BetterHelp vs Cerebral
This review compares one of the leading e-therapy services in the world, BetterHelp, with a new kid on the same block, Cerebral. It drafts this contrast based on the differences in their common and similar features, and also upon a consideration of their exclusive features.
These features and categories primarily include expenses incurred upon the client availing these services, whether they are allowed coverage of these mental health services by their insurance agencies, the credibility of the therapists aboard each platform, methods of interacting with them, customer support services of each website and their ways of ensuring customer and therapist confidentiality.
The following table enlists our rating of both platforms across these facets.
|Interaction with therapists||8/10||8.5/10|
Our previous reviews have comprehensively analysed BetterHelp on multiple occasions. However, a comparison directly with Cerebral has only been devised in this review.
As our readers might already know, BetterHelp provides four packages to choose from.
The weekly plan costs 80USD/week. This includes one live session of therapy each week and up to 24 hours of messaging services. Most therapists ensure they reply at least once every day.
This costs 260USD which is paid as a lump sum amount by the client in the beginning of the month. This is a more economical package considering the long haul, as it amounts to 65USD/week. Similar to the weekly plan, it includes four live sessions per month (one each week) and 24 hour messaging services.
As the pattern suggests, BetterHelp’s options grow progressively reasonable. This package is billed every four months and amounts to a total of 540USD. This is equivalent to charging 45USD each week. It extends the same proportion of weekly features over this larger span of time, that is a quarter of a year.
The final plan requires a larger lump sum payment, precisely 1820USD. This however, is practically the most cost effective option that BetterHelp offers. Infact, it’s not only BetterHelp’s most financially reasonable option, it’s amongst the most affordable options we have reviewed across multiple platforms.
Again, as with other packages of BetterHelp, this also allows one weekly session and 24/7 messaging services between a client and their therapist.
One way in which Cerebral differs from BetterHelp is that most of its packages are structured in a way that they aim at monthly therapy. Weekly programmes are available, but not too commonly.
Moreover, it combines the services of more than one mental health practitioner for a client, allowing optimum results.
Medication+Basic Care Plan
This package costs 99USD. It allows ongoing audio and video calls with a fully licensed and qualified Medical Practitioner/Psychiatrist. Moreover, an additional Care Provider regularly checks in with the client. They keep a record of the progress the client is making and update the Medical Practitioner.
They also help the client discover the best psychotherapeutic interventions for their improvement. These include breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness etc. All these features cost merely 24.75USD.
This costs 259USD per month, which amounts to 64.75USD weekly.
Contrastingly with the initial plan, instead of the services of a Psychiatrist, this includes offering the expertise of a licensed therapist. The sessions are held weekly.
This is the most comprehensive plan provided by Cerebral. It costs 339USD monthly and equates to 84.75USD per week.
Not only does this include sessions with the Psychiatrist mentioned earlier, but replaces the Care Provider with a fully licensed therapist, with whom sessions can be held weekly as well.
This implies a combined psychotherapeutic treatment for the client, bringing together the expertise and knowledge of a Psychiatrist who is able to prescribe drugs as needed, provide a more scientific and neuroscience based diagnosis, and a therapist who can optimize results with a more cognitive behavioural approach.
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.
With most services, especially of the healthcare kind, rising costs make insurance coverage a valid talking point.
Unfortunately, none of the leading insurance agencies like Cigna, Humana, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield and Optum cover the costs of BetterHelp under their plans.
Similarly, Cerebral mental health services are also generally not covered by most insurance companies.
However, Cerebral does tend to provide other forms of financial assistance.
Upon request and application, Cerebral views the clients’ profile and eligibility and on a case-by-case basis, provides conveniences such as waiving off portions of the therapy fee.
BetterHelp only employs the best therapists world over. They are Licensed therapists, clinical social workers or fully accredited counsellors.
It is ensured that they have completed the necessary education, training, examinations and licensing.
Moreover, they must have completed the minimum 1,000 hours of clinical practise and 3 years of counselling sessions prior to applying to BetterHelp.
