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Updated on 06/01/2021.
Mental health awareness is on the rise, which is why a lot of people are on the lookout for reliable, effective, and easy-to-access mental health support and therapy. This is where online therapy services, like Betterhelp and Talkspace, come in!
With just a few clicks, you can now connect with some of the best-licensed therapists and get the instant help that you need to lead a happy, healthy, content life. However, people who seek mental health support online have two main concerns – is it effective, and what is the best platform for online therapy?
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Well, some experts believe that online therapy cannot replace face-to-face sessions with a counselor or therapist. However, these services have produced effective results and helped thousands of people deal with a diverse range of issues, including:
- Relationship concerns
And so much more.
They offer great benefits such as unlimited messaging in the form of texts, audio, and video, so you feel better connected.
A quick internet search will give you many testimonials and reviews, backing the positive results and many online therapy benefits. So, there’s no denying the effectiveness of online therapy.
If you are in a crisis or any other person may be in danger – don’t use this site. These resources can provide you with immediate help.
The only remaining question is which online therapy platform is the best? Owing to the number of options available, it can be hard to choose the ideal platform for mental health support.
It is an important decision that will directly impact not only your experience with online therapy but also your mental health.
Therefore, it is important to make sure you take the time to explore your options and check out some of the best counseling services available online – Betterhelp and Talkspace.
Betterhelp VS Talkspace ⚖️
Betterhelp and Talkspace are the two most widely used platforms when it comes to online counseling. Both platforms operate online with the common goal of providing easy access to counseling and therapy on a global scale.
Scroll down to take a look at how they are different and decide which one is the better option for you.
|Distinguishing Factors||In the Lead|
|Cost||It’s a draw!|
|Therapist matching process||Talkspace|
|Experience, Expertise, and Reliability of Therapists||It’s a draw!|
|Options to Get Alternate Therapists||Betterhelp|
|Tailored Experience||It’s a draw!|
Cost Breakdown for Therapy
With therapists charging hundreds of dollars for face-to-face sessions, seeking mental health help can be expensive.
Fortunately, Betterhelp and Talkspace provide more economical options. Both services offer different plans and packages, allowing clients to choose the one that meets their budget and requirements.
Betterhelp allows its clients to pay on a monthly as well as weekly basis. The cost of counseling ranges from $60 to $90 based on the services you choose, and the average cost of Betterhelp Unlimited Therapy Service rounds off to about $65 per week. You can send messages to your assigned therapist as often as you would like.
However, it must be noted that when you register on Betterhelp for the first time, the fee for the first month is to be paid upfront. After that, clients can continue to pay either weekly or monthly.
Talkspace is a monthly subscription service, which means that payment is charged automatically every month. You can cancel the subscription at any time. Talkspace currently offers three plans for a one-on-one private chat ranging from $65/week to $99/week.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: This package includes text, video, and audio messaging. You can message your therapist at any time. Your therapist will be available via message 5 days a week. It costs $65/week, so the monthly payment sums up to $260.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: This package includes text, video, and audio messaging, along with 1 Live Session every month. Your therapist will be available via message 5 days a week. It costs $79/week, so the monthly payment sums up to $316.
- LiveTalk Therapy Ultimate: This package includes text, video, and audio messaging, along with 4 Live Sessions every month. Your therapist will be available via message 5 days a week. It costs $99/week, so the monthly payment sums up to $396.
Two payment plans are available for couple’s therapy.
- Monthly Package: This package is billed every month. It costs $99/week, so the monthly payment sums up to $396.
- 3-Month Package: This package is billed every three months. It costs $89/week, so the 3-month payment sums up to $1,068.
You can get additional Live Sessions with your therapist for $65/session.
The Therapist Matching Process
Both Betterhelp and Talkspace employ advanced algorithms to match clients with therapists who have the right experience and expertise to offer maximum help. However, these platforms follow different approaches to match you with the deal therapist.
