If you’re here, I’m betting that you’re wondering if online therapy is worth it, and specifically, you’re wondering about BetterHelp vs Talkspace.
Online therapy, e-counseling, counseling via text message, etc, has EXPLODED over the past few years. It has never been easier to get help for mental health issues for more people (at least those who have access to technology).
With this explosion has come multiple companies and organizations that provide online counseling through video, text message, voice calls, and sometimes all three.
However, the two biggest in e-counseling space are BetterHelp and TalkSpace. You’ve probably heard your favorite YouTuber, blogger, influencer, etc talk about one of these two online counseling giants.
*This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the provided links to purchase any of the below products or services. Please check out my disclosure policy.*
As mental health advocate and social worker, I thought I would review these to companies to help you make an informed decision should you choose to do counseling with either one.
*Before we jump into things, this is just a brief aside, that neither TalkSpace nor BetterHelp, should be used if you are in an immediate crisis or currently thinking of suicide. Instead, text “Hello” to 741741 to contact Crisis Text Line or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255*.
Not only will I be sharing the ins and outs of these companies, but I’ll also be sharing my own personal experiences. Yep! I’ve used both BetterHelp (currently) and Talkspace (in 2018). So let’s go! BetterHelp VS Talkspace!
BetterHelp Vs Talkspace: Services – What Do They Offer?
Both BetterHelp and Talkspace offer counseling services through text message, video calls, and phone calls with licensed mental health professionals. These licensed mental health professionals may be psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, or counselors.
You will be matched with a mental health professional that is clinically or independently licensed in your state. This means that your mental health provider has been supervised through at least 2000 to 3000 hours worth of counseling experience. So they know their stuff!
With both BetterHelp and Talkspace I was paired with a social worker. To me this was great because as a social worker, I felt an immediate connection to both of my therapists.
We can dig into some of the differences as well as additional services offered below.
BetterHelp provides ways that you can reach out to your therapist:
- asynchronous messaging: you message your therapist and they message you back a few hours later, just as you would with texting (as with texting, you can also send pictures, video messages, and audio messages)
- live chatting: you chat with your therapist for a pre-determined amount of time
- phone: you talk to your therapist over the phone
- video conferencing: you have a video chat with your therapist
Along with having access to a therapist, your subscription to BetterHelp gives you access to webinars on various topics. Some of the webinars that I’ve been to were Building Blocks of Happiness and Connecting and Communication in Relationships.
Like BetterHelp, Talkspace also has multiple ways that you can reach out to your therapist, including:
- asynchronous messaging: you message your therapist and they message you back a few hours later, just as you would with texting (as with texting, you can also send pictures, video messages, and audio messages). Your therapist will only respond to you 5 days a week.
- phone: your therapist will call you and talk to you on the phone
- video conferencing: you can video chat with your therapist
Couples Therapy and Teen Therapy
Unlike BetterHelp, Talkspace also provides couples therapy and and therapy for teenagers (13 to 17).
With both BetterHelp and Talkspace you are able to switch your counselor at any time for any reason as well as message your therapist 24/7/365.
BetterHelp’s cancellation policy allows you to cancel your membership at anytime. Talkspace’s cancellation policy is the same. So if you decide that online therapy is not for you (or that specific platform is not for you) you can cancel at any point.
What’s the Sign Up Process Like?
These two e-counseling companies have a very similar signup process. You create an account and fill out a questionnaire where you will talk about what you’re looking for in a therapist and why you are seeking therapy. You are then matched with a therapist – usually within 24 to 48 hours.
BetterHelp Vs Talkspace: Pricing – How Much Do They Cost?
BetterHelp and TalkSpace are both “subscription” based and fairly similar in cost, but let’s break it down. Both services can be paid using a credit card or through a Paypal account.
BetterHelp costs between $50 and $80 a week which is billed monthly. This may seem like a steep cost (and it is!). Luckily, BetterHelp does have a financial aid program that is pretty simple to sign up for. You can fill out a form to let them know that you would like them to take your financial situation into consideration and you can be provided with a discount on your subscription.
By filling out the form I was able to get a 10% discount that lasted for 3 months. You can apply again after the 3 months are over to see if you are still eligible for the BetterHelp discount.
Talkspace costs begin at $65 a week (billed monthly – $260) for their Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus service. However, if you would like to video conference with your therapist, you will have to choose one of their higher tiered subscription packages: the Unlimted Messaging Therapy Premium ($316) or the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate ($396), which provide 1 video session a month or 4 video sessions a month, respectively.
Or if you don’t want to do that, you can schedule a video chat “a la carte” for $65 and get a 30-minute video chat session.
BetterHelp’s pricing structure is a bit better because it is all inclusive but keep reading to learn more about Talkspace insurance options and BetterHelp insurance options.
Does BetterHelp or TalkSpace Take Insurance?
Generally, online counseling platforms like BetterHelp or Talkspace do not take insurance. However, you should always consult your insurance provider to see if it can be covered.
Talkspace has partnered with some insurance companies to provide their services so if you are looking for an e-counseling provider that takes insurance, Talkspace would be a safer bet than BetterHelp.
If you’re reading this and you’re not quite ready for therapy yet, check out my workbook, I’ve Got This! It’s a mini-workbook on coping with mental health issues and includes multiple worksheets to help you with taking steps forward in your mental health journey. Check out the I’ve Got This!, here!
Does BetterHelp or TalkSpace Have A Free Trial?
BetterHelp does provide a free trial. Usually, these free trials are for a week, but I have also seen them for up to 2 weeks if you can find someone with a referral link. If you’d like to try BetterHelp for free for a week, you can use this link.
Talkspace does not provide a free trial, however, they often provide discount codes for new users to try out their service
I hope you enjoyed this BetterHelp vs Talkspace review. At the end of the day, you should choose what is right for you. And that maybe neither of these services.
If you’re here and still unsure of what you want to do or think that online counseling may not be for you, check out this post on therapy directories that can help you find a therapist that will meet your needs.
You can also check out this post for a more in-depth look at my experience with therapy (the first time!).
I’m also happy to answer any questions that you may have about either platform from a user’s perspective 🙂
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.