Oasis Therapy and Wellness
Cerebral vs. Brightside: Which Online Therapy Platform is the Best for You?

Cerebral vs. Brightside: Which Online Therapy Platform is the Best for You?

Sometimes, people may feel uncomfortable attending in-person therapy sessions and prefer video calls or apps to book appointments conveniently. The wellness industry is increasingly focused on providing mental health treatment that can be received from the comfort of one’s home.

Numerous apps claim to offer video chat therapy, which is ideal for individuals with busy schedules who want to discuss mental health concerns at their convenience. Among these, Cerebral and Brightside are potential options, and this article compares their online services to determine which is more effective.

Cerebral is a digital therapy app that offers options for psychiatry, life coaching, and general therapy treatment. You can meet with a licensed therapist to discuss your mental health concerns and find solutions to improve your overall well-being.

Brightside also provides remote care for various mental health conditions, such as depression, panic disorder, anxiety, and insomnia. Users can receive personalized treatment plans tailored to their health goals and needs.

This article presents the pros, cons, and overall benefits of Cerebral and Brightside.



  • Simple video calls
  • Good variety of therapists
  • Easy-to-use website
  • Consistent mental health support
  • Therapist search tools
  • Free prescription delivery
  • FSA/HSA cards accepted


  • Limited to 35 states
  • Price increases after one month
  • No option to pause meetings



  • Medication available when necessary
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy lessons
  • Plenty of self-care tools
  • Simple and convenient features
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Last-minute appointments
  • Check-in quizzes to view progress


  • You must be 18 years old
  • Too many reminders
  • No audio or live chat sessions
  • Lack of customer support

Differences Between The Cerebral And Brightside Apps

The Cerebral app offers therapy and mental health medication to individuals seeking support for mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. Through the app, users can gain access to ongoing care from licensed therapists and care counselors who attend to their needs for a monthly fee. This is an ideal option for anyone who prefers not to attend in-person therapy sessions, and the telemedicine platform easily connects users to a team during their busy schedules.

According to a study, apps containing psychiatric treatment are effective in improving emotional well-being, especially for individuals with anxiety disorders who may not want to visit busy GP offices or meet with local doctors face-to-face.

In a similar nature, the Brightside app focuses on creating a safe digital space for individuals seeking digital therapy. Care counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help users change their mindset and treat anxiety. CBT is a form of psychological treatment that has been proven to encourage more positivity in life and provide individuals with new ways to manage emotional stress, rather than committing to self-destructive behaviors.

However, it is important to note that Brightside experts cannot treat individuals who are suicidal, engaging in self-harm, or have eating disorders, bipolar disorder, psychosis, borderline personality disorder, or schizophrenia, as they do not offer a suitable medication plan for these conditions.

Each app offers unique services to support individuals with mental illness, and users can compare and evaluate both Cerebral and Brightside to determine which app is more beneficial for their needs.

Cerebral Services

The Cerebral app offers therapy and medication administration to those who need mental health support. Users can choose between medication and general therapy plans or a combination of both. Before starting the services, users are required to take a psychological assessment.

Brightside Services

Brightside requires users to answer questions to determine if they want medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Users will then be matched with a therapist or psychiatric provider.

Cerebral vs. Brightside Pros

Both Cerebral and Brightside offer medication and support for mental health, but they have different advantages.

Cerebral Pros

Multiple plans available

Cerebral offers different plans to suit a wide range of mental health problems, including talk therapy and medication.

Convenient mental healthcare

Users can easily schedule appointments with therapists and receive support from the comfort of their own homes, which is especially helpful for those with anxiety.

Only licensed therapists

Users will receive professional treatment from licensed providers.

Brightside also offers some advantages for improving mental health and aims to provide a simple and easy-to-use experience for its customers. Here are some of the main pros of using the app:

Brightside Pros

User-friendly interface

Brightside has a simple and intuitive interface, making it accessible to beginners of digital therapy. The features are straightforward and easy to understand, making it a convenient option for anyone looking for quick and simple therapy.

Accepts insurance

Brightside accepts insurance for those eligible in their location, as well as payments from health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). This could potentially save customers high out-of-pocket costs.

