BetterHelp vs Headway: Which Online Therapy Platform Is the Best?

Headway vs Better Help

With the rise of teletherapy, many people are now considering online therapy as a convenient alternative to traditional in-person therapy. However, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.

If you’re struggling with mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, or relationship issues, it can be difficult to determine which therapy option is best suited to your needs. That’s why I’ve put together this guide to help you compare BetterHelp vs. Headway in detail. By exploring the differences between online and in-person therapy, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which path to healing and wellness is right for you.

While both Headway and BetterHelp offer a similar range of services, there are some differences between them that could make one a better fit for you than the other. In short, Headway focuses on matching you with a therapist based on your specific needs and preferences, while BetterHelp provides access to a wide range of therapists and allows you to switch if you’re not satisfied.

Let’s compare the features, pricing, and effectiveness of both platforms in detail.

Why choose virtual therapy?

There are several reasons why someone may choose virtual therapy over traditional in-person therapy. Here are a few:

  1. Convenience: One of the most significant advantages of virtual therapy is the convenience factor. You can access therapy from the comfort of your own home, eliminating the need for travel or taking time off work.
  2. Accessibility: Virtual therapy also makes therapy more accessible for people who live in rural or remote areas, or who have mobility or transportation issues that make it difficult to attend in-person therapy sessions.
  3. Affordability: Online therapy may be more affordable than in-person therapy because there are no overhead costs associated with maintaining a physical office. Additionally, some virtual therapy platforms offer lower-cost options or financial assistance.
  4. Anonymity: For some people, the anonymity of virtual therapy is a major draw. They may feel more comfortable opening up to a therapist online, where they can remain anonymous.
  5. Flexibility: With virtual therapy, you have more flexibility in scheduling your sessions. Many online therapy platforms offer 24/7 access to therapists, making it easier to schedule appointments around your busy schedule.

Headway vs BetterHelp: An Overview

Both Headway and BetterHelp are popular online therapy platforms that connect users with licensed therapists.


Headway HomePage

Headway is a newer platform started in 2020 that aims to offer affordable and accessible mental health care to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. The platform operates on a pay-what-you-can model and offers video, phone, and messaging therapy sessions. And also helps their users find the therapist which covered by their insurance plan.


Betterhelp Home Page

On the other hand, BetterHelp is one of the largest and most well-known online therapy platforms. It offers unlimited messaging therapy, as well as video and phone sessions with licensed therapists. Both platforms have their own unique features and benefits, and in the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at what each one has to offer.

Headway vs BetterHelp: Comparison

More expensive, and not as affordable for everyonePay-what-you-canMonthly subscription fee
FeaturesVideo, phone, and messaging therapy sessionsUnlimited messaging, video, and phone sessions, and a community forum
Therapist qualificationsLicensed therapists with at least 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experienceLicensed therapists with at least 2,000 hours of supervised clinical experience
ProsAffordable, accessible, and convenientWide range of features, a large therapist network, and a community forum
ConsLimited features, smaller therapist networkMore expensive, not as affordable for everyone

How To Get Started And How They Work?

Headway and BetterHelp are two popular online therapy platforms, each with its unique approach to providing mental health support. Here’s how they work:

How To Get Started With BetterHelp?

  1. Initial Assessment: When you first sign up on BetterHelp, you are asked to complete a detailed questionnaire about your mental health concerns, preferences, and goals. This information helps BetterHelp match you with a suitable therapist.
  2. Matching with a Therapist: Based on your assessment, BetterHelp’s algorithm matches you with a licensed therapist from their extensive network. You have the option to switch therapists if you don’t feel the initial match is the right fit.
  3. Online Communication: BetterHelp offers various communication methods, including text messaging, live chat, phone calls, and video sessions. You can choose the method that suits you best, and the frequency of sessions is flexible.
  4. Messaging: Most users begin with messaging, allowing you to exchange written messages with your therapist at your convenience. This asynchronous communication is beneficial for those with busy schedules or social anxiety.
  5. Scheduled Sessions: If you prefer real-time interaction, you can schedule video or phone sessions with your therapist. These sessions are typically held on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
  6. Progress Tracking: BetterHelp provides tools for tracking your progress and setting goals, and you can communicate with your therapist about your treatment plan and adjustments as needed.
  7. Subscription-based: BetterHelp operates on a subscription model, where you pay a weekly or monthly fee to access therapy services. Pricing varies depending on your location.

