Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Which Online Therapy Is Better?
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As mental health care continues to evolve, online therapy is rapidly gaining popularity as a mainstream option for seeking professional help. The growing success in this industry has encouraged many mental health service providers to seek control over an intensely competitive environment. Therapists who offer evidence-based solutions, often make use of video sessions and messaging therapy.
Two of the largest counseling platforms that share the majority of the market and have the best credibility are BetterHelp and Talk space. These two online therapy platforms have a lot in common as they provide almost the same quality of counseling services. Here, you will find an in-depth comparison of BetterHelp and TalkSpace.
BetterHelp and TalkSpace at a Glance
BetterHelp is the world’s most successful online counseling platform. It has 8,000+ mental health professionals and therapists, each with at least four years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience. This makes BetterHelp one of the most sought-after online therapy platforms.
On the other hand, TalkSpace is an online therapy platform, that offers private counseling with the help of a network of licensed therapists. Customers can avail special features like unrestricted texting and access to registered as well as qualified therapists without requiring prior appointments. Talkspace has its share of faithful clientele.
What kinds of special features do they have?
Both platforms offer lots of blog content that addresses a wide range of mental health, wellness, and personal growth topics. Many of the resources are available without cost.
|Betterhelp doesn’t offer a full psychiatric service.||TalkSpace offers a full psychiatric service.|
|BetterHelp’s matching process is automated.||Talkspace, on the other hand, have you chat with a consultation therapist to understand your therapy goals and needs before giving you a list of therapists to choose from.|
|The minimum age for Sign Up is 18 and up.||The minimum age for Sign Up is 13 and up.|
|Most health insurance plans do not cover BetterHelp costs.||Talkspace expenses could be covered by the insurance of somewhere around 40 million Americans right now.|
|Betterhelp offers financial aid for those who qualify.||There is no such thing offered by TalkSpace as financial aid.|
|Credit cards and PayPal are accepted for payment.||Only credit card is accepted for payment|
|BetterHelp is less of a commitment since you can sign up for a weekly membership.||With TalkSpace, you’ll have access to therapy without a long-term commitment, since plans can be billed weekly.|
BetterHelp vs. TalkSpace: What are the main Differences?
|Unlimited text messages, and you can talk to therapists via live video, video, and audio messaging, or phone calls||TalkSpace offers unlimited texting and 4 x 30-minute live sessions|
|Mobile and Desktop apps for hands-on therapy||TalkSpace clients can access therapy on a laptop or PC|
|Customers at BetterHelp can have a seven-day free trial, and access over 6,000 licensed online counselors specialized in various type of therapies.||3,000+ licensed therapists and mental health providers.|
Betterhelp offers dedicated therapy plans with normal BetterHelp cost for adults, teens, and couples
Sign up if you’re 13 or older but with parental permission
Change therapists every week or whenever you like.
Matching Criteria (uses a 25-point questionnaire to match you to a therapist)
BetterHelp is well-reviewed by 1,000+ people on Trustpilot
Talkspace offers specific stress management programs based on research.
It let you sign up for therapy service if you’re 13 or older
It let you sign up for therapy service if you’re 13 or older
TalkSpace uses a therapist matchmaker to connect you with the right therapist by asking you questions via video sessions
Access past conversations even if you cancel therapy service
BetterHelp Pros and Cons
Our research was clear – BetterHelp is better at delivering more pros than cons, such as:
- A vast network of mental health professionals;
- Qualified users may use financial aid;
- A wide selection of online therapists;
- Enables work outside appointments through digital tools;
- 20+ live group sessions per week;
- A 7-day free trial;
- Options for anonymous sessions with a therapist;
- Option to switch therapists;
- Affordable plans;
- All plans include live sessions.
- It doesn’t accept insurance;
- Location and availability determine the price;
- Psychiatry services are not offered;
- Algorithms determine the online therapists.
