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Home arrow Health arrow Mental Health arrow BetterHelp vs. Talkspace: Which Online Therapy Should You Choose?

BetterHelp vs. Talkspace: Which Online Therapy Should You Choose?

Dr. Donika Vata
Written by Donika Vata, MD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: August 10, 2023
10 min read 1275 Views 0 Reviews
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Online therapy is an affordable and convenient way to access mental health services. Both BetterHelp and Talkspace are online therapy platforms, but which one is better?

Betterhelp vs talkspace

How do we vet brands and products? Learn more.

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Still, with mental health services difficult to come by and more expensive than those for your physical body, many people turn to technology for psychiatric services.

Online therapy apps are gaining popularity as people find new ways to look after their mental well-being.

Two such apps are Talkspace and BetterHelp. Both of these online therapy platforms allow users to book therapy sessions and make them more accessible to more people.

But which app is better?

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Which Is Better for Online Therapy?

While Talkspace has many intriguing features that make it useful for online therapy, we would recommend BetterHelp. The BetterHelp app covers a huge number of mental health conditions and has specific subsidiaries for a diverse range of matters.

This online therapy platform also offers group sessions for people who need peer support, as well as anonymous therapy and the possibility of switching to a new therapist quickly and easily.

In addition, BetterHelp is a more affordable and accessible service for people looking for an alternative to in-person therapy. Nonetheless, Talkspace may have more convenient subscription plans for people on a budget.

Comparison Table: Talkspace vs. BetterHelp

Comparison Winner: BetterHelp
4.2
stars
4.2
stars
Brand
Talkspace
BetterHelp
Pros

Accessible on the website and app

Offers individual, teen, and couples therapy services

Psychiatric services available

Can be covered by insurance

Therapists can prescribe medication

Therapists can be accessed via text, live chat, audio, and video calls

Group sessions available

Easy to switch therapists

Unlimited messaging with the therapist

Anonymous therapy available

Supports LGBTQIA+ community

Cons

No group sessions available

Limited number of sessions per plan

Not all plans include video sessions

Can’t be covered by insurance

Therapists can’t prescribe medication

No services for children

What Is BetterHelp?

BetterHelp logo
Our rating:
4.2
stars
  • Easy access to online therapy providers
  • 24/7 care
  • Multiple communication channels
Learn More

BetterHelp is an online therapy and mental health app that combines access to a licensed therapist with other mental well-being features, like journaling and webinars. It’s one of the largest online therapy platforms at the moment, connecting users with counselors and therapists best suited to their needs.

Subscribers are matched with a licensed mental health professional and can access their support in a number of ways, including via text messaging, speaking over the phone, and in live video sessions.

Users answer a few questions before they begin using the app and are then matched up with their therapist within 24 hours. From here, they can access online therapy services whenever they need and in whichever communication method suits them best.

The therapy sessions provided by BetterHelp cover everything from couples therapy to support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Most sessions are around 30 minutes, and a subscription allows unlimited texting services. They can expect a response within 24 hours from BetterHelp therapists.

Pros
  • checkmark
    Affordable and accessible care
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    Offers financial aid services to those who qualify
  • checkmark
    Safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community
  • checkmark
    Offers other features, like journaling
Cons
  • checkmark
    Doesn’t offer medication management services
  • checkmark
    Doesn’t accept insurance
  • checkmark
    Not designed for emergency situations
  • checkmark
    No free trial

What Is Talkspace?

Talkspace logo
Our rating:
4.2
stars
  • Flexible subscription plans
  • No need to travel for therapy sessions
  • Different therapy options available
Learn More

Talkspace is a website and a smartphone app that offers online therapy to its users. The online mental health services that Talkspace provides include individual therapy, couples therapy, therapy for teens, and psychiatric services with medication management.

Users of the Talkspace app have access to licensed therapists and can communicate via texts, audio messaging, video calls, and live sessions. The app also has clinical progress-tracking features and other tools that users can access outside therapy.

The app allows users to access mental health services without having to travel for in-person therapy and offers flexible subscription plans to suit various needs.

Pros
  • checkmark
    Works with teens
  • checkmark
    Offers couples therapy
  • checkmark
    Easy access to online therapy
  • checkmark
    Accepts insurance
  • checkmark
    Offers psychiatric services and medication management
Cons
  • checkmark
    Doesn’t offer a free trial
  • checkmark
    Live sessions may be too short
  • checkmark
    Text therapy might not work for some

Types of Services

Both of these online therapy companies offer a diverse range of mental health tools. Below, we have summarized the key therapy services that each app offers its users.

BetterHelp services

BetterHelp offers services that can be split into four main categories:

  • individual therapy
  • couples therapy (through Regain.us)
  • live group sessions,
  • and teen therapy (through TeenCounseling.com). 

