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Talkspace is an online therapy service that offers secure, text-based therapy with optional live video sessions.
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.
Talkspace is based in New York City, and according to their website has more than 1 million users.
The company describes their service as a safe, easy, and quick way of connecting with a therapist to improve your mental health.
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.
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 at any time — day or night. Your therapist will respond daily, 5 days a week.
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.
You can get in touch with your therapist 24/7 by sending video, phone, or text messages for them to respond to.
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.
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 offer several areas of expertise.
The service verifies 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.
Talkspace offers online therapy, as well as specialized services including psychiatry sessions, relationship therapy, and teen therapy for people ages 13–17. 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 anxiety and stress, anger management, depression, family conflict, parenting, LGBTQIA+ matters, eating disorders, trauma, grief, insomnia, and more.
The Talkspace website offers free mental health tests online to help you figure out whether you should seek help for depression or anxiety.
You can sign up for Talkspace in minutes.
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 these and start therapy right away.
The Talkspace website suggests that people are usually matched to a therapist within a day. However, online reviews report it could take up to 2 days.
If you send a text, audio, or video message to your therapist, they’ll respond the same day or next day, 5 days a week.
If you want an appointment with a Talkspace psychiatrist, you’ll need to book one at least 48 hours in advance.
The Talkspace website says the platform is secure for users and is HIPAA-compliant. Messages you exchange with your therapist are fully encrypted.
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.
You can 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 AI to analyze clients’ language so the company can provide a better therapy experience.
This process may be secure because the conversations are anonymized. However, some people may not want to participate in this.
Talkspace offers flexible plans that are billed monthly. The service doesn’t ask subscribers to sign contracts and you can cancel any time.
However, online reviewers have mentioned that if you cancel, Talkspace will still charge you for the whole month.
Online therapy with Talkspace comes in three basic packages:
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: $260 per month. Doesn’t include live therapy sessions.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: $316 per month. Includes 1 live therapy session of 30 minutes.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate: $396 per 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.
Relationship therapy plans cost $396 per month or $1,068 every 3 months. This includes unlimited messaging and a weekly live call with your therapist.
Teen therapy plans cost the same as the basic online therapy package at $260 per month. This includes unlimited messaging but doesn’t include live therapy sessions.
Visits with a psychiatrist are live and you pay per session. An initial session costs $199 and follow-up sessions cost $125 each. You can book sessions directly with your psychiatrist.
The website says Talkspace services cost about 80% less than in-person therapy sessions.
One research article on Talkspace found that text therapy cost about
The service accepts insurance from dozens of benefit providers. You can search for yours easily on the Talkspace website to see if 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, as well as 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 3 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?
- Live sessions with a therapist are only available with higher-priced plans.
- You may find the service pricey, especially if you don’t have health insurance.
- 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.
Early research has shown telehealth services for mental health — sometimes called telepsychology or telepsychiatry — may help people for a variety of conditions and needs.
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’re looking for therapy to help improve your well-being, Talkspace may be a good option to try.
The company offers counseling for individuals, people in relationships, and teenagers 13–17 years old. However, it doesn’t offer group counseling or counseling for children 12 and under.
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, for whatever reason, find it difficult to get to an in-person therapy appointment.
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
People who are experiencing a mental health crisis should not turn to this service for help. Instead, consider one of the options listed above.
Talkspace is a good option for secure, text-based online therapy with optional live video therapy sessions.
The sign-up process is straightforward, and you can change therapists whenever you want with no penalty or wait time.
Those who prefer in-person therapy or aren’t comfortable using computers, tablets, or smartphones may not like Talkspace.
On the other hand, others might really enjoy and benefit from the experience.
Telehealth services have been shown to help people improve their mental health. If you’re thinking about trying one, Talkspace is a good place to start.