A BetterHelp Review (2021) – Read This Before Trying!

A review of betterhelp which is one of the best online therapy services for mental health, anxiety, trauma, and depression
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The best online therapy service

BetterHelp Review

BetterHelp is a website that matches people with a licensed counsellors so they can communicate with via chats, messaging, or through phone and video sessions – think E-harmony but for therapists.

There’s been enough studies to say that online therapy is effective as face-to-face therapy… for the majority of people.

An extensive study by the Berkeley Well-Being Institute found BetterHelp to be as effective as face-to-face counselling.

The study found that…

98% made significant progress
94% prefer BetterHelp over face‑to‑face therapy
70% reduction in depression symptoms

Mental Health Day Overall Rating

9.8/10

Is this the best online therapy? A BetterHelp Review

With many people starting to manage their basic healthcare needs online, there’s been an exponential growth in the tele-health industry – with COVID-19 amplifying this.

The benefits of this are seeing a doctor, counsellor, or therapist from the comfort of your home. The video chats make it easy to consult with your health professional virtually and have an experience that’s similar to visiting in person, even better for some people. 

We know that from many instances and studies that online consultations and therapy sessions are just as effective as in-person sessions… definitely more convenient. 

BetterHelp is the largest online therapy platform in the world and it makes professional therapy available anytime, anywhere.

Betterhelp has a network of over 15,000 licensed, accredited, and board-certified therapists that have assisted more than a million people face life challenges. 

Every month, their secure website and mobile app facilitate over five million messages, chats, voice calls, and video sessions each month that help people change their lives.

BetterHelp is one of the major players in the online therapy space.

In reality, we can all benefit from talking to a therapist.

It doesn’t matter who we are, obstacles we face, or if “other people have it worse.” There are things that can get in the way of our happiness or things that become roadblocks as we pursue our goals. 

So we wanted to know, is BetterHelp worth a try for those considering online therapy? 

In short, we think you should try it.

Pros

  • It's cost effective and affordable
  • Access your counsellor via phone, instant messaging, or video chats
  • Fast, intuitive, and user-friendly platform
  • Bonus access to live group sessions with an expert therapist
  • Bonus digital worksheets that accompany your counselling process
  • Licensed and screened therapists or counsellors

Cons

  • Therapists cannot make an official diagnosis or prescribe medication.
  • BetterHelp cannot fulfill court orders
  • The matching system makes it harder to self-select a therapist - they choose for you mostly.
  • Some insurance companies will provide partial coverage for BetterHelp services

The Best Betterhelp features

A woman using the online therapy service betterhelp

Smart provider matching

BetterHelp uses an online intake questionnaire to match a therapist that fits your needs and preferences. With well over 15,000+ providers you can tap into the largest online network of licensed, professional, board-certified providers.

Communication your way

With betterhelp, you get to communicate how you want. You have access to your therapist via messenger, phone, or video. You can message at anytime without scheduling and review your previous messages – a huge perk for online therapy. 

You’re able to have real-time instant messaging conversations or have a scheduled phone or video chat with your counsellor.

LGBT woman using online therapy to communicate with her counsellor
Using betterhelp because it's affordable online therapy

It's affordable

Simply pay a low flat fee for counselling with your counsellor. The cost of counselling through BetterHelp ranges from $60 to $90 per week and it is based on your location, preferences, and therapist availability.

Extra bonuses

With BetterHelp, you get free access to group therapy sessions and digital worksheets created by expert therapists. They have 20 live weekly group seminars and over 150+ worksheets or modules to help support the counselling process.

LGBT woman using online therapy to communicate with her counsellor

What Do you get with betterhelp?

BetterHelp connects you to a licensed therapist in the convenience of your own home.

The therapists are board certified psychologists, licensed professional counsellors, or licensed clinical social workers. BetterHelp also has access to licensed marriage and family counsellors.

With the access to online therapy, you don’t need to commute to your therapists office, saving you time, energy, and money on gas. 

You’re able to send and receive messages anytime, chat in real time with your therapist, and all of your messages are saved in your account – great to have a look back on and reflect.

One added feature of BetterHelp is that you’re able to see your counsellors schedule and book accordingly for what works for your schedule.

Our favourite features of BetterHelp is that you get free access to live interactive group therapy sessions with expert therapists and digital worksheets at no extra cost.

You’re able to use your phone, tablet, or computer to reach any of your sessions and if you don’t feel like your therapist or counsellor is a good match with your and your situation, you can easily switch to another one. 

