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What Is BetterHelp? 

BetterHelp is an online mental health platform, meaning all mental health services through BetterHelp take place online.

For a monthly fee, users have access to 33,000 therapists with a wide range of specialties, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Couples counseling
  • Trauma
  • OCD
  • Bipolar
  • Personality disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Substance abuse

Therapists utilize a number of psychotherapy techniques based on the user’s unique needs, including Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Users can communicate with a therapist anytime via a messenger on the website’s user-friendly platform. Users have the option to go back and read old messages or delete them based on their preferences. Even if a user decides to cancel their account, they will still have access to old messages.

Subscribers can also schedule a weekly video chat appointment or phone call appointment.

If a user wants to communicate with a different therapist for any reason, BetterHelp makes it easy to quickly change therapists.

What To Look For 

There are several online mental health options out there. What should you look for in mental health treatment?

Some of the things we will consider in this review include:

  • Cost
  • Free trial
  • Convenience
  • User-friendliness
  • Effectiveness
  • Services offered
  • Quality of therapists
  • Reviews

Pros and Cons of BetterHelp

Pros of BetterHelp:

  • Convenient
  • Cost-effective with exclusive 15% promo code
  • 33,000+ licensed and experienced therapists
  • Over 4M users.
  • Subscriptions as low as $65/week,
    billed every 4 weeks.
  • You can get matched with a licensed
    therapist within 48 hours.
  • iOS and Android app available.

Cons of BetterHelp:

  • Cannot prescribe medication
  • Cannot provide a professional diagnosis
  • Not suitable for emergency situations
  • Does not satisfy court-ordered therapy
  • No in-person appointments

What Are The Key Features Of BetterHelp?

In this section, we will cover some of the key features of BetterHelp to help you understand what you can expect when you use the platform.

Convenient Online Therapy Sessions

We all live in a busy world, making it difficult for many of us to get to a therapy appointment.

One of the main aspects of BetterHelp is that users can access mental health care from home through their computers.

Users schedule their video call appointments and phone appointments based on their therapist’s availability. However, it’s easier to fit mental health care into your schedule when you can attend the meeting at home.

Additionally, people often feel more comfortable at home. They also won’t have to worry about seeing someone they know at the therapist’s office. Finally, it can also be helpful for therapists to see clients in their home environment.

Wide Range of Therapists 

BetterHelp connects users with an impressive network of over 33,000 therapists. Clients aren’t limited to therapists within driving distance, opening up their options.

Users are bound to find a therapist with the proper qualifications to help them with their unique issues. Furthermore, users can always change therapists if they don’t feel a connection with their current therapists.

Messaging Available at All Times

While users can only get one live session a week with the basic plan, users can get assistance via messenger as often as they would like.

Users don’t need to schedule a messaging appointment in advance as you do with a live session. Of course, therapists may not respond immediately.

While waiting for a response from their therapist, a user has the option to read over old messages.

How Much Does BetterHelp Cost?

For the basic plan, subscriptions start at $65 a week. For your subscription you will get:

  • 1 live weekly session of 30 or 45 minutes by
  • phone, video or scheduled live chat.
  • You can message your therapist anytime.
  • Over 100 therapist-led group sessions on a range
    of topics
  • Worksheets.
  • Cancel subscription anytime.
    Ability to change/switch therapists at any time.

The average cost of a weekly appointment with a traditional therapist is $150, making BetterHelp a great option for people who want to get mental health care on a budget.

BetterHelp does not take insurance. BetterHelp’s business model emphasizes convenience, which doesn’t coincide with complicated insurance plans.

Exclusive BetterHelp Promo Code

Use our exclusive promo code to save 15% off at BetterHelp by clicking the link below:


You must click the link to receive 15% off!

With the 15% discount, services only cost $68/week ($228/month).

Does BetterHelp Offer A Free Trial?

BetterHelp does not offer a free trial.

