A Therapist's review of online counseling with TalkSpace

A Therapist’s Review of Online Therapy With TalkSpace [2021]

DISCLOSURE:
Blunt Therapy relies on support from its readers. This post contains affiliate links. As an affiliate of programs including Amazon and BetterHelp, we make commissions from qualifying sales.

Online counseling is a great tool for those seeking support with their mental health.   

This TalkSpace review is meant to guide you towards a great therapist who is tailored to address and treat your unique mental health needs.

We all struggle sometimes, and there is no shame in asking for help. My hope is that you will be matched with a counselor or therapist who is truly able to help you find peace of mind and enjoy your life again.  

A Therapist's Review of Online Counseling With TalkSpace
Let This TalkSpace Review Guide You To A Great Therapist in 2021

Mental Illness is More Common than You Think 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), some 46.6 million adults — approximately one in five — in the US were estimated to have a mental illness as of 2017. 

The three most common mental illnesses in the United States are: 

  1. Anxiety Disorders (such as panic disorder, social anxiety, or PTSD).
  2. Substance Use Disorders 
  3. Major Depressive Disorder

Mental illness can affect any person at any time in life, though some are more severe and specific than others. 

The illnesses I’ve listed here are treatable, usually a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and psychotherapy.

But even those who have not been diagnosed with the above can be sideswiped with sudden changes which can either trigger a mental health issue or push the person into a temporary or situational struggle.     

If you suspect you have a mental health disorder or you are worried about a loved one, it’s crucial that you (or they) find a good therapist and get treatment. This TalkSpace Review will show you how to do that online.

Welcome To Talkspace Online Therapy. Courtesy, YouTube.

The Causes of Mental Illness

One of the reasons mental illness can be so difficult to diagnose and treat is that usually there is no single cause. 

With PTSD or situational depression, for instance, a diagnosis will typically center around a certain situation which “caused” the problem.  

But more often, a combination of physiological and behavioral factors will contribute to the illness.  

Here are some factors which can contribute to a mental illness:   

  • A major life change or trauma 
  • Childhood trauma 
  • Substance use or other addictions
  • Self-harm
  • Living in a dangerous situation (eg: with an abusive spouse)
  • Death of a loved one

Mental Illness Isn’t The Only Reason People Go To Therapy

One of the myths about therapy is that only the mentally ill are appropriate for it. That’s just not true.

People go to therapy for all sorts of reasons. Everybody has different goals, objectives, and needs, too. 

If you are dealing with a problem and you need to talk to someone about it, you are an excellent candidate. It doesn’t matter if you have a mental illness or not.

Here are some common reasons that people use TalkSpace for online counseling. Have you ever dealt with any of these?

  • Developing and setting life or career goals
  • Relationship problems
  • Self-esteem and confidence issues
  • Major (and minor) life changes
  • Unexpected job losses
  • Marital problems
  • Coronavirus-related stress
  • Racial strife and discord
  • School or work stress

As you can see, people seek help for problems that each and every one of us encounter all throughout our lives. 

How TalkSpace works
Courtesy, TalkSpace

Is TalkSpace right for everyone?

Any reputable TalkSpace review will tell you that virtual therapy isn’t right for everyone. It’s important to know that it has limitations. Some people are struggling with things that require face-to-face sessions or even medical intervention. Some examples include:

  • Moderate to severe suicidal ideation
  • Paranoia and other types of psychosis
  • Active or ongoing domestic violence
  • Eating disorders

Please note that this TalkSpace review is directed towards those who require support for mild to moderate types of problems such as relationship struggles, self-esteem struggles, or general depression. 

More severe issues such as suicidal tendencies or serious psychosis should be treated as medical emergencies, addressed immediately, and in-person. 

How effective is online therapy?  

Research shows that online therapy produces similar outcomes to traditional therapy. That’s great news for all of us.