Let’s look at the benefits of choosing the best online therapy service, BetterHelp.

Who is BetterHelp for?

BetterHelp may be right for you if you’re looking to improve the quality of your life.

It’s also a great option if there is anything that interferes with your happiness or prevents you from achieving your goals, we may be able to help.

We also have counsellors who are specialized in specific issues, such as

Who is BetterHelp Not Good for?

BetterHelp is not the right solution for you if any of the following is true:

  • You have thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • You are a minor or you are under the care of a legal guardian
  • You are in an urgent crisis or an emergency situation
  • You have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness, or if you have been advised to be in psychological supervision or psychiatric care
  • You were required to undergo therapy or counselling either by a court order or by any other authority
  • You do not have a device that can connect to the Internet or you do not have a reliable Internet connection

Ease of Use and Overall BetterHelp Experience

Once you have signed-up for BetterHelp and matched with a therapist, what is it like to be an ongoing member of BetterHelp?

BetterHelp offers you a simple, intuitive way to communicate with your therapist in a method that you’re most comfortable with.

This can text, live chat, phone, or video. We like the options of phone call one week and a video the next because sometimes it’s just nice to have a phone conversation. There’s no extra charges for choosing phone or video.

The flexibility, without the added costs, make it a great ongoing experience for therapy – whether it’s your first time or if you’ve been in it for 10 years.

When you do match with a therapist, it’s important to vet them and ask a lot of questions.

Remember, you’re hiring a therapist.

You’ll want to make sure you like them, they’re responsive, and you believe that they can help/guide you.

You’re able to change your therapists if you don’t find it being a fit or that they may be able to  help you in your situation – this is something that you can should do. 

The more that you share with your therapist upfront, your expectations to them (this includes communication expectations), the higher chance of having a great experience – like the 8/10 people from Trustpilot do.

This can happen right away but it may take a couple therapists to find your perfect therapist.

The desktop and mobile app both offer you a simple, easy-to-use interface that makes it easy to manage your therapy sessions, your account, review your previous sessions, and book appointments with your therapist. 

Every BetterHelp plan includes unlimited message.

It’s important to not get this confused with the live chat function.

The live chat feature acts more like talking with live support and the unlimited messaging is more like email.

You’ll get a “dedicated room”, this is a virtual secure venue for you to communicate with each other, in a private way.

In this room, you can leave short or long messages for your therapist and it’s where your therapist leaves replies to your messages or asks you questions.

We quite like this feature because you’re able to review these conversations at anytime. Sometimes it’s beneficial to review the conversations when we’re in a different mental state.

You’ll get an alert via email or mobile notification when a message comes in.

Very similar to email, you’re able to include attachments, send video or audio files, and even flag a note as urgent.

It’s reasonable to expect your therapist to respond to your messages each day that they schedule for work, some therapists will respond more frequently while some may aim for a predictable pattern.

Remember, it’s important to clarify your expectations with them. If you’re dissatisfied with your therapist, you’re able to switch therapists. 

You also get…

  • journal
  • live chat
  • phone conversation
  • video chat

You’re able to journal and BetterHelp sends useful daily reminders to post a journal entry.

Journalling is a valuable habit and can promote reflection and mindfulness. It’s a way to record ourselves  so that we can revisit, reflect, and see how far we’ve come. 

A primary benefit of choosing live chat is that you’ll have a record of your conversation with your therapist – and you can look at it whenever you want.

With it similar to texting with a friend, BetterHelp’s live chat function lets you use your mobile device or computer to communicate.

This is something that you have to schedule but you’ll know that your therapist will be available and committed to responding to you during that time.

This is absolutely perfect for reviewing your discussion after the session is over but it’s also fantastic for people that have hard times talking in-person or opening up via phone or face-to-face.

BetterHelp allows you to communicate with your therapist via a phone call. 

If you prefer the traditional phone conversation, they offer this as well. This is useful if you want to drink tea in your nook, curl up with your dog, or go for a walk.

If you’re a male, we do suggest that you try walking while talking.

You can read on how walking and talking allows men to be more vulnerable .

We know that body movement triggers bilateral brain functioning, which enables creativity and expansive thinking.

Just being outside, with its changing environment, has impacts on the brain. Fresh air, and the possibility of nature, all help with freedom of thought and broadness in perspective.

The outside world is always in flux, with stimulation and movement triggering our brains to be more active and energetic.

