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2021 is a year unlike any other. The world is in turmoil. Many people feel as if they have lost the ground under their feet. Job insecurity, relationship-conflict, and a very unpredictable future.
It is difficult for many to find the energy and hope to stay motivated and proceed with their goals. Yet, when professional help is needed, things get even more complicated. Getting professional help is the best way to go-but in person therapy may be difficult when it comes to commuting and financial expenses.
This is where Talkspace comes into the picture to help assist the solution to the problem.
In this TalkSpace review, we have analyzed every aspect of the service, and what we have found will fill you with hope.
How Does TalkSpace Work?
Talkspace is easily accessible via any browser or device. Whether you have a desktop or tablet, or any type of iPhone or Android device, the site is just a few clicks away. All you have to do is create an account and sign in.
The only information you must provide is an e-mail address, a name- it can just be your first name- and a nickname that you will use during your sessions with your therapist.
Once you have signed in, a consultant specializing in therapy; will assist you with the matching process. This means that an actual person will ask you questions relating to the issue you are seeking help for. The answers that you provide will help find the best matches of therapists for you.
Be sure to take your time in answering and feel free to ask any questions about Talksapce. It is a great way to find out how it works and recieve any answers to anything that may seem unclear to you about the method behind it.
Once you have the interview with the consultant, which is always in chat mode, you are provided with a list of therapists to choose from. These options are based on the answers you have given your consultant.
Questions that you may be asked would be your country of residence to determine your time zone and if you have had therapy in the past. If you are troubled with more than one thing, the consultant will put in the effort to prioritize them and provide you with the help you need most.
Bear in mind; this application is not for emergency cases. If you feel the urge to hurt yourself in any way, or if such thoughts have crossed your mind, contact the emergency services immediately.
TalkSpace Benefits and Drawbacks
Here are some of the pros and cons when signing up for Talkspace:
Life is so fast paced that getting the therapy you need online is becoming extremely popular. Talkspace offers qualified professional help, which you can get from the leisure of your own home.
Once you have picked a therapist, you are automatically transferred to a virtual secure private chat. Here you can chat with your therapist or arrange for a live session. Chatting is unlimited, and you can expect a reply from your therapist soon after you send your message.
The convenience of being able to receive help without the hassle of commuting to the practitioner’s office is awesome. The process of searching through practitioners and finding the on ebest suitable for you is quite convenient as well.
Generally, you would have to see multiple therapists before settling with one, which could be costly. Not to mention the hassle and waste of time and energy. With Talkspace, you have the ability to choose a therapist and stick with it.
Privacy is key, especially when it comes to sharing your most intimate thoughts. The therapist asks personal questions to receive an overall picture of the problems you are facing. This is why Talkspace guarantees total privacy during sessions. No record of the chats is withheld by the company.
Moreover, not only are your chats secure, but you also have access to them at hand. This is very handy, especially if you cover a lot of different issues and need to look over to what your therapist advised you to do.
During your sessions, you have the option to chat or send an audio message if you feel the need to talk it out. You also have the choice of requesting a live session with your therapist if you believe it is the best way to share your issue and receive the necessary aid that you need.
Though live sessions may be limited-depending on the program you sign-up for, chatting is unlimited. You may send a message or audio message anytime you feel the need to.
Setting up the application on your preferred device is quite simple. You may use your phone or any other compatible device, such as a laptop or a desktop computer.
Couples therapy is also available. You and your spouse can chat together or individually with your therapist and get the assistance you need to resolve your issues in a private, secure method.
However, we must point out a few negative aspects of using Talkspace:
Getting help online is great, however, it is not suitable for everyone. Sometimes, people just need a simple, warm smile or a face-to-face session to feel a more human connection and support.
Unlimited chatting is a great feature that is provided. It is very comforting to know that you are able to reach out to your therapist at any time of the day or night when you feel the urge to. However, keep in mind that therapists have designated office hours and will only respond to your message within the specified timetable. Although you are able to chat 24/7, it does not necessarily mean you get a reply the next instant.
Also, keep in mind that there are also time zone differences. If you live in Europe and send a message in the morning, you will probably wait a few hours for a response depending on the time zone your therapist lives in. This can often feel frustrating when you are desperate to get help, so be aware of time differences.
It is great that an actual person helps you with finding the most suitable therapist. However, once you have made your choice, the list is not available for you to pick another. So, this would mean that if you wish to try a session with a different therapist, you must backtrace to step one and go through the consultation stage again.