- Fill in the questionnaire: Betterhelp collects information about their clients before assigning a therapist. You will have to fill a questionnaire with around 30 questions. The questions are all simple and will not take more than a few minutes to fill. This information will give Betterhelp an idea about your needs, requirements, and mental health.
- Choose a Plan: Once you are done with the questionnaire, you can choose a plan based on your budget or requirements.
- Get matched with a therapist: You will be matched with a suitable therapist based on your questionnaire answers. It generally takes around as long as 24 hours to get matched with the right therapist. However, it can also take longer based on your requirements.
- Begin Therapy: Your assigned therapist will contact you to introduce themselves, and then you can begin therapy right away.
- Online assessment over chat: As you register on Talkspace, you are directed to a personal and confidential Talk Room where you can chat with a consulting therapist. They will guide you about how Talkspace works and how to connect with the ideal therapist. They are a professional therapist so that you can discuss your concerns and issues in detail.
- Choose a plan: Next, you choose a payment plan based on your budget and requirements.
- Get matched with a therapist: You will be matched with a suitable therapist based on your conversation with the consulting therapist. Once you are done with the payment, it generally takes only a few minutes to match a suitable therapist.
- Begin Therapy: You will be redirected to a confidential chat space where you can communicate with your assigned therapist and start therapy right away.
Experience, Expertise, and Reliability of Therapists
Thousands of certified and qualified therapists are available for clients on both platforms. While the exact number of therapists working for these platforms is always changing, it is believed that Betterhelp is a bigger set-up with many therapists.
Both platforms have strict acceptance requirements for therapists to ensure high-quality and effective online therapy for their clients.
Betterhelp requires therapists to be licensed by a State Board, like CSW, LMFT, LPC, PsyD, or similar credentials. They should also have at least three years of experience in counseling for adults, teens, or children. Betterhelp also requires therapists to take an exam and undergo an extensive interview.
They are then welcomed into the Betterhelp community only if their performance matches high standards. You can take a look at the Betterhelp therapist directory to check out some Betterhelp therapists’ profiles.
Talkspace requires therapists to possess the highest clinical license in their state of residence. This ensures that all their therapists are licensed for independent clinical practice. Apart from that, every therapist must have a minimum of three years of direct clinical experience.
A Professional malpractice liability insurance policy is also required. Therapists can apply to join the Talkspace network only if they can check off all these requirements. You can take a look at the Talkspace therapist directory to check out some of the Talkspace therapists’ bios.
How you choose to communicate with your therapist may directly affect the effectiveness of the therapy you receive. That is why it is important to consider the different communication options offered by Betterhelp and Talkspace.
There are four main communication options, depending on the plan you choose:
- You can communicate with your therapist through text messages.
- You can chat with your therapist through a live chat session.
- You can talk to your therapist via call.
- You can video chat with your therapist.
Betterhelp allows their clients to connect with their therapists through their secured accounts on the website. You can also download their app to communicate with your therapist via phone without logging in on the website.
Talkspace offers three main communication options, depending on the plan you choose:
- You can exchange text messages with your therapist.
- You can send pre-recorded videos or audio messages to your therapist.
- You can video conference with your therapists.
Talkspace does not offer live phone therapy options through its website, which means that you cannot use your computer to start a video conference with your therapist or send them an audio or video message.
If you want to communicate via video or prerecorded audio or video messages, you must download the Talkspace mobile app on your phone.
Options to Get Alternative Therapists
Unsatisfied with your assigned therapist? You can easily ask for another one. Both platforms allow you to request an alternative therapist for any reason. However, they follow different approaches.
6000+ therapists are working at Betterhelp. You can browse through profiles in the Betterhelp Therapist Directory to check out their expertise and fields of interest. If you like a certain therapist or think that they are well suited for your case, you can send in an alternate therapist request specifying the therapist of your choice.