Talkspace Pros and Cons
One of the pros of considering the services of Talkspace is that the provider accepts insurance and the option to choose psychiatric services.
- Three payment plan options;
- Talkspace does accept insurance;
- Offers teen therapy services;
- Includes psychiatric services and medication management;
- Possibility to choose a therapist.
- The basic plan doesn’t include live sessions;
- Therapists take longer to respond;
- No option for communicating with the therapist via phone;
- Prices vary based on location and therapist availability;
- Price not disclosed until sign-up;
- It takes longer to get matched with a therapist.
Sign-Up Process of Betterhelp and TalkSpace
BetterHelp and TalkSpace both are by and large viewed as easy-to-use online therapy platforms for those who’re looking for treatment. However, some of their distinctive details on closer inspection serve as comparative advantages.
BetterHelp connects you with a counselor based on an admission test you complete at the time of registration. You should answer questions about your health issues and your medication priorities. Once you finish this initial intake form, BetterHelp connects you to a counselor, usually within 24 hours or less. BetterHelp’s intake process is simple, but it may seem unappealing because it is automatic.
TalkSpace doesn’t offer free time for testing for its customers. But its evaluation process is more open and interactive. Customers engage in a video session with a therapist who asks questions, monitors their answers, and walks you through the application process.
Although TalkSpace offers an interactive evaluation process, still BetterHelp has the edge over TalkSpace and customers who are looking for free time for testing.
Screening Process of Betterhelp and TalkSpace Therapy Services
Every counselor and mental health professional on both platforms is a qualified professional. The main difference between the two is that BetterHelp features the profiles of all of their counselors on their website, encouraging you to search for a different therapist if you like.
Talkspace refers you to a matching counselor when you sign up for the website. It asks you a few questions, and pairs you with a particular therapist based on your responses. If you want to replace your counselor, you will need to send a request, and Talkspace will reassign your therapist.
For Talkspace, there is a “we decide what’s better for you” approach because you can’t choose a therapist even though you’re asking for a change.
On BetterHelp, each therapist applicant is required to perform a detailed case study examination by a licensed healthcare professional. It is a systematic process of 4-5 weeks, which will later on result in a 15% approval rate to enter the program. TalkSpace, on the other hand, expects all of its counselors to have completed more than 3,000 hours of professional training to access their network.
Therapy Session Types Offered by TalkSpace and BetterHelp
You don’t receive any live therapy sessions with the basic Talkspace package. The only therapy you get on Talkspace by default is through texting. On the other hand, BetterHelp does not regulate the number of live texts, videos, and audio sessions you can have on the app. You and your therapist can decide on a mutually agreed number of live hours, usually once a week, and unlimited messaging.
Both BetterHelp and Talkspace include a regular, convenient-to-use messaging program. After you are matched with a therapist, all you have to do is to send a message and wait for a response, which may differ significantly between therapists.
You can use the text chat option to look for previous messages and feedbacks. If texting doesn’t work for you, you can ask your therapist to make a voice or video call. Please note that the quality of such services can vary between advisers, and may cost extra money.
BetterHelp vs. Talkspace Types of Treatment
Both BetterHelp and TalkSpace offer a wide selection of mental health services with highly-qualified professionals for the treatment of many conditions that include:
- Self-esteem issues
- Relationship issues
- Family conflicts
- LGBT matters
BetterHelp uses several cognitive-behavioral therapies, humanistic therapy, and psychodynamic therapy approaches. It also provides individual, teen, or couples therapy. However, BetterHelp doesn’t provide psychiatry services; therefore, it cannot offer medication management services.
TalkSpace also offers individual, teen, and couples therapy, using slightly different approaches. They provide psychiatric services and sleep therapy; hence users can use medical care and medication management.
How To Schedule an Online Session?
