BetterHelp Review (2021) – Best Comprehensive Review

7 min read

In this Betterhelp review, I’ll reveal how useful this mobile app is for delivering online therapy.

Is it the best therapy app around – and how does it compare to in-person therapy?

You’ll discover how it works, the key features and whether it’s worth the price. 

Let’s dive right into it.

Betterhelp: Overview

Betterhelp is an online service, which allows you to connect with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your own home.

The app is currently owned by Teladoc. It was the first commercially-available counseling app in the United States, and can now be accessed from anywhere in the world. 

For a monthly fee, you can engage with your therapist via text and video calls. These live sessions are ‘unlimited’, although you’ll have to work around the availability of the therapist you are matched with. In most cases, you’ll be able to organise one video call per week.

Still, this app provides incredible value for money compared to its competitors, and that’s a key reason why it’s currently the market leader.     

Price

Betterhelp costs $260 per month. This grants you ‘unlimited’ live sessions with your therapist (via telephone, video sessions and live chat). You’ll sometimes see this advertised as a weekly rate, but the Betterhelp website makes it clear that all customers are billed monthly.

At the time of this review, I scoured the web for Betterhelp offers, but couldn’t find any free trials or discount coupons. It looks like they may have been available in the past though. Consider following the Betterhelp social media pages to keep an eye out for future Betterhelp offers.    

Low-income users could be eligible for financial aid, granting them a discount of up to 40%. It’s quick and simple to apply for this before your service begins.

You may find that your health insurance provider is willing to cover the cost of Betterhelp, although it’s common that the co-pay will be higher than the several months of usage. 

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KEY HIGHLIGHTS

PROS
🟢 ‘Unlimited’ live chat and video calls.
🟢 Desktop and mobile.
🟢 Thousands of therapists to choose from.
🟢 Competitive pricing.
🟢 Switch therapists whenever you like.
🟢 Good customer service.
CONS
🔺 You’ll have to negotiate a counseling schedule based on your therapist’s timetable.
🔺 Most therapists won’t have time for more than one video call per week. 

Is Online Therapy Right For You? What To Consider Before Investing In Betterhelp 

Online therapy has proven to be a godsend for thousands of people struggling with mental health problems.

Have a look at the reviews for Betterhelp on TrustPilot, the iOS store or Google Play store. Lots of them mention the positive impact that therapy had on their day-to-day mood. 

Online therapy is cheaper than face-to-face therapy. These apps have therefore given thousands of low-income individuals access to therapy.

It can be argued that face-to-face counseling is more effective, as you and your therapist will find it easier to pick up on the nuances of each other’s communications. However, as web connections and video calling software becomes more powerful, this becomes less and less of an issue. 

It’s important to mention: therapists cannot prescribe medication or offer medical advice. However, it’s common that they’ll be able to refer you to someone who can.  

Betterhelp Features And Benefits 

Betterhelp is available across the world on desktop or mobile (iOS/Android). Below, I will describe and rate the main features of this therapy app out of five stars.  

Getting Started With Betterhelp 

A concerted effort is made to ensure you’re paired with the best online therapist for your needs. 

Once you’ve registered an account, you’ll be prompted to complete a 25-point questionnaire. These questions cover a few personal details, the basics of your current mental health situation and your preferences for working with an online therapist.  

A therapist will be chosen for you within a day based on your answers. 

However, if you prefer, you can visit the Betterhelp website and manually select your own therapist. It isn’t made clear that option is available, but there is nothing stopping you from doing this. 

Once your therapist has been selected, you’re prompted to pay for your service. 

The option to apply for financial aid is clearly presented to you, and it only takes a couple of minutes to do so. It only requires a few details about your household income. Your eligibility for financial aid is decided within seconds. 

Once you’ve paid for your service, you’ll be granted access to a private chat room with your therapist. Here, you can begin to organise the best time and date for your first live session. 

Getting started:

Usability

Simplicity is a key feature of the Betterhelp desktop and mobile app. Everything is centred around the private chat room with you and your therapist. This is where you’ll organise and conduct your online counseling sessions.

Even the most technophobic users should have no problem using this online service. 

The quality of the connection will depend mostly on your internet service, but Betterhelp has done as much as it can to offer a high-quality video calling service. 

Usability:

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Betterhelp Therapists

There are currently over 7,000 licensed therapists working with Betterhelp. To work with clients on this app, a therapist must have clocked up at least three years (and 2,000 hours) of experience.

Betterhelp therapists are put through a 4-week verification process – including a video interview and case study exam – before they can begin offering therapy through the app. It has been reported that only 15% of therapists who apply to work with Betterhelp are successful. 

This app has more therapists on its books than its competitors, despite being stricter about who can work with them.