Mental health is a commitment. By literally investing in your mental health, you invest in yourself. You demonstrate to yourself and your therapist that you prioritize your mental health. When you commit yourself to therapy, you will see better results. Your first payment is an actionable way to commit to your mental health.

If you try BetterHelp and decide that it isn’t the best option for you, don’t worry! You can cancel at any time.

BetterHelp’s competitors don’t offer a free trial either.

Are BetterHelp Therapists Qualified?

All therapists available through BetterHelp have one of the following advanced degrees (Master’s or Doctorate) in mental health:

  • Psychologists (PhD / PsyD)
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW / LMSW)
  • Licensed Professional Therapists (LPC)

BetterHelp verifies all credentials during the rigorous interview process, where only 20% of applicants make the cut.

On top of the proper education, all therapists must have three years and 1000 hours of recent experience in the field.

Why Should You Consider BetterHelp?

There are a number of reasons to consider BetterHelp!

BetterHelp makes it easier to access mental health care. Without BetterHelp, many people won’t get the mental health care they need.

BetterHelp makes it easy to access mental health care by providing mental health treatment online instead of at the office.

BetterHelp has tens of thousands of therapists, making it easier for them to match users with the appropriate therapist. In many cases, insurance only allows patients a limited number of therapists to choose from. Furthermore, they make it difficult to get the process started. If you don’t like your therapists, it’s difficult to make changes through your insurance.

BetterHelp is also affordable. Most therapy sessions cost $150 a week. Even with insurance, most copays to see a therapist exceed the reasonable rate at BetterHelp.

BetterHelp offers competitive rates when compared to other online mental health platforms as well. Both Cerebral and TalkSpace cost more than BetterHelp.

Is BetterHelp Right For Me?

  • BetterHelp is ideal for people who want to maintain their mental health.

We should all work on our mental health as we would our physical health, whether we have serious concerns or not. Regular maintenance prevents issues from reaching dangerous levels. It also teaches users how to handle emotionally stressful situations properly when they occur, leading to reduced mental health problems in the future. 

  • BetterHelp can provide talk therapy for people with functioning mental illness. 

Users with depression, anxiety, and other disorders will benefit from talk therapy with a therapist who specializes in the user’s mental health goals. Not only will the user have a safe place to express themselves and release any pent-up emotion, but the therapist can guide conversations to ensure that the duo get to the bottom of the patient’s issues and work on them together. Over time, talk therapy can lead to mental breakthroughs and behavioral progress that positively impacts the user’s life.

  • BetterHelp provides online therapy for users who aren’t tech-savvy. 

Users don’t need to be tech-savvy to get the most out of BetterHelp. BetterHelp utilizes a user-friendly platform that makes online therapy easy, even for people who don’t consider themselves good with a computer. 

  • BetterHelp cannot provide a mental health diagnosis. 

BetterHelp emphasizes psychotherapy. There are also certain legal restrictions with the platform existing solely online and some users remaining completely anonymous. Therefore, BetterHelp therapists cannot provide users with a legal, mental health diagnosis.

  • BetterHelp cannot satisfy legal therapy requirements.

BetterHelp sessions do not satisfy court-ordered therapy requirements.

After going through more expensive services accepted by the court, many people switch to BetterHelp to continue therapy at a cheaper rate.

  • BetterHelp therapists do not prescribe medication. 

While BetterHelp employs therapists with the capabilities to prescribe medication in a traditional setting, users cannot receive medication through BetterHelp. Patients who require medication should visit a psychiatrist through their health insurance and then use BetterHelp for therapy. 

  • BetterHelp does not provide emergency services. 

BetterHelp cannot properly assist with emergency services.

If you or someone you know battles thoughts of hurting themselves or someone else, contact the authorities. After getting the proper care to ensure everyone’s safety, BetterHelp can provide supplemental therapy services after the fact. 

  • BetterHelp does not take insurance.

