Telephone Counseling Therapy: What Should You Know And Who Is It Good For?

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated June 14, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

If you’ve been putting off taking care of your mental health needs because you don’t have time to make an appointment, let alone to visit a counselor’s office, there are still alternatives to take care of these important needs. There are numerous remote therapy modalities, including therapy via phone, video chat, or text messaging.

Below, we’ll look at how free and subscription-based phone counseling services are closing the therapy gap for people looking for convenient, affordable therapy.

Wondering if telephone counseling is the right for you?

What is distance therapy?

Distance therapy is a type of therapy that involves virtual or remote contact. Phone counseling is one form of distance therapy. Other forms of distance therapy include audio sessions via a therapy platform, SMS messaging, and video chat.

Typical distance therapy sessions, including phone therapy sessions, can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to one hour. The number of sessions and the duration of sessions are up to the discretion of the client and the therapist. Distance therapy sessions tend to be highly flexible.

This makes scheduling phone therapy sessions simple for clients who keep odd hours or who work nontraditional shifts.

Phone therapists intend for telephone therapy services to act as non-emergency services only. People who are experiencing dangerous situations, having suicidal thoughts,* or facing other forms of imminent harm should contact their local authorities or visit their local emergency room to get immediate support.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or urges, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. Support is available 24/7.

Subscription-based phone counseling and therapy

One option for getting telephone counseling is to use a subscription-based online therapy service. You may have already heard of popular online therapy services like BetterHelp and Regain.

The fees charged for subscription-based remote therapy tend to be substantially lower than the fees for traditional in-office therapy sessions. For example, in the United States, in-office therapy sessions typically range from $65 an hour to $200 an hour. The rate is generally on the higher end of the spectrum for specialized sessions or in cities and states with high costs of living.

Remote therapy sessions tend to cost substantially less than in-office therapy sessions and range from $35 a week to $99 a week.

When it comes to online therapy, the time savings are clear, as you don’t have to travel to appointments. You can also save on gas and other expenses that relate to an in-office therapy commute.

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Who is distance therapy good for?

People experiencing all kinds of challenges or mental health conditions can benefit from distance therapy. Let's explore a few of the groups who might reap particular benefits from participating in distance therapy.

Individuals needing support

People who are experiencing mental health concerns or relationship questions often reach out to free or subscription-based telephone counseling services to get support. Oftentimes, people are just looking for another point of view or contact with another person to reassure them they can resolve the challenges they are facing.

Some people use free phone counseling and subscription-based therapy to gain insights into personal behaviors and relationships and to learn about other support options and services that they can use to mitigate their mental health concerns.

Also, people who are experiencing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other chronic mental health conditions often reach out for phone support during times of crisis, confusion, or overwhelm to get advice or reminders on how to regain their composure in between therapy sessions or other medical appointments.

Dating and married couples

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Wondering if telephone counseling is the right for you?

Couples can contact therapists via phone to have sessions that help them keep their lives and their relationships on track. Today’s couples don’t have to leave home to learn how to cope with the stress of heated arguments or financial disagreements or to learn better communication skills. Research shows that couples therapy delivered remotely is just as effective as in-person couples therapy. Thanks to distance therapy options like telephone therapy, couples can get support from the comfort of their own homes for solving everyday life and relationship challenges.

Families in distress

Families can now log in or call into online therapy platforms and gain professional advice and insight into family concerns. Families can now call in using conference-based audio or video systems to connect with relatives across the country and family conflict in a healthy way. 

Try phone therapy

If you’re interested in trying therapy but are nervous about going to a therapy practice, you might try remote therapy, which research has shown is just as effective as in-person therapy. With a service like Regain, you can connect with a licensed therapist via phone or video chat at a time the works for your schedule. You can also contact your therapist with questions or concerns via in-app messaging, and they’ll get back to you as soon as they can. 

Counselor reviews

“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”

“Dr. Bown has made significant impact in our lives … She is always giving honest advice and we feel she genuinely cares about our family. She is a valued treasure that we are grateful for in our lives :)”


Whatever mental health or relationship concerns you’re facing, you are not alone. With Regain, you can be matched with a therapist experienced in whatever you’re going through, and you can connect with them via phone or video chat from the comfort of your own home. Take the first step and contact Regain today.

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