Talkspace was founded in 2012, and in under 10 years, this telemental health platform has grown its network of licensed mental health counselors and therapists to over 3,000. The founders have also raised close to $30 million in funding, placing it at the forefront of the virtual therapy industry. Talkspace reviewers love its large network of therapists, easy-to-use platform, and friendly customer service reps.
Founded by Huffington Post writer Oren Frank (now CEO) and his wife Roni, Talkspace truly proves that necessity is the mother of invention; before founding Talkspace, Frank was on the hunt for mental therapy. But instead of finding a therapist, he discovered a broken mental healthcare system. Talkspace is the culmination of years of networking with the top medical professionals in the U.S., creating a platform that works for users all over the country, and filling a hole in the mental health market.
An online pharmacy can deliver prescriptions directly to your home, however they are not able to give you prescriptions for new medications, for that you’ll need an online doctor or digital clinic. Some online pharmacies only deliver in select states. Save up to 80% on some medications!
With over 1,000,000 users, Talkspace is now one of the leaders in the professional online therapy industry.
Talkspace partners with dozens of employers, health insurance plans, employee assistance programs, and educational organizations, keeping them at the top of group-provided online therapy services. In 2018, Talkspace rolled out Talkspace Psychiatry, allowing psychiatrists and nurse practitioners on the platform to write prescriptions.
This online healthcare company app’s easy-to-use interface is also visually pleasing. In fact, it offers possibly one of the most streamlined user experiences in telemental health. Chatrooms, video sessions, and the helpdesk are all easily accessible from a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
Talkspace matches personalized therapists to individuals, couples, and teens.
The company specializes in matching certified therapists with busy people who do not have time to commute to a therapist’s office for a face-to-face appointment. This app is also perfect for people who prefer the ‘instant gratification’ of messaging with a therapist on-demand and receiving responses in real-time (up to twice a day).
Talkspace is also ideal for anyone who wants to opt for video therapy instead of face-to-face therapy.
Ultimately, this app marries the convenience of online therapy with the personalized care of in-person sessions. Thanks to Talkspace’s double-pronged approach, users who crave convenience and personalization (or those who simply opt for one or the other) find both instant relief and in-depth self-discovery within the platform.
Talkspace was not founded by doctors — but by a person who desperately needed mental health care and couldn’t access quality doctors online.
Talkspace CEO Oren Frank found himself needing therapy. But to his dismay, he discovered that the mental healthcare system just did not work. Using the experience he gained working in marketing, publicity, and as a Huffington Post writer, Oren and his wife Roni slowly began to build a team filled with people who had the skills to revolutionize mental healthcare and bring it into the 21st century.
While Oren himself isn’t a doctor, this founder understands the necessity of hiring the best medical professionals. This is why he leaves the app’s medical components up to his highly-qualified board-certified doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists — and spends his time focused solely on user experience and customer service.
Today Talkspace has an extensive network of licensed therapists. All therapists have over 3,000 hours of experience and extensive training. The platform doesn’t accept any therapist who does not meet these requirements (including ones who aren’t fully licensed and/or still under supervision).
Therapists are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness therapy, and more. Talkspace specializes in licensed therapy and counseling, couples therapy, psychiatry, and teen therapy. Yet, many of the therapists on the platform also specialize in addiction, panic disorders, major depressive disorders, and more.
Therapists are all licensed in the state of the patient’s residence. Talkspace has a Board of Advisors who monitor the platform and therapist.
Licensed therapists and counselors make up the majority of professionals on the Talkspace platform. Just some of the services offered through this app include:
Choosing a therapist can be a little confusing. Thanks to Talkspace’s therapist matchmakers, finding the right fit is a little easier on this platform. Just some of the therapists you’ll find on Talkspace’s website include licensed professional counselors, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers. Below is a list of the most common types of mental health professionals on the platform (and the degrees and certification required of each).
An LPC is a mental health provider who is trained in individual, group, and family therapy. This provider holds a Masters of Science in psychology, clinical psychology, or educational psychology. LPCs work with behavioral and mental disorders (not biological or physical).
LMHCs are certified to treat patients (both minors and adults) with a variety of emotional issues as well as mental illness.
Licensed marriage and family therapists treat mental health issues related to couples, families, and relationships. This type of therapist may also specialize in sex and intimacy therapy as well. Also, patients in platonic relationships (such as friends and coworkers) are now using relationship therapy to help create strong foundations and work through rough patches.
LICSWs have a Masters of Social Work and a minimum of three years of training. These therapists usually specialize in family counseling.
One of the mental health app’s newest features is called Talkspace Psychiatry, a platform devoted specifically to psychiatric care and medication prescription. This differs from therapy as the psychiatrists and nurse practitioners on the platform all have a medical degree, a license to prescribe mental health medication, and don’t specialize in talk therapy.
