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Talkspace is an affordable and accessible online therapy service for adults, young adults, and couples. People can choose from a variety of subscriptions, programs, and features to meet their individual mental health needs.
According to the Mental Health in America (MHA), in 2019, around 24% of adults reported an unmet need to receive the mental health treatment they require, and as such, mental health in all age groups continues to worsen.
This article discusses Talkspace, how it works, and its reputation. It also examines the services, features, treatments available, and expected costs.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
- Services offered: adult, teen, and couples’ therapy, and psychiatry
- Price range: $69 per week or session-$436 per month
- Insurance: Premera, Cigna, Optum, Gatorcare, Aetna, Humana, Regence, UMR, and Carelon Behavioral Health
Roni and Oren Frank founded Talkspace in 2012. They oversee the company alongside a team of qualified doctors. The company has its headquarters in New York, NY.
The Talkspace telehealth service provides people with access to affordable online therapy with a licensed mental health professional.
Talkspace delivers its services through Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant and user-friendly web and mobile application platforms.
The company claims to provide individuals with confidential and fully encrypted communication with a licensed mental health professional. Individuals can send unlimited texts, pictures, and audio and video messages from anywhere and at any time.
Each individual’s needs will vary. However, the following advantages and disadvantages may apply to using Talkspace for a person’s mental health treatment.
- Therapy variety: Talkspace provides individual, couples, and adolescent therapy, psychiatric evaluations, and prescription management. It also offers online therapy to employees through partnerships with several health plans. It also states that its health therapists have expertise in many areas.
- Customized therapy: Talkspace claims to connect individuals with therapists who match their specific needs and preferences from their nationwide network of vetted and trained licensed mental health professionals.
- BBB: Talkspace has accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Convenience: The company’s telehealth services make it easy to reach a mental health provider online. This is particularly helpful to people who cannot do in-person visits, such as people with mobility problems.
- Cost: Using Talkspace instead of an out-of-network in-person provider may save a significant amount of out-of-pocket costs.
- Poor reviews: As many as 71% of the company’s customer reviews on Trustpilot are unfavorable, citing unacceptable response times, misleading information, and an uncaring manner. Several customer reviews point out that some Talkspace therapists have had poor online reviews.
- Complaints: The company has replied to 86% of its negative reviews at the time of publication.
- Low ratings: It has a B rating on the platform and an average of 1.1 out of 5 stars based on an average of 101 customer reviews. Trustpilot has the company rated 3 out of 5 stars based on 250 reviews.
It is important to understand that Talkspace offers both therapy and psychiatry services. A person who meets with a therapist will be able to work on their mental health concerns by talking with the counselor.
However, unlike a psychiatrist, a therapist cannot prescribe medications. Seeing a psychiatrist through Talkspace might be a better fit for people with a diagnosed mental health condition who require medication management.
For talk therapy: Talkspace Therapy
Talkspace offers talk therapy for:
- teens aged 13–17 years
For those who qualify as minors to receive treatment, their parents or caregivers must first permit an online video call.
According to Talkspace, a person can check in with their therapist 24 hours per day, 7 days per week via text, audio, and videos through their mobile app. A person can also cancel sessions and switch therapists at any time.
The company does not operate over weekends.
Initial out-of-pocket costs start at $69 per week for messaging therapy. For video and messaging, a person will need to pay $99 per week. Video, messaging, and workshops will cost $109 per week.
Although the service can be more convenient than conventional mental health services, some customer reviews mention nonresponsive therapists, lack of back-and-forth communication, delayed responses, and poor customer service. Aside from not receiving the support they need, many customers also feel neglected and ignored.
People who wish to speak with a counselor through Talkspace therapy can choose from three subscriptions:
|Messaging therapy||Video + messaging therapy||Video + Messaging + workshops||Couples therapy||Teen therapy|
|Cost||starts at $69/week||starts at $99/week||starts at $109/week||unlimited Live + Messaging, it starts at $436/month||choice of messaging, Live or Live + Messaging starting at $69/week|
|What’s included?||messaging by text, video, or audio||four 45-minute live sessions monthly||messaging by text, video, or audio + four 45-minute live sessions monthly||messaging by text, video, or audio + four 45-minute live sessions monthly||depends on choice|
|Extra||can add a live session for $65/session||can add a live session for $65/session||can add a live session for $65/session||can add a live session for $65/session||can add a live session for $65/session|
Like adults, teens can select a subscription plan from these options. A person may be able to use their health insurance to cover the cost of a subscription, though many Talkspace providers may be out of network.
To find out if an insurance company covers Talkspace, a person can refer to their benefits guide or call the customer service number on the back of their insurance card.
In addition, if a person’s employer is partnering with Talkspace, a person may have additional access to the service. A person can speak with their employee benefits department for information.
For medication management: Talkspace psychiatry
Talkspace also provides individuals with live video sessions with a licensed in-state psychiatrist for a personalized treatment plan that may include a psychiatric evaluation, prescription management, and follow-up consultations.
There are limited reviews of Talkspace’s psychiatry service. However, the available reviews are similar to those of their therapy services. Some customers had concerns about the lack of follow-up from some psychiatrists after initial appointments, especially after prescribing medication.
The company appears to offer a refund in such a case, but if they wish to continue, a person may need to go through intake again to match with another clinician.
According to the Talkspace website, an initial evaluation and follow-up session costs $435. The same evaluation, plus three follow-up sessions, will cost a person $725.
For those who have already completed and paid for an initial consultation, bundles of multiple follow-up sessions are available at a cost of:
- $475 for three follow-up sessions
- $890 for six follow-up sessions
- $1,260 for nine follow-up sessions
Note that a person must pay for each of these bundles in one payment.
