Online Therapy Dubai: Does BetterHelp Make Sense? [2024]

Written By

Dr. Michael Nazir

Updated:

Fact Checked

official flag of UAE in color waving against the wind from a pole against a clear blue sky

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This article evaluates BetterHelp’s online therapy model for residents of Dubai seeking more accessible mental health services.

We’ll examine key factors of how the online counseling platform functions in Dubai, looking at the pros and cons and comparing it to in-person counseling.

Key insights

  • BetterHelp provides more affordable and convenient access to credentialed therapists in Dubai than traditional in-office counseling.
  • For users in Dubai, BetterHelp provides the same high-quality services as the global BetterHelp platform, tailored uniquely to the needs of individuals residing in the UAE
  • Reviews suggest BetterHelp is best suited for those with mild to moderate conditions rather than severe mental illnesses.

Whether you are dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns, BetterHelp.com is here to help Dubai residents.

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

Cost comparison: online therapy in Dubai vs. traditional in-person counseling

Comparing BetterHelp’s subscription costs to conventional therapy rates in Dubai and the UAE will reveal whether it provides an economical online counseling choice. 

  • BetterHelp’s pricing is shown as a weekly rate (USD 65-90) and is charged every four weeks (USD 260-360).

Here are the pricing tiers shown in United Arab Emirates Dirham:

Service BetterHelp: Dubai Traditional Therapy
Weekly Cost AED 238 – AED 330 AED 350 – AED 1200
Frequency of Sessions Once a week & messaging in between included Typically once a week (no support in between)
Monthly Cost AED 952 – AED 1320 AED 1400 – AED 4800
Accessibility 24/7 platform access, no travel required Limited availability, travel time, and costs involved
Get 20% off on BetterHelp.com

*Estimated cost based on an exchange rate of 1 AED to 0.27 USD. Rates may fluctuate.

BetterHelp’s weekly and monthly rates (AED 238-330 weekly, AED 952-1320 monthly) are more affordable than traditional therapy (AED 350-1200 weekly, AED 1400-4800 monthly).

In summary, the table shows that BetterHelp provides more affordable pricing and is more accessible compared to traditional in-office counseling.

The need for mental health support in Dubai & UAE

There is a growing yet often unmet need for mental health services in Dubai due to:

  • High-stress expatriate lifestyles lead to issues like anxiety, depression, and grief.
  • Cultural stigma prevents people from seeking help for mental health.
  • According to a study, clinically significant depression affected 33% of the study participants, while 9% had suicidal ideation among Indian expats.
  • According to the World Health Organization, the UAE reports one of the highest rates of depression and anxiety in the region.
  • A study revealed that approximately 74% of potential depression cases in Dubai are undiagnosed, indicating that more screening efforts are needed.
  • A study in Dubai found depression to be the most common mental health disorder affecting youth.
  • Lack of education around effective coping strategies and self-care.

Online counseling platforms like BetterHelp may help address this need through:

  • Offering more discrete access to support.
  • Providing a stigma-free space for treatment without judgment.
  • Increasing understanding of mental health conditions as medical issues like any other.

With cultural awareness, virtual therapy has the potential to help meet the rising demand for more accessible mental healthcare in Dubai.

nighttime skyline of Dubai viewed from water and tall buildings

Therapist options

Accessing therapists for adults and teens is made simple through BetterHelp in Dubai and the UAE.

BetterHelp connects adults and teens with credentialed, experienced therapists globally, including:

  • Counselors experienced working with adults and teenagers
  • Diverse network of international therapists
    • Many are Bilingual (e.g. speak English + Arabic)
    • Varied cultural backgrounds
  • Custom matching process
    • Based on user’s preferences, goals, needs
    • Consider therapists’ specialties and expertise
  • Default platform language is English
    • Arabic language support may be available, but availability varies on the platform.

For teens, TalkSpace offers teen counseling, medications & psychiatry (currently offering $80 off).

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

How to get online therapy in Dubai?

To find the best online therapy in Dubai, it is essential to review what each service offers. When searching for an online therapist, it is recommended to consider the following benefits and disadvantages:

  • Convenience: Allows you to receive mental health support from the comfort of your home or any other location.
  • Accessibility: Provides access to mental health care for people who live in remote areas or have limited mobility.
  • Affordability: Can be more cost-effective than traditional in-person therapy sessions.
  • Support in Between: You can message your therapist anytime in between sessions, receiving guidance and support.
  • Flexibility: Flexible scheduling options allow you to choose appointment times that work best for you.
  • No stigma: Provides discreteness that may make it easier for some individuals to open up and share their thoughts and feelings.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Technology Limitations: Requires a stable internet connection.
  • Lack of Non-Verbal Cues: May lack some of the non-verbal cues that can be important in face-to-face therapy sessions.
  • Privacy Concerns: It’s essential to ensure that the online therapy platform you choose has a privacy policy. For example, BetterHelp services are bound by their comprehensive Privacy Policy.

Reviews of BetterHelp in Dubai & UAE

I analyzed reviews of BetterHelp from Reddit users in Dubai & UAE:

According to one Reddit user commenting about BetterHelp in a thread, “To be honest. So far, so good. The nice thing is, it’s a lot cheaper than the ones here. And you can switch your therapist to a new one at any time. I like it. Try it out.

Another Reddit user shared, “Would you be comfortable with online therapy? If yes, betterhelp is good and more affordable than in-person therapy. It’s $80 per week, billed monthly, and has financial grant available. Within the month you get 4 video sessions (45mins/video session) and you can text your therapist anytime between sessions.

