Talkspace vs Sondermind (A Brief Review)

This article will compare Talkspace and Sondermind. These two platforms have both tremendously increased in popularity, especially after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Both of them have been fundamental in increasing the accessibility to mental health, particularly in an era where in-person visits may be frowned upon.

Talkspace vs Sondermind (A Brief Review)
Talkspace vs Sondermind (A Brief Review)

In the following table, you will be able to clearly see the various features offered by Talkspace and Sondermind and also understand the differences between these two platforms.

 Feature  Talkspace  Sondermind
 Types of services  Therapy and Psychiatry Therapy and Psychiatry
 Pricing  Min 260 USD Min $85 USD per session
 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 13 years and above

Talkspace

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Pros

  • It can be used from anywhere
  • It is very cost-effective
  • It offers therapy and psychiatry

Cons

  • It may be expensive for those who do not have insurance
  • It does not offer group therapy sessions
  • Messaging therapy may not be for everyone

Sondermind

Pros

  • It offers insurance coverage
  • It provides quick access to mental health care
  • Users can have in-person sessions as well

Cons

  •  It does not have a mobile app
  • There is no guarantee of the quality of service
  • Users have complained about the billing system

About Talkspace

Talkspace is perhaps one of the most well-known names in the field of online therapy. This platform not only offers online therapy but also has psychiatry services that can be accessed digitally. Talkspace was launched in 2012 with a mission to make therapy a lot more accessible and affordable and has come a long way since then.

Talkspace vs Sondermind (A Brief Review)

Picture credit: Talkspace

This platform brings affordable mental health care by offering therapy and psychiatry sessions at very low costs. In addition to this, Talkspace also offers insurance coverage through many in-network providers who cover therapy as well as psychiatry. Thus, those users who have insurance coverage can find a massive benefit in this platform.

Talkspace is a step forward or many miles ahead of many of its competitors as it offers therapy as well as psychiatry services in the same platform. It additionally allows the user more control and ownership of their mental health care by letting them choose the format or mode through which therapy is conducted.

About Sondermind

Sondermind is a platform that helps in connecting mental health professionals with the individual. The company was launched in 2017 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The founders of this platform, Mark Frank and Sean Boyd launched Sondermind with the aim of filling the gaps of the current mental health care system.

Talkspace vs Sondermind (A Brief Review)

Picture credit: Sondermind

Through Sondermind, those who are seeking therapists for their mental health needs and requirements are matched with a suitable mental health professional in a simple and easy manner. Unlike in-person therapy or traditional mental health care settings which require the individual to put in a lot of effort, Sondermind makes this process super quick.

Sondermind also takes care of the other nitty-gritty that comes with therapy such as paperwork, insurance and billing, making the process comfortable for the therapist as well as the user. The platform guarantees a connection with a mental health professional in a short span of 24 hours or 48 hours max.

 

Best features of Talkspace

Talkspace certainly provides plenty of talking points. This platform has several advantageous features that can be a superb addition to anyone who is looking for affordable and accessible mental health care. Some of the best features of Talkspace have been elaborated in the points below.

Talkspace is definitely affordable

The biggest problem with the current mental health care system is that it is expensive and thus inaccessible for many. Therapy sessions can cost a pretty penny and the expense can definitely pile up in the long run. However, therapy in Talkspace is affordable and is also eligible for insurance coverage which can reduce the costs of mental health care greatly.

There are multiple plans to choose from

Talkspace offers not just one but three plans for users to choose from. The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan offers limitless messaging between the user and the therapist, while the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium plan allows one live session per month. In the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate plan, users can enjoy four live sessions per month.

It provides high levels of security

Talkspace is completely HIPAA compliant and thus the users do not have to worry about the privacy and confidentiality of their data. Talkspace has been fitted with security features like end to end encryptions, multi-step authentications and even firewalls to prevent data theft and cyber-crime.

 

It can be accessed from anywhere

The great thing about Talkspace is that it allows the user to access and communicate with their mental health professionals from anywhere at any time. The platform can be accessed through any type of web browser or even downloaded and installed as an app on any smart device. This can be superb for those who live in remote areas which may have a dearth of mental health care.

 

The therapy is offered in different modes

The therapy itself is offered in various modes in Talkspace. Users can opt to communicate with their therapists through unlimited messaging in text messages, audio messages and even video messages. They may also have live sessions as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions.

There are psychiatry services available

Talkspace not only offers therapy services for its users but also has psychiatry services. This can be great for those users who require medications and drugs in addition to therapy for the management of their mental health conditions, such as severe depression and anxiety disorders. The psychiatry services are also eligible for insurance coverage through some providers.

Couples therapy is offered

Talkspace also has a fantastic space for couples therapy or family therapy that can be of great benefit for those pairs who are experiencing difficulties in their relationship with each other. Couples therapy works by helping the partners understand each other better through communication exercises and behavioral strategies.

Teenagers can also benefit

Talkspace additionally provides therapy for teenagers between the ages of 13 years and 18 years. This age group often experiences many periods of anxiety related to puberty, relationships and even education, for which therapy can be a great source of stable emotional support and professional guidance.

