Medically Reviewed By Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA


Online Therapy. Does It Help?

Both research and personal stories show that this kind of support with a licensed therapist is a powerful and effective treatment option for a wide variety of mental illnesses and everyday life challenges. Working with a  therapist can reduce symptoms due to depression, anxiety, insomnia, eating disorders, and more. Licensed & experienced therapists can also help strengthen or heal relationships.

All 20,000+ therapists currently available on the therapy platform are licensed practitioners. There are many different types of therapists that can help our users deal with a variety of important concerns at a time and location best suited for the user; unlike most traditional therapy options. 

Our experienced therapists help those who have mental health and wellness problems, deal with marriage and family concerns, or face other challenges in life. For example, if someone has depression, speaking with a therapist who uses therapy can help the individual recover, regain their energy, and move forward in life in a productive and meaningful way. A couples' therapist can use our therapy platform to help couples with marriage, trust, or other related concerns. We even have therapists for teenagers who can help middle or high schoolers with the concerns that teens face daily.

Online therapy is an alternative form of face-to-face therapy that allows a therapist to communicate with you remotely through the Internet (vs. in-office sessions). Through our platform, you can communicate with your counselor using a computer, tablet, smartphone, and any other device to use an Internet connection.

BetterHelp Therapist Platform Benefits:

  • Exchanging messages with your therapist (also known as online messaging therapy)

  • Video conferencing with your therapist 

  • Speaking over the phone (or sending a text message) with your therapist (also known as phone therapy)

  • Live chatting with your therapist using test or audio messaging (also known as live chat therapy)

  • Online Psychotherapy


Online therapy (also known as e-therapy, internet psychotherapy, or distance therapy) with an experienced therapist is becoming quite popular as of late, and for a good reason. Not only have we been able to help facilitate more than 143 million therapy sessions on our platform with one of our licensed counselors, but we have thousands of reviews from real users of our platform sharing their positive experiences working with a therapist here.

What are people saying about working with a therapist here at BetterHelp? We encourage you to see what some of our users say about our platform and how our platform has helped them strengthen their mental wellbeing.

What are the benefits of using our psychotherapy platform? Aside from what real people are saying about this in-office therapy alternative, you might find that reviewing some of the most common benefits of working with a licensed therapist may surprise you. It's important to keep in mind that this service is more than working with social workers, and you don't have to check to see if we accept insurance. To date, we have been able to help more than a million people with this platform at a reasonable therapy cost; without any issues when you need to switch therapists.

Understanding Therapy With BetterHelp

One of the biggest differences and benefits is that therapy is now available using the internet! This makes communication with therapists possible from anywhere, and gets you the help you need via text, phone, or video as long as you have an internet connection.

No location or transportation issues for therapy sessions

With a growing number of people living away from large cities (in rural areas that typically have fewer therapists available) BetterHelp can provide a good solution. Therapy sessions here are a useful tool for people who are not in a geographical location with an available therapist. Online therapy is also an effective solution for people who do have reliable transportation needed for in-person therapy appointments, which is why more and more people are signing up for sessions with a therapist on our platform.


Comfortable for those who have trouble communicating mental health issues with face-to-face therapy

Some people cannot speak or may have trouble talking with strangers face-to-face. Trying this platform and not worrying about going to visit a therapist’s office can help anyone with verbal communication concerns have an alternative form of communication that makes them feel more comfortable, whether that means using therapy chat sessions or other types of computerized psychological treatments.

Confidential therapy conversations

There's less of a risk of bumping into someone you know or having someone see you pull into the therapist's office for a scheduled in-person psychotherapy appointment. Despite some people having concerns and reservations about e-therapy with a therapist, this is another benefit of privacy.

Lower costs therapy option

Web therapy typically costs less because many counselors work from home and don't have common expenses like a need for a separate office, etc. These added expenses for a therapist generally increase their overhead, so they end up charging higher prices for therapy sessions with their clients. On the other hand, a therapist working on the internet can keep their costs low, and as a result, focus on helping their clients with important life concerns and other mental illness and health-related concerns.

