Betterhelp Vs Lyra(A Complete Review)

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Page last updated: 13/09/2022

Betterhelp Vs Lyra(A Complete Review)

This article will compare the two online mental health platforms on a number of areas to determine which company provides a better experience to clients. It will also introduce the companies to the audience to help them develop a better understanding of the topic. The article will also describe various features of the online platforms that may be exclusive only to them.

Betterhelp Vs Lyra: How To Compare?

When it comes to which is better, Betterhelp or Lyra, there are a number of areas where the two online giants can be compared such as:

  • Registration Process
  • Services
  • Mediums of Interaction
  • Finance: Insurance Vs Aid
  • Added Features
  • Online Therapy Vs In Person Therapy

Before looking at each area where both of the online mental health platforms can be compared, we will introduce them to the audience!

BetterHelp – Your Online Partner In Mental Health

Betterhelp is one of the largest online platforms that provides multiple services for all types of people who are suffering from mental health problems and require counseling. What is great about this service is that it is online hence it is available anywhere and every time. You do not have to go to the doctor’s office to get an appointment or wait in line for your turn. This is great if you feel pretty down and getting out of bed is a challenge for you!

With approximately 1700 licensed therapists available online at the click of a button, Betterhelp ensures that its clients receive the best help they can get by connecting them to professional therapists and counselors who know what they need to do This is apparent by the total number of sessions which Betterhelp

 has already conducted from their platform; a whopping 70 million sessions already completed! This is possible because the company understands the needs of clients well and hence provides therapy related services to them online and not just at  physical location. In a world where things are changing constantly and the unknown is always around the corner, it is becoming more of a need rather than a desire to get services online and at your doorstep – we simply don’t have time nowadays!

When you visit their site, you will see that the company realizes the various situations you may be stuck in; you could be a child who needs help, a person in a relationship who feels they need to opt for couple therapy or an individual who is having a tough time facing their problems. The website also recognizes people who experience different feelings, thoughts and experiences compared to the vast majority of people; it does not judge a person based on how others are but how the person is themself! So don’t worry! You are in good hands at Betterhelp.

Lyra – The Online Mental Health Platform For Employees

It is an online mental health platform that extends its services to employees so that they can manage their health and well being while they are at work. The company adopts a slightly different business model than that of Betterhelp in the sense that it offers B2B services which basically means it’s first priority is to offer services in bulk to companies that have employed individuals as part of their workforce. However, individual employees, whose company is not registered with Lyra, can also avail their services by signing up.

It was founded in January 2015 by David Ebersman who was also the former CFO of Facebook and Genentech. It started out as a company that aimed to provide mental health services to the employees of other companies. It started going live with it’s clients in 2017 when eBay, Uber and ServiceNow signed up to the platform.These companies now had access to personalized mental health care.

The company also believes in empowering its clients and hence launched Mental Health Coaching which aims to teach clients the necessary skills that are required to deal with daily hassles and problems.

Lyra also focuses on preventive measures rather than curative ones because yes prevention is better than cure – it saves many resources, avoids the pain and distress associated with it and also develops a better attitude where people make careful and wise decisions. They launched the Preventive Care Suite in 2021 to advocate and promote such an approach.

Now that we have a good idea about the two companies, let us compare them in the aforesaid areas.

Betterhelp Vs Lyra(A Complete Review)

Registration Process

The important thing that we first need to know is how do we sign up with the online platforms. Each of these platforms has a registration process so that you can become a member and avail services they provide.

Betterhelp – How To Sign Up?

The process to sign up with Betterhelp involves 5 steps:

  • Visit Website: Click here to visit their website! You need to inform them if you are opting for individual therapy, couple therapy or teen therapy.
  • Intake Form: You will be required to fill out a questionnaire that has numerous questions pertaining to your health, income, counseling needs and preferences as well as mental health. This is important so that the algorithm can determine which counselor to match you with.
  • Assignment: You will be assigned a counselor on the basis of your responses. The counselor will be someone from your state. However, if you are a client from overseas, you will be matched with a service provider who matches your needs and preferences.
  • Payment Details: Betterhelp accepts payment through credit card or paypal and you will need to provide your real information here to sign up.
  • Start Your Counseling: After the registration process you can start your sessions with your service provider immediately. You will have access to a wide range of services and options to avail these services through different mediums. We will discuss these in upcoming sections.

