This detailed review will discuss the various services offered by Talkspace and Ginger who are seeking mental health care. Both these platforms have similar services but mainly differ in the target population. While Talkspace is open for anyone to use, Ginger is mainly used by employers for the mental health of their employees.
The table below will show you the main features and attributes provided by Talkspace and Ginger, while also highlighting the differences between the two platforms.
|Types of services||Therapy and Psychiatry||Therapy and Psychiatry|
|Pricing||Min 260 USD||Min 0 USD|
|Payment options||All major credit or debit cards, HSA, FSA||All major credit cards or debit cards|
|Age group||13 years and above||18 years and above|
- Talkspace is open for anyone to use
- It offers couples therapy and teens therapy
- It can be easily covered through insurance
- Talkspace does not offer group therapy
- Messaging therapy may not be liked by everyone
- Certain medications cannot be prescribed here
- Members of Ginger do not have to pay
- Both therapy and medications are available
- Emotional support can be sought out round the clock
- It is not open to the general public
- Only text messages are allowed here
- Therapy sessions can take time to be set up
Talkspace has been in the online therapy market since 2012. This platform was founded by Roni and Oren Frank in a bid to make couples counseling and group therapy a lot more accessible and affordable. Talkspace has since then gone on to include psychiatry services in addition to therapy for individuals.
Picture credit: Talkspace
In this platform, users can avail individual therapy, couples therapy and even teens therapy through various formats. The platform also allows unlimited messaging between the user and the therapist through texts, audio and video messages. The platform further provides resources like blogs, articles and other programs designed to improve other areas of life as well.
While the plans in Talkspace are definitely cost-effective when compared to in-person therapy sessions, the platform is also covered through insurance. This greatly reduces the costs of high-quality mental health care which can make it accessible for many. Talkspace is also HIPAA compliant and thus provides only the best standards in cyber security for its users.
Ginger is a platform that provides mental health care and emotional support to employees who are working with partners of the platform. Through Ginger, employees can avail emotional support at any time of the day through experienced behavioral health coaches. These coaches provide support as well as train the clients in various mental exercises and skill sets.
Picture credit: Ginger
Additionally to emotional support and coaching, Ginger also provides therapy and psychiatry services for those who require it. The therapy is provided by licensed and accredited therapists who conduct the therapy sessions through live video. The psychiatrists in Ginger prescribe psychotropic medication which will be sent to the local pharmacy of the patient.
The main type of communication that is available in Ginger is texting and this can be done at any time of the day throughout the year. The therapy sessions and the sessions with the prescriber in Ginger, are mainly conducted through live video on a platform called ‘Zoom’. Ginger also provides plenty of skill-building to improve resilience levels in its clients.
Best features of Talkspace
Talkspace has plenty of features that can be quite gainful to its users. The best of these characteristics have been explained in the section below.
Talkspace can be used from anywhere
The best thing about online therapy platforms like Talkspace is that users can avail therapy and other forms of mental health care from practically anywhere. Thus, those who have very busy schedules and thus find it difficult to go to in-person therapy sessions on a regular basis can use this platform to seek mental healthcare outside of working hours.
Picture credit: Talkspace
It is pretty affordable
Talkspace has ensured that the price range of its plans is definitely cost-effective for anyone. In doing so, Talkspace becomes accessible for many who otherwise cannot afford in-person therapy sessions for a long period of time. In addition to this, Talkspace is also covered by insurance through in-network providers such as Cigna, Optum and Humana.
It offers therapy as well as psychiatry
Therapy services as well as psychiatry services are made available on this platform. Medications or drugs are required for the treatment of many mental health conditions like severe depression and schizophrenia. In providing psychiatry services, Talkspace thus becomes a one-stop shop for all needs related to mental health care.
The therapy is offered through various formats
The therapy in Talkspace is offered through various formats such as live messaging, live audio sessions and live video sessions. Users of this platform can choose the mode that they are most comfortable with and can thereby increase the effectiveness of the therapy itself. Users can also send any number of messages to their therapists at any time.
