Can BetterHelp Therapists Prescribe Medication?

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Explore in Find a Therapist the truth about BetterHelp‘s medication management approach in this comprehensive article.

Unravel the myth and understand why BetterHelp, a robust online therapy platform, does not prescribe medication and how you can effectively integrate its services into your broader mental health care strategy.

Regarding online mental health services and support, one of the most popular options in recent years is BetterHelp, a digital platform that connects users with licensed therapists.

An increasing number of individuals opt for these online counseling services due to their convenience and accessibility. However, one of the common queries about this online therapy platform revolves around prescription capabilities: Can BetterHelp prescribe medication?

By the end of this post, you will better understand which platform may be the right fit for your mental health needs. Whether you are considering online therapy for the first time or looking to switch platforms, this comprehensive comparison will provide valuable insights to make an informed decision.

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Short Summary

  • BetterHelp Therapy Services provide a range of mental health services from certified counselors, though they cannot prescribe medication.

  • Talkspace Psychiatry offers comprehensive mental health services and medication management from licensed prescribers with a high satisfaction rate.

  • When choosing an online therapy platform, individuals should consider cost, qualifications, and insurance coverage for the best fit for their needs.

BetterHelp Therapy Services: Understanding the Scope

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BetterHelp is a leading online therapy platform that provides a wide range of mental health services. Their primary goal is to make professional counseling accessible, affordable, and convenient to anyone in need. 

BetterHelp offers individual therapy and services from certified counselors, social workers, psychologists, and marriage and family therapists. They cater to various age groups, including teenagers, with parental consent through their affiliate site, TeenCounseling, available for teenagers aged 13 to 19.

One of the significant advantages of online therapy is cost efficiency. BetterHelp’s subscription costs range from $65 to $90 per week or $260 to $360 monthly, depending on the plan selected. This option is more affordable than in-person therapy, which can be expensive and hard to access for some individuals. BetterHelp also offers financial aid to qualified people, making therapy even more accessible.

Clients of BetterHelp have various communication options with their therapists, including messaging, chatting, phone calls, and video conferencing video sessions.

This flexibility allows for a more personalized and convenient therapy experience. However, it is important to note that BetterHelp therapists cannot prescribe medication. For those requiring medication management, BetterHelp can provide referrals to psychiatrists.

Types of Therapists on BetterHelp

BetterHelp provides access to a diverse pool of licensed therapists, including counselors, social workers, psychologists, and marriage and family therapists. Their platform allows users to switch providers anytime, ensuring clients find the right therapist to meet their needs.

With a high satisfaction rate, 82% of BetterHelp users rated the platform’s helpfulness in connecting them to a licensed therapist as good or better.

Therapists on BetterHelp possess a Masters’s or Doctorate Degree in their field, including individual counseling for adults, therapy for teens, couples therapy, and families, as well as counseling for children aged 13 years and above.

The platform provides a list of recommended therapists with bios detailing their educational background, therapeutic specialty or specialties, licensure, and reviews from previous clients.

Finding the right therapist can be a crucial factor in the success of one’s mental health journey. With BetterHelp’s extensive list of licensed professionals and the option to switch therapists if needed, clients can find the best match for their unique needs and preferences.

Can BetterHelp Therapists Prescribe Medication?

capsules, pills, health

While BetterHelp offers a comprehensive range of therapy services, its therapists cannot prescribe medication. This is an essential aspect to consider when choosing an online therapy platform, especially for individuals requiring medication management as part of their mental health treatment plan.

In some cases, individuals may find that therapy alone is sufficient in addressing their concerns, while others may require a combination of treatment and medication management.

Understanding that receiving medication through BetterHelp is not an option is crucial. However, with referrals to psychiatrists and a wide range of therapy services available, BetterHelp remains a valuable resource for individuals seeking mental health support.

Why Can’t BetterHelp Prescribe Medication?

The capacity to prescribe medication in the field of mental health is reserved for psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and in some states, psychologists with additional training. These professionals have undergone extensive medical training, typically including medical school, and are licensed to prescribe medication.

BetterHelp, on the other hand, primarily features non-medical therapists who, while deeply knowledgeable about mental health, do not have the required medical training or license to prescribe medication. Their services involve talk therapy and behavioral approaches, not medical interventions.

The Role of Therapists in Treatment

Therapists play a vital role in supporting individuals with mental health concerns by creating a safe and non-judgmental space for clients to discuss various topics causing distress.

They help clients develop improved cognitive and emotional abilities, decrease symptoms of mental illness, and manage multiple life difficulties to better their lives.

BetterHelp therapists provide counseling and therapy services but cannot prescribe medication. This distinction is essential to keep in mind when considering online therapy platforms.

For those requiring medication management services, seeking additional support from psychiatrists or other mental health professionals who can prescribe medications is crucial.

Understanding the role of therapists in treatment can help individuals make informed decisions about their mental health care.

When Medication Management is Necessary

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At times, medication management may become necessary in mental health treatment. This occurs when a person experiences symptoms of a mental health condition that are not improving with therapy alone.

Medication management involves the evaluation, prescription, and ongoing medical monitoring of the patient’s psychotropic medication use by a qualified physician or prescriber. The objective is to achieve the desired outcomes for the patient.

Online therapy platforms like BetterHelp and Talkspace provide valuable support for individuals with various mental health challenges. However, they may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with more severe symptoms or who require medication management. In such cases, seeking additional support from mental health professionals who can prescribe medication is crucial.

When considering online therapy platforms, evaluating whether medication management is necessary for your mental health treatment plan is essential.

If so, you may need to seek additional support from psychiatrists or other mental health professionals who can prescribe medications, such as those available through Talkspace Psychiatry services.

