Is Online Therapy Real Therapy? What the Betterhelp.com Reviews Are Saying.

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated July 29, 2022

If you are seeking online therapy, BetterHelp is an excellent option and one of the most popular online counseling platforms in the world. Patients with many different mental health concerns choose BetterHelp, and experts on the platform work hard to ensure every user is paired with a therapist or counselor who is best equipped to provide the right kind of help for them.

Online therapy is becoming popular for several reasons, including the lower cost, access to therapists outside of close geographic proximity, and reduced transportation and time concerns.

When trusting an online platform (or any platform!) with your mental health, it can feel daunting to decide whom to trust. We want you to rest easy with your decision to trust BetterHelp, so we have laid out answers to some of the most common questions received by potential users.

Let’s get started!

Is BetterHelp com legitimate?

Yes, BetterHelp is legitimate. BetterHelp is upfront with cost, services provided, and what potential users should expect. There are no hidden costs or charges, and users should feel safe trusting BetterHelp with their financial information.

When it comes to therapist-patient matches, therapists are generally reported to have high levels of responsiveness, expertise, and respect when interacting with patients. Therapists are also required to have a graduate degree, three years of experience, and at least 1000 hours of clinical experience.

When looking at counselor availability and session types, BetterHelp meets the mark as well. BetterHelp provides multiple types of sessions and quick matching with therapists, so users are usually able to schedule their first session quickly.

Is BetterHelp a real therapist?

BetterHelp hires experienced mental health professionals who are trained and certified in a broad range of mental health areas.

To become a therapist on BetterHelp, there are a few steps to follow on the website to sign up. Let’s take a look at these steps in detail so users know exactly what it takes to become a therapist on the platform!

In general, the application process is divided into four steps. Potential therapists will choose their license type, fill out the questionnaire, provide their details, and complete any additional steps.

Choosing a License Type

Let’s take a look at the steps involved:

When therapists are tasked with choosing their license type, they will be required to disclose the license they possess. The website does not allow more than one option to be selected, so it is important to choose the license most relevant to the care they hope to offer. The license type choice options are as follows:

  • Clinical Social Worker (LCSW, LICSW, LISW, LICSW, etc.) 
  • Marriage and Family therapist (LMFT, LCMFT, LIMFT, etc.) 
  • Mental Health Counselor (LMHC, LCMHC, LMHP, LPMHC, etc.)
  • Professional Counselor (LPC, LPCC, LCPC, etc)

Based on this data, a questionnaire will be generated to collect necessary information relevant to the type of patients that will be seen. This questionnaire will also help accurately match counselors and therapists will patients and work to bring the most success for users.

Filling Out The Questionnaire

This questionnaire is designed to help understand the type of therapy or counseling style of the applicant, as well as how much time they can a lot to this specific platform. This is the space where applicants will also share if they are engaged in a job or professional obligation outside of BetterHelp. Examples of questions in this questionnaire include:

  • Where is most of your work-related time spent?
  • How much time is spent on billing?
  • How did you hear about BetterHelp?
  • Why are you interested in BetterHelp?
  • How much time do you plan to commit to BetterHelp clients?

These questions are important to ensure potential therapists and counselors are the right fit for the BetterHelp platform and will be able to commit adequate time to their clients to deliver high quality care.

Providing Therapist Details

Next is providing details. At this stage, applicants will provide their first name, last name, email address, and license information. This is used to verify identity and credentials, as well as update platform information.

From this, we hope you have a better idea of what it takes for a therapist or counselor to be admitted to the BetterHelp platform, and rest assured that when you interface with mental health professionals through the BetterHelp platform, you can trust you are connected with high quality, experienced, very real professionals.

Is BetterHelp easy to cancel?

Yes, BetterHelp can be canceled with only a few clicks at any time.

How long are live sessions on BetterHelp?

At BetterHelp, sessions are scheduled in 30-minute blocks. However, some therapists will allow multiple blocks to be scheduled in a row. This is something to discuss with your therapist to ensure you are receiving the treatment plan most suited for your needs and preferences.

Live sessions can only be scheduled one at a time.

How long does BetterHelp take to match?

BetterHelp takes around 24 hours to match users with a counselor or therapist. Depending on the location and availability of the mental health professionals, as well as your preferences, it may take longer. BetterHelp allows high levels of personalization for your mental health professional search, so finding that perfect match can sometimes take a little bit longer than expected. However, at any time during the matching process, you can reach out to customer support at BetterHelp to be updated on the process.

For the vast majority of our clients, matches are made within the 24-hour window. If you would like to find a new match, this re-match process also takes around 24 hours to a few days and is free.

How many live sessions do you get with BetterHelp?

With BetterHelp, you pay per week and have access to a wide range of therapeutic resources. Unlike traditional counseling, where you are paying per session, at BetterHelp you have access to so much more than your sessions. You will have access to group seminars, educational activities, personalized activities from your therapist, online journaling spaces, and much more.

Generally, users sign up for live sessions once per week or once every two weeks. Outside of this, users have access to 24/7 messaging with their therapist through the BetterHelp platform. If there is a week where you are unable to meet face-to-face, with BetterHelp you do not feel like you are “skipping” your therapy. You can work with your therapist to go over any concerns that week and complete activities geared towards your individual preferences and needs.

Is BetterHelp available internationally?

BetterHelp is a US based company, and all therapists and counselors are located in the US. However, you are able to sign up regardless of location. For international users, the main considerations are that the majority of BetterHelp sessions are given in English, and time differences may make scheduling a challenge in some cases.

How do I cancel my BetterHelp account?

To cancel your BetterHelp account, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your BetterHelp account
  2. If you are currently receiving therapy, go to Menu > My Account (or Account settings) > Payment settings > Quit Therapy
  3. Then go to Menu > My Account (or Account settings) > Personal Information and click on Request Erasure

A confirmation will be sent to the email address on your account once your request is processed.

Does BetterHelp give refunds?

BetterHelp offers refunds to users who were unsatisfied with the service. This is generally evaluated on a case-by-case basis and a whole or partial refund may be issued.

Does BetterHelp sell your info?

BetterHelp only uses customer information for the following purposes:

Communication with Users

  • To contact users to provide relevant information, suggestions, and platform alerts
  • To verify identities of users
  • To complete customer registration or obtain additional information
  • To reach out to users, internal employees, or authorities if there is reason to suspect danger or criminal activity

Delivery of Services to User

  • To allow users to create and log into accounts
  • To manage user accounts, enable customer support, and ensure quality service
  • To bill users and complete transactions
  • To match users with counselors
  • To facilitate counselor services
  • To provide support and personalization to the BetterHelp platform

Administration and Service Improvement

  • To administer and supervise the platform
  • To improve and monitor quality and delivery of services

Customization

  • To customize the platform and user experience to be tailored to the needs and preferences of each user.

Legal Compliance

  • To ensure the ability to comply with any applicable legal orders or government regulations
  • To protect the safety of clients

Other User

  • Any other use as specified by user consent

Outside of these bounds, BetterHelp does not share information and BetterHelp never sells information.

Is BetterHelp encrypted?

BetterHelp considers privacy protection to be a top priority. Everything told to counselors is protected by federal and state laws and follows HIPAA guidelines. Messages between clients and counselor are encrypted by banking-grade 256-bit encryption.

Final Thoughts

BetterHelp is a leading platform in online mental health help, and patients can trust that BetterHelp will connect them with experienced, high-quality professionals. Outside of this, user data is protected and never sold. At BetterHelp, patient safety and trust are a top priority, and user satisfaction is the ultimate goal.

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