An In-Depth Comparison of Talkspace and BetterHelp: Two Leading Online Therapy Platforms

Dr. Serenity
April 11, 2023

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: A Comprehensive Comparison

We have thoroughly evaluated Talkspace and BetterHelp, two of the biggest online therapy providers, among others. Both offer thousands of licensed therapists and multiple therapy options. In this article, we compare the pros and cons of each platform, including costs, insurance acceptance, medication prescribing, services provided, and age range of patients, to help you select the right fit for your therapy needs and goals.

When it comes to choosing an online therapy platform, two of the most popular options are Talkspace and BetterHelp. In this review, we take a closer look at each platform and compare their costs, insurance coverage, medication options, services provided, and age requirements. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of which platform might be the best fit for you.

Cost: Talkspace vs. BetterHelp

Talkspace offers therapy plans ranging from $69 to $109 per week, as well as an initial psychiatry appointment for $249 and follow-up appointments for $125 each. BetterHelp, on the other hand, offers therapy plans that range from $60 to $90 per week.

Insurance Coverage: Talkspace vs. BetterHelp

If you’re hoping to use insurance to pay for therapy, Talkspace is the better option. They accept insurance, whereas BetterHelp does not.

Medication: Talkspace vs. BetterHelp

If you’re looking for a platform that can prescribe medication, Talkspace is the clear winner. They offer a psychiatry plan that includes the ability to prescribe medication, whereas BetterHelp does not offer any medication options.

Services Provided: Talkspace vs. BetterHelp

Both Talkspace and BetterHelp offer in-app messaging, but they differ in their other services. Talkspace provides video and phone sessions on some plans, while BetterHelp offers live chat, video, phone, and in-app messaging.

Age Requirements: Talkspace vs. BetterHelp

Talkspace accepts patients aged 13 and older, while BetterHelp only accepts patients who are 18 and older.

In conclusion, while both Talkspace and BetterHelp are leading online therapy platforms, they have some key differences in their costs, insurance coverage, medication options, services provided, and age requirements. It’s important to consider your specific therapy needs and goals when deciding which platform is the best fit for you.



Talkspace is a large and popular online therapy platform that offers various types of counseling and treatment from licensed mental health professionals. In this review, we will break down the pros and cons of Talkspace to help you make an informed decision about whether this platform is right for you.


  • Accepts insurance
  • Offers psychiatry services and can prescribe medication through the psychiatry plan
  • Provides therapy plans for couples, individuals, and teens
  • Offers text, audio, and video messaging with therapists


  • Not covered by Medicare or Medicaid
  • Providers cannot diagnose mental health conditions
  • Some medications cannot be prescribed through the psychiatry plan

Talkspace has a wide range of licensed counselors, therapists, and psychologists who offer counseling for various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, and substance use. All Talkspace plans include messaging with therapists through text, audio, and video, and some plans also include live therapy sessions. Talkspace also offers psychiatry services for patients who are 18 years old and above, and they can prescribe medications through the psychiatry plan. Teen counseling is also available for patients who are 13 to 17 years old, and couples counseling is offered as well. However, Talkspace is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, and their providers cannot diagnose mental health conditions.



BetterHelp is a popular online therapy platform that provides easy access to licensed, accredited, and board-certified therapists. The platform offers a wide range of therapy options, including live video, chat, and phone sessions, as well as in-app messaging and group sessions. BetterHelp has several pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s the right therapy platform for you.


  • Financial aid is available for eligible patients
  • Offers multiple forms of therapy, including live video, chat, phone, and messaging
  • Can switch therapists at any time at no cost


  • Does not accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid
  • Does not prescribe medication
  • Providers cannot diagnose mental health conditions

BetterHelp offers counseling for a variety of mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, grief, and eating disorders, among others. BetterHelp therapy plans are available for patients ages 18 and older and are affordable, with pricing ranging from $60 to $90 per week. With a large network of therapists, BetterHelp makes it easy to find a counselor that fits your specific needs.


Comparing Talkspace and BetterHelp Prices

Online therapy platforms such as Talkspace and BetterHelp have become increasingly popular for their convenience and accessibility. However, finding the right platform can be challenging, and the cost of therapy can be a deciding factor for many. In this article, we’ll compare the prices and plans of Talkspace and BetterHelp.

