BetterHelp Japan: 2024 Cost & Full Review

Written By

Ava Cheng

Updated:

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Japan is well-known for its strong work ethic and focus on productivity. While this has helped the country become an economic powerhouse, it has also led to high stress levels and burnout.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of mental health in Japan.

More people are seeking therapy and counseling as the stigma around mental health issues slowly declines. This article explores online therapy in Japan and reviews BetterHelp and other platforms and how BetterHelp works in Japan regarding language and culture, pricing, insurance, common concerns addressed, and alternatives.

    If you want to skip over the article and are eager to get started with BetterHelp therapy, fill out a quick questionnaire. Don’t forget to mention that you are located in Japan – they will match you with the ideal therapist tailored for your location and unique needs.

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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 credentialed professionals

    ✓ Financial aid available

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

    ✓ Cancel plan or change therapist anytime

    20% off your first month through Therapy Helpers

    What is BetterHelp?

    Founded in 2013 and based in California, BetterHelp is one of the largest online therapy providers worldwide. Here are some key facts:

    • Over 33,000 credentialed therapists and counselors across 20+ specialties
    • 4 million+ members to date
    • Therapy done via video, phone, chat, and messaging
    • Flat monthly fee for weekly live sessions, and you can message your therapist anytime at no additional cost
    • No insurance needed
    • Debit/Credit Card, Paypal accepted

    BetterHelp matches each client with their own dedicated credentialed therapist or counselor.

    You can change therapists anytime if needed at no extra cost.

    Cost comparison: BetterHelp in Japan vs. traditional in-office therapy

    BetterHelp plans are displayed in weekly prices and billed every four weeks. Here are the Japan pricing tiers:

    BetterHelp: Japan Traditional Therapy
    JPY 9715 to 13451 per week JPY 15000 to 30000 for 45-60 minute session
    (One live session per week and ongoing messaging) (No support in between)
    JPY 38860 to 53804 per month JPY 60000 to 120000 per month
    Get 20% off on BetterHelp.com

    *Estimated cost in Japanese Yen is based on the exchange rate of 1 JPY to 0.0067 USD. Rates may fluctuate.

    The cost of traditional mental therapy in Japan ranges from JPY 15,000 to 30,000 per session, lasting 45-60 minutes.

    In contrast, BetterHelp cost in Japan is between JPY 9715 to 13451 per week (USD 65-90), which includes one live session and messaging in between sessions.

    This equates to a monthly cost of BetterHelp online therapy in Japan of JPY 38860 to 53804 per month (USD 260-360), which includes four live sessions, messaging in between, group webinars on topics of anxiety and depression, and more.

    • Plan cost depends on the length of sessions (30 or 45 minutes), location, and preferences selected.
    • Plans can be canceled anytime without penalty.

    Compared to traditional therapy fees in Japan, BetterHelp provides cost savings for therapy with credentialed therapists.

    Insurance coverage

    National health insurance in Japan only covers psychiatry services and mental illness but not counseling.

    • Like most online therapy platforms, BetterHelp does not currently accept national health insurance in Japan. Sessions are paid out-of-pocket, and financial assistance is available.

    However, some regional or employer-provided plans may offer discounts or reimbursements. It is best to check with your insurance provider.

    Ad, keeps our community free. Therapy Helpers does not accept money for reviews.

    betterhelp logo
    betterhelp review

    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 credentialed professionals

    ✓ Financial aid available

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

    ✓ Cancel plan or change therapist anytime

    20% off your first month through Therapy Helpers

    Mental health and BetterHelp therapy in Japan

    Historically, mental health issues have been stigmatized in Japan.

    People were expected to endure stress and unhappiness without complaining. Seeking therapy was seen as a sign of weakness.

    Fortunately, these old attitudes are changing partially due to services like BetterHelp.

    • In a 2019 survey, over 50% of respondents said they were interested in counseling.
    • Another poll showed that 37% of Japanese adults have felt the need to consult with a mental health professional.

    At the same time, significant barriers remain:

    Recent surveys indicate that more Japanese people are interested in self-care and improving their mental health:

    • Per Statista, Japan has fewer than 40,000 certified psychologists relative to its population of over 125 million.
    • Therapy sessions are not covered by national health insurance. Patients must pay the full cost out-of-pocket.
    • There is still social stigma around mental health issues and therapy. Many people don’t talk openly about emotional struggles.
    • The most common reason for postponing or not seeking mental health help was the wish to handle their own problems by themselves (68.8%).

    Online therapy platforms like BetterHelp can help address these barriers by making counseling more accessible and affordable.

    Stigma surrounding mental health issues remains deeply ingrained in Japanese society.

    In a 2017 survey, over 40% of Japanese respondents said they would be reluctant to marry someone who had been treated for depression or other mental illness.