Think the registration process is easy? Why not sign up today and start your journey towards better mental health.

Lyra – It’s All About You

Lyra follows a somewhat similar approach to Betterhelp when it comes to signing up! Here are the steps below that describe the process:

  • Visit their website by clicking here! You will need to sign up either as a company or an employee whose company may or may not be registered with Lyra.
  • Learn More About Lyra: Before they ask about you, they will introduce themselves and how they work so interested individuals can take maximum benefit while signing up. 
  • Questionnaire: So lyra also follows an intake form approach where they ask you various questions. These questions will help direct you towards services you may need and provide the suitable options of service providers so that you can choose the best one. The questions will ask you what you experience, how you feel and will use M.C.Qs as well as scales so demonstrate how you feel and the extent of that feeling.
  • Service Options: According to the responses you gave, they will offer a number of services that are most appropriate to you. You can go for options where you opt for self care courses, someone who can guide you on medication or looking for a therapist.
  • Course Of Action: Now that it is clear what option you are going for, the website will determine what you need exactly. If you have opted for seeing a therapist they will give you the options closest to your needs and preferences. You can see the therapists profiles, schedules, session length and other details such as areas of interest of specialty. 
  • Payment: After you are clear about your required service, you will be able to start your sessions with your counselor. If payment is required – maybe your employers are not registered – then you will have to go through that step as well!

Services

When it comes to services, both of the mental health platforms operate in a number of areas and serve people from different backgrounds. Let us take a look at each service the two companies provide!

Betterhelp – What They Offer

Here is a list of the services offered at Betterhelp!

Individual counseling

The company provides counseling to individuals as well where they can get services for a variety of disorders such as:

  • Depression
  • Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Grief
  • Marriage
  • Trauma
  • PTSD
  • Eating Disorders
  • Happiness
  • Anxiety

Each individual will be assigned a service provider based on their needs. The service provider will be from the area of requirement. This means that they can be someone who is a counselor for couples focusing on individuals only or a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Couples Counseling.

The platform also provides counseling for couples who are facing issues in their relationship. They provide services that help the couple express their problems and work through them in a safe and constructive environment so that the problem is solved and not broadened. The counselor guides the couple so that they utilize their time and efforts in understanding the issues both of them go through and how they can reach a solution.

Teen Counseling

The platform also provides services for teenagers who are going through a variety of problems such as:

  • Depression
  • School Problems
  • LGBTQ
  • Family Conflict
  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Friends Issues
  • Eating Disorders
  • Trouble Sleeping

The platform may transfer you to their sister site which is known as Teencounseling and caters to teenagers between the ages of 13 to 19 years of age. The teenager must start out by filling a form that tries to gather as much information about them as it can so as to suggest a good therapist. The site also has the option where parents can use the interface on the behalf of the teenager.

Lyra – Numerous Services

The platform has a number of services such as:

  • Guided Self Care
  • Lyra Coaching
  • Lyra Therapy
  • Lyra Medication
  • Mental Wellness Tools

Guided Self Care

In this service, Lyra offers clients the option to work with their own coach who helps members look into what needs and problems they actually have. Furthermore, with the input of the client and the coach’s experience and knowledge, courses are assigned to the members that are of self pace nature; this means the client can take up these courses according to their schedule. It allows flexibility.

The coach however sticks with the client to ensure that they stay motivated and are engaging in the courses regularly so that they are not prey to laziness, demotivation or the problems they are going through and thus focus on completing and applying the courses.

Lyra Coaching

These service providers are available through messaging and even live video sessions. They are certified professionals who are experienced in helping people deal with milder problems of life that can be related to friends, family or work. They help people deal with stress, anxiety, anger control and relationship issues. 

Lyra Therapy

These are highly qualified professionals who are experts and regular users of CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and hence can deal with a lot of clinical issues that clients can go through whether they are adults, older people or children.  These professionals are available through messages, live video and on site at the employers office.

