Talkspace

Category Lifestyle
Reviewed by Rashi
Updated Mar 10th, ’22

Tekpon Score

9.2

Users Score

7.5

Talkspace Review

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In 2020, Covid19 shut down many traditionally face-to-face services, including much healthcare. But for people seeking or considering therapy, the growing field of teletherapy meant they didn’t have to deal with their mental health issues on their own. They still don’t. People with and without insurance can now access therapy on their schedules without leaving the comfort of their own home, thanks to the market’s increasingly sophisticated teletherapy services: no more shopping in town during lunch break, endless waits at reception, or in front of the judgmental gazes of passers-by.

TalkSpace is one such online therapy company. With over 1.5 million users, TalkSpace has grown to deliver virtual and text-based mental health services to individuals and families in all 50 states. But is it suitable for your needs? Should we talk to TalkSpace? We have thoroughly researched and tested its services, and we’ll let you know how it performs against the competition. Thus, without further ado, let us dig into the review.

UI/UX

9.2

Ease of use

9.5

Value for Money

9.3

Features

9.0

Customer Support

9.0
Pricing Details

Starting from: $199

Pricing Model: First evaluation

No free trial

Yes, has free version

PROs
  • Constant Access
  • Online Mode Flexibility
  • Flexible Plans
  • Couples Therapy
CONs
  • Age Restrictions
  • Limited Audience
Best for
  • Personal
  • StartUps
  • Small business
  • Medium business
  • Large enterprises
  • Non-profit Organization
Deployment
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
  • Mobile - Android
  • Mobile - iPhone
  • Mobile - iPad

TalkSpace: Online Therapy Tool

TalkSpace was founded in 2012 was one of the first online therapy companies to enter the industry. Based in New York, the company’s goal was to break the stigma around getting mental health help and make it more accessible to everyone. As a result, it gives clients easy access to an experienced therapist of their choice via messaging and live video sessions.

TalkSpace is now one of the most popular online therapy companies, with celebrities like Michael Phelps and Demi Lovato frequently appearing in television commercials. It has also expanded its services significantly over the past nine years and offers psychiatric assessment, medication management, couples therapy, and adolescent therapy.

Virtual counseling

TalkSpace is an easy-to-use program suitable for mild to moderate emotional distress users. In addition, Talkspace seeks to make therapy more available, flexible, and affordable for those who need it. As a result, I believe the program is well designed and offers a very high-quality therapeutic experience.

However, when reviewing a program like TalkSpace, it’s important to note that a significant portion of the experience is based on the specific characteristics of the live therapist. For example, in the current review – which focused only on the basic text messaging plan – although the program offered the choice of three therapists, only one was available, eliminating the sense of selection.

Talkspace therapist

The therapist was friendly and accommodating, and the correspondence was professional and focused. However, it seems that much of the “in-person” therapeutic relationship that is formed in face-to-face therapy is very difficult to create through text messaging alone. In addition, the unlimited correspondence of text messages sent to the therapist against 12 messages per day creates fragmented communication.

For example, you can message the therapist in the morning and get a response in the afternoon, followed by another message and another delayed response. This fragmented form of communication, which is more like correspondence than therapy, may not allow for a deeply personal process as suggested by the term “therapy” offered by the program. It could be particularly difficult for users inexperienced with the therapy, who don’t know how to approach the process and get the most out of it.

online therapy platform

What is TalkSpace?

Roni and Oren Frank founded TalkSpace in 2012 and oversee the business alongside a team of qualified doctors. The company is headquartered in New York, NY. The TalkSpace telemedicine service allows people to access affordable online therapy with a licensed mental health professional.

It provides its services through easy-to-use Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant web and mobile application platforms. In addition, the company claims to provide individuals with confidential and fully encrypted communications with a licensed mental health professional. As a result, people can send unlimited text, pictures, audio, and video messages from anywhere and anytime.

