What is BetterHelp?
BetterHelp is the largest online counseling platform worldwide, changing the way people get help with facing life’s challenges by providing convenient, discreet and affordable access to a licensed therapist. BetterHelp makes professional counseling available anytime, anywhere, through a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Who will be helping me?
After you sign up, you are matched to an available counselor who fits your objectives, preferences, and the type of issues you are dealing with. Different counselors have different approaches and areas of focus, so it’s important to find the right person who can achieve the best results for you. BetterHelp is able to provide a successful match most of the time; however, if you start the process and you feel your counselor isn’t a good fit for you, you may elect to be matched to a different counselor.
Who are the counselors?
Counselors on BetterHelp are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC). All of them have a Masters Degree or a Doctorate Degree in their field. They have been qualified and certified by their state’s professional board after successfully completing the necessary education, exams, training and practice. While their experience, expertise and background vary, they all possess at least 3 years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience. Click here to learn more about Betterhelp counselors.
How are the counselors verified?
The BetterHelp team ensures that every provider they bring to the platform is fully licensed and in good standing. Providers who apply are required to provide proper licensure documentation, proof of identity, and references from other licensed practitioners who have worked with them. BetterHelp then cross-checks their licensure information with their respective state licensing board.
In addition to checking credentials, each potential provider needs to complete a case study exam by a licensed clinician and can be evaluated in a video interview. The result of this rigorous 4-5 week process is that only about 15% of the therapists who apply to work through BetterHelp are accepted to the platform.
BetterHelp also shows the full licensing information for each provider to make it easy for you to do your own due diligence on your counselor.
Is BetterHelp right for me?
BetterHelp may be right for you if you’re looking to improve the quality of your life. Whenever there is anything that interferes with your happiness or prevents you from achieving your goals, BetterHelp may be able to help. We also have counselors who are specialized in specific issues, such as stress, anxiety, relationships, parenting, depression, addictions, eating, sleeping, trauma, anger, family conflicts, LGBT matters, grief, religion, self esteem and more.
BetterHelp is not the right solution for you if any of the following is true:
You have thoughts of hurting yourself or others
You are a minor or you are under the care of a legal guardian
You are in an urgent crisis or an emergency situation
You have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness, or if you have been advised to be in psychological supervision or psychiatric care
You were required to undergo therapy or counseling either by a court order or by any other authority
You do not have a device that can connect to the Internet or you do not have a reliable Internet connection
How much does it cost?
BetterHelp services are free for RMUoHP students and staff. After graduation, services are half-priced; if you used BetterHelp at any point during your time at RMUoHP. Standard prices range from $40 to $70 per week (billed monthly) with the option to cancel at any time for any reason.
Can Betterhelp substitute for traditional face-to-face therapy?
The professionals who work through BetterHelp are licensed and credentialed therapists who were certified by their state’s board to provide therapy and counseling. However, while the service may have similar benefits, it’s not capable of substituting for traditional face-to-face therapy in every case. Please note that your provider won’t be able to make any official diagnosis, to fulfill any court order or prescribe medication.
I signed up. How long until I’m matched with a counselor?
It generally takes around 24 hours to be matched with a counselor, and on some occasions might take a little longer depending on which qualifications and expertise you prefer in a counselor.
How will I communicate with my counselor?
You can get counseling in four ways:
Exchanging messages with your counselor
Chatting live with your counselor
Speaking over the phone with your counselor
Video conferencing with your counselor
You can use different ways at different times as you wish, based on your needs, availability, and convenience.
How does messaging work?
Once you are matched to a counselor, you and your counselor will get a dedicated “room”, which will be your private and secure place to communicate. In this room, you will write about yourself, the things going on in your life, ask questions, and discuss the issues that trouble you. Your counselor will then read your messages, and respond with questions, feedback, insights, and guidance.
You can exchange messages with your counselor at any time, from anywhere, using any Internet-connected device. The room is open 24/7 and since it is not in real-time it doesn’t require scheduling. Instead, you can choose whenever you want to write or respond to your counselor. You will get a notification by email when the counselor has sent you a message.
How do live chat sessions work?
You will sometimes want to have a text conversation with your counselor in real-time. This way you can still enjoy the convenience and privacy of messaging but also enjoy a “live” interaction that allows instant response and feedback from your counselor.
To have a live chat session, you will first need to schedule a time with your counselor. At the scheduled time, log in to your account to start typing and chatting with your counselor.
How do live phone sessions work?
Phone sessions are a great way to conveniently speak with your counselor by simply using your landline or cell phone, no matter where you are
To talk with your counselor over the phone, you will need to schedule a time with your counselor and log in to your counseling room at that time. The counselor will prompt you to start the phone session and the system will ask you for your phone number. The system will then call you at that number and connect you with your counselor to start the phone session. Please note that the phone number you enter will not be shared with the counselor.
