providers.

“The biggest pros [of online mental healthcare] are accessibility and convenience,” notes Sean Flannery, Ph.D., a couples and individual psychotherapist based in Virginia. However, a con of getting therapy online is that it can sometimes “make it more difficult to feel each other’s ‘presence,’ which can make it harder to establish a solid working relationship,” he continues.

There are some individuals who may find virtual therapy a bit more difficult than others, according to Dr. Flannery. Some of these individuals include:

  • People living with ADHD
  • Couples (depending on the issues and level of connectivity already present)
  • People whose households tend to be chaotic or distracting, or who have a fear that others may be listening or walk in on them in therapy
  • People who have poor or unreliable internet connections

In regards to the Thriveworks platform itself, Andrew Kulik, M.D., chair of the Behavioral Health Department at Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago, knows of the service, and describes it as a “well thought out and well-implemented network offering of not only talk therapy sessions, but also treatment by prescribers if psychiatric services are needed.”

The Experience

As a busy freelancer and creative, I prefer the flexibility that online therapy offers. That’s why I was elated to give Thriveworks a try (despite a good amount of negative reviews on sites like TrustPilot). Multiple TrustPilot reviewers have shared complaints about billing practices, bad experiences with certain therapists and therapists missing/showing up late to appointments.

Upon signing up, I found a counselor in my state and was able to schedule an appointment for the following week. The therapist selection was pretty decent considering my filtered results, as I deliberately sought to find a female therapist who specializes in treating specific issues, utilizes a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) counseling approach and has worked with clients in my age group. In the end, I had roughly 40+ therapists to choose from.

I thought that the registration process was fairly straightforward, and I had my session only a few days after signing up. During the session (which lasted an hour), I was pleased with the way that things went. The counselor helped me gain clarity on a few mental blocks that I needed to unpack to overcome certain relational challenges.

After the session, the therapist sent me a few resources as a follow-up to what we discussed and also invited me to book another session. Because of my positive experience with her, I wouldn’t mind booking again. I did take it upon myself to remove my credit card information from the account in case of any surprise fees, however, and that was a hassle. Doing so required me to contact Thriveworks’ customer service department, and the wait time was over an hour. Fortunately, I was able to get a hold of them and get the issue squared away.

Based on my positive experience, I would suggest Thriveworks’ online therapy service for busy individuals with limited time for in-person counseling, just as long as the type of therapy needed (i.e., anxiety, stress, etc.) coincides with what’s offered on the platform.

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