While it’s important not to assume your insurance will cover mental health at an affordable rate, some people have a cost-effective and convenient mental health plan as part of their main health insurance policy. Users who prefer to get therapy through their insurance won’t be able to use their insurance with BetterHelp. However, BetterHelp can over supplemental therapy services in conjunction with traditional psychologist appointments.

How Effective Is BetterHelp?

A study entitled “Effectiveness of a Multimodal Digital Psychotherapy Platform for Adult Depression: A Naturalistic Feasibility Study” has concluded that BetterHelp does show significant progress in depression and other areas of mental health.

Of course, effectiveness depends on the user’s expectations. Talk therapy cannot take the place of medication when it’s deemed necessary by a psychiatrist.

Users must also take the initiative to schedule appointments. If users don’t take advantage of the services available to them, they won’t see results. BetterHelp gives users the tools they need. It’s up to the users to make the most of those resources.

BetterHelp Reviews

BetterHelp has rave reviews from its nearly 2 million clients, which can help you determine how effective the service will be for you.

Many of the reviews proudly displayed on the website, such as the one below, praise the therapist:

“Dr. Thoreson is an amazing, experienced doctor who has helped me work through a lot. I really appreciate that she takes the time to explain the cognitive reasons why our brain does certain things, as it helps me have a better understanding of myself. She is patient and kind and I have never felt shy or nervous when talking to her.”

Reviews included patients developing new relationships with patients as well as ones who had established a long-term relationship:

“Our first on call session was welcoming and safe. We have a similar personality. Leading up to our session she kept checking in via messaging and utilizing writing in the journal. Can’t wait for future sessions!”

“Worked with lanette for over a year. She always remembered things I would have to remind past therapists of, which made me feel like she was paying attention.”

How BetterHelp Was Started

Alon Matas started BetterHelp in 2013 after he experienced trouble scheduling his own mental health treatment. Matas and his partner Danny Bragonier emphasized creating a large directory of therapists in a convenient online portal at a reasonable price without the complications of the insurance companies. Clearly, other people found the services helpful, as revenue reached $60 million by 2018.

How Does BetterHelp Work?

Step One: Fill Out the Questionnaire

BetterHelp matches users with therapists based on the initial questionnaire. The questionnaire covers basic information as well as information about your mental health goals and past experiences with therapy. Users should take time to answer each question accurately.

Questions in the questionnaire include:

  1. Do you need individual therapy, couples therapy, or therapy for a teen?
  2. What is your gender identity?
  3. How old are you?
  4. What’s your sexual orientation?
  5. What is your relationship status?
  6. Do you consider yourself to be religious?
  7. Do you consider yourself to be spiritual?
  8. Have you been in therapy before?
  9. What led you to consider therapy today?
    1. Depression
    2. Anxiety
    3. Mood interfering with work/school
    4. Problems building and maintaining relationships
    5. Lack of purpose in life
    6. Grief
    7. Past trauma
    8. Lack of self-confidence
    9. General self-improvement
  10. Have you tried mental health treatment in the past?
    1. Mindfulness/meditation
    2. Physical activity
    3. Medication
    4. Healthy diet
    5. Volunteering
    6. Journaling
    7. Self-help books
    8. Spiritual counseling
    9. Life coaching
    10. Acupuncture/reiki
  11. What are your expectations from your therapist?
    1. Listens
    2. Explores my past
    3. Teaches me new skills
    4. Challenges my beliefs
    5. Assigns me homework
    6. Guides me to set goals
    7. Proactively checks in with me
  12. How would you rate your current physical health?
  13. How would you rate your current eating habits?
  14. Are you currently experiencing overwhelming grief, sadness, or depression?
  15. Have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things in the last two weeks?
  16. Have you moved or spoken so slowly in the past two weeks that people notice?
  17. Have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless over the past two weeks?
  18. Have you experienced trouble sleeping or sleeping too much in the last two weeks?
  19. Have you felt tired or low energy in the last two weeks?
  20. Have you experienced a poor appetite or overeating in the last two weeks?
  21. Have you felt bad about yourself, felt like a failure, or felt like you let your family down in the last two weeks?
  22. Have you experienced trouble concentrating in the last two weeks?
  23. Have you had thoughts about hurting yourself or that you would be better off dead in the last two weeks?
  24. Have mental health issues made it difficult for you to work or perform your responsibilities in the last two weeks?
  25. Are you currently employed?
  26. Do you have problems or worries about intimacy?
  27. How often do you drink alcohol?
  28. When was the last time you thought about suicide?
  29. Are you currently experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, or phobias?
  30. Are you currently taking any medication?
  31. Are you currently experiencing chronic pain?
  32. How would you rate your current financial status?
  33. How would you rate your current sleeping habits?
  34. How would you prefer to communicate with your therapist?
  35. Do you have any specific preferences for your therapist
    1. Male therapist
    2. Female therapist
    3. Christian therapist
    4. LGBTQ+ therapist
    5. Older therapist
    6. Non-religious therapist
    7. Therapist of color

