Woman participating in a teletherapy session
Alina Hvostikova/Stocksy United

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Despite the stigma surrounding them, mental health conditions are incredibly common. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20 percent of Americans receive a mental health diagnosis in any given year.

Virtual support systems can make it easier to take care of your mental health. They are a private option for receiving healthcare from anywhere.

BetterHelp is one such online therapy service that allows you to text-chat with a licensed, accredited therapist 24/7. Keep reading to see how it works, what to consider, and if it’s right for you.

BetterHelp is the largest online therapy platform in the world, offering virtual therapy with licensed and accredited therapists via chat, phone calls, and video calls. It also provides additional services. You can cancel your membership at any time, even if you use a monthly plan.

BetterHelp has expanded its services in recent years and now partners with businesses and universities. It also has several sister websites that provide therapy for couples, teens, members of the LGBTIQ+ community, and those seeking a faith-based approach.


  • Many ways to access care. You can access therapy via texts, live chat, phone calls, and video calls.
  • 24/7 access. You can reach your therapist at any time of the day.
  • Easy to change therapists. You can request a change of therapist whenever.
  • No time commitment. You can decide how long you want to use the platform, and you can cancel anytime.
  • Access to well-qualified and experienced therapists. BetterHelp therapists are board certified and have a minimum of 3 years and 1,000 hours of experience. Each therapist also goes through a vetting process before they’re admitted into BetterHelp’s network.
  • Affordable. BetterHelp offers financial assistance to those who qualify for it.


  • Not covered by insurance. Generally, insurance doesn’t cover BetterHelp’s online therapy services. This includes private insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid.
  • Limited scope. BetterHelp therapists can provide talk therapy, but they can’t diagnose a mental health condition, prescribe medications, or fulfill a court order.
  • Only for adults. BetterHelp doesn’t provide therapy for kids or teens. Instead, the website transfers you to its sister website, teencounseling.com.

Our team thoroughly vetted BetterHelp, looking at their medical credibility, business practices, and social impact. You can learn more about how we vet brands and products here.

Jamey Powell, senior market editor at Healthline, was very pleased with her experience with BetterHelp.

She was able to list out her preferences for a therapist after completing a survey that asked about herself, what she was looking to accomplish in therapy, and her current mental state. Some of the options included their gender, age, religious affiliations, and specializations.

Powell was matched with a therapist. She says she received a notification via email and on the desktop platform. I decided to schedule an appointment with him, and I am really happy about it.

She says she had the option to make a call, send a message or video. She notes that the video call was very easy to use and similar to any other G-chat room she has been in.

“They met for an hour for her first appointment. She says that she was well matched and didn’t have many prerequisites for a therapist. She said her therapist was a great listener.”

She says she can change how she contacts him at any time, so she can decide if she wants to have a call or chat.

She received a free trial of the platform to try out, but she says she will use it for a number of different reasons.

She says she is happy with her therapist and the access she has to him. It is comforting to know he is there.

Chat room

You can immediately start messaging a counselor in a private chat room once you have been matched with them.

The chat room is accessible at any time, if you have reliable internet. There is no guaranteed response time from your counselor. You can message your counselor at any time of the day.

Your counselor will reply with questions. The app will let you know when they reply.

The conversations are saved in the chat room, so you’re free to reflect and reread whenever you’d like. BetterHelp says therapists are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which is a federal law protecting sensitive health information.

A lot of first-time clients are intimidated by therapy. James Imrie, the creative and marketing manager at BetterHelp, says that texting and live-chat sessions are a great way to take some of the anxiety out of starting therapy.

Live chat

“You can schedule a live chat with your counselor if you don’t like waiting.”

This option is similar to texting a friend who understands.

Writing down your thoughts is a good way to deal with a lot of different situations. boiling down your thoughts into a few sentences can help bring clarity and understanding if you feel like your thoughts are crowded.

Live phone session

It is possible to schedule a phone call with your counselor for those who prefer working through problems out loud.

The BetterHelp app is used to do everything, but the system does not give your phone number to the counselor.

Live video session

If you enjoy face-to-face conversation, you can schedule a video session with your counselor. You can start the video chat at your appointment time.