Though the company assures clients of not confining any records of the therapy chats, the therapists are obliged to. Under government law, therapists must always have a copy of all sessions with patients for a specified amount of time.
What if you feel chatting is not the way to go for you? Live sessions are available upon request. However, they are limited to a specific number per month.
Who Should Use TalkSpace’s Online Therapy?
People seek professional help for a variety of reasons. These could range from being overly stressed with work matters to facing relationship issues. Anxiety, depression, loss of appetite or obsessive eating, post-traumatic stress, addiction, or relationship issues are among the most common ones.
Upon signing up, you have a session with the consultation therapist. You are asked questions about your issue, and the consultant determines which therapist would be best for you based on your answers.
This is great since you get specialized care from professionals who have been trained to do exactly that: provide people specialized care. For instance, if you are reaching out to Talkspace because you feel you are not eating regularly and you can tell this is caused by extreme stress, a therapist trained to treat patients with eating disorders will be recommended.
This comes as an advancement to traditional therapy methods since the three matches you get by the consultant are not just any list. It will be three of the most suitable therapists-from the thousand available- specializing in resolving exactly the issue you are facing. So, there is no ‘one size fits all’ in Talkspace which is useful to know.
To top it off, Talkspace offers couples therapy and has allocated space and therapists for troubled adolescents as well.
This type of therapy has been around for a while. This therapy has proven valuable to many couples who found themselves in a dire situation during the pandemic. Whether it was fertility issues that they were dealing with or sexually related ones, such as sexual health or orientation, it is important to get help right away.
The most common ones that couples seek help for are parenting and work, and finances. The pandemic has been harsh on everyone, especially on people’s relationships. Many have lost their jobs or were placed in a quarantine state, meaning they had to spend 24hours at home.
Though this sounds ideal-who would not want to be more with their family- the circumstances under which it happened were not the best ones. Job security, loss of income, and detained in one’s home feel more like a prison than being granted a wish.
That is where Talkspace comes in and offers valuable help from the convenience and comfort of your own home. This is great, especially for couples who can both share their thoughts and worries with the same therapist and get the necessary help they need.
Spouses can send messages to their therapist at any time and expect a reply within the specified response time. From communication and intimacy problems to more serious ones, like addiction, a certified therapist will be on call to provide help.
There is also help offered by specialized therapists for teenagers. Specifically, for children aged 13 to 17, a certified professional is available. The procedure is essentially the same as the other individuals seeking out for help.
The teenager may open an account using an e-mail address and a nickname to use in the chats. There will be a beginning session with a consulting therapist, going through a specialized questionnaire with the adolescent, and matching the child with the three most suitable professionals.
Parental consent is necessary to proceed with the therapy. Parents may send a video and text messages to provide their approval, which then may be uploaded by their teenager directly on the app.
Ethical standards specify that while treating a patient, all therapy sessions are entirely confidential. This means that therapists are responsible to keep their sessions with a teenager completely private and not shared with anyone, even their parent or guardian. However, the only exception to this rule is a risk of the child harming themselves or others, the therapist will immediately contact the parents.
The parents may be involved in the therapy sessions if the child agrees to those terms. With consent by the teenager, updates on the child’s progress may be shared.
Some of the issues that adolescents face today and reach out to Talkspace include stress-usually over school-, addiction and bullying. Things such as self-confidence, body image, and dating may also be stressing a teenager to the point that help is necessary. Problems at home have become a reason for adolescents to seek professional help.
Last but not least, older teenagers also have the added anxiety of choosing a career path, which is an area where they can readily get effective assistance from a professional.
Does TalkSpace Help People or Not?
Many people have found their therapy sessions on Talkspace to be valuable and extremely helpful. Many of them reported that the help they received was far more effective than the traditional method of therapy; face-to-face, at the therapist’s practice.
Talkspace currently employs over 3,000 qualified therapists available to provide you the help you need. All therapists are licensed and have been background-checked by Talkspace.
Each therapist is state-licensed, specialized in the area that you seek help for, and has over 3,000 hours of experience upon their employment by Talkspace. Most disciplines of psychology and psychiatry are available on Talkspace.
It is noteworthy that Talkspace ensures top-quality services in its services by utilizing a Board of Advisors to assist in maintaining high standards.
How is TalkSpace’s Privacy? Do they Share Your Information?
