Brightside Therapy: Comprehensive Review of Reviews and Costs in 2023 Key Takeaways Brightside offers therapy,…
The Best Text Therapy Platform Reviews: Find Your Perfect Fit
The Top Text Therapy Platforms Reviewed
If you’re seeking mental health care, text therapy may be the solution for you. Text-based therapy provides anonymity and may be more accessible to those in remote areas. There are two types of text therapy: asynchronous and synchronous. Asynchronous messaging is like email, while synchronous messaging is like live chat. In this review, we consulted six mental health experts to evaluate the effectiveness of text therapy and compared the available options to help you choose the best online text therapy platform for your budget and needs.
Top Text Therapy Platforms
Finding the right text therapy platform can be overwhelming with so many options to choose from. Whether you need financial assistance, want to use insurance, or are looking for relationship advice, there is a text therapy platform that can fit your needs. Here are our top picks for the best text therapy platforms:
Best for Financial Assistance: BetterHelp
BetterHelp offers financial assistance to those who qualify, making it an affordable option for those on a tight budget. With licensed therapists available via text, phone or video chat, BetterHelp is a great option for those seeking mental health support.
Best for Using Insurance: Talkspace
Talkspace allows you to use your insurance to cover the cost of therapy. With licensed therapists available via text, voice, and video chat, Talkspace makes it easy to access therapy on your terms.
Most Affordable: Online-Therapy.com
Online-Therapy.com offers affordable text therapy options that can fit any budget. With evidence-based therapy tools and resources available at your fingertips, this platform is a great option for those seeking quality mental health care on a budget.
Best for 24/7 Customer Service: Calmerry
Calmerry offers 24/7 customer service, ensuring that you have access to support whenever you need it. With licensed therapists available via text, voice, and video chat, Calmerry is a great option for those seeking convenient and reliable mental health support.
Best for Relationship Advice: ReGain
ReGain specializes in relationship counseling, making it a great option for those seeking advice on their romantic relationships. With licensed therapists available via text, voice, and video chat, ReGain makes it easy to access therapy that can help improve your relationship.
Comparing the Best Text Therapy Platforms: Cost, Response Time, Financial Aid, and Accessibility
|Brand||Cost Per Month, Without Insurance✝||Percentage of Users Who Received Responses Within 24 Hours*||Offers Financial Aid||Accessibility|
|BetterHelp||$240–$360||50%||Yes||App and web browser (laptop, smartphone, or tablet)|
|Talkspace||$316–$556||48%||No||App and web browser (laptop, smartphone, or tablet)|
|Online-Therapy.com||$200–$440||30%||No||Web browser (laptop, smartphone, or tablet)|
|Calmerry||$228–$360||45%||No||App and web browser (laptop, smartphone, or tablet)|
|ReGain||$240–$360||48%||Yes||App and web browser (laptop, smartphone, or tablet)|
✝Costs may vary depending on your location, preferences, and availability of licensed therapists in your state.
*Based on our survey of 1,000 online therapy users in April 2022.
The Top Online Text Therapy Providers Reviewed
1. Best for Financial Assistance: BetterHelp
BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that offers ongoing financial aid to eligible individuals, making it an ideal option for those who cannot afford therapy without financial assistance. With a subscription, you’ll get unlimited text messaging between sessions and an option for live chat sessions. Here’s what you need to know:
BetterHelp Plan Options and Pricing
BetterHelp offers a monthly subscription that includes one live chat, phone, or video session per week and unlimited asynchronous messaging with your therapist between sessions. The cost ranges from $240 to $360 per month, depending on your location, preferences, and the availability of licensed therapists in your state.
Accepts Insurance: No
- Offers ongoing financial aid to eligible individuals
- Includes a live chat session option and unlimited messaging between sessions
- Offers live sessions and unlimited messaging between sessions
- Does not accept insurance
- Price depends on your location and therapist preferences
How Quickly Do BetterHelp Therapists Respond to Messages?
BetterHelp does not guarantee how often its therapists will respond to messages. However, according to our April 2022 survey of 162 BetterHelp users, 50 percent received text messages from their therapist within a day, while 17 percent received responses within a few days. Eight percent of respondents reported that it regularly took more than one week to get responses to their messages.
