February 28, 2020

Better Help or Better Harm?

Is it possible to accomplish therapy online?

When you think of therapy, you think of laying down on a nice sofa, speaking your mind to a man in glasses with no hair but also having a thick gray beard. Therapy is generally viewed as having a one to one interaction with a man that looks like Sigmund Freud.

But times are changing and technology allows us to break the bounds of reality. This includes the idea of therapy without the one to one interaction.

BetterHelp is an online portal that allows consumers direct resources to mental health services. It offers online counseling and therapy through web-based interactions such as video chats and text-based interactions such as messaging on your phone.

Now BetterHelp sounds like an amazing program, but it has been recently under fire for a majority of reasons.

BetterHelp began having issues when their Terms & Conditions on their website were being shared by the public as contradicting.

BetterHelp acknowledges in their Terms & Conditions page that they cannot guarantee they have verified each counselor’s skills, degrees, qualifications, licensure, certifications, credentials, and background.

BetterHelp strongly recommends that it’s the consumer’s responsibility to vet the counselor that they are assigned to when it comes to credentials.

From there, this question pops up, does BetterHelp allow anyone to be a counselor within their platform?

This concerning language was the start of a major wave of criticism and hate from lots of people both consumers and objective individuals.

Founder of BetterHelp, Alon Matas, has stated the reason for the language they used was because they were trying to avoid legal issues revolving around the Terms & Conditions.

Matas also eased the public by stating they do have a team who vets counselors on the platform.

Matas states they cross-check their credentials with specific verification regulations of the counselor within the state they reside.

The process of being vetted usually takes four to five weeks before finishing because not only is it about the verification process but each counselor must take a case study exam and conduct a video interview with declared professionals from the BetterHelp headquarters.

Because of the rigorous process, BetterHelp only accepts fifteen percent of counselors who applied to the site.

BetterHelp also allows the credentials of each counselor accessible on their website so that consumers may vet their assigned counselor if they want to.

However, consumers also have had other issues such as possible bots substituting counselors on the website.

Another issue would be that most counselors would schedule meetings with their clients and never appear or construct an excuse to not show up to their own appointment.

Because of all of those controversies, BetterHelp has been accused of being a scam since the consumer must pay sixty dollars a month.

There have been other issues related to refunds where if consumers didn’t like the app, they would have trouble getting their money back that they used to pay for the service.

When you pay for a service that is absolutely not qualified that also does not work and have trouble receiving your money back, people strongly assume it’s a scam.

Youtubers in the YouTube world have also been under a great deal of heat.

Lots of Youtubers have helped promote BetterHelp because they believed in the service and they believed it was worth it to their audience.

Youtubers such as Philip DeFranco, Shane Dawson, & Boogie2988 have promoted BetterHelp within their videos.

It has also been discovered that YouTubers were going to be paid two hundred dollars per person that signed up for BetterHelp because of them by BetterHelp.

This lead to many YouTubers accepting and promoting the app without ever further researching. Most YouTubers promoted BetterHelp because of the money and not anything else.

This shed a horrible light for YouTubers who actually believed in BetterHelp, causing toxicity amongst the platform itself.

However, there have been reviews that shed BetterHelp into an actual app that can help people with mental health issues.

Many consumers have gone forward and stated that BetterHelp did help them with their mental health issues.

Many consumers have also stated that even when their mental health issues were too severe for an app about long distance counseling, BetterHelp would do their best and if they failed, they would find the consumer’s closest and best professional they can afford within that consumer’s area.

Does BetterHelp give you better help or better harm? It’s up for the consumer’s opinion.

BetterHelp has reported they will intensely analyze and change their Terms & Conditions as well as continue to develop and evolve to become the best long distance counseling that exists on this planet.

This may just be a lesson learned to help develop BetterHelp to become a great and functioning tool to help people with their mental health issues.

NCC Counseling Services are offered at both Bethlehem and Tannersville sites. Trained professionals are available to help you keep your personal and academic life in balance. Our services include mental health, substance abuse, bilingual, career counseling and academic counseling. They are free to all students, and we maintain strict confidentiality.

Contact Information: Bethlehem Campus Phone: 610.861.5342

Monroe Campus Phone: 570.369.1842

Location- Bethlehem: College Center 250 & Monroe: Keystone 130

Mission Statement Counseling and Support Services: Our mission is to offer comprehensive counseling and support services to foster the intellectual, emotional, social and cultural development of students.