Why Therapists And Patients All Over The World Are Using BetterHelp Counseling

Updated February 27, 2024by MyTherapist Editorial Team

As technology continues to change the way we function and interact in society, an increasing number of helpful services have become available virtually. Many people experience barriers to accessing in-person mental health support due to time restrictions and financial constraints. Others may live in areas of the country where there is limited access to adequate mental healthcare. That said, many people may simply prefer the format of online counseling to face-to-face alternatives.

BetterHelp is the largest online therapy platform in the world, offering people flexible options for finding and interacting with licensed therapists. Ahead, we’ll elaborate on the many reasons why people are choosing to use BetterHelp for their counseling needs.

Is BetterHelp Therapy Or Counseling?

When answering this question, the first important thing to understand is the difference between counseling and therapy. While therapy and counseling are often used as interchangeable terms, there are key differences between the two concepts. Counseling generally focuses on specific issues for a shorter duration, while therapy aims to uncover long-term patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings.

When you seek counseling, a mental health counselor or clinical mental health counselor will help you process and work through a specific issue for a designated amount of time. Counseling is generally sought for a specific issue, such as a marital problem or the loss of a loved one. When you work with a counselor, they can give you guidance and tools to use to manage complex emotions. When a patient seeks counseling, they generally expect to only complete a short duration of sessions.

Therapy, on the other hand, has a long-term focus and aims to understand how a patient’s childhood, experiences, and relationships affect their thought patterns, behaviors, and the way they see the world. Essentially, in therapy, a patient works with their therapist to understand why they think and act the way they do. Therapy is generally a long-term commitment, and patients will work with their therapist to develop coping strategies to work through negative thoughts and feelings and explore how to improve the quality of their everyday life.

Where the two types of mental health help intertwine is that therapy can include counseling for specific issues as they arise. Many mental health clinicians are trained in both areas. At BetterHelp, mental health professionals are employed who are licensed and credentialed by the state’s board to provide both therapy and counseling.

These professionals include accredited psychologists (PhD, PsyD), licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT), licensed clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW), and licensed professional therapists (LPC). All professionals employed by BetterHelp have at least three years and 1000 hours of hands-on experience, as well as the necessary exams, training, and practice to effectively treat patients.

What Happens In The First BetterHelp Session?

Your first session with BetterHelp will be an introductory meeting between you and your therapist, who t will likely have several questions for you to help inform the structure of the sessions, and it is best if you can answer these questions as truthfully as possible. 

You will not be required to “dive right in” to topics that make you uncomfortable, and you will be able to set the tone and pace at which you would like to move through the sessions. 

The goal of the first meeting is to start becoming comfortable with your therapist and help your therapist understand what concerns and challenges you have regarding your mental health. They will also likely ask you questions such as about your occupation, physical health, goals, preference for session length, and plans for future sessions. 

Before you begin your BetterHelp sessions, you will be able to indicate a preference for receiving therapy in one of four different ways:

  1. Exchanging asynchronous messages with a therapist
  2. Chatting live with a therapist
  3. Speaking on a phone call with your therapist
  4. Meeting over a video call with your therapist

These choices are meant to honor patient preferences for communication, as well as differences in availability and need. Based on your choice, your first session will look different.

There are also various formats in which you can meet with your BetterHelp therapist:

  • Video call: If you select to meet over a video call, you will speak to your therapist in a virtual face-to-face meeting similar to Skype or Zoom. During your first appointment, you will log into an online therapy room and your therapist will prompt you to start the video session.
  • Live chat: If you are meeting with your therapist over a live chat, you will schedule a time with your therapist. 
  • Phone session: For those who are meeting over a phone call, you will be able to speak with your therapist over either a landline or cell phone, regardless of location. You will log into your therapy room at the time of your scheduled appointment and your therapist will prompt you to start the phone session. The system will ask for your phone number and then call you at the number. The line will automatically connect you with your therapist.
  • Asynchronous messaging: You will write about yourself, your life, ask questions, and discuss anything that you would like. You are able to communicate from any location at any time, so long as you are using any internet-connected device. This option does not require scheduling because you are not communicating live. Your therapist will read the messages and respond with their questions, insights, guidance, and feedback.

What Happens If You Don’t Like Your Therapist On BetterHelp?

When you sign up on BetterHelp, you will be matched with an available therapist who is a best fit for your short and long-term goals, preferences, type of therapy desired, and any other indicated desires. Because of the large volume of mental health professionals employed by BetterHelp, many therapists have different approaches that can achieve the best results for different types of clients. If patients start the process and believe somebody else would be a better fit, they are able to select a different match with no extra charge.

Are There Benefits To Using BetterHelp?

BetterHelp’s flexible services are a major factor impacting people’s decisions to seek out online counseling over traditional in-person options. First, it is viewed as a more affordable alternative to face-to-face therapy. Second, people may be better able to fit therapy into their day with the platform’s convenient scheduling options. If you have an unconventional work schedule, BetterHelp may appeal to you.

Many BetterHelp therapists will use a method of talk therapy called CBT: cognitive behavioral therapy. Studies continue to affirm the effectiveness of online CBT as an intervention for treating mental health conditions like eating disorders, anxiety, substance use disorders, and depression.


If you feel intrigued by what you’ve read about BetterHelp, know that countless others have made the courageous decision to reach out for support online and experienced positive outcomes. Consider reading authentic reviews written by former BetterHelp users or ask trusted friends and colleagues if they’ve had positive experiences with online therapy. When you’re ready to add a compassionate, dedicated licensed therapist to your support network, reach out to the professionals at BetterHelp.

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