Headway Vs. Grow Therapy: Choosing The Best Online Counseling

Seeking counseling online has become increasingly popular thanks to platforms like Headway and Grow Therapy that match clients with licensed therapists for video and message-based sessions. But how do these top online therapy providers actually compare when it comes to services, features, and overall experience?

We’ll explore the key differences between Headway and Grow Therapy to understand the benefits and disadvantages of each for your mental health needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

CategoryHeadwayGrow Therapy
Therapist Network Size1,000+2,500+
SpecialtiesCommon issues like depression, relationshipsCommon issues plus specialized programs
Session TypesVideo, chat, self-guidedVideo, chat
Prescription ManagementNoYes, with affiliated psychiatrists
Membership PlansMonthly to annualWeekly, billed weekly
Pricing$79-$99 per week typically$79-$109 per week typically
Financial AidYesYes
Insurance AcceptedOut-of-network onlyOut-of-network only

Overview of Headway

Founded in 2020, Headway aims to make quality mental healthcare more accessible and affordable through online sessions. The platform offers video, chat, and self-guided therapy.


Some key features provided by Headway:

  • Matching algorithm finds therapists based on need
  • Video and chat therapy sessions
  • Self-guided therapy content and courses
  • Choose from thousands of licensed therapists
  • Specializations like couples counseling
  • Appointments as soon as 24 hours away
  • Prices as low as $79 per week
  • Financial aid options available

Headway seeks to remove common barriers to mental healthcare like high costs, long wait times, and finding therapists that are the right fit. Their services are available across the U.S. and globally.

Overview of Grow Therapy

Grow Therapy connects clients to licensed therapists and psychiatrists for online counseling and mental health treatment. Founded in 2019, they aim to improve access to effective yet affordable care.

Here is an overview of the services provided by Grow Therapy:

  • Video and messaging therapy sessions
  • Psychiatry services and prescription management
  • Choose from 2,500+ licensed counselors
  • Matching based on counseling style, specialty
  • Therapy starting at $79 per week
  • Appointments within 5 days typically
  • Support groups and anonymous forums
  • Available throughout the U.S.

Grow Therapy seeks to provide convenient, judgment-free mental healthcare with verified licensed professionals at affordable rates for long-term success.

Also Read: Comparison Between HealthTap And SteadyMD Virtual Care Service.

Key Differences Between Headway And Grow Therapy

1. Comparing the Sign-Up Process

The process for getting matched with a therapist is straightforward with both Headway and Grow Therapy:

  • Ease of signup – You can sign up directly online in under 5 minutes with basic contact info. Grow Therapy has you take a 60-second survey as well during signup.
  • Questionnaires – Each platform has you fill out a more comprehensive questionnaire after signing up to assess your history, needs, preferences, and goals. This allows matching you to therapists.
  • Ease of finding a therapist – Both make it simple to search, filter, and browse potential therapists based on specialty, background, therapy style, availability, and other factors.
  • Speed of matching – Headway and Grow Therapy aim to match clients with a therapist within one business day after sign-up and questionnaire completion.

The process of getting started with online therapy is quick and convenient with both platforms. Expect a seamless sign-up process and to get matched with a counselor within a day or two.

2. Comparing Quality of Therapists

Grow Therapy
Grow Therapy

With any online therapy provider, the expertise and qualifications of the therapists matter greatly. Here is how Headway and Grow Therapy stack up:

  • Therapist vetting – Both thoroughly vet therapists by verifying licensure, education, experience, and conduct background checks. Ongoing performance reviews are done as well.
  • Qualifications – Therapists must have active professional licenses and schooling from accredited graduate programs and hold relevant state licenses to qualify.
  • Specialties – Hundreds of specialties and issues are covered between the two like depression, relationships, trauma, anxiety, substance abuse, and more.
  • Availability – Grow Therapy has a larger therapist network with 2,500+ counselors while Headway has over 1,000 currently. Both continue expanding their rosters.

Headway and Grow Therapy uphold high standards for vetting and credentialing therapists to ensure clients work with true licensed professionals. You can expect quality care from either platform.

