If you’re a therapist or you follow psychology accounts on social media, then you may have heard about the BetterHelp (www.betterhelp.com) and CareDash situation, two of the biggest online platforms that connect patients with licensed therapists. Private practice therapists have expressed their concerns about false profiles of themselves appearing on the CareDash website without their consent. These profiles would contain inaccurate information, such as the therapist’s home address or personal phone number.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a governing body for social workers who ensure adherence to professional standards and ethics in the field, have issued statements regarding the manner, and they have provided instructions on how to get the information removed from CareDash’s website. However, some therapists reported difficulty in having their information removed.
The issue became more complicated by the fact that when someone clicked on the profile of a private practice therapist on CareDash, they were immediately redirected to the BetterHelp website. If the therapist was not available on the online counseling platform, the potential client would be presented with other therapists to work with. This led to accusations of false advertising and misrepresentation, leaving many therapists feeling frustrated and powerless.
Private practice therapists became worried that their reputations and businesses were being negatively impacted by the appearance of their profiles on CareDash and the redirection to BetterHelp’s website. In fact, several mental health professionals who paid for their own advertising and relied on websites such as Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com/intl) and Therapy Den (www.therapyden.com) were already being affected. Hence, they have called for greater transparency and accountability from BetterHelp and other online therapy platforms to protect the integrity of the therapy profession.
As a private practice therapist, it is important to be aware of the potential impact of false profiles on your business and reputation. It is also crucial to take steps to protect your personal information and monitor your online presence.
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CareDash included the therapist’s name, address, and phone number on their website. However, it is important to note that the therapists had no say in what information was included. Their personal information was retrieved from public records such as the NPPES NPI Registry, where therapists have reported inaccurate profile details.
CareDash did not inform therapists that they had created these profiles, while BetterHelp remained silent. These unclaimed profiles became an affiliate opportunity for CareDash—and affiliate links to be the primary means of profit for the site.
According to Bloomberg, “In a separate, earlier statement, the company had said that it creates profiles for licensed health professionals without their permission or knowledge and that profiles are not taken down, even if asked for by the therapist. In its follow-up statement, the CareDash did not say it would change that policy, but would make it clear from where it obtains data.” DeGrossa, B. (2023). CareDash creates fake therapist profiles. CounselingWise. https://www.counselingwise.com/caredash-creates-fake-therapist-profiles/
Private practice therapists and therapy governing bodies expressed their concerns about the factitious and false CareDash profiles that redirected potential clients to BetterHelp’s website. However, BetterHelp did not make an official statement regarding the CareDash situation, making it unclear whether they were aware of the issue or if they were taking any action to address it.
Update of BetterHelp and CareDash’s Controversy
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) sent letters to both CareDash and BetterHelp demanding they immediately discontinue their practice. Since February 01 of 2023, the CareDash website is no longer active. The APASI is also working with members of the US Senate to investigate ghost networks that have impacted America’s access to mental health care.
According to Bloomberg, BetterHelp has also discontinued their agreement with CareDash, and will no longer advertise them on their site. However, their site remains active, drawing revenue from other sponsors. They have also made changes to clarify that their therapist profiles were drawn from the NPI registry.
Similarities with the Uber Industry
The situation with BetterHelp and CareDash has some similarities with the ride-sharing industry, specifically with Uber. Just like how Uber disrupted the taxi industry by offering a new and convenient way to get around, BetterHelp disrupted the traditional therapy industry by offering online therapy sessions. However, just like how Uber faced backlash from traditional taxi drivers who felt that the company was taking away their business, private practice therapists were upset with BetterHelp for taking away potential clients from their profiles on CareDash.
Additionally, just like how Uber has been criticized for not providing adequate safety measures for riders, there have been concerns about the quality and safety of therapy sessions conducted through BetterHelp’s platform. These similarities highlight the challenges that arise when traditional industries are disrupted by new and innovative technologies.
| Key Takeaways |
In summary, private practice therapists have found fake profiles of themselves on the website CareDash, one of the world’s leading online providers of healthcare professionals, which they did not create. These profiles would contain incorrect or personal information, such as home addresses or personal phone numbers, which were difficult to get removed from the website.
When potential clients clicked on the profile, they were immediately redirected to BetterHelp’s website, where they were told that their chosen therapist was not available. However, they were offered other therapists through BetterHelp, which became a cause for concern among therapists and therapy governing bodies, who have labeled these profiles as factitious and false.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a governing body for social workers who ensure professionals abide by the rules and ethics of the field, released statements addressing the issue. They were given instructions on how to get information removed from CareDash’s website, although some therapists reported difficulties in having their information removed.
Since the concerns expressed by private practice therapists and governing bodies about the factitious and false CareDash profiles that redirected clients to BetterHelp’s website, on February 01 of 2023, CareDash’s website was shut down, while BetterHelp discontinued their relationship with CareDash.
It is important to note that the information presented in this article is based on factual information available on the internet and the personal opinions of the private practice therapists. No claims are being made about BetterHelp or any other parties involved in this issue.