BetterHelp Group Therapy: Cost & Full Review [2024]

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Ava Cheng

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This article will provide a full review of BetterHelp’s group therapy offerings, including cost, session structure, effectiveness, and more.

BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that offers both individual therapy and group sessions. For many seeking mental health support, online group therapy can provide a more affordable option compared to in-person.

What is BetterHelp group therapy?

BetterHelp offers group sessions called Classes, which are essentially educational seminars rather than therapy groups. BetterHelp.com group sessions connect members to a licensed therapist and a small group of around 5-18 other members.

Sessions are conducted via video chat and last 90 minutes each. Members can attend one group session per week as part of their existing BetterHelp subscription. The service provided through group sessions is not intended for crisis situations and urgent needs

Group sessions are peer-to-peer conversations and support groups where members share and discuss their life experiences with the help of a therapist facilitator. 

Each session has a specific theme or topic, like anxiety, depression, grief, mindfulness, or goal setting. Members can browse different groups and join ones that align with their goals or interests.

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How much does BetterHelp group therapy cost?

BetterHelp charges a flat subscription fee of $260-400 per month (price dependent on location, billed every four weeks).

This includes:

  • 1 group session per week
  • 1 individual therapy session per week (30 or 45 min)
  • Text, audio, and video messaging with your therapist

The weekly group sessions are included in the base monthly fee. So, in summary, the cost breakdown is $260-400 per month for weekly individual and group therapy sessions. This can be a cost-effective option for those wanting both regular individual and group sessions.

What are the benefits of BetterHelp group sessions?

There are several potential benefits to participating in group therapy:

  • Peer support. Connecting with others facing similar challenges provides validation and reduces feelings of isolation.
  • Different perspectives. Hearing how others cope and problem-solve can help you gain new insights.
  • Shared experiences. Bonding through shared experiences helps build trust and connection.
  • Accountability. Making commitments to the group helps motivate follow-through.
  • Cost savings. Group therapy splits the therapist’s time across multiple people, reducing the per person cost.

How BetterHelp group therapy works

BetterHelp group sessions have some unique elements compared to traditional in-person group therapy.

Group size and format

BetterHelp groups typically have 5-18 members. Some benefits of the smaller group size include:

  • More opportunities for each person to share
  • Easier for members to form connections
  • Allows the therapist to offer more individual attention

The video chat format also provides flexibility. Members can join from anywhere with an internet connection. Sessions can be scheduled in the morning, afternoon, or evening based on convenience.

While in-person cues are reduced, features like screen sharing and breakout rooms help recreate interactive elements. Members are still able to exchange support and feedback.

Role of the therapist

The therapist serves as a facilitator guiding the group discussion and dynamics. Their key responsibilities include:

  • Keeping conversations focused and on-track
  • Providing structure to sessions but also flexibility
  • Drawing out quieter members and limiting monopolizers
  • Resolving any conflicts that arise between members
  • Guiding members toward insights and takeaways
  • Making referrals if a member needs additional support outside the group

The therapist helps create a safe space for members to share vulnerably. They prompt self-reflection while ensuring no one feels judged.

Group confidentiality

The confidentiality policies enable members to share openly during the group sessions. However, they also prohibit members from disclosing anything discussed outside of the group setting.

While there is open conversation within the group itself, the discussions that take place are not considered fully confidential between members. 

Members agree to the rules limiting disclosure of what is said, but conversations within the group remain technically visible to all participating members. Recording of group sessions is not permitted.

That said, personal topics are rarely raised. Groups focus more on building skills and supporting goals. Sensitive issues are better addressed one-on-one with the therapist.

So, confidentiality is partially limited by the group format. But norms promote discretion from members.

What types of groups are offered?

group of virtual people with headphones looking at a laptop

BetterHelp offers a wide range of group therapy topics, including:

  • Addiction and sobriety
  • Anxiety and stress management
  • Body image and eating disorders
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Grief and loss
  • LGBTQ support
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Neurodiversity
  • Relationships and communication
  • Women’s empowerment

The available groups change over time based on member needs and therapist interests. Browsing the currently available groups is the best way to find topics that resonate.

Who leads the groups?

BetterHelp group sessions are led by licensed mental health professionals. These may include psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, therapists, and social workers.

Group leaders have training and experience specifically with facilitating group discussions and dynamics. Their profiles indicate their license, qualifications, treatment approaches, and areas of focus.

  • Note that group sessions are facilitated discussions and not therapy.
  • While facilitators are licensed, they act solely as moderators of the group.
  • Group sessions are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

What is the format of the sessions?

While each group develops its own norms, most follow a similar structure:

  • Brief check-in
  • Revisiting takeaways from prior weeks
  • Facilitated discussion of new topic(s)
  • Summarizing insights and takeaways
  • Optional sharing from members
  • Review of between-session “homework”

The therapist guides the discussion, keeping it focused while ensuring all members have a chance to share. Some time is also given for members to raise additional issues or ask questions.

Sessions balance structure from the therapist with freedom for members to share vulnerably. The goal is to create a comfortable yet flexible space for healing.

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4.5 (7,344+) FROM TRUSTPILOT

Fill out a brief questionnaire and get matched with an experienced therapist online in as little as 48 hours.

✓ Over 35K licensed professionals

✓ Financial aid available

✓ Subscriptions as low as $65/week, billed every four weeks

✓ Cancel plan or change therapist anytime

20% off your first month through Therapy Helpers

How effective is BetterHelp group therapy?