While there were some varying opinions, the overall consensus from Reddit reviews out of UAE seems to be mostly positive for BetterHelp’s services.

As a whole, based on my research, BetterHelp is helpful for moderate conditions like stress, relationships, depression and is not a replacement for severe mental illness or crisis treatment.

Finally, it’s important to note that your success depends on your comfort level with the internet and online platforms.

BetterHelp cost in Dubai

For users in Dubai, the cost of BetterHelp services starts from USD $65 per week, and the most expensive plan is $90 per week, billed every four weeks (USD 260-360).

  • In the United Arab Emirates Dirham, this equates to an estimated weekly plan cost of AED 238-330 or a monthly fee of AED 952-1320.

It is important to note that pricing may vary based on location, session lengths (30 vs. 45 minutes), and therapist.

  • BetterHelp offers financial aid options, which can reduce the cost. The financial assistance enrollment option is displayed on the payment page. 

Pros and cons of in-office counseling

In-office counseling, also known as traditional face-to-face therapy, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages for Dubai residents:

  • Personal Connection: In-office counseling allows for a more personal connection between the therapist and the client.
  • Non-Verbal Cues: In face-to-face sessions, therapists can observe non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions, which can provide additional insights.
  • Immediate Support: In-office counseling offers a sense of immediate support due to the physical presence that some individuals may find comforting.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to in-office counseling:

  • Limited Accessibility: In-office counseling may not be easily accessible for individuals living in remote areas or those with limited mobility.
  • Higher Costs: In-office counseling sessions can be more expensive than online therapy.
  • No Support in Between: No contact with the counselor in between sessions via messaging.
  • Scheduling Constraints: In-office counseling may have limited availability, making finding appointment times that fit your schedule challenging.

Comparison of BetterHelp with other platforms available in Dubai

While we cannot provide an exhaustive list of all competitors, here is a comparison of the most popular platforms available in Dubai & UAE:

Service Weekly Cost Key Considerations
BetterHelp AED 238+ Financial aid available. Live video chat. You can message your therapist anytime.
Talkspace AED 253+ Offering $80 Off. Messaging & video, medications & management, psychiatrists available. Adults & teens.
Regain AED 238+ Relationship/intimacy experts.
Teen Counseling AED 238+ Specialized online counseling for teens.

*Estimated cost based on an exchange rate of 1 AED to 0.27 USD. Rates may fluctuate.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive comparison, and it’s always recommended to research and compare different online therapy platforms to find the one that best suits your specific needs.

Free or low-cost mental health and crisis support options:

Who is BetterHelp best suited for?

Based on an analysis of its model, BetterHelp appears most appropriate for those who:

  • Are seeking short-term or medium-term help for mild to moderate mental health concerns.
  • Have limited time and transportation constraints.
  • Feel comfortable communicating through technology.
  • Highly value flexibility and expanded availability of appointments.
  • Require more affordable mental healthcare options.
  • Do not require medications.

Those with severe psychiatric disorders may need in-person support. 

Conclusion: Should I use BetterHelp in Dubai?

This article has provided an overview of BetterHelp in Dubai, its services, cost, and frequently asked questions are listed below. 

  • While not a substitute for traditional therapy, preliminary evidence suggests BetterHelp increases the accessibility of mental health services for some. 
  • However, quality relies heavily on the counselor assigned. The ability to change therapists anytime is a great feature of BetterHelp.

With flexibility, cultural customization, financial aid, and expanded therapist choice, BetterHelp aims to make quality counseling readily available via technology. If interested, visit Betterhelp.com to learn more and sign up.

Whether you choose online therapy or in-office counseling, what matters most is finding a mental health professional to start your healing journey.


BetterHelp Dubai FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about BetterHelp in Dubai:

Is BetterHelp service free? 

  • No, BetterHelp is not a free service. The platform charges a fee for its counseling and therapy services. The cost starts from USD 65 per week.

How does BetterHelp work in Dubai? 

  • BetterHelp operates through an online platform. After signing up and completing an initial questionnaire, you will be matched with an experienced therapist who suits your specific goals and needs. You can then communicate with your therapist via messaging, live chat, phone calls, or video sessions.

Can I cancel my BetterHelp subscription? 

  • Yes, you can cancel your BetterHelp subscription at any time. Simply log in to your account and follow the cancellation instructions provided.

Does insurance cover BetterHelp in Dubai? 

  • BetterHelp does not directly accept insurance. However, some insurance providers may offer reimbursement for online counseling services. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider for more information.

How long does a BetterHelp session last? 

  • The duration of a BetterHelp session can vary depending on your specific needs and preferences selected during initial sign-up. Live sessions range from 30 to 45 minutes.

Is BetterHelp suitable for all mental health concerns? 

  • BetterHelp caters to many mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, stress, relationship issues, etc. 

However, if you are experiencing severe mental health symptoms or require immediate crisis intervention, it is advisable to seek in-person professional help or a hospital visit.

For more detailed information, please refer to our BetterHelp FAQ.


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Lifting the stigma around mental health | Zainab Ali Dawood | TEDxZayedUniversity

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About the author

Dr. Michael Nazir

Dr. Michael Nazir

I’m a medical professional and psychologist based in Sweden, with 11 years of experience in the field. I’m dedicated to improving our understanding of mental health and developing effective interventions. Through my work, I strive to positively impact the lives of individuals and communities affected by mental health challenges.

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