Betterhelp also allows you to find therapists in your area. All you need to do is enter your state and zip code into the Find a Therapist Search, and Betterhelp will show you therapists that are helping people in your area.
Talkspace also features an extensive therapist directory showcasing the bios of their different therapists. You can browse through their directory to learn more about Talkspace therapists, but there is no option for clients to request a particular therapist.
You can only put in a request to change your current therapist. Based on your requirements, Talkspace will provide you with an alternate option.
One-on-one therapy offers a tailored experience in any case. However, working with therapists who specialize in providing therapy for certain issues and groups can be huge.
Betterhelp offers a customized experience to their clients. You can make special requests. For instance, you can ask for a therapist who is sensitive to a certain religion or have expertise in dealing with issues faced by the LGBTQI community, etc.
Since you can choose your own therapist, you can select them based on their expertise. Betterhelp offers a tailored experience for three main generalized groups:
- Therapy for individuals
- Therapy for couples
- Therapy for teens (parents/guardians can sign up a child)
Talkspace is also focused on providing a highly customized experience for their clients. You can specify if you relate with a certain minority group, like LGBTQI or veteran.
Based on that, you can also state what kind of therapist you are looking for, how you expect them to help you, etc. Talkspace offers a tailored experience for the following groups:
- Therapy for individuals
- Therapy for couples
- Student plans
- Social media therapy
- Therapy for issues related to the LGBTQI community
- Therapy for veterans
Online Reputation: Service Reviews and Testimonials
The online reputation of a platform can tell you a lot about the quality of its services. Client reviews and testimonials are an excellent way to judge the effectiveness of online therapy options offered by Betterhelp and Talkspace.
Betterhelp allows all their clients to review their therapists. The platform has received exceedingly well reviews online. You can check out the Betterhelp Review section to get a better picture of their online reputation.
Talkspace clients can also leave a review of their therapist. It is important to note that, unlike Betterhelp, Talkspace reviews are not displayed on the homepage, leading many people to believe that Talkspace doesn’t post customer feedback.
You can check out the Talkspace Reviews section to see what their clients have to say about them. The reviews are grouped into Convenience, Affordability, Real-Time Modality, Privacy, and Well-being.
Betterhelp VS Talkspace: Therapist’s Perspective ⚖️
Betterhelp and Talkspace offer a similar set of services for individuals seeking therapy. While the costs and platforms are comparable from the user’s perspective, what about the therapist’s point of view? The way that Betterhelp and Talkspace treat the therapists working for them may impact the quality of service users receive.
If therapists are not properly compensated or mistreated, they may not fully devote themselves to their online patients.
By ensuring that you choose an online platform with well-treated staff, you will likely receive better service. If you want an overview of the differences between Betterhelp and Talkspace, examine the following comparison table:
|Pay Rates||$10 per 1000 words||$10 per 1000 words||Draw|
|Communication||Text, live chat, live phone, live video||Text, phone, video, live video||Betterhelp|
|Ease of Use||Simple web-based platform and mobile app||Simple web-based platform and mobile app||Draw|
|Patient Engagement||Patients can choose their own therapists and talk on the phone||Patients are automatically paired with therapists||Betterhelp|
|Employee Satisfaction||3.6/5 from 115 reviews||2.6/5 from 82 reviews||Betterhelp|
The therapists working for Betterhelp and Talkspace are compensated for their time. As with any profession, the amount of pay directly influences an employee’s commitment to the company.
Betterhelp compensates therapists based on the word count of their text therapy sessions. The company pays $10 per 1000 words of texting. For phone and video sessions, therapists receive $10 per 20 minutes.
The maximum amount that a therapist can earn per client is $120 per month. However, Betterhelp pays bonuses for retaining clients.
Therapists who maintain 10 clients for three months receive a $200 bonus—the bonus increases to $500 for retaining 20 clients and $1000 for 30 clients.