Accessible therapists for people with disabilities - no need to travel to therapy appointments

Disabled people may find the traveling required to visit a therapist's office every week to be a barrier to treatment. However, working with a therapist via the internet can completely remove the need for typical in-office therapy sessions. An increasing number of people appreciate the features often associated with technology-based psychotherapy, such as video or texting therapy. These modalities allow everyone to find available therapists to work with. At BetterHelp, you're matched with a therapist who best suits your needs and preferences. If you're not happy with your licensed therapist, you may switch at any time.

Therapist communication using online therapy on your own schedule

It can be a little difficult for traditional therapy to fit into your schedule if you have a busy life. A stressed-out college student who has a job on the side may find it difficult to be present for in-office therapy visits. However, when working with a therapist online, that's a problem that can be avoided entirely. You have the freedom to message your therapist from wherever, whenever (as long as you have an internet connection). 


The Ways You Can Talk to a Therapist - BetterHelp Online Therapy Explained


Live Chat Therapy

Using the BetterHelp app, you can speak with your therapist through live chat. As you can probably expect from a live chat, it provides quick responses. However, live chat therapy also tends to produce shorter messages. When you need instant relief or advice, live chat is a great solution.





Messaging Therapy

Messaging your therapist allows you to provide a more detailed message, and the therapist can formulate a more detailed response as a result. A disadvantage of messaging is that it doesn't allow for body language or tone of voice, which are typically important in a traditional therapy session.



Voice Call Therapy

Using the mobile phone or an app, you can speak to the therapist through voice. This allows for tone and emotions to come through to the therapist, but no facial expressions.




Video Chat Therapy

Video chatting is always ideal if you want an experience that is comparable to seeing a traditional counselor. You can share and see both the body language and hear the tone of voice with the therapist.


Online Therapy Testimonials







Cynthia Wiedemann (LMFT)

"I am surprised at how positive I've found the online therapy experience to be, and Cynthia is no small part of that. It is wonderful to feel like I have a helpline when I need it, and I trust her to respond thoughtfully and with all the weight of her experience and expertise." - Written by A.L. 






Dr. Eileen Norton (Psy.D.)

"Dr. Norton is patient and kind. Allows me the space to process my feelings, as well as offers suggestions and helpful advice. I am so happy I decided to do online therapy." - Written by M.A.







Esther Gottlieb (LCSW)

"Esther has been really great. She's incredible, attentive, and knowledgeable. I was worried about going into online therapy about not communicating my thoughts and feelings very well through text. Still, Esther has been patient, understanding, and kind throughout all of this." - Written by K.E.







Elaine Bonitatibus (MSW, LCSW, LICSW)

"While I wasn't looking forward to signing up for any kind of therapy, Elaine is easy to talk to and has already helped in a lot of ways with how I cope with anxiety despite me being sort of new here. I would definitely recommend her expertise to anyone with a habit of worrying excessively." - Written by K.A.


The above testimonials about our e-therapy services are just a few of the thousands that we've received over the years from our users who have benefited from using this platform and being connected to one of our online therapists.

Not only do these comments help us appreciate the fact that we're providing a therapist service that really helps people with a mental illness or other life issues, but it also results in us creating a better psychotherapy product and service.

With that in mind, as long as we're in a position to help people connect with a licensed professional... we’ll be working hard to help as many people as possible through our therapist platform, by using video, telephone, messaging, and live chat therapy.

You still might be wondering, "How can this kind of therapy work for someone like me?" If that is the case, please take a look at some of our other reviews to see how our online therapists have been able to help people in more than 143 million sessions.


Online Therapy Benefits


Therapy Benefit #1: Cost

For many people interested in therapy in the United States, finding an affordable option can be a challenge, which is a primary reason that working with a licensed therapist at BetterHelp has become increasingly popular. Even if you have traditional health insurance, a therapist typically doesn't take insurance, which means potential clients must pay out of pocket. The challenge starts with doing the hard work of seeking help, and then the therapist expects the payment for the session to be taken care of upfront, which can cost over $200 for one single session. When comparing that experience with therapy visits via our platform, those in-person sessions generally don't include phone, video chatting, or messaging therapy sessions. 