Talkspace provides couples therapy
Couples therapy is another wonderful feature that is provided in Talkspace. Couples therapy is not only indicated for those who are going through rough patches in their relationship, but also for those who are planning on tying the knot. The couples therapy in Talkspace, essentially takes place through a group chat where both the partners can converse with the therapist.
It also provides teens therapy
Therapy for teenagers is also provided in Talkspace. This feature is reserved for those adolescents between the ages of 13 years and 18 years. Teens therapy can be quite helpful as teenagers often face a high level of stress due to many factors, including family, romantic relationships, school and even peer pressure.
It has a useful sleep program
A sleep program is also available in Talkspace for those who are struggling in their sack time. This sleep program goes on for a period of eight weeks in which the participants can learn various behavioral techniques and cognitive strategies to help them fall asleep easier and also stay asleep throughout the night.
Talkspace is very secure
Talkspace takes the security of its users very seriously and is completely HIPAA compliant. In addition to various internet security measures like encryptions and multi-step authentications, the platform does not require any in-person meetings between the user and the therapist. This definitely reduces the risk of any physical assaults or violence from either party.
It provides a symptom tracker
The platform also provides a symptom tracker through which the users can understand more about their symptoms as well as side-effects. This tracker can also be used to provide continuous objective data about the user which can be used by their mental health professionals as well to modify the course of treatment accordingly.
Users have access to Happify
Happify is an app which offers emotional support as well as teaches numerous self-care and mental health exercises and activities. These can be used to not only improve the mental health status of the user but also in teaching healthy habits that can become a permanent part of their lifestyle. Happify is pretty interactive and fun which can also be used as a useful way to pass the time.
Best features of Ginger
Ginger is highly favored by many employers, such as Buzzfeed and Sephora, to provide mental health care for their employees. The platform has become a permanent addition to many EAP programs due to many useful features like the ones mentioned as follows.
Ginger provides coaching
The coaching therapy is the main and best feature of Ginger. The coaching is meant to increase levels of resilience in the clients and also train them in self-care exercises and tools which they can use to face daily stressors. Most users of Ginger stick to the coaching therapy which is conducted through unlimited text messaging.
Picture credit: Ginger
It has therapy services
In addition to coaching therapy, Ginger also provides psychotherapy services. These therapy services can be added by any user if they feel the need for it. This can be done by communicating the need to the behavioral health coach. The therapy sessions are conducted entirely through video on Zoom.
It offers psychiatry services
Psychiatry services are also offered in Ginger for those who require medications or drugs. Medications and drugs are necessary for the treatment of several mental health conditions such as severe depression and bipolar disorders. The psychiatry services are also covered through live video sessions.
Users have round the clock support
Unlike many other online therapy platforms, members of Ginger can get emotional support and assistance at any time of the day. The providers and other mental health professionals in Ginger are trained to be at the beck and call of users round the clock and throughout the year. This is a great plus point that Ginger provides.
There is a very short wait time here
Users of Ginger are treated to very smooth experiences and short wait times, when compared to traditional mental health care settings. For coaching and emotional support, the wait time is just a few seconds. For therapy and psychiatry services, users might have to wait for a few days depending on the availability of the mental health professional.
There are plenty of self-care activities here
Ginger boasts of plenty of mental health exercises and self-care tools that can be positive for the mental health of anyone and everyone. These are communicated to the user through the use of Activity Cards in which there are different types of mental health exercises such as audio guides, articles and various tips that the coach will recommend according to client needs.
It has plenty of free resources
There are also plenty of free resources that are available on the Ginger website that can be beneficial for almost anyone. These resources include plenty of activities for decreasing anxiety levels, increasing focus and even improving sleep patterns. These can be used by the members of Ginger and also the general public.
