Talkspace vs Traditional Therapy (Best Of Both)

This post will compare the features of Talkspace against Traditional Therapy. When we refer to traditional therapy, we are talking about those psychotherapy services that are delivered in an in-person mode or in face to face fashion. Talkspace and other online therapy platforms have risen to high levels of popularity today, making traditional therapy a second choice for many.

Talkspace vs Traditional Therapy (Best Of Both)

In the following table, you will be able to see the crux of these two types of therapy delivery and also gain a better understanding of the differences between the two.

 Feature  Talkspace  Traditional Therapy
 Types of services  Therapy and Psychiatry Therapy, Psychiatry services with referral
 Pricing  Min 260 USD Min 100-200 USD per session
 Payment options   All major credit or debit cards, HSA, FSA All types of payment
 Insurance   Available Available
 Age group  13 years and above Any age group

Talkspace

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Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

Pros

  • It can be accessed from anywhere
  • It is pretty cost-effective
  • It has various formats of therapy

Cons

  • Talkspace does not offer group sessions
  •  Live sessions are not available in all the plans
  •  Certain medications cannot be prescribed by Talkspace

Traditional Therapy

Pros

  • It is a more familiar mode of therapy
  • It can be applied for even high risk patients
  • Clients are better understood face-to-face

Cons

  • It can be quite expensive
  • Clients need to go to the therapist’s office for therapy
  • There might be a long waiting period

About Talkspace

Talkspace is an online mental health platform that offers therapy services and also psychiatry services at very affordable costs. This platform was launched in 2012 by Roni and Oren Frank. The couple understood the importance of therapy, especially for relationships, as they faced difficulties in their own marriage.

Talkspace vs Traditional Therapy (Best Of Both)

Picture credit: Talkspace

In order to make the experience of therapy easier and more accessible, Talkspace was launched with very affordable plans. The platform also allows the user to communicate with their therapist through various formats. It additionally offers couples therapy and teens therapy programs that thus make it highly appealing for many.

Talkspace has only increased in popularity after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic which made traditional therapy nearly inaccessible and also risky. The platform currently has more than 1.5 million clients, and the number is only growing day by day. Through platforms like Talkspace, mental health care itself is undergoing a great positive change.

About Traditional Therapy

Therapy or psychotherapy is basically the application of psychological principles and techniques to improve the mental health status of the individual. Therapy is recommended for those who have mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. However, therapy can also be great for those individuals who are simply seeking to grow and develop personally.

Talkspace vs Traditional Therapy (Best Of Both)

Picture credit: American Psychological Association

Therapy has been around for a long period of time and there are many schools of thought related to this. Perhaps the most well-known school of thought is the psychoanalytic school of thought which was founded by Sigmund Freud. Psychotherapy using these principles focuses on the subconscious memories and thought processes of the individual.

Traditional therapy today requires the client to meet the therapist face to face, mostly in the therapist’s office itself. The sessions can go on for weeks or even months. Some clients may even go to the same therapist for years together. While therapy is definitely becoming more popular today, there is still plenty of stigmas attached to it, making it inaccessible for many.

 

Best features of Talkspace

Talkspace, when compared to traditional therapy, provides plenty of great features that can be highly advantageous to individuals. Some of the best features of this platform have been elaborated in the following section:

Talkspace can be accessed from anywhere

The best thing about Talkspace is that it can be accessed and used from anywhere. The platform operates completely online and thus all that the user requires is an internet connection and a compatible device. Talkspace, therefore, brings a high level of convenience and comfort to the user which may not be present in traditional therapy settings.

It is very cost-effective

The therapy in Talkspace is pretty cost-effective and affordable to all classes of society. In addition to being affordable, Talkspace can also be covered through insurance by a wide variety of in-network providers like Cigna and Optum. The insurance coverage is also applicable for the psychiatry services of Talkspace.

It offers various formats of therapy

There are several formats of therapy to choose from in Talkspace that users can pick according to their needs and requirements. The various options of live therapy sessions in this platform are live chats, live audio sessions and even live video sessions. Users have a lot more control and ownership over their therapy needs in Talkspace, therefore bringing more accountability.

The process of therapy becomes easy

In-person therapy or traditional therapy requires a lot of effort from the part of the user. There also may be a long waiting period before the client can be matched with a suitable therapist. If the client wants to switch therapists, the waiting period can go on for longer. However, in Talkspace, the user is connected almost immediately with a mental health professional.

It also offers psychiatry services

Talkspace not only offers psychotherapy services but also has psychiatry services. These psychiatry services can make it easy for those who require medications or drugs for their mental health conditions. Talkspace, thus, becomes a one-stop shop for all needs related to mental health care for the user.

It has couples therapy

The platform additionally offers a great program for couples therapy. Couples therapy is highly recommended for those pairs who are facing difficulties in their relationship with each other. Through couples therapy or family therapy, the partners can learn skill sets like effective communication and assertiveness that can make the relationship stronger and better.

It provides teens therapy

There is also teens therapy provided in Talkspace for adolescents between the ages of 13 years and 18 years. Teens therapy can be of great advantage for those kids who come from broken homes. This form of therapy provides strong emotional support and guidance for teenagers who are facing a lot of stress and anxiety related to various areas of life.

It has a sleep program

Talkspace is also fantastic for those who are having troubles with sleeping as it hosts an insomnia program. This program goes on for eight weeks in which the participants learn many coping strategies and behavioral techniques through which they can fall asleep and stay asleep quicker and easier.

It has many other resources

The platform is additionally filled with plenty of resources such as blogs and articles that can help anyone who is looking to improve their mental health. These resources have particularly been beneficial in times of COVID-19 lockdowns, with a large percentage of users finding solace and comfort in the updates provided by Talkspace.

It allows unlimited messaging

In all its plans, Talkspace allows unlimited messaging between the user and the therapist. This unlimited messaging feature allows the user to send a limitless number of messages to their therapist through various formats such as text messages, audio messages and even video messages.

Best features of Traditional Therapy

Traditional therapy has been around for a much longer time than online therapy and thus has a more solid foundation. Some of the best features of traditional therapy that make many individuals still prefer this mode of therapy delivery have been explored in the points below:

It provides more personal connection

In traditional therapy settings, the user and the therapist meet each other in-person. And thus, while compared to online therapy settings or virtual therapy, traditional therapy provides a deeper personal connection. The personal connection is something that clients often look forward to, especially if they are battling feelings of loneliness or isolation.

 

It is more familiar

Traditional therapy is definitely the more familiar route when it comes to the modes of therapy delivery. When people talk about therapy, they often mean traditional therapy where the client and the therapist meet in the latter’s office for their interventional session. Since it is a lot more familiar and popular, traditional therapy is the go-to mode of therapy for many today.

It can be used for high-risk clients

This form of therapy can be great for high-risk clients which may not always be possible in online therapy. High-risk clients are those who may physically hurt themselves or even others. In in-person therapy, the therapist can use physical forces, personal connection and also the assistance of others to help high-risk patients.

There are various payment modes

There are also various payment modes that are available in traditional therapy, including easy insurance coverage. This may not always be guaranteed in online therapy platforms which rarely offer insurance coverage for their therapy plans. The individual can also reduce the costs of therapy by seeing a sliding-scale therapist, which is not available in online therapy.

Therapy tools are more accessible

While the process of therapy itself uses a lot of talking through which the treatment is conducted, there are still many therapy tools that therapists use for their clients. These tools can be resources like music, arts and crafts and even therapy animals. In traditional therapy, these tools are easily accessible for use and thus can be effective for the client.

There are more benefits for therapists

Therapists can also greatly benefit through traditional therapy. These therapy sessions essentially cost much higher than online therapy and thus the therapist can make more profit. Therapists can also be in constant touch with clients of their locality as they will know the pulse of the area around them.

The therapist office can be a safe space

The therapist office itself can prove to be a safe space for the client. Online therapy requires the client to take their live therapy sessions from their own homes or someplace quiet. However, this can be difficult for those clients who face a lot of difficulties in their home environments itself. For these clients, the therapist’s office can turn out to be a place of peace and comfort.

There is a better understanding of the client

Therapists don’t only keenly listen to the words that their client is telling them. They also observe the non-verbal communication such as their body-language. Traditional therapy settings where the client is required to meet their therapist in-person can guarantee a better understanding of body language when compared to online therapy.

Pricing of Talkspace

The price of Talkspace can vary depending on the plan that the user has opted for. The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan is the cheapest in the platform while the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium plan is the most expensive. The prices of Talkspace can thus vary from $260 to $396 per month.

The subscription to Talkspace is billed monthly and the costs of this subscription can be reduced if the user is opting for a longer period of therapy. In addition to this, the platform also allows insurance coverage by a variety of in-network providers which can further reduce the costs of therapy.

Pricing of Traditional Therapy

Traditional therapy is definitely costly in the US, with each therapy session costing between $100 and $200. While insurance coverage can definitely reduce the costs of therapy, many therapists do not allow payment through insurance as it can bring them loads of paperwork which can take up a lot of time and effort.

Most therapists charge by the session, which can last up to 50 minutes. The costs of the session are regardless of the work being covered during them. However, there are also sliding scale therapists who do not always charge by the hour but charge according to issues being covered during the session.

Signing up for Talkspace

Those who want to avail mental health care services in Talkspace can do so by going to the platform’s website and clicking on ‘Get Started’. This can be done through a web browser or even through the Talkspace app. The platform will immediately put the user in touch with a consultant therapist who will guide them in the following steps.

