Talkspace vs BetterHelp (Who wins?)

This post will be exploring the various nooks and crannies of two mental health care platforms, Talkspace and BetterHelp. These are the two most popular platforms for therapy today and have been neck to neck in their growth. Talkspace provides therapy and psychiatry in one space while BetterHelp solely focuses on therapy.

Talkspace vs BetterHelp (Who wins?)
Talkspace vs BetterHelp (Who wins?)

The table below will compare the costs and important features of both these platforms while also showing common grounds between Talkspace and BetterHelp.

 Feature  Talkspace  BetterHelp
 Types of services  Therapy and Psychiatry Therapy
 Pricing  Min 260 USD Min 240 USD
 Payment options   All major credit or debit cards, HSA, FSA All major credit cards, Paypal,HSA, FSA
 Insurance   Available Unavailable
 Age group  13 years and above 13 years and above

 
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Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

Talkspace

Pros

  • Talkspace can be covered through insurance
  • It offers therapy as well as psychiatry services
  • It can be used from anywhere

Cons

  • Talkspace can be expensive without insurance coverage
  • Live sessions are not available in all the plans
  • Unlimited messaging is not a feature in every plan

BetterHelp

Pros

  • BetterHelp offers group sessions
  • It offers financial aid
  • It is easy to change therapists here

Cons

  • BetterHelp does not offer insurance coverage
  • It does not offer psychiatry services
  • Therapists here cannot diagnose mental health conditions

About Talkspace

Talkspace was founded in the year 2012 by Roni and Oren Frank as a platform for couples counseling and group therapy sessions. The main aim of Talkspace was to create a place where therapy and other forms of mental health care can be delivered easily and also at highly affordable rates.

Talkspace vs BetterHelp (Who wins?)

Picture credit: Talkspace

Talkspace offers therapy services as well as psychiatry services for its users. The therapy sessions are conducted in a completely HIPAA compliant platform and also through various formats. Users can have live therapy sessions as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions.

The platform also offers unlimited messaging in two of its plans which can be used through different modes. The psychiatry services here are conducted by licensed and experienced prescribers. All the services of Talkspace are eligible for insurance coverage, making it a useful platform for anyone who is seeking mental health care online.

About BetterHelp

BetterHelp is definitely one of the most popular names in online mental health care. This platform was founded in 2013 by Alon Matas and Danny Bragonier and has since then been acquired by Teladoc, Inc. Through BetterHelp, nearly two million individuals are experiencing better mental health every day.

Talkspace vs BetterHelp (Who wins?)

Picture credit: BetterHelp

The platform offers therapy in various formats such as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions that the user can choose based on their convenience and preference. Users also have access to unlimited messaging with their therapists and this can also be performed in different modes.

The prices of BetterHelp are pretty cost-effective and the platform additionally offers financial assistance for those who are unemployed, disabled or have veteran status. In addition to therapy for individuals, the platform offers therapy for couples and teenagers. Furthermore, group sessions are also available on this platform.

Best features of Talkspace

Talkspace offers a wide collection of features that can be highly beneficial for anyone who is seeking mental health care and emotional support. In Talkspace, users can experience attributes like,

 

Ease of use and access

Talkspace is pretty simple to use and navigate even for those who are not so tech-savvy. Through Talkspace, those who need access to mental health care can do so with a much shorter waiting period than traditional settings. The platform also does not require the user to step out of the house and thus mental health care can be provided with a lot more privacy.

Great client-therapist fit

The relationship between the client and the therapist is one of the most important factors for effective therapy. Talkspace ensures this by the use of a great algorithm that uses the data provided by the user at the time of enrolment, to match them with a suitable and compatible therapist.

Easy insurance coverage

Insurance coverage is also made easy through Talkspace. The platform has tied up with several in-network providers like Cigna and Humana which can reduce the costs of mental health care drastically. The numbers of providers for the therapy services are plenty while those for the psychiatry services in Talkspace are only a few in numbers.