Talkspace Pricing and Plans

Talkspace therapy prices range from $69 to $109 per week, depending on the plan you select and the availability of therapists in your state. You can choose to be billed monthly, quarterly, or biannually. Talkspace also accepts insurance, which is not an option with BetterHelp.

Talkspace offers three main individual therapy plans, which are:

  • Messaging Therapy Plan: This plan costs $276 per month and allows you to message your therapist anytime, and you’ll receive daily responses five days a week.
  • Video Plus Messaging Therapy Plan: This plan costs $396 per month and includes scheduled 30-minute video calls with your Talkspace therapist each week.
  • Video Plus Messaging Plus Workshops Plan: This plan costs $436 per month and includes messaging, video calls, and optional live workshops. Talkspace workshops are group classes held via Zoom that cover a variety of topics, such as managing triggers at work.

Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 can access any of these three Talkspace online therapy plans with the consent of a parent or guardian.

Talkspace also offers a couples therapy plan, which costs $436 per month without insurance. This plan includes live weekly video sessions and unlimited messaging with a therapist. It’s important to note that this type of counseling isn’t generally covered by insurance unless the decision to seek help stems from a mental health condition such as sex addiction, schizophrenia, or mood disorders. You should consult your insurance provider to verify whether it covers marriage or couples counseling.

Lastly, Talkspace offers a psychiatry plan that connects you with a licensed psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner in your state who can prescribe and help manage your medication. The initial online evaluation costs $249, and each follow-up appointment costs $125.

BetterHelp Pricing and Plans

BetterHelp offers a single monthly subscription for online counseling, which ranges from $60 to $90 per week or $240 to $360 per month, depending on where you live, your therapy preferences, and the availability of therapists licensed in your state.

Every BetterHelp subscription includes unlimited messaging and one live chat, phone, or video session per week, plus access to added benefits like digital worksheets and modules to support you in your therapy, and free weekly group sessions led by a therapist. BetterHelp does not guarantee how often you’ll receive a response, only stating that therapists respond when they’re able to, usually within 24 hours. According to a survey of 162 BetterHelp users, 50 percent received responses within a day, 17 percent within a few days, 25 percent within a week, and 8 percent said it regularly took more than a week for their therapist to respond to their messages.

Unlike Talkspace, BetterHelp does not accept insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid. However, you may qualify for financial aid under certain circumstances, such as being a student or veteran, having a disability, or being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When you sign up for BetterHelp counseling, you’ll be given the cost of weekly therapy sessions after completing the initial questionnaire, and you’ll be required to pay for four weeks upfront. For example, if your therapy subscription costs $80 per week, you must pay $320 upfront before you start BetterHelp counseling.


BetterHelp vs. Talkspace: How to Sign Up for Online Therapy

BetterHelp Sign-Up Process

If you’re interested in signing up for online therapy with BetterHelp, follow these steps:

  1. Go to BetterHelp’s website and select the “Individual” counseling option. If you’re seeking couples therapy or therapy for a teen, you’ll be directed to or, both of which are specialty counseling platforms operated by BetterHelp.
  2. Complete a questionnaire to provide background information about yourself and why you’re seeking online therapy. This information helps BetterHelp match you with the right therapist.
  3. There is an eight-step progress bar at the top of the page that lets you know how much of the questionnaire you have left to complete. You will be asked about your gender identity, with options including “man,” “woman,” and a “More Options” hyperlink that includes options like transfeminine, transmasculine, nonbinary, and other gender identity options. You will also select your exact age and sexual identity.
  4. You’ll be asked about your relationship status, religious or spiritual beliefs, and history with therapy. BetterHelp then asks you to fill out two checklists stating the reasons why you’re considering therapy and what you expect from your therapist.
  5. You’ll be asked about depression and anxiety symptoms and which therapy resources you may find helpful (such as journals, habit trackers, or educational webinars).
  6. Finally, you will create your private account, which includes your first name or nickname, your email, and a password. You should receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes.

The entire sign-up process for BetterHelp takes about nine minutes. Although there are many questions, they’re designed to help BetterHelp make a better selection for the right therapist for you. If you don’t think your therapist is a good fit, you can change your therapist at any time at no extra cost.

