We earn a commission from brands listed on this site. This influences the order and manner in which these listings are presented.
Advertising Disclosure
Our Most Popular

BetterHelp Online Therapy Review 2024

Convenient, on-the-go access to over 30,000 online therapists
By Katherine CullenBy Katherine Cullen -
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2024
7,277 reviews
by
logo-BETTERHELP
Visit Site
Price
$65-$90/week
Modes of communication
Asynchronous messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions
Accreditation
PhD, PsyD, LMFT, LCSW, LMSW, LPC

Our Verdict

Is BetterHelp Online Therapy Services Worth Signing Up For?

Having personally explored BetterHelp, I believe it’s one of the best and most accessible online therapy services for people who need mental health treatment. I highly recommend it! Teens, adults, and couples can receive specialized therapy for common conditions such as depression and anxiety. It also caters to the LGBTQIA+ community and people of faith. It offers lower rates than other platforms and provides financial aid or discounted rates if you’re in a low-income household. I find my patients often struggle to finance their mental health care, so I’m grateful that BetterHelp can help address this. In 2023, BetterHelp significantly expanded its reach, with 1.1 million new clients starting therapy, showcasing its growing popularity and effectiveness. However, their therapists can’t give diagnoses, prescribe medicines, or accept insurance, so I suggest you consult with your physician for advice.

Price
$65-$90/week
Modes of communication
Asynchronous messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions
Accreditation
PhD, PsyD, LMFT, LCSW, LMSW, LPC

BetterHelp at a Glance

9.4
Editorial Score

Affordability

$60-$90 weekly, billed every 4 weeks, frequent promos
9.5

Therapist Network

Accredited, licensed therapists, range of specialties, 30K+ therapists, matching technology
9.8

User Access

Insurance not needed, easy scheduling, use any device, licensed in their state, accessibility preferences
8.8

Communication Tools

Asynchronous messaging, live sessions via phone, video, or chat, group webinar sessions
9.8

Customer Support

Customer service form or email for support, cancel anytime, switch therapists
9.0

BetterHelp Pros & Cons

PROS

Scientifically-proven results
Pairs you with a counselor based on your preferences and needs
Message your therapist anytime

CONS

Insurance typically doesn’t cover treatment
Therapists can’t prescribe medications

Top BetterHelp Reviews

Mo
Monique
I feel I was perfectly matched…
I feel I was perfectly matched with the right therapist. She understood my issues and concerns and made the whole experience easy. Like talking to a trusted friend. And as someone who was apprehensive about therapy in the first place, it made all the difference.
OT
Osyrus Tuatoo
My experience with BetterHelp has been…
My experience with BetterHelp has been amazing, from signing up to my first session everything was easy and exciting. This is my first time with using therapy and BetterHelp has made it the most fun and inviting experience ever!
Ma
Matthew
Therapist very helpful
Therapist very helpful. Love the journal option. Helps to clarify thoughts, emotions, and feelings, that are neither right nor wrong.
See all BetterHelp reviews

How do I know I can trust this BetterHelp review?

Top10.com authors, contributors, and editors are serious about research. We combine our own experience with the services we recommend, with reviews that come from verified users–just like you! Together, with reviews from industry experts, we find the Top 10 best products and services to make sure you can choose with confidence and ease.

BetterHelp BetterHelp Visit Site

Overview

What Is BetterHelp?

BetterHelp is an e-counseling platform that features over 30,000 therapists. These mental health professionals are trained in various therapeutic methods and can help with almost any mental health challenge, including trauma, panic, anxiety, and depression.

“BetterHelp may be especially beneficial for those looking for more flexibility in their appointment times or those with limited resources,” says ClinicSpots psychiatrist Ketan Parmar, MD.

BetterHelp Features

Extended Therapy: Group Sessions on BetterHelp

BetterHelp offers group sessions called classes, which you can attend live or watch later. Typically, a class has five to 17 participants and lasts about 90 minutes. While most occur weekly, the frequency varies based on the therapist.

The platform provides a range of group webinar topics. Some cater to specific groups like parents, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people of color. Others address mental illness, racial trauma, self-care, addiction, and eating disorders. Therapists lead these group sessions, teaching coping strategies and allowing them to tell their stories.

Strong Client-to-Therapist Connections

A study by The Berkeley Well-Being Institute showed that BetterHelp helps create stronger connections between therapists and their clients than traditional in-person sessions.

In my professional opinion, BetterHelp participants enjoy more flexibility than those in traditional in-person counseling, which may explain the deeper bond with therapists. Its multiple communication methods—phone, live chat, video, asynchronous messaging, and classes—also likely bolster the therapist-client relationship.

