BetterHelp vs Ginger (Which one should you choose?)

In this post we shall be reviewing two superb mental health care platforms, BetterHelp and Ginger. Both these platforms have created a unique niche for themselves in the space of mental health. While BetterHelp offers exclusive therapy services for everyone, Ginger is mostly used by companies to improve the mental health of their employees.

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The table below will show you the main features offered by BetterHelp and Ginger. It will also help you understand some of the differences between the two platforms.

 Feature  BetterHelp Ginger
 Types of services  Therapy Therapy and Psychiatry
 Pricing  Min 240 USD Min 0 USD
 Payment options   All major credit cards, Paypal,HSA, FSA All major credit cards or debit cards
 Insurance   Unavailable Available
 Age group  13 years and above 18 years and above

 

BetterHelp

Pros

  • BetterHelp can be used from anywhere
  • It offers couples therapy and teens therapy
  • Group sessions are also available

Cons

  • BetterHelp does not offer insurance coverage
  • Messages cannot be responded to immediately all the time
  • It does not have psychiatry services

Ginger

Pros

  • Ginger is free of cost to its members
  • Emotional support and coaching is available always
  • Therapy as well as medications can be availed here

Cons

  • Ginger can be used by only members
  • Messages can be only sent as texts
  • Scheduling appointments can take time

About BetterHelp

BetterHelp was launched in 2013 by Alon Matas and Danny Bragonier as an online therapy platform. The main aim of the founding of BetterHelp was to make mental health care both accessible and affordable by everyone. It was to be a solution for the current loopholes in the mental health care system.

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Picture credit: BetterHelp

BetterHelp offers therapy for individuals, couples as well as teens. In addition to this, group sessions are also available on the platform. All the services of the platform are available completely online and thus can be accessed from anywhere. The live therapy sessions can also be conducted through many formats, which further bring convenience to the user. 

In addition to live therapy, BetterHelp also offers unlimited messaging through which the user can stay in constant contact with the therapist. The prices of the platform are pretty affordable. The affordability of the platform is increased considerably through the financial aid which is reserved for those who are unemployed or currently pursuing higher education.

About Ginger

Ginger is a mental health care platform that extensively caters to the psychological needs of employees who work in certain organizations. Through Ginger, thousands have been able to access professional help for their mental health needs and requirements. Ginger offers behavioral health coaching in addition to psychiatry services.

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Picture credit: Ginger

The fundamental feature of Ginger is the coaching aspect through which the user can avail emotional support for any day of the year and also at any time. Thus, the platform becomes pretty gainful for those who only have free time after their working hours. The therapy sessions and psychiatry services are also conducted fully online and thereby bring plenty of convenience.

The medications that are prescribed by the providers in Ginger are sent to the local pharmacy of the user. In addition to the coaching, therapy and psychiatry services Ginger also offers a number of skill-building lessons for various psychological aspects like self-confidence and self-esteem.

Best features of BetterHelp

BetterHelp caters to the mental health needs of almost 2 million users. And this number is only growing day by day. Some of the best features that users can expect to find in this online therapy platform have been explored in the points below.

BetterHelp offers various formats of live therapy

The live therapy sessions in BetterHelp are offered in mainly three different formats. Users in this platform can choose from live audio sessions, live video sessions and even live chats. These live sessions have a time-limit of thirty minutes. But this can be extended to an hour if the therapist wishes to do so.

It can be accessed from anywhere

The platform operates completely online and thus can be accessible from anywhere and everywhere. This can be a godsend to those who cannot leave the house often due to various reasons. It can also be useful for those persons who have very busy schedules and thus find iit difficult to assign time for in-person therapy.

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Picture credit: BetterHelp

It is completely safe and secure

BetterHelp is completely HIPAA compliant and therefore users do not have to worry about their privacy and security. The platform has been reinforced with security features like end to end encryptions and firewalls for this reason. Furthermore, the online nature of the therapy sessions brings even more safety to the user.

 

There is a better client-therapist fit here

BetterHelp brings a great rapport between the client and the therapist through the smart use of artificial intelligence. The platform uses an algorithm that utilizes the data provided by the therapist at the time of signing up to match them with a therapist. The therapists fall into many categories such as gender orientations and religious backgrounds that users can choose from.

Users can send any number of messages

Messaging therapy is an important feature that BetterHelp offers its users. In this type of therapy, the user communicates with the therapist mostly through messaging or texting. The great thing about this feature in BetterHelp is that users can opt to choose messages in formats like texting, audio messages and even video messages as per their convenience.

BetterHelp offers many therapy resources

Apart from the live therapy sessions and unlimited messaging, users can enjoy many more features that can contribute to their mental health such as digital worksheets and online journaling. The online journaling feature automatically prompts the user to write in it often. The contents of this can also be shared directly with the therapist.

It has financial aid

Financial aid or assistance is also provided in BetterHelp. This financial assistance can reduce the costs of therapy by up to 25 percent. This is reserved for those who are unemployed, currently studying or even those who have been furloughed due to the pandemic. It can also be applied to those individuals who have disabilities or have veteran status.

