BetterHelp vs Talkspace vs Cerebral (Who wins?)

BetterHelp vs Talkspace vs Cerebral

Our previous review compared BetterHelp and Talkspace. This review extends the comparison and includes another competing online therapy service provider in the mix, namely, Cerebral. 

It draws this examination along the lines of the most basic factors in surveying the quality and viability of an online healthcare service of the sort. 

The review starts by differentiating the processes of getting underway on each of the three platforms. It then advances onto different aspects, for example, the costs borne by the customer, whether these services are covered by standard insurance agencies, how deftly and helpfully communications with a therapist can take place and the limitations in doing so, if any. 

Moving on, security concerns on all three are uncovered, certain exclusive features to them are noted, followed by the quality of their client care services and business profiles. 

This survey finishes by responding to often posed inquiries and suggesting a final reccomendation. 

Outline of the Review

The following is a table that outlines the structure of the review and rates all three platforms based on the criterion in the first column. 

CategoryBetterHelpTalkspace Cerebral
Ease in signing up9/108/108/10
Therapist Matching and Interaction9/109.5/109/10
Therapist Merit and Treatment Range9/109/109.5/10
Exclusive Features8/108/108/10
Customer Support8/108/108/10
Business Profile8.5/108.5/107/10

Ease in signing up

All three, BetterHelp, Talkspace and Cerebral are by and large viewed as easy to use online stages for looking for treatment. However, some of their distinctive details on closer inspection serve as comparative advantages. 

An example of this is a free trial upon registration. 

Initially, in the interest of the organization and client both, it reflects that they understand their possible customers. The free trial does as such by allowing clients to know they are not being monetarily exploited.  

Furthermore, this signals that the organizations are completely dedicated to building a connection among themselves and the customer that depends on trust and shared development. This is fundamental for a feeling of strength and security of the customer. 

Thirdly, particularly since all three administrations are online treatment suppliers, which is a relatively newly discovered method of counselling, customers changing from conventional in-person treatment to this type of treatment may confront a drastically new set of information they are not very familiar with. This makes it increasingly important for suppliers like BetterHelp, Talkspace and Cerebral to feel for customers’ requirements.


BetterHelp guarantees this feeling of monetary security for their clients by permitting a week of free therapy. In addition, in any event, pulling out from treatment in the initial month allows a repayment of half of the paid sum. 

Customers rate this feature highly, since they don’t feel caught and know that should they decide to proceed with treatment, they are doing as such by exercising complete autonomy and not being forced into making subsequent payments. 


Sadly, Talkspace does not offer a free time for testing for its customers. 

Nonetheless, it should be noticed that it is still among the biggest two online treatment providers with a large number of fulfilled clients, thus the shortfall of a free time for testing isn’t the sole concern in the evaluation of an online medical care service. 

Hence, BetterHelp’s administrations have the edge over Talkspace and customers who esteem a free time for testing will probably pick the former.


Cerebral does not offer a completely free trial, however, it does offer a considerable amounts’ discount for the introductory period. For instance, one of the monthly packages it offers costs 99USD per month, however, its first-time payment is only 45USD, which is similar to the discount afforded



After the free time for testing closes, BetterHelp offers a customer 4 potential installment bundles. These are as per the following; 

Weekly Membership 

Through this week by week offer, the customer just pays 80USD each week. This permits the customer to avail 1 live meeting with their specialist and 24 hour texting. 

Monthly Membership 

This costs 65USD each week as a single payment of 260USD is made towards the beginning. It incorporates a sum of 4 meetings for the whole month and round the clock messaging in a safe talk box. It is an expansion of the previous bundle, with the added benefits of greater economies of scale.  

Quarterly Membership

This arrangement is worth 45USD each week and requires a single installment of 540USD. It permits 1 meeting each week and limitless messaging. 

Yearly Membership 

This costs an aggregate of 1820USD every year, which likens to just 35USD each week and permits similar features as the other bundles. 

The takeaway from BetterHelp’s strategy is that the arrangement of features stays pretty much the same, only it is spread throughout a more extended timeframe, which brings about lower expenses upon the customer in the long run.


Talkspace offers packages and services that differ from those of BetterHelp. 

It differs in two major ways. 

Firstly, it does not offer a weekly package. All three of its packages revolve around monthly payments. 

Secondly, Talkspace does not place as much emphasis on live sessions as does BetterHelp. This is reflected in the detailed description of their packages below. 

Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus

This includes texting, recorded video and audio messaging. The therapist replies daily, 5 days per week. It can either be billed monthly, 260USD, equating to a weekly cost of 60USD, every three months costing 708USD, amounting to 54USD per week or billed every six months, a total of 1248USD, which is the most economical as it is equivalent to being charged 48USD per week. 

Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium

Along with the services of the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan, this integrates a live 30 minute session each month. It can be subscribed to by the client either monthly which costs 316USD paid as a lump sum (equal to paying 73USD per week), or paid for every three months which amounts to 852USD lump sum and 65USD weekly. The third option is paying 1512USD every six months, equivalent to 58USD per week. 

Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate

As with the above mentioned two plans, this plan also allows unlimited texting and recorded video and audio messages. However, in contrast to the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium plan, it enables a client to schedule four live sessions per month instead of one. This is the most costly Talkspace payment plan.

It can either be paid as 396USD each month, 1068USD like clockwork or 1896USD each a half year. These add up to 91USD, 82USD and 73USD separately. 

As is intelligent of the administrations of the two suppliers, Talkspace is significantly expensive contrasted with BetterHelp. This can be seen upon an examination of the most financially savvy choices of both. 

BetterHelp’s most conservative choice costs 35USD each week and incorporates a week after week live meeting coupled with limitless messaging, open all day, every day. 

Talkspace’s most moderate alternative isn’t just more costly, costing 48USD each week, but in addition also does not have a live meeting. Meetings at Talkspace can be added on demand, but they can cost over 100USD per meeting, which can be over the cost charged by face to face mental health specialists. 

Hence, it isn’t unreasonable to say that BetterHelp seems like the really engaging choice, thinking about not just expenses but value for money too. This claim is predicated on the grounds that there are subtleties which just in-person treatment can guarantee to get right and the nearest substitute to that is live meetings on the web. 

These subtleties, for example, include eye contact and live body language. These are important for a therapist to comprehensively confirm a diagnosis and the extent of it. 

However, as preferences might have it, a few people may really not want live meetings.An instant message may serve such customers better.


Medication+Basic Care Plan

This plan costs 99USD as mentioned earlier. It provides the services of a Medical Practitioner and ongoing audio and video calls with them. It also offers the services of an additional Care Provider who checks in on the client from time to time, teaches them new techniques and unlimited messaging and monthly calling services. 

Therapy Plan

This costs 259USD per month, which amounts to 64.75USD per week. Instead of Medical Practitioner/Psychiatric services, this offers the services of a licensed therapist and entails weekly sessions. 

Medication+Therapy Plan

This is Cerebrals all-encompassing plan. It really is a game changer potentially. 

It costs 339USD per month and that equates to 84.75USD per week. 

Although it is a bit costly, the features it allows are remarkable. 

It allows all that is included in the medication+basic care package, along with the general care provider being replaced by a licensed therapist with whom even weekly sessions can be held. 


Likewise with cost and quality, insurance can be a main consideration with regards to picking a medical care service. 


BetterHelp is for the most part not yet guaranteed to be insured by any of the main agencies. Cigna, Aetna, Anthem, Centene and so on, don’t insure people against BetterHelp. 


Contrastingly, this is where Talkspace has a significant benefit over BetterHelp. 

Talkspace might actually be covered by the insurance of around 40 million Americans at this moment. Cigna, Humana, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield and Optum all can help cut off a portion of the heavy Talkspace treatment expense. 

That tackles just a portion of the issue however. 

Regardless of whether a customer can get safeguarded by their particular insurance agency against Talkspace treatment benefits, the original costs of Talkspace are high to such an extent that even after the decrease, customers would in any case probably be paying more than the 35USD each week yearly alternative of BetterHelp.

Thus, it isn’t just about insurance.

Talkspace actually ends up being costlier of the two.


Unfortunately, as with BetterHelp, Cerebral also does not generally allow insurance companies to cover Cerebral costs of clients. 

However, as per their policies, you can apply for financial assistance and should they deem you eligible, they will make reimbursements. 

Therapist Matching and Interaction


BetterHelp utilizes an algorithmical method of coordinating a likely customer with their most appropriate therapist dependent on the way in which they answer the questionnaire during the registration process on the BetterHelp site. 

This PC run strategy has been tried and tested to be pretty much as viable as coordinating a customer with the most ideal specialist in a conventional way. 

In addition, aside from this, BetterHelp additionally permits customers to look for counsellors in another way as well. This is by clicking “Find a Therapist” on the bottom of their website. This guides the customer to a page with 20 proposed therapists. After refreshing the page, even more options pop up on the screen. 

The customer can surf through all the alternatives accessible to them, perusing each specialist’s ‘profile’ and proceeding with picking the most attractive match. 


Talkspace utilizes a more friendly strategy for coordinating customers with specialists. 

Upon enlistment, a live meeting with a Talkspace member group takes place whereby they ask the customer about their distresses and what they would need most in a suited therapist. 

This is how the client gets to pick their therapist themselves.

By and large, albeit the two strategies have been demonstrated to be compelling, Talkspace utilizes a more regular procedure, which is nearest to the in-person method. This is why customers may find Talkspace more appealing. 


Cerebral entails a therapist-client matching feature that is very similar to BetterHelps’. 

It requires clients to fill out a questionnaire that asks basic questions and information from the individual. 

These are related to their bio and their illness. What kinds of symptoms they sense and their perspective about their own mental health issue. 

Therapists at Cerebral are also mainly available through live video and audio calls and unlimited text messaging services.  

Therapist Merit and Treatment Range 

BetterHelp, Talkspace and Cerebral

BetterHelp, and Talkspace are strikingly comparable in this department. 

They incorporate Clinical Social Workers (LCSW/LMSW), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) etc.

It is guaranteed that the therapists have completed their necessary practise, preparation and schooling and have passed all the pertinent assessments considering them fit to work by their individual states’ laws. 

