Why do therapists not like BetterHelp

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In this blog we will discuss why therapists do not like Betterhelp.

We will also briefly discuss what Betterhelp is and what the controversies and problems with BetterHelp is.

Why do therapists not like BetterHelp?

In October 2018, BetterHelp was knee deep in controversies due to the horror stories of their experiences with the therapist and the services provided by the platform. 

Here are some possible reasons why therapists do not like BetterHelp:

Poor Pay

It also has to be mentioned that Betterhelp as a service provider is not only known for horror stories from customers but also therapists who work with the company. 

One users on reddit has posted that:

“I’ve also heard they have unrealistic expectations for their therapists and pay them poorly. It doesn’t seem like their practices are all that ethical and text therapy doesn’t seem like it would be that helpful to begin with.”

This was also brought to light by a tiktok user who has mentioned that BetterHelp therapists receive around $30 an hour while a typical hourly rate is around $100 with the condition that therapists need to reach a certain word limit in the case of working through text- based counselling. 

Data breach

Betterhelp is also speculated to have shared users’ information with third parties accounting to BetterHelp’s privacy policy which states that the company is allowed to share users’ information.

It has to be mentioned that this particular accusation is alleged however, if it is true the company will be in a lot of trouble because this breaches ethical concerns when it comes to therapy and the client’s rights as well as patient-client confidentiality. 

No Employment Benefits.

In the terms and conditions for counsellors, it has been noted that therapists who work for Betterhelp are not entitled to benefits such as disability coverage, vacation pay, health or dental insurance, retirement benefits or minimum wage.

This could be one of the reasons why therapists tend to quit often considering that this particular role might not be something permanent that they are looking to hold down. 

However, there are some benefits that the company may provide other benefits such as stipends, services or other incentives but this might not be reason enough for employees to stay on. 

No boundaries

Some therapists also brought in the issue of the 24 hour access and issues related to boundaries as well as the poor pay.

“As a therapist I’ve only heard bad things. They advertise that you’ll be able to message your therapist at any time which doesn’t set up a foundation for proper boundaries and then clients get upset when they don’t hear back or they try to use their therapist for mental health crises like active SI.

Another user, who is also a therapist for BetterHelp noted:

“On top of the live sessions, you’re required to message people back within 24 hours. I’m only two weeks into it, and I’m already going to be done with this as there are truly no boundaries and the codependency that being able to have your therapist at your disposal whenever you need creates is a disservice to our profession.”

What is BetterHelp?

BetterHelp is an online therapy service provider that allows users to start a text-chat and online therapy session with a licensed, accredited therapist.

Better help was founded in 2013 and has since then become one of the largest online therapy platforms in the world.

The services that betterhelp provides include offering virtual therapy- chat, email, or video call and phone call based sessions with licensed and accredited therapists.

The company also includes additional services for mental health support like journaling and group therapy sessions for multiple people and couples. 

The service that BetterHelp provides uses a monthly membership payment plan which individuals can subscribe to and cancel their plans at any time they want. 

As of today, BetterHelp has expanded its services and works closely to other businesses and several sister websites that provide mental health support and therapy for couples, teens, members of the LGBTIQ+ community, as well as for people who are seeking therapy with a faith-based or spirituality based approach. 

For the mental health service that better help offers, you can access therapy via texts, live chat, phone calls, and video calls with 24/7 access. 

This allows you to reach out to your therapist at any time of the day as well as allows you to change your therapist with ease if you do not find that they are a good fit for you with no additional issues. 

You do not have to commit to a certain amount of time, you can decide how long you want to use the platform, and you can cancel your subscriptions anytime.

The platform provides you access to well-qualified and experienced therapists who are board certified and have a minimum of 3 years and 1,000 hours of experience. 

BetterHelp  prides itself from being able to offer financial assistance to those who qualify for it; however, the drawback is that the services are not covered by insurance. 

Another additional issue is that, therapists at better help provide talk therapy, but they do not diagnose, prescribe medications, or fulfil a court order and the services are only for adults. 

To get yourself into the service, you have to register and you can do that through their app. 

For users, to register they will be asked to complete a questionnaire and then the company will match them with an appropriate therapist.

