Talkspace vs Cerebral (A Tele-medicine Showdown)

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Page last updated: 3/09/2022

The following pages will shed light on the similarities and dissimilarities between two great mental health care platforms, Talkspace and Cerebral. Talkspace offers therapy in various types as well as various formats. Cerebral offers therapy as well as psychiatry and follows a collaborative care model of mental health care delivery.

Talkspace vs Cerebral (A Tele-medicine Showdown)
Talkspace vs Cerebral (A Tele-medicine Showdown)

The table below will show you the various features offered by both these platforms and how they are different from each other in many ways.

 Feature  Talkspace  Cerebral
 Types of services  Therapy and Psychiatry Therapy and Psychiatry
 Pricing  Min 260 USD Min 85 USD
 Payment options   All major credit or debit cards, HSA, FSA All major credit cards,HSA, FSA
 Insurance   Available Available
 Age group  13 years and above 18 years and above

Talkspace

Pros

  • Talkspace can be used from anywhere
  • It offers various types of therapies
  • It can be easily covered by insurance

Cons

  • It does not have group therapy sessions
  • Live sessions are not available in all the plans
  • It can be expensive without insurance

Cerebral

Pros

  • Cerebral offers care counseling
  • Medications are delivered to the customer’s address
  • It has a variety of plans

Cons

  • It does not offer messaging therapy
  • It does not have features for couples therapy or teens therapy
  • Therapy services are not available in all the states

About Talkspace

Talkspace was launched in 2012 by Roni and Oren Frank as a platform for couples counseling and therapy. Since its founding, the platform has become one of the world’s largest online sites for therapy as well as psychiatry services. Talkspace offers a wide range of therapies from therapy for individuals to counseling for teenagers and couples.

Talkspace vs Cerebral (A Tele-medicine Showdown)

Picture credit: Talkspace

The therapy in Talkspace can be conducted through several modes or formats, such as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. The platform also encourages unlimited messaging between the user and the therapist in most of its plans. Furthermore, Talkspace ensures HIPAA compliance and high levels of security for its users.

The affordability of Talkspace is also certainly high, especially due to its easy insurance coverage. The platform has tied up with several in-network providers who try their hardest to make mental health care as cost-effective as possible. This insurance coverage is available for the therapy services and also the psychiatry services of the platform.

About Cerebral

Cerebral or Get Cerebral was founded in early 2020 by Kyle Robertson who faced many challenges as he sought out mental health care for his psychological issues. While the company may be young, it has already gained a massive user count and has catered to the mental health needs of more than 100,000 patients.

Talkspace vs Cerebral (A Tele-medicine Showdown)

Picture credit: Cerebral

This platform offers therapy services as well as psychiatry services that users can choose from based on their needs and requirements. The care model of the interventions in Cerebral is unique and quite effective. The therapy here is offered through phone sessions and also video sessions that the users can opt for depending on their convenience.

Cerebral also has an extensive psychiatry service through which those who require medications can access them in an easy and simple manner. The platform also ships the medication to the home of the user so that they do not have to go to the pharmacy. The prescribers in this platform can also provide certain records and documents such as Disability documents and ESA letters.

Best features of Talkspace

Talkspace is one of the most popular online therapy platforms today, mainly due to the fact that there are many unique features and advantages that users can avail here. Some of the best and most looked-forward features in Talkspace are listed as follows.

Talkspace offers remote access

The best thing about Talkspace is that it offers remote access to therapy and other forms of mental health care. The user or the client does not need to step out of their homes at all in ordr to receive professional help. This is useful as there are still many stigmas related to mental illness and seeking help for the same illness.

It offers unlimited messaging

Unlimited messaging or therapy through messaging or simply called messaging therapy is made available in almost all the plans that Talkspace offers. Through this feature, the user can send an unlimited number of messages to their therapists at any time of the day. The messages can also be sent through various formats, including texts, audio messages and video messages.

There are various formats of live therapy

The live therapy sessions in this format can be availed through different formats that the user can choose according to their convenience and also preference. The different types of formats available for live therapy sessions in Talkspace are live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions.

Users are guaranteed of a good therapist

The users are also guaranteed a compatible therapist for their personality as well as style through a remarkable algorithm that Talkspace uses. This picks up the information provided by the user and matches them with a therapist who may suit their emotional and mental health needs in a better manner, thus ensuring a great client-therapist fit.

