BetterHelp vs 7 Cups
In this Review, two of the most popular online counselling services are compared across a range of different facets.
This Review aims to equip potential clients intending to seek therapeutic assistance with the information they need to make a well informed decision.
The facets around which the discussion of this review is based, is summed up in the table below.
|Therapist Merit||Licensed Therapists||8.5/10||Trained Listeners||7.5/10|
|Range of Treatment||Mental Health||9/10||Mental Health||9/10|
|Registration Process||Algorithm based questionnaire||9/10||Algorithm based matching||9/10|
|Whom its for||Open for all ages||9/10||Primarily Teenagers||7/10|
|Medium of Delivery||Text, Audio and Video||9/10||Text||6/10|
|Security||SSL and 256-bit encrypted||9/10||SSL encrypted||8/10|
BetterHelp was founded in 2013 by tech expert Alon Matas. His personal battle with depression enabled him to be in pole position to sympathise with fellow mental health patients.
Moreover, although having been in a financially able position, he struggled to find the right service for himself and the best match in terms of therapists.
Hence, he, alongside the financial investment available courtesy of teladoc, who bought BetterHelp later on, founded this platform with the mission to make therapy not only affordable but also conveniently available and accessible.
This platform was founded by its owner Glen Moriarty in 2013, the same year as BetterHelp. Hence, with regards to experience and know-how of the industry, both platforms share the same footing. Moreover, Glen was struck by the realisation of gratitude upon having the privilege of very good listeners around him in his personal life and how he believed they helped his growth and development.
This led Glen to take it upon himself to build a platform whereby he could help teenagers who need help the way he needed early in his adolescent years. Hence, he founded 7 Cups, the main aim of which was to provide the sincere services of a trained listener, in order that teenagers from around the states could log in, connect, vent out and gain emotional validation, support and encouragement to enrich their lived experiences.
BetterHelp employs therapists with the best of credentials. They are ensured to possess titles ranging from Clinical Psychologists and Clinical Social Workers to Fully Licensed Therapists.
Moreover, they are strictly screened for the highest of qualifications. They must adhere by all the relevant licensing requirements and continuously update their license.
In addition, it is required that they have passed the relevant examinations and completed training, practise and education that fits BetterHelp’s high standards.
They are ensured to have at least 3 years and 1000 hours of clinical practise under their belt.
Although 7 Cups employs fully licensed therapists as does BetterHelp, it does not do so in as much abundance. The number of licensed therapists onboard at 7 Cups are relatively lower, since they focus more on what they were founded for, which was to provide listening support for teenagers.
The listeners, albeit trained, are not full fledged professionals in the field and hence can only give so much advice. However, people who have sought help from them have held them in high regard and often realised it does not necessarily take college level of doctorate level credentials to be a good listener.
Range of Treatment
BetterHelp treats a diverse range of mental illnesses which include and are not limited to the following:
- Generalized Anxiety disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive disorder
- Psychosomatic disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa
- Chronic impulsivity
- Chronic stress
- Sexual orientation issues
- Teen therap
- LGBTQIA related issues
- Educational issues
- Career related problems
- Financial worries
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Spiritual matters
- Existential worries
7 Cups also treats a similar range of issues such as BetterHelp. These are enlisted as follows:
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Exercise motivation
- Financial stress
- Panic attacks
- Relationship stress
- Social anxiety
- Work stress
BetterHelp follows a very easy registration and subscription process.
Firstly, a client is required to provide a valid email address and password to create their account.
Secondly, they are given a short questionnaire. This takes roughly 3-5 minutes to answer and it pertains to basic demographic questions in the beginning. It then proceeds to ask questions from the client that are slightly subjective and personal. These include questions about their illness and symptoms and the kind of therapist they would want for their treatment.
Thirdly, the algorithmically driven therapist matching system offers the available therapists at hand to the client. They can either choose from amongst them or follow a secondary method, whereby the client can click ‘Find a Therapist’ at the bottom of the webpage and manually search for a therapist based on their personal liking.