Therapy Benefit #2: Accessibility

There are a variety of ways internet-based and other computerized communication with a therapist can work, whether that's on the phone, via messaging therapy, or during video chat sessions. This means visiting your therapist's office in person isn't required for BetterHelp sessions. Additionally, you can select and identify whatever matter you need assistance with in therapy, whether for yourself (like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or another important issue) or for you and your partner, if you would like a couples therapy session. Additionally, if you're looking to get support for your child/teenager or need a family session... we offer a platform of licensed therapists dedicated to serving teens between the ages of 13-19 years old. Teenagers often respond well to therapy and working with counselors and therapists  on our platform because they are more comfortable with messaging or video chatting than they are with sitting in a waiting room at a therapist's office.

It's a fact that people express their emotions in different ways, and it's not always easy being open and honest about your feelings sitting in a therapist’s office. It could exacerbate anxious feelings for people with social anxiety, making them feel like shutting down. As opposed to this therapy treatment that requires a visit to a therapist’s office, if you're struggling with social anxiety or trauma, you can take the time needed to get comfortable with your counselor. Maybe you start with messaging for counseling, and build up to sessions that are mostly or all via video chats - however you are most comfortable communicating with your therapist during online counseling. 

Therapy Benefit #3: Convenience

There's something intimate about communicating with a therapist in the privacy of your own home or a space that you've chosen for your online counseling sessions. With a traditional therapist, you're on their turf and in their environment during a session. The therapist typically chooses the place for treatment, and you're a visitor in their space.

With individual therapy, you're in control of where you receive care for your concerns and challenging situations, whether you're using web therapy through video chatting or unlimited messaging therapy with a therapist. If you're experiencing panic, sometimes being in familiar surroundings helps, rather than having to be in a space or environment you're uncomfortable or unfamiliar with. BetterHelp offers an excellent alternative to visiting a local therapist's office for reasons like these. You choose the surroundings, and you control when and how you get the help you need.

Therapy Benefit #4: Choices

You can choose from many different licensed virtual therapists from our network of over 20,000 licensed therapists. When you're looking through your health insurance company's list of providers, you may not see a therapist who treats your personal issues or is best suited for you. Whereas with our therapy option, there are so many licensed and experienced professionals available, and you'll likely find one you click with.

When you see how many of our online therapists are available that can help you, you'll soon realize that there's hope that things can change and get better. We're confident that on our HIPAA-compliant platform, there's a good match for you specifically to help deal with tough times.

Some Of Our Counselors And Online Therapists:

Carla Noto-Vencill - Therapy Provider


Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Addictions, Relationship issues, Family conflicts, Parenting issues

Years of Experience: 29


Gina Found - Therapy Provider


Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Addictions, Relationship issues, Depression

Years of Experience: 11


Brandis Osborne - Therapy Provider


Specialties: Addictions, LGBT community, Grief, Anger management, Self-esteem, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Coping with life changes

Years of Experience: 10


Sam Jenkins - Therapist


Specialties: LGBT community, Intimacy-related issues, Self-esteem, Depression

Years of Experience: 25


Joseph Frey - Online Therapist


Specialties: Addictions, Family conflicts, Intimacy-related issues, Anger management, Career difficulties, Communication Problems, Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks, Post-traumatic Stress, Self-Love, Sexual Assault and Abuse.

Years of Experience: 7

Potential Therapists Concerns

Privacy - is your online counseling session private?

Online therapy has a secrecy oath, just like traditional therapy in a therapist's office; which can be a therapeutic relationship worth building. The challenge is that counseling sessions at BetterHelp can create the possibility of speaking with your therapist just about anywhere (such as using messaging therapy while out and about). If your goal is for your counseling sessions to be private, it's important to realize there's a chance that someone can hear you, look at your phone, or even recognize you during a therapy video chat.

If privacy is a concern for you, we recommend speaking with your therapist from the comfort of your own home (or in a private office or other private space for your therapy & counseling session). 

Who am I speaking with through this therapy platform? What if I don't know their credentials?

Each of our mental health professionals on is a licensed therapist ready for you to create a helpful therapeutic process together. We take mental health seriously and want to make sure that we offer assistance through licensed professionals & therapists. Every therapist here must pass through multiple rounds of interviews, including a rigorous background check to verify state licensing boards' credentials. All of our licensed online therapists have at least 1,000 hours and three years' worth of therapy experience.

