Talkspace.com is the online home of Talkspace, a website who says their goal is to provide their customers with computer and mobile access to “the wonderful world of therapy, re-invented for how we live today.”
How Does It Work?
According to their website, the goal of Talkspace is to make therapy available and affordable for everyone. To meet this need, Talkspace has created a place where anyone over the age of 18 can get in touch with a professional therapist through their computer or mobile device.
The reality is that everyone encounters stressful and difficult times in their lives, whether do to issues with their job, relationship, a death in the family, or any other reason. Though these reasons may not be serious enough to invest your time and money in traditional professional therapy, talking to someone with professional training can make all the difference to your ability to successfully make it through those times.
All the therapists on their website are clinically licensed and will meet all the requirements of the state in which they practice. They will have passed all the necessary exams and certifications, and will have the necessary malpractice insurance.
Once you are matched with a therapist, you will be able to message them any time you need, all week long with their Unlimited Messaging Therapy, and you always have access to their public therapy forums, where you can ask anonymous questions or explore the thousands of questions and answers they already have posted.
Is It Safe?
Customers who are concerned with privacy issues are assured by Talkspace.com that their system is HIPAA compliant to ensure your privacy. Their website is technically safeguarded, and there are physical and administrative safeguards for your information as well. In addition, if a therapist suspects that a person is a danger to themselves or others, or is in need of more in-depth professional help, they will recommend that or reach out to a third party.
Though this website offers 30 minutes of Live Video Therapy for $29, their main offering is their Unlimited Messaging Therapy, the cost of which will vary depending on how often you choose to be billed.
Customers who would like to only pay on a weekly basis will be charged $49 per week, while those who wish to be charged on a monthly basis will be charged equivalent to $25 per week, or $100 per month. Customers who wish to pay quarterly will pay equivalent to $19 per week, or $228 every three months, and finally, customers who are willing to pay annually will pay equivalent to $12 per week, or $624 per year, though they are currently offering a $599 annual subscription that may change in the future.
Currently the Talkspace mobile application is available to download onto devices that use an iOS or Android operating system.
Because requesting a refund from Talkspace.com means that the website must deal with removing fees from the therapist you are working with as well, the website says that they will deal with all request for refunds due to a cancellation of a subscription on an individual, case-by-case basis.
If you have an unpleasant encounter with a therapist and have an issue with the way they have handled your interaction, you can contact the website’s administrative team at Team@Talkspace.com and they will arrange to have you transferred to a new therapist.
Customer Service Contact Info
Customers who would like to contact their Customer Service team with questions, concerns, or complaints can do so by submitting them directly to their website through their Contact Us link, by phone at 844-840-6336, or by email at Support@Talkspace.com.
In general it appears that people are very excited about the potential offered by these types of online therapy websites, and the way in which they can provide an affordable and convenient approach to therapy for the masses.
There are a few complaints from members saying that they felt they were receiving responses that were “canned” or “cut-and-pasted,” which may actually be the case, since most customers said this took place during their initial interaction before they were matched with their therapist.
Competitors and Alternatives?
Online counseling is a fairly new type of service and it doesn't seem as though Talkspace.com has many competitors in the market right now, outside of BetterHelp, though certainly this approach to therapy will likely spread in the future.
If you have any experience with this company or their products, please leave your Talkspace.com reviews below.
6 ‘Talkspace.com’ Reviews
Better than BetterHelp
My experience with Talkspace was so much better than my experience with BetterHelp.
1. My experience with BetterHelp (to contrast with my experience with Talkspace):
I had a 2.5 week (?) free trial with BetterHelp, and in that time managed to go through three therapists. The first therapist said I sounded like I had Borderline Personality Disorder and suggested I look for a face-to-face person who offered DBT and said she couldn't help me. The second therapist seemed aloof and distant and shot me short paragraphs maybe once a day, didn't tell me she takes weekends off (which is fine, but, please just let me know), and seemed to send me copy-and-pasted responses. The third therapist was way more personable, but seemed to suggest that I'd have to give up my theology in order to be happy, and seemed to jump on her favorite soapboxes whenever I brought up something she was passionate about. She seemed a little too eager to label my issues--"codependency" and "emotional abuse." Hilariously, I was also messaging a different therapist through Breakthrough.com who called me "exceedingly normal." So, within two-weeks time, therapists suggested the labels to me "an exceedingly normal codependent victim of emotional abuse who possibly has Borderline Personality Disorder."
