Betterhelp Vs Thriveworks: (Best Therapy Platform?)

This article will highlight the differences between Betterhelp and Thriveworks mental health platforms in order to help the audience determine which one is the best choice for them. Not only will the article introduce both companies but it will explore their services, added feature, modes of interaction and much more.

Betterhelp Vs Thriveworks: Best Therapy Platform

Betterhelp or Thriveworks? Both of these are online platforms that provide mental health related services aimed at helping people from across the globe to cope with issues they are facing with regards to their mental state and behavioural issues. 

There are a number of areas we will study in order to help the readers determine which option is best suited to them. These areas have been listed below:

  • Services & Cost
  • Modes of Interaction
  • Online Vs In Person Therapy
  • How To Sign Up
  • Insurance
  • HIPAA compliant?

Before we look at each of the above areas, the article will introduce both of the companies to the readers.

What Is Thriveworks?

It is not just an online mental health platform but a brick and mortar network of numerous clinics spread across the United States aimed at helping people live happy and successful lives. The company hence provides online and in person therapy services to clients not only in the states but from across the globe – it is touching lives in every part of the world.

Thriveworks provides multiple services online that are aimed at treating various issues like general disorders such as anxiety, depression and stress or more serious concerns like delusions and panic attacks. The platform attempts to provide all rounder services to diverse clients from different backgrounds with issues affecting their daily lives. It provides counseling, therapy and psychiatric services as well and hence diagnoses disorders and prescribes medicines accordingly. Although there are some conditions for which the company does not provide online services and states that such conditions require in person care at their clinics located in numerous states.

The company is accessible not only through its website but by phone and its clinics. Online, they have a rich website that entails all the details one would want to know! They have all the information with regards to what services they provide and where they are currently operating. The website also has a number of blog posts that people can read to increase their knowledge.

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.

Services & Cost

What services do either of the mental health platforms provide? We will discuss each of the services the companies provide and list the costs as well.

Betterhelp – Your Mental Health Partner

Individual counseling

Both therapy platforms 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 platforms also provide 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 platforms also provide 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

Betterhelp has sister websites that are dedicated to each of these services and hence provides a more specialized and purposeful experience.

Thriveworks – Therapy Accessible

There are a number of services this platform provides such as:

  • Relationship Advice
  • Symptoms of Mental Illness
  • Grief and Loss
  • Child, Adolescent and Teen Challenges
  • Stress & Difficult Emotions
  • Psychiatric Services

Relationship Advice

Thriveworks provides services to couples who are going through a rough patch in their relationship. The service can be customized to cater to the needs of either one or both partners and hence sessions are arranged accordingly.

The company has licensed professionals from the field of marriage counseling that are equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience to help couples cope with issues they face in their relationship. Issues could include that of lack of trust, communication and intimacy.

Symptoms of Mental Illness

Clients can be suffering from a certain mental illness for which they require symptom management. This is necessary in the case where symptoms are severe enough to require attention of their own.

The counselors will help clients learn techniques or prescribe medicines that will help them manage their symptoms and hence improve their quality of life.

Grief and Loss

Many clients are suffering from grief and loss – they have lost a close family member or friend due to which they are constantly upset and this is affecting their normal life way beyond what is usually experienced.

Counselors in this field help individuals get through the stages of grief and enable them to cope with sadness and loss by teaching them multiple techniques or counseling them.

Child, Adolescent and Teen Challenges

Child therapy and teen counseling can be conducted online, too. Young individuals encounter unique challenges like bullying, behavioral issues, and learning disorders.

They also experience challenges that adults run into, like stress, the loss of a loved one, major life transitions, and trauma. Licensed child therapists have the skills and experience to help.

Stress & Difficult Emotions

Stress is a physical and emotional state where the individual cannot cope with the demands of their surroundings and hence experiences a state of tension or strain emotionally and physiologically.

Thriveworks is suited to working with people who take more than average stress in their daily life. They have people understand the concept of stress and how it affects their body as well as mental health. Clients are taught techniques to not only reduce stress but manage it in case it occurs.

Psychiatric Services

This is another service that Thriveworks provides not only at their online platform but also at their clinics!

The Psychiatrist – The Doctor Who Mends Your Brain

A psychiatrist is a doctor who helps treat people with mental health issues and they consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or International Classification of Diseases (ICD). These doctors do not only treat mental health disorders but diseases that affect the brain as well. 

This is a branch of medicine that deals with problems associated with human behavior hence the doctor needs to be well versed in social and biological sciences.

A psychiatrist is someone who is qualified to treat individuals with controlled medication and therapy. They treat children, adolescents and adults who are suffering from a psychiatric condition and like other physicians they have attended medical school to earn a doctoral degree. These doctors typically help people manage their medicines and how they should monitor their progress.

