Cerebral Vs BetterHelp: 2023 Cost, Therapists, Insurance Options

Written By

Helen Kaminski, MSc


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a persons back and they are grabbing their head looking at the split road ahead of them with one road having betterhelp sign above it and the other road having cerebral sign above it

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With an increasing number of online healthcare platforms available, it’s hard to know where to begin.

💙 I’ve put this comprehensive review to address all you need to know about these platforms as they have emerged as two of the most prominent players in this space.

Cerebral Vs. BetterHelp: How do they stack up?

Mental health is critical for our long-term well-being and is often an ignored but essential aspect of our lives.

Seeking therapy can be a powerful tool for self-care and growth, and online therapy provides an accessible route to tapping into this resource.

BetterHelp offers a therapy subscription, and we’ve taken the time to compare both websites to assist you in choosing the right therapy platform for you.

If you’re eager to sign up for the top online therapy option without reading the entire article, we suggest filling out a questionnaire on BetterHelp.com. By doing so, you’ll be connected with a therapist perfectly suited to help you on your mental well-being journey. ✅

Numerous studies indicate that individuals who seek the assistance of an online licensed therapist for a range of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and trauma, amongst others, tend to experience significant progress in their mental health and overall well-being.

Cost comparison: Cerebral vs. BetterHelp

Let’s dive into the financial side of things and see how these online therapy platforms stack up against each other.

BetterHelp Cerebral
$65 to $90 per week $65 to $82 per week
(One live session per week and ongoing messaging) (Support offered)
$260 to $360 per month $259 to $325 per month. Plus $99 for medication management.
Get 20% off on BetterHelp.com Monthly therapy

BetterHelp offers a service that costs you the following:

  • $65 to $90 per week.
  • Billed every four weeks, equating to a monthly cost of $260 to $360.
  • Financial aid option if you head over to their payment page.

Cerebral, on the other hand, breaks down its pricing into more tiers and costs the following:

  • If you’re looking for more comprehensive support that may require medications or psychiatry, their online therapy plan comes in at $259 to $325 per month.
  • You can opt for their Medication Plan for an additional $99 per month.
  • A combined plan of online therapy and medication management can cost upwards of $424 per month.

When you look at it side by side, you might find that Cerebral comes off as pricier than BetterHelp.

About Cerebral & BetterHelp

Online mental health services have increased in popularity over the years for several reasons. Many like to seek care from the comfort of their homes and its accessibility and flexibility with many different lifestyles.

BetterHelp and Cerebral fit this mold, offering an online alternative to traditional counseling.

Moreover, both platforms make signing up for care extremely fast and easy, requiring you to fill out a questionnaire on the BetterHelp or Cerebral website.

Which platform offers sessions with a licensed therapist?

BetterHelp specifically offers state-licensed therapists, meaning clients are guaranteed high-quality care from fully qualified counselors, social workers, or therapists with Master’s or Doctoral degrees. 🌟

In addition to carefully selecting their counselors based on their education and experience, BetterHelp also collects continuous reviews from clients to ensure that they provide the best possible service.

infographic showing overall consumer ratings for cerebral and betterhelp and key differnces
Cerebral vs BetterHelp rating comparison

Cerebral offers a care team

Cerebral, on the other hand, employs a mix of therapists, physician assistants, and psychiatrists to provide a more comprehensive approach to mental healthcare. The cerebral team works together to devise a treatment plan tailored to the needs of each client.

This team-based approach may not work for everyone, but it does offer a more comprehensive approach to mental healthcare.

BetterHelp offers a broad range of licensed therapists, while Cerebral employs a mix of therapists, medical practitioners, and psychiatrists which may be better suited to helping in cases of extremely severe mental illness.


BetterHelp ranks well for providing care for a wide spectrum of various mental health concerns. This includes help with the following:

  • Anxiety: A common mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of worry, fear, and unease, often accompanied by physical symptoms such as sweating and heart palpitations.
  • Depression: A mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in daily activities, affecting one’s ability to function and enjoy life.
  • ADHD: A neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which can lead to problems with school, work, and relationships.
  • Bipolar disorder: A mental illness characterized by mood swings that alternate between periods of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression), often leading to disruptions in daily functioning.
  • Eating disorders: A group of mental health conditions that involve an unhealthy preoccupation with food, body weight, and shape, which can lead to severe physical and emotional consequences.
  • OCD: A mental health condition characterized by unwanted, intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors or rituals, which can interfere with daily life and cause significant distress.
  • Insomnia: A sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, leading to fatigue, irritability, and other health problems.
  • Drug abuse and alcohol dependence: A pattern of substance use that leads to negative consequences, including physical and mental health problems, impaired functioning, and social problems.
  • Opioid use disorder: A substance use disorder characterized by a problematic pattern of opioid use, including prescription painkillers and illicit opioids like heroin, which can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Sexology: The scientific study of human sexuality, which includes topics such as sexual behavior, sexual orientation, and sexual dysfunction, among others.
  • LGBTQIA issues: The unique challenges and experiences faced by individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, or asexual, which can include discrimination, stigma, and marginalization.
  • Financial issues: Problems related to managing money, including debt, budgeting, and financial planning, can lead to stress, anxiety, and other mental health problems.

