Talkspace launched in 2012 and is headquartered in New York City. Originally developed as a simple group therapy platform, Talkspace has grown far beyond that into a reliable, convenient and affordable online counseling service that connects licensed professional therapists with individuals, couples and business employees. As of January 2020, Talkspace has helped over 1 million people get the help they need.
Talkspace offers an unlimited text message therapy service. You can send an unlimited number of text messages to your therapist. Your therapist is guaranteed to respond at least once per day, with most therapists on the platform responding more than once per day.
When you first sign up and join Talkspace, you will talk with a “matching agent.” The matching agent will ask you a brief set of questions to better understand why you are seeking therapy. Based on the answers you provide, you will be matched with a therapist closely aligned with experience relevant to your situation in a matter of minutes.
If you are not satisfied with your therapist, you can request a new therapist at any time from within your account or from inside the mobile app. While you can request to be assigned a new therapist, you do not have any say in who the new therapist will be.
Talkspace offers native, in-house mobile apps for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. While you do not need to use the mobile apps to communicate with your therapist, you are required to use the app to schedule and participate in live face-to-face video therapy sessions as this is not a feature available on desktop or laptop computers.
Talkspace offers 24/7 customer support that can be contacted via their online help desk. All questions sent will be answered within 24 hours. If you send a ticket during business hours, the response time will be quicker. In my experience, I contacted Talkspace and they responded within an hour and resolved my issue very quickly.
An overview of how Talkspace therapy works
Talkspace is an easy to use platform that allows you send unlimited text messages to a licensed therapist (from within your secure account). Signing up for Talkspace takes less than 10 minutes. You should be prepared to answer a very brief set of personal questions.
Create your secure account (you will remain anonymous)
When creating your account, you will need to provide a valid email address, a password and a nickname. If you do not wish to choose a nickname, a random one will be generated for you.
You will remain completely anonymous when signing up. You are not asked for your full name or for any personally identifiable information during the account creation step (aside from billing details which is not shared with your therapist).
Converse with your designated matching therapist
After you have signed up, you will immediately be dropped into a private chat room where you will meet and talk to your ‘matching therapist.' A matching therapist is part of the intake process at Talkspace and she/he will ultimately be responsible for matching you with a licensed therapist in their system.
During this conversation, you will be asked a number of questions. These questions may be a bit personal in nature. However, it’s important that you answer these questions honestly so that your matching therapist can find a therapist that will be a good fit for you.
Some of the questions I was asked to answer truthfully included:
- What is my age and location?
- Which gender do I identify with?
- What is the reason that I am seeking therapy?
- Have I had therapy before (either online or traditional in-office)?
- What traits am I looking for in a therapist?
- Do I have a gender preference for my therapist?
- Do I have any questions or concerns?
In total, this initial conversation with the matching agent took less than five minutes to complete. Upon answering the questions, I was immediately given a list of three therapists that had experience in the area that I indicated I was seeking therapy for.
Selecting a therapist (choose from 3 recommendations)
I was instructed to pick one of the three therapists from the list provided. I reviewed the profiles carefully and watched each therapist's video introducing themselves. I ultimately settled on therapist named Kelly.
I was really impressed with being able to select a therapist myself – rather than one being arbitrarily assigned to me. Of all the therapy services I have reviewed, Talkspace is the only one that offers this patient-driven initial matching and selection process.
Begin sending messages to your therapist
After I selected the therapist I wanted to work with, that was it. I was able to immediately start sending messages.
How will you communicate with your Talkspace therapist?
Communication with your counselor takes place in a secure private chat room between you and your therapist. In this chat room, you can send messages that include audio, video, pictures, emojis, etc.
Being able to include rich media (ie pictures and videos) makes it easy for you to personalize messages, which further builds the relationship between you and your therapist. I included pictures of the people I was talking to my therapist about (putting faces to names) and she would commonly send me videos. She once sent me video that really boosted my spirits at a time she knew I really needed it.
Your therapist will always respond back at minimum once or twice daily during the week. On weekends, it will vary by therapist. Some may respond on the weekends and others may not. As a rule of thumb, I wouldn’t expect a response on Saturdays and Sundays.
Send unlimited text messages
The most traditional form of digital communication. You can send an unlimited number of text messages to your therapist.
Send unlimited audio messages
For times when you may not want to type out what you are going through, you can record an audio message to send to your therapist. There is no time limit on audio messages.
Send unlimited video messages
Similar to an audio message, but you record a video that will be sent to your therapist. Videos can be any length and can be sent at any time. Your therapist may or may not respond with a video, but they will always respond to your message.
Live video therapy sessions (realtime)
In some situations, you may want to talk to a therapist directly instead of sending a message and waiting for a response. Certain plans (as I discuss further down in this review) include live therapy sessions. Live sessions are 30 minutes each and you will be able to talk face-to-face with your therapist.
