In this article, we will be discussing two online therapy platforms, Talkspace and BetterHelp and their couples therapy features. Both these platforms offer individual therapy as well with Talkspace having psychiatry services in addition to therapy.
In this table, we have listed the main services provided in Talkspace and BetterHelp. We have also mentioned the differences betweent these two mental health care platforms.
|Types of services||Therapy and Psychiatry||Therapy|
|Pricing||Min 260 USD per month||Min 240 USD per month|
|Payment options||All major credit or debit cards, HSA, FSA||All major credit cards, Paypal,HSA, FSA, HRA|
|Age group||13 years and above||13 years and above|
- It offers therapy as well as psychiatry
- It has insurance coverage
- It can be used from anywhere
- It does not offer group therapy
- Live sessions are not available in all the plans
- Messaging therapy may be impersonal for some
- It operates completely online
- It is very affordable
- It offers numerous therapies
- It does not offer insurance coverage
- It does not have psychiatry services
- It cannot be used in emergencies and crises
Talkspace was launched in 2012 by Roni and Oren Frank as an online platform for couples counseling and therapy. This platform came as a result of Roni and Oren Frank’s own challenges when they sought therapy for their relationship issues. The main aim of Talkspace is to make mental health care itself affordable and accessible.
Picture credit: Talkspace
In Talkspace, the user can easily access and communicate with their therapists at any time of the day. The enrolment process is pretty easy and the waiting time is very low, especially when compared to traditional therapy settings. Talkspace not only offers therapy but also has psychiatry services.
Talkspace has various plans that users can choose from according to their needs. The platform also offers several formats in which therapy can be conducted such as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. Furthermore, Talkspace allows unlimited messaging in all its plans in different formats as well.
BetterHelp was launched in 2013 by Alon Matas to especially target the long waiting periods for therapy that is prevalent in traditional mental health care settings. Since then, BetterHelp has become the world’s largest online therapy platform and serves almost two million clients every day. BetterHelp was acquired by Teladoc, Inc. in 2015.
Picture credit: BetterHelp
In this platform, the user can avail therapy services as live chats, live audio sessions and even live video sessions. BetterHelp also allows unlimited messaging between the user and their therapist through various modes. BetterHelp offers individual therapy, couples therapy, teens therapy and even group therapy sessions.
While BetterHelp does not offer insurance coverage for its subscription, it definitely offers financial assistance. This financial assistance or financial aid is set aside for those who are unemployed, furloughed or even currently studying. In addition, it can also help those who are disabled or have veteran status.
Best features of Talkspace for couples
Talkspace offers plenty of features for couples who are seeking therapy for their relationship issues. Some of the features that couples that enjoy this platform that can help them strengthen their relationship are described here.
The couples therapy is pretty affordable
The cost of mental health care is pretty high in almost all the countries today. This even applies to couples therapy which is just as high in the US. Couples therapy is also often not eligible for insurance coverage. However, the couples therapy offered in Talkspace is pretty affordable and quite inexpensive when compared to in-person sessions.
Talkspace allows unlimited messaging
In Talkspace, the partners involved in a relationship, who are seeking therapy from a counselor or a therapist can send a limitless number of messages between each other. The great thing about this unlimited messaging feature is that it allows exchange of information through various modes like text messages, audio messages and even video messages.
It offers various formats of therapy
There are also various formats of live therapy sessions that are available in Talkspace. Couples who are seeking therapy in this platform can avail their sessions as live chats, live audio and even live video sessions. This brings a high level of convenience and comfort to the users of the platform.
It is completely HIPAA compliant
HIPAA compliance is an important factor in any platform that offers tele-health services. This is even more important in therapy as the stigma and judgment toward mental illness and even seeking mental health care services are still very high today. Talkspace ensures that its strong security features are updated regularly to keep up its HIPAA compliance.
The therapists are licensed and qualified
The therapists in this platform are completely licensed and qualified enough to provide couples therapy services. Couples are matched up with therapists or counselors through the help of a consultant mental health professional who will understand the needs of the pair and then find suitable therapists to help them with their requirements.