It resets our brain to become more expansive, with a calmer emotional state as a result. 

If you have had to work from home during the pandemic, you’re probably aware of video calls.

For this, you’ll need decent internet connection, your microphone and camera, or your mobile device.

You’ll be able to speak with your therapist face-to-face, in real time. 

This is the closest thing to in-person therapy sessions and we’d recommend scheduling a few sessions early to get a better feel of your therapist.

Once you’re comfortable with your therapist, then you can easily switch to a phone call or live chat – what’s ever convenient for you.

How much does BetterHelp Cost?

If you are considering BetterHelp for your counselling needs, it is important to understand the costs involved.

BetterHelp is a suitable option for those in need of counselling or therapy because it is more affordable than traditional counselling. 

The cost of counselling through the online therapy service BetterHelp ranges from $60 to $90 per week. It’s billed every 4 weeks and it is based on your location, preferences, and therapist availability.

You’re able to message your therapist at anytime from anywhere with no scheduling needed. You get access to your therapist via phone, text, live chat or video. 

There’s the free access to 20+ weekly live group seminars by expert therapists – an added benefit over in-person therapy. You get the 150+ digital worksheets to help support the counselling process aka the homework to help solidify the work that you and your counsellor do together. 

You can choose monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments and can cancel your membership at any time for any reason.

BetterHelp memberships are billed monthly:

  • $260/month — comes out to $65/week.

BetterHelp membership, billed 4x/year:

  • $540/quarter – comes out to $45/week.

BetterHelp membership, billed annually:

  • $1,820/year – comes out to $35/week.

What is Betterhelp like as a company?

"If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning" - John Mackey

If you’re choosing a business to give money to, you may want to know how the company is run and if the employees are happy.

BetterHelp is the world’s largest counselling service. In 2013 they set out on a mission to provide everyone with easy, affordable, and private access to professional counselling – anytime, anywhere. 

It seems that most counsellors seem to have a positive review for working for Betterhelp. 

BetterHelp Reviews

Trust Pilot Review of BetterHelp - 4.5/5
4.5/5

TrustPilot is a well known and respected online review platform where individuals that have used the companies products or services are allowed to review them.

On their review of Bettehelp, there have been 2,300+ reviews of BetterHelp. 

  • 82% voted excellent
  • 6% voted great
  • 1% voted average
  • 1% voted poor
  • 10% voted bad

The 2,300+ reviews give you confidence in their service. You’ll see about 10% of didn’t like BetterHelp but you’ll also notice that 8/10 people had an excellent experience with them. To me, that i’d comfortable trying it for at least once a month with those reviews alone. 

These are the most common words on the BetterHelp reviews

Our Conclusion

Prioritize your mental health and connect one-on-one with a licensed counselor from the safety of your home

We recommend BetterHelp for anyone looking to improve their quality of life through therapy. 

BetterHelp has a large base of  therapists who can assist with everything from general concerns/stress to specialized issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, relationships, family matters, and more. 

It’s ideal for those who prefer the convenience of speaking to a therapist from the comfort of their home, car, or office.

The extras that come with BetterHelp is incredibly enticing to try them out. 

You don’t get free group therapy sessions with in-person therapy sessions. 

You don’t even need to talk during them, you can listen and gain perspective by listening to the expert therapist that is running them. 

With COVID-19 increasing the rates of anxiety, stress, and depression plus the added fear of in-person sessions, it makes BetterHelp an easy transition.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, BetterHelp is legit.

It's a trustworthy company and a leader in online therapy with thousands of satisfied clients. BetterHelp has grown to become one of the largest online therapy platforms with over 15,000 licensed therapists and more than one million patients so far. It's rated 4.5/5 stars on Trustpilot from 2,400+ reviews and 82% rated it as excellent. 

We'd like to say yes but that's a matter of interpretation. You may want to ask yourself is talking with someone worth it? Then you'll want to way the options of in-person vs online. We know from studies that there's not much of a difference between in-person and online therapy. If you only have a small set of money to put towards therapy, BetterHelp is worth the money. We say this because besides getting counselling 1x a week, you get to send messages to your therapist, group sessions every week, and digital resources to help you along the way.