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.

The Approaches Of A Psychiatrist – 3 Types

Biomedical Approach

This approach takes into consideration the biological or physical nature of illnesses and hence focuses on providing relief to patients. It tries to locate the center of the issue in terms of the body and often uses medicine to solve the problem. Although this model does not take into account emotional and social factors, it looks at the pathology, biochemistry and physiology of a disease that affects the body or brain.

Biopsychosocial

This model is way more holistic than the previous one and hence takes into account many factors; these factors look at the physical, psychological and social elements in a problem. Thus, this model looks at how a person is affected not only by the present but their past too. It observes and studies how a physical illness has developed over time and also looks at the psychological health of a person and if that contributes to the disease. Genetics play a big role in helping this model explain various diseases. Lastly, this model takes into account social factors such as culture, norms and values to see if they help or damage the mental and physical health of a person.

Hence, this model takes into account all factors from the physical, social and psychological domains.

Biocognitive

This model argues that medicines are not the only answer for a person who is suffering from mental health issues. People who have mental health problems need to be taken seriously and studied properly instead of just giving them medicines to treat the symptoms. Hence this model is not very much in favor of only treating people with medicines but a holistic approach must be taken to understand the issue itself.

This approach states that it is necessary to understand the root of the mental health issue just as we study the root cause of physical pain or injuries. It also advocates for mental health in that it says the same importance should be applied here as it is applied to other areas of health.

Betterhelp – Costs of Services

In this section we will list the online rates of Betterhelp for its many services:

  • 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.

Thriveworks – Inclusive Services

The company provides services to all people from all types of backgrounds. Although they may not be the cheapest therapy service, they definitely do not charge as high as some clinics do such as $200 per session and ensure that the client has multiple options to cover their costs from availing services.

The cost to avail their services depends on a number of factors such as type of service, mode of interaction, problem at hand and how much long do they need the service for!

The company is not only an online platform but also a brick and mortar entity and hence has higher fixed costs to cover and must charge accordingly.

If Thriveworks accepts your insurance, the out-of-pocket cost is typically just a copay. Written on most insurance cards, that’s usually $15-$40 per session (most commonly $20).

If you’re not using insurance, fees range from ~$65-$140 per session. Prices vary by location/provider, but we don’t hide them. They’re listed on your local office’s “our team” or “counselors” page (click here to warp to your local office’s page) and you can always call or email us to ask about a specific provider’s self-pay rate.

Enrollment fees varies by office, but the most common price is $99 for the first month, and then just $10 a month ongoing.

Modes of Interaction – Betterhelp Vs Thriveworks

Here are the modes of interaction a client can choose at the online mental health platform:

  • 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.

At Thriveworks, more options are available such as:

  • Online Video Sessions: The client can call or book a session online to avail live video sessions where they can engage in a counseling session with their counselors.
  • In Person Therapy: The unique thing about this provider is that they have clinics across the states which allow clients to actually drop in for a session. The pros and cons of this will be discussed in further sections of the article.

In Person Vs Online Therapy

In this section, we will take a look at the pros and cons of online therapy provided by Betterhelp and the therapy provided by Thriveworks.

The Pros & Cons of Betterhelp – An Online Therapy Service

Here are the pros and cons of availing online services from Betterhelp:

  • Accessible
  • Effective
  • Affordable 
  • Reduces Barriers to Therapy
  • Increased Privacy
  • No Face to Face Interaction
  • Not Sufficient Information for Therapist

Accessible

The best thing about Betterhelp is that it can be accessed at any time from anywhere around the world; the company has a diverse set of working professionals on their panel who are available around the clock. Regardless of your time zone and location, you will be paired with a counselor.

Effective

Betterhelp is a company that is diverse and promotes inclusivity so no matter who you are, what age group you belong to or what minority you represent, at Betterhelp your issues will always be entertained. Furthermore, as the client does not meet the counselor face to face or can keep their identity hidden, there is a lesser chance of experiencing an unpleasant situation such as discrimination; also, the people on the panel are aware that they will be working with diverse individuals so they are usually up for the job!

Affordable

Keeping other factors at bay, the costs of running a company online are way less than those of a brick and mortar one. However, if you are running an online business that incorporates recruitment practices from across the globe, costs will vary if not increase always. Nonetheless, online services like Betterhelp are cheaper compared to most in person therapy services.

Reduces Barriers to Therapy

Many people are uncomfortable going to therapy, especially the younger generation. So taking it online may actually reduce the barriers of having a physical session; over time the person may become comfortable with the idea of availing therapy and eventually accept the idea of meeting one in person especially if their mental health demands it. 

Increased Privacy

Betterhelp provides the option of chatting sessions as well as call sessions; if the client is comfortable enough they can also go for video sessions. However, in person therapy is always face to face hence people may avoid that because they do not want to reveal their identity especially if they have a lot of history they want to delete.