Ginger provides high levels of security
Ginger has incorporated an Information Security Management System that is in line with ISO 27001 and 27002 standards. Thus, the platform ensures well-enough that the information of the user and their identity is not leaked out or even stolen. All the information and messages between the user and the mental health professionals in Ginger are also encrypted end-to-end.
Pricing of Talkspace
The pricing of Talkspace can differ based on the location of the user as well as the average availability of therapists in their area. Users are also free to choose from various plans, whose prices are mentioned as follows.
The Messaging Therapy plan
This plan can be availed for a price of $69 if billed weekly. In this plan, the user can send any number of messages to their therapist and this can be done through various formats like text messages, audio messages and video messages. The therapist responds to the messages of the user on a daily basis for five days in a week.
The Live Therapy plan
The Live Therapy plan of Talkspace is priced at $99 per week and entitles the user to four live sessions in a month. The live sessions can go on for a period of 45 minutes or an hour max depending on the availability of the user. The live therapy sessions can be in the format of a live chat, a live audio session or a live video session.
The Live + Messaging Therapy plan
The Live + Messaging Therapy plan can be availed at $129 per week and is certainly one of the most popular plans in Talkspace. In this plan, the user can send any number of messages to their therapist at any time and can also have four live sessions in the month for an average duration of 45 minutes.
Pricing of Ginger
Ginger does not cost anything for the member as the program is subscribed to by the employer. However, only the coaching therapy is covered through this. The therapy services and psychiatry services which the user might require can cost the user extra which they will be notified of prior to the payment.
Ginger offers employers three types of subscription offering various services that can be as low as $149 per month or $349 per month. This depends on the features that the employer has chosen for their workers.
Signing up for Talkspace
In order to sign up for the services in Talkspace, users can go to the sign up page of the website or the app where they will be asked their name as well as a nickname. The nickname or username is to provide the option of anonymity for the user. Once they have created an account, the platform will take them through the next steps.
The user will be then asked to complete a questionnaire about their mental health and emotional state. When this has been completed, the user will be put in touch with a consultant mental health professional who will then brief them about the various services provided by the platform. The next step is the matching process after which the user can commence their therapy sessions.
Signing up for Ginger
Users do not need to sign up for the Ginger platform as their employer would have already done so as part of their Employee Assistance Program. Once they are ready to use the program, users can immediately start messaging their coaches for emotional support. If they require video therapy sessions, they can communicate this to their coach who will do the required needful.
Tips for using Talkspace
Talkspace can be tricky especially for those who are new to online therapy altogether. Some helpful tips for users of Talkspace are discussed below.
Talkspace has an unlimited messaging feature in two of its plans. This feature allows you to send any number of messages to the therapist at any time of the day. This messaging can be used for venting and for reflection purposes. It can further help in increasing accountability.
- During live therapy sessions, especially video sessions, ensure that your selfie view is turned off so that you can focus better on what your therapist is saying rather than looking at your flaws on-screen.
- In order to mimic a more natural eye contact during your therapy session, you can practice looking directly into the camera lens while being positioned at the right eye-level with the screen.
- You can also create a set of therapy goals before you start your intervention. These goals need to be achievable and realistic in nature. Using these goals, your therapy process will be a lot more driven and goal-oriented and thus even more effective. If you are having trouble creating your therapy goals, you can always discuss this with your therapist.
Tips for using Ginger
Users of Ginger may get intimidated by the plenty of features that are offered by this platform. To help users of Ginger who may be new to the platform, we have compiled a small list of suggestions as follows.
- Ginger offers live video therapy sessions for those who require it. In order to make the best out of these sessions, users can create a therapy space in their own homes where they will not be disturbed. This can also help them focus better during the therapy session by helping in setting the mood.
- There are plenty of tools available for free on the Ginger website. These can be used in addition to your coaching as well as your therapy for your psychoeducation as well as your self-care.