 

Unlimited messaging

Talkspace allows unlimited messaging in two of its plans. This unlimited messaging feature is by far one of the best attributes of this platform. The messaging therapy allows the user to send any number of messages to their therapists. The Guaranteed Response Time feature of Talkspace also confirms a specific time of response from the therapist to the user.

Various formats of live sessions

The live therapy sessions in Talkspace can be conducted in various formats. This feature is often not available in in-person therapy sessions, which make online therapy platforms like Talkspace highly preferred. The live therapy sessions here can be conducted as live chats, live phone sessions and even live video sessions.

Couples therapy and teens therapy

In addition to therapy for individuals, the platform offers couples therapy and teens therapy. The couples therapy feature takes place through unlimited messaging and also live sessions. Teens counseling takes place through a similar module. However, the user needs to upload a video of consent from their parents or legal guardians during the time of sign-up.

Additional resources

There are many additional resources that are provided in Talkspace in the blog area. This is carefully reviewed and updated regularly to ply users with helpful content related to many areas of life other than mental health. The platform thus takes a more holistic approach and provides resources related to legal issues, career related matters and even financial issues..

Psychiatry services

Talkspace not only provides therapy as part of its mental health care program. It also offers psychiatry services run by licensed and experienced professionals. Those who are suffering from mental health conditions like Anxiety and Depression can easily access medications through this feature. However, certain substances like Xanax and Adderall cannot be prescribed here.

Talkspace vs BetterHelp (Who wins?)

Picture credit: Talkspace

Security and anonymity

Security and privacy of the user is a must in any health care platform. Talkspace does not take these lightly and has incorporated many security features such as encryptions and dual-step authentications. The platform is fully HIPAA compliant and also provides additional security in the fact that no in-person communication is required here.

Access to Happify

Those who are users of Talkspace also have easy access to Happify. This program provides tons of self-care activities that can be rightly positive for one’s mental health and also emotional health. The platform is also pretty interactive and provides plenty of activities and games through which users can adopt healthy practices and practice mindfulness.

Best features of BetterHelp

BetterHelp is another online therapy platform that offers a plethora of attributes and features that can be constructive for mental health. Some of the best features of this platform that users have liked and loved in their experiences have been described in the following points.

BetterHelp can be used from anywhere

BetterHelp functions completely online and thus can be used from anywhere and everywhere. The platform allows users in even remote areas to access licensed and experienced therapists through its portal. This makes it superb for those who have very busy schedules and even those who cannot leave the house on a regular basis to access therapy.

 

It offers financial assistance

While BetterHelp does not offer insurance coverage of its programs, it compensates by providing financial assistance or financial aid. This is reserved for those who are disabled, have veteran status or even those who are currently studying. In addition to this, the platform offers financial aid to individuals who are unemployed or even furloughed due to the pandemic.

It offers group sessions

Group sessions are also available in BetterHelp for its users. These are basically webinars that are led by a therapist. The group sessions in BetterHelp cover more than 20 different topics related to mental health and mental illness which are conducted once a week. Any user can be a part of these sessions for free.

Talkspace vs BetterHelp (Who wins?)

Picture credit: BetterHelp

The users have more control here

Therapy-goers in BetterHelp have more control over the pace and intensity of the therapy sessions. In comparison, in-person therapy does not provide this level of control to the user. In BetterHelp, the user can choose to communicate with their therapist any time they feel like it and also through various formats.

It offers teens counseling

Teens counseling is another feature that is offered in BetterHelp to adolescents between the ages of 13 years to 17 years. This feature is quite important as more and more teens are facing high stressors at an earlier age than their predecessors. This is mainly due to the fact that teenagers are spending less time with family and are required to face high competition alone.

It offers messaging at any time

Messaging therapy is essentially the backbone of the mental health care offered in BetterHelp. Through unlimited messaging, the user can communicate with their therapists at any given time and also through formats like text messages and audio messages. Users can also send video messages to their therapists if they wish to do so.

