BetterHelp is one of the largest online therapy platforms serving millions of clients all over the world. Up until last month, the only licensed therapists employed by BetterHelp resided in the United States. Recently, BetterHelp has been recruiting UK therapists to join their platform. As always, an adult living anywhere in the world can utilize BetterHelp’s mental health support.
Those in the United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, can access the benefits of mental health support through BetterHelp online. According to BetterHelp, over 1.6 million people in 2021 were referred to mental healthcare within the United Kingdom. In this article, we will discuss BetterHelp in detail, costs, payment options, frequently asked questions, reviews, and more.
What is BetterHelp UK
BetterHelp is a secure and confidential online therapy platform employing thousands of licensed therapists. Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), and Licensed Psychologists (Ph.D./Psy.D) are available to serve clients in a multitude of online interface options.
Online therapy offers many benefits. Some benefits include the following:
- Few if any waitlists prior to treatment
- Many clients are matched with their therapist within 24 hours
- Wide selection of therapists, over 30,000 and counting
- No need to commute
- Childcare needs are limited (sessions can take place during nap time)
- Maintaining privacy (no need to go to a public office)
BetterHelp offers four different ways in which to engage in therapeutic services.
- You can exchange messages in a secure room 24/7 and the therapist will respond as soon as possible.
- You may talk with your therapist over the phone for sessions.
- You can chat live with your therapist at a scheduled time, exchanging messages in real-time.
- You may have a video conference session live with your therapist.
*Since most therapists are located in the United States, it will be important to be aware of time zones if you choose to utilize live services.
What types of issues can be treated by therapists at BetterHelp
Most mental health issues can be treated by a BetterHelp therapist. Common issues for treatment include but are not limited to:
- Grief and loss
- Relationship issues
- Life stressors
- Parenting concerns
- Social anxiety
- Life changes (job loss, moving…)
- Intimacy issues
- Low-self esteem
- Anger management
What types of therapies are used
There are a number of different treatment modalities a therapist might employ with their client. The type of treatment used will depend on the therapist’s training, the client, the issue being treated, and the treatment goals. Treatment methods used at BetterHelp include but are not limited to:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Client-Centered Therapy
- Solution-Focused Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Emotionally Focused Therapy
BetterHelp would not be a good fit for you if:
- You are a minor
- You require court-ordered therapy
- You are seeking medication management and prescription services
- You require an official diagnosis
- You are experiencing an urgent crisis or an emergency
BetterHelp is intended to serve adult clients seeking individual treatment. If you are seeking services for couples counseling, you can visit BetterHelp’s sister site, ReGain. If your teen (13-18) is in need of counseling, you can visit BetterHelp’s other sister site, TeenCounseling. Currently, BetterHelp does not offer therapy to children, nor do they have a sister site that serves this population.
Are there BetterHelp counselors in the UK
As mentioned earlier in this article, BetterHelp has just begun to hire therapists outside of the United States. Therapists from around the world may become more mainstream as regulations shift with the use of online communications. For instance, prior to the global pandemic, many states did not allow licensed therapists to support patients who resided outside of the state the therapist was licensed to practice in. We have seen many states loosen this restriction, as the need for more mental health services increased during the pandemic.
Research has indicated the effectiveness of online therapy. This report indicates the parallel success between in-person therapy and online therapy. As we continue to rely more on modern technology, and the importance of mental health continues to be recognized, the allowance for mental health treatment – regardless of licensure location – appears very likely.
Is BetterHelp covered by health insurance in the UK
The UK has a universal healthcare system, referred to as the National Health Service, or the NHS. These services are government funded and cover most medical and healthcare services to UK citizens.
Though the NHS is often thought of as one over-arching service for all citizens of the UK, each country has its own NHS. In Northern Ireland, their national health service is referred to as the “HSC,” and stands for the Health and Social Care Services.
There are some differences between each country’s NHS and what each government will cover. For example, the NHS in England may require patients to cover part of the costs for certain prescriptions, whereas other UK National Health Service programs will cover prescription costs in their entirety.
Mental health service costs are covered through the NHS but in some circumstances, a general practitioner’s referral will be required for some mental health services. Other mental health services, such as talk therapy, do not require a referral from a GP and therefore, one can self-refer for talk therapy services.