2. My experience with Talkspace:
At a friend's suggestion, I decided to take the first BetterHelp therapist's advice and look for a face-to-face therapist, but that can cost big $$$. I had looked at Talkspace, and in turn they emailed me a $40 off code for my first month, which brought the price from $128 per month to $88 for the first month. $88 is a good price for a meet-and-greet session with a face-to-face therapist. I took the plunge. I told Talkspace all of my prior history with therapists, including Betterhelp.
When I was matched with Nancy, I asked her to please respond in audio messages instead of text messages, because it'd help me feel more connected to her if I could hear her voice and she complied. She responds at least twice a day. She's incredibly kind and sweet, and has welcomed and graciously accepted any criticism I have about our interaction. It's been great to be able to message her when something has upset me, instead of collecting everything and waiting a week to tell a therapist face-to-face in an unnatural office environment where we're both looking great and polished. Nancy hasn't labeled me, hasn't pathologized my behavior, and instead validates how I'm feeling. She hasn't led me to any groundbreaking epiphanes, unfortunately, but I'm beginning to suspect therapists weren't meant to do that.
I'm a pretty normal person who manages to get to work and pay her bills and has friends and family and is already introspective. I can see how lack of real-time conversation and visual body language could be difficult in a relationship between a therapist and someone who's having much more difficult time than I am. I think to get involved in online therapy (in any therapy, really), you need to be skeptical and interrogate the prospective therapist. A therapist can totally lead you astray if s/he mislabels and misdiagnoses you.
They could not help me with my questions unless I paid first.
Could not help me with if there was a lisenced therapist in my state.
None of my questions were answered. They would answer if I paid first. I would not trust this site at all. Beware. I would give 0 stars but in order to submit I had to give them 1
So far, I love it. The text relationship serves my needs very well, and the woman who is counseling me has been fantastic. She seems genuinely interested, actively engaged, and eager to take a proactive approach to problem-solving with me. Very, very pleased.
no internal control of therapist quality
My wife and I have both used Talkspace now with dramatically different results.
My counselor has been terrific. I cannot believe the quality and thoughtfulness of the conversations that I have had with her for$75 for the first month.
My wife has now requested a third counselor as the first two were either robots giving canned responses or live responses from someone who is stupid, uninterested or both.
Worth a try but beware especially if you are inexperienced with counseling. Trust you instincts. Some of these bad thearpists can really hurt your mental well-being.
Be Careful... You have little legal recourse if anything bad happens
I keep asking Support and my therapist how she can serve me when we live in different states and no one seems to care or respond to my questions....
I'd probably be okay with it if there was a legitimate loophole they found to provide these services, but ignoring me sounds like maybe they dont care.
Feels especially bad because this service connects people who are already really vulnerable and take away the protections they have when seeking help.
Quote from USHealth News
1. Licensing. Online counseling websites may advertise chat sessions with a "licensed professional." Sounds great, but what does it mean? "Normally, psychologists are required by law to be licensed in the states in which they practice," says Roberta Nutt, director of professional affairs for the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, to which all the psychology licensing boards in the United States and Canada belong. In this context, that means the state where the patient resides, says Marlene Maheu, a California-based clinical psychologist and executive director of the Center for Online Counseling and Therapy, a professional training program for therapists wanting to use technology in their practices. If your therapist is licensed only in California and you live in Delaware, he or she could technically be practicing without a license, which is illegal, notes Maheu. That could leave you with little legal recourse if something goes wrong, she says. She suggests asking yourself: Is this professional licensed in my state of residence so that if I have a problem, I will know which licensing board to send my complaint to? Check other credentials, such as expertise in what the therapist purports to offer, too. A "substantial" number of people offering therapy online don't disclose such information, says Recupero, whose findings after surveying 55 E-therapy sites were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2006.