Planning a live session on BetterHelp or Talkspace depends mainly on the availability of your counselor or therapist. To schedule a meeting on BetterHelp, you must first ask your therapist if he offers text messaging, video chat, or phone calls. If the therapist does, you can schedule a live chat with the counselor, and select a day and hour that is mutually convenient.
All of these businesses are incredibly committed to delivering help and security to their customers. They ensure confidentiality of their private and personal details revealed during text messaging or live video sessions.
BetterHelp and TalkSpace comply with the legal requirements of the U.S. federal and state regulations with respect to the privacy of patient records, just as every conventional provider of counseling. They are also HIPAA-certified and use 256-bit symmetric encryption on everything you type or say on their channels.
The TalkSpace website contains all details about its privacy policies. It is clear that the company can keep the details you share.
TalkSpace vs. BetterHelp: Ease of Cancellation
Cancelation plays a significant decisive role when researching the best online therapy providers. We dug deeper into the licensed therapy list to obtain the best options when it comes to switching plans.
For instance, you signed up for couples therapy, but what if you changed your mind and decided you no longer need therapy? Or maybe you decide that in-person therapy is a better option for you?
Online therapy providers vary – BetterHelp has a very straightforward cancellation policy. If you have reached the peak of your therapy sessions or think this is not the right online therapy provider for you, simply cancel your subscription at any time. BetterHelp will cancel your monthly subscription and stop billing you.
TalkSpace has a slightly different cancellation policy depending on the payment method. If your insurance is paying for your therapy, it is simple – the system is only billing the concluded sessions, so you don’t need to cancel them yourself. The insurance will not reimburse unused sessions if you pay for your subscriptions.
Comparison of TalkSpace and BetterHelp’s Cost
Both BetterHelp and TalkSpace are cost-effective when compared to the expenses of conventional in-office counseling (which can range up to $400 a session). BetterHelp’s treatment package costs $65 per week with unlimited therapy, while TalkSpace’s equivalent program costs $99 per week. Both BetterHelp and TalkSpace offer monthly subscriptions.
Once the free time for testing closes, BetterHelp offers their customers 4 potential installment bundles which are as per following;
Through this membership plan, the customer just pays 80$ each week. This allows the customer to avail one live meeting with their specialist and 24-hour texting.
The plan costs 65$ each week as a single payment of 260$ is made in the beginning. It incorporates a sum of four meetings for the whole month and unlimited messaging in a safe talk box. Basically, it’s an expansion of the previous bundle, with some added benefits of greater scale and economics.
This plan is worth 45$ a week and requires a single installment of 540$. It allows customers to have one meeting each week and limitless messaging.
This arrangement costs an aggregate of 182$ every year, which likens to just 35$ each week and permits similar features as the other plans.
The conclusion from BetterHelp’s strategy is that the arrangement of features stays almost the same, only it is spread throughout a more extended timeframe.
TalkSpace offers services and packages that differ from those of BetterHelp.
Firstly, TalkSpace doesn’t offer a weekly package. All of its packages revolve around monthly payments. Secondly, it doesn’t place as much emphasis on live sessions like BetterHelp.
A detailed description of their packages is given below.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus – This plan includes texting, recorded audio and video messaging. The therapist replies daily, 5 days per week. It can be billed monthly, 260$, equating to a weekly cost of 60$, every three months costing 708$, amounting to 54$ per week or billed every six months, a total of 1248$, which is considered as the most economical as it is equivalent to being charged 48$ per week.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy premium – Along with the services offered in Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus, this integrates a live 30-minute session each month. One can subscribe to it either monthly which costs 316$ paid as a lump sum or paid for every three months which amounts to 852$ lump sum and 65$ weekly. The last option is to pay 151$ every six months, equivalent to 58$ per week.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate- It permits unlimited texting and recorded audio and video messages. However, in contrast to the unlimited messaging therapy premium plan, this package allows a customer to schedule four live sessions per month instead of one. It is considered the costliest TalkSpace payment plan. One can pay 396$ each month, 1068$ like clockwork, or 189$ each for a half year.
