I have been using BetterHelp (affiliate link) for a couple months this time and have found it to be very helpful, but like most things, it really depends on a few key factors: how much effort I put in and picking the right person to help me.
I had tried BetterHelp before and went and selected a therapist and it didn’t go well, so I switched to someone else and while it went better, I wasn’t in a position to spend around $400 per month at the time to continue it, so I stopped.
It is now even more expensive at $420 Canadian dollars per month. Can I justify that cost? I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it was difficult. It’s a lot of money and feels like I’m spending it on a very selfish thing, but I want my mental health to not continually be a burden on me or my family. I want to be better armed to take on my Darker Mind and not just survive, but thrive!
The counsellor I’m working with has been amazing. She is a licensed Professional Counselor in the USA that typically works with children, teens and young adults. She specializes in depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, autism, impulsive behaviors, anger, and suicidal ideation. She notes that her therapy style is caring, open minded and interactive, and that her approach combines CBT, trauma focused care, and person center therapy.
When I was going through profiles, it took me a bit to find one that seemed to appeal to me. I liked that she was focused on a number of things I struggle with, and while I’m probably not her typical client being that I’m almost a middle aged man, I feel like we have quickly built a good rapport and understanding.
What Do I Get?
Each week we get together and do a live video talk therapy session. Sessions are typically around 30 minutes, but my counsellor has extended mine to be 45 minutes (I am not sure how she handles others, nor do I know how others therapists handle their BetterHelp engagements).
I have gone through nine sessions with my counsellor which means I’m spending around $105 per session per month if I complete four video sessions. We did have five sessions in a month during my second month on the platform, but I don’t just get video sessions.
My counsellor gives me homework sometimes to complete. Worksheets, readings, and more are often attached to my profile for me to complete through the platform. My answers, updates, and insights are sent back to my counsellor for us to review in session.
She also takes the time to read and respond to messages where I provide context or clarity on how I’m feeling, what’s new in my life and some background on how I feel like I got to where I am today. I put the effort in to really provide a clear and honest picture of who I am so I can be helped and she takes the time to let me know she’s reviewed what I’ve written.
I also submit journals a couple of times per week, which she also reviews.
In the end, I probably take up two hours or so a week of her time, or around eight hours a month, for an hourly rate of around $52.50 Canadian. Not too bad for all of the expert help I’m receiving!
Do I Recommend It?
Would I recommend BetterHelp (affiliate link) to others? Yes, with a caveat. If you have benefits through your work then you’d be better served by going through your benefits and getting a local therapist to help you, but if you don’t have benefits like me, and want the safety net of knowing you can easily change therapists if you don’t jive with the one you’ve found, then it might be worthwhile.
Also, I feel like I’m getting a ton of value from my interactions thus far and worry a bit about burning out my counsellor by putting too much information and time into my notes, messages, journals, responses to homework and more… She’s told me to let her worry about that, though.
I have another session tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it. I don’t know where the conversation will go, but I know that the 45 minutes will be over too soon.
And overall, I don’t know yet where therapy will take me, but I am hoping to get to the point where I can reduce the impact of my constant negative thoughts, improve my general mood, and feel proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished. My ultimate goal would be to be able to look in the mirror and be able to say that I love who I am.