Talkspace and BetterHelp are the two best-known subscription-based online therapy platforms and offer very similar services to all 50 US states. To learn more about how exactly Talkspace and BetterHelp compare to each other, we’ll take an in-depth look at what each platform offers, their costs and subscription options, as well as any extra features available.
Talkspace Vs BetterHelp: How They Compare
Talkspace and BetterHelp are both featured as top online therapy platforms in our best online therapy services review and they offer similar subscription-based services like live video therapy sessions and unlimited text messaging with your therapist. Each one is capable of providing care for symptoms of anxiety, depression symptoms, stress, and other mild mental health symptoms.
Therapists and counselors with both platforms go through rigorous vetting and are licensed to independently practice in the states they serve. Both platforms offer services for teens, couples, and the LGBTQIA+ community among others. However, there are some key differences between Talkspace and BetterHelp to consider when deciding which is best for you.
Talkspace offers therapy services to people 13-years and older in the US and Canada, with psychiatric care available to those 18-years and older in the US. Therapy on Talkspace starts at $276 – 436 monthly ($69 – $109 weekly), with online psychiatry costing $249 for an initial appointment and follow-ups costing $125. Talkspace accepts mental health insurance benefits, which could make your out-of-pocket expenses significantly less.
BetterHelp offers therapy services to people 18-years and older across the US and internationally. With BetterHelp, you can attend weekly video, phone, or live texting sessions, plus have access to messaging with your therapist between live sessions. BetterHelp costs $240 – $360 monthly (advertised as $60 – $90 weekly), making it an affordable out-of-pocket therapy option.
BetterHelp vs Talkspace Comparison Table
|Therapy Services Offered||Individuals (18+), Couples, Teens (13+)||Individuals (18+) |
Couples, Teens (13+), Faith-Based, & LGBTQIA+ through subsidiary sites
|Cost||Therapy: $276 – 436 monthly (advertised as $69 – $109 weekly)|
Psychiatry: $249 for an initial appointment and $125 for follow-up’s
|$240 – $360 monthly (advertised as $60 – $90 weekly)|
|Communication Options||Live video, phone or text-based therapy sessions with the option to message your therapist anytime in between sessions||Live video, phone or text-based therapy sessions with the option to message your therapist anytime in between sessions|
Pros & Cons of BetterHelp
BetterHelp is a great way to connect and receive help from a licensed therapist or counselor. Its affordable cash-pay option is great for those seeking therapy who don’t have insurance. BetterHelp does not offer medication management at this time and they don’t accept insurance.
- Live video, phone, or text-messaging sessions available
- Out-of-pocket costs are more affordable than Talkspace with financial aid available
- Therapy subscriptions for users in the US and internationally
- Matching with a therapist is easy and you’re able to select a new therapist if you’d like
- No insurance is accepted
- Psychiatry and medication management unavailable
- Initially automatically matched with a therapist
- Ultimate monthly costs depend on your location and therapist’s availability
Pros & Cons of Talkspace
Talkspace is a user-friendly online therapy platform with licensed therapists available throughout the US and in Canada. They offer medication management services for those 18-years and older in the US, which makes Talkspace a one-stop shop for remote mental healthcare. However, the cost of therapy depends on your location and therapist availability, and there is no way to bundle therapy and psychiatry together.
- Online therapy is available in all 50 US states and in Canada
- Psychiatric services with medication management is available in the US
- Many major health insurance plans are accepted
- Ultimate monthly costs depend on your location and therapist’s availability
- No option to bundle therapy and psychiatry services into one package
- Psychiatry only available to individuals 18+ in the US
BetterHelp Vs Talkspace: Cost
One of the big differences between Talkspace and BetterHelp is the cost for each and what subscription plans they offer.
How Much Does BetterHelp Cost?
BetterHelp costs start at $240 – $360 monthly (advertised at $60 – $90 weekly), with the ultimate cost depending on your location and therapist availability. BetterHelp does not accept insurance, but will accept FSA or HSA funds to pay for therapy.