There is a sleep program here

For those individuals who find it difficult to sleep adequately, Talkspace offers a sleep program for a period of eight weeks. In this period of time, the participants will learn different behavioral strategies and cognitive techniques that can help them fall asleep quicker and also stay asleep for the right number of hours.

It matches the user with the right professional

The rapport and fit between the client and the therapist is one of the main determinants of the success of the therapy. Talkspace does an amazing job of matching the user with the right mental health professional through the smart use of artificial intelligence. The data that the user provides during the sign-up phase is used for this purpose.

Best features of Sondermind

While there are certainly many other platforms that perform the same job, Sondermind is definitely a rock-star in mental health. This platform also boasts a wide range of features and benefits, such as the ones described in this section.

It offers quick services

Sondermind guarantees the user a match with the right therapist in 24 to 48 hours. This means that the client is matched in a quick and simple manner rather than having to wait for long periods of time which is the case in traditional mental health care settings. Sondermind can thus be a great option for someone who wants therapy soon.

 

It provides different options

Sondermind allows the user to choose to meet their therapists virtually or in-person. And thus, the user has more control over their mental health care in Sondermind. While virtual therapy through video sessions is becoming quite popular today, there are still many who prefer in-person sessions which can be selected through this platform.

It takes care of the billing

Sondermind is actually a third party company that acts as a matchmaker between the user and the therapist. And thus, it is obliged to take care of the paperwork and the billing that comes with therapy or other forms of mental health care. The user as well as the therapist do not have to worry about anything else other than mental health, as the platform takes care of it for them.

It offers all types of mental health care

In this platform, the user has access to not only therapy but also psychiatry services. This means that Sondermind can be a great option for someone who requires medications and drugs in addition to therapy. Sondermind, therefore, becomes a one-stop shop for all needs and requirements related to mental health.

It brings high quality of therapy

Sondermind is definitely a third-party company that brings clients and therapists together. However, this does not mean that the platform allows just about any mental health professional to come in contact with users. Sondermind required the professional to be licensed and accredited and so, the user is guaranteed high-quality therapy in this platform.

It is covered by insurance

Sondermind also allows insurance coverage through a large number of in-network providers such as Aetna and Cigna. Insurance coverage can greatly reduce the costs of mental health care which is a huge problem in the sector today. The platform additionally takes care of the billing related to insurance.

Sondermind is trustworthy

Sondermind is fitted with the right security features and thus is HIPAA compliant. Users of this platform do not have to worry about internet security and are assured of high levels of confidentiality. In addition to this, the video sessions are never recorded, thus guaranteeing more privacy for the user.

 

Pricing of Talkspace

The pricing of Talkspace can definitely vary depending on the plan that the user has chosen for their needs and requirements. The prices can also differ based on the location of the user and the length of the subscription. However, it is definitely true that insurance coverage can greatly reduce the costs of therapy through Talkspace.

Talkspace can cost the user somewhere from $260 to $396 per month and this can decrease if the user is opting for an annual subscription or a half-yearly subscription. The cheapest plan in this platform is the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan while the costliest one is the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate plan.

Pricing of Sondermind

Sondermind is also pretty cost-effective when compared to traditional therapy settings. On this platform, the average price for an hour of therapy is $85. This price can also vary depending on the length of the sessions with the mental health professional and also whether the user is opting for psychotherapy or psychiatry.

This platform also allows insurance coverage as it has tied up with several insurance providers such as Cigna, Optum, Bright Health and even Aetna. Medicaid and Medicare can also be used to pay for Sondermind which can greatly reduce the costs of therapy. The user can also choose to pay out of pocket if they wish to.

Signing up for Talkspace

The process of signing up for Talkspace is quite simple and easily done. The platform basically guides the user step by step to make the enrolment process as comfortable as possible. To sign up for Talkspace, the user can go to the website or even download the Talkspace app which is available for iOS as well as Android devices.

Talkspace will ask various details such as the email address of the user and also a strong password. In addition to this, the platform will ask the nickname under which the user would like to experience their services. Next, the user will be put in touch with a consultant therapist who will guide the person in the following steps.

Signing up for Sondermind

To sign up for the mental health care services in Sondermind, the user will have to go to the website of the platform and click on the ‘Meet with a therapist’ option. The platform will immediately take them to the next page where they will be presented with various options and steps.

The user can then take a brief questionnaire that is in-built within the platform that is aimed at understanding the needs and requirements of the person a little better. The user will then have to provide their location through which Sondermind will gather the details of the therapists and other mental health professionals who are practicing nearby.

