BetterHelp Therapy vs. The Journal That Talks Back
You can’t schedule a mental health breakdown. As convenient as that would be, rough patches in your mental health are inevitable, and the best you can do is prepare for them when they occur. For that reason, it’s important to have a reliable roster of therapy and coaching resources to depend upon when things get tough. But which mental health platforms should you choose to invest in, and which are best to avoid?
Not all mental health resources are built the same, and not all of them are built to address the same difficulties. Let’s look at two different therapy and coaching platforms — BetterHelp and The Journal That Talks Back™, respectively — and compare them to determine which tool is right for you.
What is BetterHelp?
According to their website mission statement, the goal of BetterHelp is “making professional therapy accessible, affordable and convenient — so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime and anywhere.” It’s the world’s largest therapy platform at present and operates entirely online. Users go through an AI-guided process to be subsequently paired with a therapist who matches their personal mental health needs.
BetterHelp therapists are all trained, certified and licensed professionals in a variety of fields: psychology, marriage and family therapy, social work and more. To become a BetterHelp therapist, professionals need either a master’s or doctorate degree in their respective field. Areas that BetterHelp therapists specialize in include anxiety, depression, stress, addiction, trauma, family conflict, LGBT matters, self-esteem and more.
BetterHelp has been verified effective by a variety of psychologists, therapists and other mental health professionals. On top of this, some studies show that BetterHelp has been able to reduce depression in its clients by up to 70 percent.
How does BetterHelp work?
The main differentiator between BetterHelp and traditional therapy is that BetterHelp offers a digital alternative to in-person therapy sessions. Once you’ve been matched with a mental health professional, the platform allows you to connect with your therapist in a variety of ways, including instant messaging, live chat rooms, phone conversations and video calls. During your conversations, you’ll work with your therapist to uncover negative past patterns and change those behaviors going forward.
Lastly, while BetterHelp is a therapy alternative, the site doesn’t bill itself as a true substitute for in-person therapy sessions. This is because BetterHelp therapists aren’t able to officially diagnose you with specific mental health conditions, nor can they prescribe you medication through the platform. If you want those sorts of resources, in-person therapy is probably a better fit for you.
How much does BetterHelp cost?
Depending on your specific situation, BetterHelp costs around $60-90 a week, billed monthly. That comes out to roughly $240-360 each month, which, while mostly reasonable, might be a stretch for some to afford. If the price is too much for your current financial situation, there are other online therapy and coaching apps that start at a lower price point.
What is The Journal That Talks Back™?
While much different than BetterHelp, The Journal That Talks Back™ is another type of personalized help and coaching resource. The Journal That Talks Back™ offers affordable, accessible and unlimited journaling and coaching through a user-friendly app that connects young professionals and post-secondary students with certified coach responders.
These responders help coach-ees manage their mental health, romantic relationships, career goals, personal and professional challenges, educational goals, family relationships and more. Through a comprehensive online journaling program, The Journal That Talks Back™ hopes to help young people connect better to themselves and the world through a sustained, 24/7 coaching experience.
How does The Journal That Talks Back™ work?
The Journal That Talks Back™ works a little differently from most other online help apps. First, it should be noted that The Journal That Talks Back™ isn’t really a “therapy” program — instead of connecting with mental health professionals or therapists, users are paired with a certified coaching responder.
Certified Coaches can certainly help with mental health issues, but they’re more universal than that. Instead of therapists, think of them as life coaches who can help with much more than just your mental health. Should you sign up, you’ll be tasked with responding to journaling prompts that your coach will then read, assess and respond to.
While The Journal That Talks Back™ app can certainly improve your mental health outlook, it’s mainly meant for people who need life coaching, not therapy. Whereas therapy is a reactionary process primarily rooted in addressing mental health concerns and helping participants uncover old patterns from past experiences, coaching takes a more action-oriented approach. Users are encouraged to critically examine their own beliefs and work with coaches to come up with goals that they can track progress against and, eventually, achieve.
Unlike BetterHelp, The Journal That Talks Back™ doesn’t use algorithms to pair you with your coach. The process is intentionally AI-averse, with consultations that usually involve a preliminary conversation about your goals and needs before pairing you with a proper coach. The benefits to this process are, of course, the fact that you’ll get a more personalized coaching experience. However, if you’re looking for therapy help based on a specific mental health condition, The Journal That Talks Back™ probably isn’t right for you.
How much does The Journal That Talks Back™ cost?
The Journal That Talks Back™ costs a flat rate of $200 a month for unlimited coaching. Clients can journal as much as they would like and will not be subject to tiered pricing based on usage. While it’s still a significant investment to consider, that’s roughly $40-160 less than BetterHelp each month. Of course, you should always go with the resource that’s going to be the most helpful to you, rather than the one that’s cheapest — even if that means foregoing apps entirely for in-person therapy.
What is the best therapy app?
The truth is, there is no “best” therapy or coaching app. It’s all about your individual wants and needs. If you’re looking for a more traditional therapy experience that addresses specific mental health conditions, you’re probably best off checking out the BetterHelp app. However, if you feel like you need help improving specific areas of your life — such as your career, your relationship or your personal goals — then you’ll want to go with The Journal That Talks Back™.
Still not sure which resource is right for you? Head on over to our site to learn more about what The Journal That Talks Back™ has to offer.