In this article, we will be perusing through the features and benefits of two mental health platforms, Talkspace and AbleTo. Talkspace is one of the most online therapy platforms today serving more than 1.5 million clients. AbleTo offers cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as coaching in a structured program lasting for a period of eight weeks.
In the table given below, you will be able to understand the different features offered by Talkspace as well as AbleTo and also look at the areas in which these platforms differ from each other.
|Types of services||Therapy and Psychiatry||Therapy and coaching|
|Pricing||Min 260 USD||Min 99 USD|
|Payment options||All major credit or debit cards, HSA, FSA||All major credit cards, Paypal,HSA, FSA, HRA|
|Age group||13 years and above||18 years and above|
- Talkspace offers therapy and psychiatry
- It can be used from anywhere
- It offers various formats of therapy
- Therapy through texts may not be liked by everyone
- It does not have group therapy sessions
- The customer support may be quite slow
- AbleTo can be accessed from anywhere
- The therapy is very structured
- Therapy can be through phone or video sessions
- AbleTo does not have psychiatry services
- It cannot be used per session
- Out-of-pocket payments may be difficult
Talkspace is an online mental health care platform that offers therapy as well as psychiatry services at very cost-effective prices. This platform came as a by-product of Roni and Oren Frank’s challenges when they sought therapy for their relationship problems. They started Talkspace as a platform where couples and groups can seek professional help.
Picture credit: Talkspace
Today, Talkspace is one of the largest mental health care providers in the world and also boasts a wide network of licensed and accredited therapists. The therapy in Talkspace is offered through a variety of formats, like unlimited messaging, chatting, phone sessions and even live video sessions. All this is conducted through HIPAA compliant technology.
In addition to individual therapy, Talkspace also provides couples therapy and therapy for teenagers between the ages of 13 years to 18 years. Talkspace allows insurance coverage for all its plans which can greatly increase the affordability for many users. Talkspace can be used by any US citizen and is also available to those who reside outside of the United States.
AbleTo was launched in 2008 and since then has been fundamental in creating a space for mental health and therapy in the internet. This platform provides behavioral health care and mental health care through a religiously tailored program that lasts for a period of eight weeks. The aim of AbleTo is to help people feel better and also create healthy habits which are long-lasting.
Picture Credit: AbleTo
In this platform, patients who require therapy can register themselves and are introduced into a program where they receive therapy in a structured format. The communication with the therapists can be done via phone sessions or video sessions depending on the needs of the user. The platform also offers motivational coaching for those who have mild mental health needs.
AbleTo is pretty cost-effective and is used by individuals as well as organizations alike. The platform encourages payment through insurance which can reduce the costs of therapy to practically nothing. AbleTo is an excellent example of a platform that uses technology as well as psychology to bring the very best mental health care to those who desperately need it.
Best features of Talkspace
Talkspace boasts of a large collection of features that can be beneficial to anyone who is using the platform for their mental health needs and requirements. Some of the features of this platform have been explored in the following section.
Talkspace allows quick access
In Talkspace, users can get quick access to mental health care from the comfort of their homes. The waiting period for high quality mental health care on average takes a space of weeks and maybe even months in traditional settings. However, in Talkspace, users can expect to commence therapy sessions within 24 hours.
It can be used from anywhere
The platform can be accessed and used from anywhere as long as the user has a stable internet connection and a smart device. Users can opt to use the platform from the website or even download and install it as an app on their phones. The online format of Talkspace makes it super easy and convenient for those who cannot leave the house often.
It brings safety and security
Talkspace does not require the users and the mental health professionals to meet each other in-person. Due to the digital nature of the therapy in Talkspace, the risk of violence or assaults from either party is considerably reduced. This can make users very comfortable and can also contribute to the effectiveness of the therapy sessions.
Talkspace brings a better client-therapist fit
The rapport between the client and the therapist is highly necessary for therapy to work. In Talkspace, this is ensured by the smart use of artificial intelligence and algorithms to match the data of the user with a suitable mental health professional. This can bring a better client-therapist fit that may not always be easily possible in traditional mental health care settings.
