Exploring the World of Online Therapy: A Look at BetterHelp
Online therapy, also known as teletherapy or e-therapy, has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Platforms like BetterHelp provide easy access to licensed therapists through video, phone, chat, and messaging. With over 30,000 therapists in their network, BetterHelp aims to make professional counseling accessible and convenient. This article will explore the world of online therapy and review key aspects of the BetterHelp platform, citing insights from customer testimonials and expert opinions.
The Rise of Teletherapy
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a massive shift towards telehealth services. However, online therapy was already on the rise before 2020. According to a study, the global teletherapy market was valued at $34.83 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow exponentially. What explains this rapid adoption of virtual counseling? Several factors make online therapy an appealing choice:
- Convenience: No need to commute or fit sessions into a rigid schedule. Therapy from home is flexible and accessible.
- Affordability: Online counseling costs less than in-office visits on average. Some platforms accept insurance.
- Accessibility: Those in remote areas or with limited mobility can easily access care.
- Privacy: Anonymity and discretion for those wanting confidential mental healthcare.
As teletherapy becomes normalized, more people are embracing the benefits of convenient, affordable online counseling.
How BetterHelp Works
Founded in 2013, BetterHelp aims to make professional therapy accessible through technology. Users complete a questionnaire about their needs and preferences, then get matched with a licensed counselor. BetterHelp offers therapy through:
- Video sessions: Face-to-face video chatting with your therapist.
- Phone calls: Scheduled or on-demand phone sessions.
- Chat: Real-time text chats via instant messaging.
- Messaging: Asynchronous communication with your counselor.
This blend of modalities allows users to access care in the way that suits them best. BetterHelp also provides additional tools like guided journaling to enhance the therapeutic experience.
What Real Users Say About BetterHelp
Reviews paint a largely positive picture of BetterHelp’s services. Here’s what users highlight in their testimonials:
- “Easy to use platform” – Simple signup and convenient app. Matches made quickly.
- “Caring, attentive therapists” – Counselors are compassionate, non-judgemental and insightful.
- “Flexible scheduling” – Therapy whenever and wherever it fits your life.
- “Helpful tools and resources” – Journaling, worksheets and more supplement sessions.
- “Good value” – Affordable compared to traditional counseling.
While BetterHelp garners mainly favourable reviews, some users say the experience depends heavily on which therapist you’re matched with. This underscores the importance of finding the right counselor fit.
Guidance from Mental Health Experts
Mental health professionals also endorse online therapy as a legitimate way to access care. Dr. Danielle Forshee, a licensed psychologist, says virtual sessions can be just as effective as in-office therapy. The key is choosing a reputable provider like BetterHelp with licensed, credentialed therapists. With rigorous vetting and encryption to protect privacy, BetterHelp meets the standards advised by experts like Dr. Forshee. This offers peace of mind to those considering online counseling.
Convenience and Care in Your Hands
In an increasingly digital era, online therapy removes traditional barriers to mental healthcare. With BetterHelp, users praise the convenient access to compassionate therapists who can provide guidance and support on your schedule. So for those seeking professional help from the comfort of home, BetterHelp aims to put convenient, affordable therapy and counseling at your fingertips. As online therapy becomes normalized, the future looks bright for accessing care through technology.
how to prepare for an online therapy session
Find a private, quiet space
- Choose a room with a door you can close to ensure privacy and limit distractions. Avoid public spaces.
- Inform others you are in a therapy session and should not be disturbed. Consider putting up a sign.
- Minimize background noise by turning off TVs, music, etc. Close windows if needed.
Set up your device
- Use a laptop or desktop computer rather than a phone or tablet for the best camera and audio quality.
- Position your device at eye level on a stable surface. This creates a more natural eye contact experience.
- Make sure your camera is at a flattering angle. Adjust lighting if needed.
Optimize internet connection
- Connect your device directly to your router via ethernet cable if possible for a stronger, more reliable signal.
- Close any unnecessary apps and browser tabs that could slow your connection speed.
- If using WiFi, position yourself close to the router. Test your connection speed beforehand.
