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Betterhelp was founded in 2013 and since then built up a team of over 8000 highly-qualified professionals. Their mission is to offer easy access and tailored service to all. Betterhelp offers one-to-one sessions and even group seminars through an app suitable both for iOS and Android, and a web app for any desktop. An experienced therapist is carefully assigned to each patient and they can interact through text, phone, and video call, offering both unlimited open chat and live sessions. The platform is highly secure and fully HIPAA compliant, ensuring that all patient data is protected using state-of-art security. Patients are therefore guaranteed freedom, privacy, and expertise, and a service tailored to fit their needs.
Who is Betterhelp Ideal For?
Busy professionals dealing with anxiety or emotional problems.
Betterhelp offers therapy catered to any adults seeking counseling. Due to the nature of the online format, it’s very suitable for all those who are restricted by time or money and aren’t able to visit a therapist in person. During the sign-up process, all members must take part in a questionnaire in order to assign them a therapist.
They are then asked to answer questions about their recent mood, and their reason for wanting to see a therapist, for example. Whereas as they aren’t permitted to choose from a list of individuals, they can specify to have a therapist older than 45, choose their gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. The reasoning behind this is to create a rapport between therapist and patient by enabling them to share similar life experiences, but it’s not compulsory to select these preferences.
Pros and Cons
- Unlimited sessions with highly qualified therapists
- 7-day free trial
- You can change counselor
- Tailored service with a specialized counselor
- Financial aid offered
- HIPAA compliant and very secure
- Easy to use interface
- Plenty of information offered and therapy sessions fully explained before you start
- No message only subscription option
- You can’t choose your counselor, only matched by questionnaire
- No set response time, but counselors usually reply the same day
- Not covered by standard medical insurance
- It only takes approximately 24 hours to be matched with a specialized counselor.
- Counselors are matched according to your preferences and their area of expertise.
- You get your own user-friendly and secure chat space similar to Whatsapp or basic social media.
- Your counselor can be contacted 24/7 through the messaging service and you can book a live session ahead of time, which is also encouraged.
- Therapy sessions are also offered in the form of “groupinars” which are included in the price and cover various topics such as depression and stress management, family, or couples counseling.
- Worksheets and homework are provided as part of the package.
- Affordable service from $40 a week that can be canceled at any time
- 7-day free trial
- Betterhelp offers a range of treatments:
- Mindfulness-based therapy
- Family therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Supportive family therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Couples therapy
- Webinars “groupinars”
Betterhelp is compatible with Android, iOS, and desktops, so it can be accessed from any smartphone, tablet, or PC. You can communicate with your counselor in different ways whenever is convenient for you, according to your needs and availability. The unlimited service includes:
- Unlimited messaging
- Live chat sessions
- Phone sessions
- Video sessions
Once matched with a counselor you are given a dedicated “room” as a private and secure place to talk. You are encouraged to write about yourself and anything going on in your life. Counselors are available to answer any questions and offer guidance on any issues that trouble you. The service is 24/7 and available from anywhere with internet connection. You can message your counselor at any time, and they will respond with insight and advice. Live chat sessions are also included in the price, and easy to book. There’s a button to click and choose a time and date at the bottom of the chatbox.
Live Chat Sessions
- These offer the same convenience and privacy but take place in real-time.
- Instant reply and feedback
- You can schedule a time that is convenient for you, and simply log in at that time.
- Phone calls available – log in to confirm and the system will dial your number
- Video call option – for a virtual face-to-face experience
What’s Unique About Them
Although they’re not the only online therapy option out there, Betterhelp stands above the rest for a couple of reasons.
Along with positive reviews, the Betterhelp service is also scientifically proven. A study was carried out by the University of California involving patients with depression. The study found that the majority of individuals reported that their symptoms were “significantly reduced” after attending Betterhelp online therapy sessions.
The same study also found the sessions demonstrated a strong client-therapist connection, which is crucial in the effectiveness of counseling. In fact, the study revealed that Betterhelp counselors were able to build even a stronger bond with their client’s than traditional face-to-face therapy. Consumer reviews often mention that as well.
