Betterhelp review – Is Online Therapy a Great Alternative?

BetterHelp Review Summary

BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that covers a variety of mental health issues. Learn more in our BetterHelp review!

Fiyin Ebemidayo, B.S.

betterhelp logo


BetterHelp has many positive reviews in which customers praise the company’s accessibility, flexibility, and cost. However, some customers felt that they did not receive enough information on how payment worked upfront and some had issues connecting or working with their first matched therapist.


7 Facts from our BetterHelp Review

  1. Location: Mountain View, CA
  2. Services: Mental health counseling from licensed therapists 100% online via message, live chat sessions, phone, and video
  3. Cost: Ranges from $65 to $95 per week, billed monthly.
  4. Technology: A secure and user-friendly platform that allows clients to communicate with their therapists conveniently
  5. Counseling available: Yes
  6. How to order: Users sign up on the website, fill out a questionnaire to assess their preferences and needs, and then get matched with a suitable therapist
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This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.

January 10, 2024

Pros and Cons


  • Mental health services accessible to anyone with internet access
  • Various communication modes, including messaging and live video sessions
  • A wide network of licensed and experienced therapists
  • The services are generally more affordable than traditional in-person therapy
  • Flexible scheduling allows users to arrange sessions at their convenience


  • Not a substitute for in-person interaction found in traditional therapy settings
  • Insurance does not cover this type of therapy
  • Users may encounter technical issues during sessions
  • Therapists cannot provide diagnosis, fulfill a court order, or prescribe medications
  • BetterHelp cannot handle immediate crisis or emergency situations


Catering to a wide array of mental health issues, including stress, anxiety, depression, relationship troubles, and more, BetterHelp aims to break down the barriers to mental health support, ensuring that help is available anytime, anywhere. Whether navigating through life’s challenges or seeking a space for personal growth, BetterHelp provides a platform that prioritizes mental wellness and provides support.

BetterHelp homepage
BetterHelp homepage

BetterHelp, under the visionary leadership of Alon Matas, has sculpted a niche in providing online counseling services that resonate with the contemporary need for virtual connectivity. Alon, motivated by personal experiences and the evident gap in easily accessible mental health resources, established BetterHelp in 2013 to dismantle barriers and facilitate a seamless connection between individuals and licensed therapists.

BetterHelp has garnered acclaim for its user-friendly interface and a wide array of counseling services. The acquisition by Teladoc, Inc. in 2015 marked a significant milestone, enhancing BetterHelp’s capabilities and extending its reach by integrating it with one of the most extensive telehealth networks globally. The platform stands as a beacon of hope and support, ensuring that professional mental health resources are not just a privilege but accessible to all, irrespective of location and logistical constraints.

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The Science Behind BetterHelp

The science behind BetterHelp intertwines the robust, evidence-based practices of traditional psychotherapy with the innovative capabilities of modern technology, providing a comprehensive online therapy platform. Utilizing scientifically validated therapeutic methodologies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), therapists on the platform deliver effective mental health support to users across the globe. The platform emphasizes establishing a strong therapeutic alliance, recognizing its critical role in successful therapeutic outcomes, and facilitates this through meticulous therapist matching and versatile communication modes.

The platform also leverages technological advancements to integrate various therapeutic tools and resources, enriching the therapeutic process and providing additional support mechanisms for clients. Furthermore, BetterHelp emphasizes outcome tracking, aligning with scientific principles to monitor and assess the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions, ensuring that the therapeutic journey is continually optimized according to the client’s evolving needs. BetterHelp democratizes mental health support by ensuring inclusivity, breaking down geographical barriers, and making therapy accessible to diverse populations worldwide.

Review of BetterHelp Services

The platform provides online counseling services, connecting users with licensed therapists to navigate various mental health challenges in real time. The therapists are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT), licensed clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC). They must have at least 3 years and 1000 hours of hands-on experience.

BetterHelp has diverse counseling options. The main offering on its flagship website is individual therapy, which include one-on-one sessions with licensed therapists. The company also offers couples therapy and teen therapy through and, both operated by BetterHelp.

BetterHelp messaging service
BetterHelp messaging service

Therapists for individuals can help with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, relationships, trauma, grief, and more. The company boosts of having the same quality and professionalism as an in-person visit with the flexibility of diverse communication methods. 

The multifaceted communication modes include continuous text-based messaging, live chat, phone sessions, and video sessions.

BetterHelp also offers group webinar sessions (groupings) that cover various mental health topics, providing additional resources and communal support to its users.

BetterHelp also works with businesses to provide its service to employees. It works directly with private employers, EAPs, universities, non-profits, consultants, and cities or communities.