Group therapy

“BetterHelp offers a lot of live interactive group seminars. Groupinars are these. You can get a link to the recording via email if you want to attend a groupinar but aren’t able to make it to the meeting.”

The topics of the groupinars vary from sleep to self-care.


“BetterHelp has an online journal that you can use. Unless you choose to share it, it won’t be seen by anyone else.”

“If you want to write down your feelings, the journal feature may be useful. If you don’t know what to write about, there are some prompts.”

Counselors are trained, experienced, and accredited, and can be professional or not.

All the company’s counselors have a master’s or doctorate degree and possess at least 3 years and 1,000 hours of experience as mental health professionals.

“If you don’t like who you’re being matched with, you can request a new therapist. This was one of the benefits that Powell liked the most.”

“Online therapy can serve as a source of connection and support, especially during a time (in light of the pandemic) that feels otherwise isolating,” says Sheava Zadeh, PhD, LEP, BCIM, a psychologist and the founder of Pamper Your Brain.

Zadeh says that clients who live in remote areas or have limited mobility may be more motivated to participate in online therapy. It allows for more flexibility in scheduling, as clients have access to more specialists and can choose the specialists who can work with their schedules.

“You don’t have to worry about running into people you know in the waiting room, because you are in your own space.”

BetterHelp has a lot of counselors who are specialized in specific issues.

“If you’re considering virtual therapy, consider in-person therapy.”

  • connect better in person
  • Virtual communication is something that I dislike.
  • “Don’t have a stable internet access.”

Also, BetterHelp therapy sessions may not be suitable for people who need more intense treatment options, like dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and psychodynamic therapy.

BetterHelp cannot handle emergency care or crises.

Therapy is made more accessible with online therapy.

According to a 2019 study, online therapy can be effective for Depression.. In the study, more than 300 BetterHelp users had significant reductions in symptoms of Depression. after 3 months.

A recent review of clinical trials comparing teletherapy to in-person therapy shows the promise of telehealth. Teletherapy was found to be just as effective as in-person therapy, so it can be a good option when an in-person meeting with a therapist is not possible.

Some conditions are best treated in person. Eating disorders and substance use disorders are included.

An online counselor will not be able to make diagnoses, fulfill court orders, or prescribe medication.

“BetterHelp can help you get immediate and specialist care if online therapy isn’t a good fit for you.”

BetterHelp is one of the more affordable online therapy options she has seen, since there are several different ways to communicate with your therapist.

Prices range from $60 to $90 a week, depending on how many live sessions you want to schedule. You’ll be billed monthly.

BetterHelp does not accept insurance, so you may find other cheaper options.

Does BetterHelp offer financial aid?

For those who qualify, BetterHelp offers financial aid for those who are unemployed or going through financial difficulty.

During the sign-up process, you will apply for financial aid. You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire.

Does BetterHelp accept insurance?

BetterHelp is a subscription plan that does not usually include health insurance.

BetterHelp insurance coverage is available.

Can you change or cancel your BetterHelp subscription?

If BetterHelp is not working for you, you can cancel your subscription.

BetterHelp is a great fit for someone who likes texting, and never leaves the house.

BetterHelp has live video sessions that can be used to mimic traditional therapy, even though it is still a quiet place.

It may be difficult to respond immediately to a crisis or tragedy if you are not close to the client.

It is hard for an online therapist to pick up on certain facial expressions, body language, or vocal signals that occur in real-world interactions. BetterHelp is not ideal for users with unreliable internet connections.

Online therapy is not the best option for people who are experiencing life threatening thoughts.

Keep in mind

BetterHelp is not a substitute for emergency services.

