BetterHelp.com is the online home of BetterHelp, a company who says their goal is to provide their customers with access to quality, professional help when they are facing life's challenges so they can be happier.
The website promises that all the counselors you can be matched with through the BetterHelp website are licensed, board accredited, and qualified with either a PhD or a masters certificate in addition to years of counseling experience.
How Does It Work?
Customers will sign up for an account and fill out a short questionnaire so you can be matched with a professional counselor who can provide the support and guidance you need. Once you've created your account and been matched with a counselor, you will begin communicating with your counselor via online messages, whenever you need, on your schedule.
Customers can communicate with their counselor on an unlimited basis each week until they feel they have successfully overcome the problem or obstacle they were facing. Customers are welcome to cancel their membership at any time without penalty.
Customers can sign up, get matched, and begin speaking to your counselor all for free. Customers who decide to continue with their services will pay a flat fee of $35 per week for unlimited counseling, which gives you the ability to speak to your counselor as much as you need.
Since BetterHelp allows their customers to pay for services on a week-by-week basis, their website does not detail any overarching or general Refund Policy. Customers who feel they have an issue or complaint that warrants a refund should contact Customer Service and deal with their situation on a case by case basis.
Customer Service Contact Info
Customers who would like to contact their Customer Service team with questions, concerns, or complaints can do so by submitting them directly to their website through their Contact Us link, by phone at 888-688-9296, or by traditional mail at 440 N. Wolfe Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94085.
The few reviews available for BetterHelp at this time tend to be very positive, and reviewers describe a very professional and beneficial experience which just happens to have the added advantage of being accessible by internet or through your mobile device.
It is still important to understand, however, that BetterHelp does not claim that they are a replacement for professional therapy or counseling. They are an additional or alternative tool that people may use if traditional therapy is difficult to schedule or cost prohibitive, but depending on the issues you are dealing with, you may still be referred to a traditional mental health professional if that's what they feel is best for your needs.
Is It Safe?
Customers who are concerned with privacy issues are assured by BetterHelp.com that their system is HIPAA compliant to ensure your privacy. They provide banking grade encryption which allows users to be completely anonymous, even to your counselor.
Competitors and Alternatives?
Online counseling is a fairly new type of service and it doesn't seem as though BetterHelp has many competitors in the market right now.
If you have any experience with this company or their products, please leave your BetterHelp reviews below.
243 ‘BetterHelp’ Reviews
During my 7 day trial he got right to the heart of mys issue. I've been able to sign up for another week thanks to financial aid. Hope the good results continue now that I'm paying.
Just what I needed!
Wonderful service!!! I was a bit concerned during the free trial. It needs to be longer. I had to switch counselors before I found one that I clicked with so I only had a couple of days left to get to know her to make sure. It should also start over if you have to change counselors. That being said that is absolutely my only complaint at all.
I live on disability payments as my only income so even the $40 per week is a big deal to me so I applied for and was given financial aid. That was a great burden off of me and my family. I have not been able to seek traditional counseling because of the price of the co-pays which would be $40 per week. By them cutting them in half it made it where I could afford to get the help I had not been able to get.
The online setup is ideal for me as well. I am semi homebound so this is perfect. I have done traditional counseling but if I was having a bad pain day I would have to cancel and when you only see them once a week there goes any chance to talk. With this I can always grab my laptop and write whenever and as often as I want.
I did change counselors once but there was no problem and I was matched to another one within 24 hours. The second time I got Angela Underwood and we have been working together for a couple of weeks. We have done more progress in those weeks than some counselors in traditional settings have in months or even years of working with me. Because this can be very intense if you want it to be you can work through issues very quickly and efficiently. YOU pick the pace.
For those of you who are having trouble with the site before you give up on it I would say this. If you have a counselor who is not responding as often as you would like (within reason) or is not giving you the type of therapy that fits your needs - ask to change. This company will work with you. I am a MSW myself and I know you have to advocate for the type of help you need. No therapist is a one size fits all. And any therapist worth anything will not take it personally if you change so don't worry about hurting their feelings. This is YOUR time to take care of YOU. Get the counselor that works well for what you need.
The flip side of that is like any therapy, you only get what you put into it. You still have to work your butt off. Make sure you are opening up and trusting. It is hard whether it is online or face to face but it never works if you don't. But like a marriage, therapy is hard work.
I hope everyone can have as great an experience as I have.
Works For Me...Hopefully You Too
First off...I think a lot of people don't fully understand how this works, especially the billing and the expectations.
Billing seems simple, you're charged monthly, not weekly. If you'd rather be charged weekly, just wait until the end of the month...it's all the same.
Compared to an in-person psychologist, I think the rate is fair.
You need to make this site work for you. I personally like that I can talk to my therapist on my own time, and I don't have to drive to one once I've found a good one. I live in Los Angeles, so driving even five miles is a pain.
I clicked with the first therapist I was introduced to. She took time to get a good background on me before we dove into working on what I'm dealing with. She is through and she cares; she seems to want to know things that I don't think about talking about. There have been a lot of "ah-ha!" moments on my end.