Online therapy is most effective when a person is: 

  • Matched with the right therapist 
  • Diagnosed and monitored properly by a medical doctor 
  • Taking the right medication as prescribed 
  • Generally pursuing a healthy lifestyle 
  • Has undertaken steps to manage co-occurring disorders and other contributing factors simultaneously 

Counseling or psychotherapy is one of the best things that you can do to make sure that you’re supported when you are struggling. 

When we are depressed or anxious, we feel alone, misunderstood, and disconnected. But we all need to connect and be heard.

Simply talking to a professional who has specific skills and training, even for half an hour over the phone, can make a world of difference.  

This TalkSpace review should help you to understand why talking to a trained counselor is essential for your healing and growth. 

What to Expect From a TalkSpace Online Therapist

Whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, a recent divorce, an addiction, your relationship, or work stress, a TalkSpace therapist can help with anything that is affecting your day-to-day mental fitness. 

TalkSpace therapists specialize in various areas, but all of them are required to: 

  • Have a Master’s or Doctoral Degree in Psychology, Counseling, or Social Work
  • Thousands of hours of clinical supervision and training
  • An expert-level understanding of a variety of mental health conditions
  • Use evidenced-based models designed to affect positive change
  • Maintain strict adherence to ethical statutes and best practices
  • Maintain a professional demeanor with an emphasis on confidentiality and client’s rights

Most people find benefits in seeing a counselor, but it may take a bit to find the one that’s best for you, so don’t hesitate to ask for a referral if you feel like it’s not the right fit. 

Also, bear in mind that an online therapist will not be able to formally diagnose you or prescribe medication. However, TalkSpace does offer psychiatric medication management. This sets it apart from many other providers of online therapy.

TalkSpace Features 

TalkSpace matches you with your very own licensed therapist. Depending on the plan you select, you’ll be able to communicate with them through text, phone, or video chat.

Here’s a summary of some of the features I love about the platform: 

  • Very convenient smartphone-cased app.
  • Flexible subscription options. 
  • Anyone can access (don’t need a referral from a doctor) 
  • Anonymous if you want 
  • Cheaper than most in-person options (plans range from $55-99 per week) 
  • They accept some insurance plans. 
  • Therapists have at least a Master’s degree in Counseling, Psychology, or Social Work, plus practical experience  
  • 2,000 + therapists and all have different backgrounds – the app matches you with a therapist of your preference 
  • Everything is confidential, encrypted, and compliant with HIPAA standards
  • Targeted and personalized support 
  • Text, phone, and video messaging options.

TalkSpace Now Offers Psychiatric Medication Management

With TalkSpace, you can now get specialized psychiatric treatment from a licensed prescriber — all from the comfort of your home.

With Talkspace Psychiatry, you’ll get personalized treatment from a prescriber trained in mental health care and prescription management.

Get matched with a prescriber in your state, and schedule Live Video Sessions for everything from initial evaluation to ongoing prescription management.

Talkspace Membership Plans

TalkSpace Costs

TalkSpace has three different subscription plans. You can pay monthly, quarterly, or biannually. You get discounted rates for quarterly and biannual payments. TalkSpace frequently offers huge discounts for new members. You can get their latest promo code here.

These are the three subscription plans. Keep in mind, these prices are before your discount.

Option 1: Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus

  • Includes text, video & audio messaging 
  • Talk with your therapist daily, 5 days per week
  • Monthly: $260 
  • Quarterly: $708 every three months
  • Biannually: $1248 every six months

Option 2: Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium

  • Includes text, video & audio messaging 
  • Talk with your therapist daily, 5 days per week
  • 1 Live session per month (30 minutes each)
  • Monthly: $316 
  • Quarterly: $852 every three months
  • Biannually: $1512 every six months 

Option 3: Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate

  • Includes text, video & audio messaging
  • Talk with your therapist daily, 5 days per week
  • 4 Live sessions per month (30 minutes each)
  • Monthly: $396 
  • Quarterly: $1068 every three months
  • Biannually: $1896 every six months 

Talkspace Couples Therapy

  • Includes Text, video & audio messaging, therapist responds daily, 5 days per week
  • 4 Live sessions per month (30 minutes each) 
  • Monthly: $396
  • Quarterly: $1068 every three months

Talkspace Teens Therapy (for ages 13 – 17) 

  • Includes text, video & audio messaging, therapist responds daily, 5 days per week
  • Monthly: $260 

*Live Video Sessions can be added for $65 per 30-minute session.