In the event of a mental health emergency — if you’re thinking about harming yourself or someone else — call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

Pricing Services offered What they’re best for Financial aid/insurance?
BetterHelp $60 to $90 per week talk therapy, Stress., anxiety, Depression., relationship issues, Family conflicts., parenting, addiction, Eating disorders can be related to eating disorders., trauma, Anger., It matters if you are gay., grief counseling, religion, and Self-esteem. issues people without insurance (or who don’t have mental health coverage) who are looking for an affordable way to access 24/7 mental health care does not accept insurance
Amwell $109 to $129 per session urgent care, Primary care is for the elderly., The care of the mentally ill., Behavioral healthcare., Chronic care management., Nutrition interventions, and healthy living people looking for a per-appointment (not subscription) virtual service insurance accepted
Talkspace $65 to $129 per week for therapy; $249 for initial psychiatry and $125 for follow-up sessions anxiety and Stress., Issues of the gay community., relationships, Childhood abuse., parenting, Chronic illness., Family conflict., There are trauma and grief., Mood disorders., Depression., Anger. management, There are disorders of the brain., Substance use disorder is a substance abuse disorder., Eating disorders can be related to eating disorders., and obsessive-compulsive disorder is a disorder. people looking for 24/7 counseling that might be covered by insurance and that you can access via video, phone, or chat insurance accepted but limited mental health professionals
7 cups $150 per month talk therapy, The exercises are focused on the present., Cognitive behavioral therapy is a therapy., The exercises are done in a group., relationship issues, Issues of the gay community., Depression., and anxiety people who prefer to chat with a therapist through text only insurance not accepted


Amwell connects people with healthcare professionals through a virtual care platform. This platform offers a lot of healthcare services.

  • urgent care
  • Primary care is for the elderly.
  • The care of the mentally ill.
  • Behavioral healthcare.
  • Chronic care management.
  • Nutrition interventions
  • healthy living

You can receive a counseling session for $109 to $129.

  • anxiety
  • Stress. management
  • Depression.
  • Social anxiety.
  • Issues about the gay community.
  • Couples therapy.
  • panic attacks
  • Life transitions.
  • insomnia
  • post-traumatic Stress. disorder/trauma
  • grief

“Amwell’s therapy services are not subscription based. You have to pay for each visit. The cost of your visits is determined by the credentials of the therapist and experience level.”

Amwell accepts health insurance from some providers. You will see if your insurance provider covers Amwell services during the sign-up stage.

The sessions are for children and teens between the ages of 10 and 17 with the consent of their parent.

We have a review of Amwell.


Talkspace is a platform that connects therapists with clients through the web and mobile app.

The platform offers therapy to people of all ages. There are also Psychiatry evaluations and medication management available.

You can communicate with Talkspace therapists through a variety of methods. There are live sessions once a week.

The network of therapists can help with a lot of different needs.

  • anxiety and Stress.
  • Issues of the gay community.
  • relationships
  • Childhood abuse.
  • parenting
  • Chronic illness.
  • Family conflict.
  • There are trauma and grief.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Depression.
  • Anger. management
  • There are disorders of the brain.
  • Substance use disorder is a substance abuse disorder.
  • Eating disorders can be related to eating disorders.
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder is a disorder.

The therapy services are on a subscription basis and can cost between $65 and 99 a week. A Psychiatry session costs $249 for the initial visit, followed by $125 each subsequent session.

Talkspace accepts insurance from a few providers.

We compared BetterHelp and Talkspace.

7 Cups

7 cups is a platform that provides users with emotional support from an online community and therapy sessions as needed.

You can connect with a therapist through text-only messaging if you pay $150 a month. The platform does not accept insurance.

The therapist only replies on weekdays. You have access to the community platform and a network of trained listeners who can provide emotional support whenever you need it.

7 cups provide mental health care.

  • The exercises are focused on the present.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is a therapy.
  • The exercises are done in a group.

There’s also support for relationship issues, LGTBQIA+ issues, Depression., anxiety, and more.

“You won’t have the option of choosing your therapist if you use 7 cups.”

7 cups review

BetterHelp is rated as a top teletherapy platform for a variety of mental health concerns. Users generally report positive experiences with BetterHelp’s network of therapists, services, and the effectiveness of the therapy sessions.

BetterHelp has an average of 4.07 out of 5 stars on Better Business Bureau (BBB) from over 330 customer reviews. It also has an A rating from the site, which is based on the BBB’s opinion of the company’s reputation and trustworthiness.