TalkSpace offers individual, couple, and adolescent therapy, psychiatric assessments, prescription management, and insomnia treatment programs. It also offers online therapy to employees through partnerships with various health plans. Moreover, the platform claims to connect people with therapists who meet their specific needs and preferences from their national network of licensed and supervised mental health professionals. It also claims that its health therapists have experience in many areas.

Benefits of using online therapy platform

How does this online therapy platform work?

 TalkSpace offers an easy-to-use website and app. To sign up for TalkSpace, you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire and then go through a short matching process to get in touch with a suitable therapist. To register, go to the TalkSpace website or register in the mental health app. On the site, click on the buttons related to the type of service you are interested in, while in the application, click on start.

When you sign up for TalkSpace, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire focusing on your life, goals, and preferences. After completing the survey, a matching agent helps you get in touch with the best therapist for you. The agent uses a programmed questionnaire to ensure you are matched with a therapist who meets your needs.

The agent uses scripts to keep the process smooth and simple. Scripted responses can answer many people’s basic questions about the TalkSpace platform and process. For example, responses describe services and provide information about a therapist’s background when selecting a therapist.

What can TalkSpace be used for?

 TalkSpace has thousands of licensed therapists, many with multiple specialties. According to TalkSpace, the service has helped people with:

  •  Anxiety
  •  Addiction
  •  Depression
  •  Eating disorders
  •  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  •  Issues affecting the LGBTQIA+ community
  •  Relationships with family or friends

TalkSpace also offers a psychiatric service for those interested in mental health care and prescription administration. Psychiatrists and nurses staff the program. Although TalkSpace Psychiatry offers helpful services, it is noted that mental health professionals cannot prescribe controlled substances, including:

  •  Adderall
  •  Ativan
  •  Xanax
  •  Concerta
  •  Librium
  •  Klonopin
  •  Ritalin

Professionals also cannot prescribe lithium.

TalkSpace Psychiatry requires an initial assessment fee of $199, with subsequent visits costing $125 each. In addition to chatting with a therapist online, TalkSpace lets you:

  • Track clinical symptoms via an online symptom tracker
  • Explore the Happify interface, an app built on the science behind happiness
  • Find resources for work-life planning, wellness, and legal advice through TalkSpace’s employee assistance programs.

TalkSpace Features

 The list of features that TalkSpace has to offer are listed down below:

  • Ease of use

TalkSpace is a simple platform to use, with an intuitive online and in-app interface and a range of communication options for connecting with your therapist. 81% of the polled users believed the platform was very good or excellent regarding simplicity of use. You can communicate with your therapist in a variety of ways, including:

  • Online messaging is available 24 hours a day, seven days
  • Messages via audio
  • Make a call
  • Conferencing via video

Once you’ve been paired with a therapist, you’ll have access to your room, where you can message or leave an audio message of up to five minutes in length for your therapist. Although they are not live chats, you may expect a response from your therapist at least once a day, five days a week.

  • Clarity of Rules

When you join TalkSpace, the platform will immediately link you in a chat room with a consultation therapist who will ask you about what brought you to therapy and any past experiences you’ve had with it. After that, you’ll be given an overview of how the service operates as well as your alternatives. After there, you may look through the various plans, compare rates, and see if TalkSpace has any special deals. Of course, you may take your time with this process, and while the site provides a helpful FAQ section, you can ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable before planning a commitment.

  • Customer Care

The mobile and desktop compatible TalkSpace technology are straightforward to use. When issues arise, the company’s customer service is entirely virtual. Instead of having a dedicated phone line, TalkSpace sends all customer service inquiries to its customer service team via email or text, which means you may have to wait a few hours for a response.

We discovered that responses took an average of 4-6 hours to appear in our mailbox and that most of them answered our queries completely. On the other hand, customer service could not tell us how to enroll in the insomnia program or define their providers’ credentials.

  • Progress Monitoring Tools

TalkSpace includes several built-in features that allow you to keep track of your progress. For example, your room features a “clinical progress” section where you can keep track of your symptoms (as revealed by three-week assessments) and establish short- and long-term goals. You can also access free activities on the mobile app, ranging from a two-minute activity to a five-minute exercise about analyzing past events. These are quick and easy strategies to enhance mindfulness for self-motivated persons.

  • Qualified Professionals

Unlike many other treatment platforms, TalkSpace requires all therapists to be fully licensed and have 3,000 hours of professional experience. In addition, the therapists are confirmed before joining the platform, and their backgrounds are reviewed. TalkSpace also provides further training in certain therapeutic approaches to its employees.

Professional counselors have varying levels of expertise, ranging from newly certified professional counselors to clinical psychologists with a Ph.D. Unsurprisingly, there is a considerable degree of variation in terms of expertise and therapeutic approaches. This is a beneficial feature because you can sift through matches until you discover one that suits your needs.

  • Teens and Psychiatric Therapy

Talkspace’s expansion strategy included an online counseling option for teenagers. Adolescents aged 13 to 17 are targeted for TalkSpace for Teen. Teens must obtain parental approval before beginning therapy, which they must provide via the app through video and text messages. Children can use the app to upload a video of their parent’s consent.

Parents have no access to any discussions or information during therapy sessions since TalkSpace clinicians providing therapy with teens follow normal ethical criteria. Only if the youngster is at risk of killing herself or others would a therapist contact the parents. Unless the parents agree, parents are not allowed to participate in the counseling process.

  • Prescription services

In addition, TalkSpace is the first online mental health platform to provide prescription services to its members. Users can book virtual sessions with a psychiatrist who can prescribe and manage most drugs for an additional charge. Providers on TalkSpace, on the other hand, are unable to prescribe controlled medications.

During their session, psychiatry patients will discuss the recommended treatment plan with the doctor, but they will not be guaranteed a prescription. However, individuals in need of pharmaceuticals may appreciate TalkSpace’s medication services, which include the benefit of prescriptions from experts in the field.

Furthermore, TalkSpace provides an online symptoms tracker in addition to texting and online sessions. This allows users to track their progress over time, which can help them make better treatment decisions. There’s also a part in the app where you may do exercises to deal with everyday issues like stress or disagreement. These exercises can be recorded and shared with your therapist if you like.

Is TalkSpace effective?

There isn’t much or conclusive research demonstrating the clinical benefits of text therapy, but some people may still find it helpful. Research suggests that online therapy is generally just as effective as in-person therapy. It’s important to note that these studies have generally focused on online therapy delivered via video conferencing rather than a text messaging service like TalkSpace.

A small 2014 study found that participants with depression randomized to online therapy were still doing well three months after stopping therapy, while participants randomized to face-to-face therapy were assigned to report worsening of their depression symptoms after stopping therapy. A 2015 review of 11 studies reported that computer-assisted cognitive behavioral therapy sessions successfully reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

TalkSpace is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In addition, Talkspace says all communication between the software and servers, including chat data, is encrypted. The TalkSpace app also requires a password to be entered and allows you to create a unique password for added security.

However, you cannot delete chat logs as they are considered medical records. In addition, Talkspace’s privacy policy states that “aggregated and non-identifying information” may be used for research, trend analysis, and website design.

TalkSpace Pricing Plans

TalkSpace has a variety of subscription plans to choose from. Its most basic plan, which includes text-based therapy, is relatively reasonable. Still, TalkSpace’s talk therapy subscriptions are more reasonable on average than private practice and are in the middle of the pack compared to the other companies we looked at. However, if you add psychiatric treatments, the cost may quickly approach private practice if your insurance plan is not in-network with TalkSpace.

Perhaps, therefore, just 59 percent of users rated TalkSpace’s cost as excellent or very good, a much lower figure than the average of the other online therapy providers we looked at.

Moreover, the online therapy platform offers various talk-therapy membership packages, ranging from $260 to $400 per month, depending on the plan and location. The exact pricing isn’t revealed until checkout.

Pricing plans

The following are the three main subscription options:
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus Plan is the most cost-effective option, with text, video, and audio messaging with your therapist but no live sessions.
  • Premium Plan for Unlimited Messaging Therapy offers text, video, and audio messaging with your therapist, as well as one 30-minute live video session every month.
  • Ultimate Chatting Therapy Plan offers unlimited text, video, and audio messaging with your therapist, as well as four 30-minute live video sessions per month. Unfortunately, unused live sessions are not carried over to the following month. So if you don’t use them within a month, you’ll lose them.

Couples therapy, which includes four 30-minute live video sessions each month and text, video, and audio communications with your therapist in a group room with your partner, is also available. TalkSpace also provides psychiatric services and counseling for kids aged 13 to 17.

Psychiatric treatments are not included in the talk therapy plans; instead, you must pay for them separately from your therapy plan, as with other firms like Cerebral, which can be costly. The following are the charges:

  • A first mental evaluation costs $199.
  • Every follow-up appointment costs $125.

 Is there a free trial available?

TalkSpace does not provide a free trial, but you may schedule a free consultation with an intake coordinator who can answer your questions about the services and help you get started.

TalkSpace Alternatives

The top alternatives that are available in the market to TalkSpace are listed down below:

  • Head Habitat
  • NOCD
  • BetterHelp
  • CarePaths
  • HearMe
  • Now&Me
  • Confidist
  • 7 Cups

TalkSpace vs. BetterHelp

 Both TalkSpace and BetterHelp are huge corporations whose mission is to make counseling easier, inexpensive, and accessible to a broad range of people. Both organizations provide monthly subscriptions that allow you to contact a therapist electronically via message, audio, phone, or live video. In addition, both have well-designed, user-friendly websites.

BetterHelp focuses solely on talk therapy, referring potential customers to its sister sites for more specialized counseling such as couples counseling, teen counseling, Christian therapy, or LGBTQIA+ counseling. It also doesn’t provide treatments like psychiatry or medication management. On the other hand, Talkspace is unique in that it provides all-in-one services for couples therapy, teen counseling, psychiatry, and medication management.

Which one is better?

Both organizations employ many licensed therapists with specialized training and need potential clients to complete an intake questionnaire to connect you with a therapist. BetterHelp, on the other hand, matches you to your therapist solely based on this form, whereas TalkSpace gives recommendations, but you have the final say on whom you wish to work with.

Compared to 84 percent at BetterHelp, 88 percent of TalkSpace consumers said they were likely or very likely to be still seeing a therapist within the organization a year from now. Both firms make it simple to change therapists at any time and provide customer service. However, the sign-up process and customer assistance may feel impersonal due to their small size.

TalkSpace Review Conclusions

When dealing with mental health concerns, seeking treatment shouldn’t be difficult or expensive. This is where TalkSpace can assist you cost-effectively. There are numerous benefits to using TalkSpace. It’s fantastic to have professional assistance just a few clicks away from the comfort of your own home. It’s worth noting that keeping track of your symptoms and gradually becoming self-sufficient in dealing with them is important.

The program is simple to use, and therapy chats function similarly to those seen on other social media platforms. The counselor-therapist approach is an added benefit because you are given a list of the most suited specialists and are given the option of choosing one of the top three. So, if you’re not happy with your initial option, you may always look for someone else.

Is it worth trying this counseling platform?

TalkSpace is a place where people may talk about anything. You’ll be creating a virtual relationship with your therapist, so if that’s okay with you, go ahead and do it. You can get all the benefits of traditional therapy for a fraction of the cost, from practically anywhere, at any time. In addition, Talkspace therapists have been hand-picked for their competence and have many hours of important experience. As a result, you may rest confident that the therapist you’ll be connected with is a certified and highly experienced expert in the area where you need the most help.

The extra features will assist you in keeping track of your therapy in the same way that a journal would. Only now will you be able to revisit and build on your therapist’s helpful recommendations. Overall, TalkSpace is a good choice for people dealing with common mental health disorders who want to receive effective care from a professional in the comfort of their own home at a reasonable cost. Book your first session today!