Brightside Online Therapy: A Comprehensive Review

Brightside Online Therapy: A Comprehensive Review

North America is the market leader in online therapy with 42% expected growth from the region between 2024 and 2028. With a rise in the online therapy market, many online therapy platforms have also emerged, offering unique services, and catering to various demographics. 

Brightside Online Therapy is a telehealth service offering psychiatry and therapy services. The platform caters to depression and anxiety problems with convenient pricing plans starting from $95 per month. Brightside is one of the few online therapy platforms that accept insurance and provide medication management services. 

This article provides a comprehensive review of Brightside Online Therapy as a therapy platform based on its salient features, services, and pricing plans. 

Brightside Online Therapy: A Comprehensive Review

What Is Brightside?

Brightside Overview

Brightside is an online therapy platform connecting mental health patients with licensed mental health professionals. Brightside services offering include psychiatry, therapy, and specialized care catering to various mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. The platform is priced cheaply compared to in-person therapy sessions and is one of the few online platforms that accept insurance.

Key Features Offered by Brightside

According to UCLA Health, online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy for people with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Brightside offers several exciting features including customized psychiatry, live sessions, and crisis care. The following services differentiate Brightside Online Therapy from its competitors. 

1. Personalized Psychiatry by Brightside

With personalized psychiatry, you can benefit from customized medications prescribed by expert psychiatrists. The platform leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze more than 100 data points to prescribe medication that is suited to your needs. The prescriptions are sent directly to your pharmacy offering a seamless psychiatric journey for anxiety and depression.

2. Expert Therapy By Brightside

Brightside offers a customized therapy plan to address depression and anxiety symptoms with one-on-one sessions with an expert therapist. The live sessions provide a comfortable mode for you to discuss your progress and needs with the therapist. The platform also offers self-guided videos through a 10-lesson plan that assists in building healthy habits and a return to a normal life. 

3. Interactive Tools

Bright side comes with an interactive mobile application which makes live sessions easier and less stressful. The platform also provides several interesting online tools such as the Proactive Progress Tracking Tool which makes it easy for you to track your progress over time. 

One study concludes that online therapy via text messaging is equally effective as in-person therapy. The Anytime Messaging feature allows you to text your therapist for support anytime for a quick chat right from the app. 

How Does Brightside Work?

How Does Brightside Work?

Brightside’s website is quite straightforward allowing first-time users to navigate easily and opt for their desired service. The following steps are followed by new users: 

  1. Free Assessment: You start by taking an easy and well-designed assessment asking for information including preference, history, and present situation. 
  2. Choose Plan: After creating an account, you can opt for the plan you feel meets all their requirements.
  3. First Session: The platform automatically matches you with a therapist/psychiatrist. The sessions last from 30-45 minutes where you can candidly discuss your needs with the therapist in a private setting. 
  4. Online Resources: Brightside offers several additional online resources including self-paced videos and exercises that you can complete. 
  5. Follow-up Sessions: You can discuss medication effects or challenging areas with your psychiatrist/therapist in the follow-up session. 
  6. Track Progress: The therapist/psychiatrist will assist you in tracking your progress by evaluating your symptoms as the sessions progress.

Can You Switch or Cancel Your Brightside Subscription?

Can You Switch or Cancel Your Brightside Subscription

You can easily switch therapists/psychiatrists if you are not satisfied by reaching out to the member support team. Similarly, you can cancel your subscription anytime by simply going to the settings option, tapping on manage plan, and simply clicking on cancel my plan. 

There are no charges associated with the cancelation of the psychiatry or therapy plan, however, the cancellation is effective at the end of the present subscription month. This means you are still liable to pay a fee in the present subscription month.

Which Support Areas are Covered by Brightside Online Therapy?

Brightside therapists specialize in treating the full spectrum of anxiety and depression disorders including: 

  • Panic disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Postpartum depression 
  • Phobia
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • Seasonal affective disorder 
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

Who Should Consider Brightside Online Therapy?

Who Should Consider Brightside Online Therapy

Brightside should be considered by those who are looking for psychiatric treatment or therapy for anxiety or depression. These include people suffering from anxiety or depression disorders such as OCD or PTSD It is not suitable for high-risk cases such as: 

  • Medical eating disorders
  • Enduring and extreme self-harm behavior
  • Dangerous substance abuse issues
  • Cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, or medical ailments like kidney disease
  • Bipolar Disorder I and acute mania

How Much Does Brightside Online Therapy Cost?

