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Talkspace Mental Health Therapy Review
Products & Services
Ease of Use
Customer Support & Reviews
- Text, audio, picture, or video messages
- Live online sessions
- Offer counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and social workers
- Able to prescribe all medication except for controlled substances
Talkspace is an online mental health therapy platform that’s been in business since 2012. It gained more attention when U.S. Olympic swimmer and gold medalist, Michael Phelps, signed on as a spokesperson for the company. Talkspace offers users access to licensed therapists, as well as psychiatry services. The service is available in all 50 states and has multiple plan options.
Find What You Need
Talkspace is an online therapy website that connects you with licensed therapists from the device you choose. The company allows you to send text, audio, picture, or video messages any time you want and your therapist is supposed to respond daily to you – up to five times a week. If you prefer a face-to-face interaction, Talkspace offers live sessions so you and your therapist can speak by video or phone.
To get started, you’ll need to answer a few questions on the Talkspace website. There will be questions about you and about your therapy preferences. Based on your answers, Talkspace will use an algorithm to suggest three potential therapists to you. You can choose the one you think is the best fit. After that, you’ll need to set up an account to continue the process.
Talkspace is a subscription service with plans that include weekly live sessions and messaging support anytime. All therapists are licensed and, on average, have at least nine years of experience as a mental health professional. Talkspace offers separate psychiatry sessions with a licensed psychiatric prescriber who can prescribe medicine, should you need it.
What About Talkspace’s Privacy?
Talkspace’s therapy model is designed to fit your lifestyle. You are able to ‘speak’ with your counselor anytime through the website or on the Talkspace mobile app. And you can use multiple devices for your communication.
When you sign up for Talkspace, you’ll be assigned a secure, private ‘room’ to communicate with your therapist. You can post and reply to messages at any time of day or night. Talkspace says each ‘room’ is protected and fully encrypted. For added security, users can set a unique passcode on the mobile app.
But Talkspace has had its fair share of questions about the way it uses its client’s information. In 2020, a New York Times report shared allegations from former employees who said private therapy chat logs were used to supply information for marketing. In 2021, Consumer Reports found that Talkspace sends some user data to Facebook.
In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) went into effect. The federal law protects your medical information and keeps insurance companies and healthcare providers from sharing it for anything other than medical purposes without your permission. But the law hasn’t necessarily kept up with technology and some apps operate outside of the regulations because they can.
It’s also important to follow these steps if you’re using Talkspace:
- Don’t give Talkspace permission to use or disclose your medical information. You can email them at [email protected] to be sure.
- Email Talkspace at [email protected] to limit what information they use or share with your insurance company.
What Medications are Prescribed with Talkspace?
Talkspace offers mental health therapy, as well as psychiatry. You can choose to do one or both. Therapists include counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and social workers. They are unable to prescribe medicine. Psychiatrists are trained to treat mental health conditions and can prescribe medicine to patients who need it.
Talkspace says its prescribers are able to prescribe all medication except for controlled substances. Its psychiatrists treat anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia.
Talkspace is a relatively easy platform to use, has an extensive network of counselors and offers psychiatry services for adults. Not all plans offer live video interactions, and can make users feel disconnected from their therapists.
The company has a B rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has hundreds of complaints registered with the consumer protection organization. Most of the complaints pertain to billing issues, cancellation problems and counselors not showing up for live appointments. You will also find several who have had trouble scheduling an appointment or messaging a counselor and not hearing back from them for days.
You’ll also find a low rating for Talkspace on Trustpilot – another trusted online review site. Most of the complaints on Trustpilot are about lack of communication and customer service, and trouble connecting with an assigned therapist.
Talkspace is a subscription service, and how much you pay depends on the subscription you choose. There is no contract to sign, and you can cancel the service any time.
- Messaging Therapy gives you access to text, video and audio messaging and starts at $69 a week.
- Live Therapy gives you access to four 45-minute live sessions a month and starts at $99 a week. You can buy additional live sessions for $65 each.
- Live + Messaging Therapy gives you access to text, video and audio messaging, as well as four 45-minute live sessions a month and starts at $129 a week.
Plans can be billed monthly, quarterly or twice a year. And Talkspace is covered under some insurance plans. You’ll have to check with your particular company to find out if coverage is available.
Talkspace psychiatry sessions are a bit more expensive. The initial evaluation is $249 and each follow-up session is $125 each. There are also bundle packages for new and existing clients.
Talkspace was founded by Oren and Roni Frank in 2012. The married couple created the online mental health company with a “mission to democratize access to high quality behavioral health services.” Oren Frank stepped down as CEO and Roni Frank stepped down as Head of Clinical Services in late 2021 after Talkspace became a publicly traded company.
Talkspace was one of the first companies to provide online therapy and says more than two million people have used their platform since it began 10 years ago.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Talkspace is good option for online mental heath therapy. It has multiple plan options, treats multiple types of mental health issues and does not require a contract, so you can cancel the service at any time.
Content on this site is for reference and information purposes only. Do not rely solely on this content, as it is not a substitute for advice from a licensed healthcare professional. Aging.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies. Consult with your doctor before beginning any medications or programs.