The platform is completely HIPAA compliant

Talkspace brings the highest level of security and privacy to the user and is fully HIPAA compliant. The chats between the user and the therapist are encrypted end-to-end while log-in and sign-up are multi-step authenticated. The online nature of the sessions between the user and the therapists encourages further physical safety for both the parties.

 

Insurance coverage is easily available

Insurance coverage is made easily possible in Talkspace. The platform has tied up with numerous in-network providers such as Cigna and Optum who extensively bring down the costs of mental health care. This factor is an important one to consider, especially since the high costs of mental health care is the main obstacle that people face.

Talkspace vs Cerebral (A Tele-medicine Showdown)

Couples therapy is available in Talkspace

Talkspace not only provides individual therapy but also therapy for couples. The couples therapy in Talkspace also offers unlimited messaging as well as live therapy sessions. The messaging therapy here takes place through a group chat between the partners and the therapist. The live sessions can be experienced in live chats, live audio and live video modes.

Talkspace vs Cerebral (A Tele-medicine Showdown)

Picture credit: Talkspace

Teens counseling is also found here

Teens counseling is another feature that is available in Talkspace. To enroll in this program, the user will have to upload a short video of their parents or guardians providing consent. Counseling for teenagers or adolescents becomes important as many mental illnesses show their initial signs in this age group.

Talkspace offers an insomnia program

The platform also has an amazing program for those who are suffering from insomnia and sleep issues. The program is for a period of eight weeks and trains the participants in behavioral strategies and coping techniques. This program also gives the user access to well-trained sleep therapists as well as daily monitoring features.

 

There are plenty of additional resources

There are also tons of additional resources that are available in the platform for users to access and utilize for not only their mental health, but other areas of life as well. The blog in the Talkspace platform is also constantly updated with useful information for taking care of finances, improving careers and legal issues as well.

Best features of Cerebral

Cerebral is a relatively new platform for mental health care when compared to its competitors. However, it has still managed to create a special niche for itself due to some remarkable features. The best of these have been described in the points below.

Cerebral offers a variety of plans for its users

Users in Cerebral or Get Cerebral can opt from several plans that the platform provides. This includes plans for only therapy, or only medication or a combination of both these services. Each of these ranges in prices as well as features that can bring a high level of convenience and comfort to any user.

The medications are delivered to the doorstep of the user

The medications in this platform are delivered to the doorstep of the user. The packaging of the medications or drugs is also very discrete and very safe. The refills are also sent automatically and thus the user does not need to leave the house for a pharmacy-run to access their medications for the management of their mental health conditions.

 

The psychiatry services are offered in all the states

The psychiatry services of Cerebral are offered in all the states of the United States of America. This means that everyone everywhere in this country can avail tele-medicine for mental health conditions at very affordable prices in an easy manner. However, the therapy services are not available in all the states.

Talkspace vs Cerebral (A Tele-medicine Showdown)

Picture credit: Cerebral

 

There is a lesser waiting time in Cerebral

The waiting time to access a therapist or a prescriber in Cerebral is pretty less, especially when compared to in-person mental health care. In fact, the whole reason why Cerebral came into being was to solve the long waiting period problem that is present in the current mental health care system.

Users can communicate through different modes

The communication between the user and the therapist can take place through various modes, such as phone sessions or video sessions. This is also applicable for live sessions with prescribers. The users also enjoy unlimited messaging with their care counselors who are guaranteed to respond a certain number of times every week.

Cerebral offers care counseling

Cerebral follows a unique type of mental health care called the collaborative care model. In this model of mental health care, the user is taken care of by a team of mental health professionals rather than only one therapist or psychiatrist. The care counselor is an integral part of this team and has continuous access to the user.

The care counselor is a mental health professional who may or may not be a licensed therapist or psychologist. This individual manages the overall mental health care that the user is receiving. They also train the user in various coping strategies while providing constant emotional support. Care counselors also track the progress of the user and keep an eye out for side-effects.

It can be covered through insurance

Cerebral has an extensive tie-up with many in-network insurance providers. Through these providers, the costs of mental health care tend to be much lesser for its users. The insurance covers therapy as well as the psychiatry services and makes mental health care more accessible for a large percentage of the population.

Documentation can be provided

Those individuals who require certain types of documentation or certificates can avail them from Cerebral. However, the decision is left up to the prescriber in the platform. Users of the platform can get certificates related to disabilities, mental health leaves of absences and even certificates for emotional support animals.