After you finish the questionnaire, you will answer questions about your location (country and state for users in the United States) and your preferred language.

Finally, you will indicate if you are a student, veteran, disabled, or unemployed.

Step Two: Verify Your Email 

Next, you will enter your email. After you enter your email, you will verify the email with a 3-digit verification code sent to you by BetterHelp.

Once you enter your email, you give BetterHelp permission to send you promotional emails. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Step Three: Indicate Your Mental Health Goals

After you verify your email, BetterHelp will ask you to indicate your mental health goals by asking you:

I prefer a therapist with experience in…

  • Depression
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Coping with addictions
  • LGBT-related issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Family conflicts
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Coping with grief and loss
  • Intimacy-related issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Parenting issues
  • Motivation, self-esteem, confidence
  • Anger management
  • Career difficulties
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Coping with life changes
  • Executive and professional coaching
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Concentration, memory, and focus

Select all that apply.

Based on your selections, you may be asked to indicate more specific areas of concentration.

Finally, you will get the opportunity to tell BetterHelp in your own words what brings you here.

Step Four: Pay For First 4 Weeks of Service 

At this point, BetterHelp has all of the information they need to match you with a therapist.

You now only need to pay for the service.

You can pay with a credit card, debit card, FSA card, HSA card, or Google Pay.

Step Five: Communicate With Your Therapist

Welcome to BetterHelp!

With the information provided, BetterHelp automatically matches new users with a therapist.

Users will communicate with their therapist in the messaging room via audio messages, video messages, or text messages. Users can communicate with their therapist in the messaging room at any time. The therapist will respond at their earliest convenience.

For a more formal session, you will schedule a weekly live session via phone, video, or live chat. Live sessions last 30 – 45 minutes.

BetterHelp Vs. the Competition

BetterHelp is one of the most popular mental health platforms available. However, there are other options available.

Cerebral and TalkSpace are two main competitors.

BetterHelp offers the most competitive pricing, the most user-friendly platform, and the largest network of therapists out of the three. It also has higher satisfaction ratings.

However, Cerebral and Talk Space offer a plan that includes psychiatry, which BetterHelp does not.

Summary of BetterHelp 

BetterHelp repeatedly proves its effectiveness as an online mental health platform that provides psychotherapy from qualified therapists for a wide range of users.

While BetterHelp does come with some notable limitations, such as not being able to provide an official diagnosis or prescribe medication, it also makes mental health care more obtainable for the average user.

If you want to improve your mental health or just keep up on it, BetterHelp is a great resource at a reasonable rate. If you need emergency services, contact your local authorities before signing up for BetterHelp.


  • Mary-Beth Zolik, M.Ed LMHC

    Mary-Beth is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a M.Ed in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Montevallo. Mary-Beth has been in the field of psychology in a variety of roles for the past 20 years.

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