Have a look at these troubling statistics:
- Approximately 450 million people across the globe have a form of mental illness
- More than 26% of Americans 18 or older meet the criteria for having a mental disorder
- The World Health Organisation reports that the global cost (both direct and indirect) of mental illness will be $6 trillion in 2029, a 53.8% increase since 2010
Mental health is a concern in the 21st century. It’s an even bigger concern for members of the LGBTQ+ community because they are twice as likely to suffer mental illness. They have a higher likelihood of committing suicide compared to heterosexuals.
Over 40 transgender and gender non-conforming people got killed violently in the US in the year 2020.
Many others (the majority being Black and Latin transgender women) have to endure harrowing insults, mean looks, not to mention other forms of stigmatization as they go about their day-to-day activities.
Now more than ever, gender non-conforming people need mental health assistance. And it’s great to know that there’re therapists out there ready and willing to provide this kind of support to the LGBTQIA community.
One such service is Pride Counseling—a leader in the emerging field of online therapy services. It provides personalized therapy services for mental health issues.
What is Pride Counseling?
Pride Counseling is an online service that provides therapy for several issues. Although it provides therapy services to the general population, it specializes in serving the LGBTQ+ population.
That’s because the LBGTQ+ are at a greater risk of mental health issues than the rest of society. The fear of discrimination due to the nature of their identity is likely to make them shy away from seeking mental health help.
Pride Counseling recognizes the specific challenges that the LGBTQ+ face and steps in to help members of this community specifically.
Established in 2017, Pride Counseling is a part of the larger, more established online therapy platform BetterHelp.
Therapists at Pride Counseling are not only certified therapists with years of experience, but they’re also expert advisers in the field of LGBTQ+ and mental illness.
Get started with Pride Counseling and get help with:
- Relationship problems
- Depression, and
- Addictions, among other psychological problems
The Pros and Cons of Pride Counseling
|Solid privacy – you can use an alias identity, and all messages are encrypted||A lengthy sign up questionnaire|
|You can cancel your subscription at any time (no questions asked)||No live customer chat|
|Counselors are experts in LGBTQ+||There is no insurance coverage|
|Licensed and experienced therapists||Response time depends on an individual therapist’s availability|
|The platform is available for both desktop and mobile (Android and iPhone)||Not the best option for counseling ordered by the court|
|You get therapy for issues in several areas depending on your needs||Not recommended for minors|
|Serves both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ populations||You can’t get a diagnosis of prescription medication on this platform|
|Cheaper compared to other online therapy services|
|Written chats and messages from your therapists are accessible for your reference at any time|
How Does Pride Counseling work?
Joining and getting access to the therapy services at Pride Counseling is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is follow these four steps:
Step 1: fill up the questionnaire
For Pride Counseling to pair you with a suitable therapist, they’ll need to collect some information from you.
The questions mainly seek to capture your current physical and mental health position, such as mental health issues and challenges you would want a therapist to address.
You’ll also need to declare what pronouns you prefer to go by or what identity you associate with.
Additional questions entail your age, sexual orientation, previous therapy sessions, relationship status, and many others.
The questionnaire is relatively lengthy because they’re trying to get as much information as possible to match you with the right therapists for your unique needs.
Step 2: creating an account
You can use your real name or opt for a nickname as the username for your account.
Should you decide to use a fake email, provide a functional one because their system will email you a verification code to confirm and approve your account.
Step 3: choose a counselor
The therapists, social workers, psychologists, and counselors make for a rich pool of professionals. It’s up to you to provide information about the preferences you’d like in a counselor.
In this step, you’ll be able to decide whether you want:
- to be matched with a male or female counselor,
- a counselor who specializes in just depression, or one who deals in depression and other areas too.
- a counselor who’s a member of the LGBTQ+ community, etc.
Step 4: Selecting a payment plan
The pricing of therapy services ranges from $60 to $90 a week (billed monthly).
Pride Counseling considers your location, preferences, and the availability of your ideal counselor before telling you what the therapy service will cost.
Clients can cancel the service at any time without having to give a reason.
Once you make payment for the selected plan of therapy sessions, matching you with a counselor takes less than 24 hours.
Your account is now live, and you can start accessing services.
If you feel that you’re not satisfied with your counselor or that they are no longer the right fit for you, then you can switch to a different one.
Types of Therapy Sessions
Communication with your counselor can happen in four ways.
You can either:
- Exchange messages
- Chat live
- Speak over the phone or
- Do a video call
You and your counselor get into a ‘room’ in which you’ll express your questions and issues to the therapist. The counselor then reads and responds with advice and guidance.
You get email notifications when the counselor responds to your messages. The room’s always open so that you can exchange messages with your paired therapist at any time.
Chat sessions work very much the same as messaging except for being ‘live’— instant messaging.
You must schedule a suitable time with your therapist, though. At the agreed time, access your account and chat away.
If you prefer to have a phone call with your therapist, inform them of that and plan on a specific time that you’d like to make the call. The counselor will reach out to you via the Pride Counseling platform and request you to start the phone session.
Provide a phone number and initiate the call through the system and proceed to talk to the counselor.
Video sessions are similar to phone sessions, only that for video, you get to see the therapist like you could over a Skype or Zoom virtual face-to-face meeting. The video chat is initiated by you in the ‘counseling room’ at a pre-scheduled time.
Clients get one live video session per week. But they can send their counselors unlimited messages and have as many messaging sessions as they want at no additional cost.