2. Top Pick for Insurance Coverage: Talkspace
- Accepts insurance from some carriers
- Unlimited messaging and live sessions with certain plans
- Plans are more expensive compared to competitors
- Pricing is not transparent
Messaging Options: Text, video, and audio messaging
Session Format: Live video, audio, or chat sessions
Cost: $316 to $556 per month, depending on your plan, location, preferences, and therapist availability
Talkspace is a top choice for individuals who want to use their insurance coverage for online therapy. It accepts insurance from several carriers, but coverage varies depending on your plan. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider to confirm your coverage and any out-of-pocket expenses. You can also verify if your insurance carrier is listed on Talkspace’s insurance page.
Talkspace offers a messaging therapy plan that allows you to send an unlimited number of text, audio, or video messages to your therapist. However, this plan does not include live chat therapy.
Talkspace Plan Options and Pricing
Pricing for Talkspace’s plans is not readily available on their website. However, the following prices were provided by customer service representatives and may vary depending on your location and therapist availability:
- Messaging therapy: $316 per month
- Video therapy: $436 per month, including four 30-minute live chat, audio, or video therapy sessions
- Video and messaging therapy: $556 per month, including four 30-minute live chat, audio, or video therapy sessions
How Quickly Do Talkspace Therapists Respond to Messages?
According to a Talkspace blog post, therapists have scheduled time at least five days per week to respond to clients. Based on a survey of 178 Talkspace users, 48% received responses within a day, 14% received responses within a few days, 15% received responses within a week, and 23% reported that it regularly took more than a week for a response.
In summary, Talkspace is an excellent option for individuals who want to use their insurance coverage for online therapy. However, pricing can be more expensive compared to competitors, and the lack of transparency may be a concern for some. The availability of unlimited messaging and live sessions with certain plans is a significant advantage, and therapists generally respond to messages within a reasonable timeframe.
3. Affordable and Effective: Online-Therapy.com
Online therapy has become increasingly popular as a convenient and accessible way to receive mental health support. If you’re looking for affordable online therapy, Online-Therapy.com is a great option to consider. In this article, we’ll review the pros and cons of Online-Therapy.com, its plan options, pricing, and how quickly its therapists respond to messages.
- Straightforward pricing
- Lower prices than competitors
- Includes unlimited text messaging with your therapist
- Does not accept insurance
- Can only send text messages to your therapist, not audio or video messages
Messaging Options: Unlimited text and audio messaging
Session Format: Live chat, video, or audio sessions with some plans
Cost: $200 to $440 per month
Accepts Insurance: No
Online-Therapy.com Plan Options and Pricing
Online-Therapy.com offers three plans:
- Therapy program and unlimited messaging for $200 per month: This program includes videos, worksheets, and a journal to help you identify, challenge, and overcome your problems. Therapists respond to messages and completed worksheets Monday through Friday. You can switch therapists at any time. This program does not include live sessions.
- Therapy program, unlimited messaging, and four live sessions for $320 per month: This package includes videos, worksheets, and a journal to help you identify, challenge, and overcome your problems, as well as one live 45-minute video, audio, or chat therapy session per week. Therapists respond to messages and completed worksheets Monday through Friday, and you can switch therapists at any time.
- Therapy program, unlimited messaging, eight live sessions, and express replies for $440 per month: This option includes videos, worksheets, and a journal to help you identify, challenge, and overcome your problems, as well as two 45-minute video, audio, or text therapy sessions per week. Therapists respond to messages and completed worksheets Monday through Friday, and you can switch therapists at any time. Express replies mean that your therapist will receive your message right away, but they may not respond immediately.
How Quickly Do Online-Therapy.com Therapists Respond to Messages?
Online-Therapy.com states that therapists take less than 24 hours to provide feedback on CBT worksheets, but it doesn’t state how long it takes for therapists to respond to text messages. According to our survey of 1,000 online therapy users in April 2022, 30 percent of Online-Therapy.com users received therapist responses within a day, 15 percent received responses within a few days, 41 percent received responses within a week, and 14 percent reported that their therapists regularly took more than a week to respond to messages.
Online-Therapy.com is an affordable and effective option for individuals seeking online therapy. Its plans are straightforward and include unlimited messaging with your therapist. However, it’s important to note that Online-Therapy.com does not accept insurance and can only provide text and audio messaging, not live video sessions. If you’re looking for an affordable online therapy option with a variety of session formats, Online-Therapy.com is definitely worth considering.
