Last updated on June 19th, 2023 at 12:42 pm
No, you can’t get a diagnosis on BetterHelp. Even though many of the counselors there have the skills to diagnose people, the rules of the website clearly say it’s not for giving out clinical diagnoses. BetterHelp is a website that offers online counseling. This type of counseling has a lot of benefits, like being easy to access, but it also has some downsides. Since the therapists at BetterHelp haven’t met you in person and don’t do formal face-to-face evaluations, they can’t give you an official diagnosis or confirm one.
Embarking on the journey of seeking therapy is a courageous step, especially when grappling with severe mental health concerns.
In this digital age, platforms like BetterHelp have made therapy more accessible than ever. But while these services offer a lifeline to many, they also have limitations. One significant limitation is the inability to provide a clinical diagnosis. This can be a critical roadblock for those who need a clear understanding of their mental health condition to chart the path forward.
In this article, we delve into why BetterHelp, despite its many benefits, might not be the complete solution for everyone. We’ll explore why it can’t provide diagnoses, and what that means for you.
BetterHelp Therapists Cannot Diagnose You: Reasons Why
Navigating the world of online therapy can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the limitations. In this section, we’ll explore the specific reasons why therapists on BetterHelp, a popular online counseling platform, are unable to provide diagnoses.
#1 No In-Person Contact
Therapists on BetterHelp communicate with you online, not in person. Diagnosing often requires face-to-face interaction to observe body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues. These are important parts of understanding someone’s mental state, and they can’t be fully captured online.
#2 BetterHelp’s Rules
The website’s rules clearly state that it’s not meant for giving out clinical diagnoses. This is a part of their Terms of Service, which everyone agrees to when they use the site. Check out the Terms on BetterHelp.
#3 Limited Information
Therapists on BetterHelp only know what you tell them and what they can observe during online sessions. They don’t have access to your full medical history or the ability to conduct comprehensive evaluations, which are often needed for accurate diagnoses.
#4 Lack of Physical Health Assessment
Mental health can be influenced by physical health conditions. In-person therapists can refer you for physical health checks if they suspect a physical health issue might be affecting your mental health. This isn’t possible with online platforms like BetterHelp.As a BetterHelp afﬁliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided.
Diagnosing with BetterHelp: In-Person vs. Online
In the world of mental health, in-person interaction plays a crucial role in diagnosing a patient. When a therapist meets a client face-to-face, they can pick up on subtle cues that might be missed in an online setting. These can include body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and even the client’s general appearance. All these elements provide valuable information that can help a therapist understand a client’s mental state.
For example, a person’s posture might reveal their level of comfort or distress. Facial expressions can give away feelings that aren’t expressed in words. The tone of voice can indicate emotions like sadness or anxiety. In person, a therapist can also notice signs of physical health issues that might be affecting a person’s mental health.
In contrast, online platforms like BetterHelp limit these interactions. While video calls can capture some visual and auditory cues, they can’t fully replicate the richness of in-person communication. There’s also the chance of technical issues, like a poor internet connection or low-quality video, which can further hinder communication.
In summary, while online therapy offers many benefits, the lack of in-person interaction is a significant limitation when it comes to diagnosing mental health conditions. It’s a key reason why BetterHelp, despite having qualified therapists, doesn’t provide diagnoses.
BetterHelp Limitations of Online Diagnosis
I asked my friend, Dawn Morris, who is a licensed therapist based in Naperville, IL, about the limitations of information gathering with online therapy. Here is what she told me. “In my experience as a mental health professional, I’ve found that the depth of understanding I can gain about a client is often tied to the amount and quality of information I can gather. When I meet clients in person, I have the opportunity to observe their behaviors, reactions, and overall demeanor, which can provide valuable insights into their mental state.”
Dawn continued, “I recall a particular instance with a client who was usually very articulate and expressive. During one session, however, I noticed that her speech was slightly slurred and she seemed unusually lethargic. This observation led me to suggest she consult a medical doctor, and it turned out she had an undiagnosed thyroid condition that was affecting her mood and energy levels.”
In an online setting like BetterHelp, such observations can be more challenging to make. Therapists rely heavily on what clients share during sessions, and subtle physical or behavioral changes can be harder to detect. While online therapy has many advantages, this limitation in information gathering is a key reason why it’s not suitable for providing diagnoses.
What If You Require A Diagnosis?
If you’re seeking a diagnosis for a mental health condition, it’s important to understand that online platforms like BetterHelp may not be the best fit. While they offer valuable support and counseling, they aren’t equipped to provide official diagnoses.
So, what should you do if you need a diagnosis? The best course of action is to consult with a mental health professional in person. This could be a psychiatrist, psychologist, or a licensed clinical social worker. These professionals have the training and tools to conduct comprehensive evaluations, which often include a detailed discussion about your symptoms, medical history, and possibly psychological testing.
Remember, a diagnosis is not just a label. It’s a tool that can guide treatment and help you understand what you’re experiencing. It’s crucial that it’s accurate, and that requires a thorough, in-person evaluation.
Can BetterHelp diagnose ADHD?
No, BetterHelp cannot diagnose ADHD. While the platform provides online counseling with qualified therapists, it doesn’t offer clinical diagnoses. If you suspect you have ADHD, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider or mental health professional in person for a thorough assessment and potential diagnosis.
See our full post on how BetterHelp can help with ADHD.
Can BetterHelp diagnose autism?
No, BetterHelp isn’t equipped to diagnose autism. Their platform is designed for counseling, not clinical diagnoses. Autism diagnosis involves detailed assessments that require in-person interaction, something that can’t be fully achieved through online platforms. If you’re seeking an autism diagnosis, it’s recommended to see a healthcare professional in person.
Can BetterHelp diagnose BPD?
No, BetterHelp isn’t the right place for a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) diagnosis. Their online counseling services don’t include clinical diagnoses. BPD diagnosis requires comprehensive, in-person evaluations, which BetterHelp can’t provide. If BPD is a concern, your best bet is to reach out to a healthcare provider who can meet with you face-to-face.
If you have more questions, check out our complete guide to BetterHelp.
In conclusion, while BetterHelp offers a convenient platform for individuals dealing with mental health issues to access therapy services, it’s important to understand its limitations. The platform excels in providing talk therapy and promoting health and wellness, but it cannot diagnose conditions like ADHD, autism, or BPD.
Additionally, BetterHelp cannot prescribe medication.
If you have health concerns that require a diagnosis or medication, it’s crucial to seek help from a healthcare provider who can meet with you in person.
Remember, online therapy is a valuable tool in the realm of mental health, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s one piece of the puzzle in managing and understanding your mental health.As a BetterHelp afﬁliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided.