If you don’t have time to meet with a therapist, or if you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative to face-to-face counseling, online therapy is an excellent answer that can make quality mental health care accessible, convenient, anonymous, and affordable.
There are dozens of online counseling apps and sites. Talkspace is a quality choice and leader in the industry.
- What is Talkspace?
- Is Talkspace legit?
- Does Talkspace have an app for therapy?
- How does Talkspace online therapy work?
- What do you do in therapy with Talkspace?
- Can Talkspace therapists prescribe medication?
- Talkspace refund policy
- Talkspace reviews
- Is Talkspace worth it?
- Does Talkspace offer free online therapy?
- Does Talkspace offer a free trial for online therapy or a promo code?
- How much does Talkspace cost?
- Is Talkspace covered by insurance?
- Talkspace alternatives
Check out all of the top online therapy sites in this post. Here are overviews of some of the leading counseling apps:
Details about Talkspace: Rather than meeting in person like with traditional therapy, with Talkspace you can access the best online therapy from your smartphone, leave messages for your therapist whenever you like, and expect a reply within business hours. You can also pay extra for live video sessions from the TalkSpace app.
As online therapy becomes part of regular health care, reports from the National Institute of Health continue to support the effectiveness of internet-based mental health treatment.
Can’t decide if online therapy is right for you? Keep reading for a complete online therapy review of Talkspace.
What is Talkspace?
Talkspace is an online therapy platform that delivers mental health treatment. They use licensed therapists to provide cognitive behavior therapy online with flexible scheduling and a low out-of-pocket cost.
With Talkspace, communicating with your therapist can be done day or night. Messages sent via text, audio, pictures, or videos are all acceptable. These different options make interacting with your counselor simple and convenient. This is what TalkSpace says about response time:
You make a Reply By request after 4:00 p.m. (and until 7:00 a.m.) – expect a response from your provider by 10:00 a.m. the next working day. You make a Reply By request between 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. — expect a Response from your Provider by 6:00 p.m.
Is Talkspace legit?
Talkspace was founded in 2012 by wife and husband team Roni and Oren Frank, who have raised more than $106 million in startup funding, including from VCs Spark Capital and SoftBank. In May 2020, Cigna added Talkspace virtual therapy services to the company's telehealth offerings
Talkspace is a recognized leader in the online therapy industry and has an B rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Talkspace screens all the therapists in their nationwide network to ensure they’re licensed, and only work withs therapists with more than 2,000 clinical hours, which is a licensing requirement in most U.S. states.
TalkSpace spokespeople include Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Michael Phelps and pop star Demi Lovato.
As for security, the technology behind the platform fully complies with HIPAA regulations. They also fully encrypt conversations with your therapist. If you use the app, you’ll set up a passcode for an additional layer of security.
Does Talkspace have an app for therapy?
Yes! You can use the TalkSpace app via iOS/Apple or Android/Google Play to text with your therapist, and manage your account.
How does Talkspace online therapy work?
Talkspace is similar to other leading online therapy sites, in that it connects you with a human therapist with whom you work through your issues, for ongoing support. You can use Talkspace on your desktop, or via an app on your phone or tablet.
How to schedule a therapy appointment with Talkspace:
- Go to Talkspace.com, or download the online therapy app on iTunes or Google Play.
- Get an assessment via text with a “matching therapist.”
- Set up an account using a credit card or PayPal account.
- Receive a list or recommended therapists, choose one.
- Start messaging via the Talkspace app or website.
For the basic $65/week plan, you can message your therapist any time you like, and expect your counselor to respond 1-2 times each day, Monday-Friday.
Talkspace has unlimited messaging programs for individuals, teens and couples.
What do you do in therapy with Talkspace?
Text, messaging, video and phone therapy are just the same as traditional face-to-face counseling — except via technology.
Depending on the price tier you choose, you may have text-only communication with your therapist, ongoing texting/messaging along with weekly or monthly scheduled live phone or video sessions.
Your therapist will likely first ask you about yourself, why you sought therapy, what your past experience (if any) with counseling, goals for working together, and about any current issues you want to address.
