Talkiatry Online Psychiatry Review

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Talkiatry

Talkiatry

Verywell's Rating
4.5

Talkiatry helps connect people with licensed psychiatrists in their home state and partners with their insurance providers to help bring down the cost of mental health treatment. Focusing on medication management and regular assessments, Talkiatry utilizes an entirely online platform that aims to make working with a mental health professional as seamless as possible.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy to navigate website

  • You can choose your own psychiatrist

  • High user satisfaction

  • Operates as a practice rather than a referral network

  • Switching to a new psychiatrist is easy and guilt-free

  • First appointments are 60 minutes long and comprehensive

  • Accepts multiple insurance plans

  • Prescriptions sent directly to your pharmacy

Cons
  • Does not offer talk therapy without a referral

  • Only currently available in 19 states

  • Creating an account and logging into the Healow app not the easiest

  • Not affordable without insurance

  • Medications don’t ship to your home

Key Facts
Price
Depends on your insurance
Is Insurance Accepted?
Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others
Type Of Therapy
Medication Management, Psychiatry
Communication Options
Video Chat
HIPPA Compliant?
N/A
Is There an App?
Yes
Why Trust Us
55
Companies reviewed
5,775
Total users surveyed
350
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 105 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we tested the services ourselves, conducted comprehensive data collection research, and evaluated our results with the help of three licensed therapists.

There is a growing shortage of psychiatrists in the United States right now. More than 150 million people live in areas that have been designated “mental health professional shortage areas” by the Federal Government. Within a few years, the country is expected to be short somewhere between 14,280 to 31,109 psychiatrists.  Compounding this problem is the fact that many, many psychiatrists do not accept health insurance. According to a 2014 study, only fifty-five percent of psychiatrists accept health insurance, compared to 89% of other doctors. This means that even if you are lucky enough to find a psychiatrist near you, you may not be able to afford them because out-of-pocket, a full consultation with a psychiatrist can cost up to $500

Despite the rise of online therapy, very few companies offer psychiatry or medication management—and even fewer specialize in it. When they do, they often choose to either focus on one area of medication management (aka substance use treatment or anxiety and depression) or severely limit which medications they’re willing to prescribe. Medication management is far from “one-size-fits-all," but there are companies that are trying to get it right. 

Enter: Talkiatry. This company stands out among its many contemporaries by focusing less on the psychology of mental health and more on being a psychiatric practice that both accepts insurance and treats patients at scale. 

To see how well Talkiatry stacks up against the competition, we surveyed 105 Talkiatry users about their experience with the service. In addition, we surveyed 105 users from each of the 55 other competing companies as a comparison. Finally, we sent a questionnaire to each company directly and I personally tested this service. Here’s what we found out.

What Is Talkiatry?

Talkiatry is an online psychiatry practice that was launched on April 22, 2020, by Dr. Georgia Gaveras, a triple board-certified psychiatrist who spent 18 years working in New York hospitals, and Robert Krayn. After Krayn was the victim of a home invasion, he sought psychiatric care only to discover just how difficult it was to find in-network psychiatrists or affordable rates. 

So the two met up over their shared (and personal) interest in making psychiatry more accessible and flexible for both psychiatrists and those who need this type of care. The result was Talkiatry, which operates much like a traditional in-person practice but gives providers the support and technology to serve their clients online. 

When we reviewed the company last year, it only served New York state, but over the past year, it has vastly expanded to 18 different states, including Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and Illinois. It also serves Washington, DC. 

What Services Does Talkiatry Offer? 

As mentioned, Talkiatry only offers psychiatry and medication management for several mental health conditions.

While your psychiatrist may be able to give you a referral to a talk therapist (mine did), the referral will be to someone outside Talkiatry—the company itself cannot provide you with weekly psychotherapy sessions. 

Who Is Talkiatry for?

Talkiatry is a service for anyone that is looking for outpatient psychiatric treatment and medication management.

According to its website, Talkiatry says its therapists can treat the following conditions, including:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Some psychiatrists also have additional expertise in treating people of certain age groups or ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds, as well as the LGBTQ+ community. Other providers can speak multiple languages or utilize specific techniques, such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). 

This was a benefit for the users we surveyed: thirty-six percent said that their mental health professional had better qualifications, experience, or specialized training.

How Much Does Talkiatry Cost?