Online therapy services like BetterHelp.com can start as low as $40.00 per week. BetterHelp offers financial aid as well but you'll need to qualify for that.  While others may start at as much as $99.00 per week to provide access to video conferencing therapy online or using mobile apps. Comparable services provided by online therapy providers like Doctor On Demand can start as much as $129.00 for 25 minutes per visit using their mobile app. BetterHelp has similar services that include the option to change therapists if you feel that your initial choice wasn't the best fit. People who suffer from chronic mental health issues that require ongoing therapy for issues like relationship counselling or teen counselling may find that the costs of platforms like Doctor on Demand aren't easy to manage over time.

Yes! You can cancel your membership at any time for any reason but you can also change your therapist easily if you don't think you're the right fit. 

From all of the reviews that we've found online, we'd say no.

Just like every company, not everyone is a fan of it but 8/10 people recommend BetterHelp as excellent whereas only 1/10 say it's bad. There was some controversy in October 2018. BetterHelp gained attention from media personalities after concerns were raised about the alleged use of unfair pricing, bad experiences with the app, paid reviews from actors and questionable terms of service. CEO Alon Matas issued a statement responding to the allegations. This is unfortunately common in pretty much every major company nowadays.

The cost of counselling through BetterHelp ranges from $60 to $90 per week (billed every 4 weeks) and it is based on your location, preferences, and therapist availability. You can cancel your membership at any time for any reason. You can expect to pay between $240-360 a month but it's billed weekly, making it more accessible to get help. If you don't think you can apply for financial aid. It can make it as low as $40 per week too.

This process typically take a few hours or a few days, depending on counsellor availability. Your subscription period starts when you are matched with a counsellor.

Once you are matched with a counsellor, you and your counsellor will have a dedicated "room", which will be your private and secure place to communicate. In this room, you will write about yourself, the things going on in your life, ask questions and discuss the issues that trouble you. Your counsellor will then read your messages, and respond with questions, feedback, insights, and guidance.

You can exchange messages with your counsellor at any time, from anywhere, using any Internet-connected device. The room is open 24/7 and since messaging is not in real-time it doesn't require scheduling. Instead, you can choose whenever you want to write or respond to your counsellor. You will get a notification by email when the counsellor has sent you a message.

Yes! You can always login to your account and read all the counsellor's messages to you. This may help you in reflecting and remembering some of the guidance and input that you received. This is one of the main advantages of e-counselling.
 

You will sometimes want to have a text conversation with your counsellor in real-time. This way you can still enjoy the convenience and privacy of messaging but also enjoy a "live" interaction that allows instant response and feedback from your counsellor.

To have a live chat session, you will first need to schedule a time with your counsellor. At the scheduled time, log in to your account to start typing and chatting with your counsellor.

Phone sessions are a great way to conveniently speak with your counsellor by simply using your landline or cell phone, no matter where you are.

To talk with your counsellor over the phone, you will need to schedule a time with your counsellor and log in to your counselling room at that time. The counsellor will prompt you to start the phone session and the system will ask you for your phone number. The system will then call you at that number and connect you with your counsellor to start the phone session. Please note that the phone number you enter will not be shared with the counsellor.

You can also have a video session with your counsellor where you see each other and talk with each other in a virtual face-to-face setting (similar to Skype).
To talk with your counsellor via video, you will need to schedule a time with your counsellor and log in to your counselling room at that time. Your counsellor will then prompt you to start the video session. After you confirm, you will immediately begin video chatting with your counsellor.

Services offered using this site are generally not covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.

We suggest that you talk to your insurance provider prior to using BetterHelp.

BetterHelp offers very affordable pricing options which are typically comparable with the co-pays of most insurance plans.

Coverage and benefits for traditional therapy and counselling services change from one health insurance company to another and from plan to plan, but generally the following rules apply:

  • With many health insurance plans, coverage can be partial or very limited.
  • Even if your plan covers all your costs, the co-pay that you would be required to contribute may be higher than the entire cost of BetterHelp.
  • In many cases, before you can get reimbursed by your insurance company, your therapist would have to diagnose you with a mental disorder or issue. This diagnosis would be sent to the insurance company and recorded in your medical file. In some cases the therapist would also have to provide additional clinical information to the insurance company, such as treatment plans, summaries or copies of the entire record.

If you consider using your health insurance, please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

When you sign up they do not ask you for your full name or contact information. You may pick any "nick name" which will identify you in the system. When you decide to start the counselling process, we will ask you for your contact information for emergency situations. This is kept safe in the system so it can be used if your counsellor believes that you or someone else might be in danger.

Your counsellor may request additional specific information about you as required by their licensing board guidelines. This information is kept strictly confidential and protected by our secure system and patient data protection laws.

Click here to get started.

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