The therapy is offered in various formats
The therapy itself is offered in various formats in Talkspace. The user can communicate with their therapists through live chats, live audio sessions as well as live video sessions. In addition to this, they can also send an unlimited number of messages to their therapist at any time of the day. This brings plenty of convenience and comfort to the user.
Therapy as well as psychiatry is offered here
In addition to therapy, there is also psychiatry offered in Talkspace. The psychiatry services in Talkspace are also eligible for insurance coverage through in-network providers. Medications and drugs are essential for the treatment of several mental health conditions like severe depression and anxiety disorders and thus, Talkspace can come in very handy.
Talkspace offers couples therapy
Couples therapy is another feature that is offered in Talkspace. In fact, Talkspace originally started off as a couples counseling platform. The couples therapy in Talkspace is conducted in similar fashion to the therapy for individuals, but both the partners have access to the therapist at the same time and can communicate on a group chat.
It also has therapy for teens
Teens therapy is also provided in Talkspace for those adolescents who are struggling with various stress factors in school or their personal lives. Therapy for teenagers in Talkspace is pretty much the same as therapy for individuals, except here the user needs to get approval from their parents by uploading a small video.
It has a sleep program
For those who are struggling to fall asleep, Talkspace offers an eight-week insomnia program. In this program, participants will learn to use various behavioral techniques and strategies to help them rest better. They will also learn about sleep hygiene and thus create permanent healthy habits which can help them in other areas as well.
The platform is very cost-effective
In-person therapy can be quite expensive and this high-cost factor is a main reason why many do not see therapy even when they desperately need it. However, Talkspace offers very cost-effective options for its users. In addition to this, all the plans in Talkspace are eligible for insurance coverage which can further bring down the costs.
Best features of AbleTo
AbleTo has been a trendsetter in the field of online therapy and has cultivated a massive network of patients over the years. This platform takes a unique approach towards mental health care and online therapy and thus is the first choice for many who seek therapy today. The most unique features of this platform have been explored below.
AbleTo offers various plans
AbleTo offers various plans for its patients. The patient is coached about the features of the plan that is recommended for them and has the freedom to opt in or out. In AbleTo, the patient can expect to be placed in the Therapy 360 plan, the Therapy+ plan or even the Digital+ plan. Each of these differs in features as well as the target groups.
The Therapy 360 plan in AbleTo is meant for those who have complex mental health needs and thus need more sensitive care. This program is expected to create a long-lasting impact. The Therapy+ plan of AbleTo is for those who have moderate mental health needs, while the Digital+ plan offers mental exercises and tools along with personal coaching.
The therapy is completely structured
Unlike individual therapy in other mental health platforms, the interventions in AbleTo are completely structured. And thus, the patients of this platform know exactly when their treatment will start and also when it will stop. The average length of the programs in AbleTo is eight-weeks in order to ensure that the learning is imparted strongly.
It offers motivational coaching
In addition to psychotherapy, AbleTo also offers motivational coaching. This coaching is mainly available in the Therapy+ and the Digital+ programs that the platform offers. In motivational coaching, the patient has one-on-one sessions with a mental health coach who will guide them in self-care and also provide emotional support and reinforcement.
It is extensively covered by insurance
AbleTo is extensively covered by insurance through a large number of in-network insurance providers. For most of the patients in AbleTo, the treatment in this platform is a fully-covered benefit which means it can be availed for practically nothing. AbleTo is currently recognized by over 1800 insurance providers.
It can be great for organizations
AbleTo is particularly beneficial for organizations and employers who aim to bring the very best of mental health care for their employees. Through the programs of AbleTo, organizations have experienced less absenteeism from their employees. They have also noted better performance and better overall health in their workers.
