Have heard of BetterHelp counselling? Betterhelp is known for their controversy with influencers and content creators, it’s terms and conditions as well as it’s cost and therapists.
What is BetterHelp
BetterHelp is online counselling or therapy created by Alon Matas and Danny Bragonier in 2013. Instead of your average $200-a-session with a real professional therapist, you are connected with “licensed” counsellor online instead of face-to-face.
When signing up to this therapy site, you will be lead to answer some quizzes and they will automatically find your counsellor within the 24 hours or so based on your quiz input. I’m not sure whether or not I paid first or beforehand the quizzes (look, I can’t even remember what I ate for lunch yesterday).
Well, once you do pay for your membership $180 USD ($266 AUD) for the first month, you can text, call or video chat with your chosen therapist. Whatever is up to you, let me note that you will add up the cost if you do speak or do video calls with your counsellor.
So, now that you understand this Betterhelp counselling, I’ll be sharing my own experience with Betterhelp therapists, it’s controversy and how much it cost.
Note: Look, this is in NO WAY a sponsored post from BetterHelp. I paid with my own money and I do indeed want to write this post from my own experiences or opinions. But I’m still going to add affiliates that relate to the topic and will be helpful for you.
So grab your mug of coffee or tea and let’s get right into it!
The Betterhelp Controversy Story
There are plenty of reviews, mostly positive and negative reviews out there about the counselling of BetterHelp.
I’ll be listing things from my own personal experiences counselling with BetterHelp as well as adding in other people’s experiences based on their reviews. Sources will be linked at the end.
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Pros of Betterhelp Counselling
My Counsellor ‘AT’
My counsellor “AT” was so helpful and awesome! I’m probably one of those lucky people to receive a nice counsellor. She was very caring to listen to my personal issues and gave me comfort when she replied.
She also suggested different ways to suit our schedule even though we’re in different countries and time zones.
Customer Service & Refund
I had good customer service when offering a refund from their email customer service. It took them one day to reply back and I had received the receipt about my refund.
Although, even if they tried to change a few subjects to get me to stay, it’s best for businesses to offer their customers any plans on whether or not it will improve their time.
As you can see based on the screenshot and probably confused at the prices. $180.00 USD (converted to $260.00 AUD.)
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This app is good at scheduling time with your counsellor. Pretty easy to use as well as flexible. For example, you can cancel your scheduled date or pick another date whenever you or your counsellor is free.
They can also change the scheduled date for you (on your permission) if you are confused with the different time zones.
It’s true what the ad says, you get unlimited texting. Whenever you need to talk or let something else, you can always text your counsellor and if it’s something urgent that you want to talk about, there is a tick box that says “urgent” if you are in need to talk.
Financial Aid Discount
If you’re financially unstable and plan on using Betterhelp in the long run, you can contact their customer service and ask for a 50% off financial aid discount (as seen in the email screenshot).
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I know that some people with depression and anxiety (like me) suffer a bit from communicating face-to-face with a person. Especially when it comes to talking face-to-face about your own personal problems.
I have a habit of becoming overly emotional whenever I talk about my problems and the moment I saw one sentence, I literally burst into tears.
BetterHelp counselling app is helpful if you have social anxiety and want to be anonymous about your problems. It’s a great way to comfortable in expressing how you’re feeling to your counsellor and also on-the-go in the own comfort of your own room.
How much does Betterhelp cost compared to Face-to-Face Therapy?
Many people can’t afford to go to actual therapy as it ranges from $150-$200+ a single session. Looking at that price feels like I got scammed! But like all other Psychologist sessions, they are pretty expensive.
In comparison, one whole month of Betterhelp equals a session with a real therapist. I could say, it’s pretty affordable and the scheduling is unlimited too depending on you or your counsellor’s flexibility.
Cons of Betterhelp Counselling
Out of Budget & Pretty Pointless
It was out of my budget! Being in Australia, $266.27 is a lot for just a month worth of online session.
As a broke student, I was devastated when the money got taken out of my debit card and leftover with only a few in my bank. To me, money is important as a broke student so it’s best to be cautious with it.
But, I was pretty upset as I had only done 2 sessions in 4 days, yet I had only wasted like 2 of those days because AT had other life schedules (and she is human).