Talkiatry is not a monthly subscription service, like Talkspace. Instead, you pay-per-session booked with your psychiatrist, plus the cost of any medication you are prescribed. 

The price you pay per session, however, depends on your insurance coverage. According to the company, it accepts plans from five of the biggest health insurance providers, including:

  • Aetna
  • BlueCross
  • Cigna
  • Optum
  • Medicare

Because Talkiatry works with your insurance company, there isn’t any set price that you can view before signing up. However, you can input your insurance information before signup in order to get an estimate of your copay—in my case they anticipated a $20 co-pay, which was accurate. Sessions would initially be monthly, then once my psychiatrist was satisfied that our treatment plan was working, my check-in appointments would be every three months.

It’s important to note that the site is very clear that it can only see patients that have health insurance.

It’s worth noting that, according to our survey, when asked what was one of the most important factors in choosing Talkiatry, users listed price as one of their top three reasons for choosing this company.

Navigating the Talkiatry Website and App

The Talkiatry homepage is modern, clearly laid out, and visually appealing.  Above the fold, you’ll find a bright yellow background with graphics of an insurance card and prescription, along with the words “Psychiatry, with you in mind” in bold center page. Below that are the words “personalized mental health care designed to help you feel better, later” and a button inviting you to “take the first step.”

Homepage

Below that, you’ll find what the company says are the main reasons people like the platform: virtual visits, flexible scheduling, medication management, and the ability to choose your psychiatrist. 

Why People like us

Scrolling down, you’ll next see a section devoted to the insurance providers they accept, as well as an invitation to “Check my insurance.” This is where you can find out what your estimated co-pay would be. 

Providers

Further down, you’ll find a simplified explainer on how the service works (“Take the assessment, choose your psychiatrist, and start feeling better”), as well as what mental health conditions the company specializes in treating, and a map of the states it serves. 

Specialize

If your state is not listed, there is a place where you can submit your email address and home state so that the company can notify you when it starts offering treatment near you. 

map

I really appreciated how transparent the company is about its service and how it works. I didn’t feel like they wasted any time getting me the information I needed in order to decide if this was the right company for my needs. Other companies I’ve tested made it much more difficult to find important information—like who the staff is, what is included in the service, and pricing information—until during (or after) signup. And the users we surveyed largely agreed with me: seventy-three percent said the website and/or app was easy or very to use.

Talkiatry

Talkiatry

For example, I liked that I could look up who the providers were at Talkiatry simply by clicking on the right-hand navigation and selecting “Our Psychiatrists.” Here you can look up therapists, directory style, based on what ages they treat, their specialties, location, and languages spoken. 

team

Once you apply those filters, you’ll see a page of results and you can click on each therapist to read their full bios.

Talkiatry

Talkiatry

If you still have some questions before signing up, the website also has a lengthy FAQ section that covers medications, insurance and payments, booking appointments, and its psychiatrists. 

Once you have signed up and are paired with your psychiatrist, you can download the third-party Healow app (more on that below). In the app, you can access your medical records, current prescriptions, and upcoming appointments. You can also join your video appointment calls through the app, see your referrals, message your psychiatrist, and link the app to other health and fitness trackers like a Fitbit or an Omron blood pressure monitor if you want.

Signing up for Psychiatry at Talkiatry

To sign up, simply click the “Get Started” button on the homepage. This will take you to a page about what Talkiatry can and cannot provide:

Get Started

If this works for you, click continue and you’ll be asked to enter and confirm your email address. 

It’s worth noting that I did have an issue here, though. After entering my email and pressing “Continue,” I got redirected to a “Page not found” error.

Talkiatry

Talkiatry

I waited a few minutes, and checked my email to see if I had been sent a confirmation—I hadn’t—so I exited my browser and restarted the process. This time, it worked and I received the email confirmation message instantly, which allowed me to continue with sign-up.

Talkiatry

Talkiatry

The next step is an assessment of your mental health. The questions were pretty straightforward and asked about my history with mental health treatments, any medications I was already on, whether I had any preferred psychiatrist specialties and cultural sensitivities, and whether I had ever had any past severe psychiatric episodes. The questions didn’t feel too invasive, and besides having to check a medication bottle to make sure I was spelling the medication right and putting in the right dosage, I moved through the assessment very quickly. 

That said, it was clear that the assessment was trying to screen me for specific mental health conditions—and make sure I wasn’t currently in crisis. While those questions didn’t apply to me, I was glad to see this level of care in the screening process.

