One of the most well-known online therapy companies in America is BetterHelp. But does the company live up to its name and actually offer better help? For people looking to get therapy help without the need to go into a doctor’s office or even leave the house, it’s certainly an option to consider. In our BetterHelp review, our expert team takes a deep look into everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
Stay tuned as our team takes a look at the ease of use, how to sign up, patient privacy, the services offered, the price, and whether BetterHelp is worth it.
Overall BetterHelp Review Rating
|Ease of Use||9.8/10.0|
|Cost of Care||9.7/10.0|
Pros and Cons of BetterHelp Therapy Online
- Over 13,000 licensed therapists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors to choose from
- Option to register anonymously if you want to (outside of an emergency contact)
- Simple cost structure—one plan that comes with every feature available
- Financial aid may be available (apply prior to checkout through the link below)
- Extensive advice and article resource collection available for free
- Only therapy services (no option to prescribe medicine)
- Generally not covered through insurance
The Editor’s Reviews
“I think it’s pretty neat that BetterHelp lets people sign up with a nickname or anonymously if they want to. While it’s not something I would have thought of, I can really see how some people who are new to all of this might really enjoy that option.”
– Jason Lee, Chief Editor of Best Online Dating
“For me, the quality of the therapists and providers is one of the most important things I look at. I really like how all of the therapists are licensed, but also they all have a master’s or a doctorate level degree in their area of expertise.”
– Linda Morris, Associate Reviews Editor
“During my BetterHelp review, I really liked seeing the simplicity of the pricing. Yes, it’s cool to get options sometimes, but when you’re struggling and need help, the last thing you want to have to do is make a lot of confusing decisions. One plan with all the features makes it really easy on people, and I love that”
– Christina Anne, Contributing Writer
Fast Facts About BetterHelp Online Therapy
- Founded in 2013 in Mountain View, CA
- 4.7 stars over 23,000 + reviews in iOS App store
- 4.6 stars over 12,000 + reviews on Google Play
- One of the few online therapy companies that allow registration with a nickname
- All of the therapists at BetterHelp have a Masters Degree or a Doctorate Degree in their field
BetterHelp Review Table of Contents
The Sign-Up Process
The process for getting signed up at BetterHelp is quite straightforward. You start by answering questions about yourself, your beliefs, your needs, and what you’re looking for with therapy. The process is a series of multiple-choice questions that change based on your answers to previous questions.
For example, if you answer one of the questions and note that you’re religious, you’ll get asked what religion you are, if you want that to play a role in your therapy, and a lot more specific questions to really help you hone in on what type of help you want.
What’s really cool about the sign-up process at BetterHelp is that before you decide to pay for your service, you’ll get to see the therapist options that are recommended for you. This was really one of the exciting parts of our BetterHelp review, as it gives you the chance to make sure you’re comfortable before deciding to sign up for service.
All in all, the questionnaire and sign up process took about 10-15 minutes, and the questions were all multiple choice and easy to answer. If you aren’t sure about a question, you can always put that you aren’t sure and move on to the next question. This was nice because we’ve seen some services that require an answer to every question, which can get frustrating when you just don’t know.
Services Offered by BetterHelp
One of the most important areas of any online therapy review is a look at what services the company offers. While you can’t get psychiatry help through BetterHelp (which means no prescriptions), you do have a full suite of options for licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors. In fact, you have over 13,000 providers you can be matched with!
How BetterHelp Works
After you’ve signed up and matched with your therapist, BetterHelp automatically creates a dedicated “room” for you and your therapist to start chatting. While the chatting isn’t technically real-time, it operates a little bit more like email within the room. You can send your thoughts, questions, and feedback to your therapist, and then they can respond to you. The room is open for you to use and communicate 24/7/365.
In addition to the unlimited text, video, and audio messaging, each BetterHelp account comes with one live session every week. This can be through video or audio, whichever you prefer. This operates much like a traditional therapy session, except that it takes place virtually.