Cerebral has a different approach because it doesn’t cover as many areas of mental health therapy. Its therapists rank well for treating the following:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

BetterHelp Vs. Cerebral: Medication prescription

When seeking treatment for mental health disorders, medication can be integral to the healing process for some.

  • However, not all platforms offer medication prescriptions, and no longer can you find any that will prescribe controlled substances.
Cerebral Vs. BetterHelp Comparison Table

Comparison table

Features Cerebral BetterHelp
Therapy & Medication Management Online therapy combined with medication management Online/talk therapy
Therapist Selection Freedom to choose your preferred therapist Initial matching with a therapist; can change anytime
Insurance Coverage Yes No insurance coverage
Medication Prescriptions SSRI’s & SNRI’s, No controlled medications prescribed No medication prescriptions provided
Financial assistance None Available

Does BetterHelp offer prescriptions?

BetterHelp does not offer prescription medications but focuses on providing quality care services that are clinically backed.

  • This approach is exceptionally beneficial for many people struggling with mental illness.

In addition, research has shown that talk therapy can be just as effective as medication in treating certain conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

Does Cerebral offer prescriptions?

Cerebral does offer medication management as part of its treatment bundles for anxiety and depression.

However, it is important to note that they do not prescribe stimulants or other controlled substances, which are regulated by the Controlled Substances Act.

Doctor handing out medication prescription for mental health issues

While Cerebral is an ideal option for those seeking treatment for mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression, they cannot provide medication prescriptions for substances such as stimulants to treat ADHD. 

Cerebral’s medication management services include monthly medication delivery to ensure patients can focus on their recovery without worrying about accessing their prescribed medication from the local pharmacy. T

heir team of licensed medical professionals also monitors patients’ progress and adjusts medication doses as needed to provide the best possible care.

If medication management is a crucial component of your mental health treatment, Cerebral’s monthly prescription services may be the right choice.

However, if you are interested in therapy sessions without medication prescriptions, BetterHelp is an excellent option to consider.

Plan comparison

When considering treatment options like therapy and medication, one crucial factor is whether or not your insurance will cover the costs.

Therapy can be expensive, and many people rely on their health insurance to help lift the financial burden of treatment and medication costs.

Despite this, not all therapy providers offer insurance coverage.

To make matters worse, most insurance plans have very high co-pays for any form of counseling.

Therefore, let’s review what each plan includes:

BetterHelp plan

BetterHelp offers a therapy subscription that includes:

  • A weekly live session (30 or 45 minutes) through video, phone, or text.
  • Text your therapist anytime and receive responses at least once daily.
  • An in-app journal for personal use or sharing with your therapist.
  • Group webinars on anxiety, stress, depression, and more.
  • Change therapist or cancel plan anytime.

BetterHelp does not accept insurance. However, while they don’t take insurance, they still look for ways to help their clients pay for their services. In fact, their fees can be lower than many insurance plan co-pays for mental health therapy.

BetterHelp accepts Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).

Cerebral plan

On the contrary, Cerebral plan features the following

  • Insurance accepted
  • Weekly 45 minute session
  • HSA, FSA, or co-pay, depending on your insurance policy, to cover treatment costs.
  • Inclusive memberships that include prescription, therapy, and care counseling.
  • Can cancel anytime prior to next billing date.

Remember to assess your health needs and budget before choosing an online care counselor and treatment plan. If you’re insured, verify what your plan covers as policies for mental health coverage differ.

When comparing online therapy options like BetterHelp and Cerebral, consider price and accessibility.

Each platform offers flexible plans to meet individual needs, with varying prices based on the level of support required. Prioritizing your mental health is a worthy investment, and finding a suitable solution for your needs is crucial.

BetterHelp vs Cerebral: Which therapy approach is better?

When it comes to mental health care, you’ve got options! Let’s chat about two popular services:

  • BetterHelp – traditional counseling therapy
  • Cerebral – medication and coaching

They each take different approaches to making you feel better. Here’s the scoop in plain language:

BetterHelp’s therapy Styles

BetterHelp connects you to legit licensed counselors for regular online therapy. Sessions can be by video, phone, text, or audio messaging – whatever you’re comfortable with.

Their counselors use proven techniques like:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Identifying unhealthy thought patterns and changing your thinking
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): Reducing distress and improving relationships
  • EMDR: Type of psychotherapy that uses eye movements to help process traumatic memories.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: Exploring how your past affects you now

The therapist picks therapies to match what you need. You work together to understand your mental health on a deeper level over time. It’s about long-term growth.