It also offers individual therapy
In addition to couples therapy, Talkspace is a popular platform for individual therapy as well. Therapy is important not only for those who have mental health conditions but can also simply help those who want to improve their lives and make use of their entire potential. Therapy often uses cognitive techniques and behavioral strategies to help individuals make positive changes.
It has psychiatry services
Talkspace also offers psychiatry services for those who require medications and drugs to manage their mental health condition. Medications are necessary for conditions or illnesses like severe depression and even schizophrenia and can help restore the chemical balance in the body which thereby regulates mood and emotional states
Therapy becomes convenient
The process of therapy itself becomes a whole lot more convenient in Talkspace. In Talkspace, couples can attend their therapy sessions from the comfort of their own homes and save themselves from the trouble of going to a therapist’s office for their sessions. They can also choose among different formats according to their preferences and personal style.
Messaging therapy has its own benefits
Messaging therapy itself has plenty of therapeutic benefits for the user. While expressing themselves through unlimited messaging, the user can experience venting and even better articulation of thoughts and feelings. Furthermore, messaging therapy has been known to increase levels of accountability which can positively affect the therapy process.
There is a better client-therapist fit
Users of Talkspace do not have to worry about the client-therapist fit in Talkspace. The platform makes use of artificial intelligence to use the information provided by the couple to match them with a compatible therapist. Client-therapist fit is necessary as positive rapport can lead to increased effectiveness of therapy.
Best features of BetterHelp
BetterHelp is a well-known platform that provides all types of therapy, including couples therapy. Couples who are planning to use this platform for relationship issues can expect to enjoy certain features such as,
High level of convenience
In BetterHelp, couples can experience a high level of convenience and comfort when it comes to their therapy sessions. The couple does not need to even step out of their homes while seeking therapy as all the sessions can be conducted online in the platform. The counseling can be provided through any smart device, greatly increasing the convenience for the couple.
Increased safety and security
BetterHelp is completely HIPAA compliant and ensures this by various security features like end to end encryptions and multi-step authentications. Thus, couples who are seeking therapy or counseling on this platform do not need to be worried about leakage or theft of their data or information.
Ability to switch counselors easily
The rapport between the therapist and the couple is necessary for the effectiveness of therapy. In BetterHelp, this is ensured through the use of artificial intelligence. In addition to this, the platform also makes it super easy to change counselors or therapists if the couple feels that they require another person to handle their sessions, thereby bringing even more convenience here.
Individual therapy also available
Individual therapy is another feature that is available in BetterHelp. The therapy for individuals in this platform is conducted following concepts from a variety of psychology theories and include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Psychology and even psychoanalytic concepts.
Ability to control the pace
BetterHelp gives the reins and control to the couple rather than the therapist or the counselor. In doing so, the couple enjoys more ownership over their therapy process and therefore brings even more quality to the intervention sessions. The couple can choose to speed up or even slow down their pace depending on their wish and will.
Choice between several formats
BetterHelp offers not only different types of therapy but also different types of formats through which the therapy is delivered. In this platform, the couple can choose to have their live therapy sessions as live chats, phone sessions and even video sessions. These formats are also available in the unlimited messaging feature.
High levels of affordability
Couples therapy in the US is often not eligible for insurance coverage. Insurance coverage is possible only if one of the partners has been diagnosed with a mental health condition. In this scenario, couples therapy can actually be quite expensive for anyone. The couples therapy in BetterHelp is very affordable when compared to traditional mental health care settings.
Access to unlimited messaging
In BetterHelp, the couple can communicate with their therapists through unlimited messaging. This messaging feature in couples therapy is essentially like a group chat where the partners can send a limitless number of messages to their therapists or counselors who are guaranteed to respond a certain number of times per day.
While the unlimited messaging may seem like a very simple tactic, it can bring numerous therapeutic benefits. Unlimited messaging can help the partners express themselves much better and can thus help in healthy venting. Additionally, unlimited messaging can also be used to improve accountability in therapy.
Plenty of other resources
In addition to couples therapy, BetterHelp can help partners through its many other resources that are available on the website. The BetterHelp website, particularly the blog, is filled with lots of articles and other content that can help you strengthen your relationship, improve your communication and even your overall mental health.
