Talkspace Review: Can You Get the Mental Health Support You Need from an Online Therapist?

If you need fast and convenient access to mental healthcare, you may be curious about Talkspace, a website where you can speak to a therapist or psychiatrist online.

Typically at a traditional appointment with a mental health professional, there is no need for any sort of physical examination. The diagnosis is made through conversation and/or tests. Usually, there is no need for you to be physically in a room to receive the diagnosis, help, and treatment you need.

For that reason, therapy and psychiatry are ideally suited to telehealth.

Before you consider using Talkspace, however, you probably have a lot of questions about this website and how it works.

To help you make an informed decision about whether to use Talkspace for your mental healthcare, let’s explore what this site has to offer in our in-depth Talkspace review.

What is Talkspace?

Talkspace is a telehealth site which specializes in therapy and psychiatry.

On Talkspace, you can make an online appointment to talk with a therapist or psychiatrist.

You can decide what type of treatment you prefer—talk therapy, medication, or a combination of the two, and request an appointment with a professional who can work with you toward improving your mental health.

Once you are matched with a therapist or psychiatrist, you will continue to see the same individual each time you make an appointment, unless you request a new one.

Talkspace Quick Facts

  • Psychiatry and talk therapy services
  • Laptop, tablet and Smartphone
  • Apps available for Android and iOS
  • Messaging therapy and video chat therapy
  • Prices starting at $65/week
  • First week free with discount code

What Are the Benefits of Talkspace?

Here are a few reasons to consider choosing Talkspace:

  • Convenient, easy and safe. When you are already burdened by mental health challenges, it can be difficult to leave your home for an appointment. With Talkspace, you do not have to. You can have your appointment at home where you feel most comfortable and safe. Additionally, in our COVID-19 world, you are physically safer staying home for your appointments when possible. Talkspace makes that possible.
  • You may save money. If Talkspace accepts your insurance, you might save money over going to a local provider.
  • Choose from a wider selection of providers than you may have access to in your area. For those in rural regions in particular, there may be only a few providers available locally. On Talkspace, you are more likely to be matched with someone who is right for you.
  • Get help when you need it. If there are excessive wait times in your area for appointments, you can see a provider more rapidly on Talkspace. Not only that, but your plan includes unlimited messaging and daily responses from your provider. You won’t find that kind of mental health support locally.
  • Less confrontational. Some people need to have someone physically seated in a room with them to open up, but for others, it can be inhibitive. If you feel safer and more comfortable at a distance, you may get more done with talk therapy online.
  • Take therapy with you wherever you go. Because Talkspace is entirely online, you can always connect with your therapist so long as you are connected to the internet. That means that you can receive therapy at home, at work, on vacation, or anywhere else.

What Services Does Talkspace Provide?

Talkspace aims its services at two main groups: individual consumers and employers and their employees.

For Individuals

  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy. Talkspace describes this service accordingly: “Emotions can’t be scheduled. With Unlimited Messaging Therapy™ you can message your personal licensed therapist exactly when you feel like it … Therapists respond 1-2 times per day. If you need more, simply schedule a video chat.”
  • Talkspace for Teens. If you are a parent, you can set up Talkspace as a service for your teenager.
  • Couples Therapy. Couples can sign up for joint therapy to work on their relationship problems together.
  • Psychiatry. If you are specifically seeking medication, you can schedule a session with a psychiatrist. Some medications you can obtain a prescription for through Talkspace include Adderall, Ativan, Concerta, Klonopin, Librium, Tranxene, Ritalin, Vyvanse, Valium, Xanax, and Lithium.

For Companies and Employees

Companies that feature employee assistance programs (EAP) may work with Talkspace to provide mental healthcare to employees.

What Does Talkspace Cost?

Regular Talkspace therapy services for individuals start at $65 per week. Couples therapy through Talkspace starts at $99 per week.

Those charges are assuming that you are billed monthly. If you want to save money, you can pay quarterly or by annually.

For example, if you know that you will want therapy for the next six months, you can pay $1,248 upfront. If you do the math, that comes out to just $48 per week. That adds up to major savings over the course of six months.

Even with insurance, it is common for therapy appointments to cost more than that in traditional healthcare settings offline.

Moreover, you receive far more ongoing support through Talkspace than you would from a traditional offline therapist.

You cannot contact a regular offline therapist anytime you have a question or want to vent about something during the day.

But through Talkspace, you can do just that using the messaging medium, and you can expect fast responses.

Note that if you specifically want psychiatry services rather than just therapy, sessions and payments work differently.

Talkspace states, “Payment for Talkspace psychiatry is session-based. Initial evaluations cost $199.00, and follow-up sessions are $125.00. Clients can schedule follow-up sessions directly with their providers.”

What Are the Talkspace Payment Options?

How can you submit payment? Talkspace says, “We accept all major debit/credit cards. We unfortunately cannot accept PayPal, checks, or bank transfers at this time.”

Will Talkspace accept your insurance? In their FAQ, the company writes, “Talkspace now partners with a number of U.S. health plans to provide online therapy to employees through employee assistance programs (EAP) and behavioral health benefits … If Talkspace is not covered by your insurance, it may be helpful to know that some Talkspace customers use a credit card or debit card for their subscription and then submit the bill to their Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Saving Account (HSA) plan administrator.”

You can find a list of partners on the Talkspace website. You will notice that they are all EAP-related.

So, if you receive benefits through your employer, you should be able to save money on Talkspace therapy or psychiatry.

But if you are an individual consumer without an EAP, you will need to pay the full cash pay cost.

