A Therapist's review of online counseling with TalkSpace

A Therapist’s 2021 Review of TalkSpace: Effective and Affordable Online Therapy

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Online therapy is a wonderful tool for those seeking support with their mental health. Also known as virtual counseling or telehealth, the concept has been around for decades.

This is a review of TalkSpace, one of the largest providers of online therapy in the United States. Founded in 2011 and headquartered in New York City, it provides online psychotherapy via video, phone, and text-based chats. 

You can download their app for free on Google Play and The App Store.  

This TalkSpace review is meant to guide you towards a skilled 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 you will be matched with a 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

Why People Use Online Therapy

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.

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

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 imagine, people seek help for problems that each of us encounter all throughout our lives. 

If you are still not sure, hopefully this TalkSpace review will help you determine if online therapy is right for you.

Is online therapy with TalkSpace effective?  

Research shows that online therapy produces similar outcomes to traditional therapy. That’s fantastic news for all of us. In fact, about 60% of TalkSpace clients report clinically significant gains after only three months.

A study published in Journal of Telemedicine e-Health, Journal of Clinical Psychology found 80% found Talkspace to be as effective or more effective than traditional therapy. 98% of users found TalkSpace to be more convenient than face-to-face therapy.

Online therapy is most effective when a person is: 

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

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 mental health professional can make a world of difference.  

Hopefully, this TalkSpace review will help you understand why talking to a trained counselor is essential for your healing and growth. 

2021 TalkSpace Review - online chat image
Online therapy text-based session. Image courtesy of TalkSpace.

TalkSpace Features 

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

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

  • Convenient smartphone-based 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 also accepts insurance from a number of different providers. They also participate in dozens of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). Talk to your employer to see if they participate. You can also search for providers here.

2021 TalkSpace review welcome video image
Image courtesy of TalkSpace.

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.

How TalkSpace Works

Getting started with TalkSpace is simple. There are three steps:

1. Brief assessment

  • Answer a few questions about your preferences.
  • Identify the issues you’d like to work on
  • Provide basic information about yourself

 2. Pick your online therapist

  • Select from a list of recommendations
  • TalkSpace provides therapist profiles to help your selection

3. Start Online Therapy

  • Meet your new therapist
  • Start your journey towards healing and recovery  
How TalkSpace works
How TalkSpace Works. Image courtesy of TalkSpace.

You can interact with your therapist in three ways. You get to choose which option works best for you.

  • Text-based chat
  • Live video
  • Phone

The TalkSpace app is what you use for all three services All you need is a smartphone to get started. 

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 it has limitations. Some people are struggling with issues 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 this TalkSpace review is directed towards those who require support for mild to moderate types of problems like relationship struggles, self-esteem struggles, or general depression. 

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

2021 Talkspace Review Clinical Progress image
Clinical progress chart. Image courtesy of TalkSpace.

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 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 various 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 an online therapist will not formally diagnose you or prescribe medication. However, TalkSpace does offer psychiatric medication management. This sets it apart from many other providers of online therapy.

Welcome To Talkspace Online Therapy. Courtesy, YouTube.

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.

Talkspace Membership Plans
TalkSpace Online Therapy Options. Courtesy, TalkSpace.

My TalkSpace Review Summary: Pros and Cons of the Platform 

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 sign-up 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. Master’s degrees or higher 
  • I learned a lot from my therapist and the homework assignments 
  • They offer psychiatric medication management! 

The drawbacks are few, but I do think that the cost tends to be prohibitive to many.

However, TalkSpace offers different membership levels to accommodate those on a tight budget. As I mentioned before, they accept some insurance and they also offer huge discounts for new members.

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. 

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

How to Make the Most of Your Therapy Sessions

If you sign up for therapy from 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 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 

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. 
  • She was supportive, validated my feelings, and provided insight. 
  • 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.
  • 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 it is. I say this because the vast majority of people who engage in talk therapy report it is effective. There’s little reason to suppose it won’t be effective for you.

If you found this TalkSpace review helpful, I’d appreciate it if you signed up through the links below. Then, please leave a comment below.

TalkSpace

Review by Randy Withers, LCMHC

TalkSpace
Affordable, private, and effective online counseling.
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

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About The Author
Randy Withers, LCMHC
Randy Withers, LCMHC is a Board-Certified and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor at a private practice in North Carolina where he specializes in co-occurring disorders. He has master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lenoir-Rhyne University and Education from Florida State University, and is the managing editor of Blunt Therapy. He writes about mental health, therapy, and addictions. In his spare time, you can find him watching reruns of Star Trek: TNG with his dog. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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