    Further highlighting the mating challenges present in the Japanese culture for single men due to the risk of depressive tendencies, which, according to a study, was significantly higher in men who were single and living alone than those married.

    This stigma not only prevents people from seeking help, but also damages the self-esteem for those suffering from mental health challenges.

    Online counseling platforms may help reduce stigma by promoting discretion.

    The Internet provides a degree of separation from in-person interactions, allowing individuals to seek help without fear of judgment.

    In a society where mental health care is still taboo, the comfort of the discreet and accessible nature of online therapy enables access that would otherwise be much more difficult.

    While in-office therapy is still important for many, the flexibility and discretion of online options like BetterHelp are making counseling increasingly viable for Japanese citizens.

    Using BetterHelp in Japan

    BetterHelp was launched in Japan in 2020 after receiving approval from Japanese regulators.

    Here are key details on using the platform as a resident of Japan:

    Languages

    BetterHelp may be able to offer therapy in both Japanese and English, although therapist availability varies.

    • When signing up, you select your preferred language and your country. It is possible to be matched with a native therapist for a more natural experience, but not guaranteed.

    BetterHelp focuses on providing culturally sensitive therapy for all, and having Japanese-speaking therapists can be a major advantage; however, English skills are still highly recommended.

    Therapists

    BetterHelp has the most diverse network of online therapists to choose from. While it has not disclosed how many Japan-based therapists are on the platform, the company states they have a wide selection of bilingual therapists from many cultures.

    • All their therapists have at least three years and 1,000 hours of clinical and verifiable experience.
    • Their respective countries have accredited them to practice professional counseling.
    • Specialized teen counseling is available through BetterHelp’s partner website: TeenCounseling.com (currently 20% off).

    BetterHelp’s matching algorithm assigns you a therapist based on your preferences, objectives, and the therapist’s specialty.

    Communication methods

    You can communicate with your BetterHelp therapist in Japan via:

    • Live chat
    • Phone calls
    • Video calls
    • Messaging (text, audio, images, files)

    Having multiple options allows you to choose the method you’re most comfortable with.

    Tip: You can message your therapist anytime and therapists aim to respond to messages the same or the following day, but it is not guaranteed and depends on their availability.

    For more urgent issues, you can book a live session; however, no emergency or psychiatric crisis-support services are available on the platform.

    For a list of hospitals that provide psychiatric services, visit the Japan National Tourism Organization.

    Counseling for common concerns

    Some of the most common reasons Japanese members use BetterHelp include:

    • Work-related stress: Long hours, job uncertainty, workplace dynamics.
    • Anxiety and depression: Isolation, loneliness, perfectionism, social pressures.
    • Relationship issues: Partners, parents, abuse, family conflicts.
    • Addiction: Alcohol, drugs, food, social media, gambling.
    • Life transitions: Career change, retirement, divorce.

    BetterHelp has therapists across over 20 specialties to address these concerns, and their matching algorithm considers your needs and objectives.

    Ad, keeps our community free. Therapy Helpers does not accept money for reviews.

    betterhelp logo
    betterhelp review

    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 credentialed professionals

    ✓ Financial aid available

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

    ✓ Cancel plan or change therapist anytime

    20% off your first month through Therapy Helpers

    Pros and cons of online therapy

    Online platforms like BetterHelp provide an alternative model of mental health care.

    How does it compare to traditional in-office therapy in Japan?

    Pros:

    • Convenience: Sessions from home skip commute time and scheduling conflicts.
    • Accessibility: Quick access to therapists; platform operates 24/7.
    • Affordability: Online therapy costs less than in-office on average.
    • Stigma-free: Perceived discretion of the internet over visiting an office.

    Cons:

    • Lack of in-person connection: Harder to build strong therapist relationship without face-to-face interaction.
    • Technical issues: Spotty internet or software problems can disrupt sessions.
    • Immediate support: No access to a therapist during urgent situations between sessions.

    Online therapy won’t be right for everyone. But for many, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

    It provides a reasonably priced and convenient option for busy people or those without providers near them.

    Is BetterHelp suitable for the Japanese?

    Online counseling platforms like BetterHelp provide an accessible and affordable mental health solution for many people. But some factors to consider:

    • Your comfort with technology: Requires competence with phone, video, and chat apps.
    • Urgency of needs: In-office therapy may be better for crisis situations or specialized psychiatric care.
    • Skepticism of online therapy: Some prefer in-person interaction and physical presence.

    BetterHelp can be a good option if:

    • You want convenient, affordable access to counseling.
    • Access to pre-screened, pre-vetted, credentialed therapists specializing in a broad spectrum of psychological concerns.
    • In-office therapy is not practical or available in your area.
    • You are comfortable communicating through technology and the internet.
    • You have non-urgent mental health issues to discuss.