Review Your Therapy Plan
TalkSpace offers excellent discounts for new members.

My TalkSpace Review Summary: Some Benefits and Drawbacks of the Platform 

In order to write this TalkSpace review, I spent three months using their services. My plan was text-only, which suited my needs just fine. If you are curious, I used TalkSpace to help me work through some relationship issues with my girlfriend.

The platform is simple to use from signup to connection. You can customize searches, and they make it clear that confidentiality is paramount. You don’t even need to use your real name.

Here are some other benefits:  

  • Having therapy online is almost as good as in-person if you choose to use video
  • The TalkSpace app is available on both Google Play and The App Store. 
  • The platform is set up to receive regular feedback from therapists 
  • All the therapists are fully licensed mental health professionals. Masters degrees or higher 
  • I learned a lot from my therapist and the homework assignments 
  • They offer psychiatric medication management! 

The drawbacks were few, but I do think that the cost tends to be prohibitive to many. However, they offer different membership levels to accommodate those on a tight budget. As I mentioned before, they offer huge discounts for new members, too.

I have the sense that therapists may not be compensated as well as they may be in other contexts, but this does not necessarily reflect on the quality of service. You will find “good” and “bad” therapists at any price point. 

All in all, it’s a fantastic service that offers accessible services to people who may not have access to in-person help. 

How to Make the Most of Your Therapy Sessions

If you sign up for therapy because of this TalkSpace review, you should first make sure you are ready to do the work — therapists are great but they’re not miracle workers, after all! 

It takes both parties to really make change happen. 

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your therapy sessions: 

  • Be sure to find a therapist you connect with 
  • Make a full commitment to a regular schedule
  • Ask them for homework assignments 
  • Bring questions to each session 
  • Be 100% honest with your therapist 

After you finish signing up with TalkSpace be sure to read How To Get Huge Results In Therapy.

Is TalkSpace right for you? 

Over a three-month period, I worked with a therapist on TalkSpace. The plan I was using included unlimited texting.

My therapist was terrific. In the beginning, she was careful not to tell me what to do. She was supportive, validated my feelings, and provided insight. But as we got to know one another, we both enjoyed some truly incredible conversations. Over time, I began to look forward to our meetings the way I normally look forward to time spent with an old friend.

But my therapist wasn’t a friend. She was a therapist, and a good one at that. I felt understood when we talked. I felt heard.

And most important for me, I learned something new each time we talked.

So is TalkSpace right for you? Assuming you are not dealing with an issue that’s not appropriate for online counseling, I’m confident that it is. I say this because the vast majority of people who engage in talk therapy report that it is effective. There’s little reason to think it won’t be effective for you.

If you found this TalkSpace review helpful, I’d appreciate it if you left a comment below. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

TalkSpace

Review by Randy Withers, LCMHC

TalkSpace
Convenience / Ease of Use
Value for the Money
Cost
Smartphone App
Quality of Therapists
Customer Support
Security/Privacy

Summary

TalkSpace is an excellent provider of online counseling, offering budget-friendly access to talented therapists with options to conduct sessions via text, audio, and/or video.

4.9

References

A Therapist's Review of Online Counseling With TalkSpace

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About The Author
Randy Withers, LCMHC
My name is Randy and I’m a Board-Certified and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor at a private practice in North Carolina where I specialize in co-occurring disorders. I have master’s degrees in Counseling and Education and I’m the managing editor here at Blunt Therapy, where I write about mental health, therapy, and addictions (mostly). In my spare time, you can find me hanging out with my dog Daisy and watching reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
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Reviewed for accuracy by Randy Withers, MA, NCC, LCMHC, LCAS. Licensed Therapist and Managing Editor of Blunt Therapy

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