The site works for me, it can work for you if you want it to. My therapist responds pretty quickly, hopefully yours does too.
My ONLY concern would be the free trial; it should be a bit longer so you can spend a bit more time with the therapist before you're charged - I don't think 7 days is enough time for two people with two schedules to communicate.
Answer to my prayers
❤❤❤ this service!!! I'm a casino employee, so with my crazy schedule its quite difficult to actually make time to physically see a counselor. Being able to communicate on my time, as often as I'd like...in writing, has been super wonderful! My counselor, Debrah Kulusich, has been so amazing, helpful, supportive, and professional. God answered my prayers with this service & this counselor! Worth the money!
Signed up for the free 7-day trial to try it out before I made a commitment.
I'm very glad that I did because after 2 days my counselor completely stopped answering me with no explaination.
I waited a few days until I figured that I probably wasn't going to get a response so I then contacted Betterhelp
I let them know that I was still interested in signing on for the month but wanted to be matched with and speak to a new reliable counselor before paying.
They never got back to me in time and my card was about to be charged so I cancelled.
It's a shame because the site is a good concept and has the potential to be a really great resource for people in like myself who have a tighter budget and/or busy lifestyle.
Counselors be careful
I am currently a counselor on BetterHelp.com but will be leaving the website ASAP. I think it is an awesome service and is an up and coming business that will be in demand.
However, the website doesn't provide counselors with any basic liability malpractice coverage - so if someone makes a claim against you (even if it's bogus), it's your license on the line.
I spoke with my state licensing agency and they said I should only be working with clients in my state, not from all over the country like I have been.
I am choosing to leave for now b/c I do not want to put my counselor license in jeopardy. You just never know.
Effective, Innovative & Highly Recommended
I signed up to Betterhelp in December last year and have been speaking to my counselor on an almost daily basis. I was very skeptical at first about the concept, speaking to a stranger and not face to face but my worries were quickly put aside by the efficient service of BetterHelp and my fantastic counselor. I didn't really connect with my first counselor but I managed to change her quickly and easily. My current counselor has been amazing and has helped me through a very challenging period of my life. I am eternally grateful to BetterHelp and my counselor for being there with me ... wherever I was :)
Not only does the counselor that they selected for me help me IMMENSELY (!!!!!), but when I accidentally chose the wrong plan and was charged $140 after my 7day trial, they went in and gave me a refund of $100 and changed my plan to the $40 a week plan.... I am so grateful for everything they are doing for me!! Thank you, BetterHelp.com . I will recommend your website to everyone I know!!!
Literally no response
So I decided to get help for my problem, some might think it's silly, some might think it was a joke, but this is everyday life at least for me. I figured getting some counseling for my problem for a few months, to help guide me through this would be the best solution. I started my free week on 3/14/2015 in the evening. I figured that I would get a counselor at least by Tuesday since I really didn't start until Saturday evening. I checked everyday, a counselor had not been assigned to me. By Wednesday morning still no counselor, the site said that usually within 24 hours a counselor will get assigned to a person. I figured 72 hours was more than fair to wait for one. It's unfortunate that people didn't take my problem seriously, I know I'm not alone in this world with such "trivial" problems. But at least I knew that I should try and seek guidance for it. Sorry that Better Help was NO help literally.
I left this review on their Facebook page and the next day got blocked from commenting. They also delete the other critical comments. The service is a scam. The free week thing is a lie, you will be charged for it if you decide to give it a try, it will be a part of the first month. For this first week you will be waiting for the answer from a "counselor " which will turn out to be a blueprint letter slightly personalized. They do not care about your issues, and if you happen to be depressed they will refer you to "your doctor". They won't deal with the depression (regardless of the question in the questionnaire). don't fall for it, just buy yourself something nice.
So Very Helpful
Some of are so busy we don't have the time to care for ourselves. BetterHelp let's you do it when you do have time. I've found that this is early in the morning some days and late evening other days. The counselor is so helpful. She has been a wonderful sounding board as well as provided excellent advise.
Highly recommend BetterHelp!!!!
I am a Betterhelp Therapist
I am a licensed, Ph.D. level Marriage & Family Therapist serving Betterhelp for almost 2 years. I have been practicing therapy for over 25 years, and am a university professor of psychology for the past 13 years. I was skeptical joining the service at first, but after a few short month I thoroughly realized that online therapy is extremely beneficial for a vast number of people, and for many different reasons. I see no difference in quality of service or the effectiveness of helping a patient reach his or her goals from traditional therapy.
I have read the poor reviews, and I must say that there surely are therapists who don't do a good job, just like in a traditional setting. But speaking for my profession, most therapists I know are completely committed to their patient's welfare, are highly skilled and trained, and do a great job helping people heal. If anyone has a poor experience with any therapist, they always have the option to change therapists. My standard, for instance, is to respond to a patient's letter within 24-36 hours.
I would encourage people pondering online therapy to make a decision to give it a try. From my experience, it is very very positive.