Choosing your Psychiatrist

After completing the assessment, I was taken to a list of three psychiatrists that Talkiatry felt best matched my needs. There was also an option to call the company directly in case I had been referred to someone who I had seen on the site before signing up. I appreciated this flexibility in case I hadn’t liked my matches.

results

Thankfully, all three seemed like good matches for my needs and I found myself in the rare position of choosing a “Best Choice” among three great options. 

However, I do recognize that because I live in New York, I had more options to choose from, so I think it was easier for the company to select three good options for me. According to the site, as of September 2022, there were 270 psychiatrists available to choose from; but if I lived in Georgia, I’d have just four professionals to choose from, while Maine had just two.

Each psychiatrist option presented to me had a profile photo, their name, credentials, and a lengthy list of specialties. There was also an option to read a full bio for each of them. After choosing my psychiatrist, I was able to click ahead to start booking the appointment.

Talkiatry

Talkiatry

Scheduling the First Appointment

Once you’ve picked your psychiatrist, you’ll be able to see their scheduling calendar with a number of dates and times available. All you have to do is click a date and time that you’d like, then hit confirm. 

Talkiatry

Talkiatry

That said, this scheduling calendar was a little glitchy. When I selected my first chosen date and time, I received a message immediately telling me that the time had been canceled and I needed to choose a new time. It was unclear why the time I initially selected was no longer available, but it no longer showed up among the available times when I went to select a new time. I can only speculate about what happened, but perhaps someone simply picked my chosen time and clicked confirm a few seconds before me.

I was able to select a second time without issue though, which took me to a confirmation page that listed my appointment date and time, as well as some tasks I could do in preparation for my appointment, like sending a copy of my insurance card.

It bears pointing out that for my chosen therapist, the first available session was one full week away—which I don’t think was a coincidence, as I wasn’t able to schedule anything sooner with any of the three options. Perhaps Talkiatry requires a week gap to process your insurance and review your intake assessment. 

Overall, though, the booking process is very easy and I felt confident that everything was on track. Ninety-three percent of the Talkiatry users we surveyed also found the sign-up process to be very easy or easy. 

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at Talkiatry?

Sessions through Talkiatry can take place either through your patient login on the website or over the Healow app, a third-party app that the company will invite you to join once you’ve signed up. 

To join a session via the app, click the “Visits” tab then click on your appointment. Next, click the  “Start TeleVisit” button.

You’ll get an email about the Healow app a few days after signup (which I admit, I actually didn’t see coming in at the time, so make sure to keep an eye on your email after signup to make sure you download it ahead of time). 

Thankfully, it wasn’t really an issue that I missed the initial email because on the day of my appointment, I received a second email reminder, as well as a link to connect to the TeleVisit call online.

Once you click the link to connect, you will be asked to enter your payment information for your co-pay. I hadn’t expected this step, but thankfully, I had allowed extra time before the appointment and wasn’t late as a result. Still, I made a note to always allow an extra few minutes before my sessions going forward.  

My appointment began on-time and my psychiatrist was very welcoming and created an environment that felt very conversational. The initial appointment was 60 minutes long—double how long initial appointments at other companies I’d tried before—so I felt that I had the time to more fully discuss my history, what I hoped to gain from our sessions, and go over the current medications I was already on. 

Overall, I liked how much time I had for this first meeting. Last year, when I’d tried Cerebral, my intake session had felt very rushed, and outside of a few family history and medical history questions, we had wrapped things up rather quickly. This was not the case with my Talkiatry psychiatrist. All my questions were answered and I knew what to expect for our sessions moving forward. In fact, in many ways, the session actually felt closer to a traditional talk therapy session, except that we also discussed my medications and symptoms. 

As it turns out, our survey data showed that I wasn’t alone in feeling this way either, as eight-five percent said their prescriber’s bedside manner was excellent, very good, or good. When we asked them to tell us what they liked about their prescriber, 58% said their prescriber took the time to really listen to them, 44% said they never felt rushed during their sessions with their prescriber, 35% of users found their prescriber to be caring and empathetic, and 17% said their prescriber was empathetic, affirming of their identity, and supportive.

27% also said they thought their prescriber took their concerns and reported side effects seriously and 22% said they felt their prescriber worked well with their medical team to find a treatment plan that worked well for them—which is how I felt too. 

