BetterHelp vs Ginger
This Review compares two very popular e-therapy platforms, BetterHelp and Ginger.
The comparison is made across facets such as their overall mission, pricing, specialties, security, therapist credentials, how the platforms work, the range of illnesses they treat and general strengths and weaknesses of both.
The comparison is followed by our final verdict as to which may be the right one for you.
The following table enlists what you might expect as you read along.
|Feature||Nature/Type||Our Rating||Nature/Type||Our Rating|
|Background||Psychotherapy||8/10||Psychotherapy & Psychiatry||9/10|
|How they work||4 standard packages||7/10||2 modules||8/10|
|Expertise||Fully licensed therapists||8/10||Licensed therapists and Psychiatrists||9/10|
|Effectiveness||Evidence based||9/10||Evidence based||9/10|
|Exclusive Features||Free trial||9/10||Employee performance oriented and 24/7 access||8/10|
|Privacy||SSL and 256-bit encryption||9/10||SSL encryption||8/10|
BetterHelp was founded in 2013 by Alon Matas, a tech expert who personally suffered from
depression. He reflected and realised that having been financially well off, he
still struggled with finding the right match and the best kind of help in terms of quality of
This realisation led him to found this organization. Hence the major aim of BetterHelp
was to make therapy not only affordable, but more widely available and accessible.
E-therapy was hence a great way to make this aim achievable.
Ginger has been around for longer than most e-therapy services. It was founded in 2011 in MIT’s Media Lab by a group of data scientists and tech experts. Ginger’s name and mission is closely related to one of its co-founders, Karan Singh.
Karan Singh founded this platform after losing a close friend to suicide. The unavailability of help at the time led Karan to the awakening and realisation that he wanted to make the best quality of therapy available conveniently, to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
Moreover, recalling a childhood memory whereby his mother would brew him ginger tea at the earliest symptom of a sickness, he named this service ‘Ginger’ as it also signifies the aim of the organization which is to address issues right at their onset and target the root of the problem, before it grows to become harder to tackle.
Today, Ginger proudly reached over a million people in 30 different countries, making Karan’s dream a reality.
How they work
This package allows one live session and unlimited messaging services throughout the
This plan entails four live video sessions and 24 hour messaging services for the entire
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.
This plan also works in the same fashion as the ones described above, in terms of its scale
of operation. It is however billed yearly.
Ginger mainly has two ways of operation.
Behavioural Health Coaching
Through this module, clients are able to get constant help 24/7. Although it is limited to texting services, the average time it takes to connect and here from a therapist is only 60 seconds. Moreover, an individual is able to connect to an entire team of therapists through this method.
This method is catered to people facing mood disorders, generally feeling low, depression, anxiety and day to day challenges.
Moreover, unlike in other services, Ginger therapists reply to clients using this feature even late in the night and on weekends as well.
Therapy and Telepsychiatry
This is the more personable and closer to in-person traditional kind of therapy.
This is because clients signing up to this method are liable to receive live video sessions along with the services of the package mentioned above. This also allows a client to receive help from a team of psychiatrists, psychologists and licensed counsellors.
Moreover, this feature allows clients to not only be prescribed psychiatric drugs but also receive them at their doorstep within 24 hours.
This has been given a rating of 4.7/5 by clients who have subscribed to it.
BetterHelp therapists are ensured to be fully licensed, having completed the necessary
examinations, education, training and practise. Moreover, they all complete the minimum
1,000 hours and 3 years of clinical practise experience before applying to BetterHelp.
In addition, they comply with all the relevant state and federal laws that apply to them and consistently undergo examinations required to keep their license up to date.
They consist of licensed therapists, clinical social workers, general counsellors etc.
At Ginger, a team-based approach to therapy is encouraged. The team consists of fully licensed therapists, doctors with a specialization in psychiatry and licensed supervisors.
A minimum of two years of relevant experience, 6 months of which must have taken place under a qualified, credentialed or licensed supervisor is required to meet the criteria of being of employability at Ginger.
Moreover, at least an MA degree in Psychology or related field is needed, or coaching certification from an NBC-HWC accredited institution.
The treatment BetterHelp specialists have expertise in, include the following:
- Generalized Anxiety disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive disorder
- Psychosomatic disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa
- Chronic impulsivity
- Chronic stress
- Sexual orientation issues
- Teen therapy
- LGBTQIA related issue
- Educational issues
- Career related problems
- Financial worries
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Spiritual matters
- Existential worries
Ginger also offers help with numerous mental health challenges, however, their scope of practise is not as widely encompassing as BetterHelp. This is mainly because it was founded primarily to cater to individuals working in the corporate sector who require work-related help. This includes:
- Goal setting
- Managing routine stress
- Sleep issues
- Recovery from loss
- Other grief related challenges
- Balancing home and work life
- Self-esteem issues
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.
There is widespread evidence on the internet which reflects the effectiveness of all online therapy services, including BetterHelp.
For instance, a study at the University of Berkeley found that not only is online therapy and BetterHelp in particular significant for improvement in mental health, but it is a viable alternative for in-person therapy.
Moreover, another study showed that 37.8 percent (120/318) clients experienced clinically assessed improvements in their mental health struggles and especially depressive symptoms in only the first 3 months of treatment.
There is ample evidence to show Ginger does not lag behind in this regard.