They have mental health professionals who specialize in a variety of fields, including stress and anxiety, relationships, parenting, eating disorders, sleep therapy, depression, repressed trauma, anger, familial issues and family therapists, LGBTQIA+ concerns, grief, religion and faith, and self-esteem.

On top of access to licensed therapists, BetterHelp also has other features like journaling and webinars, which can be accessed with a subscription. You may also use the possibility to stay anonymous when going through therapy.

Talkspace services

Talkspace therapy services include a wider range of options:

  • individual sessions 
  • couples sessions
  • sessions for teens
  • therapy for veterans,
  • and specific insomnia therapy.

In addition, the app also offers access to psychiatry services, which include medication management. 

The medication management services allow users to get their medication prescribed by a licensed doctor, pick it up at a local pharmacy, and work with a prescribing doctor to monitor progress. This feature makes Talkspace stand out from other online therapy apps.

The therapists who work with Talkspace are trained in various fields, including stress and anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: What Are the Similarities?

Both Talkspace and BetterHelp are online therapy platforms, meaning it’s only natural that some features and services overlap. We have summarized them below.

#1 Easy to switch therapists if needed

Talkspace and BetterHelp have a similar sign-up process. It starts with a short questionnaire where you need to answer questions about your gender, goals, emotions, preferred therapist, and lifestyle.

After that, the platforms assign a therapist to you, yet it’s not set in stone. You can easily switch to a different person if you find the one you were assigned is not working for you. This means that users can get the best out of the service and are not stuck paying for a service they don’t think is working.

#2 No free trial

While having a free trial is something we’re used to in the online world, neither BetterHelp nor Talkspace offers it to the users, which means you can’t test it out.

Being able to have a trial run of the app would be beneficial to help people decide if it is worth the money they will spend on it. Nonetheless, if you were to go to an in-person therapy session, you wouldn’t be able to test it out beforehand, either. Both platforms, however, allow you to stop therapy at any time.

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: What Are the Differences?

To help you make the best decision for your mental health needs, we have explored the main differences between the Talkspace and BetterHelp apps so that you can find an online therapy app that works for you.

#1 How to get started with therapy sessions

Talkspace and BetterHelp have a similar sign-up process. It starts with a short questionnaire where you need to answer questions about your gender, goals, emotions, preferred therapist, and lifestyle.

After the sign-up quiz and initial assessment, BetterHelp uses artificial intelligence to match you with the right therapist, while Talkspace has a licensed therapist who does the matching based on your needs, which may take additional time.

Then, you are prompted to select your plan. BetterHelp has only one monthly subscription model, whereas Talkspace offers to communicate with your therapist via text unless you decide to purchase a more expensive subscription plan that includes live therapy sessions. You are charged only after you’ve been matched with a provider.

In the end, you are presented with several accredited and licensed therapists to choose from. They all are qualified and specialize in one specific or several forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

With BetterHelp, you may also be referred to its subsidiaries, like Pride Counseling or Teen Counseling, in case your most suitable therapist based on your location and therapy goals can be found there. You may ask for extra options if none of the specialists appeals to you.

#2 Subscription plans

BetterHelp offers its users only one type of monthly payment plan that includes all the possible communication channels with your therapist. You may, however, get a discounted price if you belong to a specific group or apply for financial aid in case the current rate is over budget.

The Talkspace subscription plans, on the other hand, cover many different budgets, meaning you can access Talkspace regardless of your financial situation. Plans include a mix of communication methods, text-only services, and psychiatry services.

As well as helping the app be more accessible to a range of budgets, the flexibility of subscription plans with Talkspace means that users can find the communication method they are most comfortable using for their sessions.

#3 Special features

On top of the therapy service, the BetterHelp app offers users other features to support their work toward better mental well-being. These include webinars on mental health topics, group sessions, and journaling features.

These features make BetterHelp a more well-rounded mental well-being app and can support users’ mental health even when they are not accessing the therapy service.

Talkspace, on the other hand, has an option for psychiatry services. These services offer users an easy way to access medications that they need and allow them to track their clinical progress with a prescribing doctor.

Users can pick up prescriptions from local pharmacies and get the medications that they need when they need them. These services also come with follow-up sessions to ensure the medications are working properly.

#4 Insurance policy

While BetterHelp does offer a more affordable approach to mental healthcare, it doesn’t accept insurance, which means that if you have insurance, you can’t use it to access these services. BetterHelp may be more suited for people who don’t have insurance.

Talkspace, in turn, does accept insurance from several insurance companies, such as Aetna, Cigna, Optum, Regence, and others, making it more accessible to individuals.

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: How Much Do They Cost?