- Most of the communication in Ginger takes placed through text messaging. To help your coach understand you better, you will need to be more expressive of your thoughts and your feelings to ensure that you get the best help out of this platform.
- The great thing about Ginger is that it can be used even outside of working hours. Thus, you can set aside the right time once you are finished with your work and talk to your coach. In addition to the coaching, you can use this time for your everyday self-care activities like reading, journaling as well as fitness routines.
Personal experiences in Talkspace
Users of Talkspace generally have great things to say about the platform. The Talkspace app enjoys a rating of 4.7 in Apple apps and 4.1 in the Google play store. Some of the personal experiences of users on this platform have been discussed in the following points.
- Individuals who cannot leave the house often as they are taking care of an infant have found great benefit in Talkspace as the platform conducts all therapy sessions online.
- The therapists and prescribers in Talkspace have been found by users to be highly compassionate, empathetic and professional in their communication and style.
- Users have also enjoyed the fact that they can communicate with their mental health professional at any time of the day through messaging. Many users have also expressed that the daily responses by their therapists is well-looked forward to.
- A large percentage of the users have mentioned that the customer support offered by Talkspace is not of high quality and provides much delayed responses.
Personal experiences in Ginger
Since its founding in 2011, Ginger has gained a massive fan following. Users have had mixed experiences in this platform and the Ginger Emotional Support app has a 4.2 rating in Apple apps and 4.1 rating in Google Play store. Some experiences that users have had in this platform have been summarized below.
- Most users have found the coaching to be quite useful for their emotional support. A large percentage of users have stuck to the text-based coaching and have not found a need to progress to the therapy or psychiatry services.
- Many users of Ginger use the services of the app after their working hours. This has been acclaimed to be one of the main highlights of the platform in which emotional support can be availed at any time of the day.
- Those users of the platform, who are always on the go otherwise, have found the app useful in learning new self-care and resilience building activities. This has led to the building of many healthy habits in users.
- Some users have mentioned that the response time of the coaches can be unpredictable and thus cannot be relied upon all the time.
Talkspace and Ginger are certainly great platforms for mental health care. While Talkspace provides plenty of avenues for high quality therapy, Ginger caters to employees by acting as an integral part of Employee Assistance Programs. Both these platforms are similar in the fact that they each provide therapy as well as psychiatry services.
Talkspace can be used by anyone who wants access to therapy as well as psychiatry services. Talkspace offers live sessions through live chats, live audio sessions as well as live video sessions. In addition to individual therapy, the platform also offers couples therapy and teens therapy.
Ginger, on the other hand, does not offer live therapy sessions in various formats. It offers only video modes. However, Ginger excels in providing quick access to behavioral health coaching which users can utilize in a matter of mere seconds. The coaching and emotional support in this platform is also available throughout the day and at any time of the year.
BetterHelp: A Better Alternative
If you are looking 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:
Is Ginger mental health free?
For those who are accessing Ginger through an employer or an organization, the platform is completely free of cost. However, the extent of the services can depend on the type of subscription tier that the employer has chosen for its employees.
What does Ginger app do?
Ginger app provides emotional support at any time. It also offers therapy services and psychiatry services for those who require it. Ginger is known for providing almost immediate access to professional help from a mental health professional in the form of behavioral health coaching.
Can anyone use Ginger app?
Yes, anyone can use the Ginger app but there is an age limit of 18 years and above for this platform.
How effective is Talkspace?
According to the sources at Talkspace, 80 percent of the users have found the platform to be just as useful as in-person therapy for their mental health needs and requirements. The platform provides science-backed and research-based therapy methods which have been met with mostly positive reviews.
How long does it take to get an appointment on Talkspace?
You can expect to get an appointment on Talkspace generally within 48 hours of signing up. Once the matching has been done, users can expect to hear from their therapists within the same day or within a couple of days.
Does Talkspace do video calls?
Yes, Talkspace conducts therapy sessions through video calls or video conferencing. It also offers live therapy sessions through chats and audio formats.
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