"My BetterHelp therapist asked the same kinds of thought-provoking questions as the traditional therapists I worked with in 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."
"The site also offers members the option to schedule live video and phone sessions with their therapists, though Barlevy worked mainly with clients via the site's unlimited asynchronous messaging service. They messaged her about many of the same issues her face-to-face therapy clients were dealing with, including stress, anxiety and relationship issues, among other concerns, and she messaged them back with questions, feedback, insights and guidance. They benefited from easier access to therapy, which particularly helps people in rural areas who may not be able to drive an hour each way to see a therapist face-to-face."
"In the field of psychology, this has been a game changer both for the treatment of patients and for the wellbeing of both patient and mental health providers. Patients have more flexibility, because location and schedule are no longer a barrier, and they have more choice of providers. The patient is no longer limited by having to choose a limited number of providers in network, so they can truly make a decision based on rightness of fit. Mental health professionals are able to see more patients with less overhead expenses, and have a more flexible schedule since they are no longer tied to an office. This also enables professionals who have to work remotely for various reasons, to continue to do the work they love. Major players like BetterHelp, Teladoc, and American Well, provide mobile-based platforms for professionals to connect with those seeking assistance with mental health concerns."
"David Kaplan, chief professional officer of the American Counseling Association, believes that technology plays an important and necessary role in the counseling profession. 'Online counseling can be especially useful with individuals in rural America, as a great many rural counties do not have a single licensed mental-health professional,' he says. And for clients with conditions like agoraphobia or severe anxiety, online sessions may be the only choice."
"Another option to keep in mind, due to varying levels of health and ability to leave the home, might be to start with, or pursue telehealth platforms such as BetterHelp where patients can meet with a therapist virtually. This would help them communicate with a therapist when they are feeling well enough to do so, and would eliminate the constraints of having to set appointments and office visits."
"If you're on a budget, turning to a therapist or coach might not be a financial option. Thankfully, there are resources like Betterhelp and the 7 Cups of Tea app. BetterHelp offers low-cost solutions by offering virtual therapy with licensed professionals."
"BetterHelp matches users to therapists who are psychologists (PhD or PsyD), marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, or licensed professional counselors. Users can text their therapist in a "room" on the site or in the app (Android, iOS). The text chat is the default option, but users and therapists can schedule video chats at mutually convenient times. If a user is not pleased with the therapist they've been matched with, they can switch. BetterHelp is HIPAA-compliant."
"In this election, politics have been very personal. With Donald Trump as president-elect, the fate of the country has become a wild card, and many women, Muslims, people of color, LGBTQ citizens, and other minorities feel individually marginalized by the prospect of his leadership. So naturally they’re looking for help.
Online therapy sites have seen an immediate uptick in clientele throughout the election. The American Psychological Association reported that even weeks before the results came in, 52 percent of Americans were coping with "high levels of stress brought on by this election."
Alon Matas, founder of BetterHelp, an online therapy resource, told Motherboard that anxiety is the main issue most recent clients are facing. Over the last few weeks, BetterHelp saw a sharp 30 percent increase in sign ups, and another spurt the night of the election."
"It is organized well, easy to use, reliable, and convenient. One can also access the service through one’s phone by setting up a pin code that allows quick log-in. It does not require scheduling a time or commuting (unless your nearest device with internet access is far from you). I think it is definitely worth trying out, and if it is a good fit, it is worth paying for as well. It makes me happy to know that such initiatives are emerging to de-stigmatize mental health and reach out to more people who need related services. Everyone deserves to be at peace with themselves, and with this service, everyone can get better help in getting there. See what I did there? I tried."
I could see how using online therapy could get me through the day — back then, at my non-profit magazine job, instead of crying, I could’ve gotten in touch with a professional qualified to calm people down, without having to resort to teleporting.
"Many therapists offer sessions over webcam (they usually cost the same as in-person), but you may still find it unaffordable or difficult to block off the necessary time. Companies like BetterHelp ... are making therapy easier and cheaper to get by giving you in a private, secure chat room with your therapist. You pay a subscription fee to have unlimited access to your chatroom via your computer, tablet, or phone."
"Yet she was intrigued by BetterHelp, a start-up that offered a different kind of counseling—via online messaging. After being matched with a therapist, Leena started tapping out her worries on her laptop and phone, then waiting for a response (which usually came within 24 hours). "It felt like writing an email to a brilliant friend, yet there was also that professionalism," she says."
"If you can't see a professional face-to-face, the next best thing may be chatting with one on your phone. Some services offer video and voice calls, while others center around texting. It's not just nervousness that might lead you to put the distance of technology between yourself and your therapist: you may find that you can't get an appointment with a real person without months of waiting. And even though your insurance plan must cover mental health services the same way they cover the rest of your care, that may still involve a significant out-of-pocket cost."
"If you find the idea of baring your soul to a stranger a bit awks, filtering that through instant messaging might be helpful. You won't get the same connection as with face-to-face counselling, but the semi-anonymity may make it easier to open up if you've been drinking two bottles of rum and dancing around in your dead nan's wedding dress every night.
She first ascertained the scale of my anxiety, what triggers it – social situations, meeting people for the first time – and then dived headlong into my fractious childhood (divorced parents, strained familial relationships, bullied in junior school). She was pretty nosey tbh, but then that's her job, isn't it?
Overall, the service is impressively slick. The conversation can be a little stop-starty at times, but it was actually a far smoother and more on-tap experience than I expected. I even got speedy responses to messages over the weekend, which was unexpected."
"'It's been around for a few years and it's amazing the way that it's grown,' said Nikki Martinez, Ph.D., LCPC, a Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and therapist on BetterHelp. 'I think a lot of it is positive feedback. I think in the beginning people were wary but people are seeing it does benefit them.'"
"It wasn't just placebo effect. Two 2013 studies, one from the University of Zurich published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, and another published in Cyberpyschology, Behavior and Networking, found that text therapy can be just as effective, if not more effective, than in-person therapy."
"Most of us could probably benefit from some psychological counseling every now and then, but we've got a list of well-worn excuses for why not to commit. It's time-intensive, it's expensive, it's embarrassing. But new e-therapy models are attempting to make mental health services more affordable and accessible than ever. And we're not just talking about Skyping with your trusted psychologist, either."
Text-based and online therapy lets you connect with a licensed therapist over text, video-call or email and is more popular than ever.
"Technology offers even more ways to deliver health care without patients actually visiting a doctor. That's especially true with mental health care, since physical examinations are not usually needed."