BetterHelp therapists

Additional Support Materials

BetterHelp provides over 200 digital worksheets and templates on its platform to aid your therapy journey. These worksheets are interactive: You can fill them out online and discuss them with your therapist for feedback. You can also work on them offline, but you need an internet connection if you want your therapist to review them. BetterHelp's journal feature has undergone a design refresh, including an image upload option and a cleaner interface, along with prompt suggestions and the option to share journal entries with therapists.

Most clients complete these sheets outside of therapy sessions. I like to think of them as “homework” that keeps you engaged in your healing process. They cover:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

  • Stress management tools

  • Grounding techniques

  • Mindfulness practices

  • Self-esteem journaling sheets

  • Relationship conflict resolution exercises

  • Relaxation techniques

Is BetterHelp Legit?

BetterHelp is a trusted e-counseling platform with an A- review rating on Better Business Bureau. Every counselor on BetterHelp is a licensed professional, whether they’re a psychologist, family therapist, or clinical social worker.

Additionally, researchers from the University of California tracked 318 BetterHelp individual's depression levels for three months. They discovered that more than a third of participants experienced notable symptom reductions.

No follow-up studies checked how long these results lasted, and the research didn’t explore other improvements like overall well-being, quality of life, or relationships. Still, I find it encouraging that those benefiting came from different backgrounds, including age, gender, and income levels.

The Berkeley study also found that the reduction in depression symptoms with BetterHelp was on par with results from face-to-face counseling.

How BetterHelp Works

Getting Matched

BetterHelp’s algorithm searches for therapists whose expertise and location fit the symptoms and preferences you mentioned during the sign-up process. Legally, you can only get counseling from therapists licensed in your state. But with over 30,000 available mental health professionals, BetterHelp typically pairs you with a state-approved counselor within 24 hours or less based on your needs, preferences, and location. 

You can view your therapist’s profile, client ratings, credentials, and experience in your portal. I particularly like that you can easily switch counselors if you feel your therapist isn’t right for you for reasons like appearance, gender expression, or age. To do this, you can simply click “Change Therapist” in your portal.

Types of Sessions Available on BetterHelp

BetterHelp offers a variety of session types so you can choose how you connect with your counselor. These include:

  • Video sessions

  • Phone sessions

  • Live chat sessions

  • Message your counselor at anytime

Live chats involve texting, but your therapist responds immediately. This works well if you need a quick answer to a specific question. Video sessions resemble Skype calls. Your therapist starts the call, and you both engage in a video chat via the BetterHelp website or app.

However, most prefer using the platform’s messaging tool to communicate with therapists anytime. You can reach out to express your feelings immediately without waiting for a scheduled session, and your therapist will respond when they are available. You also have a record of all your conversations so that you can review past advice, techniques, and tools.

Types of sessions available on betterhelp

How Long Are BetterHelp Sessions?

BetterHelp therapy sessions typically last 30-45 minutes, though some therapists may offer a full hour. Depending on your needs, you can only see one therapist at a time and schedule sessions either weekly or every two weeks. The messaging feature can help you contact your therapist outside of your sessions. Most therapists respond within the same day, depending on availability.

Scheduling Live Sessions on BetterHelp

To schedule a video, phone, or live chat session with your BetterHelp therapist, log into your portal and click the scheduling option under your counselor’s avatar. This shows their availability.

The calendar adjusts to your time zone, even if it’s different from your therapist’s. If the available times don’t fit your schedule, message your counselor to discuss alternative options.

You can cancel or reschedule consultations but may forfeit a session you’ve already paid for if you can’t find time to meet with your counselor. Some providers also charge cancellation fees, so check with your therapist or contact BetterHelp’s billing department.

Scheduling sessions on Betterhelp

Personal Calendar Syncing

A new feature in 2023, both therapists and clients can now sync their session schedules with external calendars like Google Calendar and Outlook, enhancing convenience and organization.

How to Get Started With BetterHelp

To sign up with BetterHelp, open the home page and choose between individual, couples, or teen therapy. Then, complete questionnaires about your background, symptoms, and therapist preferences. These forms include screenings for depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation and help BetterHelp’s algorithm match you with an appropriate counselor.

How to get started with BH

You need to create an account and pay for your membership upfront. You can also see if you qualify for financial aid at this stage—an especially valuable feature if you ask me. Once you’re set up, highlight the main areas you’d like to work on or are concerned about.

BetterHelp matches you with a licensed therapist who fits your needs and preferences. You then get an online “therapy room” where you can message your therapist anytime. You can also set up weekly sessions.

In your therapy room, you can talk about anything: your day, your worries, or big life events. Your therapist listens and provides feedback.

