What: BetterHelp connects counselors with patients, helping a wide array of social workers, counselors, psychologists and therapists practice online

Expected pay: $20 to $70 per hour

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: NA

Where: Nationwide

Requirements:  U.S. resident; State Board licensed to provide counseling (e.g., LCSW, LMFT, LPC, PsyD or similar credentials); at least 1,000 hours of hands-on experience counseling adults, couples, and/or teens; excellent writing skills; reliable internet connection. Screening, which includes a case study and video interview.

Review:

BetterHelp proposes to help licensed counselors and therapists find clients and manage an online mental health practice. But you give pricing control to the platform. And pay is the one complaint that counselors consistently have about BetterHelp.

That said, if you’re relatively new to counseling and need to build an online practice, BetterHelp’s website commands millions of page views each month. Presumably, the bulk of those visitors are looking for services just like yours. So you’re likely to get plenty of regular referrals here.

Pay

But, let’s address the biggest complaint counselors have about the platform: Pay. The site is cagey about how much it pays counselors, contending they earn somewhere between $30 and $70 an hour. However, a site “onboarding” official says BetterHelp only gives out details after the counselor completes the site’s extensive screening process.

Other sites, such as Glassdoor and Indeed, report the site’s pay ranges from $25 to $45 per hour. And while that’s not bad pay for many types of jobs, its about half the hourly rate that skilled therapists normally command.

Are they manipulative?

Since you all have background in psychology, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about whether the pay secrecy is a manipulative move to get you committed before you discover the site’s main drawback.

Counselors who have reviewed the platform on Glassdoor maintain that you’re paid “by the word” for written communication with clients — both what clients write to you and your responses. However, given that you may also schedule zoom and telephone consults, some of the pay is clearly determined on an hourly rate. (See “what their users say” below)

Recommendations

While BetterHelp’s pay formula is obtuse, this is the only complaint we see in otherwise pretty positive reviews. And, if this site helps you establish a fully-remote practice, you can save money on staff, rented office space and billing. The platform handles all the administrative work for you.

That said, because the platform restricts your ability to charge for your extensive education and experience, we see BetterHelp as a temporary solution to fill open hours during slow stretches. Seasoned therapists, particularly in high-priced urban areas, can earn considerably more on their own.

What their users say (from Glassdoor):

“Literally the only thing I don’t like about BH is the pay. For me right now, the flexibility and work-from-home aspects are so important and so positive that they make the job worth it despite the low compensation. But as an LP, I could make far more in a different setting. On the other hand, I’d be paying for overhead—office rent, marketing costs, the time and expense of filing insurance claims, etc.—if I worked at my own “in real life” private practice. So, there’s a trade-off.”

“Great clients! Easy scheduling, and no overhead. But the low pay can feel discouraging considering I spent several years and a lot of $ to obtain my degrees.”

“Lots of support which is great for a first online company or a side hustle! But the pay is very minimal.” 

How the pay works

“The pay comes to about 20 dollars an hour. They pay you by the word, which is weird. You have to check in and answer your clients everyday even if they haven’t said anything. For example: Therapist “Great! Booked” Next day client, “Great!”. If you don’t than answer back, “Looking forward!” you can’t get more clients.”

“Once you build up clientele, there are monthly bonuses that you receive, ranging from 200 to 2500 per month. For a 200 dollar bonus, all you need is five clients. For the $2,500 dollar bonus, you will need 50 clients. It may sound like a lot, but within 6 weeks I am already up to 36! (with 30 client’s the bonus is 1000 per month). But you do have to hold the clients for at least 3 months… You have to actually engage with the client on a regular basis. If you don’t do this, you probably will lose them…So for instance, writing a message to each client at least every three days…You are also compensated by how many words are written to you, by the client, AND, how many words you write to the client. Overall, when you figure in the bonuses, and the other ways in which you are paid, you realistically getting paid about 35-45 dollars an hour.”

“Paid by the word and averaging $30/hr. Sometimes you turn off your availability and will still receive new clients.”

1/25/2021