AbleTo conducts therapy through various modes
The programs in AbleTo are highly intuitive and make great use of technology along with a personalized touch. The programs in this platform are delivered through digital means while the therapy sessions are conducted remotely through phone sessions or live video sessions that the patient is free to choose from.
The programs are specifically tailored
When it comes to creating tailored and person-centered mental health programs, AbleTo clearly understands the assignment. The programs in this platform are tailored to meet the needs and requirements of each patient in specific. The patient is thoroughly assessed and given a program that will help them achieve their potential while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.
It is research-backed
AbleTo is completely research-backed and scientific in nature. Most of the methods in this platform stem from the Cognitive-Behavioral school of thought in psychology which is the one of the most versatile and proven theories in the field. It not only uses science and research in its treatment but also in searching and pinpointing the patients who need its programs the most.
Pricing of Talkspace
Depending on the plan that they are opting for, users in Talkspace can expect to spend around $260 to $396 per month. The cost of Talkspace can vary based on the location of the user and also the availability of therapists in the area around them. Talkspace is also easily covered by insurance which can further reduce the costs.
Talkspace also offers three different plans that users can choose from. The most basic of these is the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan which can cost users the least. Talkspace also offers the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate plan which offers the most features and thus is most expensive in the platform.
Pricing of AbleTo
AbleTo is quite affordable when compared to in-person therapy as well as many other online therapy platforms. The most basic features of the AbletTo behavioral health program can be availed for a price of $99 per month. AbleTo, however, can cost as little as 0$ through insurance as it is completely covered by many in-network providers.
Signing up for Talkspace
Signing up for Talkspace is pretty simple and very easily done. To enroll for therapy in Talkspace, the new user will need to go to the platform’s website or download the app. They will need to click on the ‘Get Started’ option after which they can provide their basic details including their date of birth and their nickname or username.
The platform will then provide a questionnaire which the user will have to fill out and provide their mental health problems for which they need therapy. The user can next consult with a mental health professional who will introduce them formally to the platform’s features and set them up for therapy.
Signing up for AbleTo
To sign-up for the behavioral health program in AbleTo, new patients can go to the ‘Enroll’ page offered in the platform. They will need to provide their basic details in the form provided. They will also need to mention their health insurance provider along with their member ID. Once they have given the reason for enrolment, AbleTo will ensure that they are contacted for the next step.
Tips to use in Talkspace
New users to Talkspace may have a difficult time in getting the most out of their therapy sessions here. It may be even more challenging for someone who is new to online therapy altogether. Some suggestions that can help improve the user experience in Talkspace are listed as follows.
- Talkspace provides various formats of live therapy sessions, such as live chats, live audio and live video sessions. To make sure that you increase the effectiveness of these sessions, make sure that you are in a quiet place and also at the right time slot where you will not be disturbed for the entire length of the session.
- To ensure that you don’t experience any technological glitches during your live therapy sessions, you can invest in a high-speed internet connection and also perform a dry run before you start.
- You can also use the unlimited messaging feature in Talkspace extensively. Through limitless messaging, you can improve your skill of expressing yourself clearly with words and phrases. Furthermore, you can also go back and read your messages to help you reflect on what was shared between you and your therapist.
Tips to use in AbleTo
AbleTo offers plenty of features in its eight-week long behavioral health program. To ensure that you are getting the best of your package, you can follow these tips mentioned below.
- During your video sessions with your therapist, ensure that you turn off your selfie view. This can help you express yourself better during your therapy sessions, rather than being worried about the way you look.
- AbleTo offers an extensive array of mental exercises and tools during the program. These are designed to have a long-lasting effect. In order to help you practice them better regularly, you can write them down in a journal or even pin them up on a vision board that you can see every day.
- You can also create a goal and a motto for yourself before starting your therapy program in AbleTo. These will act as drivers and motivators for you so that you stick to your positive behaviors and make them a permanent part of your lifestyle.
