BetterHelp is the world’s largest online therapy platform, with over 23,000 mental health providers (including therapists, counselors, social workers and psychiatrists) serving clients around the globe. Its standard membership includes weekly virtual therapy sessions that can be done via video, phone, or messenger.
When you first visit the site’s landing page, you’ll choose whether you’re looking for individual, couple, or teen therapy. From there, you’ll be asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire with questions on the following:
After completing the questionnaire, you’ll create an account, answer a couple more questions, and be directed to a payment page. To proceed with therapy, you first must purchase a subscription, which includes payment for four weeks’ therapy upfront. At the time of writing, it’s not possible to pay for a single session.
You’ll be matched with a therapist based on your answers to the questionnaire. Your therapist will then review your information and you can start communicating with them through text, video, or audio in BetterHelp’s messaging room. Similarly, weekly therapy sessions can be done by phone, video, or live chat. If your assigned therapist doesn’t feel like the right fit for you, you can request to work with someone else at any time.
Clients can send a message to their therapist at any hour of the day through the messaging room. However, it’s not always possible for a therapist to respond immediately. In addition, remember that your therapist won’t be physically present with you, so they can’t intervene in the event of a crisis. Be sure to have an alternate plan in place for how to manage emergencies.
If you or a person you know is in danger of harm, call 1-800-273-8255 in the US or your national mental health hotline. If you are unsure of whom to contact, call the police (911 in the US, 112 in Europe).
BetterHelp employs numerous types of licensed professionals such as counselors (LPCs), social workers (LCSWs), marriage and family therapists (LMFTs), clinical psychologists (PhDs or PsyDs), and psychiatrists (MDs). All therapists operate as independent contractors and are not employees of BetterHelp.
Each therapist has their individual areas of specialty listed on their bio page, but some common types of counseling offered on the site include:
-Couple and family therapy and family conflict
-Treatment for anxiety and depression
-Stress, anxiety and depression
-Eating and sleeping disorders or disruptions
-Religion and faith
BetterHelp may be best suited to patients with internet access who are new to therapy or who have difficulties accessing in-person counseling services. Online therapy is often more affordable than face-to-face therapy, and some patients may find it easier to fit virtual sessions into their schedules.
In some areas of the world, there are strong cultural and communal stigmas around receiving mental health care. Online therapy is a discreet option that enables you to get the help you need without having to leave your home—nobody else has to know unless you choose to tell them.
The company’s website underscores that BetterHelp is not suitable for patients who are under 18 years of age, have severe mental illness, are in emergency situations, or are experiencing suicidal or homicidal ideation. BetterHelp practitioners also can’t make an official diagnosis, fulfil court orders or prescribe medication.
According to BetterHelp’s FAQ section, therapy ranges from $60 to $90 per week, depending on your location, preferences, and therapist availability. This amount includes a weekly therapy session of 30 to 45 minutes, plus the ability to send messages to your therapist at any time.
Payments are made in monthly installments, and you can cancel your subscription at any time. Discounts are available for certain groups of people (such as students and those financially affected by COVID).
BetterHelp is unique because it is:
-The largest online therapy site in the world, with tens of thousands of providers
-A flexible, affordable option for both clients and therapists
-Accessible even for people living in remote areas
The site offers an FAQ page listing answers to many common questions. Customers needing additional support can visit the Contact page and fill out a form requesting help. There are also physical and email addresses listed:
990 Villa Street,
Mountain View, CA 94041
At present, live chat and phone support are not available.
Many clients have had positive experiences using BetterHelp. Here are just a few excerpts of client testimonials from the website:
“Alison is a huge part of my support system, having her as my therapist has been an honor and everyone around me can see my growth. The first step is being willing to talk about your problems the next is building a strong foundational support system and Alison is a Keystone in mine.”
“Carmen has been so helpful while I go through several major life transitions and deal with some tough emotions. I have a much better grasp on my overall mental health, specifically my anxiety. I’ve been in therapy off and on for years and Carmen is the first therapist I feel really understands and sees what I’m facing even without being able to verbalize it myself. I’m eternally grateful for her help in this time.!”
“She understands what my concerns are and is working with me to have a plan to address my concerns. Very easy to talk to, I feel super comfortable around her, I'm glad and thankful she is my therapist.”
BetterHelp provides a convenient option for people who want mental health counseling but can’t (or don’t wish to) see a therapist in person. For a weekly subscription, clients can access virtual video, phone, or text therapy sessions with licensed professionals. The price is more affordable for many patients than in-person therapy, and the financial aid plans make the service even more accessible to a wide range of people.