In this case, the company only works with the following medical insurance companies: Premera, Cigna, Gatorcare, and Optum. A person may still get out-of-network benefits of 50–90% of the cost.
To sign up for the service, a person can choose from four options: Online Therapy, Couples Therapy, Teen Therapy, or Psychiatry.
Alternatively, individuals can talk with an assigning agent about their goals and preferences and have them make a therapist referral that suits their needs.
After choosing a therapist, a person can select their preferred subscription type, which includes the frequency and number of sessions they can access each month.
Talkspace states that it does not share private or private health information except when disclosure is required or permitted by law, such as during a medical health crisis.
The company claims to employ fully compliant HIPAA technology to ensure that a person’s data are kept secure and confidential.
All chat and communication between its software and servers are fully encrypted. Talkspace also mentions using non-identifying and aggregate information for trend analysis and research.
Moreover, a person needs to enter their password and nominate a unique passcode when logging in to their Talkspace app. In addition, an iOS app can include Touch ID or Face ID for an added layer of security.
Generally, those who feel they need advice, tools, and solutions to support their current mental health should be confident they can contact a licensed mental health professional.
A person may find being able to contact a therapist at any time and by various methods appealing, and they might, therefore consider Talkspace. However, reviews note concerns about response times.
Due to the online setup’s limitations, individuals needing urgent mental health support should immediately seek help.
Warning signs of such a situation include:
- difficulties performing daily tasks
- abrupt mood changes
- abusive behavior, including substance use, self-harm, and harming others
- presence of psychosis, including hearing or seeing things that are not there
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
Mental health is a vital facet of a person’s overall health and well-being and encompasses an individual’s behavioral, cognitive, and social well-being. It can affect day-to-day function and relationships.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between August 2020 and February 2021, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of adult individuals reporting anxiety and depressive disorder symptoms rose from
To meet the rising needs and to offer help in spite of quarantine restrictions, many healthcare professionals began offering online therapy and psychiatric sessions. This also aims to bridge the gap in access to mental health treatment.
MHA advises everyone to seek help if they notice the following signs in themself or others:
- disoriented thinking
- prolonged sadness and irritability
- social withdrawal
- substantial changes in eating habits
- presence of delusions and hallucinations
- suicidal thoughts
- substance misuse
- outbursts of anger
- increasing unexplained physical ailments
Persistent nightmares, hyperactivity, and changes in school performance can also indicate mental health conditions in younger children.
Where to find help
Where to find help depends on who needs help, the symptoms present, and the nature of the problem. However, a person can first contact a primary care physician, who can refer them to a specialist.
Individuals can also contact a local mental health organization. The
People can also consider using the following services:
- BetterHelp: Similar to Talkspace, BetterHelp provides online counseling for individuals, couples, and teenagers.
- 7 Cups: Aside from paid counseling and sessions with licensed therapists, 7 Cups offers people free 24/7 chat with volunteer listeners.
- MDLIVE: MDLIVE gives people easy access to doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists for various conditions.
Below is a table comparing Talkspace with alternative telehealth options mentioned in this article:
|Services offered||Price range||Insurance|
|Talkspace||therapy for adults, teens, and couples and psychiatry||$69 per week/session – $436 per month||• Premera|
• Carelon Behavioral Health
|BetterHelp||therapy and counseling for adults, teens, and couples||$60–$90 per session||does not accept insurance however, may accept HAS or FSA cards|
|7 Cups||emotional health support and therapy for adults, teens, couples, and LGBTQ+||free to chat to volunteers or:|
• paid membership at $150 per month or
• premium membership at $95.88 per year, and $149.76 for two years or
• lifetime membership at $419.95
|does not accept insurance|
|MDLIVE||• on-demand care for illness and injuries|
• primary care and specialist referrals
• talk therapy and psychiatry
• dermatological conditions
|• urgent care from $0-$82|
• primary care $0
• talk therapy from $0-$108
• psychiatry from $0-$24
• dermatology from $0-$95
|accepts all major insurances including: |
• BlueCross BlueShield
Here are answers to common questions regarding Talkspace.
Only a psychiatrist prescribes medication. A person can choose to see a counselor or a psychiatrist via Talkspace.
The best platform comes down to the individual’s choice based on their specific needs, reasons for looking to use the platform, budget, and geographical area.
Talkspace and Cerebral are both mental health platforms that offer online therapy and medication management. Both accept insurance and serve all US states, however, Talkspace also serves Canada.
Talkspace’s online therapy is slightly more expensive ranging from $276-$436 per month, compared with Cerebral’s which ranges from $259-$325 per month. However, Talkspace offers online psychiatry, whereas Cerebral does not, plus Talkspace offers services that are more family orientated, aimed at teens, couples, and individuals. Cerebral on the other hand only offers individual therapy.
Additionally, Cerebral treats alcohol dependence issues in select states whereas Talkspace does not offer this program.
Talkspace only uses licensed psychiatrists and therapists. The company performs background checks and verifies all credentials of its therapists. Talkspace confirms its professionals’ experience by requiring they have completed over 3,000 hours of clinical experience in their chosen expertise.
Talkspace is an affordable and accessible online therapy service for adults, young adults, and couples. People can choose from a variety of subscriptions and programs to meet their individual mental health needs.
However, a person needs to consider that online reviews mention delayed responses from Talkspace therapists, lack of empathy, and poor service.
An individual in urgent need of support can seek assistance from local health organizations that can provide immediate help.