Seeking In-Person Psychiatry Services

In-person psychiatry services offer several advantages, such as tailored treatment plans, direct communication with a mental health specialist, and the ability to observe medication side effects. Some patients may feel more at ease and reassured with in-person services, which can be essential to their mental health journey.

In-person treatment may be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing severe symptoms, such as psychosis, delusions, schizophrenia, violent thoughts, or thoughts of self-harm. In such cases, online therapy may not be sufficient to address the complexity and severity of the individual’s mental health needs.

When determining the best course of action for your mental health care, consider the benefits and limitations of both online and in-person therapy services. If you require medication management or have severe mental health symptoms, seeking in-person psychiatry services may be the most suitable option to ensure comprehensive care and support.

Accessing Medication While Using BetterHelp

If medication is a component of your mental health treatment plan, using BetterHelp doesn’t preclude you from pursuing that route. Many individuals utilize BetterHelp’s services in conjunction with in-person psychiatric care. In this case, one could communicate with a BetterHelp therapist for regular counseling and consult a local psychiatrist for medication management.

It’s also worth noting that there are online platforms specializing in psychiatric care that can prescribe medication. These services might be convenient for those unable to see a psychiatrist in person.

Alternatives to Medication in Online Therapy

While medication management can be an essential component of mental health treatment for some individuals, there are various alternatives to medication in online therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and lifestyle changes are alternative treatments available through online therapy platforms like BetterHelp.

CBT is a widely-used therapeutic approach that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors, ultimately improving their mental health and overall wellbeing. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help individuals manage stress and anxiety, promoting psychological and physical health balance. Lifestyle changes can improve mental health, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proper sleep.

By exploring these alternative treatments in online therapy, individuals can address their mental health concerns without needing medication. However, consulting with a mental health professional is crucial to determine the best course of action for one’s unique circumstances and needs.


While BetterHelp offers a robust platform for therapeutic services, it’s essential to understand its limits.

The platform connects users to licensed therapists who can provide effective talk therapy, strategies for managing mental health conditions, and a supportive ear in times of need. However, the capacity to prescribe medication is outside the scope of BetterHelp.

As the landscape of mental health care continues to evolve, platforms like BetterHelp play a significant role in increasing accessibility and reducing stigma around mental health crises. While they may not be a one-stop shop for all mental health needs, they influence the overall mental health toolkit.

When choosing the right online therapy platform, evaluating your priorities, needs, and preferences is essential.

Considering costs, therapist qualifications, customer experience, and insurance coverage, you can make an informed decision that best supports your mental health journey.

Final Thoughts: The Role of BetterHelp in Modern Mental Health Care

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In the journey towards better mental health, understanding our tools is essential.

BetterHelp has revolutionized access to therapy, offering a virtual space to explore emotions and learn coping strategies with licensed professionals. However, its purpose does not extend to prescribing medication, the domain of healthcare providers like psychiatrists.

BetterHelp is not a standalone solution but a key component in a broader mental health care plan. It highlights that mental health care is not one-size-fits-all but layered and unique to each individual.

As you navigate your mental health journey, understanding BetterHelp’s strengths and limitations equips you to use this valuable tool better to pursue your mental wellness.

In closing, navigating mental health is a deeply personal journey, but one that you need not walk alone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can BetterHelp prescribe Xanax?

No, BetterHelp cannot prescribe medications like Xanax as they do not offer psychiatry services or medicine.

Does BetterHelp prescribe antidepressants?

No, BetterHelp does not prescribe antidepressants or any other medication. BetterHelp is an online platform that offers counseling and therapy services through video conferencing, phone calls, and chat sessions.

They offer different types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, grief counseling, and trauma therapy.

What kind of professionals are available on BetterHelp? 

BetterHelp provides access to licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and psychologists.

If I can’t get medication through BetterHelp, what should I do? 

If you believe you may benefit from medication, consider scheduling an appointment with a primary care physician or psychiatrist who can evaluate your needs and prescribe medication if necessary.

Can my BetterHelp therapist provide a diagnosis? 

While the therapists at BetterHelp can give guidance and therapeutic interventions, they cannot provide formal clinical diagnoses.

Can I use BetterHelp for emergencies?

BetterHelp is not suitable for emergencies. Contact local resources or emergency services immediately if you’re in crisis or feel unsafe.

Can I use BetterHelp alongside medication or psychiatric treatment? 

Many people use online therapy platforms like BetterHelp in conjunction with messaging therapy or with a prescription or other psychiatric medicines. Communicating openly with all your healthcare providers about your treatment plans is essential.

Additional Resources

Prioritizing our mental well-being is paramount in today’s fast-paced world. The digital age has redefined therapy and psychiatric care, making support more accessible than ever. To guide you towards a healthier state of mind, we’ve partnered with pioneering names in mental health.
Note: We collaborate with top-tier mental health companies and we earn a commission if you purchase services through our ads.

Online Therapy

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Relationship Counceling

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Therapist Directory

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About the author

Dr. Teresita Rios

Dr. Teresita Simonne Rios, a 30-year-old physician from Colombia currently living in Germany, is an expert in General Medicine and Surgery, and Master in Neuroscience, with a deep research focus on pain and mental health disorders. Since her graduation in 2015, she has accumulated a wealth of experience in various medical disciplines and demographics.

Her belief in the paramount importance of mental health fuels her passion for understanding and treating depression and anxiety. Embracing an open-minded approach, she also values knowledge from different fields, such as music and arts, and always harbors a passion for learning new things.

Characterized by her commitment, willingness to learn, and focus on mental health, Dr. Rios stands as a multifaceted professional and advocate for holistic healthcare.

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