Talkspace is a telemedicine provider of mental health services that offers patients on demand virtual treatment for a variety of mental health issues.
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If you’re struggling with your mental health but aren’t interested in pursuing in-person therapy with a mental health provider, you’ve likely been on your own for years. Recently, companies like Talkspace have been founded with the mission of making mental health services more accessible for people with a variety of backgrounds, time constraints, and disposable income.
Helping people via cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as a gamut of other methods, Talkspace has licensed therapists and certified doctors to address a variety of mental health issues using psychotherapy and psychiatry.
If you are considering using a telemedicine provider as a way to access mental health services, our Talkspace review will tell you everything you need to know about this industry leader.
Talkspace is a popular telehealth platform that offers therapy from qualified mental health professionals via text and video chat. More than one million users have received therapy through Talkspace, which counts celebrities like Michael Phelps and Demi Lovato among its advocates.
According to the company’s website, Talkspace was founded with the mission to provide more people with convenient access to licensed providers who can help those in need to live a happier and healthier life and to make therapy available and affordable to all.
The Talkspace website notes that the intention of the platform is not to replace traditional in-office therapy, but rather to provide the opportunity for more people to utilize and benefit from therapy and overcome their day-to-day challenges in a stigma-free environment.
The cornerstone of Talkspace’s product offering is convenient access to thousands of licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited mental health professionals, including psychiatrists (MD or DO), psychologists (PhD/PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW), and board licensed professional counselors (LPC).
The service offers counseling for individuals, couples, and teens ages 13 and above and offers psychiatric care, including evaluations and psychiatric medication management, for patients ages 18 and older.
To begin using Talkspace, clients start by filling out a brief assessment that requires answering a few questions about their preferences in a therapist, the reason why they are seeking psychotherapy or psychiatric care, their location, and more as part of the sign up process.
The client is matched with a consulting therapist who can give them more information about how Talkspace works, as well as the available subscription options, and help you match with a therapist or mental health professional. Based on this initial discussion, a list of three potential providers is offered to the client. These providers have been specially curated based on the client’s responses to the questions as part of the initial onboarding process. The client then chooses their preferred therapist from the list of three professionals.
All Talkspace providers are required to be licensed therapists, undergo a thorough background check, and must have at least 3,000 hours of clinical experience in order to offer services through the app, so you can be confident that you’re getting an experienced professional. If at any time you would like to switch therapists, talkspace makes it easy to do so as the client's overall wellness is the highest priority.
In order to actually engage in a therapy chat session via text or video chat, the client simply logs into their secure, private “room” on the user-friendly system, which is available 24/7. The client is able to send text, voice, or video messages to their chosen provider at any time, and the client’s chosen provider will always respond, typically with a very fast response time. However, sometimes there may be a time lag in the response and communication is not always instantaneous unless conducted as part of a live video session.
If you’re accustomed to the idea of in-office therapy, the idea of receiving mental health services online might seem odd, and it’s natural to wonder if the service is effective. After all, anyone who has been to a therapist before knows that building a rapport with a therapist takes time and effort. Can Talkspace effectively reproduce that feeling through an online therapy platform?
Several studies have been conducted that offer insight into the effectiveness of the Talkspace program.
One study examined the percentage of study participants that found telemedicine mental health services to be as effective or more effective than traditional therapy and the percentage of study participants that found telemedicine mental health services to be more convenient than traditional therapy.
The results of the study concluded that 80 percent of participants found Talkspace to be as effective or more effective than traditional therapy, while 98 percent found Talkspace therapists to be more convenient than traditional therapy.
Another study examined the percentage of study participants that experienced a clinically significant change in their mental health symptoms when using face to face therapy as compared to Talkspace therapy. After eight weeks, 44 percent of Talkspace users had experienced a clinically significant change compared to 25 percent of face to face therapy users. After three months, 59 percent of Talkspace users had experienced a clinically significant change compared to 50 percent of face to face therapy users.
Talkspace is a subscription service that offers pricing depending on the type of therapy requested, the billing cycle (monthly, quarterly, or biannually), and the preferred services (text, video, and audio messaging or live sessions).
Subscription plans for Talkspace are priced as follows:
The longer your subscription to Talkspace, the less you pay for monthly services. However, biannual and quarterly payments are not available for all categories, and it may be challenging for people to predict how long they will need therapy.
As a result, some people may end up paying for more therapy services than they need, which increases the cost of the service over time, while others may choose month to month services and end up paying more despite using the service for an extended period of time.
While the costs of Talkspace might seem expensive when considered on their own, they are a much less expensive alternative when compared to in-person therapy. In-person therapy sessions typically cost anywhere from 50 to 250 dollars per session or more, depending on where you live.
Talkspace is covered by many different commercial health insurance plans and is also able to accept HSA and FSA accounts as payment. Talkspace is not covered under Medicare or
Medicaid, but it may be available through Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or behavioral health benefits from some employers.
Talkspace is associated with many different advantages for people who are looking for a convenient, affordable way to access mental health care wherever they are.
Advantages of Talkspace include:
Although Talkspace has many advantages, there are also some downsides to the service.
Disadvantages of Talkspace include:
Talkspace represents a convenient, effective way for patients to access mental health services through online therapy without the stigma that can be attached to in person therapy. The program represents a good value for patients who need to access mental health services but cannot afford in patient services, do not have the ability to travel to in-person sessions, do not feel comfortable going to see a therapist, or just prefer the convenience of on demand therapy.
In general, sites like Betterhelp and Talkspace offer an online therapy platform that enables clients suffering with mental health issues to access services from the comfort of their own home.