    Additional mental health resources available in Japan

    Below is a comparison of online therapy services accessible from Japan:

    Service Weekly Cost Key Considerations
    BetterHelp JPY 9715+ Financial aid available. Live video chat. You can message your therapist anytime.
    Regain (Now 20% off) JPY 9715+ Relationship/intimacy experts.
    Teen Counseling (Now 20% off) JPY 9715+ Specialized online counseling for teens.
    Online-therapy.com JPY 5982+ Professional therapy for a wide range of conditions.
    mHealth Japan JPY 14930 Online counseling in Japan, 50 min session.
    Talkspace JPY 10300+ Messaging & video, medications/management & psychiatrists available. Adults & teens.

    *Estimated cost in Japanese Yen is based on the exchange rate of 1 JPY to 0.0067 USD. Rates may fluctuate.

    The options above vary in format, pricing models, specialties, and target audiences.

    However, they demonstrate the range of online counseling services emerging in Japan to meet growing mental health needs.

    While traditional in-office therapy remains popular, Japanese citizens now have more choice in how they access care.

    Free or low-cost local mental health and crisis support services:

    • The International Mental Health Professionals Japan (IMHPJ) network unites practitioners and organizations offering mental healthcare and therapy to expatriates in Japan. Their interdisciplinary team of qualified professionals aims to uphold rigorous standards for ethical, compassionate care. By collaborating, they hope to improve access and quality of counseling services for foreigners adjusting to life in Japan. Their goal is to support diverse communities so that all can thrive emotionally in their adopted homeland.
    • TELL Japan is committed to delivering accessible, high-quality mental health support and counseling to meet the needs of foreigners living in Japan. Their services aim to effectively aid the international community in Japan struggling with psychological issues. A nonprofit since 1973. Helpline: 03 5774 0992, 9am-11pm daily.
    • Inochi no Denwa is a directory of suicide prevention hotlines available in each prefecture across Japan, provided in Japanese language only.

    Ad, keeps our community free. Therapy Helpers does not accept money for reviews.

    betterhelp logo
    betterhelp review

    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 credentialed professionals

    ✓ Financial aid available

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

    ✓ Cancel plan or change therapist anytime

    20% off your first month through Therapy Helpers

    Final verdict: Should I use BetterHelp in Japan?

    While stigma persists, as reviewed studies showed in the Japanese general population, few people think that people can recover from mental disorders.

    However, attitudes toward mental health in Japan are gradually changing as 80% of people believe that depression or schizophrenia may be cured via treatment. More people are interested in self-care and seeking help when needed.

    Online platforms like BetterHelp provide an accessible option by reducing cost and convenience barriers.

    With credentialed English-speaking and potentially Japanese culturally informed therapists available, BetterHelp offers cultural and language matching (therapist availability varies).

    Online therapy is not a panacea. However, it can complement traditional options for those open to alternative methods of accessing care and can be more affordable.

    As technology improves and telehealth expands, we expect online counseling to become increasingly common worldwide, including in Japan.


    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Is mental health therapy covered by insurance in Japan?

    National Health Insurance does not cover counseling but does cover mental illness, psychiatry, and associated medications.

    How do I find the right therapist on BetterHelp when I sign up from Japan?

    When completing the sign-up questionnaire, be sure to answer all questions as truthfully as possible, this ensures effective matching.

    Does BetterHelp have therapists based in Japan?

    At the time of this publication, most BetterHelp therapists are based in the U.S. and there are over 1,000 therapists based in the U.K.


    References

    1. Barriers to mental health care in Japan: results from the World Mental Health Japan Survey. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4472610/
    2. Cumulative number of people who passed the qualifying examination to be clinical psychologists in Japan from 2013 to 2022 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1270852/japan-number-certified-clinical-psychologists/#:~:text=In%202022%2C%20around%2040.8%20thousand,also%20obtained%20a%20medical%20license.
    3. Hanley, T., & Reynolds, D. (2009). Counselling psychology and the internet: A review of the quantitative research into online outcomes and alliances within text-based therapy. Counselling Psychology Review, 24(2), 4-13. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234791042_Counselling_Psychology_and_the_internet_A_review_of_the_quantitative_research_into_online_outcomes_and_alliances_within_text-based_therapy
    4. Public Perceptions toward Mental Illness in Japanhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019626/
    5. Socioeconomic and lifestyle factors associated with depressive tendencies in general Japanese men and women: NIPPON DATA2010https://environhealthprevmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12199-019-0788-6
    6. Whaibeh, E., Mahmoud, H., & Naal, H. (2020). Telemental health in the context of a pandemic: the COVID-19 experience. Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry, 1-5. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-6-21
    7. Review of mental-health-related stigma in Japan https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24118217/
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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

    2 thoughts on “BetterHelp Japan: 2024 Cost & Full Review”

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