Talkspace online therapy review

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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.

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.

There are dozens of online counseling apps and sites. Talkspace is a quality choice and leader in the industry, but it’s not my top pick. Check out all of the top online therapy sites in this post, Best online therapy sites for 2021, and see what my top choice is for my own personal use.

However, Talkspace is still a good online therapy platform that delivers mental health treatment. They use licensed therapists to provide cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) online with flexible scheduling and a low out-of-pocket cost.

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 a B rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Talkspace screens all the therapists in their nationwide network to ensure they’re licensed, and only work with 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.

How much does Talkspace cost?

Talkspace pricing is billed monthly. There is no contract, and you can cancel anytime.

TalkSpace does not offer free online counseling, but Talkspace does have an offer of $80 off with the promo code “GOAL” as of October, 2021.

However, BetterHelp offers a 20% discount for first-time clients, and has prices starting at $65/week for unlimited messaging and weekly live sessions. Financial assistance available. BetterHelp has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

These are the current plans Talkspace offers as of October, 2021:

  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus
    • Includes text, video & audio messaging, therapist responds daily, 5 days per week
      • Billed Monthly: $260 
      • Billed Quarterly: $708 every three months
      • Billed Biannually: $1248 every six months 
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium
    • Includes text, video & audio messaging, therapist responds daily, 5 days per week
    • 1 Live session per month (30 minutes each)
      • Billed Monthly: $316 
      • Billed Quarterly: $852 every three months
      • Billed Biannually: $1512 every six months 
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate
    • Includes text, video & audio messaging, therapist responds daily, 5 days per week
    • 4 Live sessions per month (30 minutes each)
      • Billed Monthly: $396 
      • Billed Quarterly: $1068 every three months
      • Billed Biannually: $1896 every six months 
  • Couples Therapy
    • Includes text, video & audio messaging
    • 4 live sessions per month (30 minutes each)
      • Billed Monthly: $396 
      • Billed Quarterly: $1068 every three months
  • Talkspace Teens Therapy (for ages 13 – 17) 
    • Includes text, video & audio messaging, therapist responds daily, 5 days per week
      • Billed monthly: $260 

Live video sessions can be added for $65 per 30-minute session. Note that these are different than video or audio messaging.

By comparison, traditional face-to-face therapy costs $70-$250+ per hour.

Talkspace prices for online therapy

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).

Can't afford a therapist right now? Here are workbooks you could try to DIY:

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.

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.

How to schedule a therapy appointment with Talkspace:

  1. Go to Talkspace.com, or download the online therapy app on iTunes or Google Play.
  2. Get an assessment via text with a “matching therapist.”
  3. Set up an account using a credit card or PayPal account.
  4. Receive a list or recommended therapists, choose one.
  5. Start messaging via the Talkspace app or website.
How to schedule a therapy appointment with Talkspace:

For the basic, Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus 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, or 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) is 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 Rogerian therapy, requires the client to take an active role in his or her treatment with the therapist being supportive — and not providing direction or instructions. The client-centered therapist believes that the client has the internal wisdom needed to solve his or her problems.
  • 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 an initial psychiatry appointment cost $199. Follow-up appointments cost $125.

Talkspace points out: “Please note psychiatry providers are unable to prescribe for controlled substances such as Benzodiazepines and ADHD medication.”

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 pros and cons

Talkspace pros:

  • Quality therapy via text or video 
  • Easy-to-use app and desktop
  • High ratings 
  • Accepts many insurances 
  • Psychiatry services for an additional fee  

Talkspace cons:

  • Compared with BetterHelp, it is much more expensive if you want actual video counseling 
  • No financial assistance programs
  • Therapists do not work weekends, only Monday-Friday

Talkspace reviews

Talkspace has many positive reviews on their site:

Talkspace reviews- pros and cons of best online therapy sites

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.

talkspace online counseling better business bureau

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 on reddit

Talkspace reviews on Trustpilot.com

Talkspace has 1.7 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot, based on just 18 reviews.

talkspace trustpilot review

Talkspace alternatives

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.

Bottom line: 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.

Deciding between Talkspace and BetterHelp for online therapy can be difficult, as their plans are similar, both allow you to interact with your therapist anonymously, and both have large client bases.

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.

Here is why BetterHelp has an advantage:

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Pricing

Price: Betterhelp’s services start at $65 per week including a live video session weekly, compared with $99 per week for the same services 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.

Overall, BetterHelp offers a better value. Talkspace is more likely to take your health insurance.

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:

Talkspace pricing:

talkspace online counseling pricing

BetterHelp pricing:

betterhelp therapy price

Free Therapy: Neither BetterHelp nor Talkspace offer free online counseling. BetterHelp does offer Wealthy Single Mommy readers a 20% discount (no coupon code needed if you use this link), as well as financial assistance.

Therapist qualifications: Both Talkspace and BetterHelp require therapists have at least 3 years and 2,000 hours of training, are licensed and certified in their states, and possess either a Master’s or Doctoral (Psy.D., PhD) degree.

Check out BetterHelp now >>

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Reviews

BetterHelpTalkSpace
PriceStarting at $260/month, for unlimited texts and weekly live sessionsStarting at $260/month, for unlimited texts. Add weekly live sessions for $396/month.
Wealthy Single Mommy discount?20% discountX
BBB gradeA+B
BBB accredited?Since 2015Since 2017
BBB avg. review


4.07 (out of 5) for 239 reviews



1.15 for 40 reviews



Trustpilot review



4.5 + for 2,637 reviews



1.7 for 18 reviews
Live sessions?Always includedFor an extra fee of $65/30 min.
Mobile video sessions included?YesFor an extra fee of $65/30 min.
Desktop video sessions?YesX
Phone sessions?YesX
Couples therapy?YesYes
Teen therapy?YesYes
LGBTQ therapy?YesYes
Financial assistance?YesX
Free group therapy?YesX

7 Cup listening community — what is that about?

Online-Therapy.com review

How much does Talkspace cost?

Talkspace pricing is billed monthly. There are three plans starting at $260 monthly.

Is Talkspace legit?

Talkspace is recognized leader in the online therapy industry and has an A 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 3,000 clinical hours, which is a licensing requirement in most U.S. states. As for security, the technology behind the platform fully complies with HIPAA regulations.

Is Talkspace covered by insurance?

Talkspace works with a limited number of health insurers, as well as some employers directly. 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).

Talkspace

$396 per month
8

Overall

8.0/10

Pros

  • Live chat
  • Video sessions
  • Convenient and easy

Cons

  • Higher price than competitors
  • Pay extra for live therapy

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

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