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10 best culturally sensitive online therapy providers

Cultural sensitivity should be a cornerstone of all therapists’ practices, but it can be a trait that’s hard to find. As of 2021, 80% of all therapists in the United States were white and 94% were able-bodied. In this same demographic study, the only gender identity options were male and female, which gives more context to the lack of diversity within the profession. Aside from the stats, the reality is, not all therapists are created equal — some are more intentional or self-aware than others, and some are more adept at acknowledging their own biases. If you’ve been burned by a lousy therapist who intentionally or unintentionally failed to adequately support your lived experiences, that doesn’t mean you should give up. To help improve your therapeutic journey, we researched to find 10 of the most culturally sensitive online therapy providers.

Before you dive in, take a moment to get clear on the help you’re seeking. Think about the issues you need support with and which identities you’d prefer your therapist have — is it important to you to see a therapist who shares your race, ethnicity, or sexual identity? “When a therapist can disclose their own identity with ease, it opens the door for clients to feel more validated and free to see what parts of them have been operating on autopilot,” says psychotherapist and somatic life coach Francesca Maxime.

Sensitivity to diverse backgrounds in care extends beyond therapy provided by individuals with awareness of different cultures. It encompasses care delivered by clinicians from various life experiences and cultural perspectives. To identify the most inclusive online therapy providers, we assessed 22 services and directories and personally tested seven of them.

We paid attention to the diversity of providers, the language sessions are offered in, the price per session and the various points of cultural inclusion. Research was conducted by a Black clinical social worker who specializes in working with BIPOC folks. We sought to enable our readers to find the best culturally sensitive providers, and hope you’ll be well-equipped for your healing journey when use this list.

Octave

Cost: $170-$275 per session | Insurance accepted: Yes | States available: CA, CT, FL, NJ, NY, TX, and the District of Columbia | Types of therapy offered: Individual, couples and families

Octave is a rare gem in the online therapy world, thanks to its wide variety of therapists, various languages available and providers that specialize in racial trauma. Racial trauma, which refers to the emotional marks racial discrimination leaves on its survivors, often isn’t included as a service you can search for within online therapy services. The fact that Octave includes this, as well as the option to receive care in various languages, makes it our pick for the most inclusive online therapy provider.

Getting started with Octave is easy: Simply follow the website’s invitation and fill out an intake form. After that, the company’s intake coordinators will match you with a therapist. You can also view its providers and if you find a therapist you like, you can check their availability to get started.

Pros

  • Wide range of diverse providers
  • Offers various forms of therapy, including individual, couples and families
  • Offers sessions in various languages
  • Offers therapy for racial trauma
Cons

  • Isn’t available in all states
  • Doesn’t accept a wide variety of insurance plans
  • High out-of-pocket fees

$170-$275 per session at Octave

Inclusive Therapists

Cost: Varies based on therapist | Insurance accepted: Varies based on provider | States available: All 50 states and Washington D.C. | Types of therapy offered: Individual, couples, teens, children, family, groups and medication management

A huge benefit of using therapy directories is the ability to narrow down your search and connect with the right provider for you, without any need to sign up for an online therapy company. Inclusive Therapists is the most comprehensive therapist directory we found, with dozens of search filters that allow you to find the best care possible. You can expect to see BIPOC to trans-identifying providers and everyone in-between. You can even search for vegan therapists.

Something that many therapist directories overlook is the varying levels of oppression that keep therapy-seekers locked out from finding the right fit. For example, some folks with physical disabilities would like to attend therapy in person but have to do the extra labor of reaching out to therapists to see if their office is ADA accessible. With Inclusive Therapists, the simple click of a search filter can make things much easier. To make your experience with this directory as simple as possible, take a few moments to jot down what you’re looking for in a therapist. That way, you can scroll through the search filter easily. Otherwise, all the options can feel a bit overwhelming. That said, it is better to have many options than none.