Personal experiences in Talkspace
Talkspace users have had mostly positive experiences. The Talkspace app itself has a 4.7 star rating in Apple apps and a 4 star rating in the Google play store. Some of the user experiences in Talkspace have been summarized in the section below.
- Most of the users in Talkspace have loved the fact that the therapy sessions can be conducted from just about anywhere. This has been extensively useful for those users who are taking care of infants or those who have extremely busy schedules that do not allow them to consult a therapist on a regular basis in-person.
- However, some users have complained that the messaging therapy feature in Talkspace may be too impersonal for them. Others have expressed that the mental health professionals in the platform do not prefer communicating via messaging.
- Many users in Talkspace have felt that the platform is not transparent about the billing and the costs of service. Talkspace differs in pricing from location to location and thus users will not be aware of their costs until the very last step of the sign-up process. This can seem coercing and misdirecting to many.
- A large percentage of the users in Talkspace have also loved the various strategies and self-help tools that their therapists exchange with them. These can be used outside of live therapy sessions and users have found these to be very uplifting and even life-changing.
Personal experiences in AbleTo
AbleTo has been in the online therapy field for more than a decade now. In this span of time, the platform has touched thousands of lives and helped many users turn their negative experiences into positive memories and thoughts. A little light has been shed upon a few of the many user experiences in the following points.
- Users of AbleTo have been pretty enthusiastic about the scientific nature of the platform and how it backs its strategies and tools through facts and figures. This has helped patients in this platform, trust the therapy process and regain their confidence.
- Most users of AbleTo have loved the great mix of human touch and technology that the platform provides in its therapy processes. Therapists and coaches have one-on-one sessions with the users while there are also plenty of mental exercises and tools to help users outside of therapy sessions.
- AbleTo is also seen to be very economic and cost-effective when compared to in-person therapy and also other online therapy platforms. And thus, many users have expressed that it is definitely worth the money spent.
- However, several users have still found the platform to be expensive, especially if you are not covered by insurance. And also, the personal sessions with the therapists and coaches are not available in all stages of the intervention which can make users feel like they are being neglected and therefore swindled.
While comparing Talkspace and AbleTo, we can see that the former offers therapy sessions while the latter offers structured therapy programs. Both these platforms are definitely great and can seem perfect for those who want different types of therapy, whether structured or unstructured.
Talkspace has a better advantage in the fact that it provides therapy as well as psychiatry services. The platform not only offers therapy for individuals but also couples and teenagers. Furthermore, there are definitely more formats of therapy available in this platform, including three modes of messaging.
AbleTo, on the other hand, can be great for those who want more structure and a regimen for their mental health care. The programs in AbleTo are for a period of eight weeks and thus, patients are aware of the start and end of the process. However, they can sometimes feel pressured to put in two months of work, especially if they are too distressed and frustrated.
BetterHelp: A Better Alternative
For those who are looking for another great online therapy platform, they would be interested in the services provided by BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers mental health care for several groups at very affordable prices. In this platform, users can avail individual therapy as well as group therapy sessions.
BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers. While there is no insurance coverage allowed here, the platform provides financial assistance or financial aid for those who are unemployed, furloughed due to the pandemic or even currently studying. This financial aid can be applicable even for those individuals who are disabled or have veteran status.
Frequently asked questions:
How much does AbleTo cost?
With insurance coverage, AbleTo can cost practically $0 as it is a fully covered benefit for most users who have insurance.
How do I cancel AbleTo?
If you want to cancel AbleTo, you can simply do so by deactivating your account. In addition, you can also reach out to the customer support through email so that you do not receive any further communications from the platform.
Are Talkspace therapists real?
Yes, Talkspace therapists are real and licensed to practice in their respective regions. Talkspace takes the mental health care of its users very seriously and thus ensures only the very best professionals in its directory.
Is Talkspace actually good?
Yes, Talkspace is very good at delivering online therapy. In this platform, users can find therapy services and also psychiatry services. Additionally, there are a number of formats that are provided through which users can receive mental health care.
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