For example, a study showed that 70 percent of people showed improvement in symptoms after seeking help at Ginger.
This is even true of studies conducted in clinical settings. One of such studies showed that 30 percent of Ginger members showed clinically significant improvements in mental health after 10-14 months of therapy.
Moreover, clients at Ginger have rated it 4.7 out of 5 in terms of ease of usability and general effectiveness.
This package costs 80USD per week.
This plan costs 260USD. This amount is billed at the start of every month. As it includes four
sessions according to the information in the previous section, for 260USD, this suggests that
each session (equivalent to per week charge) costs 65USD.
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.
What is great about Ginger is that its text messaging service is completely free of charge. This provides a remarkable platform for those who cannot afford therapy altogether. It means no one is left deprived of this facility.
Moreover, the module that contains live video sessions is charged between 129USD to 349USD per month. The price varies according to the range and frequency of services required. However, 129USD amounts to merely 32.25USD per week which is extremely competitive even given BetterHelp’s unprecedented affordability.
These features are integral to not only client satisfaction but also provide the platform a way in which to form its identity. This is because these are specialties they offer through which they become widely known.
BetterHelp provides the first week to clients completely free of cost. This allows clients to
feel they are not financially exploited and hence nourishes the bond of trust to develop
which is crucial for beneficial therapy.
Moreover, even upon quitting after the entire first month, BetterHelp reimburses 50
percent of what the client has paid, back to them.
Ginger was founded with the notion that the popular one size fits all idea does not and should not apply to the healthcare setting, especially not the mental health platforms.
Hence, it is amongst the very few services which offer tailored help specific to a clients’ needs. There are not strict standard packages and hence the frequency and spacing out of sessions can be decided by a client according to what they feel is best for their mental health.
Moreover, Ginger takes organizational psychology into account very seriously. Unlike most e-therapy services, it aims at improved mental health to increase productivity and yield growth and development of the employees in the corporate sector.
This has also allowed it to become endorsed by and become a trusted long term client of major multinational corporations such as Dominos, Chegg, Sephora, Pinterest etc.
BetterHelp adheres to all HIPAA laws. Also, the conversations with clients
over text messaging are SSL encoded as well as 256-bit encrypted along banking
standards. It also follows all relevant state and government laws.
It also allows a client to freely choose not to provide their real name if they want to ensure complete anonymity.
Ginger also uses Secure Sockets Layers such as the SSL and TSL in order to ensure maximum confidentiality and avoid the risk of any cyber crime such as hacking etc.
However, it does acknowledge that due to the online nature of the platform, it is difficult to secure the services against every possible risk.
Pros and Cons
|Affordable||No psychiatric treatment|
|Wide treatment range||Insurance unavailable|
|Live therapy sessions||Not for seriously ill patients|
|Secure||Not for people who are not tech savvy|
|High therapist merit|
|Convenient therapist switching|
|Provision of psychiatric treatment||Limited range of treatment|
|Specialises in employee health||No treatment for minors|
|Free text messaging services||Low possibility of insurance coverage|
|Affordability||Not for suicidal patients|
|Evidence based effectiveness|
|Highly rated by clients|
This review compared two leading e-therapy services, namely BetterHelp and Ginger.
The article made an in-depth inroad into different facets of both.
These included features such as their background, mission, costs, expertise, treatment range afforded at both, special features, pros and cons and more.
The article concludes that it depends on the nature of the client and the kind of treatment they are looking for which determines which platform would suit them better.
For example, Ginger is a service that is primarily directed towards corporate sector employees. Moreover, it affords more customizable therapy. Hence, someone from the corporate sector who has an extraordinary tight schedule would want to go ahead with Ginger.
Contrastingly, someone with a slightly less strict routine and who values a standard schedule of therapy with appointments made well in advance would choose BetterHelp. In addition, since BetterHelp places specific influence on live therapy sessions, clients who value that over any other form of therapy will report BetterHelp was the right option for them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is BetterHelp worth the money?
Yes, BetterHelp is worth the money. This is based on the premise that not only is its effectiveness confirmed by a study at the University of Berkeley, its therapy is also amongst the most affordable options out there. Their most economical package costs only 35USD per week.
What’s wrong with BetterHelp?
BetterHelp experienced many complaints against its customer support services in 2018. However, Alon Matas, the founder of the company dealt with those accordingly and the platform has been running smoothly ever since.
Which online therapy is best?
There are many online therapy services available and the one that is best is a subjective matter pertaining to a clients’ needs. For example, those looking for LGBTQIA+ support would want to side with Pride Counselling whereas someone else who needs couple therapy, for them the best choice would be Regain.
Is Talkspace or BetterHelp better?
Talkspace and BetterHelp are the leading therapy services in the online world. For clients who prefer messaging services more, Talkspace is the right option whereas for those who want live sessions regularly, BetterHelp is the right direction.
What is the cheapest online therapy?
There are many therapy options that are cheap but most of them do not include live sessions. To our knowledge, the most economical package is BetterHelp’s yearly package, which allows live sessions and unlimited messaging services both, for only 35USD per week.
Does BetterHelp diagnose?
Yes, BetterHelp clinicians are fully licensed therapists in a range of different fields. They are fully capable to conduct a comprehensive diagnosis and suggest a holistic plan to improve client health.