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To Better Help or Not to Better Help?

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

Are you a therapist thinking of signing up to offer your services via this platform - read this first to make an informed choice.


I am a UK psychotherapist, and have been offering my services online since early 2018 so I am a veteran in providing online therapy compared to many practitioners. I have tried several platforms and modes over the years and have learnt a thing or two about what I, and my clients, like and don't like. I have been on both sides of the Better Help experience for several months now and have also spoken to other therapists about their experience, and here is what I have learnt:


Pros:

  • Both clients and therapists have reported that the matching process (their algorithm that matches clients to therapists) is very good.

  • There is no administrative duties required of you, such as you can keep your notes how you wish, they do not have to be fed into the platform in any way and you do not have to complete any measures at certain intervals.

  • Invoicing is automatic, you only fill out your bank details once and that's it, they pay you weekly for the work you have performed "on" the platform that week.

  • Therapists have the option to receive their own therapy through the platform for free.

Cons:


  • BH do not take any responsibility for or assist in any way with safeguarding procedures or similar issues such as court referrals, police requests etc. You are on your own with this (excluding of course normal measures in place such as supervision).

  • BH do not accept you to have alternative means of contacting a client if there is an issue with the platform or someone's internet. They will not acknowledge any other means of communication and if you choose to do so, you are not covered by the protective contracts on the platform and they will not remunerate you. This of course goes against what we are taught within the UK which is to always have a back-up method of communication agreed with a client and to use this if there is an issue and especially when considering the ethic that you may have just opened the client up to something and then all of a sudden the session has ended due to a technological fault.

  • There is no emergency contact information shared with you about your client and if you did want to send the emergency services to the client, you first have to contact BH and submit a request which you have to justify and it could take 1 working day for them to get back to you, so this is not quick if there is an actual emergency.

  • Sessions are only remunerated for up to either 30 or 45 minutes - whatever is selected and booked, not the actual time spent in the session.

  • They do not pay the first time a client is a no-show and subsequent DNAs after that point are paid at a rate of pennies.

  • Unless you have 40+ clients at a time via the platform, you will see no where near the amount of remuneration that you likely deserve considering how much BH are charging clients to sign up to receive your services.

  • As with any service that forces you to have a live calendar that clients can book from, you will need to update this daily, if not more frequently to prevent clients from randomly booking a session with you that you may not actually have the slot free for. This will only really be an issue if you do other work outside of the platform that can vary day-to-day though but it is still worth my mentioning as I personally, dislike this type of live-booking which is why I removed it from my site.

In conclusion, if you are a therapist who is not interested in marketing or advertising yourself in any way whatsoever, a platform like BH would likely be great for you because you only need to click one button to receive referrals and click it again when you have your desired amount. If you want to work in this way and receive the vast majority of your clients through the platform, it is probably of more value to you than someone who would only use it for a few clients at a time.


I don't personally feel valued by the platform and have that sense many of us were trying to get away from, of being another number in a machine. Having said that, there are therapists who are very comfortable working via the platform and who find it more comforting to work via something like BH rather than completely on their own (which I prefer being more of a maverick with my business).


This post is not endorsed by BH and all opinions are my own at this time of writing. If you do want to try out the platform for yourself, then please consider using this link which actually allows both of us to receive a bonus when you sign up.


Warm regards,

Sophie

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