Pricing of Talkspace for couples therapy
Talkspace is a subscription based platform that allows users to pay for their mental health care services on a monthly basis. Talkspace, in general, can cost a user $260 to $396 per month depending on the plan that they are opting for, the location of the user and the type of therapy that they require.
The couples therapy in specific can also range in pricing depending on the location of the partners. For the most basic type of couples counseling in Talkspace, pairs might have to shell out around $99 per month. In some circumstances, the couples therapy is also eligible for insurance coverage.
Pricing of BetterHelp for couples therapy
For couples in particular, BetterHelp offers counseling sessions for a small price of $60 per week, if billed monthly. For a longer subscription, this price can go even lower. The costs of couples counseling or therapy in BetterHelp have been adjusted to be lesser than the usually very expensive traditional in-person counseling sessions.
If the partners are opting for a weekly plan for their counseling sessions, it may cost them about $80 per week while a longer subscription like a quarterly plan can cost the users around $45 per week. Furthermore, an annual plan for a year’s worth of counseling sessions can cost couples $35 per week.
Signing up for Talkspace for couples therapy
To sign up for couples therapy or couples counseling in Talkspace, simply click on the ‘Get Started’ option on the website. You can do so through the Talkspace app as well. Once you have entered your details, Talkspace will connect you with a consultant therapist who will brief you about the various services that the platform offers.
In this stage, you can mention your couples therapy needs and requirements after which the consultant will provide you with a range of therapists or counselors to choose from. You can do so by going through their bios or information that is provided. Once you have selected your counselor, you will be directed to a private room where you can commence you sessions.
Signing up for BetterHelp for couples therapy
The sign up process in BetterHelp for couples therapy is pretty easy. The couple simply needs to register for a free therapy account in the platform following which they will be given an intake questionnaire where they will be required to provide several details. They will also be given a couples questionnaire to know more about their relationship.
The therapist who is in-charge of the counseling sessions or therapy sessions will then ask the pair to take an assessment which will be of two parts, individual and joint. Following this, a treatment plan will be created to help the couple improve their communication with each other and also strengthen the bond between each other.
Tips for using Talkspace for couples therapy
Talkspace is certainly a very useful platform for anyone who is looking for high-quality mental health care at affordable pricing. However, it can be a little overwhelming, especially for those who are new to online therapy. Some tips to help users in their experience of Talkspace have been listed below.
Turn off your selfie camera
For couples undergoing therapy sessions through Talkspace, the live therapy sessions can definitely prove quite useful. The partners can participate in the therapy sessions together using one device or can also opt to use individual devices. Turning off the selfie view in these devices during live therapy sessions can seriously help your focus and attentiveness.
Create your goals
It is also necessary for couples to create therapy goals before starting their counseling or therapy sessions. These goals need to be achievable and realistic in nature. They can be goals which the couple wants to achieve as a unit and can also be goals that the individual partners want to achieve. Setting goals for therapy can greatly increase the drive and motivation in sessions.
Be more descriptive
In-person therapy sessions allow the mental health professional to gauge your body-language and thus understand you better. However, online therapy has a handicap of restricting the view of the therapist. To help the counselor or therapist understand them better, couples involved in therapy need to be more descriptive and articulate of their thoughts and feelings.
Use the group chat
In individual therapy sessions in Talkspace, the user can send a limitless number of messages in various formats to their therapists. This is available in the couples therapy feature as well but involves both the partners of the relationship and the therapist. These chats can definitely help users express themselves more, while also bringing the need for accountability into therapy.
Tips for using BetterHelp for couples therapy
Couples who are using BetterHelp to make their relationship with each other stronger and better may be seeking ways to improve their experience on this platform. Some suggestions to help them on their way are,
Create a space for therapy
While online therapy platforms like BetterHelp do not require you to leave the house to access mental health care, there still needs to be a space dedicated to therapy in your home to bring more effectiveness to your sessions. In this therapy space, you and your partner can additionally practice self-care activities and also relax. It can also be a no-judgment zone in your home.