Fourthly, after this, the client is directed to the page whereby they select their package and accept terms and conditions.
Finally, they are directed to the payment page. Payment is possible to be made via Visa, Paypal and other mainstream credit cards as well.
Their subscription and registration process is very similar to that followed by BetterHelp.
Users enter their email address and create a profile.
These profiles are allowed to remain anonymous for privacy purposes. Upon creation of a profile, clients are taken through a series of relaxation exercises such as different breathing techniques. Meanwhile, the website searches the right therapist for them. Once this is done, the client interacts with the therapist and can ask for a replacement right away, should they feel the need to do so.
BetterHelp typically offers four different subscription packages which go as follows:
7 Weekly Plan
This package costs 80USD per week. It allows one live session and unlimited
messaging services throughout the week.
This plan costs 260USD. This amount is billed at the start of every month. It entails four
live video sessions and 24 hour messaging services for the entire month. Four sessions
for 260USD suggests that each session (equivalent to per week charge) costs 65USD.
The Quarterly Plan is an extension of the previous plans such that it allows the same
proportion of services (one live session per week and unlimited messaging) along the
scale of four months. It requires a lump sum payment of 540USD, which equates to
45USD per week.
This plan costs 1820USD paid annually. It is equivalent to paying 35USD per week and
runs along the same lines as the previously described packages.
For the most part, 7 Cups’ services were free of cost and this is what sets it apart from nearly every other e-therapy service. It is one of its strongest suits.
Although many of its features have been monetized now, their free of cost features still primarily include the 7 Cups listener service. This entails the services of a fully trained listener. They communicate with a client in a secure chat box and are there to sincerely hear a person out.
This provides a very effective platform for people who are looking for social support made easy and have had a difficult time seeking so in their day to day living in this modern tech era.
However, if someone wants to secure the services of a licensed professional, the best way forward for them is the online therapy package. Unfortunately this is not free of cost as its predecessor, however it is still pretty pocket friendly. This costs 150USD per month on average.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Whom its for
BetterHelp arguably caters to a wider range of audience. This is because not only does it provide treatment for a more vast range of illnesses which potentially attracts more clients, it has employed greater numbers of fully licensed therapists, counsellors and social workers as well.
This, coupled with its flexible ways of communication give clients more options to choose from.
Moreover, this diverse range of catering and treatment means its suitable for more people, especially those who:
- Are seriously mentally ill
- Are seeking affordable e-therapy plans
- Are unable to commute to in-person therapy
- Cannot afford traditional means of therapy
- Belong to any age group
- Don’t necessarily prefer Psychiatric treatment
- Have busy schedules
- Are generally tech savvy
- Are looking for personal growth and development sessions
- Have moderate mental illnesses
Hence, drawing on these ideas, it is also plausible to infer that BetterHelp may not be the best option for those:
- Experiencing the severest forms of mental illness
- At risk of suicide
- Those with many physiological symptoms
- Those not comfortable with gadgets
- Those without access to high end internet connections
- People who value personable forms of treatment
- Those in need of psychiatric medication.
As mentioned in the background section of 7 Cups, this platform was initially founded as a free means of support for teenagers suffering various types of distress.
This, with the addition of the general nature and scope of the platform, it is appropriate to suggest it is best suited for:
- People with mild symptoms. This is because most of the providers on the platforms are trained listeners but not professional counsellors or therapists.
- Teenagers, since the platform was devised primarily for them.
- People who can’t afford therapy at all. 7 Cups’ active listening support is entirely free of cost.
- People looking for holistic forms of advice.
- People looking for group chat options and a social support community online.
Medium of Delivery
BetterHelp is considered to be amongst the leading telehealth companies when it comes to this category. This is because it offers a versatile and wide range of media through which communication between a therapist and client can take place.
These include features such as:
Hereby, clients can speak to therapists via messaging on their mobile phones and are replied to within 24 hours at least once.
This includes live messaging in a secure chat box online. Hence, instantaneous replies can be received by both parties to make progress quickly. Attachments such as pictures and documents can also be sent if the therapy process requires them.