BetterHelp’s therapy subscription includes:
- One live, 30 or 45-minute weekly video, phone, or text session.
- Unlimited texting with your therapist at any time (responses can be expected at least once daily).
- An in-app journal that you can keep private or share with your therapist.
- Group webinars to attend on topics like anxiety, stress, depression, and more.
How Much Does Talkspace Cost?
Talkspace therapy costs start at $276 – 436 monthly ($69 – $109 weekly), with exact pricing depending on where you live, therapist availability, and which subscription package you choose. Talkspace accepts select insurance plans, which could make the cost more affordable. You can also use your FSA or HSA to pay for therapy with Talkspace.
Talkspace offers three online therapy subscriptions:
- Messaging Therapy: The cost for this plan starts at $276 monthly, is advertised at $69 weekly, and includes access to a dedicated chatroom where you can send text, audio, or video messages to your therapist anytime. Therapists will respond to messages at least once daily, Monday- Friday.
- Video + Messaging Therapy: The cost for this plan starts at $396 monthly, is advertised at $99 weekly, and gives access to the Messaging plan, as well as four, 45-minute video sessions with your therapist every month.
- Video + Messaging + Workshops: The cost for this plan starts at $436 monthly, is advertised at $109 weekly, and includes everything from the Messaging Only and Live Therapy plans as well as access to live Zoom workshops with licensed providers on various mental health topics.
Talkspace Psychiatry costs $249 for an initial medication evaluation session and $125 for follow-up appointments. All psychiatric costs are in addition to the cost of the therapy subscriptions with Talkspace. They do not offer any bundled therapy plus psychiatry services at this time.
Exact costs for both are dependent on your location and therapist availability, and specific cost isn’t determined until you sign up.
Talkspace & BetterHelp: Getting Started
To get started with Talkspace, visit the Talkspace website. After you sign up, you will enter a private chatroom and begin texting with a matching agent. All matching agents are licensed mental health providers and based upon your answers to the assessments they administer, they will match you with three therapists that you can then choose from. Afterwards you will be able to select which subscription plan you want.
To learn more about this process, you can read our in-depth Talkspace review.
To get started with BetterHelp, please visit the BetterHelp website. You will be asked a series of questions before being able to sign up. These questions help them match you with the right therapist. Once you complete the questions, you will be able to create an account and pay for your subscription plan.
To learn more about this sign-up process, you can read our comprehensive BetterHelp review.
BetterHelp & Talkspace: Extra Features
Talkspace and BetterHelp both offer extra features that can enhance your therapeutic experience.
BetterHelp’s Extra Features
There are two extra features of BetterHelp, the “Journal,” and “Groupinars.”
BetterHelp offers two extra features: the “Journal,” and “Groupinars.” The journal section in the BetterHelp app gives you a writing prompt suggestion, with options to see more. Overall, there are over 25 journal prompts to choose from in categories like depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and general suggestions. An interesting thing about these journals is you can choose to share with your therapist or keep them private.
“Groupinars” with BetterHelp are group webinars you can attend through the app. These cover various mental health topics from relationships and trauma, to anxiety and skill building. Each topic provides you with a group session name, date, time, and a description of what each group session will cover. If you click on “more information” then you can register for your first group session.
Talkspace’s Extra Features
Talkspace also offers group webinars, which they call Workshops. All of the workshops are on various mental health topics, and you attend through a Zoom meeting. A great perk to these is the option of having your camera off during the webinar.. Workshop leaders may ask that you have a pencil/pen and paper to answer some prompts throughout. Each writing prompt was timed and took between two to four minutes, which was a nice way to stay engaged with the topic.
Talkspace also offers psychiatry services and medication management as a stand-alone service, which BetterHelp does not offer. You can connect with a licensed psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner, who can diagnose and prescribe medication. Medications can be shipped and delivered, or you can pick them up at a pharmacy.