4. Best for 24/7 Customer Service: Calmerry
Calmerry sets itself apart from its competitors with its round-the-clock customer service chat line, available to address any subscription-related questions. With a Trustpilot rating of 4 out of 5 stars, customers appreciate the promptness and quality of service provided by the chat agents. Calmerry’s three plans all include unlimited messaging with your therapist, available via a virtual therapy room that allows you to leave text or audio messages for your therapist at any time. Your therapist will respond to messages Monday through Friday.
- 24/7 chat line for customer service inquiries
- Standard pricing for all plans
- Includes unlimited messaging, a chatbot reflection, and a mood tracker tool
- Rated 4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot
- Does not accept insurance
- Video messaging is not available
Messaging Options: Unlimited text and audio messaging
Session Format: Live chat, video, or audio sessions
Cost: $227.96 to $359.96 per month
Accepts Insurance: No
Calmerry Plan Options and Pricing Calmerry offers three plans:
- Unlimited messaging for $227.96 per month. You can send asynchronous audio or text messages to your therapist at any time, and therapists respond Monday through Friday. The plan includes a chatbot reflection and a mood-tracking tool.
- Unlimited messaging and one live session for $297.96 per month, which includes one 30-minute live video session per month in addition to all of the features of the unlimited messaging plan.
- Unlimited messaging and four live sessions for $359.96 per month, including four 30-minute live video sessions per month, plus all of the features of the unlimited messaging plan.
How Quickly Do Calmerry Therapists Respond to Messages?
According to Calmerry’s FAQ page, therapists respond to messages once or twice a day, five days a week. Our survey of online therapy users found that 45 percent of Calmerry users received therapist responses within a day, 20 percent received responses within a few days, 20 percent received responses within a week, and 15 percent reported that their therapists regularly took more than a week to respond to messages.
5. Top Pick for Relationship Advice: ReGain
If you’re looking for professional relationship advice, ReGain may be the right online therapy service for you. ReGain is a specialty site of BetterHelp, offering therapy for both individuals and couples, with a focus on relationships.
- Offers individual or couples therapy to help with relationship issues
- Provides financial aid to eligible users
- Offers unlimited messaging
- Price varies depending on your location and therapist preferences
- Does not accept insurance
Messaging Options: ReGain provides unlimited messaging to its users. You can send asynchronous video, audio, or text messages to your therapist at any time. If you’re in couples therapy, you and your partner will share a chat room with your therapist, allowing everyone to stay on the same page.
Session Format: ReGain offers four 30- to 45-minute live chat sessions per month. You can also have live video and audio sessions with your therapist, depending on your preferences.
Cost: ReGain’s prices range from $240 to $360 per month, depending on your location and therapist preferences. The subscription bills every four weeks, and you can cancel at any time.
Accepts Insurance: No, ReGain does not accept insurance.
ReGain Plan Options and Pricing
ReGain offers monthly subscriptions. The prices range from $240 to $360, depending on your location and the availability of licensed therapists in your state who meet your preferences. It bills every four weeks, and you can cancel at any time.
ReGain Financial Aid
ReGain offers financial aid to eligible users, providing up to 40 percent off your subscription.
How Quickly Do ReGain Therapists Respond to Messages?
According to ReGain’s FAQ, the speed of therapists’ responses varies based on the interaction between you and your therapist, but therapists try to accommodate changing needs in a timely manner. According to our online therapy survey, 48 percent of ReGain users received therapist messages within a day, 12 percent received responses within a few days, 28 percent received responses within a week, and 12 percent reported that their therapists regularly took more than a week to respond to messages.
Experts Weigh in on the Effectiveness of Text Therapy
When it comes to text therapy, mental health experts have mixed opinions. Our reviews team spoke to several professionals to get their take on this increasingly popular form of therapy.
The Limitations of Text Therapy
Tara McGrath, a licensed marriage and family therapist in San Diego, advises against using text therapy for emotionally charged conversations. She believes that the personal and powerful connection between client and therapist cannot be fully established through text alone.
Natasha Deen, a licensed clinical professional counselor in Silver Spring, Maryland, points out that text therapy can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications due to the lack of context. She also notes that therapists use verbal and nonverbal cues to gather information and assess situations, which can be difficult to do through text. Additionally, texting can be more time-consuming than other forms of therapy, such as video or audio sessions.
Lauren Hornbeck, a licensed professional counselor in Pueblo West, Colorado, agrees with Deen’s assessment of text therapy. She believes that the distancing factor of text therapy can prevent an authentic psychotherapy experience. However, she acknowledges that some people may prefer text therapy due to physical, mental, or relational barriers to other forms of therapy.
