BetterHelp Review

Founded only in 2013, BetterHelp has taken off as one of the leaders on online therapy. BetterHelp offers over 2,000 US-based licensed professionals that are certified in virtually all help areas. But, it’s not just about the sheer size of their service that has pushed more than 1,000,000 people to use their platform. Their superiority in personalization and usability, in addition to total anonymity and privacy, is unprecedented.

Company Profile:

Remember, BetterHelp started in 2013. Less than two years after experiencing rapid growth, they were bought by Teladoc, the largest telehealth provider in the country. With hundreds of employees and the Teladoc resources behind them, BetterHelp has been able to focus on making their platform the best in every area. Moreover, the one thing that truly stands out is that BetterHelp realizes that human to human contact should not be replaced. Rather, they are simply leveraging new technology to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.

Signing Up:

If usability is your concern, then look no further. BetterHelp designed one of the most intuitive platforms I have tested. For starters, you will need to sign up for an account. There is no need to use your real name or any other real credentials. If you don’t feel comfortable, using an alias is completely fine. Once you have registered, you will be led to fill out a short questionnaire in a multiple choice format.

BetterHelp Matching Process

Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will be led to the secured payment page. After entering in payment details, BetterHelp then pairs you with the appropriate therapist based on your answers, while also using their back end algorithms. It is believed that most BetterHelp customers are satisfied with who the algorithm has paired them with. If you are not happy, you can always request a new therapist. Once paired with the therapist, you will be led to a secure and dedicated chat room that only you and your counselor can access. Additionally, this room is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While chats are almost always not in ‘real time,’ BetterHelp counselors make extraordinary efforts to reply as quickly as possible. Moreover, should you want actual ‘live chat,’ you simply need to schedule it in advance with your counselor. The same goes for live phone and live video sessions. All plans come with unlimited chatting – via desktop/app, phone and video – tops in the industry (generally, other online therapy providers will charge an additional fee for phone/video sessions). Starting a phone session is easy as well. You simply need to schedule a date and time with your counselor prior to receiving phone counseling.

Betterhelp Dedicated Chat Room

Pricing:

By now, licensed therapists across the country have heard about BetterHelp and their massive success. Thus, it is not surprising to see thousands of therapists flock to work with BetterHelp. Due to this, I was initially expecting to pay a premium for using their service. However, it turns out BetterHelp is one of the cheapest e-counseling services on the market. Plans start from $35/week and can go up to $55/week. No matter what you pay between those price points, you have access to truly unlimited chat.

Usability (Desktop & Mobile):

From a user experience standpoint, BetterHelp’s platform is very straightforward. Simply log in to your account and you are directed straight to your dedicated chat room. If you have ever used any chat service (like Google Chat or Skype), BetterHelp’s functionality is very similar to these. You send messages with the click of the button while you receive answers as soon as your counselor replies. Moreover, you don’t need to be connected to BetterHelp’s platform at all times. You will receive email notifications informing you of a reply from your therapist. Additionally, you can access the BetterHelp platform both on your desktop and your mobile device. BetterHelp offers a free app for both iOS and Android.

Counselor Support & Effectiveness:

There are those who have said that therapists cannot help people online as much as they do “in-office.” There are numerous factors involved in determining how helpful a therapist can be, many of which have to do with the individual session itself (and not the distance between you and your counselor). Knowing this, I kept an open mind when BetterHelp paired me with a therapist named Idiana Morales. Being that I currently reside in Florida, BetterHelp paired me with Mrs. Morales as she is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MS, LMHC) in the state of Florida. As I had started feeling anxious and stressed out for close to a year, I instantly felt some level of comfort when I saw Mrs. Morales credentials. Her specialties are stress, anxiety, relationship, family and anger (with experience in several other fields as well) – essentially the areas I needed help with. It is difficult to accurately describe how helpful Idiana was in a simple review like this. But, for the sake of professionalism and reporting, I will try my best. I am a Type-B personality at heart. Nothing ever bothered me too much. That changed after 8 years of marriage, when I started feeling anxious and animosity toward certain family members. Idiana was able to defuse several situations and enabled me to tackle the underlying issues head on, and in a considerate, timely and professional manner. Overall, the level of support given by my counselor was phenomenal.

Confidentiality & Privacy:

I have seen a decent number of people suggest that e-counseling is not safe. These naysayers claim that in the digital age, nothing is safe. Perhaps that is true, but how safe are “in-office” appointments? Your individual sessions may not be saved but your files and summaries of your sessions are very likely saved on your therapist’s office computer. This is just as susceptible to attack as BetterHelp; however, a hacker would likely have an easier time gaining access to your therapist’s office computer rather than BetterHelp’s sophisticated firewalls. BetterHelp is serious about privacy and takes several steps to ensure anonymity and confidentiality. The BetterHelp browsing encryption system (SSL) is provided by Comodo, a world leader in data security, while messages between you and your counselor are further encrypted with bank grade 256-bit encryption. Moreover, since all BetterHelp counselors are state certified, they are subject to strict local and federal privacy laws, including HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Your medical and other health information is private, and is not shared with insurance companies since BetterHelp doesn’t cooperate with insurance companies. Overall, BetterHelp does an outstanding job protecting your information.