Pricing and Fees
After the initial 7-day free trial period, you can choose a plan that works best for you. The pricing ranges from $40 to $70 per week (billed monthly), depending on the length of commitment you choose, and you can pay via credit card or Paypal, on a recurring basis. With all subscriptions, you are automatically entitled to unlimited chat and video calls, you can book weekly live sessions and have the option to change therapists.
You have the flexibility to cancel or change your counselor at any time and the customer service team is available to help you do so. The only negative point some reviewers have made is that there only appears to be one package mentioned on the website. The difference between paying $40 and $70 is not clear. Overall, however, the service is excellent value for money for the convenience it provides, and considerably cheaper than traditional in-office counseling.
Confidentiality and Privacy
According to Betterhelp’s own website, they are “obsessed” with protecting your privacy. You can choose to remain completely anonymous. When anyone signs up for Betterhelp they are given the option to use a nickname instead of their real name. There is a shred button if you want to delete any messages. Only the site administrator will have access to personal details and emergency contact, not the assigned counselor. Phone calls are initiated automatically by the system, so the counselor won’t see your phone number either.
The security in place is state-of-the-art with bank-grade 256-bit encryption, with servers in an A grade facility. The browsing encryption system follows modern best practices and databases are automatically encrypted or scrambled if stolen. Betterhelp platform is highly secure and fully HIPAA compliant.
Betterhelp has a team of over 8,000 qualified, highly-trained counselors, offering therapy in all fifty states. The duly licensed and certified counselors go under a strict recruitment process and are a mix of accredited psychologists (Ph.D., PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW, LMSW), licensed professional counselors (LPC). With all counselors holding a Doctorate or Master’s degree in their field, plus a minimum of 3 years and 2000 hours of hands-on clinical experience, you can be guaranteed a very high standard of mental health care.
Specialties and Expertise
With such a large number of highly-qualified and specialized counselors, Betterhelp therapy sessions can cover all areas that you might need help with. Some of the main issues they have expertise in include:
- Family issues
- Teen challenges
- Workplace stresses
- Social anxieties
- Feelings of Guilt
- Divorce and separation
- Overcoming infidelity
- Anger management
- Chronic stress
- Eating disorders
- Conflict resolution
- Sleep disorders
- Relationship issues
- Trauma counseling
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- LGTB matters
BetterHelp has been reviewed by a number of bodies and had a lot of positive press. The study undertaken by the University of California tested the effectiveness of online therapy sessions on depression, using Betterhelp as an example. The results were very positive and participants praised the expertise and professionalism of the counselors, along with claiming they were able to build a strong connection with them. The majority of the participants also confirmed a significant reduction in depression.
Betterhelp reviews, in general, praise the expertise of the counselors and the convenience of the service. On Trustpilot, one customer review stated that they could not recommend Betterhelp more highly, due to its “broad range of accessibility options and professional support”. There is the occasional negative. One Betterhelp review stated the service is reasonable, but the website doesn’t include all pricing.
Some customers are put off by the video chat option, but in many cases, people have said they’ve been made to feel at ease immediately. In one review, a previously anxious customer said having the option to do live chat, “helped me create a trusting relationship with my therapist”. This then gave them complete confidence to try video conferencing as well.
Betterhelp has also been mentioned in several reputable publications – The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek have all reviewed their online therapy sessions. According to the Wall Street Journal, the format helped identify anxiety triggers and coping mechanisms faster, due to “the open-ended nature of the text chat”.
Other “Good To Knows”
A sliding scale payment option is available to those entitled to financial aid. You can apply for this directly on the Betterhelp website in a few quick and easy steps.
Betterhelp is the leading part of a wide network linked to a number of other companies, like Regain.com that offer specialized therapy for a range of demographics such as teens and the LGBTQ and Christian communities
The Betterhelp mission statement is to provide therapy anytime and anywhere, to anyone who needs it. Mission accomplished, without a doubt, due to its fast-growing network of certified therapists worldwide, and unlimited accessibility.
Betterhelp is the best value for your money online therapy platform that connects you to highly qualified mental health care providers and enables you to take charge of your life and set yourself free from the limiting beliefs and issues that have held you back. Start your 7-day free trial and see for yourself.
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