Five years ago I had a career in video conferencing; I spent most of my days painting a picture of a world where we would all connect, virtually. There were some people that had already bought into this vision, but most days, it was an uphill battle. Meanwhile, in my personal life, I had just begun seeing a therapist. At the time, going to therapy wasn’t exactly unique, but it wasn’t something that was openly talked about. Therapy felt like it was reserved for people who “really needed it”.
I researched Talkspace and Betterhelps’, offerings, pricing, and onboarding methods.
Therapy is a very personal experience and what some find appealing may be a huge turnoff for others.Here I’ve broken the key factors down to help you decide which is the better option for you.
Talkspace has a slick website. They’ve done a good job of simplifying the home page so that all there is to do is sign up or learn more via their FAQs. The look is modern and it feels like a standard tech-company website. The FAQs do a good job of addressing common questions and if you check out the footer, at the bottom of the page, you can discover links to some of their more specific programs.
The onboarding survey
I select “Get matched now!” and I’m placed into what looks like a chat window (but is actually an automated survey). Each survey question comes up in a chat bubble and I’m given a few options to select as my answer. The questions are basic: Am I over 13 years old? Do I know that this isn’t an appropriate resource if I’m in a life-threatening situation? What brought me to Talkspace? How confident am I that therapy can help me? What’s my preferred gender of my therapist? The whole survey took me about 3 minutes to get through.
The Betterhelp survey felt much more thorough. The questions were straightforward. I was asked my age, gender, sexual orientation, whether I had been in therapy before and my health state. Then we got into the mental health questions: Had I been feeling down or depressed? Did I have trouble concentrating? Had I experienced changes in appetite? And for each of these things, what was the extent in which they affected my ability to function? I was asked whether I drank alcohol, my financial status, (this part comes in later), anxiety levels, any history of plans for suicide. The survey took me about 5 minutes to get through.
$25 per additional 30 minute session
Therapists on Talkspace or Betterhelp are not qualified to write a prescription (only Psychiatrists and Physicians are legally allowed to write prescriptions). However, Talkspace offers a separate plan, not listed on their homepage, for sessions with a psychiatrist, qualified to virtually prescribe medication. More info here.
All Therapists are licensed and must have practiced therapy for at least 3 years. In order to become a Betterhelp therapist candidates must have their credentials confirmed, as well as complete a 4-5 week evaluation process.
Direct cost comparison
See the table above for a cost breakdown by plan.
Takeaway: For weekly therapy sessions and messaging with your therapist, Betterhelp’s highest price ($70) is still lower than Talkspace’s lowest price( ($79).
Betterhelp vs. Talkspace, what is the right online therapy for you?
As an affiliate of both Betterhelp and Talkspace, I may receive commission from any links clicked in this post.