Online therapy is found to be more cost-effective than in-person therapy. Many users evaluate online therapy platforms based on their cost. Brightside offers several plans priced differently. 

  • Personalized Psychiatry: The basic plan is priced at $95 per month (or insurance plan). It only includes prescription services for anxiety and depression.
  • Clinically proven Therapy: The therapy plan is priced at $299 per month (or insurance plan). It includes a custom plan for anxiety and depression with live therapy sessions.
  • Comprehensive Psychiatry + Therapy: The combined plan is priced at $349 per month (or an insurance plan). It includes online therapy sessions as well as prescription services for a quick road to recovery. 
  • Crisis Care + Psychiatry: This is a special plan offered in select states via a contact form and only accepts insurance plans. It is designed for those who are at an increased risk of suicide. 
  • Student Discount: Students are available for an exclusive discount of $57 for the first month once they verify their student status.  

Does Brightside Accept Insurance?

Brightside Online Therapy is one of the few online therapy providers that accept insurance. The platform can accept insurance as it offers diagnosis and prescribes medication which is a prerequisite to submit claims for most insurance companies. At present, the platform accepts the following insurance plans: 

  • Aetna
  • Anthem CA
  • Allegiance
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield (Texas)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield (Montana) 
  • Cigna
  • Original Medicare (Part B)
  • PEHP
  • United Healthcare 
  • United Healthcare Medicare Advantage 

What are Customers Saying About Brightside?

What are Customers Saying About Brightside

Customer reviews are one of the best yardstick to evaluate an online service. Many neutral platforms allow customers to post about their experience and rate the service such as Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot. 

Customer Review # 1

“I’m really surprised by the negative reviews. Brightside works with my insurance provider (Aetna), so I enrolled after months of having trouble getting an in-person visit locally. Brightside has significantly improved my quality of life and my outlook on the future and I cannot understate that. I am so grateful.” – Amanda Porter (Trustpilot)

Customer Review # 1

Customer Review # 2

“I want to take the time out to give a review after using Brightside for 6 months now. It has been a great experience. I feel as though most of the people here who leave reviews don’t actually give the process a full try and go into the process and sessions with an open mind. Yes, I did start the medication Zoloft, to be exact. The first two weeks were tough, and I think it might have been due to the fact that I was already going through a rough patch in life, but afterwards everything started to get better with me applying what I was learning in therapy and applying it to my life. I can say that six months down the road, I am doing a lot better, and even the therapist said the same in addition to the nurse.” – James (Trustpilot)

Customer Review # 2

Customer Review # 3

“I love the care I have been provided both through medication and therapy sessions! It is so convenient to be seen from my own home and to be able to reach out easily through their texting system. People who are complaining about price need to talk to their insurance companies, it doesn’t have anything to do with Brightside. The therapist I am assigned to is fantastic, very professional, and easy to talk to. I have recommended this company to many friends and will continue to do so!” – Jennifer K (BBB)

Customer Review # 3

Brightside Online Therapy Pros and Cons 

After evaluating the platform’s services, pricing plans, and reviews, we have curated a list of pros and cons.


  • Hosts a range of expert psychiatrists and therapists.
  • Accepts insurance from most insurance companies including Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare among others. Also accepts HSA/FSA payments. 
  • Offers psychiatry services assisting in prescribing medication which many online platforms do not offer. 
  • In addition to therapy, also caters to psychiatric needs.
  • Allows for free assessments to evaluate patients’ therapy and psychiatry needs. 
  • Provides an exclusive crisis care module for patients at a heightened risk of suicide. 
  • Offers discount for students.


  • The pricing plans are relatively more expensive compared to competitors. 
  • Insurance coverage varies from state to state, restricting coverage based on location. 
  • Doesn’t cater to high-risk and severe cases such as schizophrenia, ADHD, and acute mania among others. 

Key Takeaways
  • Brightside Online Therapy is an expert in using telemedicine to treat depression and anxiety.
  • Brightside provides professional one-on-one therapy sessions and AI-assisted pharmaceutical prescribing.
  • Features include proactive progress tracking, a free evaluation, and a mobile app.
  • Student discounts are offered, and subscription plans are easily switched or canceled.
  • Not appropriate in high-risk situations such as severe eating disorders or severe self-harm.
  • Expands accessibility by accepting a range of insurance policies.
  • Positives: HIPAA compliance, insurance, and FSA/HSA acceptance, expert services. Negatives: Limited insurance coverage in some areas, higher cost than competitors.
  • Perfect for anyone looking for online depression and anxiety treatment.