To avail their services, the process is as follows:

  • Go to betterhelp’s website or register in the app. On the website, select the type of service you’re interested in, while for app users, you simply hit “get started”.
  • When you sign up, complete a questionnaire that focuses on you and your life.
  • After you’ve completed the questionnaire, you will be connected to a therapist that can best fit your condition. 

After you’ve been matched to some therapists and you have chosen your therapist, a virtual therapy room is created for you and the therapist which you can access through the app or site. 

  • Now, you can begin and pick up conversations from your device whenever and wherever 24/7. It has to be mentioned that your therapist will respond to you five times a week and depending on the schedule of your therapist, you will have to wait for a reply. For example, if you message at night the reply will come in the morning the next day.
  • For people that want face to face sessions, betterhelp also offers live video sessions. For this you will have to consult with the therapist you are working with. 
  • You also have the liberty to switch therapists or stop therapy whenever you want.

When it comes to the legitimacy of the professionals at betterhelp, the company claims that each therapist is licensed and has the required training and credentials to practice as per state laws- this includes: master’s or doctorate degree and possess at least 3 years and 1,000 hours of experience as mental health professionals- all of which the company cross checks before hiring. 

What is the problem with BetterHelp?

In October 2018, BetterHelp was knee deep in controversies due to the horror stories of their experiences with the therapist and the services provided by the platform. 

Some of the major concerns that were raised included use of unfair pricing, bad experiences with the app, and the therapist, the controversy that the reviews were from paid reviewers and actors, as well as unethical issues surrounding use of data from the platform. 

Some negative reviews about better help cited unethical issues and behaviors by the therapist who went on to belittle, humiliate the client to the point where the client did not feel safe and was almost pushed to talking about their own life.

Other issues included that allegedly, the company tends to overlook the clients needs, not really pay attention to what the client asks for, therapists not showing up, and overcharging clients. 

It appears that one of the major issues that Betterhelp has been accused of by users of the service is the fact that there have been many instances that the ethical guidelines of the theraputic process have been breached. 

From therapists not responding, not respecting the clients, verbally harassing and belittling the client, sudden termination of treatment leaving clients distressed,  as well as the possibility of the therapist not being licensed or trained are some of the ethical issues that have been brought up.

Other issues included that allegedly, the company tends to overlook the clients needs, not really pay attention to what the client asks for, therapists not showing up, and overcharging clients. 

Betterhelp is also speculated to have shared users’ information with third parties accounting to BetterHelp’s privacy policy which states that the company is allowed to share users’ information.

It has to be mentioned that this particular accusation is alleged however, if it is true the company will be in a lot of trouble because this breaches ethical concerns when it comes to therapy and the client’s rights as well as patient-client confidentiality. 

Conclusion

In this blog we have discussed why therapists do not like Betterhelp.

We have also briefly discussed what Betterhelp is and what the controversies and problems with BetterHelp are.

FAQ related to Why do therapists not like BetterHelp

How to quit betterhelp as a therapist?

While there is limited information as to how one can go ahead and quit as a therapist from the BetterHelp platform, the most basic thing that you can do is to contact the company HR. 

You can reach out to the company’s hiring managers or your point of contact and send in a notice of your intention to leave. 

Will a therapist tell you your diagnosis?

Yes. They will tell you your diagnosis and you have a right to ask how the therapist will use the diagnosis. 

Is my therapist attached to me?

In any healthy theraputic relationship, your therapist should be attached to you. It is healthy and normal for a therapist to become attached to the client. Because it shows that they truly care about the client’s well-being and want them to get better. 

References

‘don’t think this is a healthy therapeutic relationship’: Therapist exposes BetterHelp’s problems in viral TikTok. Daily Dot. retrieved on 4th May 2022. https://www.dailydot.com/irl/therapist-explains-problems-betterhelp-tiktok/

2022 BetterHelp Review: Should You Try It? Healthline. Retrieved on 4th May 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/betterhelp-review

Privacy Policy. BetterHelp. Retrieved on 9th May 2022. https://www.betterhelp.com/privacy/

 Meredith Dietz. Do Therapy Apps Really Protect Your Privacy? LifeHacker. Retrieved on 9th April 2022. https://lifehacker.com/do-therapy-apps-really-protect-your-privacy-1847983029

The Spooky, Loosely Regulated World of Online Therapy. Jezebel. Retrieved on 9th April 2022.https://jezebel.com/the-spooky-loosely-regulated-world-of-online-therapy-1841791137

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