A user says on the website that they get exactly what they pay for. I was hooked up with a therapist who is very kind-hearted. I decided to try BetterHelp after seeing advertisements because I had a hard time finding a therapist in my city. My therapist works harder for me than my maternity leave therapist did. I am in another country and time zone as my therapist, and she makes it work.

The process of finding a therapist and finding another therapist was praised by other reviewers.

They appreciate the efficiency of their therapist, the improvement in their mental health, and constant checking in from BetterHelp on their progress and relationship with their therapist.

BetterHelp has a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating on Trustpilot from more than 4,100 customer reviews. The reviews about BetterHelp’s services on Trustpilot are as positive and appreciative as the ones on BBB.

BetterHelp offers counseling for individuals, couples, or families. You will need to do some things to get signed up.

Fill out a questionnaire

The introductory questionnaire is very detailed.

  • What type of therapy do you want?
  • Your gender.
  • Your age.
  • Your sexual orientation.
  • Your pronouns.
  • Your relationship status.
  • Your religious beliefs.
  • Whether you have been in therapy before.
  • Why are you seeking therapy now?
  • Your expectations from your therapist.
  • Your health and medication.
  • Your eating and drinking habits.
  • Your financial status and employment status.
  • How do you prefer to communicate with your therapist?

You’ll also be screened for Depression.. Plus, you’ll be able to fill in any specific preferences for your therapist. You can choose whether you would like:

  • A male or female therapist.
  • A Christian therapist.
  • A therapist from the community.
  • A therapist over 45.
  • A non- religious person is a therapist.
  • A therapist of color.

You will fill in some basic information, like your country, state and how you heard about BetterHelp.

Create an account

You can either use your email or choose to use a social media account.

“You don’t need to enter your first name or nickname at this point.”

Get matched

BetterHelp will ask you what issues you would like your therapist to help with. You will have the chance to explain why you are seeking therapy.

You can apply for financial aid if you have your credit card information.

It can take a few hours to be matched with a counselor in your state.

Is BetterHelp better than in-person therapy?

It depends on your goals and needs.

BetterHelp has a network of licensed, board certified and experienced counselors who are available to help with a variety of mental health needs. This is similar to office sessions with a therapist.

BetterHelp online therapy sessions can benefit anyone who wants to improve their mental health.

“BetterHelp’s therapists can’t give an official diagnosis, prescribe medication or meet a court order.”

In-person therapy sessions are more appropriate for managing severe mental health conditions.

Does BetterHelp take insurance?

BetterHelp does not accept insurance from any health insurance provider.

“You can’t get insurance reimbursement for the therapy costs that you use the platform for. BetterHelp doesn’t give official diagnoses or prescribe treatment. Insurance companies need these details before they can cover the cost.”

BetterHelp notes that even if your insurance plan covers your teletherapy sessions, your copay from your health insurer may be more than the total cost of your sessions.

Is BetterHelp private and secure?

According to BetterHelp, users’ privacy and confidentiality are of utmost priority.

You can erase all conversations with your therapist at any time by clicking the “shred” button.

You can sign up on the platforms without being reported. You will have to give your contact details when you start therapy if there is an emergency.

BetterHelp says the platform follows the rules of the health care privacy and security program. Everything discussed during appointments is confidential unless there is a case of immediate harm to the user or someone else.

“BetterHelp’s databases are vulnerable to being interfered with and become useless. You have to inform your therapist if you want to share your information. They will give you an authorization form to fill out before releasing your information.”

Is BetterHelp legit?

Yes! BetterHelp is a reputable online teletherapy platform that’s been vetted against our business and medical standards. It’s also been reviewed by our medical affairs mental health experts. You can read more about our vetting process here.

BetterHelp also states on its FAQs page that all of its providers are “fully licensed and in good standing.”

Is BetterHelp free?

BetterHelp is not free. Depending on your location and treatment plan, you can expect to pay between $60 and $90 a week.

There are many pros to online or teletherapy. If you have never been to in-person therapy before, this text-based approach can be an easy way to get comfortable.

BetterHelp is an affordable option that can be used to solve problems for people who prefer to use the phone or video call.

However, BetterHelp should not be used if you’re in immediate dAnger. or need critical mental health services.

If you’re interested in trying BetterHelp, you can get started here.