I Can’t Stop Beating Up on BetterHelp. Here’s The Latest...

Jeff Guenther on Nov 14, 2021

Am I in a toxic and unhealthy relationship with BetterHelp? Yes, 100%. Am I obsessively thinking of ways to bring them down because I hate what they’ve done to the mental health industry? All the time. Should I take a step back and cool it on the BetterHelp slander? Not a fucking chance. I am determined to expose all the incredibly problematic things about that company. And the best part? Millions of people are starting to see what us therapists have known since they launched back in 2015.

Let me give you a quick recap of all the drama between me and them in the past week.

Back on November 9, I posted a TikTok about the recent tragedy at the Travis Scott Astroworld event in Houston. After eight people died, hundreds were injured and thousands suffered mentally from the events, Travis Scott “partnered” with BetterHelp to provide one free month of services to all the concert goers. In the video posted below, I questioned what type of “partnership” deal was agreed upon. If it was anything like the partnership that BetterHelp presented to me a couple years ago, then Travis Scott stands to greatly financially benefit from the deal which sounds pretty messed up to me. 

@therapyden

Is @BetterHelp and Travis Scott profiting off the Astroworld tragedy? ##astroworld ##astroworldfestival ##travisscott

♬ original sound - TherapyDen

The video went viral and the question of whether or not Travis Scott was profiting from the deal swept over social media. This led to thousands of people and news outlets scouring all the videos I recently made about BetterHelp and why the therapist community has so much disdain for their business practices.

A popular video I made detailing my ongoing feud with BetterHelp sharing personal mental health info with third parties and advertisers, such as Facebook, started trending again which prompted journalists from all over the country to reach out for an interview about why I am so upset with BetterHelp. I took as many interviews and podcast invitations as possible. My favorite article featuring yours truly was posted in Rolling Stone. My favorite podcast interview aired yesterday on There Are No Girls on the Internet with Bridget Todd.

@therapyden

@BetterHelp did you change your privacy policy because of me? I’m so flattered! Let’s find out if anything actually changed. ##therapy

♬ original sound - TherapyDen

If you don’t want to watch the videos (although I highly recommend that you do), you can read my list of recent gripes about BetterHelp at the end of this blog.

BetterHelp, as they routinely do, addressed most of my complaints by releasing a statement while not acknowledging me what-so-ever.

HELLO, BETTERHELP! I KNOW YOU SEE ME!! YOU’RE READING THIS BLOG YET YOU’LL CONTINUE TO IGNORE ME!! WHAT DO I NEED TO DO SO THAT YOU’LL NOTICE ME??!! WHY DO I FEEL LIKE I’M A TEENAGER AGAIN TRYING TO GET MY FAMILY TO ACKNOWLEDGE MY EXISTENCE???

Anyway, touché, BetterHelp for responding to my questions but not looking me in the eye and acknowledging I’m a real person. I know you’re reading these words and I commend you for triggering all my childhood issues.

Where were we? Oh yeah, BetterHelp typed up some bullshit worded questions and vomited out some bullshittier answers. When they make statements, they make sure to control the narrative and not give me more attention. 

So I proceeded to make yet another video about what I thought about their statement. 

@therapyden

@betterhelp responded to us regarding the Travis Scott Astroworld partnership. ##astroworld ##travisscott ##betterhelp ##astroworldfestival

♬ original sound - TherapyDen

Basically, BetterHelp is shady AF and while they were able to clarify a few things that were not looking too great for them, they are still a very problematic company and I can’t stop obsessing about how much I hate them. There are so many other angles to dissect and the pure joy that’s created every time I make a viral video about them is simply out of this world. I’ll keep you all posted on my continued feud. And you should know that my inbox is always open at [email protected] if anyone reading this wants to complain about how much they can’t stand BetterHelp. 


Gripes with BetterHelp recently:

Why is the partnership between Travis Scott and BetterHelp so problematic?
  • It feels like BetterHelp is capitalizing on mass tragedy.

  • We didn’t know if Travis Scott could have been financially benefiting.

  • The kids that went to the concert were already put at extreme risk so corporate interests and streaming platforms could make more money with no regard for their safety and wellbeing.

  • The traumatized kids are now being funneled into another tech platform where their data will be mined and exploited to make another tech company rich.

  • Also, the service isn’t for kids under 18. And BetterHelp says it shouldn't be used during a mental health crisis.

BetterHelp is offering a month of free therapy to Astroworld attendees, so how is Travis Scott profiting from the situation?
  • He may not be financially profiting (BetterHelp eventually said he isn’t), but his image is profiting by partnering with BetterHelp. Scott’s foundation, the Cactus Jack Foundation, could be profiting. We don’t know.

  • BetterHelp eventually made it clear that accepting a free month doesn’t release him from liability. We didn’t know this for days after the event.

  • But Scott’s lawyers will probably mention that he had no bad intent and cares about his fans because look at the BetterHelp deal. It could be benefiting his future cases and could be used as a mitigating factor (but I’m just speculating here).

I’ve had personal experience with Betterhelp offering me money in return for referring TherapyDen clients to their services.
  • BetterHelp loves to gobble up new online therapist directories that cater to specific communities which takes away awesome ways for people to connect with great therapists.

  • BetterHelp wanted to partner with me by creating individual profiles on TherapyDen of their therapists. That could be up to 20k BetterHelp therapists on the site. Essentially, TherapyDen would become a funnel for new BetterHelp users. They offered to pay TherapyDen $300 per client referral and said they are paying sites like mine about $80k a week.

  • They’ve created or taken over tons of therapist directories like, PrideCounseling.com, Faithfulcounseling.com, Teencounseling.com, Opencounseling.com and the list goes on.

  • I declined the offer.

Why services like BetterHelp are problematic.
  • BetterHelp shares your mental health data with third parties.

  • Therapists aren’t paid well unless they work 50 hours a week.

  • Therapists need to be available 24/7.

  • Most of the therapy takes place over text.

  • If therapists go over a certain word count when texting back support, they won’t be paid for the extra care.

  • Clients can’t choose what type of therapist they’re matched with, so if you’re suffering from PTSD and grief, then good luck being matched with a specialist.

  • Just like every other big tech company, it’s all about the bottom line and making money for their investors.

Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.

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