 

There are various formats of live therapy

The live therapy sessions in BetterHelp are offered in various formats like chatting, live phone sessions and also live video sessions. The user can choose the format according to their conveniences and preferences. The live sessions in BetterHelp are conducted for a period of 30 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the availability of the therapist.

It has an online journaling feature

There is also an online journaling feature that is available in BetterHelp. The journal can be filled out by the user outside of their live therapy sessions. This can be great for the user’s self-care and expression needs. The contents of the journal can be shared with the therapist if the user wishes to do so at any time.

 

Pricing of Talkspace

The prices of Talkspace can range anywhere from $260 to $396 per month. The costs of the subscription to Talkspace depend widely on the location of the user and also the availability of therapists in their area. The cheapest plan in Talkspace is the Messaging Therapy plan while the Live + Messaging Therapy plan offers more features and thus is most expensive.

Pricing of BetterHelp

BetterHelp has ensured that its subscription costs are way more affordable than in-person therapy. The price of a subscription to BetterHelp is essentially $60 to $90 per week and is billed monthly. BetterHelp also offers financial assistance to its users which can reduce the costs by up to 25 per cent.

Signing up for Talkspace

To sign up for the Talkspace platform, users can simply go the platform’s website or the app and provide their name and username. They are then required to fill out a questionnaire about their mental health needs and the type of therapist they want. They will then need to virtually meet a consultant therapist who will guide them in the next steps after the matching process.

Signing up for BetterHelp

To subscribe to BetterHelp, new users will have to go to the website or the app and click on the type of therapy they are looking for. If they are looking for individual therapy, the user will be asked to answer a set of questions about their mental health status. The user will also be asked about the preferences they have for a therapist.

The user will then have to provide their email address and create a password. Once this has been verified, the user can log in to their account. BetterHelp will ask another set of questions to essentially start the matching process. Once this has been done and the payment has been made, the therapist will reach out to the user in a time span of 48 hours.

Tips for using Talkspace

While the features of Talkspace may be new to many to those who are just starting to explore the world of online therapy and tele-medicine, there are still many ways to simplify the therapy process and improve the effectiveness. Some tips to use in Talkspace are listed in the points below.

  • Talkspace offers access to Happify. This app is pretty simple and really fun and can be used for incorporating healthy mental habits into your daily life. Check it out whenever you can.
  • The platform offers unlimited messaging in almost all its plans. Use this feature for not only communication purposes, but also to just vent and also set reminders for talking points. The messaging can also take place in various formats.
  • To increase the effectiveness of the live therapy sessions, make sure you are choosing a quiet venue for this where you will not be distracted as much. You can also create a dedicated spot for your live therapy sessions in your home where you can also practice your other self-care activities.
  • To help your therapist understand your thoughts and feelings better, you might need to be more expressive and articulating of them. This is important as your therapist may not be able to see your body language thoroughly during live video sessions.

Tips for using BetterHelp

BetterHelp is one place where those who are searching for therapy online can find numerous resources and tools for their mental health. A few suggestions that can improve the experience of users have been described in the points below.

  • To improve the conveyance of your message in live video sessions, make sure you are looking directly into the camera lens. You can also adjust your seating and your posture so that it is more natural.
  • You can also turn off your selfie view during your live video sessions so that you are not distracted or overly self-conscious in your therapy sessions.
  • Doing a test-run before your live video sessions can make sure you are not interrupted by any technological glitches or errors during your therapy.
  • BetterHelp also offers an online journaling feature where you can fill out with your thoughts and feelings. You can also choose to have a manual journal, if you are more of a pen and paper person. 

In this journal, you can record your therapy goals, your reflections from the therapy sessions and also list down various coping exercises and techniques that you find useful.