Certified staff

The licensed professionals at Brightside are there to support customers’ therapy plans, and some can even prescribe medications when necessary. By only hiring certified staff, the app is more likely to be trusted by potential customers and external providers.

Both Cerebral and Brightside have their own set of drawbacks that may not be suitable for everyone seeking treatment. Below are the main cons of each app that you should consider before subscribing.

Cerebral cons

Cerebral’s drawbacks mainly revolve around the cost and appointments. Before purchasing a membership, you should consider whether it fits your budget.

Upfront payment required

To access the app’s main services, you must pay the subscription fee upfront. This may not be ideal for those who prefer to see the service before committing to a payment plan.

Limited refunds

The app offers limited refunds on therapy services, and the plans can be costly compared to other alternatives in the market.

Brightside cons

Brightside may not be suitable for everyone due to its limitations in therapy formats and subscription discounts. Here are the cons to consider:

Expensive medication plans

The cost of the medication plan can be high, which may not be affordable for some people. This could lead to fewer app downloads and dedicated customers.

Video therapy only

Brightside only offers video appointments with therapists, which may not be comfortable for everyone. This may deter some users from using the app.

Comparing the prices of Cerebral and Brightside can assist you in determining which app is suitable for your health needs. It is crucial to consider the affordability of the subscriptions before committing to them. Read on to find out the pricing plans for these health apps and what each plan offers.

Cerebral Pricing

The price of a Cerebral subscription is dependent on the treatment plan you choose. Some plans might be more costly due to the medication or therapy sessions. It is essential to assess the different offers and compare them with your budget.

Below are the pricing plans for Cerebral:

  • Medication and care counseling: $99 per month
  • Therapy: $259 per month
  • Medication and therapy: $325 per month

Brightside Pricing

Brightside’s pricing point is relatively similar to Cerebral in terms of therapy and medication. However, additional costs such as appointments, insurance, or medication delivery might impact the prices. New users may receive their first month for $249 before the cost switches to the original price of $299.

Here are the costs of each plan for Brightside:

  • Therapy plan: $299 per month
  • Medication: $95 per month
  • Combination plan: $349 per month

How We Rated Each Service

Conducting tests is essential in evaluating the effectiveness of apps, particularly when considering their benefits and drawbacks. It helps you identify the attributes that are helpful or detrimental before subscribing to paid services.

Here are the factors we took into account during the review process:


Both Cerebral and Brightside have high-quality features that enable you to access professional help from the convenience of your home. However, some users report that the video recordings on Cerebral can be inaudible at times, which can be influenced by internet connectivity and phone models.


Assessing the abilities of these apps is only feasible when testing them out yourself. Online mental healthcare is a subjective experience, and people may have varying encounters. Nevertheless, many reviews indicate that both apps have empathetic therapists who are willing to provide support.


Cerebral and Brightside’s subscription fees can range anywhere from $90 to $300+ per month, which is expensive compared to other alternatives currently available in the market. These online mental health platforms may not be affordable for everyone, reducing their overall score during testing.

Brand reputation

Cerebral claims to assist you in dealing with “whatever challenges you are facing” in managing mental disorders. Meanwhile, Brightside asserts that “everyone deserves thoughtful and effective care” in their lives. These two brands demonstrate genuine concern for their customers’ well-being.

In Conclusion

To optimize your mental healthcare, it’s crucial to select an app that meets your individual preferences. Keep in mind that not everyone desires to book appointments or engage with therapists via video calls. Therefore, it’s essential to reflect on the benefits of online mental health services and how they can aid in your well-being, provide treatment, and promote sustainability.

It’s worth noting that mental health disorders encompass more than just anxiety and depression. Therefore, when seeking mental healthcare in today’s wellness industry, ensure that the app caters to individuals with PTSD, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, OCD, stress, and other related conditions.

In addition to using mental health apps, incorporating physical exercise such as taking morning walks can enhance your mental well-being. This is especially beneficial for people with depression and anxiety, and you can customize your workout routine to fit around your therapy schedule for a refreshed mindset during appointments.

Before signing up for any medication management apps, it’s advisable to consult with your primary care physician. This will enable you to gain insights into the pros and cons of each app and avoid falling for scams, as some mobile apps prioritize profits over customer satisfaction.