No Face to Face Interaction

Online services are not for everyone especially those who need to be physically in a room with someone to open up; in fact it can be difficult to open up if you are not with the person on the other side of the screen.

Not Sufficient Information for Therapist

This can be a problem; the therapist needs to have enough information to guide the counselee in a better manner. The quality of service may reduce if online sessions are conducted. Furthermore, online sessions may prevent the counselor from identifying dangerous situations such as individuals who are suicidal especially if the session only involves chatting.

The Pros & Cons of In Person Therapy – Thriveworks

We do understand that compared to online therapy sessions, in person therapy ]provided by Thriveworks can be more expensive and not accessible to all. Also, some people may not be comfortable in revealing their identity by showing up at a clinic especially in a place where a lot of stigma is attached. However apart from these cons, the in person therapy does have pros:

  • Increased Effectiveness
  • Better Diagnosis
  • More Opportunities to Improve

Increased Effectiveness

The in person therapy session may suit some people more because they need to be in a physical setting in order to open up. Also, their mental health may require that they go for physical sessions rather than online ones. Maybe they need more attention, have to be observed more closely or they need human interaction which they have been lacking over time.

Better Diagnosis

In these cases, the therapist is in a better position to not only guide the counselee but diagnose them with a condition if it is required or allowed as part of the session. To be diagnosed is something complex; chatting is not enough and you need to physically see the person and also observe how they behave in order to get to the true issue.

More Opportunities to Improve.

Counseling is not all about talking. Psychological health is complex and requires cognitive and behavioral efforts – sometimes clients need to be present in person and take part in activities. The tests that are conducted on them require them to be present in person. Furthermore, if they are present physically, they can engage in healthy activities as part of the session that will be more effective as compared to trying to do them online.

How To Sign Up?

It is easy you just need to visit your nearest clinic – get an appointment before that over the phone! When it comes to online mental health services, a few extra steps may be needed but don’t worry! You can do all this while sitting at home! In this section we will look at how we can sign up for the services of Betterhelp and Thriveworks.

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.

Thriveworks

When it comes to Thriveworks, there are a number of options you can avail to sign up such as:

  • Call: The company has many clinics located in the states which can be called for an immediate session. Sometimes a person can get a session on the same day as they call!
  • Visit The Clinic: People who love near to Thriveworks clinics can drop by and get an appointment or even have a session!
  • Online Process Sign Up: Similar to the one provided by Betterhelp, you must visit their website and provide your information, needs and preferences to set up an account and start online counseling sessions!

Insurance – The Big Question

In this section we will see which company accepts insurance!

Thriveworks

Yes Thriveworks accepts insurance from a number of insurance companies who provide services to individuals in the states such as:

  • Blue Cross
  • Anthem
  • Optum
  • United,
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Humana

This way clients are able to gain coverage for their services but just paying a copay which is usually $20 for each session. Thriveworks believes in providing insurance options so that therapy services can be affordable. At the same time, they also offer services to someone who is unwilling or unable to pay because they believe that everyone deserves access to better mental health.

Betterhelp – A Complicated Story?

You cannot use insurance to pay for Betterhelp unless in circumstances where it is applicable. The services of Betterhelp are also not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. There are a number of reasons for this which have been highlighted on their website but they include the following:

  • 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. 

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.

Are Betterhelp & Thriveworks HIPAA Compliant?

Yes Betterhelp and Thriveworks are HIPAA compliant and this is evident not only from their terms and conditions section on its website but also the multiple procedures they follow and the security systems put in place to protect your data. 

What Is HIPAA?

It stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which is US legislation intended to protect medical information through data privacy laws and security provisions. This is a very important law keeping in mind recent years when the emergence of cyber attacks and data hacking has become a frequent phenomena; such laws ensure that different entities take all precautions when it comes to protecting data. 

The HIPAA Privacy Rule

It covers the national standard rules of individually identifiable health information with the aim of protecting patients personal health information. It requires all entities and their business associates that are covered by HIPAA to follow this rule. The privacy rule directs doctors to inform patients about which segments of their information will be shared with who for what purposes. At the same time, the rule gives patients the right to request for their protected health information (PHI). 

What information is protected under the rule? Take a look:

  • A patient’s name, birth details, contact information, social security number and other personally identifiable information (PPI).
  • The past, present or future health condition of an individual.
  • Treatment details provided to the individual
  • Payment details of treatment that can be used to identify that person.

Conclusion

The article provided an overview of the services and features of two platforms for mental health – Betterhelp and Thriveworks – by comparing them in a number of areas that determined whether or not they provided certain benefits. The article also introduced both companies to the readers.

References

https://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/HIPAA

https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/laws-regulations/index.html

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