Therapists at BetterHelp treat a whole range of mental health illnesses, which include:
- Generalized Anxiety disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive disorder
- Psychosomatic disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa
- Chronic impulsivity
- Chronic stress
- Familial issues
- Parenting problems
- Intimate relationship problems
- Sexual orientation issues
- Teen therapy
- LGBTQIA related issue
- Educational issues
- Career related problems
- Financial worries
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Spiritual matters
- Existential worries
Cerebral is relatively different from BetterHelp in this regard.
It does not focus entirely on an abundance of licensed therapists. Instead, it looks to employ the right numbers of Medical Practitioners/Psychiatrists alongside Therapists for a combination of both types of interventions.
Moreover, Cerebral is known to be highly specialised in the treatment of:
- Sleep Disorders
Interaction with Therapist
BetterHelp typically offers a range of different ways of contact between a client and their therapist, as was touched upon in the ‘expense’ section above. These include:
- Text Messaging
- Live Messaging in a secure chat box
- Audio messages
- Video messages
- Live audio and/or video calls
Cerebral offers what BetterHelp offers and seemingly more.
- Text Messaging
- Live audio calls
- Live video calls
- Interaction with two professionals, either a Psychiatrist and a Care provider, or the former coupled with a licensed therapist. This is an edge Cerebral holds over most e-therapy services and broadens the range of communication available to a client.
One of the major, unprecedented advantages that seeking treatment at BetterHelp entails for a client is their free trial feature.
This is a 7 day period at the beginning of the treatment, as it commences.
Clients undertake therapy and all of BetterHelp’s features free of cost and are allowed to quit without any consequences as they please after its over.
Moreover, even if a client quits after the first month, 50% reimbursement of the fee they have paid till then is made back to them.
Although a free trial is not offered at Cerebral, it does offer a considerable amounts’ worth of discount at the start. The monthly package that normally costs 99USD is available for only 45USD for the first month.
Moreover, another feature exclusive to Cerebral is their combination of therapy services, courtesy of employing Psychiatrists and Licensed therapists both. Their expertise combined can give results like never before.
BetterHelp and Cerebral
Both BetterHelp and Cerebral adhere to HIPAA laws. Also, the conversations with clients over text messaging are SSL encoded as well as 256-bit encrypted along banking standards. The two follow all relevant state and government laws.
Hence, neither of them have an edge over the other in this domain.
It has an online form which customers are required to fill. Besides, it has a FAQ area where usually posed inquiries and questions are replied to and the appropriate responses enlisted for customers to see.
BetterHelp provides an email address on their contact page.
Cerebral is known for its faster response times in terms of getting back to their clients. This is done by their swift support desk which help clients work their way
around all processes like, roaming the website, subscribing and even cancelling their
This article reviewed two e-therapy services. One of them was the leading service, BetterHelp and the other, an up and coming platform, Cerebral.
The review compared and contrasted both platforms based on several distinct criteria.
These included facets such as costs, insurance coverage, therapist credibility, interacting with them, confidentiality and customer support.
Moreover, it also analysed some of the features exclusively available on each platform.
Overall, it was concluded that the best fit for a client out of both depends on their personal preference. Both platforms offer the most reasonable of options in terms of cost but if a person prefers weekly sessions with licensed therapists, they would rather choose BetterHelp, whereas someone looking for Psychiatric interventions along with a Psychologists’ advice would incline towards Cerebral.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is BetterHelp vs Talkspace better?
Talkspace is a better option only for those who know they won’t necessarily need a live session. Moreover, BetterHelp is more attractive as a choice if a client knows they will require live sessions.
Is BetterHelp worth the money?
Yes, generally, BetterHelp is more affordable than most e-therapy services and has been reported to be as effective as in-person therapy. Moreover, other e-therapy services are also considered to be worth it.
Which online therapy is best?
BetterHelp, Talkspace and Cerebral are one of many examples of the leading e-therapy services in the world. There might not be one outright winner amongst them as all have exclusive features.
Is BetterHelp legitimate?
Yes, BetterHelp is completely legitimate since all its therapists are fully licensed.
What is the cheapest online therapy?
BetterHelp’s yearly package and Cerebrals’ monthly package worth 99USD are amongst the most affordable e-therapy packages available.
Is online therapy free?
No, that is a misconception. Although some state-funded free services may exist, private providers such as BetterHelp and Cerebral are not free.