Talkspace has changed its policies several times over the past several years. The company originally paid therapists a monthly income based on the number of clients on their caseload. Therapists would also receive a bonus for providing therapy sessions via video instead of chat.
Talkspace recently changed its payment policy to an hourly pay rate based on the number of words typed when messaging patients. The Talkspace pay rate is currently $10 per 1000 words.
After the changes to Talkspace’s payment policy, both platforms now offer therapists the same pay rate.
Communication is an essential part of therapy. Most therapists would prefer to have in-person sessions as it allows them to evaluate their patients’ physical responses along with their verbal responses.
Betterhelp provides a variety of ways to communicate. Therapists can connect with their patients via text messaging, live chat, live phone, and live video sessions.
Therapists and patients can access the various communication methods on the web-based platform or the Betterhelp mobile app.
Talkspace allows therapists and patients to communicate via text messaging, video messaging, audio messaging, and live video sessions.
The main difference between the two platforms is that Talkspace doesn’t offer live phone sessions. However, both platforms provide live video sessions that are closer to a real in-person session than the other options.
Overall, both Betterhelp and Talkspace give therapists a variety of ways to communicate.
Ease of Use
Less administrative work is one of the advantages of working for Talkspace or Betterhelp. Therapists on these platforms do not need to deal with insurance companies or client billing. However, some therapists may find one platform easier to use compared to the other.
Betterhelp gives therapists a web-based platform for viewing messages from patients, responding to patients, and taking notes.
Therapists can also download the mobile app, which includes all the features found on the website. It is easy to browse and eliminates the overhead associated with operating a private practice.
Talkspace also provides a web-based interface and a mobile app for reviewing client information and communication. As with Betterhelp, therapists should have no problem navigating the platform and managing their caseloads.
One of the challenges of working for an online therapy service is the lack of engagement from patients. Anyone can sign up for a Betterhelp or Talkspace account and stop using the service at any time. Some of the features available to patients may help increase engagement levels.
Betterhelp allows patients to choose their own therapists. This platform also allows patients to communicate with their therapists via live phone sessions. Having unlimited messaging also lowers the barriers to start or continue a conversation.
The flexibility provided by Betterhelp may drive greater engagement. Patients have the freedom to communicate using the method that they feel most comfortable using.
Talkspace doesn’t allow patients to choose their own therapists. Patients are matched with therapists by availability, region, and other factors managed by Talkspace. This may keep some therapists from building a suitable relationship with their patients.
If you search online, you’ll find mixed reviews from therapists who have tried working for Talkspace or Betterhelp. Some therapists claim that they feel underappreciated, while others love the simplicity of these platforms.
A therapist’s opinion of the online counseling platform may impact the quality of care they provide. While some therapists may worry about patient engagement, patients should be concerned about therapist engagement.
If your therapist leaves the platform after just a few sessions, you may not feel confident enough to restart the process with a new therapist.
Out of 115 reviews from therapists, Betterhelp averages a 3.6 rating out of 5. Therapists frequently praise the platform’s flexibility and the sense of purpose that they feel when working with patients. However, the company maintains an average score when it comes to overall work happiness.
Some of the complaints include limited pay and strict rules. Therapists may receive deductions from their pay if they fail to respond to a client’s message within 24 hours.
Talkspace averages a 2.6 rating out of 5 from 82 reviews. Therapists enjoy the flexible work arrangement but still complain about pay and strict rules. As with Betterhelp, therapists may have their pay reduced if they don’t respond to patients promptly.
Which One is Better? ⚖️
In the end, both platforms provide very comparable features for patients and therapists. Betterhelp has a slightly better rating from therapists who have worked at the company.
Betterhelp also provides live phone sessions and bonuses for retaining clients. These factors may help therapists at Betterhelp remain committed to their work and their patients. Of course, Talkspace also employs many satisfied therapists.
Before choosing either platform and completing the sign-up, consider your specific needs, and choose which online counseling option most fits your requirements.