How To Get Started With Headway?

  1. Sign-up and Assessment: When you join Headway, you start with an initial assessment that helps the platform understand your mental health needs and preferences.
  2. Audio-based Therapy: Headway primarily offers audio-based therapy sessions. Instead of traditional text or video, you have phone conversations with licensed therapists.
  3. Flexible Scheduling: Headway focuses on bite-sized, 30-minute therapy sessions. You can schedule sessions at times that are convenient for you, making it suitable for individuals with busy lifestyles.
  4. Therapist Match: Headway matches you with a therapist based on your assessment and preferences. Like BetterHelp, you can request a new therapist if the initial match doesn’t meet your expectations.
  5. No Subscription: Unlike BetterHelp, Headway does not require a subscription. You pay for each individual session, making it a pay-as-you-go model.

Both platforms prioritize client confidentiality and offer a secure environment for therapy sessions. Your choice between BetterHelp and Headway may depend on factors like your preferred communication method, session length, pricing structure, and the specific features that align with your needs and lifestyle.

Headway vs BetterHelp: Which One Is More Affordable?

When it comes to affordability, Headway is the cheaper option than BetterHelp. Headway charges depend upon the quote from your chosen therapist and its availability and payable per session, while BetterHelp charges a monthly subscription fee that ranges from US$60 to $90 per week, depending on the plan chosen.

Headway vs BetterHelp: Do They Offer Financial Aid?

Both Headway and BetterHelp offer financial aid to those who cannot afford therapy. Headway has a financial aid program that provides up to 50% off the cost of therapy. BetterHelp offers financial aid on a case-by-case basis. You can use HSA to pay both platform’s fees.

Which One Offers More Value for Money?

When it comes to value for money, Headway is the better option. While BetterHelp charges a subscription fee, Headway charges a flat fee per session, which means users only pay for the therapy when they need it.

Headway vs BetterHelp: Therapist Qualifications

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an online therapy platform is the qualifications of the therapists. Both Headway and BetterHelp have strict requirements for their therapists, but there are some differences in the qualifications required.

Headway and BetterHelp both require their therapists to have a minimum of a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work, or a related field, as well as a valid license to practice therapy in their respective states. However, there are some differences in the specific qualifications required by each platform.

Headway prioritizes therapists who have experience working in a clinical setting and who have received specialized training in evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). They also require their therapists to have a minimum of three years of post-licensure experience in providing therapy.

BetterHelp, on the other hand, places more emphasis on ensuring that their therapists are culturally competent and can provide therapy to individuals from diverse backgrounds. They require their therapists to have experience working with clients from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and to have received training in multicultural counseling.

Ultimately, both Headway and BetterHelp have high standards for their therapists’ qualifications, and clients can feel confident that they are receiving therapy from licensed professionals who are trained to provide effective and culturally sensitive care.

Headway vs BetterHelp: User Experience

The user experience is another important factor to consider when choosing an online therapy platform. This includes the ease of use of the platform, the availability of support, and the quality of the therapy sessions.

Headway’s User Experience

Headway’s platform is easy to use and intuitive. The platform is well-designed and easy to navigate. Additionally, Headway offers excellent customer support, with 24/7 availability via phone or chat.

BetterHelp’s User Experience

BetterHelp’s platform is also user-friendly and easy to navigate. The platform is well-designed and offers a variety of features to enhance the user experience. BetterHelp also offers excellent customer support, with 24/7 availability via phone or chat.

Which One Is Easier to Use?

Both Headway and BetterHelp offer a user-friendly platform and excellent customer support. However, some users may find one platform easier to use than the other, depending on their individual preferences.

Headway vs BetterHelp: Privacy and Security

Both Headway and BetterHelp take the privacy and security of their users very seriously. Here’s a comparison of their privacy and security features:

Headway’s Privacy and Security Features

  • HIPAA Compliance: Headway is fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which sets national standards for protecting sensitive patient health information.
  • End-to-end Encryption: All communication between users and therapists on Headway is encrypted with end-to-end encryption, which means that only the sender and the recipient can read the messages.
  • Secure Payment Processing: Headway uses Stripe to process all payments, which is a secure payment platform that is certified to the highest level of PCI compliance.
  • Anonymous Chatting: Headway allows users to communicate with their therapist anonymously, which can be helpful for people who are hesitant to share personal information.
  • Password Protection: Headway requires all users to create a password to protect their account.