Talkspace Sign-Up Process

If you’re interested in signing up for online therapy with Talkspace, follow these steps:

  1. Start by answering a question about why you’re looking for online therapy, with options such as “I’m feeling anxious or panicky,” “I’m dealing with stress at work or school,” or “I’m feeling down or depressed.” After selecting your answer, you’ll rate your sleeping habits and physical health on a scale of excellent, good, fair, or poor.
  2. You’ll then be asked about your gender identity, which includes nonbinary, genderqueer, and transgender options, and if you have a gender preference for your provider. After entering your date of birth and the state where you live, you can select the insurance provider you want to use to pay, or you can indicate that you’re paying out of pocket.
  3. Finally, you will select your plan and create your account. You’ll be matched with three therapists, and you can select the one who best meets your requirements to continue with your sessions. Like BetterHelp, if your therapist isn’t a good match, you can switch to a different one at no extra cost.

If you’re interested in signing up for Talkspace psychiatry, follow these steps:

  1. Choose from a list of conditions that you’re looking for help with, including depression, anxiety, or bipolar personality disorder.
  2. You’ll then be asked if you’ve previously been prescribed medication as part of a mental health treatment plan. Talkspace notes that it does not prescribe controlled substances.
  3. Talkspace will then ask about your gender identity, if you have a gender preference for your provider, and your date of birth. You’ll select the state where you live and your insurance provider. If you’re paying out of pocket, you can select that option as well.


Comparing Talkspace and BetterHelp Prescription Medication Options

When it comes to online therapy, Talkspace and BetterHelp are two of the most popular platforms available. However, if you are considering online therapy and take prescription medication as part of your treatment plan, you may be wondering if these platforms can prescribe medication. In this article, we will compare Talkspace and BetterHelp’s prescription medication options.

Can Talkspace Prescribe Medication?

Talkspace offers a psychiatry plan that includes prescription medication options. If you sign up for Talkspace psychiatry, you have the option to meet with a psychiatrist for one initial evaluation, an initial evaluation plus one follow-up, or an initial evaluation plus three follow-ups. During these sessions, the psychiatrist may recommend certain prescription medications to help manage your mental health condition.

It’s important to note that Talkspace cannot prescribe controlled substances such as benzodiazepines or stimulants. However, they can prescribe other types of medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers.

Can BetterHelp Prescribe Medication?

Currently, BetterHelp does not offer psychiatry services or prescription medications. Instead, their focus is on providing various forms of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, grief therapy and counseling, and therapy for trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder.

While BetterHelp cannot prescribe medication, it is still a valuable resource for those seeking support and guidance for their mental health concerns. The platform offers affordable and convenient access to licensed therapists who can provide evidence-based therapy.

Choosing Between Talkspace and BetterHelp for Medication Management

Whether Talkspace or BetterHelp is the right choice for you will depend on your personal preferences and specific mental health concerns. If you are currently taking prescription medication as part of your treatment plan, Talkspace’s psychiatry plan may be a better fit for you. However, if you are seeking therapy for non-medication management purposes, BetterHelp may be a suitable option.

It’s worth noting that medication isn’t always necessary for managing mental health conditions. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 57 percent of U.S. adults incorrectly believe that medication is the only effective treatment method for mood disorders. Therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can be an effective treatment option for managing symptoms of mood disorders.

As Jordie Smith, a licensed marriage and family therapist, notes, “It’s important for people to know that therapy is an effective treatment method for mood disorders.” She adds that consistent therapy can help patients acquire the tools to better manage mood disorders and their symptoms. Additionally, specific therapy models, such as dialectical behavior therapy, can be tailored to treat specific mood disorders like bipolar disorder.

In summary, when considering medication management options, it’s essential to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each platform and to consider all available treatment options for managing mental health conditions.


BetterHelp vs. Talkspace: Therapist Qualifications

When choosing an online therapy platform, it’s important to consider the qualifications of the therapists who will be providing your care. Let’s take a closer look at the counselor qualifications offered by BetterHelp and Talkspace.

BetterHelp Counselor Qualifications

BetterHelp offers a diverse range of counselors, including licensed psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed clinical social workers. All therapists on the BetterHelp platform are fully licensed in the state where they operate, ensuring that they have met the necessary educational and training requirements to provide quality mental health care.

