"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."
"BetterHelp is an app that brings a licensed, verified and background-checked therapist right to you. Well, to your phone, anyway. The obvious convenience is access to the benefits of therapy without having to leave your home. You can text, talk or even set up video sessions. BetterHelp offers three options for those seeking counseling: Individual (for yourself), Couples (for you and your partner) and Teen (for your child). Katherine Taylor, Ed.d, LCPC (MD), NCC says, 'BetterHelp users can access help anytime, anywhere and have the ability to text for feedback and check-ins. Users can also switch therapists at any time if they don't feel a connection.'"
"We moved away from having an on-campus counselor, who could only provide services to our students living in Utah, to Betterhelp in August of 2019," she told MobiHealthNews in an email. "Furthermore, the breadth of counselors at Betterhelp specifically meet the needs of our minority student population through the intake questionnaire by asking students questions specific to their demographics and matching them to Betterhelp counselors accordingly."
Teletherapy, a form of telehealth, offers online counseling with licensed therapists via phone, webcam, email or text message. Also known as telepsychology, telemental health or telepractice, this service has been around for more than 20 years, originally utilized by the military to treat veterans and serve patients in rural areas. And now the convenient way to access mental health is catching on with millennials.
"Being digital natives, millennials are naturally drawn to apps and online services," says clinical psychologist Sonya Bruner, Ph.D., former clinical director of the largest online counseling platform, BetterHelp.com...
"Virtual Therapy is becoming increasingly popular in our modern world. There are several companies that provide this service to busy professionals, people who have severe anxiety disorders and cannot leave their homes, students that are occupied with their hectic college lifestyles, and just the every day person who is into trying new things! I had the opportunity to interview Alon Matas, Founder & President of the online counseling platform BetterHelp. Matas started the company after dealing with his own mental health challenges and he hopes through this platform to help others to get well too!"
"Meanwhile, research continues to document the promise of technology in psychology practice. A review of more than 100 controlled trials published last year concluded that therapist-guided internet treatments are effective for a wide range of psychological conditions. Evidence is particularly strong around the effectiveness of treating anxiety, stress and depression online. And new services such as BetterHelp, Therapy. Live, LARKR, 7 Cups and others tout on-demand talk, text or video therapy to provide consumers with greater flexibility."
"Mental health counseling is literally at your fingertips. Digital mental health can extend care to those who can't afford it, at a fraction of the cost of an in person visit."
"Having someone to talk to is important in times like this, but medical students don't have a lot of free time for an appointment with a therapist. As a matter of fact, most of their free time is usually during the middle of the night or very early in the morning when traditional therapists are at home and in bed...For those students who feel they need more than just a casual conversation, websites such as BetterHelp have licensed professionals that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
"A new study from Enitan Marcelle, a UC Berkeley researcher, and Dr. Tchiki Davis, Ph.D., from the Berkeley Well-Being Institute, supports that high-quality online counseling is a viable alternative to face-to-face counseling, and in some cases could lead to better outcomes.
The study tested improvement in depression symptoms among 317 participants who had been receiving counseling through BetterHelp, the largest online counseling platform worldwide. All participants had been working with a licensed therapist through the platform for a period of three months or longer."
"Counselors in training often have to put in a minimum of 1,500 hours before getting their license, which means they sometimes offer sessions at a discount while being overseen by a licensed therapist. The same goes for students (supervised by a clinician) at the master's and Ph.D. level, and after becoming licensed some will even keep their clients at a discounted rate as a form of loyalty.
Frequency and format are also places to get creative with price. Instead of going every week, you can talk about going once a month, or switching your sessions to Skype or email. Similarly, online therapy services like BetterHelp, 7 Cups of Tea, BlahTherapy and Talkspace are effective alternatives."
"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."
Text-based and online therapy lets you connect with a licensed therapist over text, video-call or email and is more popular than ever.
Online therapy is growing, in no small part due to our new way of being in the world, but even before everything went haywire, it was gaining traction.
"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."
BetterHelp has been around for six years, though teletherapy has been available for longer than that. Jo says her service is growing exponentially every year.
Alon Matas, the founder and president of the online counseling service BetterHelp told Insider "the number of new members with concerns of stress and anxiety in February more than doubled compared to February of last year."
There's no way to prove that's strictly due to coronavirus, and not a growing business or other common stressors like election-related worries or even Valentine's Day-related emotional lows. But BetterHelp therapists have reported how coronavirus has increased the level of anxiety with their current clients, Matas said.
With their extensive network, including a wider range of specializations and therapeutic approaches, Dr. Bruner says services like BetterHelp are able to move clients around easier to different therapists until the right "fit" is found. An unintended consequence has been that the therapists themselves have developed a strong peer network and have been able to refer clients on for more niche needs, giving clients much easier access to the right fit at the right time.
"I had been trying and failing to find a teletherapist through my insurance for some time. After having a bit of a breakdown while traveling in Thailand, I posted on a female digital nomad Facebook group to ask how other members deal with their mental health while on the move. I'd been traveling for about a year and a half. I was rarely at home for longer than a week each month, briefly seeing an in-person therapist all of two times before leaving the country again. I knew that sticking solely with in-person therapy wasn't much of a helpful option for me at all.
And that is how I ended up in Thailand with awful anxiety and in a chat room with a therapist on BetterHelp.
If you find yourself in a similar situation abroad, if you don't have insurance, if you're too shy to speak to someone in person, or for any other reason, teletherapy might be a good option for you."
"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."
Ever wish you could carry a personal therapist around in your pocket? Well, now you can.