Live therapy sessions must be pre-scheduled
A live therapy session must be scheduled in advance. They will take place during normal business hours Monday through Friday.
You must use the mobile app to participate in live therapy sessions
Live therapy sessions are only available if you use the Talkspace app for Apple or Android mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). You can download the app from Google Play or Apple App Store. At this time, you cannot participate in a live therapy session from your desktop or laptop computer.
Any unused video sessions will not roll over to the next month
If you purchase a subscription plan that includes live video therapy sessions and you do not use them during the course of a calendar month, they do not roll over. At the end of each month, your live video therapy session credits will reset. Be sure to use them all if they are included in your plan!
It's easy to change therapists anytime
One of the biggest frustrations with traditional in-office therapy visits is if you don’t “click” with your therapist, it can be extremely awkward and time consuming to find another therapist. And, when you switch, you don’t really know if your new therapist will be a better fit until a few sessions in.
With Talkspace, it’s super easy to switch to a new therapist. You can do this any time from within your account or from inside the mobile app.
It’s worth noting that your conversation history is saved in-between therapists. This is done by law (conversations have to be saved for a specific period of time) but it is very helpful in this situation as you won't have to re-explain everything to your new therapist.
Talkspace is safe, secure and confidential
Talkspace understands the importance of safeguarding your private and confidential information. Talkspace goes to great lengths to implement multiple layers of security that ensures your data is always kept safe.
All communications are encrypted
All communications between you and Talkspace are encrypted using 256-bit banking grade encryption. You can verify your connection to the website is secure by locating the green lock icon next to the address bar in your web browser.
Conversations with your therapist are confidential
Talkspace takes the protection of your sensitive information very seriously. Talkspace's privacy and confidentiality standards far exceed what is required by federal and state laws and regulations. You can feel safe in knowing that everything discussed with your therapist will remain 100% confidential.
Fully HIPAA licensed and certified
Talkspace is fully HIPAA compliant. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act sets the laws and standards pertaining to the storage and protection of sensitive patient data.
If you would like to learn more about HIPPA, I recommend you visit this website for more information.
Counselors you'll find on the Talkspace platform
When browsing the counselors available on Talkspace for this review, the following are a few I noticed that have high ratings and extensive experience. This is a pretty small sample as there are over 5,000 licensed therapists on their platform (with more being added every month). The following list should give you a good idea of the type of qualified counselors you can expect to find on Talkspace.
Hollie Aardema – Licensed clinical social worker
Licensed clinical social worker Hollie believes that openness, empathy, and humor can help us through the most trying times, and she applies all three–and more–to each and every client. Hollie's therapy is aimed towards goal-reaching and independence, and she promises her clients she will be there every step of the way.
Liana Abascal – Collaborative and non-judgemental counseling
Making the crucial decision to seek professional help isn't easy, and Liana applauds her clients for stepping up. Applying collaborative, non-judgmental methods, Liana's clients continue to applaud her compassion and warmth.
Samuel Abbott – Experienced and empathetic
Dr. Abbott (but you can call him Andy) has taken his studies and practices all over the world, acting as both neighbor and counselor to his clients. No matter the issue at hand, Samuel's experience and empathy are here to lend you a helping one.
Jonnique Adjmul – Licensed mental health therapist
Licensed mental health therapist Jonnique understands that you want more for yourself, and what's more, deserve it. Whatever obstacle you find yourself facing, Jonnique's mind-body-soul technique will put you on the path towards healing today.
Terry Adkins – Specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy
With over ten years of experience in mental health counseling, Terry's treatment, rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, focuses on (though not exclusively) depression, anxiety, stress and anger management, and Christian spirituality.
Jessica Elizabeth Ahrens – Mindful and holistic approach to therapy
Licensed independent social worker Jessica takes a mindful and holistic approach to each client's needs, applying passion and positivity in pursuit of lasting wellness. No matter the issue plaguing you, Jessica is here to listen and help.
What are people in the media saying about Talkspace?
What customer support options are available?
Talkspace only offers customer support via their online ticket-based helpdesk system. I was unable to locate a live chat representative or a telephone phone number to call for customer support related inquiries.
If you require assistance, you will need to submit a ticket detailing your problem and then wait for a response. Talkspace will respond within 24 hours.
From my experience, when I submitted a question to support, I received a response to my ticket within an hour. I did send the question during business hours which may be why it was answered so quickly.
A comprehensive analysis of Talkspace pricing and plans
In all, Talkspace offers three distinct monthly subscription plans (the ‘plus' plan, the ‘premium' plan and the ‘ultimate' plan) to choose from. Each of these plans come standard with unlimited synchronous messages between you and your therapist (text, video and audio messages).
