Cerebral vs. BetterHelp: The Ultimate Comparison 2023

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The world of mental health care is constantly evolving, and online therapy has emerged as a convenient and effective alternative to traditional in-person therapy. If you’re considering online mental health services, you’ve probably come across Cerebral and BetterHelp, two leading platforms in the industry.

But which one is right for you? In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into each platform, comparing their offerings, pricing, accessibility, and more in a “Cerebral vs. BetterHelp” analysis to help you make an informed decision about your mental health journey.

Short Summary

  • Cerebral and BetterHelp offer different approaches to mental health care, with Cerebral providing comprehensive services while BetterHelp focuses on therapy sessions.
  • Costs vary depending on insurance coverage, out-of-pocket payments, the range of services provided, and subscription plans offered.
  • Both platforms prioritize therapist quality & matching algorithms for a successful experience. User reviews have been positive overall.

Overview of Cerebral and BetterHelp

Cerebral is an innovative mental health subscription service that provides comprehensive online care and medication management for various mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

BetterHelp Logo.

On the other hand, BetterHelp is a reputable online counseling platform that connects users with licensed mental health professionals, offering therapy sessions through various channels like video, phone, or live chat.

While both platforms aim to make mental health care more accessible and affordable, their services and approaches differ significantly.

Cerebral strength lies in its all-encompassing care model, which combines therapy, medication, and care counseling under one roof.

BetterHelp, on the other hand, focuses solely on therapy sessions with licensed mental health professionals, making it an excellent option for individuals seeking talk therapy without medication management.

Cerebral Services

Cerebral unique approach to mental health care revolves around its collaborative care model, which brings together healthcare providers from different disciplines to create an integrated treatment plan tailored to each individual’s needs.

Cerebral Care Counselors are at the heart of this model, who regularly check in with patients, monitor their progress, and provide resources to improve their mental health.

In addition to Care Counselors, Cerebral therapists are licensed professionals with expertise in evidence-based practices to treat mental illness and help clients develop coping skills to manage their symptoms.

Cerebral offers three subscription plans for various mental health needs: Medication + Care, Counseling, and Medication + Care Counseling, and Therapy. These plans provide therapy sessions, medication management, and care counseling to address mental health conditions and symptoms.

Therapy Plan

Cerebral therapy subscription plan allows individuals to engage in therapy sessions repeatedly. With a subscription, users can typically schedule regular sessions with a licensed therapist specializing in their mental health needs. This arrangement allows for consistent support and therapeutic relationship development over time.

The therapy subscription plan often includes several monthly sessions, depending on the chosen subscription level. Users can choose from various subscription options based on their preferences and the required therapy frequency.

With the therapy subscription plan, individuals can engage in regular therapy sessions to address their mental health concerns, develop coping strategies, and work toward their personal goals. The subscription model fosters a consistent therapeutic process, enabling individuals to progress and experience ongoing therapy’s benefits.

Therapy + Medication Plan

The therapy and medication management plan combines therapy sessions with access to licensed psychiatrists who can evaluate, diagnose, and prescribe medications if deemed appropriate. This integrated approach recognizes that combining therapy and medication can benefit certain mental health conditions.

With Cerebral therapy and medication management plan, individuals can typically receive regular therapy sessions to address their mental health concerns, gain insights, and develop coping strategies. These therapy sessions are conducted by licensed therapists specializing in various mental health areas.

In addition to therapy, the plan includes access to licensed psychiatrists who can provide medication management services. Psychiatrists evaluate the individual’s needs, prescribe appropriate medication, and monitor its effectiveness over time. They may adjust the medication regimen as needed to ensure optimal outcomes.

The therapy and medication management plan aims to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to mental health treatment. Individuals receive holistic support by combining therapy and medication to address their specific needs and goals.

Medication Plan

Cerebral medication plan involves access to licensed psychiatrists who can evaluate, diagnose, and prescribe medications for individuals with mental health conditions. The process typically begins with an initial assessment where the psychiatrist evaluates the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and overall mental health.

Based on the assessment, the psychiatrist may determine that medication is appropriate for the individual’s treatment plan. If medication is prescribed, the psychiatrist will discuss the potential benefits, risks, and possible side effects with the individual. They will also provide instructions for taking the medication and monitor its effectiveness.