The Extras We Found During Our BetterHelp Review
What’s really nice about BetterHelp is there are additional resources you get with a membership to help you on your journey. First, you get access to 20+ group sessions every week for free. These sessions are live and interactive and are just an added perk. Second, you’ll get access to over 150 digital worksheets that can help you really augment your care.
And lastly, you get flexibility. If at any point in your care you’d like to switch therapists, you can do it without interruption to your service.
Remember, all features are available to all members of BetterHelp. There is only one membership level that comes with all of the available features and resources.
When it comes to patient privacy, our BetterHelp review team reported a homerun. The website and apps all use high-level SSL encryption, messaging secured by 256-bit-banking grade encryption, and hosts its servers in an A-grade facility.
Additionally, here are some of the other ways that BetterHelp operates to keep you protected.
- All communication between you and your therapist is protected by state and federal laws.
- You have the option to “shred” any message that you send so that it doesn’t show in your account anymore.
- You’re able to sign-up with a nickname (essentially anonymously) if you desire the ultimate privacy.
- The company doesn’t cooperate or work with employers or insurance companies, so you don’t have to worry about your information being shared.
BetterHelp is HIPAA compliant.
And while we do lose out on a few features because of the anonymous option (insurance coverage, getting meds prescribed, etc.), the privacy benefits you gain might be well worth it to a lot of people new to getting online therapy help.
Cost and Insurance
You’ll see no complaints from us or other users when it comes to online therapy companies that keep pricing simple. While other companies have several different plans and a la carte features that require you to make a lot of decisions, BetterHelp keeps it simple. There is one plan that comes with all of the available features.
|Plan||Weekly Cost||Monthly Cost||Features|
|4 Week Plan||$60 - $80||$240 - $320||Unlimited text, video, audio messaging + 1 live session per week|
Key Details About the Pricing at BetterHelp
- All plans are billed in 4-week increments.
- You’re free to cancel at any point in time.
- The exact price depends on where you live and what you need.
- Payment is accepted through Visa, Mastercard, Discover Card, American Express, or Google Pay.
Does BetterHelp offer financial aid?
Yes, BetterHelp offers financial aid, depending on your specific needs and your situation. When you work through the sign-up process through the link on this page, you’ll find an option on the checkout screen to state that you are unable to afford treatment. From there, you’ll be taken to a financial aid form that you can fill out to apply.
No details are given on what is available but reach out if you are worried about the costs of your treatment and can demonstrate a financial need.
Does BetterHelp take insurance?
While you may be able to get your services covered through your insurance, the company is fairly adamant that it prefers not to work with insurance companies. Additionally, during the BetterHelp review, the company points out that the cost of services is low enough that even if your insurance did cover the online therapy, the deductible would likely be higher than the cost itself.
Is BetterHelp Worth It?
The verdict of our BetterHelp review is that the online therapy company is certainly going to be a great option for a lot of people. Let’s talk about who.
- If you’re looking for an affordable online therapy option that offers a wide array of different services and resources (including one-on-one sessions), BetterHelp is a great option.
- If you’re looking to get help online and remaining anonymous is important to you, BetterHelp is one of the few high-quality options willing to oblige.
- However, if you’re looking for somewhere that you can speak specifically with a psychiatrist or you’re positive that you want to use your insurance, you may want to look into another option.
Are all of the therapists at BetterHelp licensed?
Yes, all of the therapists at BetterHelp are fully licensed and hold a Masters Degree or Doctorate in their respective fields.
How long does it take at BetterHelp to get matched with a therapist?
According to the company’s website, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to get matched with a therapist. During our BetterHelp review, we had several options within about an hour to choose from.
Does BetterHelp take insurance?
The BetterHelp website states the company does not like to cooperate or work with insurance companies. Additionally, the company points out that the lower cost of its services means that most people who would be covered would end up paying more money with their deductible than just paying for the services outright.
Is BetterHelp better than Talkspace?
Both BetterHelp and Talkspace offer high-quality online therapy services. However, there are some major differences between the two. If you’re considering one of the two, check out the BetterHelp vs. Talkspace guide created to help you make the most informed decision.