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BetterHelp Review: Assessing the Virtual Mental Health Platform
Mental Health

BetterHelp Review: Assessing the Virtual Mental Health Platform

Virtual platforms offer an alternative way to find support for mental health needs. In this article, we discuss the virtual therapy platform BetterHelp to identify how it works, its pros and cons, and ultimately determine whether we think it can help improve your mental well-being.

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Some people feel uncomfortable at the thought of attending in-person therapy. Opening up to your therapist in an unfamiliar environment can be difficult. So, many people consider seeking therapy from an online therapist in the comfort of their homes.

Virtual therapy is a modern way to find support to work on and improve your mental wellness. The fact that it is far more convenient to communicate with a therapist online makes it a viable solution for those who can’t find the time to schedule physical appointments.

Imagine if you could send a message to your therapist at any time. If the idea sounds appealing, you might be interested in trying BetterHelp. With a range of services, it appears to be an accessible option. The question is – will BetterHelp help you?

Keep reading for our complete review of the BetterHelp platform.

Summary

BetterHelp
  • Wide range of therapy services
  • The platform is easy to navigate
  • Convenient to use from home
  • Lower cost than in-person therapy sessions
Our rating:
4.2
Learn More
Pros
  • Convenient access to online therapy
  • Unlimited messaging with your therapist
  • A range of modes to access care, including text, live chat, audio, and video calls
  • Highly qualified, vetted therapists
  • Users can remain anonymous if preferred
  • Easy to switch therapists
  • User-friendly app and website
  • Offers financial aid
  • Free trial available
  • Cancel anytime
  • Available in the US and the UK
Cons
  • Does not accept health insurance
  • BetterHelp therapists cannot diagnose mental health conditions
  • Therapists cannot prescribe medications
  • Cannot fulfill court orders for therapy
  • No family therapy

BetterHelp is marketed as the world’s largest online therapy platform. It connects users with licensed therapists to receive online therapy sessions via chat, phone, or video sessions. It provides a range of mental health services and offers individual and couples therapy.

When you register, you are matched with a qualified therapist who you can message from anywhere at any time. Whatever your mental health concerns are, you can find the tools to help you approach them effectively and begin tackling your problems.

According to the BetterHelp website, the brand’s mission is to make professional therapy sessions accessible and affordable to everyone. It also offers a more convenient service than traditional in-office therapy for those who prefer to access support from home or on the go.

⭐ Rating4.2 ★★★★
✅ ProsConvenient, easy to use, qualified therapists
❌ ConsNo family therapy, doesn’t accept insurance
🍎 Free trial available?Yes
🔔Therapy optionsText, live chat, audio, and video calls
💰 PriceFrom $240 per month

What Is BetterHelp?

BetterHelp is a subscription-based service that gives users access to an extensive network of accredited and experienced therapists. According to the company, the platform serves to help people transform their approach to mental health and support them in handling life’s challenges.

The concept behind BetterHelp is that you can access therapy without having to attend physical sessions. Once connected with your therapist following the sign-up process, you can begin virtual meetings via live chats, over the phone, or live video sessions.

You can use the platform to gain support for various issues, from coping with life changes to managing symptoms of depression and anxiety. It has several useful tools to help you regain control of your mental well-being, including journaling and mindfulness techniques.

How Does BetterHelp Work?

BetterHelp works by connecting you with a therapist. During the sign-up process, you are asked to provide personal information like age, gender, and what has led you to consider therapy. You can select your preferences for a therapist, such as expectations and focus areas.

After completing the process, BetterHelp matches you to a therapist who suits your personal needs based on the information you provide. You can then get started with your chosen method of communication. You can request a new therapist if you feel your therapist is not a good fit.

Finding your match can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.

Is BetterHelp Good?

BetterHelp can be a great option for people who want to try an alternative approach to traditional therapy. Although there are fewer studies on the effectiveness of online therapy, some suggest that it can be a successful form of treatment for certain mental health issues.

According to one study, the severity of depression symptoms significantly reduced after engagement with the BetterHelp platform. Therefore, this form of digital psychotherapy can be an effective intervention tool for adults suffering from depression and poor mental health.

Of course, not everyone will find success with BetterHelp. Ultimately, how good the service is for you depends on your therapist and how well you can connect with them. The communication methods are likely not intensive enough for people with a serious mental illness.

BetterHelp Cost

The precise cost of BetterHelp therapy depends on a few factors, including your location, personal preferences, the therapy plan you choose, and your therapist’s availability. The monthly cost ranges from $240 to $360, equating from $60 to $90 per week.

Why is BetterHelp so expensive?

The initial cost does appear significant. However, BetterHelp offers financial assistance and discounted memberships for those who qualify. The overall price is significantly lower than traditional therapy sessions, but more cost-effective therapy services may be available.

It’s worth noting that BetterHelp does not accept insurance, which may deter some people from using this service.