Prepare your space
- Have a glass of water, tissues, notepad and pen within reach. Adjust your chair for comfort.
- Remove distractions from your background. A blank wall or neutral backdrop is ideal.
- 10 minutes before your session, use the restroom, turn off notifications, silence your phone.
- Wear comfortable but professional attire, as you would for an in-office visit. This shows respect.
- Avoid noisy jewelry or accessories that could be distracting on camera.
Arrive ready to participate
- Have your goals, questions, and topics for discussion prepared. Take notes during your session.
- Be ready to fully engage with your therapist. Limit multitasking.
Test your setup
- Do a test call with a friend to check your audio, video, and lighting. Troubleshoot any issues.
- Familiarize yourself with the video platform so you feel comfortable before your first real session.
Communicate with your therapist
- Let your therapist know if you have any concerns about online therapy. They can guide you.
- Speak up if you have tech problems so you can troubleshoot together.
Thorough preparation and open communication with your therapist will help you get the most out of online therapy sessions. The most important thing is finding a comfortable private space and minimizing distractions.
what are some creative techniques used in online therapy
Here are 10 creative techniques used in online therapy:
- Guided visualizations – The therapist guides the client through imagining a peaceful scene or safe place to help induce relaxation.
- Drawing and art therapy – Clients are encouraged to express emotions through drawing or other art mediums and then discuss the meaning behind their creations.
- Music therapy – Clients share meaningful songs and discuss the lyrics, melodies, and how the music makes them feel.
- Bibliotherapy – Reading excerpts from books, poems, or stories that relate to the client’s issues to help promote insight.
- Journaling – Having clients free-write or respond to prompts about their thoughts and feelings.
- Sandtray therapy – Clients use miniatures and sandtrays to create scenes that symbolize their inner worlds. Photos are taken to discuss.
- Role-playing – Acting out interpersonal situations and practicing responses to work through conflicts. Often uses props.
- Expressive writing – Writing letters to people in the client’s life or to parts of themselves to gain clarity.
- Guided imagery – Similar to visualization but focuses on imagining detailed sensory experiences for relaxation.
- Mindfulness exercises – Practicing being present through breathing, body scans, or sensing exercises. Helps manage stress.
In summary, online therapy allows for creativity through visual, auditory, writing, and embodied techniques tailored to the client’s needs and issues. Therapists adapt traditional expressive arts modalities to the remote format. The key is finding methods that resonate with each individual client.
how to incorporate art or music into online therapy sessions
Here are some suggestions for incorporating art and music into online therapy sessions:
Incorporating Art into Online Therapy Sessions
- Mail art supplies to clients in advance so they have materials ready for the session. Basic supplies like paper, colored pencils/markers, glue, scissors, and collage images work well.
- Use screen sharing so the therapist can demonstrate art techniques and clients can show their artwork on camera. Zoom and other video platforms have screen sharing capabilities.
- Try simple art directives that use basic supplies – for example, free drawing, collaging pre-cut images, coloring mandalas, sculpting with play dough, etc. Avoid directives that require specialized equipment.
- Let clients use the camera to show 3D artworks they created, like sculptures or craft projects. The therapist can provide feedback and facilitate discussion.
- Mail a sketchbook for clients to use for artmaking between sessions. This brings continuity and lets clients process emotions through art at their own pace.
- Use art to promote discussion and reflection. Have clients explain their art and what it means to them.
Incorporating Music into Online Therapy Sessions
- If clients have instruments at home, play music together over video chat. Simple instruments like shakers, drums, xylophones, etc. work well.
- Use call and response singing or rhythms. The therapist sings/plays a phrase, then the client echoes it back. This builds connection.
- Share computer audio to play recorded music. Discuss lyrics, reflect on emotions evoked, or move to the music.
- Compose songs together using digital audio workstations. Collaborative creating builds the therapeutic relationship.
- Play music guessing games like Name That Tune. This provides a fun way to engage with clients.
- Do movement and dance to music. The therapist can lead or mirror the client’s movements.
- Use music for relaxation, with recorded meditative music or the therapist playing calming live music.