 

Pricing in Talkspace

Talkspace offers several plans with different prices that users can choose from according to their needs and also their affordability. The various plans that Talkspace offers along with their prices and basic features have been explained below.

Messaging Therapy plan

The Messaging Therapy plan in Talkspace is for a cost of $69 per week. In this plan, the user can send messages to their therapists at any time of the day to which they will get a response at least once a day for five days in a week. The messages can be sent as texts, audio messages or video messages.

Live Therapy plan

The Live Therapy plan costs $99 per month and entitles the user to four live sessions per month, each for the duration of 45 minutes. The live sessions can be conducted as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. While Talkspace had an unlimited messaging feature in this plan as well before, it no longer allows messaging therapy here.

Live + Messaging Therapy plan

The Live + Messaging Therapy plan costs users $129 per month and includes unlimited messaging in various formats, along with four live sessions for a period of 45 minutes. The live sessions may be extended up to an hour depending on the availability of the therapist. This plan is definitely one of the most popular plans of Talkspace.

Pricing in Cerebral

Cerebral offers mainly three different plans with various costs that patients of the platform are recommended according to their personal requirements. The costs of these can be definitely reduced through insurance coverage. The current costs mentioned on the Cerebral website for each of these plans have been mentioned as follows.

 

Medication and Care Counseling plan

This plan costs the user $85 per month and is mainly for the psychiatry services of the platform. The Medication and Care Counseling plan of Cerebral can also be reduced to $29 per month plus copay through insurance coverage. Here, the patient has access to a prescriber as well as unlimited messaging with the care counselor.

Medication and Therapy plan

The Medication and Therapy plan in Cerebral costs the user $325 per month and can be reduced to $29 plus copay through insurance coverage. In this plan, the user has access to a prescriber as well as a therapist with whom they can have phone sessions or live video sessions. They can also send any number of messages to their care counselors.

Therapy Only plan

The Therapy Only plan in Cerebral costs the user $259 per month. Here, the user has access to phone sessions or video sessions with their therapists, which are held once a week. They can also opt for unlimited messaging with their care counselors. Furthermore, they have access to other resources such as mindfulness exercises and progress tracking for symptoms.

Tips for using Talkspace

Those who are new to online therapy platforms like Talkspace may be overwhelmed by the large number of features and tools that are available here. Some suggestions to help new users of Talkspace have been listed below.

  • Talkspace allows live therapy sessions in various formats and modes. Explore these and find what suits you the best. To enhance the experience of your live therapy sessions, you can also create a quiet space in your home or somewhere else just to help you concentrate and focus better on your therapy sessions.
  • There is also an unlimited messaging feature in Talkspace. You don’t have to use this for communication all the time. Instead, you can use this space for healthy venting when you are feeling frustrated. You can also put up points in the chats to remind yourself of certain topics to be discussed in live therapy later.
  • You can also invest in a high-speed internet connection, particularly for your live video therapy sessions. This will bring you more comfort and quality to your therapy sessions.
  • Maintaining a therapy journal is always a good idea. Here, you can write down certain points that were helpful to you during your therapy sessions. You can also use this journal to write down your thoughts and feelings everyday as part of your self-care routine.

Tips for using Cerebral

Cerebral is a simple but quite effective platform for delivering online therapy. To improve your experience on this platform, we have compiled a few tips that can help you.

  • Cerebral offers you the option of choosing live phone sessions or live video sessions with your prescriber or your therapist. When in a live video session, make sure you are looking into the camera directly in order to mimic a more natural eye contact. This can definitely help in increasing the effectiveness of your communication.
  • You must also remember to be more descriptive of your emotions and feelings on this platform as your mental health professional may not be able to read your body language thoroughly here. If you are finding it difficult to describe impromptu, you can always write them down first so that your thoughts are sorted better.
  • Cerebral has a progress tracking feature which can help you objectively see the progress that you are making throughout your treatment. See what coping strategies and behavioral techniques actually push your progress faster and use these often. These can also become a permanent part of your mental health routines.
  • Cerebral offers a care counselor in all its plans with whom you can communicate at any time through unlimited messaging. The unlimited messaging can also be a great space to vent or express your feelings if you are feeling overwhelmed at any time. Care counselors in Cerebral are trained to provide professional emotional support and guidance.

Personal experiences in Talkspace

Those who have used Talkspace have mostly experienced an improvement in their mental health and also other areas of life. Some of their experiences have been described in the following points.