Is the Pride Counseling Platform Available on All Devices?
The platform is available on both desktop and mobile devices. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re using a desktop computer, laptop, phone, or tablet.
Even for clients who are not tech-savvy, the chat room/counseling room is easy to grasp, especially if you happen to be familiar with ordinary messaging apps.
You have the therapist’s messages sitting on a white background directly above your dedicated chatbox.
The platform enables you to scroll back and re-read previous messages and even attach files and send them to your counselor.
At the very bottom, below your chatbox, there is an intuitive ribbon that has the ‘Schedule live session’ feature. Pick a date and click on “Book” to schedule a time to have a phone or live video therapy session with your counselor.
Pride Counseling’s homepage confirms that all their counselors are experts with at least three years of experience and 1000 hours of practicing and providing professional therapy services. They’re also licensed, trained, and accredited. They include:
Psychologists (PhD, PsyD)
Marriage and family therapists (LMFT)
Clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW)
Licensed professional counselors (LPC)
Additionally, these therapists and counselors have academic training in their respective areas of specialization. They’re also certified and registered with their state’s professional board.
Counselors’ areas of expertise
The therapists at Pride Counseling specialize in advising and guiding clients in several psychological factors, including:
- LGBTQ+ counseling
- Relationship problems
- Eating disorders
- Social behavior
- Life transitions
- All addictions
- Bipolar tendencies
- Chronic impulsivity
- Educational assessments
- Substance abuse
- Issues coming out
- Trauma and abuse
Pricing & Special Offers: How Much Does Pride Counseling Cost?
Is there a Pride Counseling free trial? No, but the platform offers a transparent pricing plan that will see you pay between $60 and $90 a week for online therapy services. The exact amount you pay depends on how long you want your initial subscription to last.
You’re charged weekly but billed after every four weeks/monthly.
There’s an option to make your billing discreet so that it’s not so evident that you are paying for counseling services.
Pride Counseling gives financial aid to clients who qualify, such as those with low incomes.
A 10% off discount is available on your first month, but only if you create your account through a link or promo code from a YouTube channel, website, podcast, or influencer that Pride Counseling sponsors.
You also get a price drop after three months of using the platform.
The subscription or membership is commitment-free as you can cancel any time with no questions asked.
The Pride Counseling platform is probably the safest you’ll come across.
Clients have the option to create an account with an alias or nickname and a fake email. Just ensure the email works so that you get notifications of new messages in your counseling room or any other highlights from Pride Counseling.
Only your therapists can assess your chat room. Not even the other counselors on the platform have rights to your room.
Live chat, phone, and video sessions happen in-app on the platform instead of being hosted by a third party such as Skype or Zoom.
The counselor doesn’t have access to your phone number. The reason being that you feed your landline or mobile number to the system for phone sessions and not directly to the therapist.
The emergency contact details you enter on the platform at sign up are only accessed if your counselor thinks you could be in danger.
Pride Counseling uses SSL for browsing encryption and banking-grade 256-bit encryption for data protection. In case of an online security attack, the information would be inaccessible to hackers.
Pride Counseling has no affiliations with partners such as insurance, so there is no sharing of information with third parties.
All therapists and counselors follow strict state and federal law (including HIPAA) to keep discussions with clients and their chat room information confidential.
The messages in your counseling room can remain archived, or you can choose to delete them entirely at any time.
All of the above features and capabilities of the Pride Counseling platform put the power over your privacy and safety in your hands.
In case you have a technical issue with the platform, try reaching customer support through the Pride Counseling contact email (email@example.com).
Alternatively, fill in a contact form on the contact page of their website to request a prompt response.
Some of the issues addressed include:
- Technical support for registered clients and counselors
- Personal or business-related inquiries
- Counselors or clients having difficulty signing up
- Billing-related issues, and
- Other problems, questions, concerns, or feedback you might have
Pride Counseling has also made it possible for disabled users to have a seamless experience on the platform. They’ve done this by aligning with current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
The activation of these accessibility features and preferences is simple on both the desktop and mobile versions of the platform.
Is Pride Counseling Worth It?
The professionalism and personalized support you get from Pride Counseling is way above average. The usability and friendliness of the platform will allow you to communicate with a therapist at your own pace and convenience.
There’re virtually no piracy and security concerns, whether you’re using the platform for the first time or are switching platforms to get started with Pride Counseling.
And with a price that’s lower than the co-pay at most insurance companies, Pride Counseling is the place to get your online therapy, especially if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Commonly asked questions
- Is this service legal?
Pride Counseling is legal. Both the platform and registered counselors must abide by state and federal laws in the provision of therapy services
- What are the benefits of using this service?
You get access to trained, certified, and accredited counselors and services at a lower price than the co-pay of most insurance companies.
- Is this service free?
No. Clients pay a monthly fee.
- Are there promo codes?
Pride counseling does provide promo codes directly or through third-party marketers and affiliates such as YouTubers, influencers, podcasters, and websites.
- How much does pride counseling cost
The service costs between $60 and $90 depending on the counselor you choose, their availability, and your location. You pay monthly.
- Do you have a mobile app?
Yes, we have an Android and iPhone app. You can download the Pride Counseling app on Google play store or Apple store.
- How can I delete my account?
Open your account and navigate to the subscriptions tab, and end your current subscription.
Tap on the app in android or iPhone and hold it down until you see an “X,” then click it to uninstall the app from your mobile device.