Therapy shouldn't be taboo. Licensed professionals helping you make your life feel more manageable? That's incredible, and everyone should have the opportunity to try it at least once.
While in-person therapy has been touted as the norm, in today's tech-driven world, telehealth services are popping up constantly, like Talkspace and BetterHelp. They bring licensed therapists right to your phone and computer.
It's never been more important to regulate your mental health, so we decided to compare traditional in-person therapy to the new, online options to see if they're actually beneficial.
Everyone learns, thinks, and heals differently, so it's important that you identify a therapeutic approach that works for you. Here are our findings on the three methods.
In all spaces, everyone is a licensed therapist with extensive training and credentials.
Talkspace has an edge because they require their professionals to undergo extra training on mental healthcare in the online space. When you sign up, they ask about what elements of your life you're looking to delve into, and recommend three different therapists you can read about before choosing one.
BetterHelp automatically assigns you your therapist. For traditional in-person therapy, you may be expected to take the time to do prior research online to view their therapists' specialties, or they may prefer to match you with someone who better fits your physical schedule than your needs.
The quality of care is definitely on a case-by-case basis. If you're ever unhappy with your therapist, you can always switch to a new one, but with online options, that process avoids the awkwardness of shifting in person, and may allow you to begin with your new person that day.
With online programs, you can sign up within minutes.
On Talkspace, you talk to a matching agent, not a bot, and fill out a survey with about a dozen questions that's still more comprehensive than most therapist office one-sheeters. It's also great because when you sign up, they give you a full list of things you might want to seek help for - when inquiring about starting therapy over the phone, you may forget the major points you need to work on or want to discuss.
BetterHelp has a similar onboarding process, but it's more automated - there's no human element until you speak to your therapist.
Both online programs allow face-to-face video capability, so there's more flexibility with your schedule's parameters.
If your time frees up, or you need to talk about something immediately, simply message your therapist, and with Talkspace, you're guaranteed a response in 24 hours.
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Accessibility: Talkspace & BetterHelp
Although Talkspace and BetterHelp offer chat features with your assigned therapist, in-person therapists often offer their services in case of an emergency.
If you prefer having an ongoing space to write to your therapist, online may be the better option.
If you prefer in-person communication, live office therapy may make you more comfortable. However, if it's not accessible to you depending on where you live, go online.
With BetterHelp, they're more likely to answer you once a day from Monday - Friday, but on Talkspace, therapists choose their 5 days, so you can talk to them on a weekend.
Price: Talkspace & BetterHelp
One month of Talkspace is equivalent to the price of one in-person therapy session. Wow.
Talkspace has the most affordable option, starting at $65/week and allows flexibility with the different plan choices.
BetterHelp offers only one plan, but if you don't need the live video sessions, Talkspace offers the cheapest solution.
Typically, in-person therapy can go for around $150, but all plans can depend on your insurance coverage.
Thankfully, both online courses are always very upfront about their prices, there are never any hidden fees, and you can save money by signing up for a longer period of time (but still cancel whenever you need).
Therapy can be a wonderful resource for once in a while or weekly sessions. As long as you feel you're on the right journey for your mental health management, you've made the right choice!
While we know that the road to therapy is unique to each individual, the main thing is that you end up getting the support you need. We recommend seeing if Talkspace could be the right fit for you.