The Talkspace platform is compliant with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This means that your privacy is protected from beginning to end.
So, from the consultation session’s point to the chats and videos you share with your therapist, all messages are encrypted. To ensure maximum protection, the app has the added feature of a password.
Every time you wish to access it, you enter your designated username and password. The username can be your first name or any other if you do not want to share it. These are unique to you and should be treated as such.
In the case that your employer or insurance needs access to your account, Talkspace may share only the necessary information but never the content of the therapy sessions.
However, bear in mind that your chats are not deleted after you have completed your therapy. Therapy chats are considered medical records and are treated as such. The federal government requires that all medical records are filed and remain intact for at least five years by the practitioner.
Another aspect to consider is medical emergency information. Your therapist will ask you to provide the contact information of a person from your family or friends in the event of a health crisis. This information is confidential and kept with the files of your chats.
Talkspace does not have access to any of the therapy chats, apart from your designated therapist. However, they may have information that you have provided, such as demographics or issues you are reaching out for, may be used for analysis and marketing research.
So, the way you are navigating the website, what way you reached out, how you heard about Talkspace, and similar types of information about you may be used by Talkspace, provided that it cannot be traced back to you.
Though it may not be obvious at first, this is common practice for companies. Effectiveness of the services offered, friendliness, and accessibility of the app and new products are some of the ways your information will be utilized.
Some former employees of Talkspace have made claims that many of the chats are reviewed and mined for specific data extraction. Talkspace has disputed all claims.
Whether this is the case or not, anonymity is maintained throughout the use of the app, from the consultation stage to the last of your therapy chat. Thus, your privacy is not breached since it is not you personally that can be identified at any of the uses you make of the app.
Extra Perks of TalkSpace App
There are a couple of extra features on Talkspace that give an edge to the app compared to traditional therapy practices: the symptoms tracker and the happiness assistant.
The symptoms tracker helps users keep track of symptoms and how they change in-between therapy sessions. This is great in the sense that it provides users with autonomy and awareness of their progress in resolving their issues and dealing effectively with them.
The happiness feature is another way of helping Talkspace users achieve wellness in addition to therapy sessions. This includes a daily mental “workout.” You may be assigned specific tasks to perform on your own. Depending on the area you wish to improve, the app will tailor tasks to target your preferences.
If, for instance, you are coping with severe stress, the app will ask you to perform tasks promoting relaxation. And if your stress is conflict-related, the app will once again provide task-based activities to help you achieve the wellness state you desire.
If you wish, you can keep a log of all activities you complete on either the symptoms tracker or the happiness feature and later share them with your therapist. This is an excellent way of getting the most out of a therapy session and training yourself to effectively deal with issues on your own.
How Much Does TalkSpace Cost?
There are three subscription options on Talkspace. You may begin with one and half-way opt for another; that is perfectly fine. Talkspace aims for the highest customer satisfaction. For longer subscription periods, the app offers discounts: 10% if you purchase a 3-month subscription and 20% for paying 6 months in advance.
Compared to traditional therapy methods, this is a value-for-money deal. If you go for the ‘Messaging Therapy,’ you get unlimited chatting or audio messaging if you prefer five days a week- therapists do not work on weekends. This plan costs $65 per week or $260 for one month.
If you enjoy chatting but would also like a few video-calls with your therapist, then you should go for the ‘Messaging Plus Live Video’ option. This offers again unlimited chatting, five days a week, and one live session with your therapist for each month of subscription. It all costs $79 for a week or $316 for one month.
There is also a premium offer if you feel you need more of the live-therapy sessions. For $99 per week or $396 for one month, you get unlimited texting and audio messaging for all five days of the week, plus four live sessions with your therapist. This is a great feature considering that live-sessions last 30minutes, and you also have unlimited chatting to cover any additional concerns.
The top recommendation by Talkspace is the $79 plan, as you get unlimited chatting in addition to the option of trying out the live session to determine which works best for you.
Subscription plans for couples and teens work the same way. Teenagers get a discount, and personalized plans start from $65 a week or $99 per month.
Psychiatric assistance is also available on the Talkspace app, which also provides prescription management. This service’s cost starts at $199 for the first therapy session and is charged at $125 for the follow-up sessions. Note that these sessions are all conducted by a psychiatrist and separate from your therapy.
You may cancel your subscription at any time. So, if you wish to cancel after the first week, it is perfectly fine. However, you will be charged for the entire month. You should regularly check the website for any discounts or promotions to get the best deals available.