BetterHelp Key Features

First and foremost, you need to know what the platform offers. Assessing the main features can help you check whether the therapy services may benefit your needs. BetterHelp provides users with many features that may support their journey.

We outlined the 8 key features of BetterHelp online therapy below.

#1 Online journaling

A great feature of BetterHelp is the online journal that remains confidential to you. You can treat it like you would a diary to document your thoughts, experiences, and goals. Journaling is an effective intervention for reducing mental distress and increasing mental well-being.

#2 Live chat sessions

The variation in live sessions makes BetterHelp an appealing option to many people. You can schedule a live chat which involves text messaging with real-time responses from your therapist. It is a perfect choice if you want to avoid audio or face-to-face contact entirely.

The live chat aims to mimic the idea of messaging with a friend. During a session, you can message back and forth, discussing whatever is on your mind. Some might find it difficult to confine their thoughts to a few sentences, while others may excel at this form of communication.

#3 Live phone sessions

You can book a live phone session with your therapist, which takes place either as a direct call or as an audio conversation through your app or desktop browser. Studies suggest that telephone therapy can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy, although sessions may be shorter.

#4 Face-to-face sessions

If you like to communicate directly, face-to-face sessions are a must-try feature. They take place via video sessions where you and your therapist can see each other on the screen. Video sessions allow for a more personal experience, and some people find this an easier way to establish a connection.

#5 Group therapy

You can access over 20 weekly interactive live group sessions run by BetterHelp counselors when registered. These sessions educate users on various aspects of mental wellness, covering topics such as coping with stress and anxiety and implementing self-care regimens.

#6 Family therapy

BetterHelp does not offer therapy for families, but you can discuss relationships and family issues with your therapist. There are therapists within the BetterHelp network who specialize in family conflicts and relationship issues. You can select your preferences when you sign up.

#7 Motivational interviewing

BetterHelp offers motivational interviewing to help people bring positive changes to their lives. Motivational interviewing is a counseling approach that aims to enhance the client’s motivation to elicit change. It can be helpful if you lack self-confidence or don’t know where to begin with your mental wellness journey.

#8 Mindfulness therapy

Mindfulness is a technique that brings your mind to focus on the present. Practicing mindfulness with tools such as meditation and yoga can strengthen your overall therapy experience. Your BetterHelp therapist can work with you to help you process your emotions using specific techniques.

Who Is BetterHelp Best for?

BetterHelp is best for people who prefer virtual communication. It eliminates the need to attend a therapist’s office for general concerns with mental health. So, if you would rather use your phone or laptop to seek support than meet up in person, you could try BetterHelp.

The flexibility of BetterHelp allows you to schedule your therapy sessions at a time convenient to you. In the meantime, you can make the most of the live chat feature, which mimics text messaging. Furthermore, you can benefit from live sessions via video call if you’re happy to talk face-to-face but don’t want to travel.

You can use Betterhelp if you are seeking therapy for various concerns. The BetterHelp counselors offer several approaches and specialize in different areas. Among the focus areas are anxiety, stress, depression, low self-esteem, paranoid thoughts, addiction, and relationships.

Just remember, BetterHelp counselors cannot prescribe medication or offer a diagnosis. This app is constantly compared to Talkspace, so if you are still not sure, review both options.

Who Shouldn’t Use BetterHelp?

Online therapy isn’t right for everyone. Some people will benefit more from in-person therapy, especially those who prefer face-to-face interaction. It may not be suitable for those with severe mental illness who require more intensive psychiatric services and medication management.

It is important to note that BetterHelp is not a suitable option for anybody with a mental health crisis, as the therapists are not equipped to diagnose or handle these situations. Talk to your doctor if you are curious about online therapy or if you are concerned about your mental state.

Is BetterHelp Private?

The BetterHelp platform ensures users that it takes privacy and confidentiality seriously. Protective measures are in place to protect users’ personal information, including a browsing encryption system and confidential and encrypted messaging between you and your therapist.

You can remove messages sent to your therapist and request to have your information erased. While you need to provide a legitimate email address and emergency contact information, you can use an anonymous name or nickname when signing up.

You can read the BetterHelp Privacy Policy for more information.

FAQs

Is BetterHelp legit?

Yes, BetterHelp is a legitimate company founded in 2013 by Alon Matas and Danny Bragonier. The US-based company provides online mental health services with access to licensed therapists through the web, phone, and text.

Is BetterHelp covered by insurance?

BetterHelp does not accept insurance nor partner with any health insurance providers. However, it offers financial aid to those who qualify for the service. You can contact their customer service team via the official website for more information about financial aid.

Are BetterHelp therapists licensed?

Yes, every BetterHelp therapist within the extensive network is a licensed professional with at least three years of hands-on experience. The platform offers access to psychologists, psychotherapists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors.