How BetterHelp Works

The questionnaire

Users start by answering a few questions on an online survey to ensure a good fit. Then, the service matches them with a licensed therapist. The first few questions are demographic and include things like gender identity and whether you consider yourself religious. BetterHelp uses these questions to identify a suitable therapist that also relates to the individual. For example, by sharing your gender identity, BetterHelp choses a therapist who can create a treatment plan that respects your identity and experiences.

BetterHelp questionnaire example
BetterHelp questionnaire example

Another example is that if you respond that you practice a certain religion, BetterHelp can help you find a therapist that shares that belief.

There are additional multiple choice questions aimed at finding individuals a suitable match such as: 

  • What led you to therapy?
  • What are your expectations from a therapist?
  • How would you rate your current physical health?

The next set of questions focus on whether you are experiencing symptoms of depression, such as having trouble sleeping or feeling hopeless. Next, there are questions about habits and current mental health. These include how often you drink alcohol, if you take medications, financial health, sleeping habits, and whether you experience anxiety or panic attacks. 

The final set of questions focus on the logistics of the type of counseling desired. The survey asks things like how you would prefer to communicate with the therapist, your location, and whether you have specific preferences, such as a therapist of color.

After the questionnaire

Usually, a match occurs within 24 hours. 

After the company matches you with a therapist, you will choose to communicate via text, chat, phone, or video. Customers can send messages and join sessions at their convenience. The service works from both computers and mobile devices such as smartphones. If you are not satisfied with the therapist you can request to be rematched.

Customers can use BetterHelp for as long as they like. For example, some see improvements with just a few weeks of counseling while others prefer extended sessions for the long term.

Review of BetterHelp Cost

BetterHelp operates on a monthly subscription pricing model, offering several plans that vary based on location, preferences, and therapist availability.

The cost typically ranges from $65 to $95 per week, billed monthly. This pricing includes unlimited messaging and weekly live sessions, providing comprehensive support to the BetterHelp users.

Insurance does not cover the service. However, it is HSA/FSA eligible. 

BetterHelp also offers financial aid for those that qualify.

Review of BetterHelp Privacy Policy

BetterHelp employs robust data encryption technologies and adheres to stringent privacy policies to create a secure and private online environment that adheres to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

The platform does not share user information with unauthorized entities and takes measures to protect data from unauthorized access. Clients have the autonomy to remain anonymous, providing only the essential information required to facilitate effective therapeutic support. Furthermore, therapists on BetterHelp are bound by professional ethical guidelines and legal obligations to uphold client confidentiality, ensuring that the information shared within the therapeutic space is protected. In instances where there is a perceived risk of harm to the client or others, therapists may be required to break confidentiality to ensure safety, aligning with legal and ethical obligations.

Other BetterHelp Reviews

BetterHelp holds an “Excellent” rating of 4.5 stars on Trustpilot, accumulated from over 6,000 reviews. Users have commended its accessibility, variety of communication methods with BetterHelp therapists, and extensive network of licensed professionals. However, some had negative experiences that include issues with customer service, the payment plan, dissatisfaction with the therapist after starting therapy, and feeling that they did not know the full cost during the sign up process. 

On Everyday Health, the platform has been awarded a 4 star rating, acknowledging its affordability and accessibility, especially for those without insurance or with various barriers to traditional therapy. However, it’s highlighted that BetterHelp does not accept insurance and cannot diagnose mental health conditions or prescribe medication. 

Beyond rating websites, you can find personal testimonials from customers online. Some are pleased with the service while others felt that BetterHelp offered them less than ideal care even after switching therapists.

The reviews on BetterHelp’s page predominantly showcase positive testimonials, emphasizing the platform’s impact and user satisfaction.

BetterHelp in the News

The company has struggled moving into international markets. In March 2023, a class action lawsuit has been proposed in Canada, where customers claim the company shared private information with third-parties, including social media. BetterHelp has denied these claims. However, the FTC ruled that BetterHelp did share data with advertisers in a similar suite and ordered the company to pay $7.8 million to US customers.
UK-based therapists have noted that the expansion to the UK has happened too fast. They feel that BetterHelp lacks an understanding of UK-based therapy systems and have been misleading patients with American-based marketing.

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Did you like our BetterHelp review? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.

You may also be interested in reviews of these other online therapy companies:

  • Brightside [coming soon]
  • Calmerry [coming soon]
  • Cerebral [coming soon]
  • Faithful Counseling [coming soon]
  • Pride Counseling [coming soon]
  • Regain Therapy (focuses on relationships)
  • Talkiatry [coming soon]
  • Talkspace (counseling and psychiatry services)
  • Teen Counseling [coming soon]

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