Access to therapy is entering the 21st century – services that allow you to text a therapist are beginning to skyrocket in popularity, with tens of thousands of users in our area.
"I think it's amazing I can schedule an appointment at 9 p.m. and the person is alert," Joyce Gilmer said. "There are payscales as low as $35 a month for therapy I could never find that in a traditional office setting."
"If you can't leave your home, there are many options now for seeing a therapist without actually stepping into their brick and mortar office. Many therapists offer remote appointments where you can have a session by phone or over video chat. There are also app-based therapy services like BetterHelp that will match you with a therapist you will "see" in an exclusively virtual capacity.
If your first therapist isn't the perfect fit, try not to be discouraged. It may take a few before you find one who really helps you in the way you're looking for, and who you're truly comfortable talking to about literally anything."
"An e-therapist from BetterHelp helped me get through the hardest breakup of my life, so I have an affinity for them. If you're not an email person, you can also talk to your BetterHelp therapist on the phone or through video calls. Personally, I loved (and still do love) having an e-therapist, as writing out everything is SO therapeutic. I also love having my therapist's written responses to reread again and again (especially on those I-really-miss-him days; I'm sure you can relate!)."
"Need to talk to someone, but don't even know where to start? You can hire a counselor through the BetterHelp app, which offers access to 2000 counselors, accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers from around the country."
"BetterHelp is an online counseling website with nearly two million clients. BetterHelp's data shows that before the election, Republicans were most stressed and after the election it was Democrats. "Before the election, 56-percent of the people who signed up come from red states, after the election, the picture flipped and 56 percent of the people are coming from the blue states," Mattas said."
Much of the anxiety is from people trying to figure out how to cope with family, and friends who have opposing views. "There was a lot of reaction around how do we deal with this? How do we deal with these issues of conflict that are arising?" Sonya Bruner Ph.D. with BetterHelp said."
"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."
"'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 compared to February of last year, and this trend is accelerating in March.' BetterHelp is providing free service for clients who have been financially impacted by the outbreak (e.g. layoff or loss of income). For new clients, the company is offering financial aid that can cover up to 50% of the counseling cost. Counselors will still be paid but BetterHelp will subsidize the loss."
The efficacy of traditional talk therapy can vary depending on the type of therapy that's used -- cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy -- as well as the issue it's being used to treat (depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder.
That said, there is research that shows that talk therapy can literally change your brain, strengthening the connection between regions of the brain that can help reduce symptoms and support recovery. And a separate study found that talk therapy can work as equally well as antidepressants during the initial treatment of moderate to severe depression.
So far, multiple studies -- though still preliminary -- find that online therapy can be equivalent to face-to-face care.
"If you're looking for more of a personal way to connect with a licensed counselor in the comfort of your home, BetterHelp.com can help. From psychologists and therapists to social workers, an abundant list of resources is waiting to help you overcome anything from stress to addiction, or grief."
"Mental health is a huge market. And until now, no one has sufficiently attempted to disrupt the mental health space. BetterHelp is doing something very interesting and important for those of us interested in mental health. As a psychologist, I'm heavily interested in what is going on in this space. As an entrepreneur, I am often in need of a good counseling session due to the stress and strain of my work.
BetterHelp has made mental health easy like Uber made travel easy and accessible. Actually, it's more like eHarmoney for licensed therapists. All you need to do is go through a questionnaire that connects you to the right counselor for you."
"Mark Geragos: Who are the clients for this? Who should be seeking these kind of services?
Haesue Jo: We have clients signing up from all over the world with a variety of presenting issues, such as anxiety and depression, career shift, adjustments in life, and anger management. Many of the different issues that you see in traditional offline practice — those people are signing up for our service."
"As reported by Capital and Main and Fast Company, there's recently been an increase in online therapy that claims to fill the void of traditional office visits. But is online counseling just as effective as an in-person session? Does the treatment depend on the condition of the mental health issue? Larry speaks to two clinical psychologists about the pros and cons of seeing a virtual therapist."
"Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a serious mental health condition that will not only affect your mental health...If you have any of these symptoms, it is important that you talk to someone. At the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), there are students just like you who can answer some of your questions or assist you finding the help you need. If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone at the AMSA, on campus, or in person, you can also talk to a professional therapist online and anonymously at BetterHelp. You don't even have to make an appointment."
"Offering telehealth not only provides more options regarding mental health treatment, but also limits the uncomfortable explanations employees must give management about their absence.
To help reduce employees' anxieties about exposing their need for help, Jeff Williams, senior director of business development and PR at BetterHelp in Sunnyvale, Calif., believes in giving the option of online counseling."
"Sometimes it's not always possible to see a therapist in person. Online or virtual therapy is helpful for people who live in remote areas where there aren't a ton of options for seeing a therapist in person. BetterHelp provides resources for therapists who are all over the country. Also, it's important to see what kind of therapy works best for you. Some people do well with a CBT therapist, while other people do well with EMDR (which is recommended for PTSD). For Borderline Personality Disorder, people tend to do best with DBT. Check out the BetterHelp Advice section to learn more about different types of therapy and find one that works for you!"
"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."
"Users find that having a therapist in their pocket means they can easily fit a session into their life. One of Amesbury's clients uses her daily bus commute to write about her anger—more productive than, say, fuming in her seat.
And texting may actually help patients open up. One recent study, from The New School for Social Research, found that people give more frank answers to sensitive questions via text than phone interviews—likely because they don't have to answer as immediately."
"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."
"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."