BetterHelp vs Pride Counselling
This review compares two of the leading e-therapy platforms available in sufficient detail. It aims to provide sufficient detail about both services for clients looking to seek help online to make a well informed decision based on their needs.
It makes this comparison based on the features enlisted in the following table.
|Feature||Nature/Type||Our Rating||Nature/Type||Our Rating|
|Areas of Treatment||Comprehensive||9/10||Specialized||9/10|
|Expertise||Licensed Therapists||8/10||Licensed Therapists||8/10|
|Pricing||Min 35USD/week||9/10||Min 40USD/week||8/10|
|Exclusive Features||Free Trial||9/10||LGBTQIA+ support||9/10|
|Signing up||Algorithmic questionnaire||8/10||Detailed Algorithmic questionnaire||9/10|
|Privacy||SSL and 256-bit encryption||9/10||SSl and 256-bit encrypted||9/10|
BetterHelp was established in 2013 by tech expert Alon Matas. Having experienced depression himself, Alon was in pole position to deliver just what he knew people struggling with illnesses of the same kind would require.
Moreover, Alon’s idea, when combined with the financial resources of Teladoc, the largest
Telehealth company in the country, after it purchased BetterHelp, allowed for it to reach a
The main mission of BetterHelp was, has been and still is to make Psychotherapy not only affordable, but also widely accessible. BetterHelp has achieved this using competitive pricing strategies combined with flexible subscription packages. Its online nature allows clients to connect with therapists from all over the world, with just a swipe of their smartphones.
Pride Counselling was founded in 2017 as part of BetterHelp. It is an extension of the latter and was established to provide services specially tailored to the LGBTQIA+ and those who have mental health disorders stemming from such aspects.
Moreover, apart from their exclusive LGBTQIA+ oriented, their mission includes providing comparatively mainstream mental health services as well.
Areas 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 therapy
- Educational issues
- Career related problems
- Financial worries
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Spiritual matters
- Existential worries
The range of services Pride Counselling offers in terms of treatment is similar to that of BetterHelp. The areas of treatment have a general sense of overlap.
The therapists at Pride Counselling generally cover:
- Eating Disorders
- Substance Abuse
BetterHelp employs fully licensed therapists, clinical social workers and clinical counsellors. They are ensured to have complied by the high standards of BetterHelp which include successful completion of the required examination, practise, training and education.
Moreover, they have a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical practise under their belt and 3 years of in-person counselling.
In addition, they adhere by all the relevant laws that apply to their jurisdiction, on the federal and state level. They are also required to continue updating their license as and when needed.
Pride Counselling screens their therapists with significant scrutiny. Every therapist at Pride Counselling is fully licensed and their minimum qualification is either a Masters degree in their relevant field or a Post Doctorate.
Pride Counselling also ensures that their employed therapists not only have 2,000 hours of clinical practise but also three years of in-person counselling experience.
Pros and Cons
|Very affordable||No Psychiatric treatment|
|Wide range of treatment available||No insurance|
|Highly qualified therapists||Not for seriously ill individuals|
|Live calling sessions||Not for people not familiar with tech|
|Convenient therapy switching|
|Specialized LGBTQIA+ treatment||Narrow scope of treatment|
|Qualified therapists||No psychiatric help offered|
|High security||Not for suicidal individuals|
|Live sessions||Not suitable for young individuals|
|Convenient therapist switching|
The Weekly Plan
BetterHelp’s weekly plan requires clients to pay 80USD for 1 session and 24 hour text
messaging services for the duration of that week. Their packages become more economical
over the long run.
The Monthly Plan
Their monthly plan for instance, costs 65USD per week and includes a total of 4 sessions for
the entire month, alongside similar text messaging services. A lump sum payment of
260USD is required at the beginning of the month though.
The Quarterly Plan
The Quarterly plan is billed 540USD after every 4 months. It also allows 1 session every
week and unlimited messaging services. This amounts to 45USD per week.
The Annual Plan
The Annual plan is worth 1820USD. It also makes a client liable to receiving 1 weekly
session and up to round the clock messaging with the therapist. This is the most reasonable
option over the long run as it costs only 35USD per week.
Pride Counselling’s services start from a weekly package which costs only 40USD, however this only offers messaging services and live sessions are not available.
Pride Counselling offers one monthly package which costs 260USD. This is equivalent to being charged 65USD per week for easier comparison with BetterHelp’s pricing policy.
Quite similar to BetterHelp, this bill includes unlimited messaging, both text and audio, throughout the month. It also entails one live call session between therapist and client.
