Talkspace Review

Easily speak to a licensed therapist from your phone, tablet or computer

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

4.5

Talkspace

Talkspace

Talkspace

What We Like

  • A simple sign-up process

  • A human matches you to several therapists (you pick one)

  • You can communicate via text, audio, or video messaging

  • Live sessions are available

  • Customer service provides quick responses

  • You receive regular opportunities to offer feedback

  • Guaranteed response times for therapist replies (and e-mail notifications when they do)

  • The app is easy to set up on your phone

What We Don't Like

  • Therapists don’t always offer live appointments

  • Some therapists only provide short responses

  • Some therapists struggle to recall previous conversations

  • Getting matched to a therapist may take a few days

  • You’re required to sign up for services for an entire month at a time

  • If you cancel early, you’ll be billed for the month

  • There isn’t a free trial period

  • Time zone differences may be an issue for people outside the U.S.

Bottom Line

Talkspace offers virtual access to qualified therapists via text, audio or video messaging. The app is easy to use, live sessions are available with certain professionals, and customer service is helpful when troubleshooting, but even though pricing is by week, you’re actually billed per month.

4.5

Talkspace

Talkspace

Talkspace

Online therapy is quickly gaining popularity (even big-name athletes like Michael Phelps are vouching for their effectiveness), and Talkspace is leading the charge. So we decided to test the service to see what it’s really all about.

Because therapy and mental health are such personal topics, we had five users test Talkspace for one week. The goal was to evaluate everything from how effective the therapists were, to the overall services offered, how easy the technology was able to be used, and more. Read on to see our full take on Talkspace.

Sign-Up Process: A consultation therapist helps find you a match

Here’s how it works: When you begin the sign-up process (either by signing up via website or downloading the app), you’ll be asked to create a nickname (you don’t need to give your real name) and password and provide a valid e-mail address.

Then, you’ll be taken to a chat space to communicate with a consultation therapist, a licensed mental health professional who matches you to the therapist you’ll be working with. The consultation therapist asks basic questions about your demographics—name (you can give just your first name), age, and location.

In addition to the consultation therapist explaining how Talkspace works, they will also ask for an overview of the issues you’d like to address in therapy as well, such as depression, relationship issues, or stress.

The consultation therapist may ask follow-up questions to ensure that they have enough information to match you with a therapist who is best suited to meet your needs.

You might also be asked questions such as, “Have you ever worked with a therapist before?,” “How long has this been an issue for you?,” and “Is there anything in particular that triggers this problem?”

However, in our findings when testing Talkspace, some of the reviewers felt as though the consultation therapists' replies were more like automated messages rather than human-generated replies.

The consultation therapist will also ask if you are interested in live video sessions—which may be difficult to know since you haven’t started therapy and might not have a sense of your preferences. You’ll be given an opportunity to ask questions and reminded that you can change your plan at a later date if you decide to add video messaging after you’ve started therapy. 

Talkspace
Talkspace

It’s important to note that before you begin treatment, Talkspace asks for emergency contact information. They request that you share the name and phone number of someone who can be contacted in the event of an emergency situation, which makes sense to us.

For the five individuals who tested Talkspace, it took anywhere from 30 minutes to two days to get matched to a therapist (the company says it takes about a day usually). Once being matched to a therapist (who will be licensed in your U.S. state of residence), it sometimes took an additional 24 hours to get an initial reply.

When we asked if they could change anything about the service all five reviewers said the sign-up process could be better. One said: “I couldn’t figure out how to do it until I talked with an online chat person to give me a link to the subscription page.”

Another tester thought of a helpful feature might that be worth implementing: "I wish you could see more than three therapists at a time during sign up, and 'save' some contenders to compare and contrast at the end. If I found someone I was considering but was not 100 percent ready to commit to yet, I either had to choose or move forward with three completely new choices. I wish I could 'star' my top choices and choose between them in the end."

Ease of Use: Simple to use via app or desktop

The Talkspace app is easy to use. Upon opening it, you’re taken to a confidential “talkspace” where you can send and receive messages from your therapist. Their user-friendly system makes it clear how to send a reply.

It’s similar to a chat screen you might see on social media. There’s a clear space to begin typing a written message or you can press the microphone button if you prefer to send an audio recording. 

Since the app directly opens to your private conversations, you may want to make sure you log out after you’re done each time if you’re concerned about privacy. Then, upon re-opening the app, you’ll need to enter your username and password again.

The Talkspace app is easy to use. Upon opening it, you’re taken to a confidential 'talkspace' where you can send and receive messages from your therapist.

You can also log in from a computer, where you’ll need to enter your username and password to be granted access.

Each time you send a message to your therapist, you’ll receive a message that tells you when you can expect a reply. Quite often, a therapist will reply within the same day (sometimes more than once per day).

You’ll receive an e-mail each time your therapist replies. If you’re using the app, you’ll also get a notification on your phone via the app.

Areas Covered: Comprehensive services provided

Talkspace provides treatment for a variety of issues including:

  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • PTSD
  • LGBTQ Issues
  • Relationship Issues

In addition to offering individual therapy for adults, Talkspace also offers Talkspace for teens where therapists treat people between the ages of 13 and 17. Parents must give permission (via video message) for minors to receive treatment.

Then, teens can begin having private communication with a therapist. Unless the counselor thinks a teen’s health is in danger, therapy issues are kept confidential. Teens are encouraged to talk about any issues that may be bothering them, from cyberbullying and vaping to difficulty with grades and anxiety about the future.

Talkspace also offers couples therapy. Couples share a private room with one therapist. Each partner can message the therapist at any time and both partners are able to access messages from the therapist and their partner.

