BetterHelp Review

While the e-counseling industry is in its diaper years and seems slow to gain much traction in terms of usage rates, there are already a sizable number of e-counseling platforms available. Yet, most of these services have followed in the industry’s footsteps; they are slow to gain visibility and ultimately users. However, there is one platform that has seen wild success virtually since its inception. Founded only in 2013, online therapy leader BetterHelp is taking off. BetterHelp offers over 2,500 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:  
 18 reviews
by Carla F. on Betterhelp

At first I was torn between using and not using Better Help. I have seen awesome reviews and really terrible ones. It’s hard to sort through all the BS. But in the end, I really needed help so I decided to try them out for a week with their free trial. It was a little akward but in the end I was, and am, happy to use them. Therapy isn’t a one time thing. I need help for my anxiety and I realize that it will take time to overcome it. I suspect that’s why there are some negative reviews about Better Help. People are too quick to judge. My advice? Don’t be. Give it some time. It’s well worth it.

by Justin L. on Betterhelp

as long as you have patience, betterhelp is a good service. my psychologist sometimes takes a day to respond but the replies are surprisingly helpful. the service is good if you are really interested in getting help and also helping yourself. otherwise its probably not for you (if you are the type to be dependent on others).

by Karen A. on Betterhelp

not sure why some people have complained about betterhelps payment system. the trial period is explicitly clear – 7 days and thereafter you will need to pay. i suspect most people dont really need or want help, they just want to use a new service for free. im here to tell you that probably wont happen. businesses are in the business of helping people *while* making money. if they werent, services like betterhelp would not exist. im also here to tell you that my experience was very very good with betterhelp. it was efficient and saved me a great deal of money. however, online therapy is just not for me so i plan on canceling by the end of this week. im just not ready for a new technology like this. id much rather go see a psychologist in person. if you are up for new things betterhelp is truly a great service.

by Zoe W. on Betterhelp

I have been trying to get my money back for a few days now. Does anyone know how I can do so? Online therapy was not for me in the end so I thought getting a refund would be easy. Unfortunately that’s not the case and Betterhelp has been elusive at giving me a refund.

by Katrina V. on Betterhelp

betterhelp is good…mainly. there are plenty of things i like about this service. such as the professionalism, integrity, price, privacy, intimacy. The thing i didnt like was that i could only email my psychologist so I had to change therapists which took about one day. you need to make sure that your specific therapist provides therapy through all the different ways, not just email or chat or video. yes some of them will only provide therapy through one method only. other than that I didnt find anything bad about betterhelp.

by Carlos N. on Betterhelp

Better Help has for the most part been very good for me. Been using their service for about 1.5 months now. The only downside is that sometimes it takes a few hours to receive a reply. That’s probably because my therapist is using Better Help as a side job to get more business, as an addition to his brick and mortar practice. That’s fine with me and especially for me since in my chat sessions I like to do most of the talking anyway. So I don’t mind waiting for replies. The overall value that Better Help provides me with has been very good.

by Paul J. on Betterhelp

Reading some of the reviews online about Betterhelp made me nervous from a financial standpoint. I had mainly read great things about the psychological support but the billing was very worrying to me. So, I had a novel idea: I READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE like any adult should do. Betterhelp's TOS is not insanely long as you would expect. It's very clear and straightforward. It was clear to me that if I did not cancel by the 7th day, I would be charged for the month at $45 per week ($180 per month, again billed on a monthly cycle). I am just fine with that, especially since going to a therapist in my area costs me over $200 for each session. As for the service itself: A+ all around. I instantly felt welcomed. I didn't feel like I was just another person. I had to answer what I would describe as probably a 10 minute survey, after which I was paired with my psychologist Melanie. We had some small talk and then immediately cut to the chase. She was insightful and really really helpful, and initiated some exercises for me to do. I still feel depressed at times but it's gotten so much better since I started with Betterhelp. I would highly highly recommend everyone to be an adult, read the terms of service, and then try out Betterhelp. It may not be for you but in my opinion you should give it a try. You can cancel within the first 7 days and they are VERY CLEAR about it. Also, they are not one of those companies that is impossible to get in touch with when you are trying to cancel. They have something like an A- on BBB. You don't get that if you're running a scam. Betterhelp has so far been outstanding and I look forward to talking with Melanie every day I write in. I definitely recommend this service.

by Sandra P. on Betterhelp

i have always been somewhat intimidated by regular therapy so using online therapy was an easy decision. i didnt have to worry about any of my fears. once i felt comfortable, i started scheduling live phone sessions and then slowly transitioned to video sessions which i have to say is excellent. and that's another benefit-the usability as described in this review. what i didnt like about better help was the pairing process. i think it was a little long because they had something like 20+ questions to answer before i even started talking to a therapist. but from my personal experience its worth the wait.

by Dane S. on Betterhelp

I first heard about Betterhelp from Facebook. This kind of therapy is new and I had my doubts. How can something like this possibly work? But then I tried it and this is what I learned:When I would go to my therapist, it was always a pleasant experience. I always felt comfortable and relaxed. Aside from the price, everything was/is great. HOWEVER, the one thing that always bothered me was time. Put aside the fact that I am paying a ton of money per hour to see my therapist. How can I possibly make progress on my many issues even over several sessions? I guess if everything works out perfectly then it's fine. The problem is that things come up in therapy sessions. For example: my therapist may ask me a really difficult question that may take up the entire session just talking through it. And then what? At the end of the session, I have found that I have accomplished very little and that I need to come back for another one. That's another few hundred dollars out of pocket. Now that I have Betterhelp, this is no longer an issue. Actually, my Betterhelp therapist and I can cover several challenging questions in the same amount of time. That's not because my Betterhelp therapist is better than my in office therapist. It's because of the nature of online therapy - it's a chat...at least that's how I use Betterhelp (I have yet to use phone or video features). So even if it took me a few days to answer these questions, I'm paying the same price as I would in a traditional setting. After using Betterhelp for only 3 weeks now, it's a no brainer for me. Betterhelp is definitely the way to go.

by Danielle P. on Betterhelp

When my parents died in a car accident about one year ago in Brooklyn, my life went down the toilet. I was grieving more than anyone could imagine. I honestly thought I would never get over that grief but I was wrong. The pain is still there. It is and will always be difficult. But at the behest of a friend, I signed up to BetterHelp, who really steered me in the right direction and connected me to a therapist called Erika Goldstein-Steuerman. She created an extremely intimate relationship with me. It wasn’t about “just another session” with Erika. She genuinely cared about my well-being and ultimately helped me overcome most of my grief, trauma and subsequent sleep issues. Overall I was, and still am, beyond grateful that I found BetterHelp. I’m not sure where I would be today if I didn’t.

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