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Talkspace review Jan 2021

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This app allows you to send unlimited messages to your therapist — but at $260 a month, it’s pricey.

  • Explore this practice if you want to mostly communicate with your therapist by text message.
  • Choose something else if you want to book phone or video consults lasting more than 30 minutes.

How does Talkspace work?

Talkpace is an online therapy app that allows users to communicate with licensed therapists via text messages, phone or video sessions. It operates on a subscription model, though some services — like the insomnia program — are purchased separately.

The app’s primary offering is text-based therapy, where patients leave messages for their therapists to respond to when they’re online. While individual adults use the app the most, Talkspace also caters to teenagers and couples who are looking for counseling, as well as those who need psychiatric care.

Members can choose their therapist, and switch at any time.

What qualifications do Talkspace’s therapists have?

All therapists are qualified psychologists, counselors or licensed clinical social workers with at least 3,000 hours of experience. They’re trained in several approaches to treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy and mindfulness.

Is Talkspace effective?

There are a few published studies that support Talkspace’s success. These are some of the key takeaways:

What conditions can Talkspace help with?

The app has therapists with expertise in the following areas:

  • Addiction
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Career issues
  • Chronic health issues
  • Chronic impulsivity
  • Conflict
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Family and relationship issues
  • Grief and loss
  • Infidelity
  • Intimacy
  • LGBTQ issues
  • Life transitions
  • Parenting
  • Low self-esteem and mood
  • Sleeping problems
  • Stress
  • Substance abuse
  • Trauma

What is Talkspace not suitable for?

Talkspace isn’t suitable for mental health emergencies. If you’re experiencing a crisis, please call 911 or a national hotline to get immediate help.

Where is Talkspace available?

Talkspace is available nationwide, and you’ll only be connected to therapists who are licensed to practice in your state.

The app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and requires iOS 10.0 or later. It also works with Android devices.

Pros and cons of Talkspace

Pros

  • Choice of communication methods. Depending on your plan, you can speak to your therapist via text, phone or video.
  • Guaranteed response time. Your therapist will let you know when to expect a response based on their working hours and time zone.
  • Ability to track progress. The Clint Journey feature lays out your goals and next steps.
  • Discounts available. Talkspace has a financial assistance program and offers a discount to healthcare workers and first responders.
  • Additional therapy tools. Access exercises to reduce stress, boost awareness and overcome fears.
  • Stringent requirements for therapists. Along with having at least 3,000 hours of experience, therapists have to undergo teletherapy training before they can see patients on the app.

Cons

  • Inconsistent service. According to users, some therapists don’t offer video sessions, and others write short or general responses.
  • Requires a month-long commitment. There’s no free trial, so new members need to sign up for at least a month. This excludes the psychiatry offering, which is sessions-based.
  • Poor customer reputation. While the team is quick to respond to complaints, many users believe the app doesn’t offer value for money.

How much does Talkspace cost?

There are three subscriptions to choose from, as well as specialized programs. You’ll be charged on the first day you join, then billed monthly, quarterly or biannually after that for most plans.

Type of planWhat’s includedPrice
Unlimited Messaging Therapy PlusUnlimited text, video and audio messages to your therapist five days a week.
  • $260 per month
  • $708 every three months
  • $1,248 every six months
Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium
  • Unlimited text, video and audio messages to your therapist five days a week.
  • One live, 30-minute session a month.
  • $316 per month
  • $852 every three months
  • $1,512 every six months
LiveTalk Therapy Unlimited
  • Unlimited text, video and audio messages to your therapist five days a week.
  • Four live, 30-minute sessions a month.
  • $396 per month
  • $1,068 every three months
  • $1,896 every six months
Online Therapy for Teens (ages 13 to 17)Unlimited text, video and audio messages to your therapist five days a week.
  • $260 per month
Couples Therapy
  • Unlimited text, video and audio messages to your therapist five days a week.
  • Four live, 30-minute sessions a month.
  • $396 per month
  • $1,068 every three months
Insomnia TherapyAn 8-week program including daily exercises and support from a therapist
  • $520, charged in two monthly installments of $260
PsychiatryOne live session with a psychiatrist
  • $199 for initial consultations, and $125 for follow-up sessions

Members can also purchase 30-minute live video sessions à la carte for $65.

Does Talkspace accept insurance?

Yes. Talkspace works with most major health insurance companies — though it doesn’t accept Medicare or Medicaid at this time. To check whether you’re covered, call your insurer or go to Account Settings > Eligibility & Coverage.

Many employers offer a subscription as part of their healthcare benefits. Find out whether your workplace participates by speaking to your HR department or searching the Partners section on Talkspace’s site.

Can I use my FSA/HSA to pay for membership?

Yes. You can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for your Talkspace subscription.

Does Talkspace offer any discounts?

Yes. Talkspace regularly runs special promotions with discounts and referral benefits.

It also offers financial assistance to those who need it. To apply, email support@talkspace.com or start a chat with your agent via the app.

Did Talkspace make any changes during COVID-19?

Yes. Along with launching a comprehensive COVID-19 resource center, Talkspace added a few features to help its members during this trying time.

These include:

  • A 16-day anxiety relief program for all new and current members to manage their fear around the pandemic.
  • Free Facebook support groups led by therapists.
  • Regular Instagram lives to give members the chance to ask therapists questions in real-time.
  • Daily mental health tips and guidance on how to cope with strain.

At the onset of the pandemic, Talkspace offered a free month of therapy to all healthcare professionals and first responders. The company now offers 50% off the first month of any plan.

Does health insurance cover the coronavirus?

Talkspace reviews and complaints

Talkspace is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It has a B rating because of the volume of complaints filed against the company: 180 in the past three years. Most were promptly resolved, but customers still award the company 1.2 out of 5 stars based on 30 reviews.

On the App Store, Talkspace has 4.1 out of 5 stars based on over 14,700 reviews. However, nearly 3,000 Android users give the app 2 out of 5 stars and say the app is glitchy. Apparently, it often charges users twice or crashes unexpectedly.

Across review forums, users appreciate the convenience of the app and how they can communicate with therapists via chat, phone or video. However, many users complained that they had a hard time carrying on a conversation with their therapist, with some taking days to reply to a message. Others said their therapist didn’t seem engaged.

How to sign up for Talkspace

You can download the app or create an account on Talkspace’s site. Either way, these are the steps:

  1. Choose Get Started.
  2. Enter your email address, username and password.
  3. Answer a few questions about your preferences and why you’re seeking therapy.
  4. You’ll be matched with three therapists. Select one, or ask for a new set of matches.
  5. Once you’ve chosen a therapist, confirm the plan you want.
  6. Add your payment details.

What happens after I sign up?

Your membership starts as soon as your payment is processed. At that point, you can start messaging your therapist and exploring the other features on the app.

Frequently asked questions about Talkspace

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by


Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

At its core, Talkspace focuses on text-based therapy for adults, teenagers and couples. Most of its plans offer unlimited messaging with your therapist five days a week, though some plans offer limited phone and video consults lasting 30 minutes.

At $260 a month for the most basic plan, Talkspace is pricey — though the app accepts insurance as well as HSA and FSA accounts. It also has a financial assistance program, which opens up access to those who otherwise couldn’t afford the price tag.

However, you have to commit to a month-long plan, and users say some therapists aren’t as engaged as expected. If you’d prefer phone and video sessions with your therapist, compare teletherapy apps.

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