If you listen to podcasts or watch a lot of videos on YouTube, you’ve likely seen ads for BetterHelp. BetterHelp is a platform that connects users to mental health professionals for both individual and group therapy. If you have considered BetterHelp as a way to access group therapy, keep reading. This page offers information on BetterHelp’s group therapy options and a personal review of one user’s experience.
What Is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a type of therapy in which one therapist leads multiple participants through a session. Sessions may center around a single topic, or the therapist may give the group the option of what they want to discuss in that session.
Does BetterHelp Offer Group Therapy?
BetterHelp does offer group therapy! As a part of BetterHelp’s subscription, users have access to one group therapy session as well as one individual session. Both the group and individual sessions are optional, and you have to schedule them yourself through BetterHelp.
How Much Does BetterHelp Cost Per Month?
As of January 2023, BetterHelp charges $320 per month to access four weeks of group and individual therapy. The charge is broken down into four weeks, costing $80 per week. Each week, users can access one individual therapy session and one group therapy session. You can sign up for additional sessions, but you will be charged.
How Much Does Group Therapy Cost Outside of BetterHelp?
Pursuing group therapy outside of BetterHelp may save you some money if all you are seeking are group sessions. You may be able to find group therapy sessions for around $50 a session, and you will not be tied to attending them weekly.
Individual therapy is typically more expensive, with prices ranging from $80 to $150 for a one-hour session. BetterHelp can be cost-effective for those who want to attend weekly individual and group therapy sessions, but if you want to attend on a monthly basis, the extra work of finding a session near you may be most cost-effective in the long run.
The right choice for you depends on your goals and your needs. For example, BetterHelp is not for you if you prefer in-person therapy. If you want access to a wide variety of group therapy sessions in one place, BetterHelp may be the most convenient option.
How Many People Attend Group Therapy?
In any group therapy session, expect to interact with 5-17 other participants. Group therapy is not just about your situation. Each person comes to therapy with their own goals, intentions, and history. Together, you can all work as a team to share, support each other, and be the best versions of yourselves.
How Long Are Group Therapy Sessions On BetterHelp?
Group therapy sessions are 90 minutes long. Depending on the available therapists, you can sign up for group therapy sessions in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
Types of Group Therapy
Group therapy often has a specific purpose or topic of discussion that serves as the focus of the session. Some of the group therapy sessions offered on BetterHelp 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”
Not all of these sessions are guaranteed to appear if you sign up for BetterHelp, but this list can give you a look into what is available.
If you are not sure what type of session you want to attend, take some time to write in a journal about the emotions you are experiencing. What is on your mind right now? What is causing you stress? Do you feel isolated from a certain community, and do you feel like no one around you is going through what you are going through? In these answers, you may find the topic or group that is right for you.
How to Have an Effective BetterHelp Group Therapy Session
Even if you have attended group therapy before, attending a virtual session may be a new experience. Use these tips to ensure that you have the best experience (and that others in the group have a good experience, too.)
Keep an Open Mind
As you prepare for your group therapy session, you may find yourself wondering what the session will be like and what you say to the group. Instead, release your expectations and keep an open mind. Be optimistic that you will learn something new, either from the therapist or from the participants in the group. With this mindset, you are setting yourself up for success!
Every person is coming to the session with emotions on their mind and goals. Give others the space to share. Listen with intention rather than waiting for your turn to speak. Ask follow-up questions, if that is allowed. Offer support when people ask for it. Another person’s perspective may be what you need to discover the solutions you need from the session.
In the comment section of a post about online therapy on the therapists subreddit, user Orange_Enigma shared their thoughts on participating in virtual sessions:
“As a previous member of an online group, I can say that it was run pretty similarly to in-person, but as others have already mentioned, it can be distracting. I would be lying if I said I was as tuned into it as I am during in-person group therapy. Being able to check my phone or email was pretty tempting.
I would also notice when others tune out, but it did not bother me very much personally. What bothered me most, is that distractions severely limited my and my peers' ability to respond to a group member in a helpful, genuine way. Sometimes I would miss a crucial part of a story because I got an email from school that I just had to check at the moment (sarcasm). I would feel bad for not listening as closely as I could, and sometimes not being able to respond at all.”
Distractions (phone notifications, emails, tasks at home) don’t just take away from your experience. Everyone in the group can get distracted when they see someone else getting distracted. Do your best to reduce distractions for yourself during a session. If you cannot guarantee that you will be distracted, consider turning off your video camera (if that is allowed.) Seeing a blank screen is less distracting than seeing someone’s eyes darting back and forth as they read someone, or seeing a bowed head looking at a phone.
Prepare Your Space
Take 5-10 minutes before the session to prepare your space. BetterHelp group therapy sessions take place on Zoom, so be sure to download the app ahead of time and make sure you are in a spot that isn’t distracting to other participants. Close doors to the room you are in and make sure there is nothing outside your space that will take away your attention. This process will help you show up, mentally and physically, and be fully open to the experience.
Reflect on Your Experience Afterward
Give yourself time after the session to reflect on your experience. Have a journal handy to share what emotions you went through in the session and what you learned. Group therapy can be exhausting, so be gentle with yourself after your session is over.
Personal Review of Group Therapy
One of our writers took the time to sign up for BetterHelp and share their experiences. Here is what they said about attending a group therapy session:
“I went back and forth a few times to choose which group therapy session I wanted to attend. Ninety minutes felt like a long time to talk about any subject: grief, fertility, even burnout. This would be my first group therapy session, and I didn’t want to dive in too “deep.” I ended up choosing a session centering around mindfulness practices.
The session began promptly on the hour, and a dozen or so participants attended. Some were earlier than others, and not everyone had their camera on. Not everyone was exactly on time, but I only noticed if people showed up late because the therapist would repeat instructions when new participants joined.
We did a quick introduction in the beginning, but it was optional. The therapist wanted to keep things light and asked us to answer a silly prompt - our favorite dessert. It was a nice way to get started without any pressure.
The only rules of the session were to refrain from talking about politics, religion, or sports. We could have our cameras on or off, and we could stay muted for the entire session if we wanted. I’m not sure if this is standard among BetterHelp group sessions. At the end of the day, no one can make you speak over Zoom.
The mindfulness practices were calming and gave each participant time to reflect on themselves. I appreciated that. The therapist was always clear with their directions and gently asked questions about our experiences when we regrouped.
To be honest, I did not think the session would get too “deep.” I thought the time would simply give me a break from the workday. But I was pleasantly surprised to listen to the participants and how they opened up during the session. It was clear that many of the participants used this time as a respite from their busy schedule or were intentional about working through thoughts and feelings that were hiding deep in their subconscious. One woman shared some personal worries that she had, and another woman chimed in to say that she was experiencing a similar crossroads.
I hadn’t spent the time with deeper emotions that I wanted to work through, and I wondered how the session might be different if I came to it with a different intention. That is the beauty of having weekly sessions. There is enough time between each session that you don’t feel overwhelmed, but you can try out up to four different group therapy sessions during your first month with BetterHelp and see what works for you.”