Talkspace vs. BetterHelp

See how these services stack up against one another

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Talkspace and BetterHelp are two of the best online therapy services, offering affordable and reliable help to anyone who wants remote access to a licensed mental health professional. Wondering what's different about them?

First and foremost one of the biggest differences between the two companies is that Talkspace offers psychiatry services, so it may be a better option for someone who is interested in learning whether medication could be a helpful part of their treatment plan.

But a benefit of BetterHelp is that the base plan includes live video chats along with unlimited messaging. The company also offers phone therapy, so someone with a slow internet connection may benefit from using this option.

However, there are a few other key differentiators between the two companies, so to compare these services, we had five independent reviewers sign up for both sites. We then used their analysis and reviewed Talkspace and Betterhelp based on their cost, features, and services offered. Read on to see our full breakdown.

At a Glance

  Talkspace BetterHelp
Service Availability Mobile and Desktop Mobile and Desktop
Types of Service Therapy and Psychiatry Therapy
Age 13 and up 18 and up
Starting Price Points $65 per week $80 per week
Payment Credit card Credit card or PayPal
Able to Pause Subscription Yes Yes
Company Website lp.talkspace.com www.betterhelp.com

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Sign-Up Process

When you begin the sign-up process for Talkspace, you’ll be taken to a private chat room to meet with a consultation therapist who is a licensed mental health professional. There, you'll be asked a few questions about your goals and your needs. Then, you will be able to choose between several therapists that may be a good match for you. Our reviewers who tested Talkspace found it took anywhere from 30 minutes to two days to begin working with a therapist once a match was made.

When you sign up for BetterHelp, you must complete a questionnaire that identifies the type of issues you’d like to address in therapy. You can choose the type of counselor you’d like to work with (i.e. age, gender, and more), and BetterHelp will match you with a therapist within 24 hours.

So, while some individuals like the fact that Talkspace gives you more say in which therapist you work with, others may appreciate that BetterHelp puts in the effort to match you with a therapist based on their algorithms. 

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Counselor Qualifications/Effectiveness

All of the therapists on both Talkspace and BetterHelp are licensed and credentialed, so there's no need to worry about not working with a medical professional.

Most reviewers were pleased with the counselors’ effectiveness and guaranteed response times from counselors at Talkspace. But some testers liked the fact that BetterHelp’s counselors used worksheets as part of the treatment; these were often provided to help users work through specific issues. Other reviewers disliked this process and felt that worksheets were impersonal and felt more like “busy work.” 

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Accessibility

Talkspace and BetterHelp can both be accessed on desktop and mobile devices. Both allow video meetings to take place on both platforms, though Talkspace just began allowing video sessions on the Internet in 2020.

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Types of Treatment

The therapists at Talkspace and BetterHelp are well-equipped to treat a variety of mental health conditions ranging from eating disorders to addiction. They also report being able to assist with relationship problems, stress, and parenting issues.

In addition to licensed therapists, Talkspace offers online psychiatry services. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications to help with mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, and appointments take place over video chat. The initial evaluation costs around $199, and follow-up sessions are roughly $125.

Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Cost

Talkspace offers three different pricing plans. The most basic plan is around $65 per week for unlimited messaging. Although the company advertises weekly prices, its plans require monthly subscriptions. If you prefer live sessions, you can opt for a more expensive plan. For example, unlimited messaging plus four live sessions per month is roughly $99 per week.

BetterHelp offers a subscription service where the length of your plan affects the price, which ranges from around $80 to $100 per week. All of BetterHelp's plans include unlimited messaging and at least one live video chat per week. The company also offers financial assistance to those who qualify.

Talkspace may be a better choice for individuals who know they won’t want live video sessions since it's more affordable. BetterHelp may be an ideal option for those who are interested in having live video conversations with their therapist.

Final Verdict

Talkspace is the clear winner. The service not only offers psychology services, but psychiatry ones as well. There are three different plans, so you can opt for unlimited messaging or live sessions, depending on what your needs are. And, there is a one-week free trial period available.

Sign Up for Talkspace

Read Our Full Review of Talkspace

Sign Up for Betterhelp

Read Our Full Review of Betterhelp

Methodology

Five independent testers signed up for both Talkspace and BetterHelp, and then they offered their opinions about which service they preferred based on the experience. Each reviewer provided star ratings and commentary about specific issues, such as therapists’ responsiveness, the sign-up process, and the overall value they received. We then evaluated each app based on the therapists’ interactions with their clients, the ease of use, the features of the site, and our overall experience. Read our full online therapy methodology.

What Are Talkspace and BetterHelp?

Talkspace and BetterHelp are therapy apps that provide access to licensed mental health professionals. Individuals can receive treatment for a variety of mental health issues from their desktop or mobile devices.

How Safe and Secure Are Talkspace and BetterHelp?

Your conversations with mental health professionals on Talkspace and BetterHelp are confidential. In most cases, you can even talk to your therapist with a nickname, so you can remain anonymous.

Both sites follow HIPAA regulations, meaning that the therapists must ensure your information is kept confidential in the same way it would be if you were meeting face to face. Talkspace and BetterHelp offer security features that prevent your information from being viewed by third parties. 

Who Should Use Talkspace or BetterHelp?

Anyone who is looking for some additional support from a licensed mental health professional might benefit from an online therapy app like Talkspace or BetterHelp.

Talkspace may be a better option for anyone who wants a guaranteed response time from their therapist. It provides a clear answer about when you can expect to hear back, such as “by 5 p.m. today.” Talkspace is also an ideal pick for those who are looking for online psychiatry services.

BetterHelp may be a preferred option for anyone who is looking for live therapy sessions. There are more ways to talk to a therapist (video chat on desktop and live phone conversations), as compared to Talkspace.

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