Therapy is a valuable tool that can help manage stress and combat anxiety, whether you’ve been struggling for years or just need some guidance. It may surprise you how much a therapist can help you change behavior patterns and cope with your symptoms.
Unfortunately, in-person therapy is not always accessible for many people due to budget constraints, busy schedules, or social distancing restrictions caused by COVID-19. However, thanks to new virtual therapy services like BetterHelp and Cerebral, online therapy has become much more accessible than ever before.
These online therapy platforms offer flexibility, cost efficiency, and convenience that traditional therapy methods often lack, making them increasingly popular. But, it’s natural to have doubts about the quality of care, pricing, and interaction with clients. To help you make an informed decision, we will compare the two leading online therapy platforms, Cerebral and BetterHelp, and answer all of your questions.
Ease of Signing Up
When it comes to signing up for therapy, both Cerebral and BetterHelp are known for their user-friendly platforms. However, upon closer examination, some of their unique features can be considered comparative advantages.
For instance, both platforms offer a free trial upon registration, which shows that they understand the needs of their potential customers. Additionally, this feature demonstrates their commitment to building a strong relationship based on trust and mutual growth.
Furthermore, as online therapy providers, Cerebral and BetterHelp cater to patients who may be unfamiliar with this method of counseling. Therefore, it’s crucial for these platforms to understand and meet their customers’ requirements.
Pricing Differences Between BetterHelp And Cerebral
When it comes to cost and services provided, there are some key differences between BetterHelp and Cerebral.
In terms of cost, BetterHelp offers a subscription-based model, where clients pay a weekly or monthly fee to access therapy sessions. The cost per week ranges from $80 to $100, depending on the plan chosen. On the other hand, Cerebral charges a flat fee of $99 per month, which includes unlimited sessions with a dedicated care counselor.
As for the services provided, both platforms offer online therapy with licensed mental health professionals. However, BetterHelp also provides couples therapy and teen counseling, while Cerebral focuses on personalized medication management, therapy, and coaching services for anxiety and depression. Cerebral also offers psychiatry services, which BetterHelp does not provide.
Another difference is the level of accessibility to therapists. With BetterHelp, clients can switch to a different therapist at any time if they feel like they’re not a good fit. Cerebral, however, assigns a dedicated care counselor who stays with the client throughout the treatment process.
In summary, while both BetterHelp and Cerebral offer online therapy services, their pricing models, range of services, and accessibility to therapists differ. Ultimately, the choice between the two platforms depends on the individual’s needs and preferences.
BetterHelp Membership Options
BetterHelp offers several membership options with different pricing and features to suit the varying needs of its clients.
For $80 per week, clients can access one live meeting with their therapist and 24-hour messaging services.
This plan costs $260 as a single payment, which is equivalent to $65 per week. It includes four meetings per month and messaging services through a secure talk box available 24 hours a day.
The quarterly membership costs $540 as a single payment, which amounts to $45 per week. Clients receive the same weekly features as the other plans, including one meeting per week and unlimited messaging.
The yearly membership requires a lump sum payment of $1820, which comes to $35 per week. This option provides the same features as the other plans and is considered one of the most cost-effective options available.
In summary, BetterHelp offers various membership options with different pricing structures, meeting frequencies, and messaging services. Clients can choose the plan that suits their needs and budget the most.
Cerebral Membership Options
Cerebral offers various membership options that aim at monthly therapy and combining the services of more than one health professional for a client to achieve optimal results.
Unlike BetterHelp, Cerebral does not commonly offer weekly programs. Their packages are structured to aim at monthly therapy.
Medication + Basic Care Plan:
This plan costs $99 and includes the services of a licensed Medical Practitioner. The plan also offers ongoing audio and video calls with the practitioner and an additional care provider who checks on the client’s progress from time to time.
The Therapy Plan costs $259 per month, which amounts to $64.75 per week. Instead of Medical Practitioner services, this offer includes the services of a licensed therapist and entails weekly sessions.
Medication + Therapy Plan:
This is Cerebral’s all-encompassing plan, costing $339 per month or $84.75 per week. This plan includes sessions with a psychiatrist, a fully qualified and licensed therapist, and weekly sessions with both professionals.
In summary, Cerebral’s membership options aim at monthly therapy and offer different combinations of services from medical practitioners, licensed therapists, and care providers to meet the unique needs of their clients.
Types Of Care And Therapy Each Service Can Provide
Although the services have much in common, there is a bit of a difference on the credential levels that each service leans towards, which may impact one’s ability to find the specialty care that they need.
BetterHelp prides itself on hiring top-notch therapists from all around the world. Their team includes Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Clinical Social Workers (LCSW/LMSW), Family Therapists (LMFT), and more.
