Online therapy and counseling companies, like BetterHelp, are akin to traditional in-door counseling. The only difference between the two is that while in-office counseling happens face to face, counseling at online therapy companies it is done virtually. You will be able to effectively communicate with your counselor through a secure medium, be it video conferencing or text messaging.
Ever since the novel coronavirus began, the number of individuals using online therapy companies like BetterHelp has proliferated by over 25 percent.
From when it was founded, BetterHelp has been at the zenith when it comes to online counseling services. With over 4000 professional therapists, anyone can find help with regards to mental health issues like:
- Relationship problems like family or workplace issues
- Anger issues
- Eating and sleeping disorders and many more issues.
As of the time of writing this BetterHelp review, there are approximately one million members on the platform. But what has made people develop a preference towards BetterHelp?
How does it work?
With BetterHelp being one of the best platforms available, here is the detailed procedure you will follow to get started.
Step 1 - The questionnaire
The first phase is to fill out a questionnaire. In it, you have to provide your details, which include your age, gender your relationship status, your profession, and other things. An inquiry about the issue you want to be counseled on will also be made. It could range from relationship issues to depression and anxiety. It is essential that you be as specific and as detailed as you possibly can.
Step 2 - Setting up your account
After you have filled out the questionnaire, you will have to create an account. This step is majorly important because all the information you have provided will be stored in that very account. You are also required to provide your payment information, although you won’t be charged anything until your first counseling session
Step 3 - Choosing your preferences
Here, you will be able to create a criterion for your preferred counselor. Do you prefer one who is close by? What gender would you prefer? What field of expertise are you looking for? Remember, it is crucial that you be as specific as possible in the details.
Step 4 - Finding your match
Using the preferences, you just laid out, a suitable online therapist will be matched with you. The platform finds you a counselor within 24 hours. If you are not satisfied with the therapist selected for you, you have the option of making a request for another one. You can also request a change even after you’ve worked with the one initially assigned to you.
Step 5 - Beginning the sessions
Once you have identified a therapist who can meet all your needs, you can begin your online therapy sessions immediately. Appointments can be made at any time you deem suitable. You will also determine the frequency of the sessions based on what you need, or the package you have selected.
The streamlining and efficiency of the signing up process makes it easy for anyone to do it, and starting out on your sessions is straightforward.
Choosing your therapist
To ensure the efficiency of your sessions, it is crucial that you are matched with the right online therapist. This is precisely why BetterHelp has created a process to optimize the selection and matching.
When you are setting up our account, you will be required to fill out a questionnaire. Since this will give your therapist an idea on where to start out in trying to fix the issue, it is paramount that you give the most honest answers possible in the questionnaire. The answers will also give the platform an idea on which counselor has the expertise to handle the situation.
The available counselors are subdivided into three groups;
- Individual counseling
- Couple’s counseling for partners
- Teenage counseling for teenagers
BetterHelp in comparison to traditional counseling
BetterHelp aims to deliver a different approach to counseling and therapy compared to traditional methods. But what exactly is the difference between the two?
What similarities do BetterHelp and other traditional methods share? Here are some;
- Experiences and qualification
In both, there is the presence of professionals with the necessary qualifications and experience to counsel for a wide range of issues. Both platforms require their therapists to have undergone the proper accreditation processes and to have the necessary certifications and training.
- Treatment plans
To meet the specific needs and concerns that different clients may have, BetterHelp has developed specific treatment plans. Even when you embark on in-door counseling, you can expect to find plans akin to these.
With both in-door counseling and BetterHelp being covered by most of the major insurance providers, the cost is largely the same.
Here are some of the differences between the two methods of counseling;
- Mode of communication
The means used for communication between the patient and the counselor is the main difference between the two. With BetterHelp, you can attend the therapy sessions in the comfort of your home or other location you prefer, and you aren’t required to go to the office of the therapist.
BetterHelp gives you the ability to communicate with your counselor throughout the day, even outside the actual house of therapy. You can call, text, or chat with your therapist. With traditional counseling, once the session is over, you cannot be able to communicate.
- Contact frequency
Content frequency is also another discrepancy between the two. Since you can contact your therapist at any time of day, you will frequently be in contact with him or her.
BetterHelp Counseling vs. Traditional Counseling
BetterHelp therapy and Counseling
Having analyzed the services offered by BetterHelp, we have compiled a list of its advantages and disadvantages.
- Easy access to one of over 4000 licensed, accredited, and professional therapists.
- BetterHelp provides the most convenient mode of communications; video calls, text messages, or chatting. It is up to you to choose what you find most comfortable to use.
- It does not take much to set up your account. The cost is cost-effective compared to traditional counseling methods where you may have to incur travel expenses.
- Far more confidentiality, as you can have the sessions in your home.
- Flexibility – You can set the exact time you want to have your sessions.