While both Talkspace and Betterhelp cost less than traditional in-person therapy, they do require subscriptions. We have given a brief summary of the subscription plans for both below.

How much is BetterHelp?

BetterHelp has a few different subscription plans. These are as follows.

  • Standard rate: The standard rate for BetterHelp is currently $75 per week.
  • Discounted rate: There are a few ways you may be eligible for the discounted rate, including being a veteran, being on a lower income, being a student, and having a disability. Depending on the situation, you may get $60 off per month.
  • Financial aid: This rate can be as low as $60 per week (20% off) but does require more submissions than the other rates. It is also only valid for 90 days, so you will have to reapply.

How much is Talkspace?

Talkspace has a number of subscription plans that cover different communication and therapy needs. These are as follows.

  • Talkspace therapy:
    • Messaging therapy (text messages only) – $69 per week
    • Video and messaging therapy – from $99 per week
    • Video, messaging, and additional workshops – from $109 per week
  • Talkspace psychiatry services:
    • Initial assessment – $299
    • Initial assessment + 1 follow-up session – $474
    • Initial assessment + 3 follow-up sessions – $824
  • Couples therapy:
    • From $109 per week

How Do Talkspace and BetterHelp Compare with Other Competitors?

Comparison Winner: BetterHelp
4.2
stars
4.2
stars
3.8
stars
Brand
BetterHelp
Talkspace
Cerebral
Pros

Affordable and accessible care

Offers financial aid services to those who qualify

Safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community

Offers other features like journaling

Works with teens

Offers couples therapy

Easy access to online therapy

Accepts insurance

Offers psychiatric services

Provides a variety of mental health care services

Care counsellor sessions

Access to medicaton management

Free educational resources

Cons

Doesn’t offer medication management services

Doesn’t accept insurance

Not designed for emergency situations

No free trial

Doesn’t offer a free trial

Live sessions may be too short

Text therapy might not work for some

Only suitable for people over the age of 18

Not suitable for severe disorders

Trouble switching therapists

Problems pausing the plan

How We Tested

When we review apps, we want to give our readers as much information as possible so that they can make the best decision for their needs. We rate each product in 4 categories: quality, effectiveness, price, and brand reputation. Take a look below to find out what each of these means.

Quality

Mental health is incredibly important, so if you’re looking for an app to improve it, you want to know that it is of sound quality. Both BetterHelp and Talkspace work with licensed therapists who are fully qualified in their fields. We believe both of these apps are of high quality.

Effectiveness

If you’re paying money for a health product, you want to be assured that it is actually going to be effective for your health. Research suggests that online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face therapy, which means you can rest assured that both these apps will improve your mental well-being.

Price

While these apps seem expensive, when compared to the cost of in-person therapy sessions, they’re actually quite affordable. The price of healthcare is incredibly important as we believe everyone should have access to good care. Both of these apps cost less than traditional therapy.

Brand reputation

A good brand reputation helps users to trust a product. Both Talkspace and BetterHelp have a good reputation in the health and wellness industry. Both only use qualified and licensed therapists and can be trusted to improve your mental health.

A Word From a Psychologist

Mental health is just as important as physical health. You can take care of your psychological health in many ways, including ensuring that you get enough exercise, getting out in nature for a morning walk, practicing meditation and mindfulness, and eating a good diet. However, sometimes, you need a little extra help.

Seeking therapy to improve your mental well-being is often stigmatized, but there is no shame in doing so. With the advent of online therapy apps, seeking therapy is easier than ever.

Therapy can help you find the causes of your issues as well as teach you strategies for coping, help you identify your triggers, and improve your overall mental well-being. There are many forms of therapy to choose from, so it is important to do some research to find the style that you feel will suit you best.

BetterHelp or TalkSpace is often also compared with other similar apps, such as Brightside. So, if you’re looking for a more affordable and convenient way to seek therapy, then taking a look at the many online therapy platforms available is a good idea!

Conclusion

Both BetterHelp and Talkspace are great therapy apps. They offer support and services to users, from individual to couples therapy, and can cater to a number of conditions and situations.

While BetterHelp is a better choice for an online therapy platform in this comparison, it’s worth considering other alternatives, as well. Apart from following an active lifestyle and a healthy, balanced diet, you may benefit from mental health apps that teach practicing mindfulness and meditation, as well.

Written by Donika Vata, MD
Dr. Donika Vata is a highly accomplished MD whose extensive experience in the healthcare industry spans over 5 years, making her a distinguished Medical Writer and Researcher for the esteemed Health Reporter. Notably, she also holds the role of a General Practice Doctor and has rendered her exceptional patient care services in various clinics worldwide.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Dr. Donika Vata
Written by Donika Vata, MD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: August 10, 2023
10 min read 1275 Views 0 Reviews
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