In the 21st century, issues of the mind such as depression and anxiety are becoming rampant. A recent study by The Journal of Internal Medicine reports that nearly 1 out of 6 Americans are on psychiatric drugs. There are many reasons we can postulate why so many Americans are on medication but it’s a reality. Although medications can help people, many people don’t wish to take them. Drugs can cause a multitude of side-effects and may not benefit the issue at hand.
Therapy may help many people without having the physical side-effects or risks of drugs, but it is often very costly. Many therapists charge between 150 and 200 dollars per session with limited insurance coverage. If you go to a therapist once or twice a week, the monthly cost may be substantial and unaffordable to many. Due to the pitfalls of medications or standard therapy, there are new companies rising to try to help. One of the largest ‘3rd party options’ out there is BetterHelp. BetterHelp is a website that offers affordable online counseling and therapy from the comfort of your home. The company works around the world and has several thousand therapists and counselors to choose from.
This ‘3rd party’ option sounds appealing to many people — so we decided to go ahead and try it out using their free trial.
First Impressions Of The Platform
Signing up is a very simple. The signup process requires that you answer a few questions about yourself. The first questions are very simple such as your age and gender. The following questions are about specific issues that you might have like substance abuse, anxiety or depression. I was also allowed to use a nickname for my privacy. After answering the questionnaire, BetterHelp will pair you with a specialized counselor to fit your needs.
The Cost Of The Service
After pairing with your counselor, you’re prompted to enter your credit card for a 7-day trial. You won’t be charged until after seven days are completed and you’ve had a chance to try out the services. This is a great deal considering you’re not going to get any free sessions with an in-person therapist. After the 7-day trial, the service costs 35 dollars a week for unlimited access. This deal is highly affordable compared to the average 100 to 200 (or more) dollars of a regular therapist.
My Counseling Session
I was paired almost immediately with a counselor named Stephanie S. who had multiple certifications including a master’s of counseling degree. I also had the option of how I wanted to communicate with my therapist. The options included instant messaging, telephone and video chat. I went ahead and opted for the video chat option as that felt most natural to me.
Stephanie was extremely professional and helpful during our first session. She helped me identified the issues I wanted to work on, and we set up a counseling plan for future sessions. With using the video chat it didn’t feel any different than sitting in an office with a standard therapy session.
Does BetterHelp Actually Help?
In my opinion, BetterHelp seems no different than regular therapy and that it works just the same. I think we all need someone to talk to who can help us with our issues. Just having a trained specialist available to you may make your life immensely better. BetterHelp is a wonderful way to have affordable access a counselor and I would highly recommend it.