BetterHelp prides itself on its rigorous application process, claiming that only 20 percent of therapists who apply are hired to work on the platform. Additionally, patients can access the full licensing information for each therapist on the BetterHelp website, allowing them to do their own research and verify their therapist’s qualifications for themselves.

Talkspace Counselor Qualifications

Talkspace also offers a range of licensed and independent clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed mental health counselors, licensed professional counselors, and physicians and nurse practitioners with training in psychiatry. All Talkspace providers are fully licensed in the state where they practice.

While Talkspace does not provide details on its application process, it does require that all therapists undergo a rigorous screening process before being accepted onto the platform. This includes verifying their licensure and ensuring that they have the necessary qualifications and experience to provide effective mental health care.

Which is the Right Choice for You?

Ultimately, the choice between BetterHelp and Talkspace will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Both platforms offer qualified therapists who are fully licensed in their state, so you can rest assured that you will receive quality care. It’s always a good idea to research each platform and read reviews from other patients to help you make an informed decision.


Comparing Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Reviews and Ratings

When it comes to online therapy platforms like Talkspace and BetterHelp, one important factor to consider is the reviews and ratings left by previous users. Here’s what you need to know about each platform’s ratings and reviews:

Talkspace Reviews

Talkspace has received a significant number of ratings and reviews on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Overall, Talkspace has a 4.7 out of 5-star rating on the Apple App Store, based on more than 11,500 ratings. On the Google Play Store, Talkspace has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, based on more than 5,400 reviews.

However, when it comes to reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot, Talkspace’s ratings are less positive. Talkspace has a B rating from the BBB, but an average rating of 1.08 out of 5 stars based on over 85 customer reviews. On Trustpilot, Talkspace has an average rating of 1.2 out of 5 stars, with 113 reviews. Complaints from customers often center around unresponsive therapists, difficulty with billing and insurance, and trouble reaching customer service.

BetterHelp Reviews

BetterHelp has a large number of ratings and reviews on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The BetterHelp app is listed as the No. 1 therapy platform on the Apple App Store, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars based on over 85,000 reviews. On the Google Play Store, the app has been downloaded over 1 million times and has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars based on over 32,000 reviews.

On the BBB, BetterHelp is accredited but is not currently rated. However, it has an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars based on over 460 customer reviews. On Trustpilot, BetterHelp has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, with over 4,900 reviews. It’s important to note that Trustpilot has flagged that BetterHelp may use “unsupported invitation methods” to solicit reviews, which can lead to potential bias in their ratings.

Overall, when comparing the reviews and ratings of Talkspace vs. BetterHelp, BetterHelp seems to have higher customer satisfaction rates across multiple platforms. However, it’s always important to do your own research and consider your own needs and preferences when choosing an online therapy platform.


Why You Can Trust Our Review

Our goal is to provide unbiased and accurate information to help our readers make informed decisions about their mental health care. We have thoroughly researched the online therapy market, engaging in independent research and mystery shopping each brand. We also contacted the customer service teams to assess their responsiveness and consulted with six leading psychologists and psychiatrists. Additionally, we became customers of online therapy providers ourselves and reviewed academic research on the efficacy of online therapy versus in-person therapy. We have also read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third-party sources such as the BBB and Trustpilot.


The Bottom Line

Choosing between BetterHelp and Talkspace for online therapy will depend on your personal therapy needs and goals. While BetterHelp has lower prices and offers financial aid options, Talkspace accepts insurance and provides multiple billing options. Both providers’ rates vary depending on your location and the plan you choose.

If you prefer traditional talk therapy in a monthly live video session, a BetterHelp subscription may be a better fit for you. However, if your goal is to receive medication management from online therapy, then Talkspace is the better choice as they can prescribe medications. It’s important to note that controlled substances aren’t prescribed through Talkspace.


In Emergency Situations

In case of an emergency or crisis, waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe. If you have plans to harm yourself or others, call 911. For suicidal thoughts, you can call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). SAMHSA is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-days-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals facing mental or substance abuse disorders.

We have independently investigated and recommended products and services that we believe will enrich the lives of our readers and meet their specific needs. If you’d like to learn more about our online therapy review methodology, you can read the full details on our website.

Author Dr. Serenity

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