About BetterHelp

Launched in the summer of 2013, BetterHelp is the world’s largest online counseling platform that promises to help anyone with an internet connection talk to licensed, professional therapists.

If you’re experiencing any life’s challenges (who hasn’t at some point?), BetterHelp’s network of 1,200+ licensed and board-accredited counselors can help you navigate them using your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Simply log in wherever you are and communicate with your counselor at your own pace—whether it’s day or night, weekday or weekend, you’ll always have a private, safe, and secure environment to share anything you want.

Because of these benefits, BetterHelp claims to have helped more than 250,000 customers to date.

It’s no secret that most of us could use counseling at one point or another, but considering how inconvenient in-office sessions can be—not to mention the high prices—many of us don’t seek out the care we need. Has BetterHelp’s online-only model changed all of this? Are they comparable to an in-office counseling session? How affordable are they?

Let’s dive right in and find out how you can match up with one of BetterHelp’s counselors:

How Does BetterHelp Work?

To begin your journey, you’ll need to start by spending 15 minutes or so answering BetterHelp’s fairly in-depth questionnaire. This will help the company assess your needs and match you with an appropriate counselor.

First, you’ll begin by answering questions about your gender, age, and marital status, if you’ve ever been in therapy before, and your current physical health (good, fair, poor). Then, you’ll rate your current sleeping habits, as well as your financial status, followed by a series of “over the past 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?” questions:

  • Little interest or pleasure in doing things
  • Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anxiety or panic attacks

Finally, you’ll rate your preferences for a counselor’s specific areas of expertise on a scale of least to most important. This includes addiction, LGBT-related issues, eating disorders, and many more.

Finally, you’ll create an account by entering your name, email address, password, and credit card number (more about this in the Cost section below).

Based on what you entered during this process, you’ll be matched with a counselor “who fits your objectives, preferences, and the type of issues you are dealing with,” generally within 24 hours.

What happens after you’re matched with a BetterHelp counselor?

The BetterHelp Therapy Process

According to the company, all BetterHelp counselors are “licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (MFT), clinical social workers (LCSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC).” Each will have a Master’s or Doctorate degree in their respective field, along with 3 years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience.

Important note: BetterHelp is upfront when claiming, “Please note that your provider won't be able to make any official diagnosis, to fulfill any court order or prescribe medication.” Also, remember that these providers are not employees of BetterHelp, so the company doesn't oversee them professionally.

Once you’re matched with a counselor, you’ll have 24/7 access to a dedicated virtual “room” where you’ll be able to communicate privately and securely, simply by logging in to any internet-connected device. This is where you’ll write about what’s going on and ask questions about things that are troubling to you.

After posting a message, your counselor will log in to this same room and “respond with feedback, insights, and guidance.” How quickly your counselor responds can vary depending on may factors, although most reviews we read (more in a moment) claimed that they received responses within hours, or even minutes. As part of your subscription, you’ll be able to communicate with your counselor this way as much as you like.

If you feel that your counselor isn’t a good match, you can request another at no charge. If you feel comfortable though, you’ll begin learning how to move past your issues, make positive change in your life, and accomplish your goals.

How Much Does BetterHelp Therapy Cost?

We’ll be honest: We read about a lot of different pricing options during our BetterHelp research. For example, one part of their website claims you’ll only pay $45 per week, although the fine print on our ordering page indicated we’d pay $70 per week. Elsewhere, we found some customers claiming it costs as little as $35 per week.

Furthermore, BetterHelp’s website indicates that all subscriptions are billed on a monthly basis, although one recent reviewer claimed that you can choose between weekly, monthly, or quarterly options.

For clarification on both these issues, we emailed customer support at contact@betterhelp.com. Here’s the answer we received:

“We do offer several subscription plans with different subscription periods and pricing points. You can select your preferred plan by clicking on your name at the top-right corner, clicking "Account Settings" and then clicking "Change Plan". Please note that we're also offering financial aid for people who can't afford the service.”

Again though, you’ll first have to sign up for a trial and (presumably) pay the $280 before being given the option to change your subscription plan or payment schedule.

After the initial 7 days, your account will automatically roll over to a recurring subscription, which can be canceled by logging into your account, visiting the Settings page, and clicking the Cancel Subscription link.

In addition to messaging in your “room,” BetterHelp’s counselors can be reached through 20-minute phone sessions. The first session in each billing cycle is covered by your membership fees, which increases to $29 per session thereafter.

Considering these prices and ease of access, are customers singing praises for BetterHelp?

Are There Any Customer Reviews for BetterHelp?

