Note: Pride Counseling has merged with its parent company BetterHelp. All the Pride Counseling links will redirect to BetterHelp and will still match you to a therapist who is right for you based on your preferences.
In this article, we’ve reviewed Pride Counseling – the online therapy platform for LGBTQ+ people seeking therapy.
We’ve looked at the types of therapies provided by the counselors on Pride Counseling, and the kinds of problems they can help with.
We’ve also explained how therapy sessions on Pride Counseling work, as well as the costs involved in using this platform.
Overall, we have given Pride Counseling 4.5 stars out of 5, based on its convenience, services provided, ease of use, and value for money.
Pride Counseling* stands as a dedicated platform with therapists specializing in LGBTQIA+ affirming support. Each therapist has a minimum of 3 years and 1,000 hours of experience, ensuring high-quality care. With an affordable flat fee for one weekly live session and the flexibility to message your therapist at any time, Pride Counseling makes support accessible, starting at $65/week. Fill out the online questionnaire to match with your therapist.
* Pride Counseling has merged with BetterHelp. You’ll be directed to BetterHelp, where you can connect with a therapist who specializes in LGBTQ+ therapy.
Note: We collaborate with top-tier mental health companies and receive advertising fees from purchases through the Pride Counseling/BetterHelp links.
What is Pride Counseling?
Pride Counseling is an online therapy platform, which provides mental health services and support to the LGBTQ+ community. Since November 1st, 2023 it has merged with its parent company BetterHelp. All the Pride Counseling links will redirect to BetterHelp and will still match you to a therapist who is right for you based on your preferences.
All the therapists on this platform are licensed professionals who have experience in working with LGBTQ+ individuals. They specialize in helping people with LGBT issues, such as gender dysphoria, or bullying you might face as a result of your sexual orientation.
The platform offers a monthly subscription plan, which includes a weekly therapy session, and the ability to message your therapist in between sessions.
Below, we’ve looked closely at the therapy services provided by Pride Counseling, and compared the cost of this platform to visiting a therapist in person.
Pride Counseling Therapy services
Members of the LGBTQ+ community can face a number of different issues. For example, you may be struggling with understanding your gender identity, and want help from an affirming therapist to work through this issue.
Also, individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are more often subjected to bullying and/or discrimination, which can negatively affect your mental health.
Using techniques such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness methods, and other types of counseling, Pride Counseling therapists help individuals struggling with issues such as:
- Discovering your sexual orientation
- Discovering your gender identity
- Fear of coming out
- Relationship and family issues associated with your gender identity or sexual orientation
- General mental health issues, for example due to bullying or discrimination
Types of counselors available on Pride Counseling
Therapy providers on Pride Counseling are all licensed professionals who have a minimum of three years and 1000 hours of therapy experience.
These professionals also specialize in helping LGBTQ+ people. They have specific experience in helping others facing the types of issues we mentioned in the previous section.
The most common types of counselors on this platform are:
- Social workers
- Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT)
- Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)
Social workers can be of great help to LGBTQ+ individuals by providing affirming therapy. These professionals can help you to overcome family rejection and social stigma associated with your sexual orientation or gender identity, and can offer support to help reduce feelings of isolation or depression.
Marriage and Family Counselors concern themselves with familial relationships, and mental and emotional disorders within the context of families. With specific expertise and LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy, they can help you develop strategies to cope with a family environment that is not supportive of your sexual orientation or gender identity. They can also provide family therapy if appropriate, to help your parents, siblings, and others to be more accepting of who you are.
Licensed professional counselors that have LGBTQ+ training can provide mental health care and help you explore your gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation. They can also counsel you on your thoughts about coming out, and help you deal with discrimination or bullying associated with being LGBT.
Aside from offering help and counseling regarding LGBTQ+ issues, psychologists on Pride Counseling can offer general mental health therapy. Since these counselors are all licensed professionals, with training in techniques such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, they can assist in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms, help you heal from trauma, and provide you strategies to deal with stress.
Sign up process
The sign-up process with Pride Counseling is quite straightforward. Upon visiting the Pride Counseling website, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that will be used to match you with the right mental health professional. Since November 1st, 2023 you will be redirected to the BetterHelp website – which will still match you to a therapist who is right for you based on your preferences.
When signing up using the online form, you can expect to receive questions about your gender identity, sexual orientation, and your current mental health issues. Pride Counseling might ask whether you’re experiencing anxiety or depressive symptoms, and they may ask about your physical health, such as whether you’re having trouble sleeping or if you’re experiencing chronic pain.
You will then be asked what you want to focus on in therapy, ranging from common mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depressive symptoms, and stress, to more specific issues, such as ADHD, trauma, or gender dysphoria.
This information is then used to match you with the right therapist, based on the types of issues you’d like help with. You can also specify what you’re looking for in a counselor, for example, that you want to speak with someone whose pronouns are she/her.
Communicating with your therapist
One of the upsides of online therapy is the flexibility you get in choosing how to communicate with your therapist.
The Pride Counseling subscription plan includes one weekly therapy session that can be done over a video call, phone call, or live chat, depending on your preference.
The sessions are booked in advance at a time that works for you, and typically last from 30 to 45 minutes. Pride Counseling also offers you the ability to message your therapist as much as you’d like, in between each therapy session.
Upon signing up, you will get your personal “room,” which is a dashboard you can use to connect with your therapist. Here, you can exchange thoughts and messages with your therapist, ask questions and receive feedback, and even get support when you’re feeling overwhelmed without having to wait for the next weekly session.
It’s important to note that your therapist won’t always answer immediately – instead, they’ll typically respond during business hours. However, you can get feedback, guidance, and support more quickly with Pride Counseling than you would in traditional therapy, since you don’t have to wait for the next scheduled session to speak with your counselor.
Cost of Pride Counseling
The cost of Pride Counseling online therapy ranges from $65 to $90 per week, which billed monthly ranges from $260 to $360. The exact cost depends on where you live in the world, as well as therapist availability. At any given moment, the number of therapists available to help in your timezone may vary.
In comparison, the price of in-person LGBT affirming therapy greatly varies depending on your location and the type of counselor you’re searching for. On average, the cost of in-person therapy in the United States ranges from $100 to $200 per session, which on a monthly basis ranges from $400 to $800.
Pride Counseling isn’t covered by most health insurance plans, but it does offer financial aid to those in need.
Discounts are available to students, veterans, the unemployed, those who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and individuals earning $50,000 a year or less. When signing up, you will have the chance to apply for financial aid. These discounts are also available to those facing high expenses at the moment, such as parents of children with medical conditions.
Advantages of Pride Counseling
Here are some of the main benefits of using Pride Counseling.
Convenience and ease of use
When compared to traditional therapy, Pride Counseling’s biggest advantage is its convenience.
In the busy world we live in, adding therapy to your schedule might not always be feasible, especially if you’re looking for LGBTQ+ affirming therapy.
Even though there has been progress in improving acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in recent years, some therapists and counselors might still be apprehensive towards LGBT people, and not entirely comfortable with providing help, which can cause discomfort for LGBTQ+ individuals. It’s important that you find a therapist who is LGBTQ+ affirming.
If you live in a small town, especially in some parts of the country, it might be difficult to find a qualified counselor who won’t discriminate, judge, or push their beliefs onto you.
This means that depending on where you live, you might have to travel long distances to see an LGBT affirming therapist in person.
Pride Counseling allows you to get help and support from qualified LGBTQ+ affirming counselors from the comfort of your home. If you’re not satisfied with your therapist, Pride Counseling also allows you to easily switch to a different counselor at any time, which is not always easy if attending in-person therapy sessions.
Text messaging system
Another advantage of Pride Counseling is the text messaging system.
Depending on the issues you’re dealing with, you might experience stressful moments, conflicts, and even panic attacks throughout the day or throughout the week. By your next therapy session, you might have forgotten certain details about an experience you had at the beginning of the week.
Pride Counseling’s text messaging service allows you to write everything down, anytime and anywhere. This way, your therapist immediately knows what to discuss during your next therapy session, and they can also provide the right advice and assistance.
If you’re dealing with anxiety or depression, the messaging system can serve as a journal or even as a place where you can “do your homework”, which is an important tool in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Your therapist can then offer feedback that you can implement immediately without having to wait for the next therapy session.
Disadvantages of Pride Counseling
For most of the problems LGBTQ+ individuals face, online therapy can be just as effective as traditional therapy.
Counseling related to family, relationship, and interpersonal issues, as well as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (for treating anxiety and depressive disorders) has been scientifically proven to be effective when conducted online.
However, there are some instances when traditional therapy prevails.
The biggest disadvantage in regards to the LGBTQ+ issues is Pride Counseling’s inability to provide medication or hormonal therapy.
If you’re looking for gender reassignment surgery and need documentation such as health records or a letter of support from a mental health provider, Pride Counseling cannot offer this. You will need to see a therapist in person instead.
Another disadvantage of Pride Counseling is the fact that it’s not covered by insurance, unlike some in-person therapists. You will have to pay out of pocket, or take advantage of their financial aid system.
If you’re having frequent suicidal thoughts or are struggling with a more severe mental health disorder, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, Pride Counseling isn’t for you. When dealing with such serious issues, it’s best to see a therapist in person, as soon as possible. And in an emergency, dial 911, rather than seeking out a counselor.
Also, Pride Counseling isn’t the best choice if you’re looking for family or LGBT couples counseling. You can only join a video call from one device at a time, making this process a bit difficult.
Based on our review, we give Pride Counseling 4 out of 5 stars. It offers a reasonably-priced, convenient way of accessing LGBTQ+ affirming counseling. The platform can be of immense help to those struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as any symptoms associated with social stigma, discrimination, or bullying, such as depression and anxiety.
However, in case you’re searching for hormonal therapy or need documentation that serves as approval to undergo gender affirmation surgery, Pride Counseling cannot help and you should turn to traditional therapy instead. Also, you should seek in-person help if you’re suffering from a serious mental health condition.
If you’re still not sure whether Pride Counseling is right for you, or you have any questions about this therapy platform, leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you.