Cerebral medication plan includes ongoing medication management. This involves regular check-ins and follow-up appointments with the psychiatrist to monitor the individual’s response to the medication, address any concerns or side effects, and adjust the medication regimen if necessary.

Cerebral medication plan aims to provide individuals with effective medication options to help manage their mental health conditions. It is important to note that medication is not always required or appropriate for every individual, and the decision to start or continue medication is made in collaboration between the individual and the prescribing psychiatrist.

Please note that we do not recommend Cerebral for individuals with severe mental health issues, such as schizophrenia, substance use disorders, or suicidal ideation.

BetterHelp Services

Explore emotional well-being with BetterHelp – your partner in affordable online therapy. Complete the questionnaire to match with the right therapist.

Find-a-therapist readers get 15% off their first month of BetterHelp membership.

BetterHelp primary focus is on providing online therapy sessions with licensed mental health professionals, making it an excellent choice for those looking for counseling without medication management. The platform boasts a vast network of over 25,000 licensed therapists, ensuring users can find the right fit for their needs and preferences.

BetterHelp offers various therapy options, including messaging, live chat, video, and phone sessions, catering to different communication styles and preferences.

Once you are matched to a therapist, you can send messages to your therapist at any time, from anywhere, using any Internet-connected device. You can choose whenever you want to write or respond to your therapist. You will get a notification by email when the therapist has sent you a message.

Cerebral vs. BetterHelp: Pros and Cons


When choosing between Cerebral and BetterHelp, there are several factors to consider.

Cerebral offers a more comprehensive and integrated approach to mental health care, providing medication management, therapy, and care counseling in one place.

This approach can be particularly beneficial for individuals seeking long-term treatment and support for their mental health conditions. However, some users may find Cerebral’s services more expensive than BetterHelp, especially if they don’t require medication management.

The enrollment process is rapid. Unethical prescription practices, including prescription of controlled substances and treatment of minors.
Therapist search tool allows you to fine-tune your search.Limited insurance coverage.
Website is easy to use.Limited choice of therapists.
Easy to switch platforms between phone, computer, or tablet.Switching therapists requires personalized assistance.
Messaging center makes it easy to communicate.Majority of available sessions are only after 5 p.m. or on weekends


BetterHelp main strength lies in its extensive network of licensed mental health professionals and the flexibility of its therapy options. With more than 25,000 therapists, users are more likely to find a suitable match for their needs.

BetterHelp is also more affordable for those seeking talk therapy alone without needing medication management. However, it may not be the best option for individuals who require a more comprehensive and integrated approach to their mental health treatment.

Serves all 50 states and 200 countries.Only one plan available.
You can get matched with a licensed therapist in as little as 48 hours.Does not accept health insurance.
Discounts and financial aid available.Redirects to separate sites for couples therapy and teen therapy.
Clear focus on delivering quality virtual individual talk therapy.Therapists cannot diagnose.
Can pay with HSA/FSA card.Limited crisis support.
Easy to change therapists if necessary.

Cerebral vs. BetterHelp: Comparing Costs

When comparing the costs of Cerebral and BetterHelp, it’s essential to consider the range of services and treatment options each platform provides.

Cerebral offers three plans ranging from $99/month to $325/month. Depending on the user’s needs, these plans may include additional charges for more frequent visits or other services.

On the other hand, BetterHelp offers four subscription plans ranging from $60 to $90 per week, with discounts available for longer commitments.

Cerebral plans may be more expensive than BetterHelp. Still, they also provide a more comprehensive range of services, including medication management.

It’s also essential to consider insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs when comparing the prices of Cerebral and BetterHelp. While Cerebral works with major insurance companies, in-network clients pay $29 monthly plus copay and medication costs.

BetterHelp, does not accept insurance coverage but does accept FSA and HSA funds.

Cerebral Pricing

Cerebral designed its pricing structure to cater to various mental health needs, offering three main subscription plans:

  • Therapy
  • Therapy + Medication
  • Medication

The cerebral Therapy plan is available for $295 per month, providing therapy sessions without medication management.

The Therapy + Medication Therapy plan includes more frequent counseling sessions and is priced at $365 monthly.

The Medication plan costs $99 monthly for out-of-pocket payments, while in-network insurance clients pay $29 monthly, plus a copay for each visit.