Lyra Medication

These services are offered by physicians who are focused on mental health. Treatment is available for adults through live video sessions for depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. It involves:

  • Ongoing symptom tracking to mitigate medication side effects
  • Directly message physician for questions or concerns
  • Combine treatment with therapy to learn and build new skills 
  • Available in-person care for adolescents and those who need controlled substances

Mental Wellness Tools

Unlimited access to apps members know and love like Calm and MyStrength. Integrated into Lyra’s Care Recommendation Algorithm for easy navigation.

  • Wide range of exercises and lessons for mild and clinical needs
  • Complementary to other Lyra care options

Mediums of Interaction

When it comes to availing services, there are many ways a service can be availed. Let us take a look at how these companies offer mental health services.

Betterhelp uses the following ways of communication:

  • Chatrooms: These are open 24/7 and you can drop a message any time you feel like doing so. However, your counselor will only get back to you once they have the time or chance to. Usually people like dropping questions they want opinions on from their counselor and don’t mind waiting a bit.
  • Live Chatting Sessions: here you can chat with your counselor in real time and there really is no limit on the number of messages exchanged or time spent talking here. It depends on the needs of the client and the nature of the problem.
  • Live Phone Calls: Kind of like Skype this platform has their own system set up where you can have audio sessions with your service provider. It does not show your contact details to the counselor for reasons of privacy and in case the counselor and counselee become direct. 
  • Video Sessions: clients who are more comfortable or want a more personalized experience can also opt for video sessions. Like other mediums of interaction, there is no limit on these although people mostly hold the opinion that 1 or 2 sessions per week are sufficient.

These service are offered at the following rates:

  • Weekly Plan: It costs $80/week where you subscribe to their services for a week only and can avail whatever and how many sessions you need. In case you subscribe every week, you will have to pay $320 at the end of the month.
  • Monthly Plan: It costs a total of $260 per month which breaks down to $60/week. The client is billed monthly as well – this is pretty straightforward
  • Quarterly Plan: This plan costs a total of $540 but the weekly costs breaks down into $45 a week only because of the longer subscription availed by the client. At the end of the each month the client must pay $180
  • Annual Plan: For clients who need long term services, they can pay $1820 which results in only $35 per week which is extremely cheap. At the end of each month the client is liable to pay $140 only which is the cheapest option.

Like their services and think they are affordable? Why wait when you can sign up today at Betterhelp by clicking here.

When it comes to Lyra, it offers the following mediums to interact with service providers or the service itself:

Messaging: Clients can contact their service providers through messaging. This mode of interaction is not only convenient for the client themself but the service provider too as they can respond back according to their convenience and hence provide more customized and in depth responses.

Live Video Sessions: The website offers many video sessions to the clients with regards to their different services. Some services require that treatment can only be given through video sessions as sometimes it is necessary to see the client and determine the needs or his or her state.

In Person: Clients can also be paired with service providers who are available at the employers office. This is a great system where Lyra is at advantage when compared to Betterhelp and other online services. Hence, they are able to offer many more services because people can actually visit the doctor’s office in case there is an emergency or they need closer inspection.

This platform has customized payment plans for it’s clients and hence how much they pay depends on a number of factors such as:

  • Is their Employer Registered With Lyra?
  • What Type of Service Do they Need?
  • Do They Need Frequent Services?
  • Mode of Interaction
  • Doctor’s Office Visits

Finance: Insurance Vs Aid

Although it is not clear, it seems to be the case that Lyra does integrate insurance into its system and accepts it as a way to finance the cost of its services. However, the same case is not with Betterhelp.

