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BetterHelp reviews can help people decide if the online therapy service is worth trying. So, two MNT editors tested BetterHelp and shared their reviews here. We also provide a detailed discussion of the brand and its services.

The editors received BetterHelp sessions for free, which did not influence the content of their reviews. They chose to write anonymously using pen names due to the sensitive nature of the services.

Rose’s experience

One MNT editor, writing under the name “Rose,” had weekly therapy sessions on BetterHelp for 5 months. Below, they share their experience.

Signing up

“BetterHelp starts the signup process with a questionnaire in which you provide information about your age, gender, sexuality, spiritual and religious beliefs, relationship status, and more. You also answer questions about what you want from your therapist, including whether you’d like them to set you goals, talk about your past, or teach you new skills. You can also briefly describe the issues you’re facing before the platform uses your responses to match you with a therapist.

“I was matched within 3 hours, which was really impressive. I’m sure not everyone gets the match right on their first go, but the therapist I was matched with is a great fit for all of my preferences. This may also be a more exploratory experience for people who haven’t tried therapy before — I already know what will work for me, but some people may find that the platform doesn’t get the match right, or they learn that they need something different to what they originally thought.”

My first session

“I chose video sessions because I prefer face-to-face sessions over text chat. The session started on time, and I spent it filling the therapist in on my past, the mental health conditions I’ve been diagnosed with, and what problems I’m facing that I’d like support with.

“The therapist mentioned that she didn’t get any information about me before we started our session, indicating that the information you share in the signup process may not reach your therapist. This felt a little unhelpful, as I was spending time in my first session repeating information I thought she would have had access to.

“Overall, though, the first session went really well. My therapist is professional, sympathetic, listens well, and openly enjoys our discussions.”

What my sessions were like

“Since my first session, I’ve had some really interesting and insightful conversations with my therapist. We talked about problems I was facing that week alongside more philosophical discussions about human nature, why we work the way we do, and how to find lost happiness in gentle and achievable ways. We also dug into my past to find threads that inform the way I process events and emotions, which was illuminating, if difficult, at times.

“On a more practical note, rescheduling the appointments that I couldn’t make was very easy. I just had to go onto my chat room, click reschedule on my next appointment, and pick a new date from my therapist’s calendar.

“BetterHelp is really good at reminding you about upcoming appointments, but getting several texts and emails about a regular session can be a bit much. For those who have trouble keeping track of appointments, I’m sure it would be really useful.

“The weekly cost is what I would expect for a therapy service, and there is the option to have fewer sessions a month to keep the cost down, which is a great feature for people on a flexible income and those who want a longer time to work on things between sessions.”

When the subscription ended

“Unfortunately, my subscription ended far sooner than I was expecting. There was no warning that my subscription and access to all of BetterHelp’s services was about to end, so my therapist was left wondering what had happened to me. If we had known my subscription was ending the next week, we would have wrapped up our session properly and not made plans to work on certain things in future sessions.

“I couldn’t message her to let her know what had happened, which was worrying for her and frustrating for me. In the end, I had to contact her through a separate mental health directory to let her know I was okay and that I was working on fixing my subscription.

“Thankfully, my mental health was stable at this time, so I was able to deal with the very abrupt end to my counseling sessions. I have other people and resources I can rely on now that my subscription has ended. However, if this happened to someone who was not in a stable place, this sudden drop in support could be distressing and potentially dangerous. It was a huge drawback for me and not the way I would want my therapy sessions to end.”

My thoughts overall

“All in all, I’m happy with my BetterHelp experience, and I’d recommend it to MNT readers. It’s been smooth from the start, and I was lucky to get a well-matched therapist on the first try.

“My main concerns lie with the company’s history of data protection controversy, and I’d recommend looking at the company’s privacy policy in detail before signing up and carefully considering what information you agree to share. I also think the lack of warning before a subscription ends is very risky and should be changed. Anyone considering the service should make a note of when their subscription may end so they’re not caught out and they know when a mistake has been made by the company.”

Olivia’s experience

A second MNT editor, writing under the name “Olivia,” had weekly therapy sessions on BetterHelp using text and video calls.

Why I tried BetterHelp

“I wanted to try online therapy as I’ve primarily only tried in-person therapy before. It was very simple and a lot quicker than I expected! I was matched with a therapist in under a day. Before I started my sessions, I knew what type of therapy she specialized in and her areas of expertise.

“My therapist also made it really clear that she could help me switch if I wanted to, and it was up to me. I didn’t need to switch, but it seemed like the process was relatively straightforward.”

My experience overall

“I was matched with a therapist who fit my criteria quickly, and she messaged me right away. I found the sessions really useful, and the therapist was always very supportive and empathetic. She also responded to messages I sent fairly quickly, which was great.

“It was easy to book and reschedule sessions if need be. The only hiccup was related to the BetterHelp support desk. My therapist let me know that she’d be on holiday for 2 weeks, so I’d need to contact the support team to extend my membership by 2 weeks so I wouldn’t miss out on sessions.

