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As mental health is becoming as important as physical health, people are looking for new channels to get their treatments more efficiently and quicker. Online counseling is one of those new platforms that make getting help easier since you have the opportunity to reach out to a counselor in a matter of minutes by using many online-messaging platforms.
BetterHelp Counseling is one of the top-rated online therapy providers as of today. Its platform offers counseling from over 4,000 licensed therapists by online communication channels such as live video calls, phone calls, and messaging. It also provides counseling in specialized areas of treatment such as anxiety, depression, and many others.
We tested Betterhelp Counseling. Read here our full BetterHelp review, according to our own experience.
BetterHelp Counseling Pros and Cons
- You have access to counseling from your phone, computer, or tablet.
- It’s easy to use.
- The platform’s service is personalized.
- It can be cheaper than traditional therapy.
- Counseling comes from licensed therapists.
- Some types of counseling are not in real-time.
- Not all therapists are trained for specialized needs.
- The response of the therapists can vary from minutes to hours.
- You need a stable internet connection.
How to Sign Up for BetterHelp Counseling
The sign-up process for BetterHelp is relatively quick and can be done in a matter of minutes. To start, you need to complete a questionnaire that asks you some questions about your preferences and other counseling-related questions. This questionnaire helps the system pick a therapist that may be good for you.
You have to provide an email address and a nickname (if you don’t want to use your real name) for the registration process. Then you have to fill out some emergency contact information; this is kept safe in the website’s system and is only used in case your counselor believes that you or someone else can be in danger.
After completing the questionnaire, you are directed to the payment options in which you choose what payment plan suits you best. When you’re done, you are matched with a counselor that the system believes is a good fit for you. Keep in mind that this process can take about 24 hours, depending on your preferences.
BetterHelp Counseling Screening Process
Each therapist registered on BetterHelp’s site is required to be licensed and accredited by their respective states’ licensing boards. BetterHelp offers a platform with over 4,000 counselors, which are psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or licensed professional counselors. All of the counselors have a Doctorate or Masters Degree in their field and have at least 2,000 hours and three years of experience as professionals.
To apply for offering counseling at BetterHelp, the potential therapy provider must have a case study evaluation, followed by a video interview. This process can take between four to five weeks.
BetterHelp also provides a review page where you can look up any therapist on their platform, check their credentials, and look at what other people have said about them and their services.
BetterHelp Counseling Areas of Treatment
BetterHelp provides many options for counseling: individual counseling (for yourself), teenage counseling, family counseling, and couples counseling. Some therapists are trained to offer counsel in specialized issues you may have.
The counseling itself can vary from therapist to therapist, but some of the areas of treatment that BetterHelp offers the user are listed below:
BetterHelp covers virtually every area in the mental health department, but not all therapists are trained for every area, so you have to look for the best fit for you.
Better Help Session Types
Using BetterHelp’s platform for counseling is easy. When you sign up, you are then matched up with a therapist that best fits your criteria. After being matched, you are directed to a chat interface where you can message your therapist right away. Your therapist can get an email when you write for them, and you can get an email when they reply.
BetterHelp’s chat interface also offers video chatting, unlimited messaging, and phone calls. If you want to change the communication method you’re using, all you have to do is schedule a live session with your therapist. Keep in mind that not all therapists support every communication channel.
BetterHelp keeps the messages in the chat room available for the duration of your treatment. This service offers you the chance to review your treatment process whenever you like.
Some therapists can give you worksheets as homework. These worksheets are designed to be completed in any device you’re using to communicate.
How to Schedule a Session with BetterHelp
Scheduling a live session is an arrangement made by you and your therapist. There is a calendar attached inside the chat room where you can schedule a live video chat or phone call. In case your therapist can’t make the date that you put on the calendar, they have to notify you so you can choose another date together.
If you decide to have a phone call with your counselor, the entire call process is operated by the BetterHelp platform. Your counselor doesn’t have any knowledge of your phone number.
When registering, you first get a seven-day free trial. After the trial is over, the standard price of the service is billed to your credit card or PayPal.
BetterHelp offers many plans for payment, so you can choose one that feels better for you. The cost varies from $35 to $70 per week, billed monthly. You can also choose to pay a standard monthly fee of $260, which also offers unlimited access to their services.
Keep in mind that you can keep your membership for as long as you want, and if you ever want to cancel it, you can do it immediately.
Insurance carriers do not often cover online counseling. This is because some insurance companies need an official diagnosis and treatment plan made by your therapist. Even if the therapists on the site are qualified to do that, BetterHelp’s platform doesn’t allow them to make any official diagnosis or prescribe medication.
BetterHelp offers financial aid, and you can apply for it as soon as you register on the website. The site provides assistance based on the income of the client, so this can help you save from 20 to 50% of the total cost.
Privacy is one of the major concerns for people wanting to use online therapy services. BetterHelp provides a top-notch security system, which includes browsing encryption system (SSL) and bank-grade, 256-bit message encryption for your chats with your therapist.
Every counselor in BetterHelp is certified by their states’ board and are subject to local and federal privacy laws. BetterHelp also stores your information in their system and doesn’t share it with any insurance companies since they don’t cooperate with them.
Chat messages, phone calls, and phone calls are HIPAA-compliant, which helps to keep your information safe.
If you don’t feel comfortable using your real name in sessions, you can use an anonymous nickname, which is used by the system and counselors to refer to you.
BetterHelp Customer Support
BetterHelp provides customer support in three main categories: contact forms, direct emails, and a FAQ section. This is used for questions regarding the service, registration process, and general questions about the site. If you have a question about the service, you can check out the FAQ section first to see if they already have an immediate answer to that question.
Our Final Say
BetterHelp can be a reliable and effective alternative to traditional counseling for some people. You can get their service almost anywhere; you just need a device that connects to the internet and a stable internet connection.
Online counseling works for people who struggle with having in-office therapy, or just don’t feel comfortable with going to a therapist’s office yet. While it doesn’t replace traditional treatments, it can help some people who need that kind of service on-the-go.
BetterHelp is the largest online counseling platform worldwide. We make professional counseling available anytime, anywhere, via computer, tablet, or smartphone. BetterHelp changes the way all of us get help with facing life’s challenges by providing convenient, private and affordable access to a licensed therapist.
We found that we are able to successfully match you with a therapist most of the time; however, if you start the process and you feel your counselor isn’t the best fit for you, you can choose to be matched to a different counselor. After signing up, you will be matched with an available counselor who fits your preferences, and the type of issues you are dealing with. Counselors differ in approaches and areas of focus, so it’s important to find the right person who will be a good fit and can achieve the best results for you.
BetterHelp counselors are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (Ph.D. /PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC). All of them have a Masters Degree or a Doctorate Degree in their field. They have been qualified and certified by their state’s professional board and all completed at least 3 years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience.
BetterHelp would make a great fit for you if you’re looking to improve your quality of life. We have counselors who specialize in specific issues, from depression, anxiety and relationships, to eating, parenting, addictions, trauma, LGBT matters, religion, and much more.
BetterHelp might 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 counseling 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.