Payment for this service can be made via Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Other e-wallet and banking options are also available.
Moreover, whichever option a client may choose, it is fully encrypted and secure.
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.
One of the best features that clients have rated very highly about BetterHelp, which no other e-therapy service currently offers, is the initial free trial period.
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.
What sets Pride Counselling apart is their specialized treatment catered towards the LGBTQIA+ community.
This is an unprecedented service offered by an e-therapy service and allows Pride Counselling to gain support worldover.
This coupled with the academic and clinical expertise of their therapists in this field allows members of the LGBTQIA+ community to get the best support online.
Since this is a niche no other therapy service offers to this degree of merit, Pride Counselling is the first choice for people seeking help in this regard and they are loyal clients of the platform.
BetterHelp includes answering a brief questionnaire while signing up.
The answers given in response to these questions determines the therapist you are
suggested to match with, algorithmically.
The questions on this survey have to do with basic demographics and asking about one’s
illness such as symptoms, perceptions and and the clients’ way of thinking and what they
intend to demand from the therapist they are looking for.
One difference between both platforms, however, is that BetterHelp allows a secondary way
to highlight potential therapists as well. BetterHelps’ website has a link named ‘Find a
therapist’. Upon clicking that, BetterHelp suggests an additional 20 therapists one can manually browse through and choose from.
Hereafter, clients are guided to choose their subscription package, review terms and conditions and finally, make payment.
The payment is possible by a range of visa, paypal and other mainstream credit cards.
The signing up procedure used by Pride Counselling is very similar to that of BetterHelp. They also require a person to make an account using a valid email address.
Secondly they require a client to answer a questionnaire that is slightly longer than the one at BetterHelp. This includes 20 questions, all of which have multiple choice options. Moreover, since Pride Counselling has to do with LGBTQIA+ issues, the questions are aimed at topics like one’s sexual orientation, gender etc.
Hereafter, the client is directed to the terms and conditions and therapist matching pages where they agree to the package stating the frequency of their sessions
BetterHelp ensures complete confidentiality and security for both therapists and clients.They
do so by making all the communication between the two parties not only SSL encrypted but
also 256-bit encrypted according to banking levels.
They also adhere to HIPAA laws.
Likewise, Pride Counselling also utilizes multiple layers of encryption for the conversations on their website, protecting both the client and therapists’ confidentiality.
Their operations are also compliant to the relevant cyber laws and HIPAA legislation.
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.
Pride Counselling typically is not covered by most of the major insurance companies.
However, it does allow a reimbursement to be made in some cases and this is especially likely where a mental health disorder diagnosis is made by the Pride Counselling therapist.
Moreover, the cost of therapy at Pride Counselling is pretty much the same as most co-payment amounts that insurance companies require.
This article reviewed two of the most well known e-therapy services currently available, namely BetterHelp and Pride Counselling.
The comparison was based on features such as the platforms’ background, registration procedures, range of treatment provided, the expertise of each organization’s therapists, insurance policies, privacy and confidentiality features etc. An account of the exclusive features of both platforms was also made.
In light of the information presented, it was concluded that both services are highly rated. The reason that may make one preferred over the other depends on the needs of the client wishing to seek help. For instance, since Pride Counselling specializes in matters related to LGBTQIA+, those wanting help in that regard would find Pride Counselling much the better decision.
Whereas since BetterHelp is able to offer a more holistic experience, clients who are not sure where their mental distress originates from, and want a more broad range of treatment and comprehensive diagnosis will likely side with BetterHelp.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best online counseling service?
Is Talkspace better than BetterHelp?
Talkspace and BetterHelp are both one of the leading e-therapy services in the world at the moment. Which is better amongst the two is more a matter of personal choice. For example people who prefer live sessions would want to opt with BetterHelp whereas those who like texting and audio/video messages more would side with Talkspace.
Is BetterHelp covered by insurance?
No, unfortunately BetterHelp is not covered by any insurance agency.
How much does BetterHelp counseling cost?
BetterHelp has four different packages. Amongst them, the most economical package they offer costs 35USD per week.
Why is BetterHelp bad?
BetterHelp is not bad. This was a misconception that sprung up in 2018 when many complaints were lodged against its customer support inefficiency. However, the founder of BetterHelp, Alon Matas dealt with the complaints swiftly and appropriately.
Is online therapy as effective as in-person?
This judgement of the effectiveness also varies from what a person wants to seek from therapy. However, a study at the University of Berkeley has shown e-therapy to be as effective as in-person therapy.