BetterHelp is a popular professional mental health service provider offering tele-counseling services worldwide. It is an online counseling platform with services in various countries, including Australia. BetterHelp Australia helps clients connect with licensed therapists and counselors from all over the world over a secure online platform.
Individuals can receive counseling and therapy from the comfort of their homes without traveling to the therapist’s office. This is particularly important in Australia, where people often live in remote communities far away from urban centers. With a functioning internet connection, people can access BetterHelp Australia to receive quality mental health care.
In this article, we take a closer look at what BetteHelp Australia is and how it functions in this particular country.
What are the benefits of BetterHelp Australia?
Better help Australia is an affordable and convenient solution for people who need mental health support without having to travel to a therapist’s office. The platform is user-friendly and helps individuals to receive quality care as and when they need it. Some of the services that BetterHelp Australia offers include family therapy, couples therapy, and individual therapy.
In addition, BetterHelp Australia offers several tools and resources for therapists and clients simultaneously. It also has a journaling feature and an online community forum where people can share their experiences and offer support to each other.
Here is a brief comparison of BetterHelp and traditional therapy in the context of Australia.
|You will be able to connect with a licensed mental health professional.||You can surely find a therapist registered with the PsyBA.|
|There is no need for in-office visits. You can message or call your therapist whenever you feel like it.||Registered mental health professionals have strict guidelines regarding how often you can contact them. Chatting over text applications or calling in-between sessions are a big no.|
|BetterHelp offers video sessions from the comfort of your home or wherever you choose to connect.||Traditional therapists may or may not offer online therapy.|
|Getting an appointment on BetterHelp is easy. You can choose the slot and book your session in advance.||Traditional therapists are often overbooked, especially in Australia. Hence, even if you find therapists willing to work online, you may not get a slot at your convenience.|
|BetterHelp provides digital worksheets, online journaling, and other therapeutic tools.||Conventional therapists usually need to be more technologically savvy and may ask you to write your thought diary manually.|
|Group sessions are easy to find and enroll in.||As Australia is a vast country that is sparsely populated, group sessions for Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and others may not be possible.|
|You can easily change your therapist if you have encountered a therapeutic roadblock.||Changing therapists may not only be difficult but may influence your future therapists’ treatment choices.|
How are therapists licensed in Australia?
Like in most countries, therapists are regulated in Australia. Clinical psychologists and other mental health professionals are governed by their respective regulatory bodies and need a license to practice. For example, clinical psychologists usually complete an accredited course in clinical psychology, write an exam, and then register with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA). PsyBA is a body under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). The PsyBA is also known as just “the board.” This board ensures that clinical psychologists adhere to certain norms and regulations and practice ethically.
There are ethical practice guidelines for tele-psychotherapy as well. Hence, one can say that teletherapy is regulated in Australia at the moment, and one needs to be a registered professional to offer therapy online. It is important to note that counseling is not regulated in Australia. Counseling is often provided to individuals who do not have a mental health condition as described under the DSM 5 or ICD 11.
Are there BetterHelp counselors in Australia?
Some PsyBA and AHPRA-registered therapists may work with BetterHelp Australia to provide mental health services to clients. BetterHelp works based on an algorithm which matches you with a therapist that is closely aligned with your requirements. It may ask you questions related to your psychological well being, your personality traits, etc.
Based on these factors, you will be matched with a therapist. However, this therapist may not reside in Australia. Nevertheless, they will be registered overseas as mental health professionals, which assures you of quality care.
Important: If you have been diagnosed with a mental health issue listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM 5) or the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Edition (ICD-11), you may be better served by a therapist in Australia. Although BetterHelp therapists are registered mental health professionals in their jurisdiction, they may not have permission to practice in Australia. Only those who are registered with the PsyBA can call themselves clinical psychologists and treat mental health issues.
Is BetterHelp covered by health insurance in Australia?
The Australian public health system includes Medicare, a form of health insurance. A number of private health insurance companies operate in Australia as well. To avail Medicare insurance rebates, you will need a referral from a general practitioner to a board registered therapist. Private health insurance plans are significantly more lenient and may offer direct rebates when you seek sessions with therapists in Australia.
