7 Cups (also known as 7Cupsoftea) is a site for anonymous messaging with peer listeners or therapists. They describe themselves as “the world’s largest emotional support system,” and try to cultivate a supportive and caring community of users.
Learn more about 7 Cups, including what both the free and paid platforms entail, and pros/cons of both, in our review below.
Note: "Free therapy" often means you're speaking with individuals who aren't licensed or trained. To ensure you're receiving quality care – with the option of remote sessions, too – visit Zencare to browse our community of clinically excellent, professionally outstanding, and deeply compassionate clinicians.
What is 7cupsoftea?
7cupsoftea is a website where you can connect 1-on-1 with peers, join group chats, and pay to message with professional therapists. You can also set mental health goals and track your progress.
Here are some helpful things to know about 7 Cups:
- Listeners are peers, not professionals. They do not necessarily have any training in mental health work. You can browse listeners profiles and connect with them for free. Their role is to listen to what you want to share and offer support and understanding, much like a good friend would. You can message just one time or maintain and ongoing relationship with Listeners.
- Group chats are similar to AOL chat rooms from the early 2000s. Any user can join one at any time, and they are loosely organized by type of issue or interest. The chats are live and anywhere from 2 to 20 people may be active in the chat at a time.
- While chatting with listeners and in group chats is free, members can pay $150 per month to have an ongoing message thread with a trained therapist. You can browse profiles of therapists and choose someone who you think would be right for you. Your therapist will typically respond to messages one or two times times per day, between Monday and Friday.
Related: BlahTherapy: A Comprehensive Review
How does 7cupsoftea work?
You message either peer listeners for free or therapists for a fee. To choose either a therapist or a peer listener, you can browse profiles and choose someone with interests or expertise that appeal to you. Whether you message with peers or a therapist, you can choose to remain anonymous. You can also complete self-growth exercises on your own, and track progress on your profile.
When looking for a “Listener” to chat with, first-time users are encouraged to take an emotional wellness test. After this assessment, you can choose a listener’s profile and send them a message to start chatting. You can develop an ongoing messaging relationship with a listener, or just talk to them for a short period of time.
Similar to listeners, you can browse therapist profiles to find someone who seems like a good fit for you. You can also view reviews from past clients on a 5-star scale.
How do you sign up for 7cupsoftea?
You can sign up for a free account with just an email address. Once you have an account, you can connect with peers and groups for free, or pay to message with a therapist. If you choose a therapist, you will need to enter more information about yourself, as well as payment information.
Before you connect with a therapist, a “bot” from the site conducts an intake interview with you through direct messaging. It asks about your history of therapy, what your current struggles are, and other general information so your therapist will have an idea of what you are looking for.
Then, you are asked to share personal identification information like name and address, as well as payment information. This personal information will not be shared with other listeners or with your therapist.
Is 7cupsoftea free?
The cost of 7 Cups depends on which plan you choose. The online community is free to access, but to chat with a licensed therapist, you’re required to sign up for a monthly plan for $150/month.
What does the paid plan of 7cupsoftea include?
The paid plan for 7 Cups includes two messages a day, five days a week from a trained professional therapist. You can message your 7cupsoftea therapist anytime you want, but they will only respond twice a day, for five days out of the week. Messaging is the only method of communication that 7cupsoftea therapists provide; there is no option for video/audio chatting or for in-person appointments.
What are some benefits of paid 7cupsoftea?
When you pay, you have the option of messaging with a trained professional. Some perks of this type of remote therapy are:
- Your therapist generally responds within 24 hours of you sending a message, so you are in regular communication
- You don’t have to travel to a therapist’s office
- The cost of $150 per month is comparable to a single session in person. However, because the format is so different – 1 or 2 messages, five days a week, versus in-person weekly sessions – a direct comparison does not apply
What are some drawbacks to paid 7cupsoftea?
Some downsides to 7 Cups include:
- Remote therapy typically doesn’t have the same calming effect of physically stepping foot into a therapist’s safe space; instead, it relies on the client to be responsible for their setting
- The therapy is conducted exclusively through typed messages, which is a very different way of communicating than speaking either in person or on video chat. Your therapist won’t be able to see you or your body language, which can often be a very integral part of a therapy process
- Communication is short and sporadic, so you aren’t able to connect deeply during a one or two hour session weekly or biweekly like with traditional in-person therapy
- 7 Cups does not take any insurance, meaning all paid members pay out-of-pocket
- There is no explanation of the 7 Cups therapist vetting process on the site
What are some benefits of free 7cupsoftea?
Even without paying, you can still join the 7 Cups community. Free benefits include:
- Chance to make virtual connections with other people, which may alleviate feelings of isolation
- Be part of a caring, helpful community of people who enjoy supporting others
- Follow your own “path” and complete self-growth exercises. There are various ways you can earn points or "level-up," both by participating in the community and by doing self growth exercises on your own
What are some drawbacks to free 7cupsoftea?
Potential downsides to free 7 Cups include:
- Receiving advice from people who are rarely licensed or trained in mental health
- Messaging with untrained peers is not a substitute for actual therapy
- It’s unclear how much the site is monitored, meaning site misuse might not be dealt with right away
- Anyone can sign up to be a listener, and because it is anonymous, there aren’t many protections against "trolling," or other unsavory activities
Is 7cupsoftea private and confidential?
The confidentiality policy states “As a member or guest, your personal information is never shared with our listeners or with anyone else.”
If you sign up with a therapist, you will need to provide more personal information, like full name and address, but 7 Cups promises not to share that information with anyone, including the therapist.
What types of issues do people talk about in 7cupsoftea?
Therapists and peer listeners are prepared to support you no matter what your particular struggle is, and you can also create a group chat or forum post about something specific if one doesn’t already exist.
That said, some common struggles on 7 Cups include:
- Disordered eating
- Bipolar disorder
Takeaway and conclusion for 7cupsoftea
While the free platform of 7 Cups cannot, and should not, be a substitute for mental health treatment (i.e., with a licensed clinician) for individuals who need that level of care, it may serve to aid those (and other) individuals as supplement to their care! Also note that since there is no explanation of the 7 Cups therapist vetting process on the site, it can be difficult to confirm the efficacy of their paid plan, as well.
Considering starting therapy, but not sure how? Wondering if therapy is even worth it, and whether you’re ready (both emotionally and financially)? Or just plum not sure when to start? Find out more about what to know when starting therapy.
And when you're ready to get the holistic, total support you need? Visit Zencare to find a therapist who's right for you. You can filter by locations – including online therapy – and availability, cost and insurance, and also book free introductory calls to assess fit.
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