As with BetterHelp, Talkspace therapists have a variety of training and specialties, so communicate any preference you have for a therapy approach during the onboarding process. Popular therapy theories include:
- Person-centered therapy, also called client-centered, or person-centered therapy, requires the client to take an active role in his or her treatment with the therapist being and supportive — and not providing direction or instructions.
- Gestalt therapy is considered a type of client-centered therapy, one that helps clients focus on the present and understand what is really happening in their lives, rather than what they perceive to be happening based on their past experiences.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-focused approach that takes a hands-on, practical problem-solving method. CBT's goal is to change patterns of thought and behavior — and therefore change how the client feels.
For more details about what to expect in therapy, read 24 questions to ask your therapist — and what questions your therapist will likely ask you in a first session
Can Talkspace therapists prescribe medication?
While Talkspace therapists do not prescribe medication, you can connect through the platform with a psychiatrist, or “prescriber” who will help you manage medications. Initial appointments take up to 60 minutes and all psychiatry appointments cost $199.
Talkspace points out: “Please note psychiatry providers are unable to prescribe for controlled substances such as Benzodiazepines and ADHD medication.”
Is Talkspace worth it?
Investing in yourself to boost your own happiness and live a better life is always worth it, and the best online therapy can help. Starting with any kind of counseling can seem overwhelming, but an online approach can ease some of your fears by removing obstacles to find healing.
For instance, there’s no need to set aside extra time to drive across town or deal with traffic when receiving help for your mental health. Plus, not meeting face to face can ease your anxiety since you’ll have a certain amount of anonymity between you and your counselor.
Talkspace refund policy
Typically, Talkspace does not refund customers, but does try to accommodate unused payments towards future services. Their website states:
Generally refunds for unused time are not granted because the therapists charge for time that is scheduled to be used, much like other medical professionals. However, customer service reviews refunds on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with the therapists. We make accommodations if unique or legal circumstances (medical, death, disability, court orders, etc.) dictate the reason for the refund request. If a refund is not granted, usually we are able to make accommodations some other way such as a credit for future service.
Talkspace has many positive reviews on their site:
Talkspace reviews on the Better Business Bureau website
Talkspace has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2017, and has a BBB rating of B, and 1.2 out of 5 stars for reviews there.
Talkspace reviews on ConsumersAffairs.com
ConsumerAffairs does not review Talkspace at this time.
Talkspace reviews on Reddit
There are a handful of lengthy Talkspace reviews on Reddit, with mixed opinions. One takeaway is that the service is affordable, but it depends on who your therapist is — which is true for any therapy, of course:
Talkspace reviews on Trustpilot.com
Talkspace has 2.3 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot, based on just 7 reviews.
Does Talkspace offer a free trial for online therapy or a promo code?
TalkSpace does not offer free online counseling, but Talkspace does currently have an offer of $65 off with code APPLY65.
However, BetterHelp offers a 10% discount for first-time clients, and has prices starting at $35/week for unlimited messaging and weekly live sessions. Financial assistance available. BetterHelp has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
How much does Talkspace cost?
Talkspace pricing is billed monthly. There is no contract, and you can cancel anytime.
These are the current plans as of November, 2020:
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: $65/week for unlimited text, video & audio messaging. Your therapist responds to messages daily, 5 days/week. (Billed as $260 monthly)
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: $79/week for text, video & audio messaging + 1 Live Session/month. Your therapist responds to messages daily, 5 days/week. (Billed $316 monthly)
- LiveTalk Therapy Ultimate: $99/week for text, video & audio messaging + 4 Live Sessions/month. Your therapist responds to messages daily, 5 days/week. (Billed $396 monthly)
Live video sessions can be added for $65 per 30-minute session. Note that these are different that video or audio messaging.
By comparison, traditional face-to-face therapy costs $70-$250+ per hour.
How much does couples therapy with Talkspace cost?
Couples therapy is available for $99/week (billed as $396 monthly) or $89/week (billed $1,068 every 3 months). You can add live video couples sessions for $65 per 30-minute session.
