If you have ever wanted to speak with a therapist, but don’t even know how to go about starting or finding one, then Talkspace is a good option. As an entirely virtual care provider Talkspace is designed to more efficiently connect you with a provider and the Talkspace app also provides a place to get ongoing support through additional virtual calls or chat.
Many companies have recognized the importance of mental health. In doing so, Talkspace and other similar services have started to be added to benefits packages for some large employers. This is great news for anyone as it also helps break down the stigma of therapy. Of course there is an added benefit for organizations that might be the cause of stress and anxiety that leads to seeking care in the first place. But the therapists on Talkspace can work through whatever problems and issues you wish, regardless if that is career related, personal, or otherwise.
Talkspace focuses entirely on virtual care. This makes a lot of sense because it is a service that can be provided virtually, and they have even expanded into courses, workshops, and content that can supplement monitored care.
Talkspace Subscription Plan?
Talkspace has three primary subscription plans. While each of these can be purchased individually, some companies also provide these and variations of them as a benefit to their employees. If you are buying one a la carte, it’s worth understanding which of the three plans is best suited for you. These best part of these plans is that you can supplement any of them with individual sessions that have a fixed fee (typically around $65).
Messaging Only – This options provides both text and video messaging for asynchronous feedback from a provider. For the most part this is a great option for getting general feedback and guiding an existing plan. Especially if you are working long term, and only want a live session every -3 weeks this becomes economically the best decision at a cost of $70 per week.
Live Therapy – The benefit of live is that the sessions give you direct feedback. Each plan provides 4 sessions of 45 minutes, and runs $99 per week. It is tough to justify this plan given the cost of individual session is $65 each if you already have a plan.
Messaging and Live – A combination of both options is available for $130 per week. Again this seems to be only a $5 savings compared to just having the messaging therapy tier and then opting to get additional live sessions for $65 each. If you routinely miss a week, the best economic option may be to do things a la carte.
Is Talkspace a Scam?
Some forums and users have reported that Talkspace is a scam. The claim is that providers are either unqualified or inaccessible. In short, Talkspace is a legitimate source for therapy, but it does have some shortcomings
The first claim of unqualified should not be an issue as Talkspace does validate actual licenses of providers. Still, there is no guarantee on the overall quality of provider and especially on the personal fit.
Regarding the issue of inaccessibility, this can be a real concern. Therapists in general have been in high demand the past few years and many are not taking on new clients. Since Talkspace providers are rarely dedicated to the service that means they too are juggling scheduling. Over time Talkspace is likely to build improved scheduling and management tools that make it easier for a provider to share and manage their availability.
How Long Does it Take to Match on Talkspace?
After signup and a short survey Talkspace does the work of connecting you with a provider. They will Amy h you with a doctor in their network that matches the preferences you provided. It does take a bit of time to find the match, up to one to two weeks, but so far we have yet to hear of anyone who failed to match at all.
Within the app and through emails Talkspace will keep you updated on the matching process. It is a bit of a black hole, and there are not guarantees on the timing, but within a few days you will hear back that they have found a provider for you.
Does the Talkspace App Work?
Yes. Talkspace works both on a technical level and has the real ability to help you through their providers. The quality of care and support is dependent on the doctor that you work with of course, but the benefits can be real and thorough. If you do not find a fit with the first provider it is possible to seek out a new one, since being able to openly share and connect with a doctor can make a lot of difference.
There is a drawback to Talkspace, and that is that it is virtual. Some people may be dealing with burnout, especially when considering how their lives might have been affected by the pandemic. If sitting on zoom calls as a professional or missing connections from what used to be in person events is causing issues then adding one more virtual call may not do the trick. At the same time, if it is, Talkspace is still a good introduction to therapy and the provider you match with may be able to help guide you in finding additional help to supplement.
The Talkspace app also provides value beyond being a connector to a therapist. Exercises is a section of the app that has content for helping understand behavior, improve focus, or work on guided meditations. This is similar to other mental health and meditation apps like Headspace or Calm.
Just like Headspace, which we reviewed before, Talkspace has simple 2-5 minute guides to meditation. This allows you to build focus in easy to digest ways. By tying the exercises to simply daily routines they provide a way to integrate deeper thought into a habit.
One of the more enjoyable ones we have found are the exercises to improve focus. Enjoying a cup of coffee for even two minutes is a great way to begin. The guided focus starts off with a calming voice and background sounds and encourages focus on the feelings and sensations of drinking a cup or coffee, tea, or other drink.
These exercises are just one additional way Talkspace tries to improve mental health. While there are issues that Talkspace will not be able to resolve, it is still a great introduction to care and a good tool to have access to in order To keep working on personal wellness.