Talkspace & BetterHelp: Who Might Need an Alternative?
BetterHelp and Talkspace may not be the best fit for those who are in an active mental health crisis or have severe mental health symptoms. Those who prefer in-person therapy and children under 13 years of age will also need to seek out an alternative to Talkspace and BetterHelp.
Those In Crisis or With Severe Symptoms
Talkspace and BetterHelp can help most people manage their anxiety and depression, but should not be used during a mental health crisis. Therapists do not answer text messages more than once a day and are not available immediately for appointments. Those who need immediate assistance with their mental health symptoms should call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, or call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.
A great alternative for those with more severe mental health symptoms is the Crisis Care plan with Brightside Mental Health. With Brightside, those that qualify can receive a higher level of care from a Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) trained clinician. Clinical supervisors are on-call seven days a week to support crisis response and care escalations as needed.
To learn more about the Crisis Care plan and how to sign up, please read our comprehensive review of Brightside Mental Health.
People Who Prefer In-Person Therapy
Talkspace and BetterHelp do not offer any in-person therapy options. Some people find online therapy difficult when it comes to creating a bond with their therapist. For this reason, you may prefer in-person therapy which allows you to have a more intimate bond with your provider. A great place to start when looking for an in-person provider is an online therapist directory, which allows you to filter your search by type of therapy, gender of your therapist, location, and much more.
Children Under 13
BetterHelp does not accept therapy clients under the age of 18 and Talkspace does not accept therapy clients under the age of 13 years old. A great alternative for kids and younger teens would be an online therapy platform like Brightline Mental Health. Brightline can offer medication management services to kids and teens that are already enrolled in their therapy program. This service is available to kids as young as six-years-old.
To learn more about subscriptions and costs, please read our detailed review of Brightline Mental Health.
Talkspace Vs. BetterHelp: Final Verdict
Both Talkspace and BetterHelp are prominent online therapy services for several reasons. Their platforms are user-friendly, and you’re able to quickly match with a therapist. BetterHelp is a more affordable out-of-pocket option than Talkspace, but if you’re able to use insurance with Talkspace, it will likely end up being considerably cheaper. BetterHelp only offers individual therapy, whereas Talkspace offers couples, teens, and psychiatry with medication management. This is why, when comparing the two, Talkspace beats out BetterHelp.
Frequently Asked Questions about Talkspace & BetterHelp
Who Is Online Therapy Right For?
Online therapy is a great option for people with busy schedules. It provides the opportunity to connect with a licensed provider on your time. Both Talkspace and BetterHelp have apps that provide the convenience of attending therapy sessions even while you’re away from home.
Online therapy can also be a great alternative for those who live in areas where in-person therapy is unavailable, or for those who are otherwise unable to attend therapy physically. You’re able to conveniently connect with a licensed provider in your state from the comfort of your own home, and don’t have to worry about driving hours to attend appointments.
What Credentials Do Talkspace & BetterHelp Therapists Hold?
All of the therapists and counselors on Talkspace and BetterHelp are licensed and accredited in the states they live in. Each of BetterHelp’s therapists has at least three years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience. Talkspace’s therapists must have over 3,000 hours of experience and undergo additional training in specific therapeutic modalities.
Do BetterHelp & Talkspace Accept Insurance?
Yes, Talkspace accepts insurance for therapy, but BetterHelp does not accept insurance. Talkspace accepts plans from providers like Cigna, Magellan Health, and more. Talkspace also partners with many employers, employee assistance programs (EAP), and educational organizations to make therapy available and affordable.
Can BetterHelp & Talkspace Prescribe Medication?
BetterHelp cannot prescribe medication and does not have any psychiatric providers available. Talkspace can prescribe medication for anxiety or medication for depression that are classified as non-controlled substances. Examples of these medications would be sertraline (Zoloft), Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), and Prozac (fluoxetine). Psychiatric providers with Talkspace are generally psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners.