Choosing an Online therapy Provider
While online counseling has seen a surge in interest and users in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this counseling and therapy medium has been popular for years. It’s easy to see why: by moving counseling online, patients can contact their therapists as often as they need through the method that suits them best, such as texting, emailing, or a live video chat.
Online counseling is particularly useful for clients whose schedules are jam-packed, or are otherwise unpredictable—all that’s required is a moment of free time, an internet connection, and a smartphone or computer. Best of all, online counseling is dramatically less expensive than traditional in-person therapy sessions.
While the advantages of online counseling are overwhelming, the number of online counseling companies to choose from can feel overwhelming, too. But it doesn’t have to be that way—read on for detailed analyses of three of the market’s main competitors, and the reasons why BetterHelp is the best option across the board.
BetterHelp: The Best Online Counseling Service
- Unlimited messaging with your therapist
- Video, audio, or text therapy
- Licensed, qualified, thoroughly vetted counselors
- Individuals, couples, and teens
- Financial aid available for those in need
Talkspace: The Leader in Workplace Mental Health Services
- Unlimited text messaging with your therapist
- Some phone and live video messaging available
- Counseling for individuals, couples, and teens
- HIPPA-compliant, licensed counselors
- Accepted by select insurance companies
When choosing from BetterHelp, Talkspace, and Online-Therapy.com, ask yourself the following questions:
Why am I seeking counseling?
If you’re hoping to overcome a specific obstacle, such as constant procrastination or anger issues, Online-Therapy.com is a good option, thanks to its goal-focused structure. But that structure might not work for everyone. If you feel you could generally benefit from online counseling, but aren’t sure where to start, BetterHelp and Talkspace’s counselors are happy to help you talk things out. Both BetterHelp and Talkspace have counselors who specialize in specific issues, as well, such as grief, trauma, and addiction. BetterHelp takes specialization a step further by letting patients request counselors with religious backgrounds or expertise, if they so desire—another element of custom care that makes BetterHelp a superior online counseling service.
Who will my counselor be—are they qualified?
Each of these services requires its counselors to meet certain standards, although standards vary from platform to platform. All of Talkspace’s therapists are licensed, verified, HIPPA-compliant, and subject to a background check. Online-Therapy.com’s therapists are certified and have hours of experience, as well as an assortment of additional licenses, higher-education degrees, and other certifications.
But BetterHelp’s counselor vetting process is by far the most sophisticated of the bunch. The company verifies licensing and good standing, and requires references from colleagues, a case study exam, and a video interview. As a result of the difficulty of this application process, BetterHelp claims to accept only 15% of all potential counselors. Plus, BetterHelp adds an extra layer of transparency by showcasing client reviews for each therapist, so users can do their own research on their current or future therapist.
Can I afford online counseling?
Each platform offers programs at different rates, which correspond to how many features you can access. BetterHelp allows users in need to apply for financial aid—a compassionate feature not available on the other platforms.
As the world handles the COVID-19 pandemic, Talkspace is offering a discount on all plans, as well as free therapy for healthcare workers and first responders. Online-Therapy.com has also rolled out a free version of its program to help ease anxiety during these uncertain times.
Let Counseling.info guide you through these questions and more as you explore further details of BetterHelp, Online-Therapy.com, and Talkspace. Chances are you’ll agree that with its larger range of services, its flexible pricing structures, and its vast network of talented counselors, BetterHelp is the best option of the bunch.