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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), around 24% of adults report an unmet need in receiving 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 looks at the services, features, and treatments available and some expected costs.
Roni and Oren Frank founded Talkspace in 2012 and oversee the company alongside a team of qualified doctors. The company has its headquarters in New York City, NY.
The Talkspace telehealth service provides people with access to affordable online therapy with a licensed mental health professional.
It 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.
Talkspace has accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
At the time of publication, the company has closed 259 complaints over the past 3 years. It has a B rating on the platform and an average of 1.11 out of 5 stars based on 41 customer reviews.
Trustpilot has the company rated at 1.5 out of 5 stars based on 38 reviews.
As many as 92% of the customer reviews are unfavorable, citing unacceptable response times, misleading information, and an uncaring manner.
Talkspace provides individual, couples, and adolescent therapy, psychiatric evaluations, prescription management, and insomnia therapy programs.
It also offers online therapy to employees through partnerships with several health plans.
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.
It also states that its health therapists have expertise in many areas. However, several customer reviews point out that Talkspace therapists had poor online reviews.
According to Talkspace, a person can check in with their therapist 24 hours per day, 7 days per week via text messages, audio messages, and videos through their mobile app.
This is unlike traditional face-to-face therapy and may offer a new way of managing mental health. A person can also cancel sessions and switch therapists at any time.
However, most 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.
The company does not operate over weekends.
To use the service, a person first needs to create an account through the Talkspace website or mobile app.
After having their account verified, they can complete a brief assessment, detailing their treatment goals and therapist preferences. They can then choose from the suggested list of therapist “matches.”
Alternatively, individuals can talk to 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 offers talk therapy or psychotherapy for adult individuals, those aged 13–17 years, and couples.
For those who qualify as minors to receive treatment, their parents or caregivers must first give permission through an online video call.
People who want to use Talkspace therapy can choose from three subscriptions:
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: This includes unlimited messaging with a therapist for 5 days per week.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: This includes unlimited messaging and one live 30-minute session per month.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate: This includes unlimited messaging and four live 30-minute sessions per month.
Talkspace also offers two programs:
- Talkspace Psychiatry: This program 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.
- Talkspace Sleep Therapy: This is an 8-week program that uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) to offer a person support and guide them toward achieving better sleep.
Talkspace states that it does not share private information 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 is 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.
The cost of Talkspace therapy falls in the range of around $65–115 per week, depending on the subscription and the duration an individual chooses.
Duration options include:
- every 3 months, which includes a 10% discount
- every 6 months, which includes a 20% discount
Talkspace Psychiatry costs around $200 for an initial evaluation and around $130 for follow-ups, while Talkspace Sleep Therapy costs around $520.
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 limitations of the online setup, individuals in need of urgent mental health support should immediately seek help.
Warning signs of such a situation include:
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 impact 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 abuse
- 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.
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.
It is of note, however, that online reviews mention delayed responses from Talkspace therapists, lack of empathy, and poor service.
An individual in urgent need of support should seek assistance from local health organizations that can provide immediate help.