“I do not need any help. Do not tell anyone I need help. That is that.”
My mother is not one to mince words.
Her reaction to my concern about her mental health is foreseeable. She grew up in a home where depression was considered a choice. My grandmother told her that sunshine and a prayer would get rid of a frown. The pandemic has kept that frown on my mom’s face a bit too long. She doesn’t look forward to returning to Sunday breakfasts with the family. She spends less time watching her favorite Lifetime television movies and more time sleeping. I recognize that she might need someone else to give her a new perspective. She is not the only one.
Caregiving brings its own brand of stress, and it is impossible to meet the needs of others if my own needs are not met. I began to research therapy options that will fit into my unpredictable and overscheduled life. Despite Mom’s tendency to think of therapy as taboo, I want to give her a real opportunity to talk with someone that understood her hesitancy. I don’t want to go through the headache of insurance approvals and reviews. I also want the ability to get help when it is convenient for me. The stars align for Mental Health Awareness Month with a service called BetterHelp.
The homepage of BetterHelp.com displays a prominent message— “You deserve to be happy.” This resonates with the caregiver in me that does not always put herself first. BetterHelp is an established online therapy provider. Its service matches clients with licensed professionals for therapy sessions online, on the phone, or via text. The platform has more than 20,000 licensed therapists and has helped almost 1.76 million people. Those numbers are impressive, so I keep reading.
BetterHelp is available 24/7. That checks a very important box. I want guidance when I am available and ready to talk, not every other Tuesday at 3pm because it is the only slot open. With BetterHelp, my therapist can chat with me wherever I am at. Convenient doesn’t adequately describe BetterHelp. Accessible. Feasible. Approachable. Those words do this service a bit more justice.
BetterHelp’s counselors are experts in what they do. First, their counselors are educated. Each one has a Master’s Degree or Doctorate in their field. Counselors may be psychologists, marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, or clinical social workers. Second, their counselors are licensed. Each has been certified by their individual state board. That means each has completed the necessary education, training and examinations. Finally, their counselors are experienced. With at least three years of practice and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience, I know my counselor is knowledgeable and eager to help me find my best self.
BetterHelp matches you with a therapist with your unique goals in mind. The sign up process allows me to spell out what I am looking for and what I want to accomplish. Because BetterHelp’s counselors have varied backgrounds and approaches, I’m able to find one that is right for me, and one that my mom will respond to also. If for some reason the counselor I am matched with is not the best fit, I can choose to be matched with someone else.
BetterHelp is an affordable investment in mental health. I want to avoid using insurance. BetterHelp’s rates start at $60 per week and are billed every four weeks. I can use the services of BetterHelp for as short or long as I need them, and I can cancel my membership at any time for any reason. Now there is one less thing to stress about.
BetterHelp is private. Confidentiality is paramount when it comes to counseling. Everything I tell my counselor is completely confidential. BetterHelp’s technology features advanced safeguards designed with my privacy in mind. I also don’t have to worry about my job finding out because my employer-provided health insurance is being used. Their online therapy approach will also help my mom avoid any stigma about seeking help.
BetterHelp is not just talk. I can get access to over 150 digital worksheets and modules to get more out of my counseling experience. These can be completed on my time. I can also choose to attend a weekly live and interactive group session led by experienced psychologists. I look forward to hearing successful coping skills from others like me. While a group setting may not be for everyone, knowing my feelings and fears are similar to others is a great comfort.
BetterHelp sounds right for me. Is it right for you? I’m looking for strategies to manage my stress, help with my depression, and increase my self esteem. These are part of the many ways BetterHelp can improve the quality of my life. Counselors can also help with anxiety, addiction, family problems, LGBTQ issues and just about anything that stands in the way of achieving your mental health goals. Keep in mind that BetterHelp is not the right solution if you find yourself in an urgent or emergency situation, if you have a diagnosed severe mental illness, if you are a minor, or in other various circumstances. Also keep in mind that counselors do not prescribe medication.
Where Do I Start?
I went to BetterHelp.com and took my time reading about the program as well as their reviews. I appreciate the accessibility and flexibility of online therapy, and I am excited to show my mom that she can talk to someone in her own home. Most importantly, BetterHelp says I deserve to be happy. I think they are right. My journey –and yours– starts at BetterHelp.