Betterhelp Online Counseling Review
Are you looking for a Betterhelp review to decide about online therapy? If so, look no further.
In this post, I share information about the online therapy service Betterhelp to help you make an informed decision.
I will discuss benefits, things to watch out for, and who this service might be best suited for.
I have also used their service myself, so I am sharing not only from my research but also based on my personal experience.
Overall, I think that Betterhelp is a good option for the right type of person who has the right expectations. Let’s dive in!
Betterhelp Company Profile
Betterhelp is an online counseling portal that connects therapists with clients in a direct-to-consumer model.
The company was founded in 2013 by Alon Matas and Danny Bragonier.
Matas had experienced trouble finding therapy that accommodated his schedule and wanted to provide an alternative to traditional face-to-face therapy.
In 2015, Betterhelp was acquired by Teladoc Inc.
Betterhelp therapists must have a master’s or doctorate and are licensed psychologists, family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors.
Each professional must have 3 years and 2000 hours of experience to become a service provider for Betterhelp.
How Betterhelp Works
To get started with Betterhelp, you fill out a questionnaire that helps them match you to an appropriate therapist. Below are some other things to know.
All plans include unlimited text-based chat, as well as weekly scheduled phone or video sessions if you so choose.
Although chat is unlimited, this does not mean that your therapist is available at all hours of the day to respond. Nor should they be!
Once you get started, you chat with your therapist in a secure chat room.
I found this part of the process easy and intuitive without any issues.
My therapist initially wanted to talk on the phone or do a Skype chat, but I preferred text chat and she was fine with that.
At the time of writing this review, the cost for the service is $65 per week billed monthly.
If you cannot afford the service due to your income, you can apply for financial aid to reduce the fee that you pay. This usually is only for the first month.
If you are an employee or have an insurance plan, be sure to also investigate whether they will pay for online therapy.
You may need to pay upfront and submit receipts for insurance payments.
Betterhelp Vs. Traditional Therapy: Pros and Cons
I’ve listed below all of the potential benefits of Betterhelp.
- With text messaging, there is no pressure to reply right away
- You can go back and re-read chat sessions for things you may have missed or can’t remember
- You can message your therapist throughout the week
- You can message your therapist after an anxiety attack rather than waiting until your weekly appointment
- If your online therapist happens to be in your state (province, etc.) you might be able to meet in person
- It’s easy to change therapists if you find the first one not suitable. In trying out the service, I did go through the process of changing therapists and it was incredibly easy. Not only that, but I was able to read bios of multiple therapists and choose the one I wanted.
- It costs a fraction of what in-person therapy would cost.
- Your therapists may be available at non-standard times for sessions (like 5 am if that works better for you!)
- You can receive therapy from the comfort of your home (particularly good if you live somewhere that in-person therapy is not readily available)
- You can save time not making trips to see a therapist
Below I list some things to be aware of before you use the service.
- You will be turned down for therapy if you have a severe mental health issue or report having suicidal thoughts (I find this reasonable, as an online therapist may not be equipped to help a person in this situation. However, I have empathy for those who have been turned down for this reason)
- Some therapists might be more available more than others. If yours is not getting back to you quickly enough, maybe think about switching therapists. (And, if you are in crisis, don’t text your therapist—call a crisis line)
- It may take some time to find a therapist who is the right fit for you (however, this is also true of in-person therapy, for which the cost is higher and it is harder to switch)
- If you feel that you are in therapy mode all the time, try not to overuse the text option.
- If you feel unsupported with text/chat alone, try to get a phone call/video chat session so you can connect better.
Level of Support
The level of support that you receive from Betterhelp is comparable to traditional therapy even though it comes in a different format.
If you are currently relying on friends to talk about your issues or you don’t see yourself ever going to in-person therapy, then the support you receive from Betterhelp will be significant.
I’ve compiled some tips to help make Betterhelp work the best for you!
- Make sure to put in the effort if you use the service.
- Schedule a phone or video session once a week and then supplement that with chat therapy through the week.
- If you aren’t happy with your therapist, switch until you are.
- Create a schedule for sessions and stick to it.
(If you want to hear from someone who has used the service, I suggest this video from Faith Mariah at Radical Transformation Project! She uses the service herself for full-time therapy and has lots of good feedback.)
Confidentiality and Privacy
You can be anonymous and you don’t need to use your real name with your therapist when using Betterhelp.
If you have privacy concerns, you can also choose to use chat-based therapy only. You don’t need to use the phone or video chat.
Just as with traditional therapy, all sessions with your therapist are confidential and will not be shared.
How to Sign Up for Betterhelp
Readers of About Social Anxiety receive a 20 percent discount off of the first month of therapy.
Final Betterhelp Review Thoughts
If you are living with social anxiety, Betterhelp is a good option for therapy. This is especially true if in-person therapy feels too anxiety-provoking.
With Betterhelp, you can gradually move from text-based chat to telephone calls, and from telephone calls to video calls (as you feel comfortable).
In this way, Betterhelp therapy can offer you an ideal therapy environment to work on your social anxiety.
Have you tried the service? I’d love to hear your Betterhelp review.