My psychiatrist and I made a treatment plan together that we both felt good about and talked about what to expect in our upcoming sessions. We booked my next appointment—this is also where I first heard about the app, having missed the email—and signed off. 

Shortly after our meeting, I received an appointment confirmation email for our next session and another invitation to download the Healow app, which I did this time.  

The Healow app also offers in-app messaging capabilities so that you can reach out to your prescriber if you have any questions between appointments—a handy and quick way to let your psychiatrist know if you experience any adverse side effects. This too made me feel more at ease about my treatment plan going forward. 

What Happens If I Miss a Session at Talkiatry?

You are allowed to cancel your sessions, but you have to do so 48 hours before the scheduled appointment or you will be charged a $100 fee. Talkiatry also notes that the penalty will be your responsibility and won’t be paid by your insurance provider. 

Switching Psychiatrists at Talkiatry

If you find that you aren’t connecting with your psychiatrist, you can switch. To do so, you have to email or call customer service, where someone will go over your reasons for switching and help you find someone new.

While it might seem daunting to call, the company, in general, seems very motivated to make sure you match with the right provider. 

In fact, my psychiatrist brought up the topic during our session in a straightforward way: if I didn’t feel comfortable talking to him today, I could call and switch—no hard feelings—and gave me the number for who to call should I decide I wanted to do that. This removed a lot of the anxiety I had going into the session about how easy I’d find it to open up. 

Pausing or Canceling Talkiatry

Since Talkiatry doesn’t work on a subscription basis, you can pause or cancel at any time, as long as it’s 48 hours before your next session. 

When you go to cancel, though, you will be directed to a page that goes over the consequences of discontinuing treatment, especially if you’re on medication. 

Once you leave, you do still have access to your Talkiatry medical records, which means moving to a new company or practice isn’t difficult.

Quality of Care and User Satisfaction

Talkiatry seems to be a company that is very focused on delivering accessible, affordable care, but also quality care. 

Both the intake and the sessions at the company are long and thorough, allowing your psychiatrist the time to really get to know you and diagnose you accurately. If they think you could benefit from it, they will not only prescribe you medication but also possibly give you a referral to a talk therapist, as mine did for me. 

It seems like part of the company’s strength is that it operates like a medical practice: all psychiatrists are employees of Talkiatry, not independent contractors, and the company is not a referral network. This is also probably why I—and the users we surveyed—were overwhelmingly impressed with the quality of the providers at the company. 

95% of Talkiatry users rated their experience with the company as excellent, very good, or good. 

When we asked the users what they liked best about Talkiatry, 50% said that their prescriber was available when they needed them, 42% said their prescriber was responsive to their questions and medication needs, and 39% said they felt the company cared about their well-being. 

86% of Talkiatry users said their prescribers' qualifications were good, very good, or excellent and I agree. I really liked my psychiatrist at Talkiatry—so much so that I did not want to switch prescribers at the end of our session. This too seems to be the case for a great number of the users we surveyed. 

In addition, 87% of respondents said they would recommend Talkiatry to someone like them.

Talkiatry is convenient and accessible. Not only are your sessions easy to schedule online, but the video call quality is good and your provider can easily send your prescription over to a pharmacy of your choice. 

Privacy Policies

Like all online providers, Talkiatry does collect a good deal of personal information about you but it is fully HIPAA compliant. The privacy policy also states that Talkiatry uses industry-standard SSL encryption on some areas of the website, and there don’t appear to be any reports of data breaches in the news that I could find.

The company’s privacy policy says that your personal information is not shared without your permission, except for a few instances where it is required by law or in situations where you’re safety is at risk. 

It does say, though, that for the purpose of “service improvements, industry research, and demographic profiling,” your non-identifying information may be aggregated and shared with a third party. 

Other noteworthy clauses in the privacy policy include that the Talkiatry website “does not have the capability to respond to ‘Do Not Track’ signals” sent from web browsers and that, in the event of a company sale, merger, bankruptcy, or acquisition, your personal information is considered a business asset and can be transferred or disclosed with the third party that now owns that information.

Talkiatry vs. Its Competitors

Talkiatry is a company that does one thing—psychiatry—very well, but that one thing also happens to be something that many of its competitors simply don’t do: medication management.

Many online therapy companies do not offer psychiatry or medication management, and those that do generally offer it as an add-on service, indicating that it is not their main area of focus. Some do not even employ psychiatrists, meaning that you’ll receive your prescriptions from primary care physicians, psychiatric nurses, or physician assistants instead. 