Betterhelp vs Talkspace: Cost of Psychiatry Services
TalkSpace offers psychiatry services at a slightly higher cost. You can expect to pay $199 for an initial session, and every follow-up session will cost you an additional $125. If you are a new customer, then you can expect to choose one of the bundle discounts that TalkSpace online therapy offers:
- Initial evaluation and one follow-up will cost $315;
- Initial evaluation and three follow-ups will cost $515;
- Initial evaluation and six follow-ups will cost $799.
TalkSpace also offers discount packages for clients who have already had an initial session:
- Initial evaluation (paid and completed) and three follow-ups at $338;
- Initial evaluation (paid and conducted) and six follow-ups at $638;
- Initial evaluation (paid and conducted) and nine follow-ups at $900.
Unfortunately, BetterHelp doesn’t offer psychiatry services to its clients.
Are BetterHelp and TalkSpace covered by insurance?
Likewise quality and cost, insurance can be the main consideration with regards to picking any medical care service.
BetterHelp isn’t yet guaranteed to be insured by any of the main agencies. Anthem, Cigna, Aetna, Centene, and so on, don’t insure people against BetterHelp.
This is where TalkSpace has a benefit over BetterHelp. It Is might actually be covered by the insurance of around 40 million Americans at this time. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and Optum all can help cut off a portion of the heavy expenses of TalkSpace treatment.
Customer Support Offered by TalkSpace and BetterHelp
It is essential to access customer service whether you have a technical issue with the app, a billing problem, or if you have any other questions.
There are no significant differences in the quality of customer support offered by TalkSpace and BetterHelp. Both of them encourage you to send an e-mail or fill out a request.
Talkspace Sleep Therapy Services
One service that distinguishes TalkSpace from BetterHelp is the sleep therapy service. This is an eight-week program during which you will get treatment for insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Licensed mental health professionals trained in sleeping disorders lead the program.
The client should expect to pay two monthly installments of $260 or $520. The program encompasses daily guidance and exercises assigned to you by the licensed therapist.
Some of the aspects covered in this weekly program are as follows:
- Week 1: Introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia;
- Week 2: Identification of insomnia triggers and preparation of a personal sleeping plan;
- Week 3: Discussions on obstacles and updating the sleeping plan accordingly;
- Week 4: Learn control over intrusive thoughts and calm your mind through cognitive exercises;
- Week 5: Decide on the improvement of sleep hygiene;
- Week 6: Strategic planning for dealing with nighttime worries;
- Week 7: Follow-up on progress, identity, and deciding on a long-term plan;
- Week 8: Evaluating future progress and commitment plan.
TalkSpace Couples and Teens Therapy
TalkSpace offers teens and couples therapy through text, audio and video messaging. The monthly package includes unlimited messages but no live sessions. If the teen prefers real-time interaction, it’s best to consider in-person therapy.
Couples should pay a fee of $396 for couples therapy. The package includes 4 live 30-minute sessions.
If you are still confused, we have also compared Talkspace with Calmerry. You might want to check it out.
Deciding between these two online therapy providers ultimately depends on the mental health needs, the budget, and preferred communication tools. TalkSpace vs. BetterHelp is a tight race, but weighing on the pros and cons will guide you into choosing the best for your mental health.
There is one good alternative as well for these two – Cerebral. Its a good option, you must look at it if you are getting too confused here.
Unlike traditional therapy, both Talkspace and BetterHelp are there for you without having to leave the comfort of your home – the chat room is a safe space for you.
BetterHelp is the right choice if you:
- I wish to switch between communication options based on convenience;
- are looking for a more affordable option with low-cost plans for those on a budget;
- are looking for all-inclusive plans and an easy cancellation process.
Talkspace is a better choice if you:
- need psychiatry services and medication management;
- require insurance coverage;
- struggle with insomnia or any other sleep disorder and need sleep therapy.