Keeping schedules and mastering routines can sometimes feel overwhelming. Daily responsibilities can also make it challenging to find the time to seek necessary mental health care. Advances in technology make it possible for individuals to get the medical assistance they need conveniently, including psychological counseling.
BetterHelp is a telehealth platform that provides professional counseling for individuals struggling to meet daily challenges. Its licensed therapists are available for virtual sessions at any time through smartphones, tablets, and computers.
BetterHelp is one of the largest online counseling support networks worldwide. It has streamlined the process of connecting individuals with compatible board-certified and licensed therapists, clinical social workers, counselors, and psychologists. Because each person’s requirements are unique, however, what works for one may not prove successful for another. It’s imperative to weigh the pros and cons of the available services before making a decision.
Clients complete an online registration form that outlines specific issues and objectives, as well as personal preferences. The team matches available counselors who specialize in the area of focus.
To better meet its client’s needs, the BetterHelp system offers the convenience of 24/7 services.
BetterHelp’s vetting system is an intensive four- to five-week process that ensures its professionals are appropriately licensed and well-suited for its platform. In addition to certification information, applicants are also required to submit professional references and complete a case study and video interview.
While coverage varies depending on the insurance provider, BetterHelp’s services are not typically reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance policies.
BetterHelp’s mental health providers cannot make an official diagnosis in order to prescribe medication or satisfy a court order.
Clients’ financial accounts are debited for services a month in advance.
“I have only been working with a counselor for a couple of months and it has already given me more insight and understanding. I don’t feel alone anymore.”
“… I have been working with my Doctor at BetterHelp for 6 months … (It) has made me … able to work through obstacles … and find resolutions.”
“Better Help responded quickly to help me find a Therapist … I have found my Therapist to be educated, approachable, warm, respectful, and flexible.”
“The first therapist (sent) me prerecorded/pretyped messages after I poured my heart out … The second therapist was judgmental … Neither counselor I was “matched with” asked me a single question.”
“I just signed up last week … no therapist yet … However, BetterHelp has already debited the monthly fee from my account. That’s not the correct sequence of events as described in their terms.”
“The 3 counselors they match me with had no availability. One also never login for [a] session. I have asked for a refund through chat … No way to communicate with customer service but through email … no response.”
As a telehealth service, BetterHelp offers flexibility not available through traditional services. The platform’s marriage and family therapists, licensed psychologists, board-certified counselors, and clinical social workers are available to work with clients 24/7.
Clients begin the process by anonymously completing a questionnaire with general background information. The answers provide BetterHelp with an understanding of the issues to be addressed, and the client’s online therapy preferences.
Based on the provided responses, BetterHelp matches a client with a compatible professional. If the client finds the selection unsuitable, they can request a new match. Clients may also view individual provider’s bios and choose one they feel meets their needs. The process of matching an individual with an available counselor may take a few hours or several days.
While BetterHelp’s licensed and certified counselors and therapists’ services offer similar benefits to face-to-face sessions, they are not a substitute for those who require in-person appointments. For example, the telehealth platform may not be the right fit for individuals diagnosed with a severe mental illness.
However, the service offers a great deal of flexibility for individuals who are capable of virtual communication. The platform’s sessions may occur through live chats, email messages, video conferences, or telephone conversations.
Once a client and counselor are matched, they’re provided with a private and secure “room” to share information. Clients write about themselves, discuss areas of concern, and ask questions. Therapists provide feedback, offering insights and guidance. The client is notified by email when a response is received.
Clients may remain anonymous except for providing emergency contact information that the counselor will only use if they feel the individual poses a threat to themselves or others. BetterHelp does not share information with employers or insurance companies, and its servers are encrypted and protected through an A-grade secure facility.
As mentioned above, insurance coverage for BetterHelp’s services is limited to nonexistent. Clients’ PayPal or credit card accounts are automatically debited for sessions a month in advance on a recurring basis until the subscription is canceled. It’s recommended that clients confirm eligibility requirements prior to registration if they need a service covered by their insurance carrier.
BetterHelp’s customer service process involves completing an online contact form that provides specific request selections, such as questions about service or billing, and a space for a brief message.
BetterHelp’s comprehensive professional selection process includes verification of counselors’ licensure, identity, and professional references. Additionally, applicants are required to complete a case study exam and a video interview evaluation.
According to the company, approximately 15% of those who apply are accepted to work on BetterHelp’s platform. Its professionals have completed the required master’s or doctoral degrees in their fields, as well as a minimum of three years and 1,000 hours of practical experience.
Clients pay $60 to $80 per week for unlimited contact with their counselors. Their credit card or PayPal accounts are billed monthly, and payments are made a month in advance.
BetterHelp does not impose a time requirement. Treatment schedules are based on specific needs and preferences, and individuals may opt to cancel their subscription at any time.