Understanding BetterHelp Online Therapy & Therapist Services?

BetterHelp is a therapy service designed to help people struggling with mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, or who just need an experienced therapist to talk to. As mentioned earlier, all of our therapists are licensed, and unlimited messaging therapy is available. You're not alone, and we're ready to help you get well, regardless of whether you have health insurance. We want to make it clear that many of our therapy users feel that it's easy to find an available therapist who can treat important life concerns.

We've helped facilitate millions of therapy sessions for our users using the online therapy therapeutic process, to help them with everything from reducing PTSD symptoms, to managing chronic pain from disabilities. You can find the right match with a therapist without having to spend time looking for licensed therapists in your area, which is a common hurdle people experience when wanting to try psychotherapy. With thousands of counselors online and available, you can find the counselor you need and be able to improve your life and your mental wellbeing using this therapy service. 

For more information about our company, therapy services, and the kind of therapeutic relationship you might build with our counselors, please visit our FAQ section to view answers to common questions about psychotherapy with our therapists. To learn more and determine if this type of therapy service is right for you, take a look at our video about counseling services with a BetterHelp therapist covering the topic. If you have questions for us about therapy, please reach us on our contact page

If you are in a crisis or any other person may be in danger due to an emergency, don't use this therapy service. For on-demand help:

If you need domestic violence support, please contact The National Domestic Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

If you need substance use support, please contact the Substance Abuse and MH Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you need sexual abuse support, please contact the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network at 1-800-656-4673.

Call the 24 hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, which can provide you with immediate help for an emergency call or visit the nearest emergency room.

BetterHelp Therapy News


All-You-Can-Text Therapy Services

By Joshua Fruhlinger

"My BetterHelp therapist asked the same kinds of thought-provoking questions as the traditional therapists I worked with within the past. (What is it about your future that you're unsure of? Can you tell me about your old life and what is different now?) Because of the continuing, open-ended nature of the text chat, however, she helped me identify anxiety triggers and coping mechanisms much faster than it would have taken had we met only once a week. What's more, I came to find that launching the BetterHelp site on my smartphone or laptop and writing out my thoughts became therapeutic in itself."



 Therapy changing as people seek mental health services

By Jennifer Nelson

"A lot of the user base that's interested are people who have never set foot in a therapist's office," says Haesue Jo, a licensed therapist and clinical support lead at BetterHelp, an online counseling and therapy service that provides web-based, phone, and text interaction. "This is a way for people to stick their toe in the water if they've been fearful of talking to a therapist before."



 Online mental health services spike up during pandemic

By Bambi Francisco Roizen

"'We've heard from our therapists how Coronavirus increased the level of anxiety with their current clients. We've also seen a spike in people starting online therapy with us,' Alon Matas, President of Teladoc's BetterHelp, told me. 'The number of new members with concerns of stress and anxiety in February more than doubled vs. February of last year, and this trend is accelerating in March.' BetterHelp provides free service for clients who have been financially impacted by the outbreak (e.g., layoff or loss of income). The company is offering financial aid for new clients that can cover nearly 50% of the counseling cost. Counselors will still be paid, but BetterHelp will subsidize the loss." 

Affordable Therapy User Reviews

BetterHelp review #108518
Date of review: June 15, 2020
The review was written by BetterHelp user J.E. after counseling with David Haynik for 1 year and 4 months on issues concerning depression, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, and anger management.

At a difficult point in my life, David offered me help, which has been truly transformative. I’ve struggled with depression for many, many years. Thanks to David’s compassionate help, I feel like I’m finally on the mend and making great progress towards getting my life back. Thank you, David.

BetterHelp Review For David Haynik


BetterHelp review #108514
Date of review: June 15, 2020
BetterHelp user L.Y. wrote the review after counseling with Krysten Rohlik for 1 month on depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, grief, intimacy-related issues, and self-esteem, coping with life changes, and compassion fatigue.