In addition to the subscription fees, there may be additional medication or other service costs. A monthly prescription typically costs uninsured patients $10 out of pocket, while insured patients pay copays according to their insurance plan.

Considering these additional costs when comparing Cerebral pricing to other mental health services is essential.

BetterHelp Pricing

BetterHelp pricing structure is more straightforward, offering four subscription plans ranging from $60 to $90 per week. The cost per week varies depending on the subscription duration, with longer commitments resulting in lower weekly fees.

This flexible pricing structure allows users to choose a plan that fits their budget and therapy needs. However, it’s important to note that BetterHelp does not accept insurance coverage.

Insurance Coverage and Payment Options

Cerebral and BetterHelp offer various payment options to make their mental health services accessible to a wide range of individuals. As mentioned, Cerebral works with several major insurance companies, allowing in-network clients to pay a reduced monthly fee of $29 plus copay and medication costs.

BetterHelp, on the other hand, does not accept insurance coverage, but does accept FSA and HSA funds.

Payment options for both platforms include major credit cards, debit cards, and other online payment methods.

Therapist Quality and Matching

The quality of therapists and the process of matching users with the proper mental health professional are crucial factors to consider when choosing an online therapy platform.

Cerebral prescribers are board-certified medical professionals, and their therapists are licensed professionals who use evidence-based practices to treat mental illness. Cerebral uses an algorithm to match the patient’s intake questionnaire responses with a suitable therapist.

Similarly, BetterHelp takes pride in its extensive network of over 25,000 licensed therapists, ensuring users can find a suitable match for their needs and preferences. Their matching algorithm considers the user’s mental health concerns, priorities, and therapy goals to connect them with the best-fit therapist.

The platform also allows users to switch therapists easily if they feel their current match is not the right fit, ensuring a positive therapy experience.

Members have access to weekly live sessions ranging from 30 minutes or 45 minutes via video call, phone call or live chat.

Accessibility and Convenience

Both Cerebral and BetterHelp prioritize accessibility and convenience, making it easier for users to access mental health care whenever and wherever they need it. Cerebral has a mobile app for download, allowing users to manage their mental health journey.

Similarly, BetterHelp offers various communication channels, including text messaging, phone, video, and live chat options, catering to different communication styles and preferences. With the flexibility and convenience offered by both platforms, users can access mental health care in a way that fits their lifestyles and needs.

Navigating Through Cerebral

Navigating through Cerebral platform is straightforward and user-friendly. Users can access Cerebral services through their website or mobile app and opt for a free trial or purchase a monthly subscription.

The platform offers a range of features, including online therapy, mental health assessments, and medication management, making it easy for users to manage their mental health journey in one place.

Payment options for Cerebral services include major credit cards, PayPal, and Apple Pay, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free experience for users.

Navigating through BetterHelp

BetterHelp platform is designed for ease of use and accessibility. Users can access BetterHelp services through their website or mobile app, making it simple to connect with a therapist and manage their mental health journey.

The platform offers various therapy options, including messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions, allowing users to choose the communication method that works best for them.

BetterHelp user-friendly interface and flexible therapy options make it an excellent choice for individuals seeking convenient and accessible mental health care.

Cerebral vs. BetterHelp: Privacy and Confidentiality

The privacy and confidentiality of users’ personal information and therapy sessions are paramount in mental health care. Cerebral and BetterHelp take this seriously and follows best practices.

In case you use the online messaging function to chat directly, BetterHelp ensures all the messages between you and your therapist are encrypted too.

This commitment to privacy ensures that users can feel secure and confident in sharing their personal information and mental health concerns with their therapists and care teams on both platforms.

User Reviews and Experiences

User reviews and experiences can provide valuable insights into the quality and effectiveness of mental health services offered by Cerebral and BetterHelp.

Cerebral has over 27,000 reviews on the Apple App Store with an average rating of 4.6 stars. On Trustpilot it has over 4,700 reviews, averaging four stars. Many users have reported life-changing success with Cerebral comprehensive care model, while some have expressed concerns regarding the cost of therapy.

On the other hand, BetterHelp has received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with over 1 million reviews on the Apple App Store boasting an average 4.7-star rating and more than 8,800 reviews on Trustpilot with an average 4.5-star rating.