  • Users who have very busy schedules have found the platform super convenient and quite easy when compared to traditional therapy settings.
  • Users who have experienced the couples therapy feature in Talkspace have mentioned that the platform brings a high level of convenience which has been great for their relationship.
  • Most users have felt that Talkspace provides an immense level of control to the individual and thus the pace and intensity of therapy can be regulated according to the needs of the user.
  • Some users have complained that the customer support team of the platform is not responsive and requires plenty of prodding before they take any action. This has led many users to actually quit the platform for good.
  • While Talkspace offers insurance coverage which can definitely reduce the costs of mental health care, those who do not have any insurance have felt that the platform is too expensive for them to afford.

Personal experiences in Cerebral

Cerebral caters to the mental health needs of thousands of patients every day. The Cerebral app has a rating of 4.7 in Apple apps and a rating of 4.4 in the Google Play Store. Let’s see what users of this platform have had to say about their experience in the section below.

  • Most users of the platform have found Cerebral to be very convenient and also adequate in mental health care treatment. The prescribers were found to be experienced enough to recommend the right line of treatment for various mental health conditions.
  • Some users have felt that the mental health professionals in the platform are not patient enough to hear them out fully. This however depends from professional to professional and any serious complaint from the user is taken seriously by Cerebral.
  • A few users have also mistaken the care counseling to be therapy. This has also left many patients of Cerebral confused and agitated as they felt cheated by the platform.
  • A large percentage of users of Cerebral have been satisfied with the features of the platform, especially the medication plans. Those who don’t have insurance have also felt that they can easily afford the plans of this platform.

Conclusion

Talkspace and Cerebral are pretty similar in their outlooks as well as their features. Both these platforms can be great options for anyone who is suffering from a mental health condition and is looking for therapy and psychiatry services online. However, there are any small differences between these two platforms that can prove to be major ones for users.

Talkspace has several plans including live therapy sessions and unlimited messaging. The psychiatry services in this platform are not included in the common plans that Talkspace offers and are a separate entity. The platform is also popular as it offers other modes of therapy such as couples therapy and teens counseling services.

Cerebral offers therapy as well as psychiatry services in its plans and is more transparent about the pricing. It is also pretty overt about the reduction of costs through insurance coverage. The platform also provides care counseling which provides the user with continuous emotional support and access to behavioral techniques and other coping strategies.

BetterHelp:  A Better Alternative

If you are on the prowl for an amazing platform that offers superb mental health services, we would highly recommend BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers individual therapy services, couples therapy services and even therapy for teenagers. Furthermore, the platform also provides group therapy sessions that are conducted about once a week.

The subscription to BetterHelp is pretty affordable and while there is no insurance coverage here, the platform provides financial assistance to those who are unemployed, disabled and even those who have veteran status. The financial assistance needs to be renewed every three months and can reduce the costs of therapy by up to 25 per cent.

Frequently asked questions:

What kind of medication does Cerebral prescribe?

Cerebral prescribes medication for mental health conditions like Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia and even postpartum depression. However, medications for conditions like ADHD and Bipolar Disorder are restricted to only certain states in the US.

Does Cerebral take Tricare?

Yes, Cerebral takes insurance coverage from Tricare. This allows active duty members of those in the armed services as well their family members easily access mental health care facilities.

What is a Cerebral prescriber?

A prescriber in Cerebral is a psychiatrist who looks at the history of the patient and prescribes the right medications or drugs for them.

Does Talkspace use real therapists?

Yes, Talkspace uses real therapists who are licensed to practice in their respective regions. The therapists should also be accredited and should have a minimum experience of three years before being eligible to work in Talkspace.

Can Talkspace therapists diagnose?

No, Talkspace therapists cannot provide a diagnosis for mental health conditions. However, they are capable of providing professional psychotherapy services for a range of mental illnesses.

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Citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talkspace
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/talkspace
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7291694/
https://terapygoperu.com/static/files/Talkspace-Preliminary-Research-Study.pdf
https://terapygoperu.com/static/files/Talkspace-Preliminary-Research-Study.pdf
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/cerebral
https://kylerobertson41.medium.com/why-we-launched-cerebral-a-mental-health-telemedicine-company-f6593ff22f2a
https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/tech/softbank-leads-mental-health-startup-cerebral-s-300m-round-propelling-valuation-to-4-8b

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