Pros

  • Plenty of search filters to help you find the best provider for you
  • Directory lists providers throughout the United States
  • Many types of therapy available
  • Able to search for providers based on sliding scale and insurance offerings
Cons

  • Search filters can be overwhelming
  • You have to reach out to each therapist to confirm their availability

Varies at Inclusive Therapists

Talkiatry

Cost: Varies based on insurance | Insurance accepted: Yes | States available: 42 states and Washington, D.C. (Not available in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming)| Types of therapy offered: Medication management

Finding the right psychiatrist is hard work. This type of therapy is expensive, there are limits to what some providers can prescribe. and when you need your medication, you need it fast. Talkiatry accepts insurance, can prescribe all medications (including ADHD medication) and has psychiatrists with various identities on board. For these reasons, it is our top pick as the best culturally sensitive online psychiatry service. The fact that it accepts insurance makes it much more affordable for many.

Something to keep in mind is that Talkiatry is only available for folks who have insurance coverage. While this is a major downside for the uninsured, it can be hugely helpful for those with insurance. Getting started is easy. You’ll fill out a brief assessment, and from there you’ll have the option to choose from a range of providers. Keep in mind that there aren’t a lot of questions about cultural sensitivities on the intake sheet. While they do have a range of providers available, remember you can always request a new provider. You’ll have to contact customer service to do so, but affordable care with a provider that fits your needs is worth the extra step.

Pros

  • Psychiatrists with various identities
  • Long intake sessions
  • Can prescribe all medications
  • Costs may be low depending on insurance coverage
Cons

  • Only sees patients with insurance
  • Switching providers isn’t easy
  • Not available in every state

Varies at Talkiatry

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective

Cost: $30-$80 per session, one-time membership fee of $65 | Insurance accepted: No | States available: All 50 states, Canada | Types of therapy offered: Individual, couples, children, families, group and teen therapy

A huge barrier to therapy is the price tag. If you don’t have insurance, or have insurance with minimal coverage, you may be stumped as to how you’ll find a way to make therapy work. Open Path Collective offers care from pre-licensed and licensed therapists for the same price as most insurance co-pays, making them our pick as the best culturally sensitive therapy provider for the underinsured.

We especially appreciate that Open Path Collective makes sure they onboard therapists in the directory who are diverse by way of racial and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, modalities and specialties. You can expect to receive care from both pre-licensed and licensed therapists. We especially appreciate this — sometimes affordable care means only having the opportunity to work with less experienced practitioners. It is a welcomed change to see that individuals with more complex needs can receive care from providers with plenty of experience. Just a heads up — this is a directory, not an online therapy company. This means you will have to contact your top picks directly, and some therapists may not have their availability updated.

Pros

  • Affordable sessions
  • Emphasis on culturally diverse providers
  • Wide range of therapies available
  • Available in all 50 states
Cons

  • Therapist availability can be outdated
  • You have to reach out to therapists directly

$30-$70 per session at Open Path Psychotherapy Collective

Therapy for Black Girls

Cost: Free | Insurance accepted: Depends on provider | States available: All 50 states | Types of therapy offered: Individual, children, teens, couples and group

Research (and plenty of personal and professional experience) shows that Black people feel more comfortable receiving therapy from a Black clinician. Yet in 2021, just 5% of all of the psychology workforce in the United States identified as Black. Therapy for Black Girls is a directory that focuses solely on Black femme-identifying clinicians, making it our top pick as the best culturally sensitive online therapy provider for the Black community.

While it is a directory and not an online platform in which you can receive direct service, we appreciate that you can explore various clinician options. We wish its search filters were more comprehensive. For example, you can search for providers based on insurance plans (which we love), but you can’t filter your search based on fee. Furthermore, there are no male-identified clinicians in the directory, and from our research, we didn’t see any nonbinary clinicians either. If that is important to you, keep scrolling and check out the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network.

