Can BetterHelp Prescribe Medication? Exploring Online Therapy and Medication Management

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on June 26, 2023
Our team evaluates mental health products, services and platforms like BetterHelp. If you click a link below and make a purchase, we will receive an affiliate commission. Learn more.

The rise of online therapy platforms like BetterHelp has made mental health care more accessible.

As individuals seek support for various mental health concerns, many wonders if online therapy platforms can prescribe medication as part of their treatment plans.

In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the capabilities of BetterHelp in general and specific situations, including prescribing medication. We’ll also discuss online therapy’s advantages and limitations with a licensed therapist.

If you’re just wondering whether or not BetterHelp may prescribe medication, the answer is no. BetterHelp does not offer medication plans, psychiatry, or anything related to prescriptions.

BetterHelp is a high-quality, trustworthy online therapy platform that only provides online therapy. Unlike Talkspace or Brightside, other online therapy platforms that offer medication management, BetterHelp does not prescribe or provide any medication services.

The Online Mental Health Reviews team is qualified to write about whether BetterHelp can prescribe medication due to our extensive experience and expertise in evaluating various mental health services, apps, and courses. We’re committed to providing accurate and reliable information to their readers.

Can BetterHelp Prescribe Medication?

BetterHelp has explicitly answered this question in this forum thread: https://www.betterhelp.com/ca/other/can-betterhelp-counselors-prescribe-medication-ugc/

Better Help therapists are not able to prescribe any medications. This is because we are not medical personnel. We are mental health practitioners. Mental health practitioners are not allowed to prescribe medications.

Section 1: BetterHelp and Medication Management

BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that connects licensed therapists and counselors with clients seeking mental health support. However, it’s essential to understand the platform’s limitations regarding medication management.

  1. Therapists vs. Psychiatrists: BetterHelp primarily offers access to licensed therapists and counselors specializing in various mental health aspects. While these professionals are skilled in providing therapy and counseling services, they are not authorized to prescribe medications. Only psychiatrists, medical doctors specializing in mental health, have the authority to prescribe medications.
  2. Collaboration with Primary Care Providers: Although BetterHelp therapists cannot prescribe medication, they may recommend that clients consult their primary care physician or a psychiatrist for medication management. In such cases, the BetterHelp therapist can work closely with the medical professional to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the client’s mental health care.

Section 2: The Benefits of Online Therapy

Despite the limitations regarding medication management, online therapy platforms like BetterHelp offer numerous advantages:

  1. Accessibility: Online therapy platforms make mental health support more accessible, especially for individuals living in remote areas or those with limited mobility.
  2. Convenience: Clients can schedule therapy sessions and attend them from the comfort of their homes.
  3. Affordability: Online therapy is often more cost effective than traditional in-person therapy, making mental health care more accessible to a broader range of individuals.
  4. Anonymity: The virtual nature of online therapy can provide a sense of anonymity, which may encourage some clients to open up more readily about their mental health concerns.

Plus, according to meta-analysis research, Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy (ICBT) is equivalent to treatment outcomes compared to face-to-face Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

In other words, online therapy via the BetterHelp app and other providers is proven to benefit long-term mental health!

However, if you’re looking for medication, you’ll have to look elsewhere besides BetterHelp.

Section 3: Navigating Medication Management in Online Therapy

While BetterHelp cannot prescribe medication, clients seeking medication management alongside therapy can take the following steps:

  1. Consult with a Primary Care Physician: Speak with your primary care doctor about your mental health concerns and discuss the possibility of medication management as part of your treatment plan.
  2. Seek a Referral to a Psychiatrist: If your primary care physician believes that medication may be beneficial, they can refer you to a psychiatrist who can assess your needs and prescribe appropriate medications.
  3. Coordinate with Your Therapist: Keep your BetterHelp therapist informed about any prescribed medications and work together to monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Section 4: Alternative Online Platforms for Medication Management

For those seeking online options that include medication management, consider the following platforms such as Talkspace and Brightside:

  1. Talkspace: Besides offering therapy services, Talkspace provides access to psychiatrists who can prescribe medication as part of a comprehensive mental health treatment plan.
  2. Brightside Health: This platform treats anxiety and depression through online therapy and medication management, overseen by licensed medical professionals.

BetterHelp Plans and Pricing: Understanding Your Options

If you’re wondering how much BetterHelp therapy typically costs, it might range from $60 to $90 for each session without financial assistance or insurance, depending on your therapist, location, and personal preferences.

Users will get the following for this cost:

  • One session of 30 to 45 minutes each week
  • Messages you exchange with your therapist
  • The ability to keep a notebook with an Apple or Android app
  • Expert-led webinars on themes related to mental health
  • Option to change therapists
  • Worksheets that your therapist has given you

Does BetterHelp Take Insurance? Exploring Payment Methods

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BetterHelp does not take insurance as a payment form, but they offer several other payment methods. You can pay for your subscription with a credit card, PayPal, or Apple Pay.

They also offer discounted rates for those who cannot afford the total price. Additionally, BetterHelp may be covered by some Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Psychiatry and Medication Management

Talkspace and BetterHelp are two of the most popular options for online therapy services. Talkspace offers individual, teen, and couples therapy and psychiatric services for medication management. In contrast, BetterHelp only offers unique treatment and does not provide psychiatric services or medication management.

Do Talkspace and BetterHelp Accept Health Insurance?

Talkspace does accept health insurance, while BetterHelp does not.

Talkspace offers a psychiatry plan that can include certain prescription medications, while BetterHelp does not provide any medication management or psychiatry services.

If you are looking for prescription drugs to treat your symptoms, Talkspace Psychiatry may be the right option. However, if you are looking for online therapy services without medication, BetterHelp may be a better fit.

When Should I Consider Getting Help Beyond Online Therapy?

Signs to seek help beyond online therapy:

1. You question your life and face difficulty completing daily tasks.

2. You experience persistent anxiety or depression.

3. You struggle to maintain personal relationships.

4. You feel overwhelmed by stress and unable to cope alone.

5. You struggle with substance abuse

Can BetterHelp Prescribe Medication Conclusion

BetterHelp is an excellent resource for individuals seeking online therapy and counseling services. While the platform’s therapists cannot prescribe medication, they can collaborate with primary care physicians or psychiatrists to ensure a well-rounded approach to mental health care.

By understanding the capabilities and limitations of online therapy platforms like BetterHelp, individuals can make informed decisions about their mental health treatment and work toward improved well-being.

We’d love to hear from you as well! Leave a comment below if you have any questions about the BetterHelp app or you can also tell us what mental health service, app, or course you think Online Mental Health Reviews should review next. Your feedback helps us serve our readers better on their way to better mental health.

If You Are In Crisis

If you find yourself in a critical situation, waiting for an online therapy session may not be the best option. If you require immediate assistance, dial 911, especially if you intend to harm yourself or others. For thoughts of self-harm, you can reach out to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988. They offer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Additionally, you can contact the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline provides free and confidential assistance for individuals struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues, helping them find treatment and information around the clock every day of the year.

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