While many psychiatrists outside of Talkspace may specialize in both, this online mental health provider encourages patients to sign up for both Talkspace psychiatry and talk therapy to get the best treatment options.
Medication doctors, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners may prescribe include antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics or sedatives, hypnotics, mood stabilizers, and/or stimulants. The type of medication prescribed depends on the type of disorder and may include a combination of several medications.
Some psychiatrists will only prescribe medication in tandem with talk therapy while others find medication and lifestyle changes enough to regulate the body’s chemical imbalances and responses to stressors. If a psychiatrist prescribes medication, there’s a good chance the patient suffers from ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia — though every patient’s needs are unique.
Psychiatrists should possess the following credentials to prescribe such medications:
Talkspace’s platform uses encryption technology, private messaging, and private video ‘rooms’ within the app to ensure your information is secure.
This online mental health provider takes privacy, security, and safety extremely seriously. The platform’s tech is HIPAA compliant. Chat data encrypted by servers and the data is also encrypted as it passes between software and servers.
As clients log on to the app, they must enter a unique password and/or use Touch ID or Face ID on an iOS device (as long as the device is enabled for Apple ID use).
Talkspace has been around longer than most of the other online mental health platforms, which means it has one of the largest networks of online therapists.
One of the major benefits of online therapy is the large pool of therapists available all over the country. Patients who live in rural areas or parts of the country with very few therapists can now get the same care as a patient in a major metropolitan area.
Since Talkspace has a network of over 3,000 therapists, patients can easily find a specialist. Patients can search for therapists by mental issues and/or type of counseling. It’s also easy to switch therapists if one doesn’t ‘click’ right away.
Just some of the conditions Talkspace therapists specialize in include:
Unlike most individual therapy practices, Talkspace specializes in several types of online counseling. The most popular forms of online therapy at Talkspace are unlimited messaging therapy, Talkspace for teens, online couples counseling, and social media dependency therapy.
With this program, patients are free to message an online therapist at any time of the day, seven days a week. A therapist responds once-to-twice a day, five days a week (guaranteed). Clients can also add additional types of therapy and psychiatry to their packages.
Talkspace now offers video sessions with certain packages for clients who prefer talk therapy in addition to messaging therapy. These video sessions are used in tandem with messaging therapy to offer a holistic experience for Talkspace users.
Therapy for teens helps them deal with the enormous pressure they face at this age. This service is available for teens between the ages of 13 and 18 and utilizes a parent portal to help the therapist connect with parents. All information between the therapist and the patient is still confidential. The portal is simply a streamlined service that helps parents understand their children’s mental development milestones and progress.
Help heal wounds and understand your partner better with Talkspace’s online couples counseling. Couples counseling customers can communicate with online therapists through the messaging feature in the app — or book a video chat session with a therapist (if included in the package purchased).
We love this service for couples as it offers relationship advice practically in real-time. How many times have you ever wanted to text a referee in the middle of an argument?
Talkspace now offers the first therapy program developed to help individuals manage their use of and response to social media addiction. During this 12-week program, patients will work with a licensed online therapist and develop personalized strategies to create a healthy relationship with social media. Ironically, the therapy is done using technology that is part of the problem — but now is also part of the solution.
We are really excited about this feature as it’s pretty groundbreaking in helping to treat a recently new (yet often debilitating) addiction.
The psychiatry section of the Talkspace platform is devoted solely to professionals who are licensed in the prescription of medications (for mental health disorders).
If you’re interested in both talk therapy and psychiatry, you’ll need to sign up for both the psychiatry and regular Talkspace platforms.
Talkspace has a simple, streamlined sign-up process. A human matches you to several therapists, and you ultimately choose your own therapist from the curated list.
These Talkspace employees are called mental health matchmakers and specialize in helping clients choose a therapist. In a world of automation, this feature is a breath of fresh air. We only wish Talkspace were also in charge of hiring credit card call center operators… now, that we could get behind!
According to Talkspace, therapists are trained in a variety of approaches and mental health issues (which has also been our experience with the platform). Just some of the approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, existential-humanistic, psychodynamic, and mindfulness techniques.
Patients start by videoing or text chatting with a consultation therapist. This process will help identify the type of online therapy they may need. Next, they choose one of three available plans (Messaging Therapy Plus, Messaging Therapy Premium, or LiveTalk Therapy Ultimate).
This plan includes unlimited text, audio and/or video messaging and guaranteed daily responses 5 days a week — and is one of the most popular plans on the platform. The addition of video and voice messaging helps patients who find speaking their thoughts out loud easier than typing them. It’s also extremely helpful for users with learning disorders, like ADD or dyslexia.