It offers couples therapy

Couples therapy is another feature that is offered in BetterHelp. The couples therapy here is conducted through the sister website of BetterHelp, which is called ReGain. Online couples therapy has become quite popular today, mostly due to the high levels of convenience and comfort that users can enjoy.

It has therapy for adolescents

Teens therapy or counseling is another feature that is offered in BetterHelp. This is for those adolescents between the ages of 13 years and 17 years. Teens therapy becomes essential, especially considering the high levels of stress that teenagers often experience today. Teenagers face plenty of stressors, ranging from peer pressure, familial issues and even school issues.

 

It has group sessions

Group sessions are also available in BetterHelp. These are offered free of cost and the participants can choose to stay anonymous throughout. The group sessions are conducted once a week and cover more than 20 different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The group sessions in BetterHelp are called ‘groupinars’ and are on a first-come first-serve basis.

Best features of Ginger

The mental health services of Ginger are being used by the employees of many organizations, including major ones like Buzzfeed. The platform has a large array of features and advantages like the ones mentioned as follows.

Ginger offers emotional support at any time

The best thing about Ginger is that it can be used at any time, literally. The platform employs thousands of coaches and therapists who are available at any time of the day, throughout the year. Users can thus avail the coaching services and emotional support services even outside their hours.

It has plenty of skill-building lessons

Skill-building lessons and self-care activities are also available for use in Ginger. These mental health exercises and tools can be used without anyone’s help. The exercises and tools are provided to the user through the use of Activity Cards and are of many types like listicles and audio guides.

It offers high quality therapy services

Therapy is also offered in Ginger for those who require it. The therapy in Ginger is offered by mental health professionals who are licensed and accredited. The therapy sessions are only offered through live video and are conducted through ‘Zoom’. Those who want to avail the therapy services in Ginger can do so by asking their behavioral health coach.

Medications can be availed here

Psychiatry services are additionally offered in Ginger. The psychiatry services here are offered through live sessions conducted in ‘Zoom’ and are handled by expert providers. The medications cover a range of non-controlled substances. Since controlled substances cannot be prescribed here, treatment for conditions like ADHD and PTSD may be difficult here.

 

Members do not have to wait for long periods

Ginger has been designed in such a way so that users do not have to wait for long periods of time for professional help. For coaching and emotional support, the user might have to wait only for a few seconds. The therapy and psychiatry services can take a few days to be scheduled from user to user.

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Picture credit: Ginger

The website is very resourceful

Other than its paid features, the Ginger website is a gold-mine full of useful resources and health guides. This can come in handy for not only members of the platform, but for anyone in general. The Ginger website offers plenty of articles related to improving concentration levels, sleep hygiene and even exercises to reduce anxiety and stress levels.

Ginger is completely HIPAA compliant

Ginger takes the privacy and security of its users very seriously. Thus, the platform has incorporated security features that conform to ISO 27001 and 27002 standards. The contents of the chats and other modes of communication between the user and the coaches or providers are also encrypted end to end.

Pricing of BetterHelp

The cost of therapy in BetterHelp is from $60 to $90 per week and this is billed every month. The prices of the therapy features in BetterHelp can differ from user to user and depend on the location and availability of therapists in that area. The complete pricing is only viewable towards the end of the signing up stage.

Pricing of Ginger

Ginger is purchased by organizations so that their employees can have easy access to mental health. And thus, the user does not have to pay anything for the coaching and emotional support services of Ginger. However, the therapy and psychiatry services can cost extra which users will have to pay for out-of-pocket or through insurance.

Signing up for BetterHelp

To sign up for the therapy services in BetterHelp, the user will have to go to the landing page and take the assessment given. This assessment which gathers information about the mental health issues, needs and requirements and also therapist considerations, will take a few minutes to complete.

Once this is done, the user will be matched with a suitable therapist, which takes around 24 hours. When the matching process has been completed, the user can start their therapy sessions in a few days. The user can also choose to avoid the algorithm and find their dream therapist by themselves by sifting through the therapist directory provided.

 

Signing up for Ginger

Members are already automatically enrolled for the mental health services in Ginger through their employers. Members can get the corporate link for their accounts from their HR departments or directly from their employers and immediately start their coaching services in Ginger.

Tips for using BetterHelp

BetterHelp is definitely a very easy to use platform. However, since online therapy itself is pretty new, users might have a tough time in maneuvering the nuances of the platform. Some tips to help new users of BetterHelp have been elaborated as follows.

  • BetterHelp offers unlimited messaging in several formats. The formats available for the unlimited messaging in BetterHelp are text messaging, audio messaging and even video messaging. Choose the mode that you prefer and use it to communicate with your therapist at any time.
  • The messaging can be used for not only communication but also for venting and healthy expression. In turn, it can also be used to set reminders for talking points during live therapy sessions.
  • Before starting your therapy sessions, it can be useful to create goals for yourself. These goals need to be realistic and achievable and can drive the course of your therapy sessions. Discussing these with your therapist in the first session can be useful for both.

