Brightside vs. BetterHelp: Choosing the Best Online Therapy Platform for You

Brightside vs. BetterHelp: Choosing the Best Online Therapy Platform for You

Online therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years. It offers a convenient way to access mental healthcare from the comfort of your own home. 

Two of the most well-known online therapy platforms are Brightside and BetterHelp. But how do you choose between them? Which one of them will be beneficial for you, Brightside or BetterHelp?

This comprehensive guide compares Brightside vs. BetterHelp, including the key features, pricing, therapists, ease of use, and customer support offered by them.

Brightside Overview

Brightside Overview

Brightside is an online therapy platform that specializes in treating depression and anxiety. It includes treatment methods like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Some key things to know about Brightside are:

  • Specialization in CBT: Brightside’s therapy focuses specifically on CBT. It is a goal-oriented and short-term therapeutic approach. And it is effective for mood and anxiety disorders.
  • Medication Management: Clients have the option to get prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication through Brightside.
  • Accepts Insurance: Brightside accepts insurance from significant providers like Aetna, Cigna, and UnitedHealthcare.

BetterHelp Overview

BetterHelp Overview

BetterHelp is a more flexible online therapy platform. It addresses a broader range of mental health issues but does not provide medication. Here’s an overview of BetterHelp:

  • Broader Approach: BetterHelp therapists use various therapy approaches beyond just CBT, like psychodynamic therapy, person-centered therapy, and more.
  • No Medication: BetterHelp does not prescribe medications. 
  • No Insurance: BetterHelp does not currently accept insurance. 
  • Flexible Sessions: BetterHelp members can send unlimited messages to therapists. They can schedule video or phone sessions on demand rather than following a pre-set course.

Comparing Key Features

Here is a detailed feature-by-feature comparison to help you decide between Brightside vs. BetterHelp. 

Types of Therapy Offered

  • Brightside: It specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression and anxiety treatment and follows a structured 4-12-week course.
  • BetterHelp: It offers a broader range of therapy approaches beyond just CBT. There is no set curriculum, and sessions are also customized.

Health Issues Addressed

  • Brightside: Brightside is best for depression, anxiety, and related conditions. It is not suitable for other diagnoses like PTSD, relationship issues, etc.
  • BetterHelp: It treats a broader variety of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief, relationship conflicts, trauma, and more.

Prescription Medications

  • Brightside: Includes medication management from psychiatrists along with therapy. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed.
  • BetterHelp: It does not include prescribing medications; it only provides therapy.

Scheduling Flexibility

  • Brightside: Brightside follows a structured 4-12-week course with 2 video sessions per week. It has less flexibility.
  • BetterHelp: There are scheduled weekly sessions on-demand based on your availability. It provides more flexibility.

Therapist Qualifications

  • Brightside: There are licensed psychologists and psychiatrists specializing in CBT.
  • BetterHelp: BetterHelp provides access to licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers. 

Assignment System

  • Brightside: You’ll be matched with a therapist with whom you’ll work on the whole program through Brightside.
  • BetterHelp: BetterHelp gives you the option to self-select your therapist after reviewing profiles. You can change therapists at any time if you are not getting the desired results.

You can look at forums like Reddit for detailed information by searching Brightside vs. BetterHelp Reddit. Brightside tends to get positive feedback for its structured approach and medication management, while BetterHelp users praise the flexible and affordable therapy sessions.

Comparing Pricing and Plans

Pricing is often a significant factor when choosing an online therapy provider. Here’s how Brightside and BetterHelp’s costs compare:

  • Brightside Pricing: It costs $300 per month
  • BetterHelp Pricing: It costs $60 – $90 weekly, depending on the plan you choose. 

If we compare BetterHelp vs. Brightside on cost, BetterHelp offers more affordable plans, with options as low as $60 per week. Brightside is pricey at $300 per month, but costs may be lower or covered fully if you use insurance.

Ease of Use

Both Brightside and BetterHelp aim to make online therapy accessible and easy to use:

Getting Started

  • Both offer quick online questionnaires to get matched with a therapist. 
  • Easy signup processes to create accounts on the portals 


  • Brightside or BetterHelp both can be accessed 24/7 – via mobile app or desktop. 
  • Send messages, schedule, or join video sessions anywhere through Brightside or BetterHelp. 

Changing Therapists

  • Brightside: It matches the therapist at the time of onboarding for the entire 12 weeks and does not provide the option to change therapists.
  • BetterHelp: You can select the therapist of your choice, and you can change the time if you are not getting the desired results


  • Both have clean, modern interfaces that are user-friendly
  • Brightside offers a more guided experience, while BetterHelp offers more flexibility
Brightside vs. BetterHelp

Customer Support

24/7 customer support is vital for any online therapy platform. Here are some critical points about Brightside vs. BetterHelp customer support options:


  • Brightside provides 24/7 customer support by phone, email, and chat. 
  • The support team helps with administrative issues as well. 
  • Therapists are also available for emergency emotional support. 


  • It provides 24/7 customer service by phone and email. 
  • Help with administrative, technical, and billing questions. 
  • An emergency crisis line is available if needed. 


While choosing between Brightside vs. BetterHelp, first consider your specific therapy needs and preferences. Brightside is ideal for those wanting structured CBT combined with medication management.

BetterHelp is better for affordability and flexibility and for treating a more comprehensive range of conditions. But it does not prescribe medications or take insurance.

Whichever option you choose, online therapy can be an empowering way to get mental health support conveniently from home. Both Brightside and BetterHelp make the process easy and successful with licensed therapists.

So, review your needs, compare the key differences, and choose the online therapy platform that is best suited for you. Help and support for your mental health journey are just a click away.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens if I miss a scheduled therapy appointment on Brightside or BetterHelp?

Most online therapy platforms have cancellation policies. You may be charged a fee if you cancel your therapy session later than the stipulated date or time. Check each site’s specific policies.

Can I message my therapist or schedule sessions outside of regular business hours?

Yes, you can message your therapists 24/7 on both platforms. Video sessions can be scheduled for nights and weekends based on availability.

Can I do therapy on Brightside or BetterHelp while keeping it confidential from those around me?

Yes, confidentiality laws apply in online therapy just as they would in the office. Your privacy will be protected.