How do live video sessions work?
You can also have a video session with your counselor where you see each other and talk with each other in a virtual face-to-face setting (similar to Skype).
To talk with your counselor via video, you will need to schedule a time with your counselor and log in to your counseling room at that time. Your counselor will then prompt you to start the video session. After you confirm, you will immediately begin video chatting with your counselor.
Can I go back and read the counselor’s previous messages?
Yes. you can always log in to your account and read all the counselor’s messages to you. This may help you in reflecting and remembering some of the guidance and input that you received this is one of the main advantages of e-counseling.
How long can I use BetterHelp?
As a RMUoHP student, staff, or faculty member you may use Betterhelp as often as needed. There are no maximum amount of visits per month, week, or year. This depends on your needs and varies a lot from one person to another. Some people feel they get most of the value after just a few weeks, while others prefer to stick to the program for an extended period of time. This is completely up to you.
How will I pay for my BetterHelp membership?
Betterhelp services are free for all enrolled RMUoHP students and employees.
Betterhelp will send you a personalized email, which is triggered by RMUoHP, in which there is a unique URL link to begin the intake process/questionnaire. Your free access is associated with your RMUoHP student email account only. If you cannot locate this email, please email [email protected] to have the invitation resent directly to your rm.edu email address.
What is the role of BetterHelp.com?
The service is provided by independent providers who work directly with you. These providers are not employees of BetterHelp and the site doesn’t oversee them professionally. Our mission is to build, maintain, and support a platform that lets users and counselors communicate effectively, and to facilitate this channel so they can get the most out of their interaction.
How can I be sure that this is an effective form of counseling?
There are many studies that confirm the effectiveness of the online medium for making life changes. For example, a study published by JMIR Publications and conducted by researchers from University of California – Berkeley, University of California – San Francisco, and the San Francisco General Hospital, concluded that “users of BetterHelp experienced significantly reduced depression symptom severity after engaging with the platform.”
In addition to the studies, BetterHelp receives feedback and testimonials from many happy users.
How is my privacy protected?
BetterHelp is totally obsessed about securing your privacy and confidentiality, and has built a state-of-the-art technology, operation, and infrastructure with one thing in mind: protecting your privacy and safeguarding the information you provide. Our privacy and confidentiality standards are by far more advanced than what is required by law or regulations, so you can feel safe and comfortable.
You don’t need to identify yourself
Everything you tell your counselor is protected by strict federal and state laws.
BetterHelp doesn’t cooperate or work with any insurance companies or employers, so nothing needs to be shared, reported or filed with them.
You can always click the “Shred” button next to each message that you’ve sent so it will no longer show in your account.
All the messages between you and your counselor are secured and encrypted by banking-grade 256-bit encryption.
BetterHelp’s servers are hosted in an “A Grade” facility, ensuring the best-in-class security and protection.
BetterHelp’s browsing encryption system (SSL) follows modern best practices, providing world class online security and encryption.
BetterHelp’s databases are encrypted and scrambled so they essentially become useless in the very unlikely event that they are being stolen or inappropriately used.
If you wish for any of your information or records to be released to a third party, please let your counselor know. Your counselor will send you an authorization form that you will need to fill and sign before your information can be released.
Can I stay anonymous?
When you sign up you are not asked your full name or contact information. You may pick any “nick name” which will identify you in the system. When you decide to start the counseling process, we will ask you for emergency contact information which is kept safe in the system so it can be used if your counselor believes that you or someone else might be in danger.
How can I get started with BetterHelp?
Check your rm.edu email for an invitation. If you cannot find a message from BetterHelp, contact Student Affairs at [email protected].
How do I reset the pin code on my app?
You can reset your pin by first logging out of the account on the app in your account settings. Once you log back in, you will be prompted to create a new pin.
Are there specific counselors that can assist with addiction issues? If so, how do I connect with them?
There are multiple therapists with expertise in a variety of fields, and many of them have expertise working on addiction related issues. On the questionnaire, you are asked, “what brings you to seek help.” Should you indicate that you are coping with addictions, you will get matched with the proper counselor for that. You can always reach out via the [email protected] email and ask for help with possibly getting re-matched to better address your needs/issues.
How do I change counselor if my current counselor is not a good fit?
On the platform/app there’s a button that says “switch a counselor”– the process is super easy! On top of that, you can always reach out via the [email protected] email and ask for help with getting re-matched with a different counselor.
If I indicated “individual” counseling in their intake questionnaire, how can I change the need to “couples” (or change from “couples” to “individual”?)
Only one account can be used per unique link (sent to email). If you need to create a different account, you will need to be sent a secondary invite. Please email [email protected] to request another link. You may use this second link to register for your new form of counseling (individual to couples or visa versa). Students may change counseling forms a total of two times during their time at RMUoHP.