- Prompt and immediate responses from your counselors and therapists whenever you need them.
- For those that have undergone in-person counseling, it may take a bit of getting used to.
- With the lack of one-on-one communication, this method isn’t prime for emergencies or urgent crisis.
- The promptness of the responses from the therapists may vary from time to time.
- It isn’t the best for complex cases like schizophrenia, albeit other telehealth services have shown to be competent in handling such issues.
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of traditional counseling
- Some individuals feel more comfortable when communicating with the therapist face-to-face. For such people, it is a splendid option.
- It offers a plethora of therapy forms. Some of these methods of therapy are limited to the use of online communication.
- Through third-party platforms, in-office therapists have more reviews about their services. It becomes easier to get testimonials.
- It will generally cost you more for in-office counseling compared to online platforms, though the margin itself isn’t that big.
- The hassle of going to the counselor’s office is vexatious and time-consuming.
- It is borderline impossible to set an appointment. You may have to wait days, weeks, and in some cases months to spend just a couple of minutes with the counselor.
So, is BetterHelp trustworthy?
BetterHelp is arguably one of the best online platforms for the therapy and counseling you need. However, in times were internet scams and data breaches have become rampant, it is essential that you know what you are enrolling for.
In short, BetterHelp reviews show that this is a trustworthy and competent site.
Some of the concerns raised are not based on the BetterHelp itself, but on the general online therapy industry. Here are some of the most common concerns raised against the said platforms;
- The quality of online counseling is inferior to that of in-office counseling.
- Online therapy is very expensive.
- Individuals are uncertain whether the therapists can handle their specific issues.
It is true that some aspects of the company’s functionality could use a bit of improvement. However, the platform itself is completely legitimate.
With the guarantee that only 15 percent of the applicants they receive are hired as counselors for their site, it only goes to show how selective they are with the quality of care they want.
BetterHelp gives a guaranty to all its members that they will be working with professional therapists who have undergone the necessary training and have the needed accreditation. As of right now, BetterHelp offers its clients with counselors that have these credentials;
- Licensed expert counselors
- Family therapists
- Clinical Social Workers
You are guaranteed that these professionals either have a Masters or a Doctorate degree in the fields they occupy. They all also meet the state's professional board requirement. Another prerequisite is that they must have amassed over 2000 hours in clinical expertise and have a minimum of three years of continuous practice.
To ascertain that the set criteria are met, BetterHelp uses a very strict verification process. The applying counselors must provide the licensure documents, their references, and sufficient proof of their identity. A cross-checking procedure with the appropriate United States licensing boards is also done.
The use of the internet as a mode of communication between the client and the counselor is what has made BetterHelp’s therapy session so popular. However, this very thing makes people view it as a threat. Numerous concerns are raised about the use of a web-based platform for communication.
In regards to this, BetterHelp assures all its users that all the platform’s databases are scrambled and secured using high-level encryptions. This ascertains that your data is secured, and even in the occurrence of data theft, the information is useless. The company also uses ‘A-grade, server facilities to ensure maximum security for its clients.
BetterHelp only uses security protocols rated A+. Since it is a HIPPA compliant platform, all the information shared between you and your therapist is secure at all times.
To ensure confidentiality, strict data protection is implemented. This applies to all methods of communication. Additional measures are also taken to facilitate client anonymity. If you aren’t comfortable using your real name, you can use an alias while signing up.
You can be sure that no data is released to third parties during or after your treatment.
When considering online therapy through BetterHelp, it is important to factor in pricing. The cost of therapy ranges between 35 dollars and 70 dollars per week. For that cost, you will be given unlimited access to your counselor. There is also an upfront fee of 260 dollars that you pay once, so as to access the platform.
How to pay
When creating your account, you will be required to enter your payment details. Your weekly charges will be billed monthly, and you can pay using PayPal or your credit card.
Online therapy and counseling aren’t catered for by most major insurance providers and will cover the cost from your own pocket. Some do cover in-office counseling, so you will have to check with your provider.
BetterHelp and financial aid
Though the amount of money will vary from client to client, BetterHelp does in deed offer Financial Aid. Most clients who opted for financial aid saved 20 to 50 percent of the cost. As a result, BetterHelp and other online therapy platforms are way cheaper than traditional counseling.
For convenience and ease of accessibility, BetterHelp is a wonderful option. What gives BetterHelp the advantage and places it a rung higher than other online platforms is its excellence in customer services and the rigorous processes it uses when vetting professional therapists.
You are assured of your anonymity and data security through the privacy protocols used by the platform. With over 4000 licensed practitioners, you can be certain that you will find a therapist who is tailor suited for your needs. With the ease of accessibility from anywhere, it is suitable to avoid the stigma associated with therapy.
There is no need for you or your loved ones to experience the challenges of life alone. BetterHelp will make a huge difference for anyone who is seeking help.