If you were paying for therapy monthly, I’d imagine this could be a bit of a headache. It seems like BetterHelp should have an option for the therapist to manage this instead of putting the onus onto the user — it could be particularly difficult for people who struggle with executive dysfunction, have depression, or ADHD, or other conditions.”

Who I think BetterHelp is good for

“I think BetterHelp is a good fit for people who have busy or varied schedules and have a hard time fitting therapy into their week. One-hour sessions virtually are easy to fit into a busy life, and the scheduling is flexible. In previous therapy experiences, sessions were held at the same time and day every week. BetterHelp lets you book whatever available time and day works for you. I think this would be good for people with busy work schedules, students, or parents.”

At the time of publication, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has given BetterHelp an A- rating. The company has had BBB accreditation since 2015. The average customer rating is 4.07 out of 5 stars, based on more than 570 reviews.

The BBB bases its rating on such factors as the amount of time a company has been in business, the number of complaints filed and resolved, transparency of business practices, and the presence of any licensing or government actions against the company.

Positive reviews on the BBB website mention compatibility with counselors and how easy it is to use the BetterHelp online platform. Less favorable reviews note billing problems, reimbursement issues, and a lack of counselor availability.

People also report difficulty agreeing on the counseling format, with the company offering some individuals live chat sessions when they requested phone or video appointments.

BetterHelp reviews on the company website are generally positive, with customers again noting that they enjoy the platform’s ease, convenience, and flexibility.

However, other reviews report therapist availability, billing, and reimbursement issues. Moreover, some individuals felt that it was difficult to connect with a therapist using the live chat feature, with a few users also reporting that they were discouraged from scheduling video or phone sessions.

BetterHelp, founded in 2013, is based in Silicon Valley. In 2015, a major telehealth company called Teladoc acquired it but kept the original brand name.

The BetterHelp online platform allows a person to access professional counselors anywhere and anytime. Individuals can use a computer, tablet, or smartphone to seek counseling services, which makes the process more convenient, flexible, and affordable than in-person appointments. It also allows a person to maintain their privacy while receiving therapy.

BetterHelp is a suitable therapy service for people who cannot easily access in-person therapy sessions due to location or health conditions. It is also well-matched to people who need flexibility in their schedule, as users can choose mental health care professionals who are available when they need them.

According to BetterHelp, its counselors can help those wanting to address something that may be keeping them from enjoying their life or meeting their goals.

People can choose from counselors who specialize in many key areas, such as:

The company states it ensures that all its therapists have undergone full training, licensing, and accreditation and must have a master’s or doctoral degree in their chosen field. Therapists with BetterHelp have at least 3 years of previous experience.

BetterHelp asks all therapist applicants to verify their identity and provide license documentation. The company then cross-references this information with the therapist’s state licensing board. After BetterHelp verifies this information, the applicants must complete a graded case study and a video interview.

BetterHelp states that this thorough process means the company only accepts 25% of therapist applicants.

BetterHelp also displays a therapist’s full credentials, allowing individuals to perform their own research if they wish.

BetterHelp provides counseling services for adults, couples, teenagers, first responders, and veterans.

The company works with thousands of licensed counselors, all of whom have a master’s or doctoral degree in their fields, as well as at least 3 years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience.

Counselors come from the following backgrounds:

BetterHelp pairs individuals with therapists based on their responses to an online multiple-choice questionnaire.

The company will then assign a person to a private online chat room that only they and their therapist can access. The chat room is always “open” for the counselor and client. Individuals have unlimited chat time with their counselors through their chat rooms, although the chats are not usually live.

BetterHelp offers people one live session with their counselor each week. These live sessions can be online chats, phone calls, or video sessions that individuals schedule with their counselors in their chat rooms.

If someone is unhappy with their match, they can request to change therapists from their profile.

BetterHelp offers various types of therapy appointments to suit customers’ preferences. They include:

Chat room

A person can opt to talk with their designated therapist via a chat room at any time. While people can access this messaging service whenever they wish, a therapist may not respond immediately.

Live chat

Individuals can schedule a session with their therapist through the live chat function. This feature is similar to the chat room feature. However, people can message their therapist and receive responses in real-time.

A person can return to and view this message exchange whenever they like.

Phone session

BetterHelp also offers phone sessions.

To use this feature, a person must schedule a session with their therapist. Then, they must log in to their BetterHelp therapy room, and the system will ask for their phone number. The system then calls this number and connects the person with their therapist.

Video session

Alternatively, a person may schedule a live video session with their therapist so they can speak face to face. As with the phone session, a person signs into their therapy room at the appropriate time.

The therapist sends an invitation to begin a video chat. Once the participant accepts the invitation, the session will begin.


BetterHelp provides a journaling option for people who want to write down and explore their thoughts and feelings. Prompts can help people guide their journaling practice.