Steven Reidbord, MD, a psychiatrist in San Francisco, goes even further, stating that text messaging is not a form of psychotherapy. He argues that while texting can provide emotional support, it is no different from talking to a friend without mental health training. According to Dr. Reidbord, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of text therapy for emotional disorders.
The Benefits of Text Therapy
Despite these limitations, some mental health professionals believe that text therapy can be effective for certain individuals. Steve Carleton, LCSW, the executive clinical director of Gallus Detox in Denver, notes that the effectiveness of text therapy depends on the patient, their condition, and the approach of the therapist. For those who prefer expressing themselves through writing or who struggle with social anxiety, text therapy may be a more comfortable option. Ultimately, the therapist and patient should determine what form of therapy works best for them.
Kara Nassour, a licensed professional counselor in Austin, Texas, believes that text therapy can be particularly helpful for people with disabilities, such as those who are deaf or have difficulty communicating in real-time. By offering text-based therapy options, more people can access much-needed mental health care.
In conclusion, while text therapy may have its limitations, it can be an effective option for certain individuals. It is up to the therapist and patient to determine what form of therapy works best for them.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Text Therapy Platform
If you are considering using a platform that provides therapy over text, there are several important factors to consider. The following are the key things you should keep in mind when making your choice:
Types of Text Therapy the Platform Offers
There are two primary types of text therapy offered by most platforms: synchronous live chat sessions and asynchronous messaging. Live chat sessions occur in real-time and offer a more immediate response to your messages, similar to instant messaging or video chats. Asynchronous messaging, on the other hand, allows you to send messages at your convenience, with the therapist responding when they are available. This method is more similar to sending an email or text message.
It’s essential to note that both types of sessions occur in private online chat rooms, not via SMS.
How You Prefer to Message Your Therapist
Some text therapy platforms offer the option to send video, audio, or text messages to your therapist. While video and audio messages will be quicker to send than texts, you need to check that the platform supports these options.
How Quickly You Expect Your Therapist to Respond
If you require real-time responses, look for subscriptions that include synchronous messaging or live chat sessions. Response rates from therapists will vary when it comes to asynchronous messaging, and it’s essential to be realistic about your expectations.
Whether It Will Be Effective for Your Needs
According to the guidelines for telepsychology published by the American Psychological Association (APA), therapists should perform an initial assessment with clients to determine whether it’s the appropriate approach. Most of the mental health experts we spoke to advised using text therapy as a complementary method to supplement live audio, video, or in-person sessions. So, it’s essential to consider whether text therapy will be effective in addressing your specific mental health needs.
If You Also Want Video or Audio Therapy Sessions
Some platforms also offer live audio or video sessions, which may be important to you. Ensure that they are included in your membership and check to see how many sessions you get per month if you also want to use these features.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine which factors are most important for your therapy needs. Make sure to research and compare different platforms before making a final decision.
Why You Can Rely on Our Recommendations for Text Therapy Platforms
At ChatGPT, we take pride in providing unbiased and accurate reviews of products and services. Our goal is to help readers find the best solution that meets their specific needs. We have conducted thorough research on text therapy platforms to give you informed recommendations.
Our Research Methodology
We take the responsibility of recommending text therapy platforms seriously, and we have followed a rigorous research process that includes:
- Conducting independent research to gather information on the various text therapy platforms available in the market.
- Mystery shopping each of the platforms to experience the user journey and evaluate the overall customer experience.
- Contacting the customer service teams of each platform to ask questions and evaluate their responsiveness.
- Consulting six leading psychologists and psychiatrists to get their expert opinions on text therapy platforms.
- Becoming customers of online therapy providers ourselves to evaluate the platform from a customer’s perspective.
- Reviewing academic research about the efficacy of text therapy versus in-person therapy.
- Reading hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option for therapy, text therapy can be a viable alternative. However, it is important to note that it should not be used as a replacement for live video, audio, or in-person therapy sessions.
Online-Therapy.com is the most affordable option for text therapy at $200 per month. If you prefer weekly live chat therapy sessions, Talkspace is a good option for insurance users, while BetterHelp may be suitable for those who need financial aid. For those seeking text-based relationship advice, ReGain offers weekly live chat sessions with unlimited messaging between appointments for both partners.
In Case of Emergency
In an emergency, waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe. If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please call 911 or the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Additionally, the Crisis Text Line at 741741 is available to provide immediate support and referral to professional help if needed. It is important to remember that help is available 24/7.