Some health insurance plans in Australia cover online therapy, but only if you have clinical conditions. However, BetterHelp is an American online therapy platform; hence, it is not covered by health insurance in Australia. Most importantly, BetterHelp payment system does not accept insurance of any kind. You will have to pay for your sessions, although it is significantly cheaper than regular in-person sessions.
If you do not have a condition listed in the DSM 5 or ICD 11, Medicare may not cover insurance. You may still need therapy to address underlying emotional issues. In such cases, BetterHelp is a great option as it is much more economical than seeking a traditional therapist.
BetterHelp Cost in Australia
BetterHelp platform works on a subscription model, as you get access to live chat sessions and talk therapy. Hence, you don’t pay for a session but make monthly payments to the company if you choose the subscription model. However, paying for a single session can cost between 89 to 133 Australian dollars (AUD) per session (converted from USD at the time of writing this article).
In comparison, standard therapy costs anywhere between AUD 120 to AUD 300 per session. This means you will end up paying between AUD 480 to AUD 1,200 per month if you choose traditional talk therapy. Hence, in the long term, BetterHelp is more economical.
If you have a financial condition that makes it difficult for you to pay for therapy, BetterHelp has a discount plan. However, you will need to contact BetterHelp customer care to find out if such discounts are valid at the time of registration.
BetterHelp Payment Options in Australia
As a popular online therapy platform, BetterHelp has a PCI-DSS compliant online payment processor. The company accepts cards issued by Visa, MasterCard, and others. In addition, you can also use PayPal to make payments for your weekly or monthly subscriptions. Please remember, BetterHelp does not accept insurance, and Australian insurance companies will not pay for your overseas online therapy sessions anyway.
Betterhelp in Australia: Features
BetterHelp offers similar features across countries. Whether you are located in Australia or elsewhere, you gain access to the same quality mental health care available on any device, anywhere. Hence, when we talk about BetterHelp features in Australia, we are talking about what it offers to everyone who subscribes worldwide.
Broadly, let’s summarize BetterHelp features into technical and user features:
- You can rest assured that your privacy is taken care of, as BetterHelp uses industry-standard encryption. All communication between you and your therapist is safely transmitted.
- You can access BetterHelp on various devices, from desktops and laptops to mobile devices.
- BetterHelp is available round the clock, and you can access your therapists whenever you want.
- The tool has a valuable notification system, which lets you know if you have any messages from your therapist.
BetterHelp also has several useful user features. These include:
- A matching system that is based on an algorithm. You can rest assured that your needs and requirements are taken care of.
- You can update your profile anytime and enter your mental health history. You can also add your therapy goals, which will help your therapist to understand what you seek.
- The tool has a Message Center, which allows you to communicate with your therapist, especially if you do not want to go on a video call. Live sessions help those who are okay with going live on camera or phone.
- The tool provides excellent customer service, and you can write to them via email and live chat support. In addition, the FAQ section answers most of your questions.
In short, BetterHelp is a user-friendly platform that makes seeking counseling and therapy easy.
Price comparison for therapies in Australia
Here are the different types of therapists and their approximate cost per session in Australia, along with a brief description of their role:
|Mental Health Professional||What they do||Cost per 45-60 minute session in AUD|
|Clinical Psychologists||Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental health conditions using different kinds of evidence-based therapies, such as CBT, Schema Therapy, and DBT.||$280, as recommended by the APS.|
|Family therapists||Family therapists treat a family unit as a whole, as they believe problems often stem from family dynamics. They work with each family member to ensure the problematic behavior is addressed.||Between $120 and $250 per session. |
|Marriage counselors||Marriage counselors work with couples to address various problems that may arise within a relationship. Issues usually are related to intimacy and communication between the couple.||Between $100 and $250 per session. |
|Academic counselors||Students face an enormous amount of stress. They may also find it difficult to choose a career path that works for them. Academic counselors help students wade through these and other related issues.||Between $80 and $150 per session|
|Psychiatrist||A psychiatrist is trained in both modern medicine and mental health conditions. They adopt a biological view of mental health disorders, and prescribe medicines to treat them. Clinical psychologists often work with psychiatrists to provide the best care possible to their clients.||Between $200 and $400 for a consultation.|
The prices listed above are only estimations, and individual therapists may charge according to their business practices. Moreover, their location, experience, and professional qualifications matter when setting their prices. If you do not suffer from a moderate to severe mental health condition and are looking for an affordable therapist to work things out, BetterHelp is a good option. Sessions cost between $89 and $133 per week (Australian Dollars), and you can choose between weekly or monthly subscriptions.
Betterhelp in Australia: Features
Here is a table summarizing the features of BetterHelp in Australia:
|Therapy types||BetterHelp offers a variety of therapies depending on the therapist’s experience and qualification. The platform offers help to individuals, couples, and teens.|
|Therapist credentials||All therapists on BetterHelp are registered mental health professionals in their own countries. Hence, they are legally allowed to practice as therapists within their jurisdiction. However, as long as you seek counselling for regular emotional issues (and not moderate to severe mental health issues), you can get quality therapy for a reasonable price.|
|How does it work?||All you need to do is to answer some questions during registrations. Based on the answers you provide, BetterHelp will assign a suitable therapist.|
|Platforms||You can choose between messaging, chatting, phone calls, and video sessions.|
In short, BetterHelp is a great option for those who need affordable therapy from the comfort of their homes.
Are there any differences of Betterhelp applied to Australians?
BetterHelp is a US company and as therapy is a regulated profession, you may find that there are certain differences in how things work when compared with therapeutic guidelines in Australia.
- Availability of Therapists: BetterHelp operates in Australia, but the therapists available on the platform may be different from other countries, such as the US. The availability of therapists in Australia is influenced by its small population, and hence most therapists on BetterHelp tend to be from overseas.
- Regulations: Therapists must comply with the mental health regulations and guidelines set by the Australian government. This means that they are registered with the PsyBA and AHPRA. This is why we have repeatedly urged our readers to use BetterHelp only if they need emotional support and counseling, which does not amount to a mental health condition.
- Payment Options: BetterHelp accepts payment from Australian users through credit card, PayPal, etc. However, users in Australia may not have access to all payment options available in other countries.
- Cost: The cost of therapy sessions on BetterHelp may differ for Australian users due to differences in currency exchange rates and local market conditions.
- Time Zone Differences: Australian users may experience time zone differences when scheduling appointments with their therapist, especially if their therapist is located in a different country. As most therapists registered with BetterHelp seem to be located in the US, this can prove to be a disadvantage.
Despite these differences, BetterHelp still offers a range of benefits and features for Australian users, including affordable therapy options, a variety of therapeutic services, and convenient communication options with licensed mental health professionals.
Important: If you have been diagnosed with a clinical psychological or psychiatric condition, we recommend seeking help from a PsyBA and AHPRA registered professional.
Online Therapy in Australia – FAQ
What is online therapy?
Online therapy, also known as tele-psychotherapy, is just therapy delivered virtually. The therapist and their client connect virtually using the internet and may communicate through text messages, phone calls, video conferencing, etc. Online therapy is beneficial in geographically vast countries like Australia, where gaining access to a therapist in person can be difficult and expensive.
Is online therapy legal in Australia?
Yes, it is. The Australian Psychological Society has launched a platform called PsychEngage, which allows people to connect with Australian-registered clinical psychologists and other therapists. However, platforms like BetterHelp may or may not connect you with an Australian-registered therapist. Hence, it is advisable to seek general counseling on such platforms.
How much does online therapy cost in Australia?
While Australian clinical psychologists and other therapists may charge anywhere between AUD 100 to AUD 400 for a session, it may cost between AUD 89 and AUD 133 per week on platforms like BetterHelp. It is important to note that Australian insurance providers do not cover BetterHelp and other overseas therapy service providers.
How do I choose an online therapy provider in Australia?
If you have a mental health condition, you can use PsychEngage, an initiative by the Australian Psychological Society. Otherwise, BetterHelp is a good option for regular counseling. The most important thing to do is to seek help where you can find it. If in-person therapy is hard to find, online therapy is an effective alternative.