BetterHelp ensures that their therapists have completed the necessary education, examinations, training, and licensing required to provide high-quality therapy services. Additionally, therapists must have completed at least 1,000 hours of clinical practice and three years of counseling sessions before they can apply to work with BetterHelp.
The therapists at BetterHelp have experience in treating a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, sleep disorders, chronic impulsivity, family therapy, teen therapy, psychosomatic disorders, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, chronic stress, parenting problems, sexual orientation issues, LGBTQIA related issues, intimate relationship problems, grief, spiritual matters, financial worries, educational issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, loss, and existential worries.
Cerebral Care Providers
In this aspect, Cerebral distinguishes itself from BetterHelp as it does not solely rely on fully licensed therapists. Instead, it emphasizes hiring the appropriate number of medical practitioners/psychiatrists in conjunction with therapists to provide a combination of interventions.
Cerebral practitioners are particularly renowned for their expertise in treating anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.
BetterHelp vs. Cerebral: Exclusive Features
BetterHelp stands out among other e-therapy platforms by offering a 7-day free trial to their clients. During this period, clients can explore all of BetterHelp’s features for free and can quit without hesitation if they are not satisfied. If a client wants to cancel after the first month, they can receive a 50% reimbursement of the fee paid.
While Cerebral doesn’t offer a free trial, it does provide a significant discount for the first month of therapy. Clients can avail of the monthly package for only $45, which would usually cost $99. Additionally, Cerebral combines the therapeutic assistance of a Psychiatrist and Psychologist, making it a unique and comprehensive approach to therapy.
BetterHelp vs. Cerebral: Customer Support
Customers can fill out an online form provided by BetterHelp to get customer support. The platform also offers a comprehensive FAQ section where frequently asked questions are answered. Additionally, BetterHelp provides an email address for customers to reach out to their team.
Cerebral boasts faster response times when it comes to customer support. They have a swift support desk that helps clients navigate processes such as subscribing, browsing the website, and canceling their monthly subscription.
Medium of Communication
Effective communication is essential in therapy, and online therapy platforms must offer various channels that are easily accessible to clients, especially since in-person sessions are not available. Online mental health platforms provide plenty of options that may be preferable to patients who live far away, struggle with communication, or prefer the convenience of technology.
BetterHelp offers multiple communication methods for their patients, most of which are combined in the therapy plans. The choice of communication method depends on the patient’s preference and comfort level.
Video and Audio Calls
These calls replace in-person therapy sessions, and patients can choose to use audio only or video. According to BetterHelp’s plans, patients have one session per week and can access their therapist through video and audio calls.
Audio and Video Messages
BetterHelp’s call-and-response video messaging system allows patients to leave an audio or video message about their issue, and the therapist responds with a message.
BetterHelp’s text messaging system is useful when patients are unable to talk but need to communicate with their therapist. The therapist responds at their earliest convenience, and this method is preferred by younger patients.
The chatbox allows for real-time exchange, and the conversation is live, meaning the therapist and patient are present in the chat. The chatbox is fully secure, ensuring only the patient and therapist can access it.
Cerebral offers four communication methods for their patients, and the plans combine these methods, allowing patients to choose the ones that suit their needs.
Video calls allow patients to communicate directly with their psychiatrist, practitioner, or psychologist, adding a personal aspect to therapy sessions and making it easier for patients to open up.
Audio calls offer the same benefits as video calls, except there is no video transmission. This method is preferred by patients who struggle with opening up, anxiety, or convenience.
Text messaging is suitable for patients on the move or those who don’t have time for a phone call. It is also beneficial for disabled patients or those who struggle with anxiety.
BetterHelp is a subscription-based online mental health platform and does not offer insurance options for payment.
Cerebral, on the other hand, allows co-pay and co-visit options for therapy sessions and medications, but the amount covered will depend on your insurance plan.
Both platforms adhere to HIPAA regulations and won’t share any sensitive information without your consent.
BetterHelp encrypts its databases and doesn’t sell or give away any personal information. Their live chat feature is also secure to protect your privacy.
Cerebral ensures that your personal information and therapy details are kept confidential. However, health information may be shared with providers and insurers to facilitate their services.
To sum up, online therapy can be a great option for those who require more flexibility than traditional therapists can provide. This may include individuals with unpredictable work schedules, frequent travel, or those in a transitional phase before finding a long-term therapist.
In this article, we compared two prominent online therapy providers, BetterHelp and Cerebral. While both platforms offer similar features, BetterHelp may be preferred by individuals seeking weekly sessions with licensed therapists, while Cerebral may be a better fit for those seeking psychiatric interventions in addition to psychological advice.