Online Therapy Vs Traditional Types of Therapies
Online therapy is an innovation compared to other types of traditionally offered therapy. Most people find the chatting feature enjoyable, easier, and they feel more comfortable sharing personal information. Research for this type of therapy is ongoing, so it is hard to determine yet how effective it is at a broad range.
Based on a 2014 study published in the PubMed library, decade-long research was conducted to study online therapy’s effectiveness. The participants of the study suffered from depression. Both traditional and online therapy was performed, and the results pointed to the online choice as the most effective treatment for dealing with depression.
Six years later, another study was completed to verify these results. Specifically, a study conducted and published in June of 2020 in the BMC Psychiatry Journal established that online therapy is the way to go.
Depression and anxiety were the main issues studied, and patients were subjected to two-way messaging therapy, chatting. Results were quite promising, and though further study was suggested, the fact that the majority of patients showed remarkable improvement equivalent to the traditional therapy practices is important.
Additional research is necessary to determine the specifics and establish online therapy as the norm. Should it be established as a legitimate form of intervention therapy offered via, Internet-based platforms may be the answer to our problems.
On the other hand, we must note that there are some complaints about Talkspace. These are more about the response time by the practitioners. You may experience a delay in responses by your therapist; if you send a message late at night, you will probably have to wait until the following morning to receive a reply.
Other users noted that some of the responses felt as if it was a general answer text. It isn’t easy to deal with feeling like this when you have reached out for help.
On the other hand, the majority of users of Talkspace have found the application most-effective, with long-lasting results, even for months after they completed their therapy. Chatting with the therapist felt more like chatting with a knowledgeable friend who could readily give you expert advice when you need it the most.
Who Should Not Use TalkSpace?
Talkspace is an excellent app for many but may not be the way to go for everyone. If you are facing serious mental health issues, you should seek a face-to-face therapy approach. Many people are also not yet accustomed to expressing themselves via chatting and consider it very impersonal. For this group of people, the traditional way of therapy may be more suitable.
Another thing to consider when signing-up with Talkspace are the issues you are dealing with, the time you have available, or how much time is allocated to you by the therapist. Through therapy sessions that are personalized and tailored to suit your needs, match your profile and resolve your issue, it may still prove to be inefficient to work for your needs or lifestyle.
If you are in a mental health crisis, you should never rely on Talkspace. If you are in need of immediate care or suffer from mania, psychosis, you should have an emergency plan and opt for that.
An emergency plan is the best idea for everyone, and you should follow it if you are in a crisis. Keep in mind that due to different time zones and pre-arranged reply hours, it may be a while till you get a reply from your therapist.
If your employer, school, or another type of authority has requested you to see a therapist, Talkspace is not the most suitable option for you. Talkspace does not offer any kind of documentation that could be used for court or disability program purposes.
In A Nutshell: Should You Sign Up for a TalkSpace Account?
Reaching out for help when you are experiencing mental health issues should not be complicated or expensive. This is where Talkspace offers easily accessible and affordable help.
There are many advantages to choosing Talkspace. Having professional help a few clicks away from the comfort of your home is great. Keeping track of your symptoms and gradually becoming autonomous in dealing with them is noteworthy.
The app is user-friendly, and therapy chats work exactly like on any social platform. The approach of the counselor-therapist is an add-on value as you are given a list of most-suitable professionals, and you get a choice of the top three. So, if you are not satisfied with your first choice, you may always switch to another professional.
Talkspace is the way to go for people who are most comfortable with texting and can open-up easily through chatting. It is a great way to let some steam off at the end of the day or get advice on how to effectively deal with relationship issues.
This is a virtual relationship you will be building with your therapist, so if you are comfortable with that, hesitate no more. You can have all the benefits of a traditional therapy session, from virtually anywhere, at any time, at a ground-breaking price.
Therapists working with Talkspace have been hand-picked with many hours of valuable experience in their area of expertise. Rest assured that the therapist you will be matched with is a certified and highly qualified professional specializing in the area that needs the most help.
The added features will help you in keeping a track record of your therapy, similar to keeping a journal. Only now you will be able to go back to your therapist’s valuable advice and build on that.
Overall, Talkspace is by far an excellent option for people who are facing everyday mental health issues and would like to get effective help from a professional at the convenience of their home and at a budget-friendly price.