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Talkspace is an online therapy service that offers secure, text-based therapy with optional live video sessions.

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Online therapy services are revolutionizing the way we get therapy — giving people more options for where and how they connect with a mental health professional.

Talkspace is an established online therapy service that allows you to talk with a therapist from anywhere via your computer or mobile device.

The subscription service matches you with a qualified therapist, then you can exchange text, voice, or video messages with them in a one-on-one conversation. The higher-priced plans also allow you to schedule weekly or monthly live conversations.

How we researched Talkspace

Psych Central places great value on integrity, so we take the time to vet all products and services before publishing reviews or recommendations. This vetting process includes the following factors:

  • Price point. This includes considering the accessibility of quality services.
  • Background of featured experts. We make sure to look into the expertise of the clinicians involved in the service we discuss.
  • Communication. This includes the frequency that you can speak with your clinician and the ease of accessing customer service options.
  • Ease of use. No one wants to deal with a wonky site or app when looking for help, so it’s important to us that options aren’t too complicated.
  • Reviews. We look into real feedback from folks who have utilized the product or service.

If you’d like to learn more, this page explains the vetting process in greater detail.

Talkspace is based in New York City, and according to its website has more than 1 million users. The company describes its service as a safe, easy, and quick way of connecting with a therapist to improve your mental health.

Talkspace works on computers and mobile devices, with apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad. The apps send you notifications and emails to remind you of appointments and alert you when your therapist has messaged you.

Types of treatment

Therapists with Talkspace are a diverse group of licensed clinicians from the United States and Canada who specialize in particular topics and types of therapy, such as anger management or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A therapist may have several areas of expertise.

Talkspace offers online therapy and specialized services including:

Parents must give their permission via video for teens to register for therapy from Talkspace.

You can receive many kinds of counseling through Talkspace. The website says the company’s therapists are specialized in, for example:

The Talkspace website offers free mental health tests online to help you figure out whether you should seek help for depression or anxiety.

Sign up process

The process to sign up for Talkspace is quick and can be done within minutes.

You start by visiting the company website. The service will give you a brief assessment, asking you a few questions about yourself and what type of therapy and therapist you’re looking for.

Then Talkspace will come back to you with a list of three therapists they recommend based on your assessment.

You can choose one of the provided options and expect to start your therapy sessions within a couple of days. Talkspace suggests that people are usually matched with a therapist within a day, but online reviews report it could take up to 2 days. If you want an appointment with a Talkspace psychiatrist, we suggest booking one at least 48 hours in advance.

Getting in touch with your therapist

Once you’ve signed up online, you can connect regularly with a therapist by phone, video message, or chat. All these types of messages are recorded and sent back and forth between you and your therapist.

Depending on your subscription plan, you can also request to schedule live video sessions with your therapist so you can chat with them in real-time.

The service doesn’t limit how many messages you can send your therapist, and you can send messages 24/7. Still, it’s good to keep in mind that though your therapist will respond daily, they reply only 5 days a week.

Psychiatric services

Talkspace also has Talkspace Psychiatry available, so you don’t have to find a separate service for possible medication needs.

Similar to Talkspace’s therapy, you fill out a questionnaire and are then matched with a psychiatrist, this time specifically within your state. They can then prescribe medication (excluding controlled substances), follow-up care, and medication management.

You can feel comfortable in knowing that you will see the same psychiatric clinician each time and that you have the option of picking up your medication from your local pharmacy or having them delivered straight to you.

The service verifies that all its care providers are up to industry standards (NCQA) and have advanced education and experience. The website says Talkspace therapists have an average of 9 years of education in their field.

Clinicians through Talkspace’s psychiatry section are either licensed psychiatrists or nurse practitioners.

When it comes to handling sensitive information online, privacy and confidentiality are understandable areas for consideration. The Talkspace website says the platform is secure for users and is HIPAA-compliant.

Messages you exchange with your therapist are fully encrypted, and the messages with your therapist stay private on the Talkspace platform. That means your therapist won’t be able to call you with your phone number, for example.

For added protection, you can also enable Touch ID and Face ID with the Talkspace iOS app on enabled devices, or simply have the app protected by a password.

Talkspace has announced that the company reviews transcripts of some client-therapist conversations with the identifying information removed. They use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze clients’ language so the company can provide a better therapy experience. This process may be secure because the conversations are anonymized.

Talkspace offers flexible plans that are billed monthly, and the website claims Talkspace services cost about 80% less than in-person therapy sessions. There’s no need for long-term contracts and you can cancel any time.

Though Medicare and Medicaid are not accepted, Talkspace’s therapy option has several insurance partners, so if you currently have health insurance, it may be covered.

Talkspace offers occasional discounts for its services, with a noted promotion of $100 off therapy services and $50 off psychiatry services.

Monthly packages for individuals

A downside of Talkspace is that the company no longer posts pricing on its website. Talkspace states in more general terms that “pricing will vary based on where you live and the network availability of therapists in your area.” You’ll only see the exact pricing once you sign up.

Psych Central tried to reach out to Talkspace to confirm its current pricing ranges but did not receive a reply. For this reason, the prices listed below are estimates based on older information.

Online therapy with Talkspace comes in three basic packages. The basic plan includes only unlimited messaging with your therapist. Higher cost plans include live video calls with your therapist in addition to unlimited messaging. The options are:

  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: was $260 a month. Doesn’t include live therapy sessions.
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: was $316 a month. Includes 1 live therapy session of 30 minutes.
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate: was $396 a month. Includes 4 live therapy sessions of 30 minutes.

