Published: March 5, 2021
It can take weeks or even longer to get a traditional counseling appointment, but thanks to the growing demand for online therapy, you can talk to a licensed counselor whenever you'd like. BetterHelp is the largest platform for online counseling nationwide, with a network that includes accredited psychologists, clinical social workers, and marriage therapists. The service is ideal for anyone who would like to improve their mental health and quality of life, including those struggling with anxiety, depression, or another mood disorder.
Our review: BetterHelp connects you with an online therapist in less time than it takes to get an in-person appointment. It's convenient, private, and a good choice when you need to talk to a counselor right away.
What You Should Know About BetterHelp
- Flexible counseling options
- Large network of licensed therapists
- Unlimited messages with your therapist
- Insurance not accepted
- Subscription required
How Does BetterHelp Work?
BetterHelp connects you with licensed counselors and psychologists via mobile app, phone call, or email whenever it’s convenient for you. Because the service is subscription-based, it usually isn’t covered by insurance. You’ll pay anywhere from $240 to $360 per month, depending on your location and which therapist you see.
BetterHelp providers offer talk therapy for personal issues, mood disorders, and many other mental health concerns. The service isn’t suitable for those who have a severe mental illness that requires medication, as therapists on the platform aren’t licensed to write prescriptions for prescription drugs.
How do you use BetterHelp?
You can speak with a BetterHelp therapist via video conference or live chat on the app, which is available for all Apple and Android devices. Therapists are also available to speak with you by phone (mobile or landline). Once you’ve connected with a counselor, you’ll have access to 24/7 messaging and can send them a secure email anytime.
How much does BetterHelp cost?
|Online therapy (includes virtual consultations, live chat, and unlimited 24/7 messaging)||$60-$90/week, billed monthly|
Does insurance cover BetterHelp?
Insurance usually doesn’t cover BetterHelp because a monthly subscription is required to use its services. Prices are similar to the average copay for an in-person therapy visit, and the rate you’re charged varies and depends on your location and therapist availability. You can pay with most major credit cards or your PayPal account.
What does BetterHelp treat?
BetterHelp offers individual counseling for mood disorders, grief, life transitions, relationship conflicts, and many other mental health concerns. Although the service is comparable to in-person therapy, it’s not always a suitable replacement. BetterHelp is not intended to treat people with severe mental illness or those who have thoughts of harming themselves or others. You can’t use BetterHelp if you’re required to attend counseling by a court order or another authority. The service doesn’t include therapy for couples, families, or minors under 18 years of age.
Can BetterHelp write prescriptions?
Prescriptions are not available through BetterHelp. Its network consists of psychologists and therapists who aren’t able to write prescriptions because it’s outside of the scope of care they’re licensed to provide. If you believe that you need antidepressants or any other type of medication, BetterHelp may not be a good fit for you.
When can you get a BetterHelp appointment?
It takes just a few minutes to set up your BetterHelp account, which includes answering questions about your mental health concerns, treatment goals, and the reason for your visit. Depending on therapist availability, you can get an appointment in as little as a few hours, but it can take up to four days in some cases. Video consultations and live chat may or may not be available 24 hours a day; this depends on the appointment hours your therapist offers. You can email your therapist 24/7, although response times will vary.
Can you pick a BetterHelp doctor?
BetterHelp matches you with a suitable therapist based on your location and reason for seeking counseling, so you’re not able to choose the provider you’d like to see. If you feel that a therapist isn’t a good match for you, BetterHelp will pair you with a different provider upon request. Counselors on the platform must be fully licensed with at least three years and 1,000 hours of direct patient experience. To be included on the platform, they must complete a background check, video interview, and case study exam by a licensed clinician.
How can you get BetterHelp support?
If you have questions or need technical assistance, you can message customer support on BetterHelp.com or send an email to [email protected]. You can also take advantage of the FAQ section on its website, which includes the answers to many common questions. BetterHelp does not supply a phone number or other means of live support.
What Customers Say About BetterHelp
Good reviews about BetterHelp
“My counselor was extremely helpful and I immediately clicked with her. It only took one session to see very real gains.”
“ I was hesitant to try this form of therapy at first, but this has been overall a wonderful experience.”
“My counselor through BetterHelp has been a breath of fresh air. I immediately felt a connection with her and was at ease with talking to her.”
Bad reviews about BetterHelp
“Sessions are too short and my counselor was unresponsive and our time differences made it too difficult to communicate.”
“Not only was I hastily given the opposite of what I wanted, they tossed me someone who wouldn’t even know where to begin with my trauma.”
“The problems that I clearly wanted to address never were addressed with three therapists.”
BetterHelp is a solid choice when you need to talk to a therapist but can’t wait weeks for an in-person appointment. One of the platform’s best features is its large network of counselors and the wide range of mental health concerns they can treat. The company takes the effort out of finding counseling services — just answer a few questions, and you’re partnered with a caring therapist who’s equipped to help you. All counselors undergo a rigorous screening process that includes a professional reference check and license verification so you can feel confident in the care you’ll receive from any therapist in the BetterHelp network.
The platform’s appointment flexibility is another big plus. The company allows you to connect with a therapist in the way that’s best for you, whether that’s via video chat or over the phone. Once you’ve paired with a therapist, BetterHelp gives you a private virtual room where you can send messages, book an appointment, or view your session notes at any time. One drawback is BetterHelp’s requirement that you pay by the month, which may not be ideal if you just want one session or aren’t sure if online therapy is right for you.