 

Tips for using Ginger

Ginger is a very useful platform for anyone who wants to improve their mental health, personal life, careers or even their work-life balance. Some suggestions for new users of Ginger have been provided in the space below.

  • If you are opting for the live therapy sessions or even the live psychiatric consultations, make sure that you are in an undisturbed space for this. If you are planning on regular therapy, you can even dedicate a spot for this in your home.
  • The primary mode of communication in Ginger is through text messaging. To make the best out of this, you can practice being more articulate and expressive of your thoughts and feelings so that your coach will understand you better.
  • Check out the Ginger website often. There are several free resources that can be used at any time here. These can be used to improve your mental health as well as other aspects of your life even if you are not in therapy or coaching.

Personal experiences in BetterHelp

The BetterHelp app has a rating of 4.8 stars in Apple apps and a rating of 4.7 stars in the Google Play store. In the following points, we will look at some experiences that users have had in BetterHelp.

  • A large percentage of users have loved the messaging therapy of BetterHelp. Through this, they can be in constant communication with their therapist at any time. At the same time, some users have felt that the messaging therapy is a waste of time and is very impersonal in nature.
  • Most users of BetterHelp have loved the group therapy sessions or ‘groupinars’. These can be used anonymously, which further increases the comfort and convenience of the user.
  • Users have also left positive reviews about the online journaling and worksheets that the platform provides for the therapy sessions themselves.

Personal experiences in Ginger

The Ginger app has a rating of 4.2 stars in Apple apps and a rating of 4.1 stars in the Google Play store. The platform has brought relief and guidance to millions of users so far. Some of their experiences have been described below.

  • Most users of Ginger have felt that the platform is a fantastic option for those who have busy working hours. The services can be used even after working hours and at any time of the day which is one of its best-selling features.
  • Users have also found the self-care activities and mental exercises very beneficial, especially since they are taught by useful Activity Cards which are very easy to follow.
  • Several organizations which are using the services of Ginger for the mental health of their employees have felt that the therapy and coaching have help in increasing the productivity and performance of the workers.

 

Conclusion

BetterHelp and Ginger are definitely very popular platforms in the field of mental health care. There are many features that tie these two platforms together and also several that push them apart to two different planes. While BetterHelp can be used by anyone and everyone, Ginger specifically acts through EAPs and focuses on the mental health of workers.

BetterHelp offers therapy through several formats like live audio sessions, live video sessions and even live chats. Furthermore, the user can stay in constant communication with their therapist through unlimited messaging by text messages, audio messages and video messages that they can choose according to their preferences.

Ginger is great because employees can use it for absolutely free and only might have to pay for the therapy services and psychiatry services. However, according to statistics, the free coaching or emotional support feature is the most popularly used one in the platform. Ginger can be used at any time of the day throughout the year, which makes it highly popular with its patrons.

Frequently asked questions:

How long are Ginger therapy sessions?

The therapy sessions in Ginger are for the duration of 45 – 50 minutes. These are conducted as live video sessions through the platform called ‘Zoom’. The initial consultation with the psychiatrist can take up to 45 minutes while follow-up sessions are limited to 15 – 20 minutes each.

 

Is Ginger app confidential?

Yes, Ginger is highly confidential and uses security features like end to end encryptions and multi-step authentications to safeguard the data and identity of the users.

 

How does Ginger mental health work?

Ginger offers mental health care services through many aspects. Its primary aspect is the coaching or emotional support which is free of cost. This can be used at any time, throughout the year. The therapy services and psychiatry services of the platform need to be scheduled much in advance and can cost extra for the user.

Is BetterHelp messaging free?

No, the messaging therapy in BetterHelp is not free and requires the user to subscribe for the therapy plan. The messaging in BetterHelp is limitless and the user can send messages in various formats like text messages, audio messages and even video messages depending on their needs and their preferences.

 

Can BetterHelp prescribe medication?

No, BetterHelp cannot prescribe medication. The platform only offers exclusive online therapy services for individuals, couples and even teenagers. Group therapy sessions are also available in BetterHelp.

How do BetterHelp Groupinars work?

The group sessions in BetterHelp are called Groupinars. These are webinars conducted once a week and cover a variety of topics related to mental health. Once the user has registered for the groupinar of their choice, they will be sent a link through which they can attend it. These can be attended anonymously and can be viewed live or any other time within a week.

If you like this post, please leave your questions and comments in the space below.

Citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BetterHelp
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/betterhelp
https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/101072-26
https://www.sfgate.com/market/article/best-online-therapy-16130475.php
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/ginger-io#:~:text=Ginger%20is%20an%20on%2Ddemand,coaching%2C%20therapy%2C%20and%20psychiatry.
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210428005278/en/Ginger-Brings-On-Demand-Mental-Healthcare-to-14-Million-Cigna-Behavioral-Health-Customers-Nationwide
https://www.ucresidentbenefits.com/ucr/get-care/virtual-behavioral-health

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