These are live phone calls as with any mobile device or web application on a personal computer.
These are live sessions that are closest to the traditional in-person therapeutic experience. This provides the most comprehensive online therapy service.
Moreover, these mediums of communication can be availed through the BetterHelp app which is downloadable from the Google play store and Apple app store. Hence, it is usable on a mobile device and/or personal computer.
Unfortunately, the range of communication on 7 Cups is restricted to merely messaging services on their online forums and website
They do not yet offer live audio and video calls which is a department where BetterHelp enjoys a comparative edge.
Unfortunately BetterHelp is unable to be covered by most of the leading insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna etc.
The best BetterHelp offers in terms of financial aid is a free trial spanning 7 days and a 50% reimbursement after cancellation if it takes place after the first month of therapy and no longer.
Similarly, 7 Cups also is not covered by insurance companies. However, since most of this platform and its services are free of cost, such as speaking to a trained listener, this does not account for too much when evaluating the platform in its entirety.
Moreover, only speaking to a licensed counsellor costs money on 7 Cups, which although is not covered by insurance, is generally considered affordable.
7 Cups also offers a free trial of 3 days for the client to get used to the service comprehensively.
BetterHelp ensures a high standard of security, confidentiality and anonymity for its users. This is reflected by their 2-tier encryption of conversations. Firstly, it is SSL encrypted. Secondly, it is also encrypted according to the 256-bit banking standards.
BetterHelp allows clients to use further features that ensure more anonymity such as preference to hide their real name and use nicknames/aliases.
BetterHelp also adheres to all relevant HIPAA laws.
7 Cups also uses SSL encryption technology for its platform.
Moreover, it regulates all its website content regularly. It removes all the information of a client if there is inactivity for over a year.
Moreover, it holds a strict policy of flagging therapists and listeners onboard if they criticise clients or behave in an unethical or unreasonable manner.
This Review analysed two of the most well known e-therapy services, namely BetterHelp and 7 Cups.
It compared both based on categories such as their background, costs, insurance policies, security, treatment ranges, therapist merit, medium of communication they use etc.
The pros and cons and general suitability of both platforms was discussed.
In light of the information presented, it was considered fair to conclude that as is the case with most e-therapy services, the verdict as to which is better amongst the two depends on the needs of a potential client.
If a client is looking for active listeners on affordable rates, merely looking for support and someone to listen to them vent out and not necessarily requiring on-spot professional counselling, then 7 Cups would suit them very well and they would rate it better than BetterHelp in this dimension.
However, BetterHelp has its own edges over 7 Cups certainly. If a client is looking for live sessions one on one with a fully licensed therapist, and in other words, wants the comprehensive therapy experience, then they are likely to rate BetterHelp higher than 7 Cups.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 7 cups therapy good?
Yes, 7 Cups therapy is good for several reasons and statistics support this statement. For instance, 100% participants recommended the service for those with perinatal mood disorders, 84.6% of its users find the listening services in general to be a great source of support and 75.8% of its users reported feeling much better after availing the free listener communication method.
Is BetterHelp worth the money?
Yes, BetterHelp is generally considered worth the amount paid for it. This is not only because of its proven effectiveness which is reported to be equivalent to that of in-person therapy, but also because it’s arguably the most affordable e-therapy service available.
Is 7 cups real?
Yes, 7 Cups is completely legitimate and has millions of users.
Is Talkspace or BetterHelp better?
Talkspace and BetterHelp both are renowned online therapy services and which is considered better depends primarily on the users needs. Those who prefer the absence of a live session would side with Talkspace whereas those who regard live sessions and affordability highly, would prefer BetterHelp.
Can I put 7 cups on my resume?
Yes, 7 Cups internships and working opportunities are not only allowed for teenagers but are open to apply for to anyone who is well suited to an active listening job.
Is 7 cups a safe site?
Yes, 7 Cups uses SSL encryption for its conversations between listeners and clients, which ensures confidentiality and security.