Common issues couples address in therapy include:

  • Financial problems
  • Parenting
  • Infidelity
  • Sex
  • In-laws
  • Chronic health issues
Talkspace
Talkspace  

Counseling Qualification/ Effectiveness: Fully licensed mental health professionals

Talkspace reports having more than 5,000 therapists available. Each therapist is background-checked and receives specific training in online therapy. 

Unlike most online therapy sites, they do not use interns or therapists who are not yet fully licensed. All of their therapists have over 3,000 hours of clinical experience, and they also have additional training in specific approaches to therapy.

Overall, most of the testers were pleased with the treatment they received. One tester said, “I liked my therapist and she offered some solid advice for what I was asking for.” 

Another said: My therapist related to me as a person first and foremost. She had overall good communication skills. She shared information about her own life with me, which helped clarify that she was a real person, and not just some robot.

And while most of our testers’ interactions were overwhelmingly positive, one did note that their therapist occasionally made mistakes with some of their given information (like where they were originally from, their age, etc.). The therapist apologized after every time (about three times) and never made the same mistake again, but it still made the tester feel like they weren’t being heard quite as much as they would’ve liked.

One reviewer also stated: "By Day 5, our sessions were consisting of many conversations at once, losing a bit of focus on larger topics. Instead, the therapist was often responding only to specific points made, rather than helping to address bigger-picture reasons behind those points. This can be an issue if you're looking to treat things like depression or anxiety as a whole, rather than just day-to-day difficulties."

As for response times, generally all of our reviewers were very pleased with them and they fell within the guaranteed hours. Only one had a tiny bit of trouble and it was likely a time difference issue (which is something to consider if you’re abroad).

Types of Treatment Available: Many treatment modalities available

Talkspace reports that their therapists are often trained in several different approaches to treatment, including existential-humanistic, dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness and more. 

The therapists did not offer any worksheets or homework assignments to our testers. This may have been due to the limited amount of time or it may be that the therapists that were matched with the testers used treatment modalities that don’t involve homework.

Some of the testers felt as though communication felt more like a casual conversation with a friend, rather than treatment from a mental health professional, suggesting that the therapists were using more of a supportive approach to therapy, rather than a direct treatment approach, like cognitive behavioral therapy.

Talkspace
Talkspace

Privacy Policy: Your information is secure

The Talkspace website offers extensive information on their privacy policies. Ultimately, they make it clear that they try to keep the information you share with them safely, but you use it at your own risk.

Like we mentioned previously, they request that you share your name, e-mail address, birth date, and gender. They use e-mail addresses to answer the e-mails they receive and do not share addresses with outside parties. 

You may communicate with your therapist with a nickname, rather than your real name. Talkspace does store the information you provide about an emergency contact in the event of an emergency or mental health crisis.

If you are accessing the site through your employer or insurance payor, additional information may be collected by those parties. This information includes your demographic information that determines eligibility and this information is not shared with your therapist.

They have a security code to log in and they recommend users log out of the app before closing it. You can also use face recognition and can use the website with your login and password.


All of the chat data is encrypted on Talkspace servers, however, although you can easily close your account, the chat dialogues can’t be erased because Federal Law mandates that the therapists keep them on record for a set amount of time.

Talkspace
Talkspace

Price: Affordable, but requires a month-long commitment

Talkspace offers three different plans:

  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: $65 per week for unlimited messaging (you can message via text or you may send video and audio messages).  
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: $79 per week for unlimited messaging (you can message via text or you may send video and audio messages) plus one live 30-minute session per month.
  • LiveTalk Therapy Unlimited: $99 per week for unlimited messaging plus four live sessions per month. 

Talkspace offers online therapy for teens for $65 per week and couples therapy starts at $99 per week.

The price is definitely reasonable compared to the competition and in exchange for the services that you receive.

They report that many of their clients pay for treatment with their HSA or FSA programs. There is no contract and you can cancel at any time. You must, however, purchase a plan for the entire month, which a few of our testers didn't love. And if you discover that online therapy isn’t for you after just a few days and you’ll still be charged for the entire month.

The ability to add on live therapy appointments is a nice feature. For those who don’t want that service, they don’t have to pay for it.

Talkspace
Talkspace

Competition: Talkspace vs. Betterhelp

Talkspace beats Betterhelp in several areas. Talkspace uses a consultation therapist to match you to several therapists and then, you can pick the person you prefer to work with. You can express your concerns to the consultation therapist before you sign up and get any questions you have answered in a live chat before you pay for a plan.

Talkspace also provides you with a guaranteed response time so you know when you can expect to hear back from your therapist, something that Betterhelp lacks.

Talkspace’s e-mail and app alerts were also better than Betterhelp’s system, which helped Talkspace edge out the competition. 

Final Verdict

A great service worth using if you're just starting out with therapy.

Out of the five individuals who tested Talkspace, most were satisfied with their overall experience. Their mental health professionals appeared well-qualified and effective in their ability to deliver solid online therapy. And although some felt messages could be impersonal at times, we loved the opportunity to schedule a live session to help work through issues. We also found their technology was simple to use for anyone who wants fast access to a qualified mental health professional.

Specs

  • Product Name Talkspace
  • Price $65
  • Year Founded 2012
  • Mobile platforms Chat sessions are available on all digital devices. Live sessions are only available on Android or iOS devices
  • HIPPA-Compliant HIPPA-certified. All therapists are licensed and they follow strict confidentiality laws
  • Price $65 to $99 a week
  • Payment options Credit card
Was this page helpful?