Best Online Grief Counseling and Support Groups

by Mary Haynes
updated on

Grief never just goes away, nor do people ever “get over” a trauma in their life. Emotional wounds can be just as severe as physical injuries. If you’ve lost someone important in your life, you don’t have to suffer it alone.

That’s why there is online grief counseling, which takes a clinical and scientific approach to grief counseling – and all from the convenience of your own home. In this discussion, we’re going to cover the best counseling sites for personal loss and how they’re useful to those in mourning.

Best Online Grief Counseling Sites

1. BetterHelp

BetterHelp site homepage

BetterHelp’s mission is to provide comfort and healing wherever possible at an affordable price. The internet’s top counseling site only works with the most knowledgeable and experienced team of counselors. Most counselors are Ph.D./PsyD doctors, licensed marriage and family therapists, or clinical social workers.

A study by the Berkeley Well-Being Institute found BetterHelp’s approach to be just as effective as face-to-face counseling with a 98 percent success rate. The website covers multiple avenues of grief counseling, including family loss, friend loss, and pet loss, as well as other cases of severe depression.

The process focuses on understanding grief and the stages all people go through, and what they need to heal emotionally. You are matched with a counselor after sign up, though you always have the right to change your match.

Counseling can take the format of messages, live chat (that must be made by appointment), phone call, or video conferencing. You also have the option of anonymous chat if the pressure of speaking to someone is too much.

At prices of $40 to $70 a week, BetterHelp is one of the most affordable solutions for online grief counseling, with no contracts. Start the site by filling out a brief questionnaire to explain what happened. Read BetterHelp Review in detail.

2. Talkspace

talkspace site homepage

TalkSpace lets you contact a licensed counselor using any device and for an affordable cost. You can send your message at any time and receive a response from your therapist a few times a day, and at times requested.

The company works with thousands of therapists and can’t list them all but assures clients they are credentialed, licensed, and certified, usually working as Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, or Doctors of Psychology.

Grief counseling also includes PTSD issues, LGBT healing, and other reasons for depression. After signup, you are matched with a grief counselor and can change at any time. Start chatting with a private room or make appointments for other media communication, up to five days a week.

Clients are billed monthly, and prices start at about $70 a week. Get a discount for signing up immediately by typing in the site coupon code. Read Talkspace Review in detail.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Check our below guides:

3. Grief in Common – Best Online Grief Support Group

Grief in Common is an online grief support group that connects those who are grieving with others who have suffered a similar loss. It’s one thing to hear it from a doctor, but another to hear a comforting word from someone who has also experienced great loss.

The site was created by Karyn Arnold, a grief coach, who wants to match the grieving community to share stories and experiences on what helps to recover. Grief in Common has forums, profiles, tribute pages, educational blogs, and other resources. But the most significant feature is the live chat room.

There are no licensed counselors on staff, but the website does offer online group therapy. You can get a free 15-minute consultation by signing up and then a one-hour session in a grief coaching session with Arnold leading the discussion. There is even a match search to find someone nearby that has suffered a similar loss.

The affordable cost is also the site’s selling point, as the participation fee is 99 cents and $9.99 for the whole year. The owner wanted to create free grief coaching, with the membership costs covering the hosting fees. For someone mostly interested in online group discussion, it’s an opportunity to consider.

4. My Counselor Online

my counselor online logo

If you want grief counseling from a Christian perspective, My Counselor Online offers professional and sensitive help to those in mourning. All staff members are licensed and currently working as Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, or a similar field.

Counselors can help people suffering grief with biblical knowledge as well as a clinical approach to recovering. Clients get access at any time and can chat in-person at one of the company’s offices or through online sessions. The cost is $95-$175 per session, depending on the counselor’s credentials and the advanced training available.

The company also has a low-cost scholarship plan with one free session followed by 11 sessions for $45. You are assigned a therapist, and a cancellation deposit is required.

