Talkspace is a major telehealth provider specializing in mental health care. Its web-based therapy platform boasts a large network of therapists and counselors who can provide support for common issues such as anxiety, depression, chronic illness, anger management, and substance abuse. Talkspace places a particular focus on text-based therapy, and many Talkspace clients simply message their therapists rather than having live sessions.
Once matched to a suitable therapist, you and your teen can communicate with them via message, phone, and video in your own separate and confidential therapy rooms.
You begin by signing up for an account with the site. Once you’ve confirmed your email address, you’ll be taken to a chat space where you can chat with a live matching agent. The agent will ask for your name, age, location, and a few details about why you have come to Talkspace and what you’re looking for in a therapist.
This is a different approach to many online mental health websites that rely on a website questionnaire to gather information. It’s advantageous in many respects, including the fact that speaking with an agent may help you better vocalize why you’re looking for a therapist, while also providing a more emotionally informed match with a therapist.
After talking with the matching agent, you’ll receive a list of recommended therapists along with basic info about each person. You can then choose who you’d like to work with and begin messaging with your new therapist.
Again, this is one area where Talkspace excels, as not all online therapy sites give you a choice of therapists. Instead, you are matched with a therapist and then have to make the decision of continuing with them or not, which can be both frustrating and time-consuming. Of course, if at any point you are unhappy with your therapist, you can request a new one.
Throughout your therapy program, you can use the chat room, schedule video sessions (with an upgraded membership), and track your progress all from the same portal. You’ll also be able to view your personal journey through therapy with your personal checkpoints and milestones. At the time of writing, phone sessions are not offered as an option.
One added plus of Talkspace is that it offers psychiatric services. Psychiatrists on Talkspace can prescribe medications for clients after an initial evaluation, and clients can continue booking psychiatric appointments to touch base about how they’re doing on their meds. These specialty sessions are a bit more expensive than standard therapy, but they can be a good option for those who need medical guidance. It’s also something that’s rather unique to Talkspace, as many other platforms don’t work with psychiatrists and so cannot offer prescription services.
If you or a person you know is in danger of harm, call 1-800-273-8255 in the US or your national mental health hotline. If you are unsure of whom to contact, call the police (911 in the US, 112 in Europe).
Talkspace offers four broad categories of support for clients: online therapy, psychiatry, couples counseling, and teen therapy. Therapists within each of those areas are employed on a contract basis, and individual providers vary widely in their areas of specialization. Some of the many areas that Talkspace therapists may specialize in include the following:
-Anxiety and stress
-Trauma and grief
Virtual therapy can be more convenient and affordable than going to in-person therapy sessions for some patients. People who don’t need or want live video sessions with their therapist can take advantage of Talkspace’s standard membership, which is less expensive than other online therapy plans. Many people feel more comfortable expressing their feelings through text, which affords users all the time they need to get thoughts down accurately.
Talkspace is also one of the few mental health apps to connect psychiatrists with patients, meaning that it’s possible to receive a diagnosis and a prescription for medication directly through the application.
Talkspace is open to adults as well as adolescents (with parent consent), but, as with all online mental health platforms, it is not intended for use in emergency situations. It’s also not recommended for those experiencing severe mental illness or suicidal or homicidal ideation.
Talkspace operates on a monthly subscription model. Its memberships come in three pricing tiers. The basic membership plan includes the ability to message your therapist with no live video sessions and costs $280 per month. Upgrading to a mid-tier plan with one monthly live session costs $336 per month. For weekly live sessions with your therapist, you can upgrade to the top-tier subscription for $416 per month. Talkspace rates vary by region, though, so your actual rates may be different.
Currently, there is no sliding payment scale or financial aid available. However, if you’re willing to sign up for a 3- or 6-month subscription upfront, you can get a discount of 10-20%. You can also use promo codes such as CARE130 for $130 off your first month’s subscription.
Talkspace’s model of primarily text-based therapy is unorthodox, but for some clients, it provides the level of support they need at an affordable price. The platform differs from other online mental health providers in that it:
-Offers a convenient way to message a therapist and get support without needing to schedule an appointment
-Allows clients to choose among several recommended providers instead of simply being assigned a therapist
-Enables clients to receive psychiatric help and get prescriptions for medications
The Talkspace Customer Support page consists of a search bar, a series of FAQs organized by category, and a handful of featured questions with answers. Customers can also submit a request for help for any other questions or concerns. There are no options for live chat or phone support, but the site does provide a list of emergency phone numbers for people in dire straits, a therapist directory, and the following physical address for the company:
2578 Broadway #607
New York, NY 10025
Many clients have had positive experiences and have left glowing reviews on the company website. Here are a handful of quotes from their testimonials:
“My favourite part of my day is when I get a notification from Talkspace informing me that my therapist has sent me a message.”
“I like Talkspace. It's nice to be able to say what I need to, and have somebody check in with me daily giving me feedback. It makes me feel more grounded and determined to do things.”
“Our experience with couples therapy was great! Loved the convenience of writing whenever we had a chance. Our lives are so busy that I think it’d be nearly impossible to go somewhere.”
Talkspace offers online therapy solutions with an emphasis on text messaging as a primary means of engaging with your therapist. For many, this makes for a much more flexible and accessible therapy solution. The standard membership can be a more affordable alternative to traditional therapy. Extra features like a live matching session and the ability to speak with a psychiatrist (to manage medication) also help Talkspace stand out.