If you listen to podcasts, you’ve probably heard of BetterHelp. The online platform connects users to licensed mental health professionals. BetterHelp is an easy way to get started on your therapy journey, but for many people, this journey requires more money than they had anticipated.
This post details tips and tricks for getting the best value out of BetterHelp. Mental health care is priceless, but it can be even more valuable when you take the time to set goals, explore your options, and take advantage of a discount code or two.
How Much Does BetterHelp Cost Per Month?
As of January 2023, BetterHelp costs $320 per month. The cost is broken down into four weeks, which cost $80 each. Each week of BetterHelp includes one individual therapy session and one group session.
How Much Does Individual Therapy Cost?
Unless your insurance provider covers mental health care (most don’t,) an hour session with a therapist usually costs $80-$150 an hour. Group therapy sessions are typically less expensive.
Depending on how often you want to attend therapy sessions, BetterHelp may save you money or just be a wasted expense. Before you sign up, consider how often you want to go to therapy and what options you have available through health insurance.
Should I Be Going to Therapy Every Week?
The answer depends on you. Some people may use therapy as a means for processing traumatic memories and working through issues that are constantly affecting their ability to live and hold down a job.
Other people use therapy as a means of holding themselves accountable, checking in with themselves, and asking questions. Consider, before you sign up for BetterHelp or book an appointment with a therapist, the intensity of the issues you’re facing and your goals for treatment. If your mental health feels like a weight that is constantly impeding your ability to live a productive life, weekly sessions may be more suitable for you.
How to Get the Most Out of BetterHelp
When many people pay $320 a month for something, they want to know they are getting their money’s worth. Before and as you sign up with BetterHelp, take these steps and make your experience as valuable as possible.
Explore Your Goals and Needs
Take a moment to think about why you are seeking therapy. It may be helpful to keep a notebook nearby and answer the following questions:
- How often am I feeling depressed, anxious, or paranoid?
- What previous experiences or memories are preventing me from moving forward in life?
- What ongoing experiences or issues are preventing me from moving forward in my life?
- Do I want a therapist who challenges me, validates me, or just listens to me?
- Am I interested in receiving “homework,” projects, or assignments from my therapist?
- Will I benefit from medication, or is talk therapy enough?
- Do I feel ready to share with a therapist or a group?
- Can I identify what I’m struggling with?
Going through and recording the answers to these questions will make it easier as you explore your options for therapy and talk to therapists before booking a session.
Research Different Therapeutic Approaches
Does tapping each of your legs while talking about traumatic memories appeal to you, or would you much rather examine the thought patterns around those memories? Today’s therapists study multiple different approaches, and they may be more or less effective based on your goals, personality, experience in therapy, and history. Take some time to research different approaches, like CBT, DBT, and EMDR. As you explore the BetterHelp app, you will recognize some of these terms and will be more informed as you get acquainted with your new therapist.
Reach Out to Local Therapists Who Offer Free Consultations
Therapists outside of BetterHelp sometimes offer free consultations for potential patients. These 15 to 20-minute calls give the therapist to meet a patient, assess their needs, and decide whether the patient is right for them. These calls can also benefit you as you explore your options and see how therapists approach your specific goals.
Websites like PsychologyToday and Zocdoc offer databases of psychologists in your area. You can also search for therapists by gender, the type of therapy they offer, what type of insurance they take, etc. In this research, you may find a less expensive option than BetterHelp!
Find a Discount Code For Your First Month
Before you sign up, go through any podcasts you listen to and listen for BetterHelp ads. These ads often come with a discount code that you can use for your first month on the app. Even if you don’t listen to podcasts that work with BetterHelp, a quick Google search for discount codes will do the trick.
Message Your Therapist Before Booking a Session
Once you’ve signed up for BetterHelp and answered some initial questions, the app will pair you with a therapist. From there, you can book an individual therapy session. Before you book this session, consider reaching out to your therapist and reading about them. From their bio alone, you can determine what approaches they use, their history, and what groups of people they work with. If your gut tells you that this isn’t the right therapist for you, you can request a new one before you even have a session.
Use the Journal Tab
You can take steps to improve your mental health before you ever have an individual session. BetterHelp offers tools that help you track your progress and reflect on your mental health. The journal tab, for example, offers daily prompts about mindfulness, stress, and inspiration. You can also “shuffle” them if the prompt doesn’t speak to you! Here are some examples of “prompts” you will find on the journal app:
- “Who are some people who inspire me, or make me feel hopeful?”
- “I was proud of myself when…”
- “One healthy activity that helps me when I’m feeling depressed is…”
- “I know that my counseling journey will be worth it if…”
If you find that these journal entries help you, take time to look at all the prompts available and write some down where you can use them later.
Explore Different Types of Group Therapy
In addition to one individual therapy appointment a week, BetterHelp users can sign up for one group therapy session a week. Group therapy sessions vary from week to week, but they cover a lot of topics aimed at addressing different groups and issues. Some BetterHelp group therapy sessions include:
- “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life”
- “Coping with the Death of a Loved One”
- “Adjusting to Life After 40”
- “Introduction to Mindful Doodling”
- “Understanding and Managing ADHD”
- “Support for People Questioning Their Sexuality and/or Gender”
- “Life After Breast Cancer”
- “Starting Over in Sobriety”
- “BIPOC: Community Sharing Spot”
- “Support for Miscarriage, Stillbirth, & Infant Loss”
Consider looking through these sessions and trying different ones each week. You may find one that really helps - stick with that one! Or, you may find that different sessions offer you a unique perspective on what you’re going through.
There are a lot of ways to use BetterHelp. What is most important is that you use it in the way that works best for you.