How to cancel your BetterHelp subscription?

If you wish to cancel your BetterHelp membership and opt out of its services, you can do so via your BetterHelp account. Head to Account Settings, then to Payment Settings, and cancel your membership. You can request to have your personal information erased by clicking Request Erasure.

BetterHelp vs. Alternatives

Sensa
BetterHelp
Bloom
Noom Mood
4.5
4.2
4.2
4.0

Supports anxiety and stress management

Caters to various mental health issues

Helpful daily tasks

Digital mood journal

Mood tracking

Activity planner

Stress relief exercises

Tracks mental health progress

Educational content reviewed by professional therapists

Convenient online therapy

Unlimited messaging with therapist

Text, live chat, audio, and video sessions

Experienced and licensed therapists

Option to change therapists

Free trial available

Offers financial aid

Available in the US and UK

Teaches CBT skills

Supports stress and anxiety management

Free first week

Educational video lessons

Log daily moods

Mood tracking

Text-based communication with professional coaches

Personal coaching

Short, educational daily lessons

Step counting and exercise tracking

Blood pressure logging

Only available with a subscription

Not covered by health insurance

No diagnosis

No medication management

No family therapy option

Doesn’t offer therapy

No licensed therapists

Reports of technical issues with the app

No diagnosis or evaluations

Lack of information about the coaches

Only one plan available

No live sessions

No monthly payment option

No free trial

Brand
Sensa
BetterHelp
Bloom
Noom Mood
Overall Rating
4.5
4.2
4.2
4.0
Pros

Supports anxiety and stress management

Caters to various mental health issues

Helpful daily tasks

Digital mood journal

Mood tracking

Activity planner

Stress relief exercises

Tracks mental health progress

Educational content reviewed by professional therapists

Convenient online therapy

Unlimited messaging with therapist

Text, live chat, audio, and video sessions

Experienced and licensed therapists

Option to change therapists

Free trial available

Offers financial aid

Available in the US and UK

Teaches CBT skills

Supports stress and anxiety management

Free first week

Educational video lessons

Log daily moods

Mood tracking

Text-based communication with professional coaches

Personal coaching

Short, educational daily lessons

Step counting and exercise tracking

Blood pressure logging

Cons

Only available with a subscription

Not covered by health insurance

No diagnosis

No medication management

No family therapy option

Doesn’t offer therapy

No licensed therapists

Reports of technical issues with the app

No diagnosis or evaluations

Lack of information about the coaches

Only one plan available

No live sessions

No monthly payment option

No free trial

How We Tested BetterHelp

Testing a product or service allows us to reach a verdict. With the focus on fundamental principles, you can gather your opinion of BetterHelp and understand how it might benefit you. We consider the factors below essential in determining our thoughts on this product.

Here is how we rated BetterHelp:

Quality 9/10

We’re awarding a high score for the overall quality of BetterHelp. The network of BetterHelp’s counselors is extensive, which means you’re likely to find a good match that fits your needs. Plus, they are all fully trained, vetted, and well-experienced.

Effectiveness 9/10

Many user reviews report finding BetterHelp an effective intervention strategy for managing mental issues. Many people are happy with their therapist, and self-care features, such as online journaling, are particularly beneficial for helping organize your thoughts and improving mood.

Price 5/10

Therapy, on the whole, is an expensive journey. Compared with the costs of seeing a therapist in person, BetterHelp online counseling offers a cheaper option. Still, that doesn’t make BetterHelp inexpensive. Not everyone can afford to sign up for monthly subscriptions.

Brand reputation 9/10

The BetterHelp brand has a clear goal: to offer more cost-effective therapy from the comfort of your own home. It encourages people to try a new approach to mental health by providing alternative ways to communicate with professional counselors and accredited psychologists.

A Word From MD

Finding a therapy solution that works for you is critical to getting the best results. If you are someone who prefers to discuss your feelings via phone call, text message, or a face-to-face video session, then an online therapy service could be the answer you’re looking for.

Talk therapy can be a fantastic tool if you’re battling inner turmoil and struggling to deal with your emotions. Talk therapy helps you find solutions by discussing your problems and transforming your behavior to manage your mental well-being better.

Alongside therapy, there are many strategies you can implement to improve your mental state. Everyday things like going for morning walks, meeting a friend, yoga, stretching, and eating nutritious foods can give you a daily boost and motivation to conquer your goals.

If you have mental health conditions, talk to your doctor before considering alternative approaches to therapy. App and website-based therapy are not always viable options. A medical professional can guide you toward the best treatment options for your health.

Conclusion

The approach to therapy that BetterHelp offers has multiple benefits for anybody who prefers to talk virtually. If you’re new to therapy, it may provide a more comfortable space to open up about your feelings. You can make use of the different options to find the method that works best. Overall, BetterHelp brings a lot to the table if you want to start therapy.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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