To try BetterHelp therapy, visit the website on your computer or download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
You’ll need to fill out an initial questionnaire to get matched to a therapist. You can expect questions about your relationship status, sexuality, and spirituality, as well as why you are pursuing therapy, such as trauma, anxiety, depression, and grief.
Once you finish the questionnaire and register for an account, you’ll be matched with a therapist within a few hours or days. During signup, you can indicate the type of therapist you want to be matched with by factors like age range, gender, race or ethnicity, and religious affiliation. You can also express a preference for a therapist who offers LGBTQ+ specialized care. Your membership will start once you’re paired with a therapist and have paid for your subscription.
Every BetterHelp membership includes four 30-minute video, audio, or live chat therapy sessions per month. The live chat option is conducted through the BetterHelp platform and works similarly to text messaging, where you and your therapist will both log in to a chat room at the same time and will type questions and answers instantly. To schedule sessions, you will use the BetterHelp app to find appointment times that work for both you and your therapist. You can also reach out to your therapist for additional availability if you don’t see convenient times listed.
You will log on to the BetterHelp platform using a computer connected to the internet during your appointment times to speak with your therapist in the format you chose. You can also log on using the BetterHelp mobile app on a tablet or smartphone.
If you have questions or need to contact your therapist for any reason between sessions, you can reach them through unlimited video, audio, or text messages through the BetterHelp platform. This type of messaging works similarly to email. How frequently you receive responses depends on your therapist. If needed, you can also flag your messages as urgent, so your therapist knows to answer quickly.
When you start therapy, talk with your therapist to see how quickly they typically respond to messages. According to our Reviews Team’s April 2022 survey of online therapy users, 50% of BetterHelp users said that therapists responded to these messages within 24 hours and 17% said that therapists responded within a few days. Some BetterHelp users reported that it took longer to hear back from their therapist, with 25% reporting that it took a week to receive a reply, while 8% said that it took more than a week.2
Finding the right therapist is the key to successful mental health services. BetterHelp makes it easy to switch therapists. From your BetterHelp app, you will fill out a two-question form about your new therapist preferences and what experience you want them to have, similar to the initial sign up process. Once you submit your request, BetterHelp will begin looking for your new therapist.
BetterHelp group therapy sessions
In addition to your individual sessions, you can also attend group therapy once per week. The therapist hosting the sessions determines the topics or themes, including subjects like depression, anxiety, grief, building communication skills, and practicing resilience.
You can view the group therapy schedule from your BetterHelp portal, and each group is limited to 18 people. You can choose to keep your camera off during group sessions, but BetterHelp encourages participants to use their cameras during sessions.
BetterHelp therapists host mental health webinars, also called “Groupinars,” every day on topics such as:
- Setting boundaries
- Identifying unhealthy behaviors
- Living with a balanced perspective
- Strategies to cope with racial injustice
- Healing your heart from pet loss
You access them through the Groupinars section of your BetterHelp portal. Every session is capped at 500 attendees.
Eight to 12 sessions are hosted during weekdays, and four are offered every Saturday and Sunday. Depending on the moderator’s preferences, you can either ask questions during the presentation or afterward through chat. If you can’t attend the Groupinar for any reason, BetterHelp will email you a link to the recorded session.