Choosing Online Mental Health Counseling
& Why We Recommend BetterHelp
One of the common questions we get from our visitors and subscribers is:
“How do I get professional counseling for (my mental health issue)?”
At Be Brain Fit, we understand that a brain-healthy lifestyle isn’t always enough to keep you mentally healthy.
Sometimes, professional counseling is needed.
One in four people experience a mental disorder in their lifetime, but most never seek professional help. (1)
That’s unfortunate, because the right therapist can make a big difference at these crucial times.
But traditional mental health counseling is:
- Expensive — Mental health therapists in many cities charge an out-of-pocket rate of $75 to $150 per 45-minute session. Health insurance plans generally provide minimal coverage for mental health issues. Also, insurance companies often deny or limit claims payments for unforeseen reasons.
- Hard to access — Should you have mental health insurance, you’ll find that provider networks are generally quite limited. (2) This means that it will be harder for you to find a suitable counselor, or maybe any provider.
- Inconvenient — Work, family, and other commitments make it hard to squeeze therapy sessions into your busy schedule.
- Stigmatized — Many people who would otherwise seek mental health counseling are either ashamed or embarrassed, or think it unwise, to pursue it. It’s hard for traditional counseling to be as discreet as you would like.
BetterHelp — The Case for Online Mental Health Counseling
Below, we discuss the features and benefits that make online counseling, particularly the services provided by BetterHelp, an attractive alternative throughout the US to traditional, office-based mental health counseling.
You have quite a few choices today when choosing and working with a counselor via an online platform.
The quality of the professionals who provide online counseling is no different than traditional counseling.
All therapists are trained, licensed and experienced, and certified by their state’s professional board.
However, you must be aware of the differences in the quality of the platform that delivers online counseling to you.
No single professional, service, or treatment approach is right for everyone, but, in our opinion …
The professionalism, effectiveness, affordability, convenience, and privacy of BetterHelp’s services makes them a top online counseling service.
Does Online Counseling Work?
The short answer is, yes it does.
A study conducted by the University of California found BetterHelp to be as effective as traditional counseling. (5)
An impressive 98% of BetterHelp clients reported making significant progress and 94% said they actually preferred BetterHelp to meeting with a therapist face-to-face.
What Mental Health Issues Can I Get Help With?
The counselors at BetterHelp include psychologists (PhD/PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW), and licensed professional counselors (LPC) to provide you with the level of expertise and experience you need.
BetterHelp’s therapists are qualified and experienced to help you with issues that involve:
- Self-esteem and coping
- Family conflicts
- Trauma and abuse
- Grief and loss
- Sex and intimacy
- Life transition
- Religion and faith
- and more …
What Kind of Expertise Do These Therapists Have?
All BetterHelp professionals have a masters or doctorate degree, are certified by their state’s professional board, and have at least three years of hands-on experience.
Their directory of 4,900 licensed therapists have conducted more than 50,000,000 online sessions with clients.
BetterHelp therapists offer counseling for individuals, couples, families, and teens.
You can learn more about any therapist on BetterHelp’s website.
Four Advantages of Online Counseling vs Traditional Counseling
The biggest obstacles that keep people from seeking traditional mental health counseling are:
➀ They can’t afford to pay for traditional counseling out-of-pocket and their health insurance won’t pay for any, or much, of it either.
➁ They can’t find a therapist suitable for their needs in their local area.
➂ They can’t fit ongoing therapy sessions delivered in a typical office setting into their schedule.
➃ They are ashamed or embarrassed, or think it imprudent, for others to know that they are receiving mental health care.
With BetterHelp, these issues are not a concern.
Online Counseling Is Much More Affordable
BetterHelp is significantly less expensive than typical in-office therapy.
The median rate for an in-person therapy session is $120 and, in major metropolitan areas, it can be much more. (6)
Health insurance generally provides minimal coverage and payment for mental health issues.
Even so, the co-pay required may be higher than the entire cost of BetterHelp.
The cost for BetterHelp counseling ranges from $40 to $70 per week and includes unlimited access to your counselor.
You can stop your service at any time.
Finding the Right Counselor Is Easier
With traditional counseling, you may find it hard to locate the right therapist, or any therapist, in your area.
If you have mental health insurance, you’ll likely be confined to therapists in your insurance company’s provider network.
They may not be accepting new patients, may be booked for weeks in advance, or may not be experienced in dealing with your issue.
And, if you have to find your own therapist, how do you do that? It’s not easy.
BetterHelp’s intake survey will match you with a therapist who has the qualifications and expertise you prefer in a counselor, usually within 24 hours.
Convenience Is a Major Advantage vs Traditional Counseling
Online counseling allows you to make appointments that suit your schedule.
Additionally, you can communicate with your therapist 24/7.
Once you are matched to a counselor, you and your counselor will gain access to a dedicated virtual “counseling room” — your private and secure place to communicate.
With BetterHelp, as long as you have a computer or mobile device, you can use message, chat, phone, or video with your counselor, any time and anywhere you need.
Privacy, Discretion, and Security Are Paramount
Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding mental health care is still very real.
Fear of being judged by employers, colleagues, or family may make you leery about getting help.
All mental health professionals take steps to protect your privacy, but BetterHelp takes it a few steps further.
Their privacy and confidentiality standards are far more advanced than what is required by law or regulations.
You don’t even have to disclose your full real name to your therapist.
Everything you tell your counselor is completely private, protected by strict federal and state laws.
BetterHelp does not share any information with your insurance companies or employer.
All messages between you and your counselor are secured by 256-bit encryption, the same kind that banks use.
BetterHelp’s databases are encrypted and scrambled so that they become essentially useless in the unlikely event they are ever stolen or inappropriately used.
How BetterHelp Works
Here’s how to get started with BetterHelp:
(A tap on any of the BetterHelp links on this page will take you to the “Get Started” page on their website.)
- First, in an intake survey, you’ll answer a substantial number of questions about yourself, including the symptoms you’re experiencing, the issues you’d like to address, and your preferences for the qualities you want in your therapist. It’s important for BetterHelp to know all this in order to pair you with a compatible and helpful counselor.
- Then, their proprietary algorithm will match you with a counselor appropriate for you and your situation, usually within 24 hours.
- Once you are paired with your therapist, you’ll have access to a secure, dedicated chat room that only you and your counselor can access.
- If, for any reason, you are not completely satisfied with your therapist, you can easily request a change.
- You can use BetterHelp for as short or long a time as you’d like.
- Once you accomplish your goals, or decide to discontinue for any other reason, you can cancel your subscription at any time.
Online Mental Health Counseling: Take the Next Step
Sometimes, you need professional counseling to help you rebalance your life, relationships, or work.
Counseling is very helpful for a WIDE range of behavioral and emotional issues.
BetterHelp is the largest online counseling platform, with about 5,000 licensed, accredited, and experienced counselors available to help you throughout the US.
You get the same professionalism and quality you would expect from a traditional, office-based counselor, but with the ability to communicate when and how you want.
With BetterHelp online counseling, the traditional barriers to mental health therapy are significantly reduced.
BetterHelp offers quality mental health counseling on your terms — it’s professional, effective, affordable, convenient, and private.
NOTE WELL: Any online therapy, including BetterHelp, is not the right solution for you if any of the following is true:
- You have thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
- You are a minor or you are under the care of a legal guardian.
- You are in an urgent crisis or an emergency situation.
- You have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness, or if you have been advised to be under psychological supervision or psychiatric care.
- You were required to undergo therapy or counseling either by a court order or by any other authority.
- You do not have a device that can connect to the internet or you do not have a reliable internet connection.