Online counseling has seen a massive boom in popularity in recent years, thanks to the growing conversation around the importance of mental well-being and mental health. Some of the largest online counseling platforms have grown even larger to address the ever-increasing client need for services. What used to be inaccessible for many people due to stigma, lack of access, or lack of willingness to pursue in-person options, is now accessible because of the convenience and simplicity the online counseling platform provides.
As the demand for online counseling platforms grows, so does the need for licensed, qualified mental health professionals to provide these services. Many counselors are drawn to online platforms such as BetterHelp due to the flexibility and simplicity they offer for the practitioner and the client. But how much does BetterHelp pay, and is it enough to draw counselors away from more conventional means of practice?
Online and Conventional Therapy Costs Compared
Online therapists have one significant advantage over in-person therapists: cost. Their cost is almost nothing to operate via an online platform like BetterHelp. Costs are near zero because BetterHelp takes care of all of the overhead for you. BetterHelp handles all of the client paperwork, administrative fees, payment processing, and scheduling. Your only job as the therapist is to work with the client through a set number of live sessions per month or asynchronous communication.
However, the tradeoff comes in pay. Online counselors typically make less than if they are operating in a conventional, in-person setting. If you consider all of the overhead costs associated with in-person care, you may decide for yourself that despite the reduced pay, it all comes out even at the end of the month. For many counselors, not having to deal with facility fees, lease payments, technology fees and costs, administrative duties, and billing makes the lower pay working via an online platform easily tolerable.
Also, just because you’ve decided to offer your services online doesn’t mean you have to ditch your in-person practice. Many counselors choose to do a mix of both, augmenting their in-person services with the flexibility of online counseling services as well, making it a win-win for both counselor and client.
Getting Paid Through BetterHelp
To precisely know what BetterHelp is willing to pay you, you must complete an application to join the platform and then pass their clinical case study assignment. In the meantime, you can use their Earnings Estimator Calculator to see earnings estimates based on hours per week worked.
BetterHelp uses an engagement-based compensation model for pay instead of paying their counselors hourly. With this model, counselors are compensated for regularly engaging with their existing clients and establishing engagements with new clients. BetterHelp offers various ways to engage with your clients via live video sessions, phone sessions, live or asynchronous chats/messaging, journaling, worksheets, and more. Counselors who make the most money on BetterHelp are those who regularly check in with their clients.
You won’t discover how much you can make with BetterHelp until you’ve initiated the onboarding process. Once you’ve passed their clinical case study assignment, you’ll find out how much per engagement you can make. At that point, you can decide to continue the onboarding process or not. After a few more steps, you’ll obtain access to the platform and begin building your client base. All earnings you receive will appear in your counselor’s dashboard within the forum.
Working With BetterHelp
BetterHelp provides you the means to connect with clients in various ways. How often you connect with them in meaningful ways is entirely up to you. At first, the process may be slow-going as you get used to how the platform works. After a while, you’ll get accustomed to what means of communication works best for you and your clients, and you’ll begin to find your rhythm.
The most successful counselors on BetterHelp regularly check in on their clients and keep them moving on their mental well-being journey. The platform’s flexibility will allow you to work in ways that are most convenient for you and your schedule.