Research shows group therapy can be just as effective as individual therapy for many people. The benefits span increased social support, behavior change motivation, and symptom reduction.

However, online group therapy is newer, so less research exists on its efficacy. But early findings are promising:

  • A study found that group cognitive behavioral therapy delivered in a routine specialized care setting led to significant reductions in depression that were largely maintained 3 months after treatment.
  • A study found that group e-CBT therapy participation rates are higher than in-person participation rates.
  • Several studies have shown that group cognitive behavioral therapy programs are effective in reducing anxiety symptoms in both children and adults, whether targeting a single anxiety disorder or delivered as a transdiagnostic treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.
  • A study found evidence that internet- and mobile-based interventions can be a safe and effective approach for treating symptoms of grief, depression, and PTSD after bereavement.
  • Members of online eating disorder groups reported reduced eating disorder symptoms and increased quality of life.

So, while more research is still needed, initial evidence suggests online groups can deliver similar benefits. And they greatly expand access for those unable to attend regular in-person sessions.

Of course, individual factors impact each person’s results. But, group therapy does show proven potential as an effective option.

Jennifer Carson, Therapist

Tips for getting the most from BetterHelp group therapy

To maximize your group session experience, consider these tips:

  • Pick a relevant group. Choose one that aligns with your goals, so you get the most relevant support and advice.
  • Participate actively. Share your experiences, ask questions, and engage with others’ stories. The more invested you are, the more you’ll take away.
  • Limit distractions. Choose a quiet space to avoid disruptions. Silence phones and close browser tabs for full attention. In the comment section of a post about online therapy on the therapists subreddit, user caulfieldkid shared their thoughts on participating in virtual sessions: “I did this for over two years due to COVID and working in a treatment center setting. It can definitely work if the clients are engaged and respectful of the format. Problems arise when group members get distracted by technology (e.g., texting, watching TV) or just plain don’t want to be there. It’s much easier for disinterested members to tune out, which can impact the rest of the group. You need to get skilled at watching for and redirecting any distractions.”
  • Giver others space. Listen attentively when others speak rather than just waiting for your turn. Ask follow-up questions if allowed. Offer support when sought.
  • Practice between sessions. Apply takeaways and complete “homework” to reinforce learning. Progress between sessions boosts overall growth.
  • Give it time. The greatest benefits often come after attending for several weeks as you build trust and experience.
  • Provide feedback. Offering constructive feedback helps the therapist refine the group to best meet members’ needs.

Verdict

For those seeking both individual therapy and group support, BetterHelp provides an affordable and convenient option. Group sessions can supplement individual work with shared insights and motivation.

While effectiveness depends on individual factors, early research shows online groups can deliver benefits comparable to in-person. 

By choosing an aligned group, participating actively, minimizing distractions, and giving it time, BetterHelp members can gain social connection, new perspectives, and lasting change.

FAQ’s

Are BetterHelp group sessions free?

No, BetterHelp group sessions are not free. They require an active paid subscription plan to access. Group sessions allow BetterHelp users to join online group therapy sessions led by a licensed therapist, but individuals must be paying members to participate.

Does BetterHelp offer group therapy?

No, BetterHelp does offer group sessions and educational seminars through its “Classes” feature. Group sessions and classes allow BetterHelp members to join online group therapy sessions led by a licensed therapist.

Who benefits from group therapy?

Group therapy benefits those facing mental health issues, grief, illness, trauma, or major life changes. Through shared experiences, group members gain understanding and motivation to cope positively. Peer support reduces isolation and facilitates healing by improving communication skills. The shared accountability and perspectives help people overcome struggles together.

Why group therapy doesn’t work?

Group therapy may not work well for people who want privacy, need flexible scheduling, desire individual attention, or face interpersonal challenges in group settings. Individual needs and preferences determine whether group modalities are a good fit.

Why group therapy is better than individual?

Group therapy provides unique benefits that individual therapy alone cannot offer. By participating in sessions with others facing similar struggles, individuals can gain motivation and accountability from the group while also learning from the varied perspectives and experiences of peers. Group members connect with one another, reducing feelings of isolation.

How do I access Groupinars on BetterHelp?

To sign up for a group session, first browse the available group session options and click “register” on the one you wish to attend. You will then be registered using the first and last initials of your BetterHelp username. Details on how to join the class will be emailed directly to you after registering.

References

  1. Effectiveness of cognitive behavioral group therapy for depression in routine practice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4209079
  2. Comparison of online and in-person cognitive behavioral therapy in individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder: a non-randomized controlled trial. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1113956/full
  3. Cognitive behavioral group therapy for anxiety: recent developments. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4610619/
  4. Effectiveness and Feasibility of Internet-Based Interventions for Grief After Bereavement: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8701663/
  5. Individuals with eating disorders and the use of online support groups as a form of social support. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19940616/
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What is Group Therapy?

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About the author

Ava Cheng

Ava Cheng

Hey there, I'm Ava Cheng—an inquisitive soul originally from Hong Kong now based in Singapore. As a physiotherapist, I have a passion for understanding women's health and the crossroads of medicine and psychology. Living in the heart of Singapore, I'm on a constant journey to explore the latest trends in these fascinating fields. The human body and mind never fail to amaze me, and I'm determined to unravel their mysteries one discovery at a time. Let's embark on this intellectual adventure together! Social

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