You can save money on the plans above if you choose to pay every 3 or 6 months rather than every month.

Other packages

Relationship therapy plans used to cost $396 a month of 1,068 every 3 months. This type of therapy is still available, but the exact pricing is no longer listed on the Talkspace website.

The relationship therapy plan includes unlimited messaging and a weekly live call with your therapist.

Teen therapy plans used to cost the same as the basic online therapy package. This includes unlimited messaging but doesn’t include live therapy sessions.

Psychiatry pricing

Visits with a psychiatrist are live and you pay per session. In 2020, an initial session cost $249 and follow-up sessions cost $125 each. It’s unknown whether the pricing has changed since. You can book sessions directly with your psychiatrist.

One 2017 research article on Talkspace found that text therapy cost about 42% as much as traditional therapy. It noted that this therapy also reduced wait times significantly compared with in-person therapy.

The service accepts insurance from dozens of benefit providers. You can search for yours easily on the Talkspace website to see whether you’re covered.

Talkspace isn’t available through Medicaid or Medicare, and the service doesn’t appear to offer financial aid.

Before choosing Talkspace, consider weighing the pros and cons. Here’s what’s great about it and a few drawbacks.

What’s great about Talkspace?

  • You can talk to your therapist from anywhere as long as you have a computer or mobile device and an internet connection.
  • The service can connect you with a psychiatrist who can evaluate you and prescribe medication that you can pick up at your local pharmacy.
  • Talkspace will match you with a psychiatrist licensed in your state.
  • You can choose your therapist from three options the app will match you with, allowing you to somewhat customize your experience.
  • You can switch therapists whenever you want at no extra cost.
  • Many health insurances cover Talkspace services.
  • The platform encrypts your conversations and offers a password-secured login system to keep your data private.

What are the drawbacks of Talkspace?

  • Exact pricing information for Talkspace isn’t available until you sign up.
  • Live sessions with a therapist are available only with higher-priced plans.
  • You may find the service pricey, especially if you don’t have health insurance.
  • Online reviewers have mentioned that if you cancel your subscription within the month, Talkspace will still charge you for the whole month.
  • Medicare and Medicaid don’t cover Talkspace services.
  • Talkspace may analyze your conversations with your therapist using AI. Though they remove your name to ensure anonymity, some people may not be comfortable with this.
  • While you may be able to get help from a therapist within a few hours of signing up, Talkspace isn’t for those in a crisis situation.

Help is available

If you’re having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can access free support right away with these resources:

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call the Lifeline at 800-273-8255, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The Crisis Text Line. Text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
  • The Trevor Project. LGBTQIA+ and under 25 years old? Call 866-488-7386, text “START” to 678678, or chat online 24-7.
  • Veterans Crisis Line. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or chat online 24-7.
  • Deaf Crisis Line. Call 321-800-DEAF (3323), text “HAND” at 839863, or visit their website.
  • Befrienders Worldwide. This international crisis helpline network can help you find a local helpline.

Early research has shown telehealth services for mental health — sometimes called telepsychology or telepsychiatry — may help people with various conditions and needs.

People with depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorder found their phone or video sessions with a therapist were just as effective as meeting with a therapist in person, according to a 2018 review.

The authors noted that telepsychology had the potential to help more people access mental health services.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published a review of studies in 2017 that found therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was just as effective when people met with their therapists through video chat compared with in person.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) delivered online helped reduce people’s symptoms of anxiety equally as well as in-person therapy, according to a 2016 review of high quality studies.

If you’ve been looking for therapy to improve your well-being and you want a fully online version, it’s likely you’ve come across other options, such as the highly rated BetterHelp. The two options are very similar, with both having similar pricing depending on your subscription package and 100% virtual offerings.

BetterHelp may be a better fit if:

  • You’d like live therapy sessions included in your plan.
  • You aren’t comfortable potentially having your sensitive conversations analyzed by AI.

Talkspace may be for you if:

  • Insurance coverage is a consideration for your services.
  • You’re interested in psychiatric services.
  • You need therapy for your teen between the ages 13 and 17.
  • You’d rather have the options to choose between a few therapists instead of being assigned one.

If you’re still considering between the two, consider reading our in-depth comparison.

Talkspace is based online and doesn’t offer in-person therapy. This service may be for you if you’re comfortable communicating by computer and mobile app. In that case, it may even be a good replacement for face-to-face therapy.

Talkspace may be particularly useful for people who are looking for convenience, limited face-to-face contact, or a service that works better with their schedule.

For example, online therapy may be the right fit for you, if you:

  • live in regions without many mental healthcare options
  • have limited mobility
  • have young children
  • have a busy schedule
  • are stuck at home during a pandemic

If you’re interested in digital-based therapy, Talkspace might be a good option for you. The platform offers secure, text-based online therapy with optional live video therapy sessions.

The sign-up process is straightforward, you can get matched with a therapist within a couple of days, and you can change therapists whenever you want with no penalty or wait time. If you get flustered by text-based communication, this may not be the app for you, but that’s OK — there are several other virtual avenues to find a therapist.

Telehealth services have been shown to help people improve their mental health. If you’re thinking about trying one, Talkspace may be a good place to start.