Personal experiences in Talkspace

The Talkspace app has a rating of 4.7 stars in Apple apps and a rating of 4 stars in Google Play store. The users of this platform have experienced mostly positive things. In the section below, some of their experiences have been mentioned.

  • Most users of Talkspace have enjoyed the fact that they can communicate with their therapists at any given point of time. Many of them have said that this factor of being in constant touch with their therapist has brought them a lot of security and comfort.
  • The unlimited messaging feature of the platform is certainly one of its most popular plus points. Users have felt that they can message their therapist at any time of the day concerning their feelings and can also use this feature in other versatile ways.
  • Participants in the couples therapy feature of Talkspace have felt that the professionals are pretty empathetic and non-judgmental which is a huge plus in relationship counseling.
  • However, some users have felt that the messaging therapy feature in Talkspace is too impersonal and too expensive for only receiving a couple of responses per day.

Personal experiences in BetterHelp

The BetterHelp app has a 4.8 star rating in Apple apps and a 4.7 star rating in Google Play store. Most users of BetterHelp have felt that the platform has greatly aided in their mental health. Some of the reviews left by users have been summarized as follows.

  • Many users have enjoyed their interactions with their therapists, saying that they are compassionate and also pretty responsive. The groupinars that the platform provides for free have also been found to be quite popular among users.
  • Most users seem satisfied with the matching process of BetterHelp and feel quite compatible with their therapist.
  • However, a large percentage of users have complained about the online journaling feature of the platform, saying that it has a lot of glitches and created many typos while filling out content.
  • Users who live in remote areas have felt that the platform does a great job of providing easy access to high-quality therapy through licensed and experienced therapists.

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.

BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.

Conclusion

Talkspace and BetterHelp certainly provide plenty of talking points. Both these platforms have numerous fans following, with Talkspace having more than 1.5 million clients, and BetterHelp serving almost 2 million clients. The main difference between the two is that the former offers psychiatry services in addition to therapy while the latter does not.

Talkspace is a great option for anyone who requires therapy and also psychiatric help. The platform offers mainly three different plans for therapy which do not have the unlimited messaging feature in all. The platform however, offers insurance coverage which can greatly reduce its costs.

BetterHelp, on the other hand, focuses on providing the best possible therapy services for all its users; What it lacks in insurance coverage, it makes up for it through financial assistance which can be applied for a large percentage of users. In addition to therapy for individuals, the platform provides features for couples therapy, teens therapy and even offers group sessions.

Frequently asked questions:

How long are BetterHelp sessions?

The live therapy sessions in BetterHelp are offered for the duration of thirty minutes. This can be extended up to an hour depending on the availability of the therapist.

Can you use BetterHelp anonymously?

Yes, you can use BetterHelp anonymously through a username or a nickname. The platform also is completely HIPAA compliant and thus ensures the highest grade of security for users.

Can you choose your therapist on BetterHelp?

No, you cannot choose your therapist on BetterHelp. Instead, the platform uses an algorithm to match the user with a suitable mental health professional. If you want to switch therapists, you can just send a request to the customer support team of the platform who will find you a new one in no time.

Is Talkspace a free app?

No, Talkspace is not free. It is a paid service through which the user can avail high quality therapy and psychiatry services. However, the prices of the subscription to Talkspace are pretty affordable and also eligible for insurance coverage.

Who is Talkspace owned by?

Talkspace has gone public since 2021. This platform was founded by Roni and Oren Frank and has catered to almost 1.5 million users since then.

 

What countries is Talkspace in?

Talkspace can be used from any country as long as the user understands that the prices are mentioned in US dollars. The mental health professionals in this platform live mostly in US time zones and this should not be an inconvenience for the user. Most of the users of Talkspace are from the US.

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Citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talkspace
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/talkspace/technology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BetterHelp#:~:text=BetterHelp%20is%20a%20web%2Dbased,the%20world’s%20largest%20counseling%20service.
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/betterhelp/technology
https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/02/online-therapy

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