BetterHelp’s Counselor Qualifications:

All BetterHelp counselors are licensed, trained, and accredited at the state level, and each of them hold either a Masters Degree or a Doctorate Degree in their respective field. Moreover, they all have three years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience, at a minimum. The counselors are psychologists, family therapists, clinical social workers or licensed professional counselors with a broad range of expertise.

Betterhelp Counselor Qualifications

Specialties & Areas of Expertise:

One major benefit to using BetterHelp is that they cover virtually all areas that people would need help with. Though this may seem like a given, it isn’t. There are several e-counseling services that do not offer a full range of areas of expertise. Some of the main areas that BetterHelp covers are:

  • All Addictions
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar
  • Career
  • Chronic Impulsivity
  • Conflict
  • Depression
  • Eating
  • Educational Assessments
  • Family
  • Grief
  • Health
  • Intimacy
  • LGBTQ
  • Life Transitions
  • Parenting
  • Relationships
  • Religion
  • Self-Esteem
  • Sleeping
  • Social Behavior
  • Stress
  • Substance Abuse
  • Trauma & Abuse

Bottom Line:

There are an abundant amount of reasons why BetterHelp is a top rated online therapy service. US-based licensed therapists? Check. One of the only online therapy services with a low, set cost? Check. Rigorous screening procedures of therapists? Check. Best-in-class anonymity and confidentiality? Check. More counselors than any other service? Check. Easy to use platform? Check. Fast reply times and counselors who make a concerted effort to help you live better? Double check. If you are looking for a one stop online therapy solution, BetterHelp is your choice.

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Average rating:  
 28 reviews
by Christopher K. on Betterhelp

If you want a real therapeutic challenge and want to see real change in your emotional state, Betterhelp is the place. Just a few short months ago, I was considered mentally unstable mainly due to severe depression and anxiety. When I signed up to Betterhelp in February 2017, I was ironically paired with Christopher Blake (my name is also Christopher). I have been getting therapy from him ever since and the advances in bettering my emotional health I have seen can’t be described with words. Dr. Blake understands me fully and offered me not only hope but actual solutions and tools that helped me deal with my issues head on. It’s been only four months and I finally feel like I have my life back on track.

by Neil G. on Betterhelp

Chatting with someone was very weird at first. It has gotten a lot better but its still a but weird for me. I do see some improvements and have managed to change some of my habits with Better helps help, but I would not say it’s a “drastic” change. I am also not sure if that drastic change will ever come. For now I am staying with Better help but if I don’t see significant improvement in the next month or so I am done with it.

by Tabitha N. on Betterhelp

I was the kind of person who was really bad at expressing feelings and emotions. So it was no surprise that just about all of my relationships have been disastrous. I WANTED to be in a healthy relationship but I didn’t know how. Fast forward almost ten months and here I am finally in a good relationship…all because of Betterhelp and my therapist Karen H. She literally showed me how to be expressive, how to be grateful, how to reciprocate. I didn’t know how to do any of these because of my abnormal childhood experiences. I am still with Karen today and until I have the confidence to be on my own completely, I will be sticking with Betterhelp well into the future. It’s been unbelievable and is worth every penny.

by Scott S. on Betterhelp

I needed help for my stress levels as I work on Wall Street – 14 hour+ days, etc. I have never been to in-office therapy because my schedule is intense. I also happen to be at my desk basically my entire life so online therapy seemed like a good idea, especially since when I was conducting my due diligence, I found that the therapists don’t exactly answer right away. It takes a few hours to receive a reply. This is perfect for me because I can’t have a normal flowing conversation anyway. Turns out this was literally one of the best decisions of my life. Through the Better Help platform, my therapist has been able to provide me with some excellent stress reducing therapy. I would say that I use the service for about 45-60 minutes per day total, although I do check into it about 4-5 times a day. This may seem annoying to some but for me it’s been very useful. When I check in and if I received a reply, I immediately stop what I’m doing at work and concentrate on what my therapist has said. Once I’m in that zone and tune out all the BS from the world, I have found it to be the best remedy for my stress. I strongly recommend Better Help.

by Gina V. on Betterhelp

i work online so i am a much better writer than i am at expressing myself. because of that better help was good for me. my counselor vivian rowe helped me a lot overcome the death of my mother. i actually requested her because i was paired with another counselor initially whom i didnt connect well with and also because she specializes in grief. aside from that interesting exchange with my first counselor, vivian has been excellent. we now set weekly video chats which is a H-U-G-E plus.

