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Talkspace Online Therapy Reviews 2023: Pros, Cons, and Pricing
Founded in 2012, Talkspace has grown into a mega online counseling platform that offers text, video, and voice messaging services to over one million users. This comprehensive review covers everything from program options and costs to the enrollment process and more, giving potential users all the information they need to determine if Talkspace is right for them.
Pros and Cons of Talkspace Therapy
- Offers therapy for individuals, couples, and teens
- Large network of counselors and psychiatrists
- Detailed pricing information and therapy process explained
- New users get matched with three therapists and choose their best fit
- Communication available via text, audio, and video messaging
- Simple process for changing therapists
- Live therapy sessions and workshops available on some plans
- Counseling not available for children under 12 years old
- Not all plans offer live video sessions
- Counselors cannot diagnose mental health conditions
- Best suited for mild cases of anxiety or depression
- Not covered by Medicare or Medicaid
How Talkspace Therapy Works: A Comprehensive Review
Talkspace is an online counseling platform that offers virtual therapy sessions with licensed therapists for adults and teens. They also provide single-session psychiatry visits. Users can access Talkspace through the Talkspace app on their mobile device or computer, allowing for convenient scheduling of appointments and messaging with therapists at their own pace.
Subscription Options for Talkspace Therapy
Talkspace offers several different plans to choose from, depending on users’ needs. The following is an overview of Talkspace’s therapy subscription options:
- Messaging Therapy – This plan includes unlimited messaging through text, audio, or video.
- Video Plus Messaging Therapy – This plan includes four 30-minute live sessions that can be conducted via text, audio call, or video call.
- Video Plus Messaging Plus Workshops – This plan combines unlimited messaging with four live therapy sessions and access to online workshops led by licensed therapists. Workshops are held via Zoom, cover a range of topics, and are 60 minutes in length.
- Couples Therapy – This plan includes unlimited messaging for couples, four live 30-minute sessions per month, and is designed for both members of the couple.
- Teens Therapy – This plan is intended for teens ages 13 to 17 and includes unlimited messaging via text, audio, or video.
- Talkspace Psychiatry – This is a session-based program for medication management with psychiatrists discussing mental health issues, but users will need to subscribe to one of the monthly plans if they’re looking for ongoing mental health counseling.
How to Enroll with Talkspace Therapy
Enrolling in Talkspace therapy is a straightforward process, as reviewers attest. The first step is to create an account, which users can do through the Talkspace website or mobile app. Once the account is set up, users will be directed to a private chat room where they will communicate with a licensed mental health professional. During this initial consultation, the therapist will ask questions to help identify the user’s needs and preferences and explain how the platform works, including what to expect from each plan.
Matching with a Talkspace Therapist
After the consultation, users will be matched with several therapists based on their needs and preferences. Users can choose a therapist from the list of matches or ask for a different match. The ability to select from a list of therapists is one of the benefits of Talkspace, providing users with greater control over their therapy experience. It typically takes a few hours to two days to get matched with a therapist.
Starting Therapy with Talkspace
Once users are matched with a therapist, they can start communicating with them in a private therapy room, which is accessible 24/7. Users can send text, video, or voice messages to their therapist at their convenience, and therapists will respond within four to six hours twice a day, five days a week. While the response time is not immediate, Talkspace guarantees daily responses during business hours. Overall, the enrollment process with Talkspace is straightforward, and the platform offers users greater flexibility and control over their therapy experience.
Types of Therapy Offered by Talkspace
Talkspace offers a variety of counseling approaches to treat mental health issues. Some of the most common treatment methods available through the platform include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Client-Centered Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Existential Therapy
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy
- Mindfulness Therapy
- Trauma-Focused Therapy
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Family Therapy
Matching with a Talkspace Therapist
Talkspace matches users with a licensed therapist who specializes in their specific needs. Talkspace therapists have diverse areas of expertise, which include:
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Chronic illness
- Mood disorders
- Anger management
- Social anxiety
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- LGBTQ+ issues
Expertise of Talkspace Therapists
Talkspace therapists are highly qualified mental health professionals who possess one or more of the following credentials: licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC), or a PhD in clinical psychology. In addition, all therapists have at least 3,000 hours of clinical experience. Furthermore, each therapist is authorized to work with clients only in the state where they are licensed.
Talkspace Pricing and Payment Options
Talkspace offers a range of subscription plans with prices ranging from $276 to $436 per month. It’s important to note that the pricing is approximate, as the cost you pay will depend on your location and the availability of therapists in your state. The cost will also vary depending on whether you plan on using insurance.
Talkspace offers the following subscription plans:
- Messaging Therapy: $276 per month, $744 per quarter, or $1,320 biannually
- Video Plus Messaging Therapy: $396 per month, $1,068 per quarter, or $1,896 biannually
- Video Plus Messaging Plus Workshops: $436 per month, $1,176 quarterly, or $2,088 biannually
- Couples Therapy: $436 per month for both people or $1,188 per quarter
- Teens Therapy: Teenagers ages 13 to 17 have access to all three therapy plans, with parent or guardian consent
Talkspace psychiatry option is not a subscription-based plan. Users pay per session, with an initial evaluation fee of $249 and $125 for follow-up sessions.
Users can pay monthly, quarterly, or biannually. The quarterly and biannual plans lower the monthly rate, as does insurance.
Enrollment in Talkspace therapy is easy, and users are not required to sign a long-term contract. However, if users cancel their subscriptions before the monthly plan expires, they will lose the remaining time that they have already paid for. Talkspace does not provide refunds.
Talkspace Medication Management
With Talkspace, users can access prescription medications for mental health conditions related to depression and anxiety. The medication management process starts with an initial assessment, after which users are matched with a board-certified psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner licensed in their state who can prescribe mental health medication. The initial evaluation with a Talkspace psychiatrist is done over a live video session and costs $249. All follow-up appointments are scheduled directly with the prescriber and cost $125 per appointment. Users can pick up prescriptions from their local pharmacy or have them delivered to their home.
Expert customer service representatives are available to assist users with any questions or concerns they may have about their medication or treatment plan.
Customer Service and Satisfaction
Talkspace has mixed reviews when it comes to customer satisfaction. The Apple App Store lists hundreds of reviews for the Talkspace app and gives it an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 6,590 ratings. However, most of the recent reviews give the service a low rating. On the other hand, the Talkspace website shares more positive reviews and testimonials from customers.
Talkspace has a B rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but the customer rating is considerably lower – at 1.08 out of 5 stars based on 75 customer reviews. In the last three years, there have been a total of 470 complaints, of which 238 were closed in the last 12 months. The majority of the complaints reference problems with charges, billing, cancellation, and counselor no-shows. Customers also describe difficulty reaching anyone through phone or live chat to discuss the issues. Others say they’ve left multiple messages that have gone unanswered. Several people mentioned not being able to schedule appointments, or leaving messages for a counselor and not hearing back for days.
Trustpilot, another online review site, gives Talkspace 1.3 out of 5 stars (based on 84 reviews). Like the BBB reviews, most of these refer to poor communication, nonexistent customer service, and difficulty connecting with a therapist.
Overall, it is important to consider these reviews and customer experiences when deciding whether Talkspace is the right choice for your mental health needs.
Talkspace Reviews from Customers
“Talkspace is the perfect app for someone like me, who doesn’t stay in one place for very long due to work demands. Prior to using this app, I relied on in-person therapy, and halted that due to my constant travel. But this app has truly changed my life, making it easier than ever to have the therapy I need on my schedule. There are a few slight drawbacks to be aware of, however. With the full package, you are guaranteed a live video chat once a week. I was not aware that each session was only 30 minutes long until my first session. It also is not a great app if you would like to have therapy at the same time every week. From my experience, it seems that the therapists use their Talkspace clients as “fill-ins” when their in-person clients cancel. This can make it difficult for someone like me who prefers routine. In the end, this app is a true miracle for those that can’t be in the same geographical location every week. My therapist has been really great, better than any of the in-person therapists I’ve had in the past. She responds to me every weekday, and encourages me to check in with her throughout the week.”