BetterHelp prices for similar packages of online therapy for individuals or couples is similar, starting at $35/week. Note that all of BetterHelp prices include weekly live video or phone sessions.
Is Talkspace covered by insurance?
Talkspace works with many health insurers, employers and colleges to offer its online therapy. If your insurer does not cover Talkspace sessions, you can pay with a credit card and submit the bill to your Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
There is a growing number of online counseling platforms that help you connect with quality therapists. Talkspace's biggest competitor is BetterHelp, which markets directly to consumers, and is more price-competitive, when compared with Talkspace, which focuses on working through health insurers and corporations. That is one of the reasons Talkspace's cost is higher when you sign up directly through the site, though Talkspace often offers discount codes.
Talkspace vs. Betterhelp: Which is better for therapy?
|Price||Starting at $35/week||$49-99/week + $65 per 30-minute live session|
|Wealthy Single Mommy discount?||10% discount||X|
|Live sessions?||Always included||For an extra fee|
|Mobile video sessions?||Yes||Yes|
|Desktop video sessions?||Yes||X|
|Free group therapy?||Yes|
|More BetterHelp info >>||More TalkSpace info >>|
Learn more about all the best online therapy sites with our review here.
Talkspace and Betterhelp are two of the largest, most established and highest-quality online therapy apps. Their programs are similar, though.
Where to find therapy
Our #1 pick for online counseling is BetterHelp, but you can read about all the top online therapy sites and apps in our post here. Your regular therapist, or a counselor near you, likely also offers online sessions.
Deciding between Talkspace and BetterHelp for online therapy can be difficult, as their plans are similar, both have A+ Better Business Bureau rating, both allow you to interact with your therapist anonymously, and both have large client bases.
Here is why BetterHelp has an advantage:
Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Pricing
Price Betterhelp’s services start at $35 per week, compared with $65 minimum at Talkspace.
Talkspace and BetterHelp structure their costs differently, as Talkspace has several packages that are message/text only, with no live therapy sessions — though you can include 30-minute live phone or video Talkspace sessions for $65 each. TalkSpace Premium packages are more expensive, and do include various amounts of live therapy.
All of BetterHelp's prices include weekly live therapy. Here are the two most relevant packages for BetterHelp and Talkspace, for side-by-side cost comparisons:
Free therapy Neither BetterHelp nor Talkspace offer free online counseling. BetterHelp does offer Wealthy Single Mommy readers a 10% discount (no coupon code needed if you use this link), as well as financial assistance.
Therapist qualifications While both Talkspace and BetterHelp require therapists have at least 3 years and 2,000 hours of training, and are licensed and certified in their states, BetterHelp also requires that each counselor also have a Master's or Doctorate (PhD) degree.
Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Reviews
|BBB accredited?||Since 2015||Since 2017|
|BBB avg. review||4 (out of 5) for 158 reviews||1.5 for 18 reviews|
|Trustpilot review||4.5 + 1,187 reviews||2.5 + 6 reviews|
Talkspace vs. Ginger
Ginger.io is a combination of live coaching though the Ginger app, and behavioral health therapy and psychiatry. While Talkspace is available to the public Ginger is only available through employers, who can purchase Ginger services for their employees as a benefit.
Talkspace vs Headspace
While Talkspace offers live counseling with licensed therapists, Headspace is a meditation app that costs $69.99 for a year subscription, which includes:
- Hundreds of recorded guided meditations for issues ranging from stress to sleep
- 40+ mindfulness exercises for cooking, eating, commuting and more
- Sleep Sounds to ease into sleep
- Stress-release exercises with meditation.
Best online therapy sites
|Talkspace||$65-99/week||B||Combination of unlimited text, with optional live audio or video sessions.|
|BetterHelp||$35/week for unlimited messaging and weekly live sessions.|
10% off for Wealthy Single Mommy readers.
Financial assistance available.
|A+||100% Master's or PhD for unlimited text, video, phone or messaging.|
Related: BetterHelp online therapy review
How to get started with Talkspace
Whether you want help as an individual or are seeking therapy as a couple, Talkspace can help you find an appropriate therapist for your mental health needs. Learn more about Talkspace now >>