BetterHelp Customer Service

To reach BetterHelp’s customer service or provide feedback, visit its “Contact Us” page. You can email the support team or submit an inquiry via the website’s contact form. Usually, a BetterHelp consultant replies within a day. You can also leave e-therapy reviews or read testimonials on the website.

Additionally, the FAQ page answers questions about costs, therapist qualifications, messaging features, and session formats. The BetterHelp site also hosts advice blogs on various topics, including self-esteem, stress, love, and mindfulness.

How to Cancel or Pause a BetterHelp Subscription

BetterHelp allows members to pause their membership for 2, 4, or 6 weeks. During this time, you will not be charged and will not have any scheduled sessions. This is great for people who are traveling or want flexibility with their membership. 

To cancel your BetterHelp subscription, first sign in to your account and navigate to the “Menu” section. From there, select “My Account” or “Account settings,” then proceed to “Payment settings” and choose the “Cancel Membership” option. 

Is There a BetterHelp App?

BetterHelp has an app available for iOS and Android devices. You can sign up, schedule sessions, and communicate with a therapist via voice, video, or live chat. 

The app was generally straightforward and convenient for scheduling sessions and sending messages. However, it occasionally lagged and had some glitches. Despite this, the BetterHelp mobile app has been generally lauded for its ease of use, offering clients a seamless and convenient way to manage their therapy sessions on the go.

Betterhelp app

BetterHelp Pricing

How Much Does BetterHelp Cost?

BetterHelp’s sessions cost between $65 and $90 per week, totaling $260 to $360 monthly. The price varies depending on your location, preferences, and therapist availability. BetterHelp is more affordable than traditional therapy, which can charge anywhere from $80 to over $160 per session.

All BetterHelp subscribers get a weekly live video, phone, or chat session, message your counselor anytime, and availability of worksheets and classes. You can choose a weekly, monthly, or quarterly billing cycle. 

Recognized as an eligible expense by most FSA/HSA providers, BetterHelp has emphasized the use of FSA/HSA cards for payment, making therapy more accessible and affordable.

BetterHelp extends financial aid to various groups, including students, veterans, seniors, unemployed individuals, and low-income individuals, ensuring therapy is accessible to those in need.

Even more, BetterHelp now provides users with a payment grace period, a helpful buffer for clients with payment failures, allowing continued communication with therapists for 3 days and attendance of live sessions within 24 hours of the payment issue.

Cancellation Policy

BetterHelp doesn’t charge you for canceling memberships or changing therapists; sessions don’t carry over to the next billing cycle. If you stop your subscription after a new billing cycle starts, you must pay for the remaining sessions in that cycle.

To avoid this, cancel before the next cycle begins. Also, ask your counselor about potential no-show or cancellation fees for sessions.

Does BetterHelp Take Insurance or Medicaid?

BetterHelp doesn’t take insurance and is generally not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. To get insurance coverage for mental health services, a diagnosis is necessary, and insurance companies can see this diagnosis along with other treatment details.

Since BetterHelp’s therapists don’t provide diagnoses, their services aren’t eligible for insurance reimbursement.

Does BetterHelp Offer Financial Aid?

BetterHelp provides financial aid to those with limited income. During sign-up, the questionnaires ask about your financial situation, including details about your spouse’s employment, combined income, military service status, number of dependents, ethnicity, and residence type.

You can also apply for financial aid when choosing a payment option and receive an immediate response. Alternatively, you can reach out to customer support for assistance. If you’re facing financial hardships, you may receive a discount, potentially reducing weekly subscription fees to around $60. 

Financial aid discounts last for three months. You can view the expiration date in your portal’s “Payment Settings” section and reapply one week before your discount ends.

BetterHelp Alternatives

How Does BetterHelp Compare to Other Online Therapies?


BetterHelp
Cerebral
Talkspace
Online-Therapy.com
Cost per session
$65-90
$73-$92
$69-$109 (therapy plans), $175-$299 (psychiatry plans)
$55-$80
Accreditation
PhD/PsyD, LMFT, LCSW/LMSW, LPC
MD, DO, NP, PMHNP, RN, PA, LCSW, LMSW, MSW, MSEd LMFT, MFT, LMHC, MHC, LPC
LCSW, LMFT, LMHC, LPC, PhD, DO, MD, NP, PMHNP
PhD, LPC, LCSW/LMSW, CCMHC, CCTP, C-DBT
Accepts insurance
No
Yes
Yes
No

Modes of communication

Asynchronous messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions

Live video and phone sessions

Text, audio, and video messaging, live video sessions
anytime messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions

BetterHelp vs. Cerebral

Cerebral offers therapy and prescription services and has a pharmacy delivery feature for added convenience. Unlike BetterHelp, Cerebral accepts some insurance plans, including Cigna and Anthem. However, it doesn’t provide anytime messaging with a therapist and doesn’t treat children, couples, or persons of faith. 