The thing was, I could get free face-to-face counselling at my University when I start my Psychology class in April so I don’t see the intentions of having this app with me.
Stating their Payments
They should probably make their payments clear. On their site, it says that their counselling ranges from only $35 to $80 USD per week for UNLIMITED messaging with your counsellor, AS WELL as phone and video sessions.
What you don’t know is that they pay you monthly per 4 weeks for the basic membership (so for those 4 weeks added together for the monthly cost). And you have to pay an additional for phone calls or video calls.
Another thing from reviews was that there were additional costs when changing to a different counsellor. It’s pretty much fixed-price.
Free Trial Charges
In the past, they had a trial where people can try out BetterHelp counselling for “free” for 7 days. There are complaints stating that they got charged for those trials even if they cancelled before the 7 days ended and now they removed the trial.
When you’re applying for free trials, please beware that you’re giving your bank details in order to use the free trials and be charged at any time now. It happens rarely but still, be aware.
Change in Terms & Conditions (the Betterhelp Controversy that I’m talking about)
The quick change in terms & conditions.
After that YouTube madness, they did in fact quickly change the terms a few months later after the fiasco.
However, let’s take a few looks at one term & conditions into what they have stated. I’m not going to make this post an “expose BetterHelp” so you can read it yourself. And please read it as your own risk.
Caution: You might get a headache from READING A LOT OF “ALL CAPS”.
2. The Counsellors and Counsellor Services
So when something happens to the victim, BetterHelp take no responsibility for the actions persuaded by the counsellor? Hmmm… ok?
Now read this:
But then on the site, you can see this: “Professional Counselling With A Licensed Therapist”.
People go on this app because of their mental health and a few with clinical depression (for example) have been turned down by the “professionals” as they can’t handle those with clinical depression.
I’ve read the reviews and clearly, they have been negative. I myself don’t suffer from clinical depression anymore so that’s probably why they didn’t “shuu” me away.
How My Betterhelp Counselling Sessions Went…
On my first session, my counsellor asked me about my problems and then quizzed me. Then on my second session, it was supposed to be 30 minutes long. But instead, throughout the 30 minutes, I’m expected to fill out my form about my “goals” etc.
I can’t blame “AT” for a busy schedule as I said, she’s human too you know but my “suppose” the third session was expected to be on the next Monday. Due to her daylight savings, I had to book it for Thursday which then I gave up and cancelled the membership because I thought it was a waste of money.
Aren’t counsellors expected to talk or video face-to-face? Isn’t that what counsellors are for? I’ve read these complain reviews and I cannot lie but nearly half of them say that they had a bad experience with their counsellor such as their counsellor hanging up the scheduled call or their counsellor’s being extremely rude to them.
Here’s one complaint (you can read more with the review sources).
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Feedback on what BetterHelp should fix/do
After these sessions, I thought about things they could change. They should bring back the trial for free 1 week (and NOT CHARGE before the free trial ends) and if they want to continue, they could renew the trial to membership and pay for ONLY that week and so on.
As well as set up a weekly cost instead of paying the whole month. Only my opinion.
Who is this recommended for?
Personally, from the reviews and my experience of BetterHelp counselling, this app is great when you need someone to talk to about your problems. But if you have really bad depression, anxiety or any other kinds of mental illness, I do recommend going to a real professional therapist.
“But what if I can’t afford a real therapist?” you may be asking. Simple. Do deep research on a therapist near you and probably call them and ask if they have any special health care benefits for those who are suffering financially.
Anyways, you may think that a week of BetterHelp is not good enough for an insightful review, then let me tell you this. I haven’t heard of this app until this month and I wasn’t really fond of that drama that happened last year.
I know my favourite person in the wide world Shane Dawson advertised it but again, wasn’t really fond of it. Until now that I suffered quite a bit of anxiety, I decided to try it out.
After reading the reviews and read about what had happened last year, I really thought that this isn’t for me. I don’t want to spend $200+ monthly for only a few sessions that involve typing on my phone.
So should you try BetterHelp? It really depends on your financially, to be honest. You’ll make your choice after reading this post and a few more videos below.
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