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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Chronic Impulsivity
- Educational Assessments
- Life Transitions
- Social Behavior
- Substance Abuse
- Trauma & Abuse
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.Visit BetterHelp
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What’s not to like about being able to see my therapist from my bed? And for around $200/month for all you can do therapy? Heck, I was paying more than this for one lousy 45 minute session with my real life therapist! Granted IMO there is nothing like face to face counseling but still. Better Help is a great substitute and absolutely worth it. Also, I am not sure why so many people are surprised by the great results they see by using this service. These are, after all, licensed therapists. The only difference is that you are not sitting in an office with them. So what? Video therapy is just as good and I would argue that even text and phone sessions are close to being on the same level. You can get intimate on chat. Just ask Anthony Weiner.
The terms of the service are not as clear cut as you may think. For the record, my personal opinion is that Betterhelp is better than any other online therapy service and it’s not even close. The platform and therapists are amazing. HOWEVER, it’s not really “unlimited” therapy. It is for text therapy – text as much as you want and you will get a reply from your counselor. But, if you’d like to set up phone or video sessions, you can only schedule 2 of these per month (2 total – not 4). Chat therapy is great but I would assume that most people like myself would also like to explore phone and video sessions as well, and not just on a bi-monthly basis. If you want more of these types of sessions, you will have to pay $29 for each one. Yes, it’s still far cheaper than in office therapy but still. Betterhelp should be more upfront about these stipulations. Other than that, it's not the second coming of the Messiah but the service is still very good. I just wish they would be more up front about the added/hidden costs.
I am a writer based out of NYC and the past 2 years have been an extremely stressful time in my life. I turned to better help since as a writer I express myself far better in written form. It’s nice to have phone and video options available but to be honest I don’t use them. Waiting for a response from my therapist can be an annoyance but other than that this service is unbelievable. The price, the features and ease of use, the support – it’s something everyone should try.
I have always hated the idea of therapy because it makes me uncomfortable. I knew I needed it for my severe anxiety and stress but I couldn’t bring myself to see a psychologist. The main reason was due to embarrassment even though I would be talking to a stranger. When I heard about Better Help, I thought it was perfect. I could stay anonymous and use text as my therapy. I started with this and after only two months, I switched to phone appointments and then ultimately video sessions. I haven’t been happier and I have, without a doubt, seen an improvement in my mental health.
The company is in fact accredited by the BBB, has an A+ rating and obviously has the best reputation out of all the online therapy companies out there. Though, I’m not exactly sure how. Let me first preface this by saying that the counseling is actually very good. But the business practices are scam-like. They say $60 per week but they charge you on a monthly cycle. I saw other people were paying $45 per week so I emailed them in to ask why it was more for me and I didn’t receive a reply. That was the first sign. Then I tried canceling the service and it took me about a month to do so. They make it hard for you to cancel. In the end I did receive my money back for the extra month I didn’t use the service but for that month it was a nightmare.
I started using betterhelp roughly 3 weeks ago. Since I travel a lot and don’t have time to schedule appointments I decided to try online therapy. Its definitely a different experience than seeing a therapist in their office. But for someone like me its been well above par. I spend most of my time in southeast Asia so it just happens to be that most of the time my therapist is online so I can relatively quick replies. I can also schedule night calls with him which happens to be regular working hours for him. If youre going to use betterhelp, I recommend not only using the chat but especially video conferencing.
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.
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.
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.
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.