As of the time of this writing, there is a coupon which you can use to get $65 off. That is equivalent to getting your first week of therapy for free.

How Does Talkspace Work?

You can begin therapy or psychiatry through Talkspace in a few easy steps.

To get started with Talkspace therapy …

1. Get assessed.

To help you find the right therapist for your needs, Talkspace will first schedule you for a chat with a matching therapist who will give you your initial assessment.

2. Select a plan.

After your assessment, you will have a chance to choose a payment plan.

3. Choose a therapist.

Talkspace will give you options for therapists who may be a good fit for you so that you can choose the right one.

4. Message your therapist.

After you have been matched with a therapist and have submitted your first payment, you can message your therapist whenever you feel ready.

Once you have started with a plan, you can change your therapist anytime or pause your therapy if you need to take a break. You also can switch plans at will.

To get started with Talkspace psychiatry …

1. Schedule an assessment.

As with therapy, you begin psychiatry at Talkspace with an initial assessment. After evaluating your needs, the matching agent will help you find a prescribing psychiatrist who is licensed in your state.

2. Schedule an initial session.

During your initial session, the prescribing psychiatrist who is assigned to you can make a determination about whether to prescribe you a medication.

3. Receive your prescription.

After the assessment, the psychiatrist will write up a prescription for you if it is appropriate, which you can use to obtain the psychiatric medication you require.

What is the Refund Policy?

Talkspace usually doesn’t do refunds, so you probably want to just pay for one month when you get started. Here is the official statement on refunds:

“Generally refunds for unused time are not granted because the therapists charge for time that is scheduled to be used, much like other medical professionals. However, customer service reviews refunds on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with the therapists. We make accommodations if unique or legal circumstances (medical, death, disability, court orders, etc.) dictate the reason for the refund request. If a refund is not granted, usually we are able to make accommodations some other way such as a credit for future service.”

Is Talkspace Legit?

Yes, Talkspace is a legitimate service. Every therapist or psychiatrist who works with the service has been put through a background check and has a verified license. In order to qualify to provide therapy online through Talkspace, a mental health professional must have accumulated a minimum of 3,000 hours of clinical work.

You can only see a therapist or psychiatrist who is licensed in your state. So, when you set up your assessment, you will also provide information on your location.

Pros of Talkspace:

  • You get daily support from your therapist. This is a fantastic benefits over traditional offline therapy. With traditional mental healthcare, you only get support from your therapist when you sit down for an appointment together. But with Talkspace, you get the daily support you need without paying an exorbitant price.
  • You are matched with a therapist or psychiatrist who fits your needs. It might be difficult or impossible for you to find a match in your local area. But online, you should be able to find a professional who suits you.
  • Talkspace is compatible with most systems. Regardless of the device or operating system you are using, you should be able to meet online with your therapist or psychiatrist on Talkspace.
  • You can receive therapy anywhere, anytime. Whether you are at home, at your day job, or traveling, you can connect to the therapist or psychiatrist you rely on.
  • Given the superior ongoing support, Talkspace is a solid value. When you consider that you can talk to your therapist every single day with Talkspace, you are getting a tremendous value for your dollar. The value for traditional appointments doesn’t begin to compare.

Cons of Talkspace:

  • If you don’t need frequent therapy, Talkspace may be expensive. For those who only need occasional therapy (i.e. once a month), Talkspace may not be cost-effective.
  • You may not be able to get a refund. If, for whatever reason, you want your money back, you may only be able to get a refund in special circumstances.
  • If you do not have an EAP, you will be paying cash. Like many other telehealth services, Talkspace is essentially a cash pay service. The exception is if you have an EAP through your workplace.

Who Should Consider Talkspace?

Talkspace may be right for you if:

  • You require frequent, ongoing therapy at a reasonable price. Not everybody can get through a month or even a week between therapy visits without significant mental stress. If you are somebody who can benefit from being able to chat with your therapist on the fly, you will appreciate the flexibility and consistency of Talkspace plans. With daily responses from your therapist, you never have to feel that you are alone.
  • There is a lack of quality providers in your area. If you live in an area which is underserved (such as a rural region), Talkspace can help you connect to a psychiatrist or therapist who is a good fit for your situation. Also, you can get ongoing help instead of having to wait weeks for an appointment.
  • You are looking for a fast, easy way to get a prescription. If you need to obtain a prescription medication, Talkspace can save you from the time, cost and hassle of scheduling an appointment with a traditional offline psychiatrists.
  • You feel more comfortable getting therapy in your home environment and/or you feel more comfortable not being in a room with your therapist. For example, say you are autistic and have problems with eye contact. You may feel more at ease chatting with a therapist online, because the placement of cameras with relationship to screens means that there is no true eye contact during a video chat. Additionally, not needing to leave your home to go to an appointment means less of a disruption in your routine.
  • You are a frequent traveler. If you regularly travel for work or have other regular travel needs, Talkspace allows you to stay in contact with your therapist or psychiatrist and continue to receive the care you need even when you’re on the go.
  • Your employer has an EAP set up with Talkspace. If you have an EAP, Talkspace may be a particularly cost-effective and convenient option for you to receive therapy or psychiatry.

Conclusion

Talkspace is a Simple, Affordable, Convenient Way to Receive Licensed Psychiatry or Therapy Online

We have just explored the features, benefits, costs, services, payment options, and pros and cons for Talkspace in-depth.

Talkspace is convenient, affordable, and flexible, and a fast and easy way to access mental healthcare.

Whether you need a single session to obtain a prescription for a medication or you are looking for ongoing daily therapy, Talkspace can connect you with a provider who is ideally matched to your needs.

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