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BetterHelp Online Therapy Review 2023
Products & Services
Ease of Use
Customer Support & Reviews
- Therapists have at least three years and 1000 hours of professional experience
- Banking-grade encryption to keep your information safe
- Not able to prescribe medications
BetterHelp has offered online mental health therapy since 2013. Its therapists are able to provide a wide variety of mental health services through multiple communication methods. The service is available in all 50 states, is fairly average in its costs, but does not accept insurance of any kind.
Find What You Need
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected psychiatric and mental health professionals, in a recent Pew report. About 45% of American adults say the pandemic affected them significantly. Another KFF study found that the pandemic created barriers that prevented people from reaching their goals of reintegration into life. In addition to the lack of access to mental health services in person, it has been found that there are public health risks associated with this situation.
BetterHelp claims to be the world’s largest therapy platform. It offers online access to psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors. All betterhelp counselors are licensed, trained and accredited. All BetterHelp therapists have at least three years and 1000 hours of professional experience and must hold a master’s degree or doctorate in their field.
Much like other therapy platforms, you’ll be asked to answer a few questions about yourself and create an account. Based on your answers, BetterHelp will use an algorithm to match you to a therapist it thinks fits the type of issues you are dealing with. It generally takes a few hours up to a few days for the therapist matching process to be completed. If you don’t feel like your therapist fits your needs, you can always ask for a new one.
If you have a preference for a therapist—like age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation—you can indicate that to Betterhelp. The therapy process can be conducted through text, live chats, on the phone, or with video conferencing.
You can message your therapist any time, from anywhere and with any device. Your discreet “room” is open all the time. Messaging doesn’t happen in real-time so you don’t have to schedule it. When your therapist responds to your message, you’ll be notified by email. If you do want to text with your therapist in real-time, you can schedule a live chat time and have instant response and feedback. Phone sessions and video chatting can be scheduled with your therapist, as well.
BetterHelp specializes in several types of therapy:
- Borderline Personality Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Sleep Disorders
BetterHelp does make a point on its website that it does not fulfill court-ordered therapy and won’t accept clients under this type of order.
How Do Therapy Sessions Work at BetterHelp?
If you sign up online, you will be granted access both through the App and through e-mail. You can contact a therapy specialist through this site to make appointments and take part in these sessions. You may also fill out the daily journal prompt at this page or you may sign up to participate in group seminars or webinar sessions on various psychological issues.
Therapy Session Format
The monthly cost of BetterHelp online therapy consists of messaging, online chat, telephone or live video sessions. This gives you flexibility in choosing your preferred telehealth format. Sometimes someone changes a weekly format depending on a mental condition. In general live sessions last around 45 minutes. The sessions will depend on the individual’s time and your therapy partner; however, Betterhelp confirms that there is an average session length of 30 minutes.
Once you get the counseling, you may begin talking to the counselor directly on your mobile phone. Discreet chat rooms are always accessible with a reliable internet connection. Email is not sent to the user directly. Consequently, you may contact the counselor at any time throughout the year. You are welcome to contact your counselor for help. The conversation is stored in our online chats.
In the BetterHelp online therapy platform, messages are not synchronous, as video is. But they’ve got a similar function for emails. It is accessible 24/7, but does not always mean your BetterHelp counselor will answer immediately. The survey found only half of the BetterHelp users answered within a day. In total, a majority responded within ten days, 25.9% responded within two weeks, and 8% responded in less than a week. Your therapist works together with you to determine what frequency they respond to your emails.
Live Phone Session
Those people that prefer to deal with difficult issues in an open-ended fashion have an option in calling their counselors. The system doesn’t send you any personal details to a counselor; everything will be made through BetterHelp’s app.
It will allow you to schedule an online phone interview as you would by arranging an email or video appointment with BetterHelp. It is preferable for people to communicate with each other in order to avoid confusion. Alternatively, when you contact the therapy staff through the telephone you will be able to access the sessions at the time that is convenient to the therapy room and patient. Your therapist will ask if you want an appointment and ask your telephone number if your session has been completed. The system dials your number and then contacts you with the therapy for the first phone call you have received. BetterHelp won’t disclose your phone number to your therapists.
Live Video Session
Alternatively, you may arrange video sessions with your therapist if you enjoy chatting in person. Simply log into a session with your counselor to start the conversation.
Is BetterHelp the Same as Therapy?
Therapists working with BetterHelp are certified therapists who provide treatment. Nonetheless, while these services can be beneficial, they cannot substitute for traditional face-to-face therapy in all situations.
Is There a Difference Between Counseling and Therapy?
Counseling focuses on the specific issue a person is now seeking therapy for and is also considered temporary treatment, designed to conclude once symptoms resolve. Psychotherapy generally treats fewer issues and complex situations.
Who Shouldn’t Use BetterHelp
When a medical emergency occurs, it is important to call 911 directly because BetterHelp isn’t designed to handle an immediate crisis or medical emergency.