 

Signing up for Traditional Therapy

For individual therapy sessions, clients can search through the Psychology Today directory and go through the mental health professionals listed there. Individuals can also call crisis helplines and hotlines which can put them in touch with therapists in their area. Those who are covered by insurance can ask their insurance providers for in-network mental health professionals.

Tips for Talkspace

Online therapy platforms like Talkspace are relatively recent when compared to traditional mental health settings. For those who are finding mental health care through Talkspace challenging, the following tips may be helpful.

  • It helps to create a space for therapy, especially the live therapy sessions in Talkspace. In this space, the users can concentrate better on their sessions and thus the therapy itself becomes a lot more effective.
  • Users of Talkspace can also explore the wide variety of formats and modes that are available in Talkspace. The platform allows therapy to be conducted through messaging, audio sessions and even video sessions that users can pick and choose from according to their needs and conveniences.
  • While Talkspace usually does a fantastic job of matching the user with a suitable therapist, users can also search for therapists in the platform’s directory. While choosing your therapist, keep in mind different factors like the age of the therapist, the gender that you are comfortable with and the type of therapy that they are specialized in.

 

Tips for Traditional Therapy

Going to therapy is not always simple and can be intimidating for anyone. Some tips and suggestions to make this process comfortable have been described in the points below:

  • Creating therapy goals before you go to therapy can definitely help your process. These goals need to be smart and achievable and will guide your therapy sessions. They can also serve as milestones to track your progress.
  • Therapy-goers can also maintain a therapy journal where they record the key takeaways from the therapy sessions. In addition, they can also write down their thoughts and feelings throughout the day to help in self-care.
  • In addition to the therapy sessions, individuals can also use various other mental health platforms and apps like ‘Calm’ that provide numerous strategies and guides that can help in the learning of many cognitive strategies and techniques.

Personal experiences in Talkspace

Those who have used Talkspace for their mental health needs and requirements have had very different experiences. Some of these have been summarized in the following points:

  • Users have felt that Talkspace is more convenient as all the features are easily accessible online. And thus, those who are on their phones all the time can communicate with their therapists whenever they want.
  • Users have also experienced a great deal of anonymity and discreteness in this platform as they do not have to meet their therapists in-person. They also do not have to leave the house for therapy and thus, those who fear stigma or judgment may find this platform more comfortable.
  •  Many users have felt that they can be free and open during therapy sessions in Talkspace and they can communicate whatever they want. This is beneficial for not only the client but also the therapist to better understand them.

 

Personal experiences in Traditional Therapy

Traditional therapy-goers also have a lot to say about their experiences in in-person sessions. Some of their experiences have been summarized below:

  • Clients of traditional therapy sessions have experienced a better personal connection with their therapists as they are communicating with the professional face to face. There is also less room for misunderstandings in traditional therapy as the communication takes place in real-time with more scope for non-verbal communication.
  • Therapy-goers also like the experience of having their interventions in a therapist’s office where they feel safe and comfortable.
  •  Individuals who go to in-person therapy sessions also find that they do not require any technology or devices to help them communicate with their therapists. And thus, those who consider themselves technologically illiterate are more comfortable with the traditional therapy settings.

Conclusion

Both Talkspace and traditional therapy settings are great options for mental health care. The only difference between the two is that traditional therapy requires face to face meetings while Talkspace is conducted completely online. However, this one difference can bring a wide variety of effects in the way that therapy is conducted.

Talkspace is a fantastic solution for anyone who is finding it difficult to leave the house for therapy sessions. This can relate to those individuals who are disabled or even those who are taking care of someone else. It can also be useful for people who have busy schedules and thus find it difficult to access therapy during office hours.

Traditional therapy is still the go-to mode of therapy for many people today. Traditional therapy does not require any technology or devices and the client can just call up for an appointment. There is also a stronger physical connection that is present in traditional therapy which can build better rapport and trust between the client and the therapist.

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

For those who are looking for another online therapy platform similar to Talkspace, we would recommend BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers very cost-effective plans for therapy that can be experienced in different formats like chats, audio sessions and even video sessions. Users can find individual therapy, couples therapy, teens therapy and group therapy in this platform.

Frequently asked questions:

Is Talkspace accredited?

Yes, all the therapists and mental health professionals in Talkspace are licensed and accredited appropriately. The professionals undergo a strict background check before they are allowed to practice in Talkspace.

Can you use Talkspace anonymously?

Yes, you can use Talkspace anonymously by providing a username or a nickname for your therapy.

Is psychotherapy a pseudoscience?

No, psychotherapy is not a pseudoscience as the forms of treatment are all evidence-based.

Citations

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/psychotherapy
https://www.verywellmind.com/psychotherapy-4157172
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/psychotherapy/about/pac-20384616
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychotherapy
https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-psychotherapy
https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/approaches
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/156433
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talkspace
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/talkspace

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