I'm just on the free trial right now. I've gotten a few, short response back to what I've written, but it's incredibly slow to get a response (for instance, I haven't gotten a response in 2 days). The counselor has responded with relatively generic answers to my specific questions. I think it would work if you had a really run-of-the-mill issue and either a) just needed to say something, even into the abyss or b) wanted generic feedback.
For $40/week, I'd expect multiple, detailed responses. (Or one highly detailed response each week, or MANY not detailed responses). For 2-3 vague and generic responses per week, I'll pass.
Better Help is helping me get out of depression
I have been struggling with depression for more than 1 year and have been taking anti-depressants with little improvement. I know therapy is important, but in the area where I live it is very hard to find therapists who accept insurance. Therapists normally charge between $150-225 per session, and like many people, I cannot afford these rates. After searching online, I found Better Help. I am extremely happy with my counselor. He has been insightful and always asks the right questions to help me make decisions. I can say that within a few weeks I am finally feeling more in control of my life and with the appropriate tools to continue getting better. He replies promptly and advises whether he will be unavailable. With regard to payments, the website clearly states how often the company will charge you. You get a discount if you make lump sum payments (monthly, quarterly, etc.). I chose the weekly plan in case I changed my mind, but I am thinking of switching to a monthly plan to get a higher discount. I highly recommend this service!
I have been extremely happy with BetterHelp.com--both the company and my counselor. I don't think this format is for everyone, but I know myself well enough to know that an online format was likely a very good way for me to get help. I have had enough in person counseling to have a valid comparison. I like that I have the time to formulate my thoughts and write things down. My counselor is amazing--she responds in a very timely manner and is very thoughtful and attentive to the things that I have written. Keep in mind this is a two way street--I feel as a client you need to take responsibility to express yourself well and dictate your needs and goals. Again, this is why this format might not be for everyone as not everyone is comfortable communicating clearly via email. I was very upfront with my counselor on what I hoped to get out of the relationship and time spent with her and she is very good at delivering that. You can also switch counselors if you need to so I never felt like I was locked into one person.
In regards to the complaints about cost and how people didn't know that after the trial it would be a a monthly charge, I blame that more on their lack of fully reading the website. It is very clear if you take the time to read what they outline. I am in marketing and understand what they are doing--they want to highlight the lowest price by stating it as $35 a week vs. the full monthly amount like any business would, but again, if you read completely you see how it is broken down.
I received a scholarship from BetterHelp.com at a time when I am struggling financially--they gave this to me with no hassle whatsoever and I fully intend to pay the full monthly amount when I am back on my feet. It's totally worth it!
I love betterhelp
My free trial was not that way at all we spoke several times before I had to pay but even when I had to pay I did. I can't afford to take time off this works very well for me. As a single working mother of two kids I don't have people I can spill my problems too. This is also much more affordable. Some therapists charge $150 an hour and with better help I get a month of talking for that amount. Also like someone else said if your not happy with the service you can switch counselors. Their customer service is fast too. This is NOT a scam. People use that word way too loosely. There's a big difference between just being unhappy with a provider and paying for a service you don't get. Give it w try before you judge.
Unhappy with counseling, was denied refund
I wrote a very long introductory message to my counselor, and she was rather obviously not interested in actually responding in a timely way to everything I had mentioned in that "initial session." I felt like she was just trying to get through the free trial week so I'd be roped into the pay subscription. I had hopes during the first few weeks that she'd actually get to everything I had sent her - but instead, she'd send me "check-in messages" to see if I was "okay." Um, no... I'm kind of waiting for you to get to the stuff that you never said a thing about. She would send me quotes and platitudes and would refer to things I had mentioned in very vague ways, and would ask stupid questions like, "How do you feel about this horrible thing that happened?" Um, duh. I feel horrible. I was billed for the first month, and then billed again BEFORE continuing counseling after that. I was refunded for the later billing, but have been refused a refund for the earlier billing, being told that I had exchanged several messages with my counselor, and that she should be paid for that time. Sorry, but I disagree. I could have received better counseling from an online robot.
horrible scam artists
Charged $140 after I cancelled weekly trial. Their website never even mentions charging one giant Monthly charge. I called Saturday. Got a phony supervisor. They lied said id be contacted within 24 hours then admitted they wouldn't be open until Tuesday (Monday is labor day). I am a single mom struggling financially and they made my situation horrible worse. Do not use
Convenient, Anonymous, Awesome
I've been talking with a counselor on BetterHelp for a couple of months and I really like it. I travel extensively for work and can't really see a therapist on a regular basis, plus I feel a lot more comfortable not talking to some one face to face, it's so much easier to send messages back and forth.
Fees are simply stated on the site, its pretty affordable I think, about the same price as a copay with your insurance.
If you don't like your counselor you can switch too which is nice to know.
I've had a really good experience with this site.
Up front and honest legitimate help.
Service is easy to use. Customer service if you have any questions is prompt and courteous which I love. I liked my counselor I could tell she read my long long long responses all the way through. I like the idea of online counseling. I'm glad I tried it. If I feel the need for help at any point in the future I would use this service again.