The scope of illnesses they work in treating is very broad; 

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive disorder
  • Psychosomatic disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa
  • Chronic impulsivity
  • Chronic stress
  • Familial issues
  • Parenting problems
  • Intimate relationship problems
  • Sexual orientation issues
  • Teen therapy
  • LGBTQIA related issue
  • Educational issues
  • Career related problems
  • Financial worries
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Grief
  • Loss
  • Spiritual matters
  • Existential worries


Cerebral is slightly different than the other two in this dimension.

The counsellors at Cerebral are not often fully licensed therapists. Infact, the number of therapists employed at Cerebral is much lesser than those at BetterHelp and Talkspace. 

Instead, Cerebral has comparatively more Psychiatrists on board along with the assistance of nurses, counsellors etc who are called care providers. 

Cerebral practitioners are well known in their treatment of Depression, anxiety and insomnia. It is one of the most effective services to help individuals overcome sleeping problems. 

Exclusive Features 

There are nonetheless, certain highlights that are elite to all three. 


BetterHelp offers particular assistance just towards the LGBTQIA+ group, teens and couples, on their three extended websites. Advisors serving them possess specific know-how of the respective fields. 

BetterHelp permits admittance to 20 or more intelligent live gathering meetings controlled by advisors. 


The Talkspace joining method is supported by short recordings that precisely help in each progression. 

Online trackers enable a customer to update their therapist in time and keep tabs on their development. 

Talkspace allows psychiatric help in the basic form of refilling of medications for those who already have a prescription obtained from elsewhere. 


Cerebral is known for its specialized treatment of sleeping disorders such as insomnia, better than most other online therapy services. 

Moreover, the combined therapeutic assistance of a Psychiatrist and Psychologist are something neither BetterHelp nor Talkspace have managed to deliver so comprehensively. 

This type of combined therapy results in significant effectiveness as two mental health experts use a combination of the best suited interventions for the client. 

Privacy and Security 

BetterHelp, Talkspace and Cerebral

All three platforms, BetterHelp, Talkspace and Cerebral adhere by HIPAA laws and the conversations with clients over text messaging are SSL encoded as well as 256-bit encrypted along banking standards. 

The two stages follow by all significant state and government enactment.

Hence, neither of them have an edge over the other in this domain. 

Client assistance Services 

Client support services allow one to submit questions which are answered in around 24 hours. 


It has an online form which customers are required to fill. 

Besides, it has a FAQ area where usually posed inquiries and questions are replied to and the appropriate responses enlisted for customers to see. 

BetterHelp provides an email address on their contact page. 


Talkspace has a tagging framework which is easy to monitor. 

In addition, it has something Talkspace calls the knowledgebase, which serves a similar purpose as that of an FAQ segment.


Cerebral is well known for faster response times in terms of getting back to their clients with general help. This is done by their swift support desk which help clients work their way around all processes like, roaming the website, subscribing and even cancelling their monthly subscription. 

Business Profile

BetterHelp, Talkspace and Cerebral

Both BetterHelp and Talkspace are not too different in this aspect. Both are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, in terms of online reputation in general, it is believed that BetterHelp may be slightly superior. 

BetterHelp also has thousands of more reviews than Talkspace and a more talented and dedicated Public Relations team.

Unfortunately, Cerebral is not yet BBB accredited and is yet to expand its services across more states. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Talkspace better than BetterHelp?

Although Talkspace has its edges over BetterHelp, there are many exclusive benefits of the latter, too. Moreover, BetterHelp scores higher over more domains according to our review. 

Who pays better, Talkspace or BetterHelp?

It is reported that BetterHelp pays around $30 per hour and TalkSpace pays around $20 per hour. Despite the difference amongst them, the most notable take away from here is the massive difference from in-person therapy. 

Which online therapy is best?

Although all platforms have certain features that are exclusive to them, BetterHelp and Talkspace are generally considered to be the leading e-therapy services. 

What’s wrong with BetterHelp?

BetterHelp faced some trouble in October of 2018 when customers had complaints regarding their response time. However, the owner, Alon Matas dealt with these complaints swiftly and appropriately. 

Is BetterHelp worth the money?

Yes, not just BetterHelp, but all e-therapy services are considered worth it in terms of the value and development they offer. 

Can I get online therapy for free?

There are several national organizations, like Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), that can help one find free or low-cost online therapists or resources.


This Review analysed the two largest online therapy providing services, BetterHelp and Talkspace, along with a more up and coming competitor of theirs, Cerebral. 

It conducted a comprehensive comparison of the three platforms based on multiple facets such as signing up procedure, pricing, insurance, therapist credibility, confidentiality, customer support etc. 

It concluded that more or less, all three services outdo each other in different departments but are generally worth it. 

Where BetterHelp has attractions in a free trial, lower prices and specialized help, Talkspace has its exclusive advantages in providing insurance, psychiatry services etc. Cerebral offers a combined approach to therapy, bringing together the expertise of a Psychiatrist with that of a Psychologist. 

Hence, it boils down to an individuals’ personal preferences as to which provider would suit them best.

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