The key is choosing art and music activities that translate effectively into the online format using basic supplies. Creativity and flexibility help adapt traditional expressive arts techniques.
F.A.Q. for betterhelp reviews
Here are the 8 most frequently asked questions about BetterHelp reviews:
**1. Is BetterHelp legit?**
BetterHelp is a legitimate online therapy company. All of their therapists are licensed professionals with at least 3 years and 1000 hours of hands-on experience. They are vetted through background checks, identity verification, and credential confirmation.
**2. How much does BetterHelp cost?**
BetterHelp has a flat weekly fee that ranges from $60-$90 per week depending on your location, preferences, and therapist availability. This totals $240-$360 per month. They offer financial aid discounts based on need.
**3. What do people like about BetterHelp?**
Positive BetterHelp reviews mention the convenience, flexibility in scheduling, ability to switch therapists easily, and range of communication options like text, chat, phone and video. Users also like the lower costs compared to traditional in-office therapy.
**4. What do people dislike about BetterHelp?**
Negative BetterHelp reviews cite difficulty getting refunds, the impersonal nature of online therapy, connectivity issues during video sessions, and getting matched with therapists who weren’t a good fit.
**5. Is BetterHelp covered by insurance?**
No, BetterHelp is not covered by insurance. It is an out-of-pocket service. Some users pay with HSA or FSA accounts. BetterHelp does not provide any documentation for reimbursement.
**6. How do the therapists compare to in-person therapy?**
Reviews are mixed. Some feel BetterHelp therapists are just as helpful as in-office ones. Others say the remote nature makes it harder to establish a strong therapeutic relationship.
**7. Is BetterHelp effective?**
According to BetterHelp, over 90% of users say therapy has been effective for conditions like depression, anxiety, relationships issues, trauma and more. Research also shows online therapy can be as effective as traditional methods.
**8. Is BetterHelp safe and private?**
Yes, BetterHelp utilizes encryption, anonymity, and strict privacy policies to protect user data and therapy interactions. Users tend to feel it is a safe, secure way to access therapy remotely.
how much does betterhelp cost and how is it billed
Here are the key details on how much BetterHelp therapy costs and how it is billed:
- BetterHelp is a subscription-based service that costs between $240-$360 per month.
- The weekly rate ranges from $60-$90 depending on your location, preferences, and therapist availability.
- You are billed once every 4 weeks for the full monthly cost. Payment is done automatically via credit card or PayPal.
- The monthly subscription fee includes unlimited messaging with your therapist, access to the journaling feature, and 1 weekly live session (phone, video, or chat).
- Additional live sessions beyond the weekly one may incur an extra fee of around $20 per session.
- BetterHelp does not accept insurance. However, financial aid is available for those who qualify based on income and financial need.
- You can cancel your BetterHelp subscription at any time. If you cancel mid-month, you may be eligible for a partial refund for unused services.
- Overall, BetterHelp is more affordable than traditional in-office therapy for many people, with costs averaging $100-$200 per in-person session without insurance.
In summary, BetterHelp ranges from $60-$90 weekly billed monthly, offers financial assistance, and provides messaging, journaling, and 1 weekly live session. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!
Are there any discounts available for betterhelp subscriptions
Here are the key points in response to your question on discounts for BetterHelp subscriptions:
- BetterHelp offers a 25% discount on your first month for new users. This is the best promo available directly from BetterHelp.
- Some third-party sites like Groupon occasionally offer BetterHelp promo codes up to 25% off. However, these are not common.
- BetterHelp provides financial aid discounts based on income and ability to pay. These can reduce the monthly fee from $340 to as low as $260. You must reapply every 3 months.
- Students may qualify for discounted therapy through their college counseling center. This is not affiliated with BetterHelp but can provide free counseling.
- BetterHelp does not accept insurance or provide resources for reimbursement. It also does not offer a free trial period.
- Refunds are possible depending on the circumstances. BetterHelp generally aims to keep subscribers satisfied.
- The best way to get a discount is to use a promo code from BetterHelp directly for 25% off your first month as a new user. Financial aid can also lower costs.
Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!