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Brightside Health Review

Saturday, March 25th

2023 Online Therapy Reviews

Brightside Health Review 1 Star Rating

Brightside Health

1 Star Rating
  • Monthly subscription starting at $299/month
  • Works with some insurance
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Offers prescriptions

Brightside Health is a service for online therapy and medication management. In business for 5 years, the site is targeted toward adults with depression or anxiety. Brightside primarily utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address depression and anxiety concerns. Brightside is a monthly subscription service that also offers a medication plan for adults looking for more than just counseling from their mental health service.

Package deals

Brightside offers a therapy plan and a medication plan. The therapy plan includes four 30-minute video sessions per month. This also includes unlimited private messaging with your therapist. This basic plan costs $299 per month. If you need additional video sessions, they are available for purchase at $59 per session. The separate Medication Plan costs $95 per month, and you still have to pay for the prescription itself either with your insurance co-pay or in full if you don't have insurance. Altogether, Brightside's therapy and medication services cost $349 per month. However, their program is covered by some insurance companies.

Provider network of professionals

Brightside offers what they call a "provider network" which includes psychiatrists, physicians, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and therapists. All of the experienced professionals with Brightside's network have graduated from US medical schools and have current licenses. Brightside also hosts a clinical advisory board that evaluates the professionals and cases at Brightside Health. These board members graduated from top institutions both in the US and overseas.

Therapy style

Brightside's online therapy options are available across the US to adults only. The program's therapy sessions are geared toward individuals who may be experiencing or suffering from:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar II
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • OCD
  • Panic disorders
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Insomnia

And, if you take part in their medication program, you can also receive medication for these concerns if your therapist and you believe it will be beneficial.

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Some patients are excluded here

However, Brightside will not be a good fit for individuals who fit the following criteria. They recommend seeing a Primary Care doctor if you have:

  • Made a suicide attempt or experienced active suicide planning
  • Experienced ongoing, high-risk self-harm behavior
  • Been hospitalized involuntarily in the recent past for psychiatric reasons
  • Been diagnosed with schizophrenia or any symptoms of psychosis
  • Been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I or experience symptoms of mania
  • Experienced substance abuse problems
  • Been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Experienced an eating disorder with high-risk symptoms
  • Been diagnosed with kidney or liver disease, seizures, or long QT
  • Come seeking treatment/prescriptions for ADHD

Negative reviews

While a lot of their practices sound good at face value, the clients are saying something different. Brightside Health received a "D-" score at the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited by the BBB. The reviews for Brightside average 1-star ratings and customers agree that Brightside Health is overpriced with unreliable service.

Customer complaints

Some reviewers complained about being dropped from the prescription program with no warning, or that the company "holds medication hostage" so that customers don't have access to their meds without seeing a primary care doctor. Further, the short sessions (30 minutes) seem even shorter in practice with some customers complaining about only getting 20 or even 15 minutes of screen time with their therapist. In general, customers don't have many nice things to say about Brightside Health

Not so bright future at Brightside

We're wary of such a large discrepancy in promise vs. delivery. Such overhyped promises set a level of expectation that, quite frankly, Brightside fails to meet. All of this makes Brightside Health a not-so-bright option for your mental health journey.

Where Can You Find the Best Online Therapy?

Have you been feeling down lately? A little stressed out? Do you feel like you want someone to talk to but you're limited by your local options? Or maybe you just don't have time for extra driving in your busy schedule? No matter what your therapy needs, if you feel like you need help, you deserve it.

Whether you're a long-time therapy patient, or you're looking to turn over a new leaf with your mental health, there are tons of online options to make your therapy journey easier. But where can you get started? There are so many online therapy choices and so many different therapy styles that it can be hard to choose which way to turn.

The Best Online Therapy Services Compare Online Therapy Services Compare Online Therapy Reviews What are the best Online Therapy Services Best Online Therapy Reviews

Online Therapy FAQ

Therapy is for everyone. Therapy is a great place to talk through anything that might be on your mind. If you're worried about relationships, job situations, or feeling anxious in public you can start therapy. Many people attend to find solutions to mental health concerns like anxiety and depression, but you can pop in just to check up on yourself and have a non-biased listener to talk to for a while.
If you've got a good therapist or psychologist, it's not at all different. You can still talk exactly the same way you do in person, especially if you have video call appointments. However, logistically there are a few differences: you don't need to drive anywhere, but you do need to find a quiet and secluded place where you feel safe talking and won't be interrupted; there can sometimes be a little lag if your internet is slow, so save extra time for technical difficulties; and it can be harder to read expressions over the internet, so it might require a little adjustment for the first or second session.
All of these need to be licensed to practice; however, between a counselor and a therapist, the main difference is the focus. Both have Masters degrees and licenses for their particular state and type of therapy. Psychiatrists, however, have to have a medical degree, and only they are able to prescribe medication (though some certified nurse-practitioners have also taken extra coursework to be qualified to write prescriptions too).
Time and money. Before online options, in-person sessions required a drive and the cost of gas just to get to therapy. Depending on your local options, you were also limited to who was near enough to make the drive worth it. Now, you don't have to worry about traffic or the cost of gas, and you're not limited to your immediate area, opening up the therapy options considerably.
This entirely depends on the therapist and the platform. However, the average appointment is 45 minutes long with some appointments as short as 30 minutes or as long as 50.
This varies based on the platform you choose and the therapist you schedule with. Everyone has a different schedule, and some programs only offer one therapy session per month while others offer weekly sessions as part of the plan. If you work with an individual therapist instead of a platform subscription, this is something you'll talk about with your therapist during the first session.
This is something you and your therapist will discuss. If it's a matter of money, many session-by-session therapists are willing to spread out appointments for you. However, many plans offer a subscription that provides you with four sessions a month. Attending once a week is a good place to start, especially if you're coming in to work on something specific.
After submitting your intake forms, the first appointment is normally just a discussion between you and your therapist to get to know each other better. If you've never been to therapy before, it can be hard to know what to talk about, so your therapist may start by asking questions. No matter what, don't worry. There are no wrong answers in therapy. The session is for you and nobody else.
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Continued from above...

Telehealth and online therapy have become popular options. Nearly four in ten Americans (38%) have used telehealth services to meet with a medical or mental health professional, up from 31% in previous years. The majority of those who use telehealth or online therapy now started after the pandemic. Most patients are using telehealth through a video format (69%), while 38% have used phone calls only.

While many originally believed that telehealth and online therapy were lower-quality services compared to in-person treatment, the opinion on telehealth has increased by 40% since 2021. The National Center for Health Research found that online therapy is effective for treating trauma, anxiety, and depression. So, no matter what you need from your online session, you can be assured that you're getting the same treatment as an in-person session.

So, how do you choose the best online therapy provider for your needs? There are a lot of factors to consider. If you're not sure where to start your journey, here are a few things to help you decide:

  • Price: How much does a single session cost? Are there any additional fees?
  • Scheduling: Do you need an hour-long session or something shorter? Do you need a telehealth provider with flexible times for a changing schedule?
  • Style: Are you looking for a particular style of therapy? Do you want something solo or something for couples?
  • Therapist: Do you need a degree-holding psychiatrist for prescriptions, or do you want a more casual therapist to talk things over? Do you want someone who's studied particular theories like music therapy or a more generalized approach?
  • Modality options: Do you only want online sessions, or are you looking for something where you can also have in-person sessions?

To help you find the right kind of online therapy for you, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked today's most popular providers across the US. We hope these will make it easy to start prioritizing your mental health in the best way for your needs.

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