BetterHelp does not accept payment through insurance companies, nor does it acknowledge government-assisted healthcare services. BetterHelp only accepts direct payment from clients. However, in the United States, some insurance companies will reimburse for a portion of costs if presented with a “superbill” – which is an itemized bill for healthcare services. It is important to check with your NHS program to see if reimbursement for BetterHelp services is a possibility.
BetterHelp Costs in the UK
Weekly sessions with a BetterHelp therapist cost around £50-£80 per session. Billing occurs once per month for a total cost of £200-£320 and covers the cost of four sessions and unlimited messaging. Pricing is determined by the availability of the therapist, the platform’s current demand for services, and the client’s location.
According to the NHS, private therapy can cost between £10-£70 per session. Though this is a very affordable cost for private therapy compared to private therapy in the United States, which costs $200 per session on average, the availability or proximity of a UK therapist may be limited.
Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Veterans, students, and those receiving government assistance, are a few examples of populations likely to qualify for BetterHelp’s financial aid. A questionnaire is required for submission in order to receive financial assistance.
BetterHelp offers promotional discounts throughout the year, so be sure to keep a lookout for deals and discounts. Currently, BetterHelp is offering a 15% discount for the first month of membership.
Are there any Differences in the UK’s version of BetterHelp services
The short answer is no. There are no differences in the availability, variety, or treatment options available to those living in the UK than to those living in the US or Canada. The only significant difference would be having to be more aware of the time zone differences, as your therapist might be located in a time zone several hours behind the UK.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to convert my UK money into dollars for payment?
No, BetterHelp accepts credit cards for payment, and all conversions are automatically made via the credit card companies.
What if I need supplemental services locally, can a BetterHelp therapist help me locate services?
Though online therapists are not legally required to help you locate supplemental local services for your treatment, ethically, therapists are obligated to serve their clients to the best of their abilities. Therefore, if a client could benefit from an Alcoholics Anonymous group meeting for instance, the therapist is more than likely to help the client find those services.
With access to the internet, most services can be easily located. In most instances, the therapist will try to instill confidence in their client so they can self-advocate and find those services on their own. However, sometimes clients are struggling with motivation or depression, in which case it is likely the therapist will find those supplemental services on their client’s behalf.
What if I don’t like the therapist BetterHelp paired me with?
BetterHelp has each client fill out a form so they can help pair you with a qualified therapist to meet your needs. Unfortunately, not all pairings are perfect matches, which is why BetterHelp allows you to change therapists easily if you are not satisfied with your match.
Besides therapists being licensed, what are the therapist’s qualifications?
All of BetterHelp therapists are required to have either a Master’s Degree or a Doctorate degree in the mental health sciences. In addition to this, therapists must also have at least three years and 1,000 hours of clinical experience. BetterHelp also requires an exam as well as a video interview. Only 25% of applicants who apply are accepted at BetterHelp – establishing BetterHelp as a reputable provider of online mental health services.
All therapists have to be certified through their respective state boards. In California, the Board of Behavioral Sciences requires therapists to have over 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience and pass two state board exams. BetterHelp checks the therapist’s licensure status and also supplies their licensing information to clients, so clients can perform their own due diligence.
Reviews for BetterHelp UK
Ann Voorhees, LCSW
“Ann is respectful and an artful listener. When I was in my manic episode she was able to calm my mind and bring me back to the task. Ann was the correct fit for me as she has a great understanding of bipolar and menopause and the UK systems. I shall miss my weekly sessions with her as I always felt uplifted after our sessions. I was able to video call, write to her outside of the sessions and do regular journals that I knew she would read and make comments on. We laughed, we cried I got better through her understanding and skills as a counselor. Thanks, Ann.”
BetterHelp UK offers a variety of licensed and qualified therapists to serve most clients’ mental health needs, regardless of where clients live. Though the NHS covers talk therapy costs when treatment is through an NHS provider, availability and proximity to services may prove a hindrance to many. BeterHelp fills the need for mental health services while providing high-quality care at an affordable rate. If you are considering online therapy, try BetterHelp UK to get the support you deserve.