The second-most popular plan includes unlimited text video and/or video messaging and guaranteed daily responses 5 days a week. It also includes one live 30-minute session per month.
The most flexible plan Includes unlimited text video and/or video messaging and guaranteed daily responses 5 days a week. It also includes one 30-minute session per week.
In the next phase, the therapy matchmaker provides the patient with a list of suitable licensed online counselors. Patients are also free to view counselor profiles, making choosing an ideal online therapist super easy. After choosing a therapist the patient will work with the same licensed therapist for every session; clients are free to switch therapists at any time (should the need arise).
There are many advantages to using Talkspace, and one of its best features is its usability. Users can choose whether to access the service through a web browser or via the smartphone app.
While accessing the platform through a web browser is a perfectly adequate way to communicate with a therapist via a virtual chat room, the mobile app is by far the superior platform.
Available for both Android and iOS, the app is instantly accessible to anyone who uses a smartphone; basically, the developers replicated the layout of an SMS chat. Patients and therapists can quickly and easily access the chat history, which is ideal since conversations will not always take place in real-time.
Patients have the choice of audio, video, and text chat to communicate with counselors, who will reply as soon as they are available. As previously mentioned, all the packages include daily responses from their virtual therapist five days a week.
Live online therapy sessions are only available through the mobile app, as Talkspace cannot guarantee privacy and security through other platforms. Whether patients decide to set aside some time every day or write when the mood strikes, their private chat room will always be available. Generally, therapists’ response times average one-to-two times per day, and patients receive an email notification in addition to receiving a notification through the app. But if patients require more input, they may choose to schedule a video chat.
Some Talkspace reviews report therapy through instant messaging felt a little more casual than through the video sessions. While video sessions felt more like traditional therapy, providers who communicated only through the messaging platform simply offered situational support — as opposed to traditional approaches, such as cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy.
Other reviewers who were used to talk therapy reported that they weren’t often given ‘homework’ assignments (which is traditional in weekly talk therapy). Our take? This may be because the platform allows constant contact with a therapist, so treatment is ongoing as opposed to week-to-week.
We’re just going to say it: we love Talkspace. But we just because we happen to love online therapy, doesn’t mean this platform isn’t right for everyone.
Talkspace might not be a good fit for anyone who:
Some Talkspace reviews did also mention that therapists didn’t always remember previous message topics when responding. This leads us to believe that text, video, and voice message therapy might be better for one-off immediate problems used in tandem with the live session (where therapists almost always remember previous live sessions).
Since therapists are messaging with many clients back-and-forth, it’s easy to mistake one client for another (especially without matching a face to the client). We recommend using the video message option to help with face recognition and reminding your therapist of previous messages that included a recurring topic or theme.
We also happen to think that messaging therapy is extremely cost-effective (considering you get to chat with therapists up to twice a day, five days a week), and we also remind people that it does take time to build a report with any therapist.
Again, if you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of self-harm, harming others, or thoughts of death and suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 1-800-273-8255.
Talkspace offers three plans for its talk therapy platform and four plans for its psychiatry platform.
This online mental health provider generally doesn’t take all insurance (it's currently working solely with Primera), but you can always check with your insurance provider to see if you’re covered through this mental health app.
(As of April 2020, President Trump has expanded coverage to include online healthcare providers through Medicare plans; it’s too soon to know how long this will last, but it’s worth checking with your provider to find out if Talkspace is covered through your insurance plan — even if it wasn’t previously.)
Without health insurance, Talkspace is still affordable (especially when compared to the cost of in-person therapy through medical insurance, as it’s not unreasonable to pay upwards of $200 or more a month for traditional therapy). It makes sense, too. If therapists don’t need to spend money commuting to an office or pay rent for the office itself, they can offer more competitive prices.
The company offers three packages, all with access to different levels of communication with an online therapist. All subscriptions are billed monthly with pricing based on the number of live sessions per month.
There is a very real need for online therapy today; however, many choose to forgo treatment for reasons including high costs, inconvenience, and old therapy stigmas. Online therapy eliminates all of the above. So while virtual counseling may not be everyone, it could be ‘just the thing the doctor ordered’ for a large percentage of the population.
Thanks to Talkspace’s extensive coverage of mental health disorders, outstanding usability, and competitive pricing (compared not only to traditional therapy but other online therapy platforms as well), we think Talkspace is one of your best bets.
We love that the platform’s customer service department response times are quick and that Talkspace consistently offers regular opportunities for feedback. We also love the large selection of mental health professionals and the ease of choosing a therapist (thanks to Talkspace’s live mental health matchmakers).
Obviously, we also love the convenience of online therapy compared to commuting to an office each week (but you probably already knew that).
In short, if you’re interested in giving online therapy a try: run, do not walk, to sign up for Talkspace.