Cerebral’s approach

Cerebral is focused on fast relief of symptoms like anxiety and depression. Their model is:

  • Medication first: Work with psychiatrists to find prescription meds to help you feel better sooner.
  • Coaching for skills: Therapists give tips on building habits and solutions versus just talking about problems.
  • Digital check-ins: Brief video chats and messages keep you on track versus longer therapy sessions.

It’s about quickly reducing symptoms day-to-day. The emphasis isn’t as much on exploring root emotional causes.

Key differences at a glance

BetterHelp Cerebral
Goal Long-term healing Fast symptom relief
How Traditional therapy Medication & coaching

Which is better for you?

So which is right for your needs? Here are a few key questions to help decide:

  • Do you want to get to the root of your mental health struggles or focus on quick fixes?
  • Does traditional counseling or a medication-first approach resonate with you more?
  • Are you looking for lifelong coping skills or temporary symptom reduction?
  • Do you prefer open-ended sessions or brief digital touchpoints?
  • Is exploratory healing or rapid convenience most important?

There’s no single “better” approach – it comes down to aligning with your preferences and goals for mental health support.

Accessibility to therapy

Both platforms offer virtual access to therapy but with different approaches.

BetterHelp therapy access

BetterHelp provides flexible access options for live sessions and for messaging that allows you asynchronous access to a care counselor, which is convenient if you’re busy or can’t make it to a live session.

Users should note, however, that messaging communication may take time, and they may have to wait for a response.

They also aim to be as flexible as possible in their pricing, allowing users to choose from different membership packages.

Cerebral therapy access

Cerebral users can access healthcare professionals every week, depending on their budget and treatment needs.

Cerebral providers offer weekly one-on-one sessions with medical practitioners, licensed therapists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychiatrists via phone and video chat.

In addition to weekly sessions, users can chat with their therapist anytime via text, video, and audio messaging.

This level of flexibility offers convenience for users struggling with a severe mental health crisis.

Cerebral goes a step further by offering crisis management services. They have a dedicated crisis team to assist clients experiencing active suicidal thoughts.

For those dealing with ongoing suicidal thoughts, a free case management program is provided to ensure they receive sufficient social support and are connected with essential community resources.

Final thoughts: Which platform is best?

Group therapy session discussing various online therapy services

In the quest to find top-tier online therapy services, BetterHelp and Cerebral both shine through as reliable contenders.

While they share similarities, they also boast unique features that could influence your decision in selecting the right fit for your mental health treatment needs.

Firstly, we need to chat about user experience. Both platforms are designed to be user-friendly with their intuitive interfaces.

What’s more, they each have a mobile app, putting therapy sessions, medication management, and additional resources right in your pocket.

This level of convenience means you can check in anytime, anywhere, and never miss a reminder.

Now, let’s look at how these two deliver care. Cerebral impresses with its holistic team approach, featuring a medical prescriber who can offer medication-based solutions.

On the flip side, BetterHelp brings to the table a group of professionals skilled in evidence-based behavioral health techniques.

If you’re someone dealing with mental health issues and could benefit from a licensed behavioral health expert, BetterHelp might be your cup of tea.

And lastly, while Cerebral prides itself on an all-inclusive care package, including prescriptions, BetterHelp offers a wider array of mental health services at a more wallet-friendly price.

However, remember the best pick boils down to your personal budget and mental health objectives.

Frequently asked questions

What are people saying about Cerebral & BetterHelp?

When it comes to Cerebral and BetterHelp, people have been sharing their thoughts all over the place. Both of these platforms are getting quite a bit of attention, and opinions are flying around like crazy. You can read our full review of BetterHelp and decide for yourself.

Some folks seem to be praising Cerebral for its unique approach to therapy. It’s apparently designed to help you dive deep into your thoughts and emotions, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a more introspective experience. Plus, it’s got some cool AI features that aim to understand you better over time.

On the other hand, BetterHelp has a pretty solid fan base. People seem to appreciate its convenience and accessibility.

But, you know what they say: not everything is sunshine and rainbows. There are some mixed opinions out there as well. Some folks think that Cerebral’s AI approach might not be as effective as a real human connection, while others worry that BetterHelp’s therapists may not always be a perfect fit.


  1. Internet-based vs. face-to-face cognitive behavior therapy for psychiatric and somatic disorders: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29215315/
  2. Systematic review of lessons learned from delivering teletherapy to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28958211/
  3. The uptake and effectiveness of online cognitive behavior therapy for symptoms of anxiety and depression https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032721005620
  4. Computer therapy for the anxiety and depression disorders is effective, acceptable and practical health care: An updated meta-analysis. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0887618517304474?via%3Dihub

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About the author

Helen Kaminski, MSc

Helen Kaminski, MSc

Mindful living for a happier, healthier you. I’m a writer and mental health advocate in Warsaw, Poland, with five years working as a therapist. I hold a psychology degree from the University of Warsaw. I specialize in writing about mental health, using my experiences and academic background to educate and inspire others. In my free time, I volunteer at a Disability Learning Center and go for nature walks. My writing aims to break down mental health stigma and help others feel understood. Social

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