by Herman D. on Betterhelp

I never write reviews but I feel inclined here because they have been a lifesaver for me and there is a lot of misinformation out there about Betterhelp. Here’s my personal take on it.For starters, my therapist Janet has helped me completely overcome my depression. It’s been about 5 months now and I’m just about ready to cancel my Betterhelp subscription because thankfully I feel there is no longer a need for it. I have seen some reviews here stating that the service is a scam. It’s not true. Read the terms and conditions. On second thought, don’t. It’s actually all laid out and there are no hidden fees whatsoever. You get charged what they tell you in the beginning. If that’s $45/week, that’s what it will be. You may be charged on a monthly basis like I was but it still comes out to $45/week. If you are really truly looking for help, this should not matter because you will be in therapy a lot longer than one or two weeks. If you think otherwise, then a) you’re a fool and b) you’re not serious about getting help. I believe their billing process is in their terms of service anyway. Secondly, online therapy is kind of new, right? If it’s new, you need to get used to it. It’s not like face to face therapy. But, it will work for the overwhelming majority of people IF YOU LET IT. Set phone and/or video sessions if need be. I chat with Janet weekly on video and almost daily on chat. It may be that she has less work on her plate than other therapists which allows her to help me a lot, and maybe that’s why I have seen some negative reviews. If that’s the case, find another therapist that is more responsive like Janet. It’s that simple. People are people, even if they are certified therapists. Everyone is different. Don’t discredit Betterhelp just because you had a one time bad experience with an unresponsive therapist. Three times is a pattern. Not one time. And lastly, the overall experience is phenomenal. The app is great, the chat room is great, it is secure, it’s relatively quick and it helps – at least it did for me. Just understand that people have different experiences. If it doesn’t work for you there is no need to take it out on a credible business. I can see why some people would not like it but try and be objective.

by Esther I. on Betterhelp

The ease of use and the Betterhelp platform has been great so far. The actual terms of the therapists? TERRIBLE. Even though it is a set price and they (Betterhelp) don’t overcharge you and you don’t see any unforeseen charges, it’s not really unlimited therapy. Sessions are limited, not by Betterhelp themselves but the counselors seem to limit you (I’ve gone through 4 therapists so far and all of them seem to answer short-burst replies). Nothing substantial. Nothing that will actually help me with my anxiety. I can probably get better help no pun intended with a self help mental health app. I undersatand Betterhelp is trying to create a well meaning business but the therapists need some serious help themselves.

by Tracy N. on Betterhelp

betterhelp was a true godsend for me when i was going through my crisis. i lived in a very rural area with not one psychologist nearby. the closest one to me was about 50 miles away. i didnt have time to travel that far for counselling. however i was in the process of moving to a more urban area with several psychologists around the area. i was against the idea of online help initially and i really wanted to wait but my situation was becoming unbearable. with that i gave betterhelp a try with the intention of canceling once i moved. i ended up using the service for 6 weeks until i moved and it surprisingly turned out to be very helpful. my depression did not go away but i was working through it and definitely felt a difference. after 6 weeks i canceled because i preferred in office therapy and my copay was super helpful. but for the 6 weeks i used betterhelp it was excellent.

by Harold L. on Betterhelp

So I do not have your regular type of story. My wife and I were going through a very rough patch. I ended up leaving the house for a few days to my brothers home in Indianapolis. I really did not know what to do. I thought we were headed for divorce after 9 years of marriage. My brother has been dealing with anxiety problems of his own for a very long time but works at a manufacturing plant making around $30,000 per year. So therapy was always out of the question for him…until online counseling came along. He told me about Betterhelp and how he has been using them for close to a year now. I told him that I wished I could use them for couples therapy. In my mind, online counseling seemed to be great for an individual who connects with a therapist, not for couples. But he told me that they do offer couples therapy through the service. I was mostly doubtful but I said ‘F  it’ I am basically out of options (like my brother I could not afford therapy either). I got home a few days later and crap hit the fan. I will not get into details but both my wife and I were ready for divorce, she even more than me. So I said ‘look we have been together for 12 years – 9 of marriage and 3 prior to that, let’s try one more thing and if not then we will call it quits. We tried Betterhelp and after only 5 months, it completely changed our relationship. Aside from the very two sessions, we used video chat ONLY with our therapist Dr. Gemmell. He has been nothing short of fantastic. Yes, my wife and I still have our fights, but that is part of a healthy relationship. Because of Dr. Gemmell and Betterhelp, my marriage has literally been saved, and at a price I can afford.

by Liz R. on Betterhelp

The convenience of online therapy is what drew me to it. I looked at all of the reviews on the different therapy services and chose Better Help in the end. It was between them and Talk Space but when I searched for Better Help vs Talk Space, I saw the main differences. So far, my Better Help therapist has helped me minimize my stress levels, which is exactly what I set out to accomplish. There are some cons to using this service – most notably wait times – but I’m not one to need instantaneous responses. Especially because the service is like 90% cheaper than face to face therapy, I don’t mind the few hours wait. Also, I should say that even though my stress levels were very high, it probably doesn’t compare to people with other mental health issues. If you believe your problem(s) are VERY overbearing, online therapy probably won’t work for you. But if you have mild stress or depression or anxiety, or other *mild* issues, this is a GREAT service.

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