BetterHelp’s Privacy and Security Features

  • HIPAA Compliance: BetterHelp is also fully compliant with HIPAA.
  • Encryption: BetterHelp uses SSL encryption to protect all communication between users and therapists.
  • Anonymous Chatting: BetterHelp also allows users to communicate anonymously with their therapist.
  • Password Protection: BetterHelp requires all users to create a password to protect their accounts.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: BetterHelp offers two-factor authentication for added security.

Which One Offers More Robust Privacy and Security Measures?

Both Headway and BetterHelp offer robust privacy and security measures to protect the data of their users. There are no significant differences between the two platforms in terms of privacy and security.

Headway Vs Better Help: Pros and Cons

Headway Pros and Cons


  • Affordable pricing: Headway’s pricing is lower than the industry average, making it more accessible to those who may not be able to afford traditional therapy.
  • Anonymous chatting: Headway allows for anonymous chatting, which can be helpful for people who are hesitant to share personal information.
  • Flexible scheduling: Headway’s therapists are available 24/7, which allows for greater flexibility in scheduling appointments.
  • Free consultation: Headway offers a free consultation with a therapist to help users determine if online therapy is right for them.


  • Limited therapy options: Headway only offers video and audio therapy sessions, which may not be suitable for all users.
  • Limited therapist selection: Headway has a smaller pool of therapists to choose from compared to BetterHelp.
  • No mobile app: Headway does not currently have a mobile app, which may be a drawback for some users.

Better Help Pros and Cons


  • The larger pool of therapists: BetterHelp has a larger pool of therapists to choose from, which increases the likelihood of finding a therapist that fits your needs.
  • Multiple therapy options: BetterHelp offers video, audio, and messaging therapy sessions, which allows users to choose the type of therapy that works best for them.
  • Mobile app: BetterHelp has a mobile app that allows users to access therapy sessions on the go.


  • Higher pricing: BetterHelp’s pricing is higher than the industry average, which may not be affordable for all users.
  • No anonymous chatting: BetterHelp does not allow for anonymous chatting, which may be a drawback for people who are hesitant to share personal information.
  • Limited scheduling options: BetterHelp’s therapists are not available 24/7, which may make it difficult to schedule appointments for some users.

Can I Change Therapists on Headway or Better Help?

Both Headway and BetterHelp offer the option to change therapists if you are not satisfied with your current therapist. Headway allows you to switch therapists at any time, and they will work with you to find a new therapist who better fits your needs. BetterHelp also offers the option to switch therapists, but it may take a few days to find a new therapist who is available.

Is Online Therapy as Effective as In-Person Therapy?

Research suggests that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy for many mental health concerns. In fact, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy was just as effective as in-person therapy for treating depression and anxiety.


What Are the Qualifications of Headway’s Therapists?

Headway’s therapists are licensed mental health professionals who have at least a master’s degree in their field. In addition, they have completed a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience and passed a rigorous examination.

What Are the Qualifications of BetterHelp’s Therapists?

BetterHelp’s therapists are also licensed mental health professionals who have at least a master’s degree in their field. They must have completed a minimum of 2,000 hours of supervised clinical experience and passed a state licensing exam.

Which Platform Has More Experienced Therapists?

Both Headway and BetterHelp have highly qualified therapists, but Headway’s therapists have more clinical experience on average. This is because Headway requires their therapists to have at least 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, while BetterHelp only requires 2,000 hours.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between Headway vs BetterHelp ultimately comes down to personal preference and individual needs. Both platforms offer affordable and convenient online therapy options with qualified therapists.

Headway may be a better option for those who are looking for a wider range of therapy options and prefer the flexibility to choose their therapist. BetterHelp, on the other side, may be a better fit for those who are on a tight budget and are looking for a more structured therapy experience.

Keep in mind that therapy is a highly personal and individualized experience, and what works for one person may not work for another. It may be helpful to try out both platforms and see which one feels like the best fit for you.

In conclusion, if you are considering online therapy, both Headway and BetterHelp are great options to explore. With their affordable pricing, qualified therapists, and convenient online platform, they offer accessible mental health support to those who need it.

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