Unlimited messaging withstanding, the key difference between each plan is the number of 30-minute live/realtime face-to-face video therapy sessions that are included. Two of the three subscription plans (premium and ultimate) include live realtime video therapy sessions and one plan (the plus plan) does not include any live video therapy sessions at all.
You can upgrade/downgrade your subscription plan at any time from within your account (or from the mobile app) without having to communicate with a customer support representative.
When you sign up and join Talkspace, you are billed for the entire month upfront. Subsequent subscription renewals will be made exactly one month after your initial purchase or one month after your last renewal date.
If you cancel your subscription in the middle of the 30 days, you can continue to use the service until the 30 days has elapsed.
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at each of the plans that Talkspace offers and how much the plans cost.
How much does Talkspace cost? Differences between subscription plans
Here is a more thorough examination of the cost and features of each plan offered by Talkspace:
The PLUS plan costs $65 per week ($260 per month)
The Talkspace Plus plan allows you to send an unlimited number of messages (text, audio and video messages) to your therapist. Each weekday, your therapist is guaranteed to respond once or twice with feedback, questions and/or actionable insights. Responses over the weekend are not guaranteed and will depend entirely on the therapist and his/her policies.
Note that this plan does NOT include any live video therapy sessions. If you would like to communicate with your therapist via live video, you can either change your plan to one that includes live video sessions, or you can purchase a 30 minute live video therapy session for $65 per session.
Total monthly cost: At a rate of $65 per week, the monthly cost of this plan comes out to $260.
Significant savings on quarterly and semi-annual pre-payments:
|Month To Month||$65||$260||$260||None|
|Quarterly (3 Months)||$59||$236||$708||10%|
|Semi Annual (6 Months)||$52||$208||$1,248||20%|
The PREMIUM plan costs $79 per week ($316 per month) – [Best Value]
Similar to the plus plan, the Talkspace Premium plan includes all of the same features: unlimited text/video/audio messaging. Additionally, this plan includes one 30 minute live face-to-face video therapy session between you and your therapist. This live video therapy session can be pre-scheduled for any time during the month that fits your schedule and is most convenient for you.
If you would like to communicate face-to-face with your therapist more than once per month, you can purchase additional live video therapy sessions for $65 dollars each.
Total monthly cost: At a rate of $79 per week, the monthly cost for this plan comes out to $316.
Significant savings on quarterly and semi-annual pre-payments:
|Month To Month||$79||$316||$316||None|
|Quarterly (3 Months)||$71||$284||$852||10%|
|Semi Annual (6 Months)||$63||$252||$1,512||20%|
The ULTIMATE plan costs $99 per week ($396 per month)
The Talkspace Ultimate plan is the most comprehensive, all encompassing therapy plan currently offered by Talkspace. The ultimate plan includes unlimited messaging (text, video and audio) as well as four 30-minute live face-to-face video conferencing therapy sessions per month (one video session per week). In total, this amounts to 120 minutes (two full hours) of face-to-face therapy between you and your therapist.
If you are the type of person who prefers to communicate face-to-face with a therapist, this is the absolute best value. If you consider that the average cost of a one hour traditional therapy session (in-person at a brick-and-mortar establishment) is $400, you are getting twice this amount of time with a Talkspace therapist for less.
Total monthly cost: At a rate of $99 per week, the monthly cost of this plan comes out to $396.
Significant savings on quarterly and semi-annual pre-payments:
|Month To Month||$99||$396||$396||None|
|Quarterly (3 Months)||$89||$356||$1,068||10%|
|Semi Annual (6 Months)||$79||$316||$1,896||20%|
Forms of payment accepted by Talkspace
Talkspace allows you to pay for their service with all major debit and credit cards. This includes Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. At the time of this review, Talkspace does not accept the following forms of payment: PayPal, personal checks or bank wire transfers.
Limited Time: Save $100 instantly on any plan (Talkspace Coupon)
For a limited time, Talkspace is offering visitors of this website an exclusive coupon code that will instantly take $125 off your first month of service. This Talkspace coupon code can be applied to any of the plans/packages that Talkspace offers. This coupon won't be around forever, so take advantage of the savings while it lasts.
Use Coupon Code: 1004U (redeem during signup)
Redeeming a Talkspace coupon code is very simple. When signing up for Talkspace, after you have selected your therapist you will be prompted to choose which plan you want to purchase (ie the Plus plan, Premium plan or Ultimate plan).
Upon selecting the plan, you will be taken to a secure page where you will type in your credit/debit card information. This page will look like the following:
After typing in your credit/debit card number, expiration date, CVV and your zip, you will see there is another box titled “Promo Code.” It is in this box that you will type in the Talkspace coupon code “1004U” (without the quotes).
That's it! On the next screen, you will see that $100 has been deducted from your first month of service.
This page was last updated on January 27, 2020.
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