5. 7 Cups Grief Therapy

7cups logo

7 Cups Grief Therapy is an online therapy service that focuses on grief and loss, whether the physical loss or even the loss of a dream.

The site offers virtual chat as well as an opportunity to connect with listeners for Free.

One nice feature is that you can instantly request the first “available listener” at any time. While not all listeners are trained therapists, all members do complete a training program created by a resident psychologist and company founder, Glen Moriarty.

You also have the option of selecting a specific listener who may be part of an organization of interest. At $150 a month for unlimited messaging, the site is one of the best options for budget counseling.

6. Grieving.com

Grieving.com is one of the longest-standing grief support groups online, founded in 1997, and has a growing base in over 100 countries. The site allows people in mourning to find comfort in each other’s stories by way of forums, live chat, journals, and more specific “circles” with particular topics.

Topics at grieving can be highly specific and be of special comfort to mourners who come from particular circumstances. Many people would like to speak to someone who’s been through the same experience, and shared experiences are more common than one might think.

Journals and circles highlight individual user posts and can even post photos of loved ones. Whether you’ve lost a family member, friend, or pet, there is always someone who wants to listen and help. There are no licensed staff members here, though the rooms are tightly moderated.

Grieving.com offers free membership and is kept afloat by small voluntary donations. Sign up is required after viewing 15 pages, however, and all you need is an email confirmation. Online support group discussion is very productive in grief recovery therapy. This service would go well with another paid online service for clinical help.

How Does Online Grief Counseling Work?

Online grief counselors are there to listen to your stories and to respond in ways that help. The best grief-centered websites have licensed and certified counselors that have experience in working with severe depression and loss. They can help you not only by listening but by giving productive advice on how to process and move forward at your own pace.

Most sites let you chat by anonymous text, or in some cases video conferencing, or by phone. You can log in and find a counselor who will help you schedule a live chat or log in to answer you by a requested time.

Is Online Grief Counseling Effective?

It is proven through various studies that online counseling is as effective for depression and anxiety as face-to-face treatment. Online grief counselor follows a proven method, similar to traditional therapy, that helps the client process grief and moves forward. Family and friends can provide immense support through troubling times but a professional counselor will employ clinically proven techniques to help you recover from trauma or depression caused by the death of a loved one.

Some free or low-cost services offer grief coaching or online group therapy, where you can listen to the stories of others. Group discussion is productive but should be used in addition to professional grief counseling, which aims to help you recover and return to a peaceful life.

How Much Does Online Grief Counseling Cost?

Professional-level online grief counseling costs a premium rate, usually about $50-$150 a week, billed monthly, though some therapists may charge more per session. Like BetterHelp, larger companies reduce the price for a more online-structured environment, with therapists logging in and answering client messages by a requested or scheduled time.

Some group discussion sites put mourners in contact with live “listeners” who are not accredited but instantly available on forums or in chat rooms. These listeners are not accredited counselors but are usually free to talk to, or at a very low-cost compared to paid sites.

Do Online Grief Support Groups Work?

Relating to other people and talking about shared experiences is very productive in the healing process. Studies show that even online grief discussion is effective, with a majority of people preferring online interaction to in-person meetings.

Group discussion can be very helpful in processing, but many sites only offer a community, without a clear program designed for recovery. In addition to focused therapy by a licensed grief counselor, free group discussions do work.

However, without clinical supervision, a person in mourning may not find the solution they’re looking for, or the motivation to return to a peaceful life. Some companies also focus on shared values, such as Christian counseling, or LGBTQ-centered communities, and combine clinical standards with a broader community perspective.

These sites might well be the most effective options for recovering in a more personal and meaningful way.

Conclusion

Grief is a highly personal experience that you cannot be expected to get over on your own. If you or someone you know is suffering in silence, reach out to others who want to help.

Reach out to those who have answers beyond common sympathies and want to help with the recovery process. Someone is always standing by, ready to lend support and compassion.