Mental health conditions are common throughout society. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental health conditions each year, as do 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6–17 years.

As an online mental health care provider, BetterHelp can be a good choice for adults seeking convenience, flexibility, and a more affordable option for therapy. BetterHelp could be suitable for people:

  • living in remote areas or places with limited access to mental health care professionals
  • managing schedules and responsibilities that keep them from attending face-to-face therapy sessions
  • seeking a variety of treatment options
  • working with a limited budget
  • seeking talk therapy over medication-based treatment
  • pursuing treatment to address their own concerns and not in response to a court order
  • who are not at immediate risk for harm or self-harm
  • with a reliable internet connection

Getting started with BetterHelp

Getting started with BetterHelp involves the following steps:

  1. When individuals register online to use BetterHelp, they complete an online questionnaire that seeks information such as gender, age, sexual orientation, relationship status, and religion.
  2. The questionnaire also asks about a person’s objectives in seeking counseling and the types of issues they are experiencing. A person may also select any characteristics they want in a counselor, such as religion, gender, and ethnicity.
  3. BetterHelp reviews a person’s completed questionnaire and then pairs them with an appropriate counselor. This process may take up to a few days.
  4. Once the company matches a person with a therapist, that person gains access to a private chat room where they can communicate with their counselor. This chat room allows people to schedule live messaging, phone, or video sessions.

Who should not use BetterHelp?

BetterHelp writes that its services are unsuitable for:

  • minors or those under the care of a legal guardian
  • those with court orders to attend therapy
  • people without access to a reliable internet connection

People who are in a mental health crisis or need urgent support should not use BetterHelp or any other online therapy service. They should seek help at the services below instead.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.

Click here for more links and local resources.

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BetterHelp works on a subscription basis and offers a 7-day free trial. Subscribers pay $70–$100 per week after this trial period. The exact price depends on a person’s location, preferences, and therapist availability.

The company sends bills every 4 weeks. The bills are payable by credit card or PayPal. A person can cancel their subscription at any time.


At the time of publication, BetterHelp appears to offer veterans, frontline workers, and first responders a free first month of therapy with a licensed therapist.

Insurance and financial aid

BetterHelp states that the company and therapists do not submit claims to Medicare, Medicaid, or health insurance companies.

While some health insurers may cover part of the costs of the BetterHelp platform, the company warns that a person’s copay may be more expensive than the cost of using the services without insurance.

If an individual has insurance and wishes to use it, they should check whether their provider offers coverage for BetterHelp.

BetterHelp may offer some financial aid. In the initial questionnaire, BetterHelp will ask for information about a person’s financial position. A person can also reach out to the company’s customer service to apply.

When a person selects their plan, they can apply for financial aid.

Learn more about whether insurance covers BetterHelp.

The company uses multiple layers of encryption to safeguard user data, with one layer for general browsing and a second, added layer for subscribers and their counselors.

The company states it does not share data with insurance companies, and counselors follow all local and federal privacy guidelines, including HIPAA.

BetterHelp has faced some controversy recently, mainly regarding data protection issues.

In 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that BetterHelp broke its privacy promises. The FTC says BetterHelp took health information from individuals during its intake questionnaire and sold it to advertisers, including Facebook, Snapchat, Criteo, and Pinterest, from 2017–2020.

BetterHelp allegedly used users’ sensitive health information to target social media adverts, encouraging them to refer their friends and family to the service. In March 2023, the FTC banned BetterHelp from sharing customers’ data for targeted advertising.

The company had to pay $7.8 million to affected customers, ask for consent before using their health information, revise its privacy policy, and implement a data retention schedule. This means there is a limit on how long the company can hold people’s data.

BetterHelp only employs qualified and licensed therapists on its platform. However, the brand has had a lawsuit against them regarding data protection, which may put some people off using the platform.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found in 2023 that BetterHelp broke its privacy promises. The FTC says BetterHelp sold health information from its customers to advertisers, including Facebook, Snapchat, Criteo, and Pinterest, between 2017 and 2020. BetterHelp had to compensate affected customers and revise its data retention policy, among other changes.

BetterHelp may be more affordable than other online therapy platforms or connecting with a therapist through more traditional routes. Depending on a person’s subscription, the service can cost from $70 per week.

BetterHelp does not accept insurance but offers other financial aid to those who need it. Customers must reach out to BetterHelp’s customer service team to ask about applying for financial aid.

BetterHelp is an online counseling platform. It connects thousands of people seeking support with thousands of vetted counselors.

The company pairs users with counselors based on their responses to an online questionnaire, although individuals may switch if they would prefer a different therapist.

A person can schedule weekly meetings with their counselor, which can be through webchat, phone, or video connections.

If an individual is experiencing difficulty performing day-to-day tasks due to their mental health, they should seek help from a qualified mental health professional as soon as possible.

For more in-depth resources about mental health, visit our dedicated hub.

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