BetterHelp vs. Talkspace

Talkspace provides therapy and medication management services and works with insurance companies such as Aetna, Cigna, and Optum. Like BetterHelp’s classes, Talkspace offers group sessions called “workshops.” While the platform has a messaging-only pricing plan, it doesn’t support phone sessions or provide financial aid.

BetterHelp vs. Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com has a dedicated team of therapists who facilitate cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help people tackle difficult thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. In contrast, BetterHelp features a network of over 30,000 therapists with diverse backgrounds and specialties. Neither platform accepts insurance.

Bottom Line

BetterHelp stands out to me for its positive reviews and testimonials. The platform’s therapists facilitate constant video and phone sessions, live chats, messaging, classes, and worksheets for those facing life’s challenges. It makes therapy more affordable and hassle-free for teens, adults, and couples. 

Since BetterHelp therapists don’t diagnose or bill insurance, you don’t have to log any pre-existing mental health conditions in your records. This approach may make BetterHelp ideal for those who want to keep therapy sessions off their medical records.

Frequently Asked Questions
How long are sessions with BetterHelp?+-

BetterHelp therapy sessions are usually 30-45 minutes, but some therapists may offer one-hour sessions.

How many sessions a week with BetterHelp?+-

Most BetterHelp therapists and clients schedule one session per week. But you and your therapist decide how often to meet. Even though you can see your counselor daily if both of you agree and find it clinically appropriate, it’s not common.

Is BetterHelp worth the money?+-

BetterHelp is a valuable option for those who need mental health support but can’t access or afford in-person therapy. All its therapists hold licenses and accreditations and can address various mental health concerns. The platform’s worksheets and group sessions further support therapeutic growth.

How much does BetterHelp cost per month?+-

BetterHelp’s sessions add up to $260-$360 per month. Its pricing varies based on your financial situation, location, available discounts, and whether you buy extra live sessions.

Katherine Cullen is a psychotherapist in New York City and co-author of The Truth About Exercise Addiction: Understanding the Dark Side of Thinspiration. Her work has been published by numerous outlets, including Psychology Today, Cosmopolitan, and Self.

The author of this article has been paid by Natural Intelligence to write this article. Neither the author nor Natural Intelligence provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or your local emergency number immediately.

BetterHelp reviews

Excellent • Reviews 7,277
on
Excellent
84%
Great
5%
Average
1%
Poor
1%
Bad
8%
We upload 100 to 400 Trustpilot reviews daily to our website, displaying them by default from "best to worst." You have the option to adjust the sorting criteria. If you wish to see all reviews you can go to the Trustpilot website, here.
Sort by
Mo
Monique
10 hours ago
I feel I was perfectly matched…
I feel I was perfectly matched with the right therapist. She understood my issues and concerns and made the whole experience easy. Like talking to a trusted friend. And as someone who was apprehensive about therapy in the first place, it made all the difference.
OT
Osyrus Tuatoo
1 day ago
My experience with BetterHelp has been…
My experience with BetterHelp has been amazing, from signing up to my first session everything was easy and exciting. This is my first time with using therapy and BetterHelp has made it the most fun and inviting experience ever!
Ma
Matthew
1 day ago
Therapist very helpful
Therapist very helpful. Love the journal option. Helps to clarify thoughts, emotions, and feelings, that are neither right nor wrong.
EK
Elouisa Kotterba
1 day ago
very easy to find a perfect therapist…
very easy to find a perfect therapist according to your needs. i’ve started different therapies in the past, and always stop very fast as it was never really a match. on BetterHelp, I felt like finally finding someone to really really match to what I’m looking for and not only a random professional, who might be great at what they are doing, but maybe not matching to what I’m looking for. I’ve been using BetterHelp for over a year know and my therapist accompanied me through so many different stages already and helped me healing and understanding so much. There are also group sessions available and so much more. I’m really happy that such a great and helpful app was founded!

Copyright © 2009 - 2024 Natural Intelligence Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Mailing address:

4023 Kennett Pike #50055

Wilmington, DE 19807

Top10.com is designed to help users make confident decisions online, this website contains information about a wide range of products and services. Certain details, including but not limited to prices and special offers, are provided to us directly from our partners and are dynamic and subject to change at any time without prior notice. Though based on meticulous research, the information we share does not constitute legal or professional advice or forecast, and should not be treated as such.

Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.