Tips for Talkspace

Talkspace has several features which are purely aimed at bringing the best quality of mental health care to users. Some tips that users of Talkspace may find beneficial have been elaborated as follows:

  • Talkspace uses artificial intelligence to match the user with a suitable therapist. To do this, it uses the data provided at the time of signing up by the user. In order to bring about a better client-therapist match, users are advised to provide as much detail as they possibly can so that a greater therapeutic fit can be created.
  • The platform offers unlimited messaging as a feature in all its plans. While it may seem impersonal, messaging can be used for self-care through healthy expression and venting. Users may also want to explore the different kinds of messaging that are offered in this platform like text messaging, audio messaging and video messaging.
  • To reduce the costs of their therapy, users can opt for a lengthier subscription. This will not only reduce the costs for them, but also ensure better effectiveness as therapy takes time to work. This will also improve their accountability and ownership.
  • Users can also create a space for their therapy sessions while at home where they will not be disturbed and thus can focus better on treatment.

Tips for Sondermind

Sondermind acts as a matchmaker to match the individual with the right mental health professional in their area. The experience on this platform can be improved using the tips mentioned below:

  • The best way to improve your experience in Sondermind is to use the tips provided in the platform itself. These articles and blogs not only cover the therapy process but can also help in other areas of life such as work-life balance.
  • Those who are getting therapy through video format will benefit from turning off their selfie camera during these sessions. This will encourage them to focus more on what their therapist is saying rather than worrying about the way they look on camera.
  • It is also helpful to turn off notifications on all devices during live therapy sessions so that you are not disturbed. If you get too many notifications at a particular time of the day as your attention is required then, you can choose a time slot for your therapy in which you can focus better.

Personal experiences in Talkspace

Those who have used Talkspace for their mental health needs and requirements have been mostly satisfied. Some of their experiences have been discussed in the following points.

  • Users have been mostly happy with the online operation of Talkspace as it allows them to communicate with their therapists from literally anywhere. It has also made it easy for individuals who reside in remote areas which do not have many licensed mental health professionals to obtain therapy from.
  • Users who are restricted to their home most of the time as they are responsible for the care of an infant or someone else have found Talkspace very convenient for their therapy needs.
  • Some users have found that there is a personal disconnect in Talkspace as there are no in-person meetings in this platform. Many have found that the messaging therapy does not work for them and thus they are coerced to switch to a higher-costing plan that offers live sessions.

Personal experiences in Sondermind

Sondermind is a superb platform that brings quick and easy access to high-quality therapy and mental health care. Users of Sondermind have had both good and bad experiences. These have been summed up in the points below.

  • Users have noted that the platform makes it very easy and quick to access a mental health professional which can be tedious when undertaken traditionally. The platform also takes care of the billing and the insurance paperwork and thus the user can solely focus on their therapy and mental health care needs.
  • The app of Sondermind may show some glitches and technological faults when it comes to video sessions. And this can be frustrating for those users who are opting for virtual therapy sessions instead of in-person therapy sessions.
  •  Many users have experienced issues with billing and insurance and have also been charged for sessions they never took. The insurance coverage policies may also not be clear for all users and thus some of them may undertake therapy sessions without being aware that they are being charged out of pocket.

Conclusion

Talkspace and Sondermind definitely do a great job of connecting those who are seeking mental health care with those who are offering it. However, both these platforms differ in their aims and objectives. While Talkspace offers its own therapists and professionals for the user’s needs, Sondermind simply connects the user with a professional while acting as a third party.

Talkspace can be a great choice for anyone who is seeking high quality therapy and psychiatry in the same space. The plans of this platform are cost-effective and also eligible for coverage. The user has more control and ownership in this platform as they can choose from various formats and modes of therapy such as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions.

Sondermind guarantees quick access to therapists and psychiatrists within a short span of 24 hours to 48 hours. In this platform, the user can choose if they want virtual therapy sessions or in-person therapy sessions and thus can be fantastic for those who require a deeper personal connection with their therapist.

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

BetterHelp is another mental health platform that offers extensive therapy services online. This platform is perhaps the most popular online therapy platform today and thus a superb choice for anyone who is looking for high quality mental health care. BetterHelp offers programs for individual therapy, couples therapy, teens therapy and even group therapy.

Frequently asked questions:

Does Sondermind prescribe medication?

Yes, psychiatrists in Sondermind can prescribe medication for any type of mental health condition.

How long are Sondermind sessions?

The sessions in Sondermind can last between 30 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the needs and requirements of the user, as the mental health professional deems fit.

Does Talkspace really help?

Yes, Talkspace has been found to be very helpful for the mental health of its users. While the interventions are conducted completely online, users have found them to be just as effective as in-person mental health care.

Citations

https://www.bbb.org/us/co/denver/profile/health-and-wellness/sondermind-inc-1296-90273304/customer-reviews
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210728005302/en/Technology-Driven-Behavioral-Health-Company-SonderMind-Raises-150-Million-to-Expand-Mission-of-Improving-Clinical-Outcomes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talkspace
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/talkspace
https://benefits.baesystems.com/document/45
https://www.wittenberg.edu/sites/default/files/media/health_wellness/Talkspace_ManagementGuide.pdf
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/sondermind
https://www.builtincolorado.com/company/sondermind
https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/digital-health/behavioral-health-matchmaker-sondermind-hits-unicorn-status-150m-series-c

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