Betterhelp discourages the use of insurance for it’s services because of the following reasons:

  • Health insurance plans have partial or limited coverage so it really isn’t useful. Most of the time they do not fully cover the costs and one ends up doing much paperwork to get very little benefit. On top of that you need to finance the insurance as well somehow.
  • In the case that your health insurance plan covers all costs of the services, the co-pay of insurance may be higher than the entire cost of Betterhelp’s services – this is due to the generally low cost services of Betterhelp due to it’s online nature and ease of accessibility for all. So, it is better not to avail insurance because you may end up paying way more to get the insurance compared to the actual costs of the services.
  • Clients at Betterhelp may not be able to use insurance because insurance companies often require that the diagnosis of a patient and their future treatment plans are sent to them. However, at Betterhelp service providers are not allowed to diagnose patients for a number of reasons. The service providers are also not allowed to prescribe drugs. As said before, insurance companies require some sort of documentation or proof that a person is indeed eligible for insurance.
  • Betterhelp emphasizes that their costs for services are very low hence it is not advisable to use insurance. This is what they prefer and they also offer financial aid on their website which can be used to decrease the costs of sessions from around $280 to as low as $216. 

There are other options at Betterhelp if you can’t use your insurance there!

Does Betterhelp Offer Financial Aid?

Yes Betterhelp offers financial aid to those who are in need of it through a relatively simple process. The online mental health company acknowledges the fact that many people are in tight financial circumstances either because of their current mental health or their inability to find a job. Nonetheless, the company offers financial aid for such people in need.

How To Apply For Financial Aid?

While applying for membership, people can opt for this option and increase their chances of getting this benefit. In the initial questionnaire the company asks you to fill out that gathers basic information on you – especially so they can match you with the ideal counselor – you can better represent your financial position here too because they ask whether you are employed or not. It also asks if you currently have any financial difficulties. This is a good way to increase your chances of getting the financial aid they offer.

When you proceed to the section where they ask for payment details, look for the option of ‘Apply For Financial Aid’ and click on it. This will ask you further questions about your income and ability to pay for the services. They will then provide financial relief to you that can cause your counseling fees to drop from $280 to as low as $216 based on your location, financial position and income.

Added Features: Betterhelp Vs Lyra

Let us take a look at what added features both platforms have. We will first take a look at Betterhelp!

Betterhelp – What It Offers!

Anonymity

Betterhelp has created a platform where people can get the help they need without revealing who they are to anyone – even their own counselor! Pretty neat right? This provides so many people the comfort level and privacy they need to open up about their problems without fearing getting judged or labeled or their information leaking out.

It is simple – people availing services at Betterhelp just need to sign up with a nickname they can choose for themselves and hence can keep their true identity to themselves.

Digital Worksheets.

Enough talk! Let’s get down to some serious business. Betterhelp realizes that mental health services are not all about chit chat; you need to actually do something to make things better in your life.

At Betterhelp, there are more than 150 + worksheets that can be assigned to clients based on their needs and mental health condition. It helps them practically apply what they are being told to do. It also helps them stay consistent in their sessions and stay in touch with their counselors.

Many people are going through serious mental disorders; they feel alone and vulnerable and just knowing they have something to do or someone is waiting for them to submit a certain piece of work really helps them get through the tough times in life.

Monthly Subscriptions

One of the best things at Betterhelp is that you pay through a monthly subscription and not a per session basis. This can actually help a lot of clients not only mentally but financially as well. 

Some people require more sessions and if they are charged per session they will not only be stressed out mentally and financially but they will feel hesitant acquiring the help they need. If they know they have to pay once and can avail as many sessions as they want, they can talk to their counselor without any hesitation. Betterhelp makes availing the service easy which very few businesses understand the importance of!

Furthermore, such a practice prevents exploitation of clients. You can extend progress across a number of sessions instead of achieving it in a few (if possible) to gain more money with the pay per session model. Not to say it is always an exploitative practice but it can become one. In some cases, this model is more suitable. But keeping in mind the needs of clients who require help online, the pay model Betterhelp follows is great!

Lyra – A New Experience

Reading Materials & Videos

One unique feature this website has is that it offers numerous reading materials relevant to mental health. Individuals who want to learn more about their condition can use such resources and guide themselves well especially if they have access to reliable information which is not only authentic but of the highest quality.

Some people find it hard so the site also has a video library where people can learn about different mental health issues. These videos help users understand their own condition in a more easy manner and convey rich and reliable information.

Self Guide Courses

This is also a unique feature of this course where individuals while being guided by a life coach can help themselves by learning more about life, wellness and how to deal with difficult moments. They can enrol in courses while under the supervision of their service provider and learn more.