— SILVIUS (REVIEW FROM THE APPLE APP STORE)
“Their response time if you are having technical issues is too long. I signed up and my insurance wasn’t going through and it took 1 week of emailing back and forth before I finally got my EAP sessions. Then my free intro meeting counted as an EAP session and they wouldn’t fix it. If you need therapy, this is not the place. Honestly, it turned me off to therapy, which is the exact opposite of what this world needs. I am fortunate they never got money out of me.”
— STEPHANIE L. (REVIEW FROM BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU)
“I love my therapist! Very helpful. I am not happy with customer service as there is no phone number to contact a person. There are account issues I need resolved and can get no satisfaction via email. If I can find my therapist on a different platform I will move … simply due to thick-headed customer service. Thank you.”
— LISA M. (REVIEW FROM BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU)
To provide a comprehensive Talkspace evaluation, we began by analyzing its website and mobile application to gauge the ease of signing up for the service. In general, both platforms make it effortless to communicate with a therapist via chat, video, or voice note. However, understanding the expected cost can be confusing if you do not provide your location details upfront, as prices vary by location and therapist availability in your state. Nevertheless, the good news is that there is no contract with Talkspace’s subscription-based model, and users can cancel anytime.
Subsequently, we examined the sign-up process and counselor matching. Users have three options when being matched with a therapist, and switching therapists is simple. Talkspace mandates that all mental health professionals on its platform possess an LCSW, LMFT, LPCC, or PhD in clinical psychology, hold a license in their practicing state, and have at least 3,000 hours of clinical experience.
We also assessed counselor availability, session types, and cost. Although Talkspace does not accept Medicare or Medicaid, users can save significantly if they prepay for a quarterly or biannual plan. All of these elements, including an informative website, sign-up process, counselor matching and experience, pricing, session types, and counselor availability, are considered in our Talkspace evaluation. You can learn more about our online therapy review process and editorial standards by reading further.
Why You Can Rely on Our Review
At our core, we are committed to providing our readers with unbiased and accurate information to help them make informed decisions. We have thoroughly researched the online therapy market and conducted our review of Talkspace in the following ways:
- Conducted Ongoing Independent Research: We stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the online therapy industry to ensure our review is comprehensive and accurate.
- Conducted Mystery Shopping: We anonymously signed up and tested Talkspace’s services to evaluate its sign-up process, counselor matching, and quality of service.
- Contacted Customer Service Teams: We reached out to Talkspace’s customer service team to assess their responsiveness, knowledge, and overall customer support experience.
- Became Talkspace Customers: Our team subscribed to Talkspace and had personal experience using the service, allowing us to provide an in-depth and objective review.
- Reviewed Academic Research: We consulted academic research on the effectiveness of online therapy versus traditional in-person therapy to provide a more comprehensive understanding of online therapy’s efficacy.
- Read Verified Customer Reviews: We evaluated hundreds of reviews from verified customers on third-party platforms like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot to get a more well-rounded view of the user experience.
By combining all of these methods, we believe our review provides an accurate and reliable assessment of Talkspace’s services. Our commitment to transparency and thoroughness is reflected in the quality of our review.
The Bottom Line on Talkspace
Online Therapy If you’re looking for a therapy option that allows for unlimited messaging, live video sessions, or a combination of both, Talkspace may be an excellent choice. It’s also a good option if you want to use your insurance benefits for online therapy. Talkspace’s messaging feature is particularly helpful for those who prefer to communicate with their therapist outside of scheduled sessions or feel uncomfortable communicating via video.
When browsing therapist profiles on the Talkspace website or app, you can view a brief introduction, availability, and treatment history, including their approach to therapy, areas of focus, years of practice, and time working with Talkspace. This information can help you identify a therapist who will be the best fit for your needs.
However, it’s important to note that Talkspace has received low ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot, with customers citing issues such as long wait times to hear from therapists and negative experiences with individual therapists.
In Emergency Situations
If you’re in crisis, waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe. If you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. This includes if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. This hotline is available 24/7.
You can also reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). This is a free, confidential, 24/7 treatment referral and information service for individuals facing mental health or substance abuse disorders.