Put simply, you don’t have to worry about the credentials of the therapist you are paired with. They are more than qualified to work with you.  

Even so, Betterhelp makes it simple to change therapists if you wish to do so. You can change therapists as often as you wish, and there are no repercussions for doing so. Simply click a button and Betterhelp will recommend a different therapist for you to work with. 

Choice and quality of therapists:

Payment Options

Betterhelp allows you to pay for your therapy sessions by debit card, credit card or PayPal. Your payments will automatically recur until you cancel. 

Payment options:

Security 

Betterhelp is HIPAA-certified, meaning it is bound by U.S law to follow strict standards of data protection. The same standards as all other U.S businesses. 

Betterhelp uses 256-bit encryption to protect your personal information.  

Security:

Responsiveness

Betterhelp advertises unlimited therapy sessions as part of its service, but that is a tad misleading. 

You’ll have to negotiate with your therapist when it comes to how many live video sessions you’d like per month.

This will all need to be organised in advance. Most therapists won’t be able to offer you more than one video call per week. 

Your private chat room remains open 24/7, but you shouldn’t expect your therapist to respond immediately, or outside of working hours. Most will respond to your live chat messages within 24 hours.  

Some therapists are more organised or less busy – and therefore quicker to respond than others. That’s down to the individual, rather than the Betterhelp platform. 

Still, if you’re unhappy with the responsiveness of your therapist, Betterhelp does let you change yours, no questions asked. 

Responsiveness:

Customer Service

Betterhelp runs a ticket-based email customer service. You can typically expect a response from its California-based team within 24 hours. If you get in touch during working hours, you may get an answer to your question much quicker.

The majority of Betterhelp reviews from previous customers suggest that its customer service is more than adequate. 

Customer service:

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel at any time. When you do, you can continue using Betterhelp until the end of the month you’ve paid for.    

Cancellation policy:

Value For Money

Betterhelp is cheaper than most of its competitors, even though it offers unlimited online therapy. The service isn’t truly ‘unlimited’, but it remains fantastic value for money, especially if you are looking to conduct a lot of live sessions.

Many of Betterhelp’s competitors charge a fee per video call. This could lead to a situation where a user feels like they need a counseling session, but doesn’t book one because of financial concerns. Not ideal.

I’d imagine most customers with mental health problems would feel more comfortable opting for Betterhelp’s unlimited plan, and being able to book an online counselling session whenever it is needed at no extra cost.

Value for money:

Talkspace Review

What Do People Think Of Betterhelp?

Betterhelp has attracted over 1,670 reviews on TrustPilot, with 87% of customers rating it as ‘great’ or ‘excellent’. Its average TrustPilot score is 4.5 out of 5.

There are few complaints about the usability of the app or the service offered. The majority of reviews mention how the customer ended up feeling much better after their online therapy sessions, and that’s the most important thing. 

Alternatives To Betterhelp 

Below is a summary of three other online therapy apps and how the service compares to Betterhelp.

Talkspace

Talkspace is arguably Betterhelp’s nearest competitor as far as numbers of users – and it’s designed similarly. However, instead of using the results of a questionnaire to choose your therapist, Talkspace arranges a one-on-one interview. This personal touch may be preferred by some customers.  

Its basic service is the same price as Betterhelp, although this doesn’t come with video counseling sessions. To book video sessions, you have to choose a higher price tier, which is significantly more expensive than Betterhelp.

Amwell

Amwell can connect you to doctors, as well as online therapy sessions.

You can connect with clinical psychiatrists, as well as receive expert counseling for niche issues such as menopause or pregnancy. 

You will pay per session, between $59 and $99 per hour, depending on the service required.  

7 Cups Of Tea 

7 Cups Of Tea used to offer a free online counseling service, where users can connect with volunteer ‘listeners’ and discuss their problems. It’s important to note that these ‘listeners’ are not qualified therapists or life coaches.

However, this app recently added an option to receive unlimited text counseling to connect with a licensed therapist. It costs $150 a month for ‘unlimited’  live text chat.

Once again, the service isn’t truly ‘unlimited’. You can expect your 7 Cups Of Tea therapist to get back to you once or twice per day on weekdays only.

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Conclusion: Betterhelp Is The Market Leader In Online Therapy For A Good Reason 

If you’ve decided that online therapy is right for you, I’d highly recommend finding a therapist through Betterhelp.

Although it’s also more than possible to receive an amazing counseling experience through its competitors, Betterhelp offers great value for money. 

In most cases, you’ll get a lot more out of video sessions than text-only services, and Betterhelp offers ‘ ‘unlimited’ video chat sessions at a great price. Click here to get started with Betterhelp online therapy >>