Choose the right time for therapy
While the messaging therapy feature in BetterHelp can be used at any time, the live therapy sessions need a dedicated space as well as time. You and your partner will have to discuss with each other and find the right time slot where both of you can focus on your relationship and your therapy needs and requirements.
Select the desired format
There are also various formats of therapy which are available in BetterHelp for couples to use. You can opt to have your live therapy session as a live chat, live audio session and even a live video session. Explore the formats given and opt for the one that brings you and your partner more comfort and convenience.
Switch counselors if the need arises
The platform makes it easy for users to access mental health professionals and also switch therapists or counselors if they wish to. In case you feel that the therapist is being biased toward one of you or is being judgmental of your relationship, you can easily opt for another person to handle your therapy sessions.
User experiences in Talkspace’s couples counseling
While Talkspace has already created a strong name for itself in online therapy as a whole, its footing in the couples therapy space is also gaining strength. Some of the user’s personal experiences of the couples therapy or couples counseling feature in Talkspace have been summarized below:
- Users have mentioned that they were able to match with therapists who matched their wavelengths. This is mainly because Talkspace uses artificial intelligence to use the data provided by the users to match them with compatible mental health professionals in its directory.
- Users of the couples therapy in Talkspace have also felt that the messaging and chatting features that are available in this platform help them express feelings that might be otherwise difficult to talk about aloud, for example, sex. The messaging is also available in several formats giving more convenience to the couples.
- Couples who are seeking counseling for relationship issues through this platform have experienced a lot of comfort and security as there are no in-person sessions required here. And they are saved from judgment that can arise due to the large stigma that society places on mental health issues.
User experiences in BetterHelp’s couples counseling
BetterHelp has several therapy types and can cater to individuals, teens and includes couples as well. The personal experiences of some of these couples have been explained in the points below.
- Couples who are using BetterHelp for couples therapy or counseling have felt that there is a wider choice than present in traditional therapy settings. This gives them more choices to choose from thereby bringing more freedom and convenience into the picture.
- Users have mentioned that since several styles of therapy are allowed, from live chats, live audio and live video, they are able to choose what suits their preferences the most. Thus, they are able to achieve higher levels of comfort while using BetterHelp, especially as couples counseling and its intimate factors can be sometimes tricky to talk about in-person.
- Couples have also loved the fact that BetterHelp is definitely a lot more affordable than in-person sessions. BetterHelp also reduces the costs of its sessions if the couple opt for a longer subscription period.
Talkspace and BetterHelp are certainly two great spaces to avail couples therapy. The couples therapy or couples counseling features in both these platforms are similar in nature and also offer almost the same formats or modes of communication. However, the other features of these platforms are the deciding factors when it comes to choosing.
Talkpace offers insurance coverage for all its plans which can greatly increase the affordability of therapy. However, this insurance coverage is not available for couples therapy and requires several factors in order to be applied. In addition to the couples counseling, the partners can avail individual therapy sessions as well in this platform.
BetterHelp offers couples therapy at very affordable costs when compared to in-person therapy. The platform also offers a large network of licensed and accredited therapists who provide other forms of therapy such as individual therapy and teens therapy. There are also group sessions in this platform that are conducted about once a week.
Frequently asked questions:
How long are BetterHelp sessions?
The live therapy sessions in BetterHelp can go on for a minimum of thirty minutes. These therapy sessions can also be increased in duration to up to sixty minutes but this completely depends on the availability and convenience of the therapist. The live therapy sessions need to be scheduled one at a time and are available as chats, audio sessions and even video sessions.
Can BetterHelp prescribe medication?
No, BetterHelp therapists cannot prescribe medication. If you have a mental health condition that requires medication or drugs, you will need to see a psychiatrist in-person. There are also several telemedicine platforms that offer psychiatry services online which can bring more convenience and comfort to you.
How long does it take to get matched with a therapist on BetterHelp?
On BetterHelp, it takes about 24 hours to be matched with a therapist or a counselor. It may also take a little longer if the user has special needs and requirements.
Does Talkspace work for couples?
Yes, Talkspace works for couples as well as individuals. In this platform, users can avail therapy services for their own mental health needs as well as relationship issues between them and their partners.
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