Pros

  • Resources on how to find a therapist
  • Focus on Black femme-identifying therapists
  • Can search based on insurance
Cons

  • Cannot search based on budget
  • Strong focus on women

Free at Therapy for Black Girls

Latinx Therapy

Cost: Free | Insurance accepted: Depends on provider | States available: All 50 states | Types of therapy offered: Individual, couples, teen, children, group, families and immigration evaluations

The Latinx experience, as with all cultural experiences, exists on a broad spectrum, encompassing a diverse range of perspectives and histories. That’s why having the ability to look for a therapist with a particular migration background or cultural identity might be important in your search. Latinx Therapy is a directory with dozens of search filters, including cultural identities, migration background, a comprehensive range of LGBTQ identities and plenty of therapeutic specialties. It’s one of the most extensive directories we’ve ever reviewed, and we are pleased to name it as the best culturally sensitive online therapy directory for the Latinx community.

As soon as you land on the homepage, you simply click “find a therapist,” enter your location and scroll through the results. From there, you can refine your search further, noting if you have any particular clinician identity preferences, specialties or types of sessions you’re searching for. When you browse the results, you’ll easily spot the therapists who speak Spanish — they have “Hablo español” clearly listed, a feature we found helpful. This is also the only directory we saw that lists providers who offer immigration evaluations, making us even more impressed with the emphasis on inclusion for all Latinx people. Plus, it has a comprehensive FAQ guide that demystifies the whole process of finding a therapist.

Pros

  • Can search based on migration background
  • Easy to tell which providers offer sessions in Spanish
  • Very detailed search filters
  • Comprehensive FAQ guide
Cons

  • Providers in each location will vary

Free at Latinx Therapy

Yellow Chair Collective

Cost: $125-$195 per session | Insurance accepted: Yes | States available: California, New York, New Jersey and Oregon | Types of therapy offered: Individual, children, couples, family, teens and coaching

It’s well documented that years of oppression have created a stigma within the Asian community when it comes to getting mental health support. This fact even spilled over into our research for this article — it was challenging to find mental health providers that focused specifically on the Asian experience. Then we found Yellow Chair Collective, which is home to a team primarily composed primarily of Asian therapists. Their expertise extends to serving individuals who identify as queer, neurodivergent and multicultural. This comprehensive approach makes it our top pick as the best provider for the Asian community.

Yellow Chair Collective offers sessions for individuals, children, couples, teens and families. You can expect specialties like immigration trauma and family dynamics. It even has providers who offer ADHD coaching and EMDR therapy. Best of all, it has a limited number of sliding scale payment slots, ensuring that services are as accessible as possible. Just a heads up — services are only available to those residing in California, Oregon, New Jersey and New York, and it’s only in-network with Cigna insurance. That said, the service can provide superbills for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Pros

  • Sliding payment scale is available
  • Emphasis on Asian providers
  • Session languages include Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Hindi, Nepalese and Vietnamese
Cons

  • Only accepts Cigna insurance
  • Only available in a handful of states

$125-$195 per session at Yellow Chair Collective

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network

Cost: Free | Insurance accepted: Varies based on provider | States available: All 50 states and the District of Columbia | Types of therapy offered: Individual, couples, children, group, teen and family

Finding a queer or trans-identified therapist can be challenging. Finding a therapist of color can be hard. Add both of these needs together when looking for a culturally sensitive therapist and you may feel discouraged. Don’t — the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network is an expansive directory with therapists of color who are either queer and trans-identified or trans-affirming. That’s why it is our top pick for the best trans-affirming therapy provider.

We love that you can filter your search based on language, and we’re encouraged by all the intersections of identity the therapists hold. However, the remaining search filters leave much to be desired — you can filter by therapists who offer a sliding scale or a “low fee,” but there are no other options to filter by insurance or budget. Despite these drawbacks, this is a unique directory that answers a specific need of therapy-seekers. If you’re struggling to afford therapy, you can even apply to the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network mental health fund to receive up to $125 per session in financial support.

Pros

  • Therapy in various languages available
  • Mental health fund available
  • Wide range of therapists with LGBTQIA+ identities
Cons

  • Few search filters
  • Number of providers varies by area

Free at National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network

Thriveworks

Cost: $160-$240 per session | Insurance accepted: Yes | States available: District of Columbia and all states except Vermont | Types of therapy offered: Individual, couples, teen, children, family, groups and psychiatry 

It’s common to run into online therapy companies with long waiting lists for appointments or therapists who aren’t taking new clients. This can be a major roadblock when you’re ready to start therapy and need to start right away. Thriveworks is the only online therapy provider we found that offers same-day appointments. To make things even better, they accept over 50 insurance plans, another rarity from our extensive research. We also love that Thriveworks is available throughout the United States — you can even attend in-person sessions in some areas. All of these excellent features make it one of the most immediately accessible therapy providers available. 