On Yelp, BetterHelp had an average rating of 4 stars at the time of our research, based on 14 reviews. The vast majority seemed pleased with the fact that you can post messages about your thoughts and feelings at any time, which is more convenient, since you won’t have to wait until a formal counseling session. Also, many felt that the anonymity allowed them to open up more.

BetterHelp, Based out of Sunnyvale, CA, also had an A- Better Business Bureau rating based on 27 closed complaints (as of 5/10/16). Overwhelmingly, the most common complaint referenced being charged immediately after signing up for a free trial (which we addressed in the previous section).

BetterHelp’s Android app had a 3.3-star rating on Google Play based on nearly 600 reviews, and a 4.5-star iTunes rating based on 28 reviews. Regarding the app only (not the counseling service), most seemed to find it simple and effective, although many didn’t like the fact that it doesn’t store login credentials.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Joshua Fruhlinger tried BetterHelp and a similar competitor named Talkspace. With both services, he experienced fast communication and felt like he got to the root of his issues faster than he would have through traditional once-weekly sessions. Joshua tried 2 therapists with each service and had similarly positive experiences each time.

Although The Atlantic didn’t actually test out BetterHelp’s services, one professional they interviewed had some hesitations about the format:

“Some important aspects of counseling are lost when the services are not provided face-to-face,” says Joyce Marter, the president of the Illinois Mental-Health Counselors Association.”

Finally, another mentioned that in any type of online environment (regardless of the security measures put in place), information is always susceptible to hackers:

“Clients and clinicians both need to be aware that good hackers can access anything online, regardless of industry security standards,” says Christy Leaver, a licensed clinical social worker with a counseling practice in Lexington, Kentucky.”

Is BetterHelp a Better Way to Get Therapy?

Just like any other service or product, “better” is a highly subjective term. For example, if you prefer to have face-to-face contact with a counselor, then BetterHelp might not be a “better” option for you. Or, if you prefer to write out your concerns as they arise in a largely anonymous format, then BetterHelp might be right up your alley.

From a price perspective, though, it’s easy to see that at $70 (or less) per week—with an unlimited amount of contact with your counselor—BetterHelp might provide a much better bargain than traditional in-office counseling sessions. Again though, whether or not this translates into a better value depends on your needs and preferences.

Either way, just remember that BetterHelp does not specialize in crisis intervention, so if you require immediate attention in order to avoid harming yourself or others, they shouldn’t be your first option. In fact, one of the more common complaints we encountered during our research was that customers were turned away after submitting their questionnaire. If this happens to you, just remember that there are better avenues for you to seek care.

Even if you don’t sign up for a BetterHelp subscription, their website is chock full of guides that can help you understand and work through common issues like anxiety, depression, grief, and more.

Finally, although BetterHelp might be the largest online counseling network, keep in mind that they’re not your only once, as you also have popular competitors like Talkspace, Breakthrough.com, BlahTherapy.com, 7Cups.com, and many others. Just remember that not all of these provide the same attention to detail and licensed counselors (some could be considered “lifestyle guidance” instead of formal counseling) as BetterHelp.

Did you sign up for a BetterHelp membership? Talk about your experience by writing a review below!

Sign Up for HighYa Newsletter

Sign up for HighYa newsletter and get our best content delivered in your inbox as well as 3 free eBooks to help you save money and shop smarter. Enter your email below to get started!

391 Consumer Reviews for BetterHelp

Average Consumer Rating: 4.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 308 4 star: 18 3 star: 2 2 star: 5 1 star:  58
Bottom Line: 84% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 391
Sort reviews by:

  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • Great solution for traveling professional

    • Colorado,
    • Mar 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I travel a lot, which makes it difficult for me to get to a physical counselor. This is a great way to get what I need will meeting my needs from a work aspect. 20th-century technology and service for a 20th-century job.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Online counseling

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've done therapy off and on over the years, but the biggest reasons for my inconsistency have always come down to time and money. It's very hard to be able to schedule appointments when working a typical 9-5 job without the luxury of being able to take time off on a weekly basis. The convenience of online counseling that BetterHelp offers alleviates most of that by allowing you to have the ability to do sessions by phone, chat or via video session. All of which can be done in the comfort of your own home without the hassle of driving back and forth for appointments and taking time off work.

    I had a bad experience with a previous counselor on BetterHelp as I was assigned to someone who didn't clearly understand my needs and was very condescending and unhelpful. I discontinued the therapy, but for others, they do have the option to be assigned to a different therapist.

