BetterHelp is a virtual therapy platform that links individuals with qualified therapists. While the online therapy platform has become very popular, it has generated controversy recently, with some critics debating that BetterHelp should not be used as a substitute for in-person counseling. has also come under fire for using unethical counseling techniques. Many therapists who have previously worked with BetterHelp have expressed dissatisfaction with the low compensation and demanding work schedules.

This article will discuss the controversies surrounding the world’s largest online therapy platform and investigate whether it’s still suitable for people seeking therapy.

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BetterHelp and Online Therapy’s Limitations

BetterHelp is the biggest online counseling platform in the world, assisting individuals with problems including addiction, anger issues, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, family disputes, insomnia, loss, parenting, relationship issues, religion, self-esteem, stress, or trauma.

It is clearly stated on the company’s FAQ page that the BetterHelp app and its counselors shouldn’t be used by those in an emergency, for example, people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or who are contemplating self-harm. It also states that it’s not for people directed by the court to seek therapy. 

This is true that online therapy is not the alternative to all kinds of in-person psychotherapies. In many cases, face-to-face sessions with a therapist may be necessary, especially for people with severe mental health issues. However, one study showed that online therapy could be effective for the treatment of depression. Another research study exploring adherence to therapy found online therapy to work but also pointed out its limitations, such as counselors’ inability to observe body language. 

At the same time, online therapy’s benefits cannot be denied. Some people can find it more difficult to be open and honest with a therapist via a screen, which might reduce the effectiveness of the session. Many people nevertheless regard BetterHelp as a helpful resource despite its limitations. 

People who might not be able to afford in-person treatment sessions or who reside in places where mental health services are not easily accessible can now obtain therapy thanks to the platform. 

The anonymity of internet counseling is also viewed by many as a plus since it enables them to be more forthright and honest with their therapist.

Looking for a specialist?
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Sponsorships and Data Sharing

The BetterHelp platform offers consumers access to certified therapists and mental health professionals through text, phone calls, or video chat. This is something that a lot of YouTubers who have taken sponsorships from the mental health platform frequently state in their videos.

BetterHelp has sponsored videos from a number of producers, including Bobby Burns, Boogie2988, ChandlerNWilson, Elle Mills, Heath Hussar, Philip DeFranco, and Shane Dawson.

Many of these creators have previously discussed mental health difficulties, but as burnout gains, more attention in the community and, in general, sponsorships of BetterHelp have grown despite the controversy. However, it was found that many YouTubers were earning money through the BetterHelp affiliation, which was seen as an attempt to monetize their viewer’s mental health problems. 

Furthermore, in the same video about sponsorships, it was also alleged that BetterHelp sells user info to third parties and uses data from Facebook to market its services to specific users. 

As a response to the controversy, BetterHelp founder, Alon Mattas, released a detailed statement through a Medium article. He addresses the allegations about sponsorships and selling user data. He claimed that these allegations are false and that the YouTuber who leveled these allegations based his claims on assumptions they made by reading the terms and conditions. 

It’s not unusual for businesses to promote their services through social media influencers, nor is it unusual for them to use analytical data for targeted advertisement. The company says it only uses data aggregately when advertising on Facebook and other such platforms. 

Therapist Licensing

Another controversy surrounding BetterHelp was that their therapists aren’t licensed and that anyone can join. This was based on the terms and conditions that stated that users should verify the license of their therapist. 

According to BetterHelp policy, a therapist’s license is thoroughly verified, and they undergo a strict vetting process that takes weeks. Perhaps the terms and conditions also ask the user to verify the therapist’s credentials just to add another layer of surety for the client. 

Their vetting process seems pretty solid. But if they suggest that the user also verify the credentials, it may be a good thing as clients can be sure they are working with a professional. 

BetterHelp Controversy. Is It Still a Good Platform for Mental Health

So Is it Still a Good Platform for Treating Mental Health?

A variety of services that BetterHelp offers can be very helpful to consumers and therapists. The software gives users the freedom to schedule therapy sessions at times that work best for them.

As a result of BetterHelp’s extensive network of therapists in several states, it is also more likely to locate a therapist who specializes in a certain field, such as anxiety or depression, or who speaks a particular language.

BetterHelp offers patients the ability to communicate with certified therapists from the comfort of their own homes, which may be especially useful for individuals with mobility challenges or those who reside in distant places.

The clever application of artificial intelligence in BetterHelp also ensures a better client-therapist match. A better connection between the client and the therapist is essential for the success of the therapy.

BetterHelp’s algorithm uses the information submitted by the user to match them with an appropriate therapist according to the user’s requirements. Moreover, the user has the advantage of changing therapists at any time.

Furthermore, BetterHelp offers a number of therapeutic format options that customers may select based on their convenience and preferences. BetterHelp enables limitless texting, live chat, audio, and video between the user and their therapist.


BetterHelp is entirely online and accessible from any location. The user only needs a reliable internet connection and a suitable device. The platform may be accessed directly through a web browser or as an app that can be downloaded and installed.

BetterHelp costs significantly cheaper than in-person therapy. The virtual mental health platform charges $60 to $90 per week, which is invoiced every four weeks. 

On the other hand, in-person counseling might cost anywhere from $100 to $200 per session, depending on the individual’s requirements, expertise and location, not to forget addition of transportation costs. 

BetterHelp offers financial assistance or a reduced weekly charge for those who qualify, including students and veterans. 

Before making the payment, BetterHelp will remind you to confirm your financial help eligibility. Only subscribers have access to the financial assistance application, which asks about your job history, monthly income, military status, and the number of dependents you have.

You can reapply once your discount has been applied to your subsequent three months. You do not have to worry about reapplying for financial aid. BetterHelp will email you as early as seven days before the expiration of your financial help.


BetterHelp only makes use of HIPAA-compliant technologies. While using BetterHelp, neither the user nor the therapist needs to be concerned about the privacy or confidentiality of their sessions. 

To adhere to this, BetterHelp has deftly implemented a number of security measures, including end-to-end encryptions, firewalls, and even multi-step authentications.

Apart from cyber security, the virtual mental health platform may also offer physical security. BetterHelp’s technology allows for a high level of safety for both the user and the therapist since it eliminates the need for face-to-face interaction between them. 

By doing this, the likelihood of violence or attacks from either party might be decreased. This physical safety net might increase the user’s level of comfort and tranquility, enhancing the therapeutic impact.


BetterHelp is still well-liked by people looking for treatment services despite the controversy. Before using the platform for treatment, clients should do their homework and thoroughly investigate the credentials of their therapist.

It is a platform that may offer mental health services to people in need, but it is crucial to remember that it should not take the place of in-person treatment where necessary. It may not be appropriate for persons with severe mental health disorders.

However, it may be useful for those who have trouble obtaining traditional counseling services. Platforms like BetterHelp simplify the therapy and mental health care processes. 


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