Here’s where things get tricky: Thriveworks doesn’t have many search filters, so it’s challenging to search for a provider based on identity. That said, you can voice your needs to the intake coordinator during your intake session, and they can work to pair you with someone who meets your needs.

Pros

  • Accepts many insurance plans
  • Offers same-day appointments
  • Wide range of therapies offered
Cons

  • Out-of-pocket fees are expensive
  • Cannot filter search based on identity

$160-$240 per session at Thriveworks

Therapy Den

Cost: Varies based on provider | Insurance accepted: Varies based on provider | States available: All 50 states and the District of Columbia | Types of therapy offered: Individual, couples, children, family and teens

If you’re in search of an LBGTQ therapist, you’ll want to select a service that has a heavy emphasis on the queer community. TherapyDen does just that — on its landing page is a banner highlighting therapists who provide therapy for the trans community. Furthermore, this is the only online therapy directory that has the option to filter to find therapists who are LGBTQ-identified. This is a big plus, as most services focus on highlighting therapists who are LGBTQ-allied.

This is one of the smaller directories we found in our search. This means your search results may be slimmer than what you may receive on other, more mainstream directories. That said, we are firm believers in quality over quantity, and are confident the directory can point you in the direction of your perfect match.

Pros

  • Emphasis on trans-affirming therapists
  • Can search based on insurance
  • Most therapists have an introductory video on their page
  • Ability to search for therapists throughout the country
Cons

  • Smaller selection of therapists compared to other directories

Varies at Therapy Den

When choosing a provider, it’s important to consider what the term “culturally sensitive” means to you. Do you want a therapist who shares your racial or gender identity? Are you hoping to hold sessions with someone who shares your native language? Getting clear on what your needs are will make your search easier.

If you’re not sure about what they are, think about what would make you feel most comfortable in therapy. For example, you may not want to talk about immigration trauma with someone who can’t understand the experience firsthand, or you may be wary of discussing your experiences of racism with someone who isn’t a person of color.

Once you’ve considered what type of provider you’re looking for, you’ll have a better idea of which therapy directory or company may be able to help you. That said, there are a few other details you should keep in mind. Namely, consider your budget. Do you have insurance or will you need low-fee therapy? Consider what you can afford to pay each month and divide it by the number of sessions you’d like to attend. From there, you’ll have an idea of what you can afford to pay per session.

Finally, keep in mind you can always change providers. Not every therapist is a good fit for every person, so be willing to try a few therapists before you find your best match.

We reviewed 22 different online therapy providers for cultural sensitivity based on company values, reputation, services offered, providers and user experiences. We paid close attention to the range of inclusivity for each platform, price point, whether insurance was accepted and any public controversies the company may have experienced. Our top 10 picks are companies we feel are financially accessible, inclusive and known for offering great care.

What is the difference between a culturally sensitive therapist and a regular therapist?

A culturally sensitive therapist may have extensive experience and training in various cultures. For example, a regular therapist may state they specialize in trauma therapy while a culturally sensitive therapist may state they specialize in racial trauma or immigration trauma.

Are culturally sensitive therapists more expensive?

No. Being culturally sensitive isn’t a specialty that warrants a higher fee — being culturally sensitive is the minimum every provider should strive for.

Do online therapists and psychiatrists accept insurance?

Some online therapists and psychiatrists accept insurance while others do not. This depends on each provider or service. One way to make the process easier is to contact your insurance company to fully understand your benefits (i.e., what’s covered and what you might be able to have reimbursed). Additionally, you can ask your insurance company to provide you with a list of providers that accept your insurance.

Is online therapy really private?

Yes, by law it must be. Thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), providers must honor confidentiality and protect sensitive client data.

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