Mental health awareness in recent years has seen a boom. Millions of people seek help for a wide variety of issues from mental health professionals both in-person and online. This reach-out is mainly due to stigmas behind mental health slowly receding as more and more people, especially famous individuals, open up about their challenges with mental wellness. And so, online platforms such as BetterHelp have become one of the largest online counseling solutions across the country.
As each online counseling platform sees its customer base grow, the need for well-qualified online therapists grows as well. So how much can you make on BetterHelp providing online counseling services? Is it worth the jump, or should you use it to augment your current income from in-person-based care?
The Difference Between Online and In-Person Therapy
Traditional therapy and online therapy are very similar in terms of the content of care with clients. The key differences between the two are cost and pay. In-Person therapy carries more overhead costs for the private practitioner. These costs include facility lease, utilities, technology costs, administrative costs (billing, scheduling, etc.), and other associated fees. However, in-person therapists typically take home higher pay than online therapists do.
Online counselors make less than in-person therapists. However, their overhead costs are zero because the platform they work through, such as BetterHelp, provides all of the scheduling, billing, and other administrative services at no cost to the clinician. Therapists receive all of their pay through their counselor dashboard on the BetterHelp platform.
Some therapists choose to ditch their in-person practice and move entirely online completely, but most professionals do some of both. They maintain an in-person practice and augment their earnings with online therapy platforms.
How BetterHelp Pays Practitioners
You won’t find out exactly how much you’ll make with BetterHelp until you begin their onboarding process. But, you can get a rough idea based on the number of hours you put in each week by using their Earnings Estimator Calculator. Just keep in mind, BetterHelp does not pay by the hour. Instead, they use an engagement-based model for compensation.
With an engagement-based compensation model, therapists are paid based on their engagement level with each new and existing client. An engagement can be anything from interactive journaling, assigned worksheets, asynchronous messaging to live video, phone, or chat sessions. The best-paid counselors on BetterHelp are those that consistently reach out to their clients via multiple asynchronous or live sessions per month to help them achieve their mental wellness goals.
Your Specific Earnings With BetterHelp
Shortly after you initiate the onboarding process, BetterHelp will provide you with more specific information on exact payment amounts per engagement. This process typically happens after you’ve completed the initial application and passed a clinical case study assignment. Once you receive your pay specifics, you may choose to continue the onboarding process with BetterHelp or decide that online counseling is not something you wish to pursue further.
Your Pay Potential
Once you obtain access to the platform, you’ll begin building your client base and earning money. The work may be more intensive at first as you gain your footing. Once you become comfortable moving around the platform and discovering what modes of communication work for your clients, you may find that working online is much easier than you thought. You’ll still provide the same level of care for your clients. Still, the other details such as receiving payment, scheduling sessions, or administrative paperwork are entirely automated, making caring for your clients your primary focus.
Counselors who have more clients and engage consistently with them will earn more than counselors who do not. You’ll need to decide if you’d like your work on the platform to be your primary source of income or as a supplement to the income you’re receiving from your in-person services. A direct benefit of BetterHelp is that you can do both. You can work through the platform and in-person. You don’t have to choose between the two. You can use the flexibility of the online platform to work for you around your schedule. Many counselors who have consistently worked with their existing client base and continually accepted new clients have made thousands per month on the BetterHelp platform.