    I'm so glad I decided to give it another shot because the therapist that I have now is the best. She's helped me with so many issues and is absolutely wonderful.

    As for the cost, it's considerably less expensive than hourly rates for normal counseling sessions. The way the billing is set up, however, is you're charged monthly, quarterly or annually. You get a discount for quarterly billing but it's quite expensive to pay all at once. I do wish there was a way to simply pay for sessions that are actually scheduled one at a time for those trying to stick to a budget. They also have the option to try to submit your insurance for billing purposes but I haven't tried that myself, so I can't comment too much on it.

    Bottom line, for those of you that work with busy schedules and are trying to be price conscious, this service is a great alternative and worth a try.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • BetterHelp saved my life

    • Shawnee, KS,
    • Mar 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    BetterHelp.com put me in contact with a therapist who has genuinely saved my life. The site is more affordable than going to a therapist once or twice a week in person, and they even offer financial aid to discount their already affordable prices. I have constant access to my therapist through messaging, plus a session once a week. There's multiple options for sessions; phone, text or webcam. My therapist is amazing and helped walk me through a very dark time. I honestly would not be here if not for better help and my therapist. I was at the end of my rope when I reached out, and she helped me through and made sure I was safe and had a safety plan in place. I am so grateful to this service and continue to use it.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Mindfulness

    • Birmingham, AL,
    • Mar 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Laura has been a great guide to reducing stress, present-mindedness, and dealing with loss. She is practical, very sharp, yet down to earth. The Better app makes this whole process feasible for busy executives. I highly recommend it.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Convenient and practical

    • Valparaiso, IN,
    • Mar 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Have been working with my counselor Jennifer through BetterHelp with several big life issues for about 6 months now. And although now it’s mostly maintenance talking with her, I still value her insight and guidance so much. They offer discounts depending on your income - so that your mental and physical wellbeing don’t have to be determined by your class. This is a great investment.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Support

    • France,
    • Mar 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    A few days ago I started using BetterHelp.

    There are some bad reviews for this app and their counselors, so I don't know if I'm very lucky or if it really depends on people (counselors and patients too), but I feel I found a safe space to talk.

    So far, I'm really glad I finally decided myself to give it a chance and judge by myself if it's good for me or not.

    I think if you're wondering if this is good for you, you should just give it a try too.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • BetterHelp review

    • Illinois,
    • Feb 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Great service and I can tell I am feeling better. I highly recommend this especially for people who have a hard time opening up or might be working through issues that one might feel judged about. Having therapy online has allowed me to express my issues without a face to face and I think this has allowed me to get more out of my therapy and healing process. I really feel positivity with my therapist and was matched with an excellent and competent therapist. I highly recommend this service.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • On time help

    • Istanbul, Turkey,
    • Feb 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    In a moment of deep tension and despair, I connected with BetterHelp. I received immediate help and response in a professional way. I received also financial aid, due to the counseling was difficult for me to cover, my income is not in dollars. Since the beginning, I felt supported by BetterHelp team and the counselor they assigned me. I received excellent help and sessions that helped to come back on track. I highly recommend BetterHelp and I am very thankful that this service exists online. They have done it perfectly.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Skeptic turned believer

    • California,
    • Feb 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    In this day and age of communication on the internet, I was skeptical because the way that I see therapy is not through text or a computer but face to face. However, with having a newborn and another child at home, this was the perfect way for me to get the help I need and then some. Regular therapists are not as readily available to help with the unlimited text messages you can send. It’s so helpful to write out what’s going on in my brain and my heart.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Counseling

    • Hannibal, MO,
    • Feb 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was skeptical of online counseling until I stumbled upon BetterHelp and read their reviews. I decided to tak a leap of faith and, so far, it’s been wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone searching for the help they need to heal.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Better than face-to-face counseling as far as I'm concerned

    • Japan,
    • Feb 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tried in-person counseling before, but I much prefer the BetterHelp experience. Personally, I prefer to communicate in writing, and being able to contact my counselor when I want means that I no longer stress trying to remember everything I want to talk about in the weekly in-person session. But if you prefer talking, you'll also be able to arrange calls or video calls with your counselor and leave them voice messages. This adaptability is another great thing about BetterHelp. Finally, it also ended up being cheaper than in-person therapy where I'm located (my insurance doesn't cover it either way). Maybe I was just very lucky to be matched with someone I click with, but in any case, it's BetterHelp that made it possible. All their counselors are licensed.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


Showing 1-11 of 391

Write a Review for BetterHelp!

Share your experience to help others shop smarter & discover great products.

Write a Review