At Talkiatry, though, your prescriber is a board-certified psychiatrist—and your prescriber will take the time to get to know you and make an accurate diagnosis. 

This can be seen in the way that sessions at Talkiatry are longer than with competitors, with intake sessions being an hour and subsequent sessions 30 minutes; when I tried Cerebral, for example, my first session was 30 minutes but our check-ins were only 15 minutes, which, frankly, was just too short.

Ninety percent of the users we surveyed rated the psychiatry services provided by Talkiatry to be excellent, very good, or good, compared to 78% that felt the same way at Cerebral, 75% at Wellnite, and 71% at NOCD, a more specialized company devoted to treating OCD. 

In addition, 78% of Talkiatry users said that the company was better or significantly better than other companies they’d tried in the past.  

When we asked them why they preferred Talkiatry to other services they’d tried, 32% said that their previous company had been at the center of some bad press coverage or a scandal regarding their practice or policies and 23% said that the sessions at the other company were just too short. Other users told us that they didn’t feel like they were being understood by their prescriber and that their prescriber stopped filling the prescriptions for medications they were currently taking.    

Talkiatry also stands out from other online providers because you must have insurance to use its services. This means that prices aren’t clearly displayed on the site (they vary by your provider), but it also means that generally, the care you receive is much more affordable than private practice psychiatry.

The site is also incredibly accessible and easy to use, allowing you to find a provider quickly and efficiently. However, unlike some of the other companies we reviewed, it only serves 18 states (plus Washington, DC) and even in states the company does serve, the number of psychiatrists accepting new clients may be very low. 

Final Verdict

As telemedicine continues to expand, especially in the mental health and wellness market, it’s very possible that clients may begin to be viewed as “sales” on a spreadsheet, or their appointments could turn into a series of boxes to check off before writing a prescription. While I can’t speak for the future of Talkiatry beyond today, through my personal experience signing up and especially after meeting with my psychiatrist, I felt like someone was actually taking the time to hear my concerns and listen to my needs.

The emphasis on insurance is one of the strengths that sets Talkiatry apart. After I knew I’d be covered, I appreciated not being overwhelmed with numerous pricing scales, subscription packages, or promo codes requiring me to pay upfront and before my questions were answered.

Talkiatry is very thorough about sending you the information and reminders that you need to make it to your appointments and as was the case for me, even if you miss an important email, you are likely to find a simple workaround thanks to the user-friendly interface.

This company is still growing and expanding. In the past, it only served New York state, but now Talkiatry is able to add new states and mental health professionals to its network each year. This service isn’t for everyone, particularly people without medication needs or looking for a talk therapist, but for those looking for an experienced psychiatrist that you can actually talk with about your medication goals, Talkiatry might just be the perfect match.

Methodology

To fairly and accurately review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 55 companies and surveyed 105 current users of each. This allowed us to directly compare services offered by gathering qualitative and quantitative data about each company and its users’ experiences.

Specifically, we evaluated each company on the following factors: website usability, the sign-up and therapist matching processes, therapist qualifications, types of therapy offered, the service's quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, average cost and value for money, whether it accepts insurance, how easy it is to change therapists, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood that clients would recommend them.

We also signed up for the companies in order to get a sense of how this process worked, how easy to use the platform is, and how therapy takes place at the company. Then, we worked with three subject matter experts to get their expert analysis on how suited this company is to provide quality care to therapy seekers. 

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. data.HRSA.gov. HPSA find.

  2. Satiani A, Niedermier J, Satiani B, Svendsen DP. Projected workforce of psychiatrists in the united states: a population analysisPsychiatr Serv. 2018;69(6):710-713.

  3. Bishop TF, Press MJ, Keyhani S, Pincus HA. Acceptance of insurance by psychiatrists and the implications for access to mental health careJAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(2):176-181.

By Steven Rowe
Steven Rowe is a New York-based mental health journalist who's been writing for Verywell Mind since October 2021. His work has also been published by Psych Central, Healthline, Greatist, Romper, Inverse, and Bustle, among other publications.

Edited by
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

Learn about our editorial process
and
Hannah Owens
Hannah Owens

Hannah Owens is the Mental Health/General Health Editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is a licensed social worker with clinical experience in community mental health.

Learn about our editorial process