Users have praised BetterHelp extensive network of therapists, flexible therapy options, and affordable pricing. These reviews highlight the effectiveness and convenience of both platforms in addressing users’ mental health needs.

Suitability for Different Mental Health Conditions

Cerebral and BetterHelp both cater to a range of mental health conditions, but their suitability depends on the specific needs and symptoms of the individual.

Cerebral is well-suited for individuals seeking long-term treatment for conditions like anxiety, depression, and insomnia, with their comprehensive care model providing therapy, medication, and care counseling.

However, Cerebral may not be the best option for individuals with bipolar disorder or ADHD requiring medication management, as their focus is primarily on anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

On the other hand, BetterHelp is suitable for individuals with mild to moderate mental health symptoms, such as stress, relationship issues, or work-related concerns. BetterHelp primary focus on therapy sessions without medication management makes it an excellent option for those who do not require medication as part of their treatment plan.

However, BetterHelp may not be the best choice for individuals with severe mental illness, those experiencing a mental health crisis, or those requiring treatment for substance misuse or suicidal ideation.

Cerebral vs. BetterHelp: The Verdict

In conclusion, Cerebral and BetterHelp offer convenient access to mental health care, but their suitability depends on the individual’s specific needs and preferences.

Cerebral comprehensive care model makes it an excellent choice for individuals seeking long-term treatment and support for various mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

With their combination of therapy, medication, and care counseling, Cerebral provides a holistic approach to mental health care that may be more suitable for those with ongoing mental health concerns.

On the other hand, BetterHelp focus on therapy sessions without medication management makes it a better option for individuals looking for short-term therapy or counseling to address mild to moderate symptoms.

With its extensive network of licensed therapists and flexible therapy options, BetterHelp allows users to find the right fit for their needs while keeping therapy more affordable and accessible.

Ultimately, the choice between Cerebral and BetterHelp depends on the individual’s specific mental health needs, preferences, and budget.


Does Cerebral Take Insurance?

Cerebral accepts insurance from several major providers, including Anthem, Superior Healthplan, Magellan Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and New Directions.

Cerebral’s subscription services are available for in-network clients for a monthly fee of $29, plus any applicable copay and medication costs.

Uninsured patients typically pay an average of $10 monthly for their prescriptions. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage and any out-of-pocket costs associated with Cerebral services.

Does BetterHelp Take Insurance?

While BetterHelp does not accept insurance coverage directly, they receive funds from Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

BetterHelp flexible pricing structure and the availability of FSA and HSA funds make it an accessible option for many individuals seeking mental health care.

What is the lowest cost of BetterHelp?

BetterHelp offers a range of plans at different price points, with the lowest cost being $60 per week. This plan includes access to weekly 30-45 minutes calls and voice and text messaging, making it an affordable option for mental health support.

What Kind of Medication does Cerebral prescribe?

Cerebral prescribes noncontrolled medications for the treatment of mental health diagnoses.

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.

Online Therapy

Discover a path to emotional well-being with BetterHelp – your partner in convenient and affordable online therapy. With a vast network of 30,000+ licensed therapists, they’re committed to helping you find the support you need. Take advantage of their Free Online Assessment, and connect with a therapist who truly understands you. Begin your journey today.

Relationship Counceling

Whether you’re facing communication challenges, trust issues, or simply seeking to strengthen your connection, ReGain’s experienced therapists are here to guide you and your partner toward a healthier, happier connection from the comfort of your own space. Get started.

Therapist Directory

Discover the perfect therapist who aligns with your goals and preferences, allowing you to take charge of your mental health. Whether you’re searching for a specialist based on your unique needs, experience level, insurance coverage, budget, or location, our user-friendly platform has you covered. Search here.

About the author

Ruth Holla
Ruth Holla is a dedicated Malawian Public Health Specialist with extensive experience in nursing, research, and public health. Her career revolves around improving well-being, particularly through mental health advocacy.

As a Nursing Officer, Ruth provides compassionate patient care, implementing evidence-based practices and emphasizing a holistic approach.

As a Research Registered Nurse, she conducts groundbreaking studies on mental health and social determinants, addressing community stigma. As a Public Health Specialist, she coordinates HIV and mental health programs, targeting vulnerable populations and forging partnerships to reduce disparities.

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