Medication Services

The company has another added benefit in that it allows service providers to prescribe and manage clients medication. They not only prescribe medicines that are allowed but also help clients manage and track their routines and their health progress.

Betterhelp & Lyra: Online Vs In Person Therapy

In this section we will be discussing the topic of online therapy and why it may not always be suitable. This topic is of much importance because unlike Betterhelp that only offers online therapy and may be at a disadvantage, Lyra offers both only and in person therapy.

What Is Online Therapy?

Simple. Online therapy is therapy online! Counseling sessions are arranged between the counselor and counselee online with the same aims and objectives however there are some differences. These services are to considerable extent customizable; people can opt for chatting, calling or video calling their therapist based on their comfort level and how much they want to reveal their identity. 

Furthermore, online therapy is often used by people from all over the world; this means that the panel of counselors, therapists and psychologists will be dealing with people of diverse backgrounds hence they need to be flexible, understanding and sensitive to cultural differences. Most of the time, pairing is done on the counselor and counselee which may not happen in the traditional setting. However, formalities like getting yourself registered using your full name and other details is not done here – usually because of privacy reasons.

The Claims Against Online Therapy – Why It Can’t Work!

Here are the claims against online therapy:

  • Lack of Human Interaction
  • Insufficient Information Available to Counselor
  • Therapy Restricted to Words

One cannot rule out these claims. Yes, online sessions have reduced human interaction which may increase the quality of service and help the counselee more. Furthermore, the therapist does not have access to important information he or she can collect during a physical sitting where he can observe the clients body language, way of speaking and overall personality; hence it may be more difficult to diagnose the true problem.

Also, online therapy is restricted to only talking; it is difficult to engage in activities that may go in the therapy session because apart from cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy also plays a huge role in improving one’s mental health.

Yet, it would be immature to throw away something as precious as online therapy sessions; the words here may seem exaggerated but they are not. The possibility of having online therapy sessions is a blessing to many people who may not have access to in person therapy due to different reasons. We will now take a look at why online therapy can actually work.

Keeping these in view, Lyra is at a lot of advantage because with its in person services it can fill out any gaps in the therapy it provides online.

However, online therapy has its advantages and is backed by research hence Betterhelp is not far behind!

Why Online Therapy Actually Works!

Research

A study found that online cognitive therapy was effective in treating anxiety disorders without any intervention from the traditional in person therapy. Not only was the treatment less costly but even after a year, follow ups showed that the effects of the therapy were long term. This study was published in 2014 in the Behaviour Research and Therapy journal.

In the same year but published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, another study found that online therapy was successful in treating depression and yielding the same results as in person therapy.

Benefits of Online Therapy

There are numerous benefits of online therapy that include:

  • Cost Effective
  • Time Saving
  • People Less Hesitant
  • Accessible for All
  • No Waiting Rooms
  • Customization
  • Numerous Services

We have explained a few of the benefits of online therapy!

Cost Effective

The thing with face to face therapy sessions is that they are expensive most of the times when it comes to being compared with online therapy services! You can’t blame them because it is not easy setting up an office, paying for the utility bills and obviously the opportunity costs – if you worked from home maybe you could take up another job as well!

Time Saving

Yes having online therapy sessions saves time for both the counselor and counselee. It has been shown that counselors are able to see more clients online when compared to face to face sessions. Also, you don’t have to drive all the way to the clinic to see your doctor for your appointment – you can just have your session from home. 

People Less Hesitant

Sometimes people do not want to reveal their identity for so many reasons; the problems or experiences they go through may not be acceptable according to their culture, religion or even modern day laws but they desperately need help. Hence, online therapy sessions provide the opportunity to stay hidden and get help without having to reveal their full identity.

Conclusion

This article compared the two online platforms namely Betterhelp and Lyra where they were compared on a number of areas such as services, modes of interaction, added features and whether they also provide in person services as well. The article provided an in depth description of both the companies and introduced them to the audience as well with regards to their aims and missions.

References

https://www.lyrahealth.com/our-network/

https://www.teencounseling.com/