Is BetterHelp Better Than In-Person Therapy?
Those things depend upon what you are trying to reach for. BetterHelp’s mental health platform provides you access to the best mental health providers in the region. These sessions are like those of the doctoral sessions for therapists. BetterHelp’s online treatment programs can help people prioritize and improve their mental health. Unlike some therapists on-site, BetterHelp does not provide an official diagnosis, prescribe medication, or comply with the court order. In-person counseling sessions can also be an excellent choice when treating chronic mental disorders.
What About BetterHelp’s Privacy?
As with most online therapy platforms, once you’ve been matched with a licensed therapist here, you’ll be assigned a dedicated, discreet “room” to discuss whatever you feel is necessary. BetterHelp says it is a secure place to communicate and everything you tell your therapist is confidential. Messages will stay visible to you and the therapists as long as you want. But there is a “shred” button located next to each message you send, so you can get rid of it at any time and it will no longer show in your account.
What Medications are Prescribed by BetterHelp?
Can BetterHelp prescribe medication – no. As mentioned, BetterHelp offers online access to psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors. All these types of therapists are equipped to treat mental health conditions, but they cannot diagnose them. BetterHelp does not offer psychiatry services, and therefore none of their therapists or the counselors you will be matched with are able to prescribe medications.
Customer Reviews of BetterHelp
BetterHelp is an easy platform to use and it has multiple ways to communicate with your assigned therapist. The services are only offered to adults, and by and large you will find those who use the platform are happy with it.
We liked the flexibility of services. You can talk to your therapist by phone one week and change to video conferencing for the next. Each week can change based on your mental health needs.
BetterHelp has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You will find hundreds of complaints filed with the consumer organization about the company, but most of the complaints are for billing issues and not with the therapy services themselves.
Trustpilot—another trusted online review site—is filled with glowing reviews of people who have used the service and have seen improvement in their mental health.
BetterHelp is a membership service. It doesn’t require a contract and can be canceled at any time. There are different plans and depending on the one you choose, it may cost between $60 and $90 a week. So, it will generally end up being between $240 and $360 dollars a month.
BetterHelp will provide you with one live chat, phone conversation, or video session each week, and you can message your therapist anytime. The live element you choose can change weekly depending on your own mental health care needs. Live sessions can be 30 minutes or 45 minutes, and the cost is based on your location, preferences, and therapist availability. You will be billed every four weeks and can make payments with your credit card or PayPal account.
BetterHelp does not accept any form of insurance, so all your costs will be out-of-pocket. There is financial aid available, but you must qualify for it. The application can be found on the BetterHelp website and will ask questions about things like your employment status and income level.
How Many Sessions Do You Get With Betterhelp?
BetterHelp offers weekly online chat sessions for a limited number of customers. Live sessions may take place either in video, on phone or live. There are unlimited messages with the therapy. You can also share your concerns or your journal and she will respond quickly.
Does Betterhelp Charge If You Cancel A Session?
BetterHelp is free for a week. When canceling your booking in less than a month, your credit cards are not charged. It costs from $99 to $160 each and varies according to location, preference, and therapist availability for each individual client. Your bill will be sent out monthly.
Can You Cancel Betterhelp After One Week?
Cancellation is available in any case.
Is BetterHelp worth the cost?
The kind and price of a therapy program depends mainly on your needs and preferences. BetterHelp offers a cheaper alternative that is convenient for most of its customers.
BetterHelp vs. Competitors
BetterHelp is at the lowest end of the spectrum for price, making finding the best alternative to traditional therapies easier. The BetterHelp platform lets users send messages directly to your Therapist via phone chat and video chat as well as SMS. Users are allowed to view messages of the therapist in their browsers by using the rereading function.
BetterHelp Company Background
BetterHelp was founded by investor and entrepreneur Alon Matas in 2013. Matas experienced first-hand how expensive and inaccessible in-person therapy can be and set out to create a therapy platform that was more accessible and affordable.
The company was acquired by Teladoc in 2015 and became part of a network of other online therapy platforms. If you’re looking for couples counseling, BetterHelp will redirect you to ReGain Counseling. If you need help for your teenager, BetterHelp will refer you to TeenCounseling. Someone needing mental health therapy as it relates to LGBTQ+ issues, will be redirected to Pride Counseling.
Does BetterHelp Therapy Actually Work?
The BetterHelp website shows 92% of our clients are pleased with their online therapy service. Users are impressed by the 24/7 Audio and Video Sessions, the unlimited communication interface and the convenience and financial services of betterhelp counseling it provides through therapist networks.
The Bottom Line for BetterHelp
BetterHelp is easy to sign up for, widely available and will quickly match you to a counselor from its large network of therapists. It’s fairly average in its cost when compared to other online mental health platforms and has multiple options to connect you with someone who can help you.
Content on this site is for reference and information purposes only. Do not rely solely on this content, as it is not a substitute for advice from a licensed healthcare professional. Aging.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies. Consult with your doctor before beginning any medications or programs.