3. Comparing Therapy Sessions and Features

The therapy session options and additional features offered by Headway and Grow Therapy include:

  • Video sessions – Both offer secure video chat platforms for virtual face-to-face therapy appointments. Common lengths are 30, 45, or 60 minutes.
  • Messaging – Asynchronous text messaging sessions with a therapist are available through each platform in between video chats if needed.
  • Self-guided therapy – Headway provides self-guided lessons, courses, and exercises as part of their video plans or as a standalone option. Grow Therapy focuses on therapist interactions.
  • Prescriptions – Grow Therapy offers management of medications and prescriptions through affiliated psychiatrists. Headway does not provide medication management.
  • Support – Grow Therapy has online peer support groups and forums. Headway lacks additional community features at this time.

For convenience, video chat remains the core service. But Headway and Grow Therapy each provide unique extra offerings like self-guided tools or prescription management that may appeal to you.

4. Cost

Affordability is a major advantage of online therapy. Here’s how the costs of Headway and Grow Therapy pricing plans break down on average:

  • Video therapy – Starts around $79 to $99 per week with each platform depending on session frequency. Packages range from monthly to annual subscriptions.
  • Messaging therapy – Typically $79 to $109 per week for text chat sessions as an add-on or standalone option.
  • Psychiatry services – Grow Therapy charges an extra $290 initial psychiatric evaluation fee plus costs for prescribed medications if needed. Headway does not offer psychiatry.
  • Financial aid – Both platforms offer financial assistance programs that significantly reduce costs for qualifying clients in financial hardship.
  • Insurance – Neither Headway nor Grow Therapy is in-network with insurance providers currently. You can submit claims for potential out-of-network reimbursement.

For most basic online counseling needs, expect to budget $80 to $100 per week typically for quality, convenient care. Verify costs before booking a plan.

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Pros And Cons Of Headway Vs. Grow Therapy

Pros of Headway

Here are some of the major benefits Headway offers clients:

  • Very fast therapist matching within a day
  • Robust self-guided therapy content included
  • Financial aid reduces costs significantly
  • Flexible options like monthly plans
  • Specializes in common issues like relationships and depression
  • Good value and transparent pricing

With quick matching, self-guided courses, and detailed specializations, Headway provides a very well-rounded online counseling experience with flexibility.

Cons of Headway

Some of the potential downsides of Headway to consider:

  • No medication management or psychiatry
  • Smaller therapist network compared to some rivals
  • Limited extra tools and community features
  • Therapists only, no support for psychiatrists
  • Less variety in specialty counseling areas

While ideal for common counseling needs, Headway lacks integrated prescription or psychiatrist services you may want. The network is also smaller than some competitors.

Pros of Grow Therapy

Here are some of the key advantages of Grow Therapy:

  • Large network with 2,500+ licensed therapists
  • Medication management and psychiatry services
  • Specialized treatment programs for specific conditions
  • Online peer support groups and forums
  • Very fast matching with a therapist
  • Flexible week-to-week plans without commitments

The combination of an extensive therapist network, prescription access, and community support groups sets Grow Therapy apart. They offer fairly robust tools and resources.

Cons of Grow Therapy

Some potential disadvantages or downsides of Grow therapy to consider:

  • No self-guided therapy content or tools
  • Generally more expensive medication services
  • Primarily therapy focus, less on psychiatry
  • Not as many specialty counseling areas
  • Insurance claims can be difficult

For clients mainly seeking therapy, Grow Therapy delivers. But medication management and psychiatry services come at an extra cost. Self-guided tools are limited as well.

Also Read: Comparison Between Doctor On Demand And MDLIVE

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is Headway different than Alma?

Compared to Alma, Headway has more therapists available in more areas of specialty. However, Alma offers medication management and anonymous forums which Headway lacks. Headway provides more self-guided therapy content included in its plans than Alma.

What is Headway best used for?

Headway works best for accessing convenient, affordable licensed therapy for common issues like anxiety, relationships, depression, trauma, and more. The self-guided lessons also make it a good option for supplementing counseling with tools you can use anytime.

Who owns and operates Headway?

Headway is owned and operated by Headway Health Corp., which is a privately held company founded in 2020 by Andrew Adams. The company received early funding from investors like Accel and Thrive Capital.

Final Thought

Virtual counseling through providers like Headway and Grow Therapy makes quality mental healthcare more accessible. The platforms remove common pain points like travel, high costs, and long wait times.

In general:

  • Headway shines for convenient self-guided therapy content and rapid specialist matching.
  • Grow Therapy is ideal for medication management and community support features.

Think about which features are must-haves for your situation. Look for financial assistance programs if needed as well.

Addressing your mental wellness with online counseling delivers proven results. By picking the right platform for your needs, you can thrive even amidst life’s challenges.

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