Krysten is a great listener! She positively dissects my issues and reiterates them back to me to learn to understand my situation from another perspective. She is one of the most understanding individuals I have talked to and asks all the right questions to help me move forward!

BetterHelp Therapist Review For Krysten Rohlik Krysten Rohlik - MS, LPC


BetterHelp review #108508
Date of review: June 15, 2020
The review was written by BetterHelp user V.A. after counseling with Brandon Woffinden for 2 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship issues, and family conflicts.

Brandon has been extremely helpful and compassionate. He responds quickly and with relevant and useful responses (which hasn’t always been the case for me with online therapy). He does so much more than just listen, although he listens very well. He has provided valuable insight and outside recommendations that I can do on my own, and he follows up. The book that he recommended has really opened my eyes and helped change my perspective. He challenges some of the negative ways I am thinking and helps identify some of my mental blind spots. I would highly recommend him to a friend!

BetterHelp Review For Brandon Woffinden Brandon Woffinden - CMHC


BetterHelp review #108501
Date of review: June 15, 2020
The review was written by BetterHelp user T.E. after counseling with Pamela Walker for 6 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, trauma and abuse, self-esteem, and coping with life changes.

I've been seeing Pamela since 2019 and have enjoyed her expertise. She's brought a fresh and refreshing perspective to what I've been dealing with. Pamela is also down-to-earth, kind, supportive, has great energy, empathetic, and listens. She also checks on me in between sessions, something I've never experienced before with therapists. I highly recommend Pamela.

BetterHelp therapy Review For Pamela Walker Pamela Walker - LMSW

Common Questions About Therapy & Counseling Services With A Mental Health Professional

How much should I expect to spend on online therapy mental health services?

The cost of therapy through BetterHelp ranges from $60 to $90 per week (billed every 4 weeks). You can cancel your psychotherapy membership with your therapist at any time for any reason.

How can online therapy with a licensed therapist help me?

There are many studies that confirm the effectiveness of therapy online for making life changes when working with a licensed therapist and building that therapeutic relationship. For example, a study published by JMIR Publications and the Berkeley Well-Being Institute found that this therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy (even cognitive behavioral therapy) with an experienced therapist for reducing depression symptoms. You can read the full study about this kind of psychotherapy here.

Where can I learn more about BetterHelp's therapy online counseling platform?

To learn more about BetterHelp, please find us below.

Online therapy - how much does getting therapy online cost?

Online therapy sessions is a unique therapeutic journey with a therapist that can vary in price based on your individual circumstances. In most cases out-of-pocket or health insurance based online therapy sessions are less than an in-office visit. There’s no student plan for online therapy, but the sessions are affordable for people who are in school and on a budget.  With traditional in-person therapy, you could end up paying much more for therapist sessions than you could if you met with an online counselor although their therapeutic approaches are often similar. When people compare the pros and cons of online therapy vs. in-office therapy costs, affordable online therapy counseling and face-to-face live video options are becoming the more popular choice.

Does My Insurance Cover Online Therapy With BetterHelp Psychologists?

The answer to this is - maybe. The Mental Health Parity Act currently requires that employers and a few others who provide access to group health plans must offer equal benefits for medical and mental health related therapist services. As a result, a few major health insurance providers now cover online behavioral health services as a part of their group health insurance plans. 

Check with your group health insurance provider, employer, or doctor to learn if your employer or health plan provides coverage for behavioral health-related therapist services under the Mental Health Parity Act. When you contact your provider, follow the prompts to enter your insurance information to gain access to your plans coverage details.

Are BetterHelp online therapy services covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid?

The BetterHelp platform offers affordable and sliding-fee out-of-pocket based therapy with experience therapeutic professionals. In some cases, out-of-pocket costs for therapy can be reimbursed by a medical insurance or behavioral health insurance plan. If you aren’t sure if your health insurance plan provides coverage for psychotherapy and behavioral health-related therapist services (for cognitive behavioral therapy) -- talk to your Medicare or Medicaid insurance provider before your first appointment as part of your pre-visit process. 

You can find the contact information for your Medicare or Medicaid provider on the back of your state-issued health insurance card. Use the contact number on the back of your card to keep your information secure.

Explore Medically Reviewed Therapy Articles