TalkSpace is an online therapy service providing a platform where you can connect with licensed therapists within your state of residence and get personalized and high-quality therapeutic services.
You can have your therapy or psychiatric services through messages, video calls, or both, depending on your preferences. The USP of this platform is that one can share their thoughts at any time of the day and irrespective of their location.
It can be more affordable than regular therapy, making it a perfect solution for those who are on a budget and can not make time for appointments. However, it can not replace regular therapy or clinics since TalkSpace therapists can only prescribe you limited medication.
But is it a good idea to consider them? Keep reading to find out.
Why Was TalkSpace Created?
TalkSpace was created with the purpose of making therapy more accessible and affordable. They wanted to do this by connecting users to a dedicated, licensed therapist in their state of residence through messaging, live sessions, or both, depending on their subscription.
Their aim was to eliminate the stigma around therapy and help people overcome their day-to-day challenges. Even after having quite affordable prices, this online therapy platform is one of the few that takes health insurance.
According to the platform, their services have helped users with a number of mental health conditions, such as anxiety, addiction, and depression. However, the platform is not at all a substitute for emergency services. Neither can they provide you with legal documentation for court order therapy or disability programs.
When Should You Go To TalkSpace?
Here are some topics and conditions where TalkSpace can be as good as a regular therapy.
Anxiety is a strong feeling of fear and dread that affects the livelihood of individuals. It is referred to as the natural response to stress, but if the feeling lasts longer, then it can lead to anxiety disorder. It includes different kinds of disorders such as panic, phobia, social anxiety, separation anxiety, etc.
Depression is often defined as persistent sadness and lack of interest and pleasure in doing activities. Apart from affecting mental health, it also leads to loss of sleep and appetite, leading to tiredness and poor concentration.
3. Stress Management
Stress management is not a disorder but one’s capability to overcome negative impacts. If someone has poor stress management, it can lead to other mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, learning about stress management tools and techniques is very important.
4. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder in children. However, if not addressed in childhood, it can last up to adulthood and affect their day-to-day life. The symptoms include trouble paying attention, acting without thinking (impulsiveness), or being hyperactive.
5. Relationship & Family Issues
Negative experiences from family and relationships can lead to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and even suicidal ideation. The mental health of children is connected to their caregiver’s mental health. Hence, if the caregiver has poor mental health, it passes on to the child.
This can cause children to develop emotional, behavioral, and social problems while growing up.
6. Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is the fear of dealing with a situation where the person becomes too self-scrutinizing and believes people are always judging them. This restraint them from completing normal tasks like speaking in public, meeting new people, dating, or communicating clearly with their partner.
7. Issues With The LGBTQ+ Community
The LQBTQ+ community is twice likely to suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety due to social constructs, stigmas, harassment, and other reasons. In such cases, therapy can help them tackle the situation.
Therefore, the best case for using TalkSpace is if you have mild symptoms of anxiety or depression, as the counselors cannot diagnose mental health conditions.
When Should You Avoid TalkSpace?
You should avoid considering TalkSpace in situations of emergency help. This includes but is not limited to conditions like:
Grief is a painful emotion that can happen for a range of causes, starting from losing a loved one to being diagnosed with severe illness. Depending on the duration of the emotion’s persistence, grief disorder can be prolonged or short-term.
Grief causes a range of intense physical and emotional changes, which may include a lack of appetite and irregularity in sleep patterns while being in a constant state of sadness, anger, and despair.
2. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a psychological illness that results in unusual shifts in mood. It is often wrongly diagnosed as a personality disorder. This affects the energy level to carry out day-to-day activities and the ability to concentrate.
However, there are three types of Bipolar Disorders, amongst which Bipolar 1 Disorder has symptoms like manic episodes that can last for days and need immediate medical attention.
Schizophrenia leads to psychotic episodes in an individual to experience distortion of reality. Active Schizophrenia can result in hallucinations and delusions, which affect how one thinks, behaves, or feels, and have movement disorders.
Although people suffering from Schizophrenia are not violent, if untreated for a longer period, the subject can resort to self-harming.
4. Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
SUD is a mental disorder where a person is unable to control their urge to substance use, like drugs and alcohol. People with a history of mental illness, mainly PTSD, can go through SUD as they abuse legal or illegal drugs as self-medication.
Similarly, people with Substance Use Disorder can get mentally unfit due to overuse and needs immediate help from experts before significant damage.
5. Eating Disorder
The disorder is mostly characterized by the subject either avoiding or restricting themselves from intaking adequate servings of nutritious food, resulting in being severely underweight.
While some are prone to binge eating within a short span of time without hunger and then vomiting or abusing laxatives or diuretics to forcefully get rid of the consumption.
There are different types of eating disorders, like Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant food intake disorder, and rumination disorder.
6. Acute Stress Disorder & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
It is very usual to be distressed after a traumatic experience and be in a constant state of negative mood and energy, jeopardizing cognition followed by nightmares of the traumatic event. It can extend to dissociative symptoms depending on the viciousness of the event.
ASD can occur immediately after a traumatic experience and last for a couple of days to a month before taking a turn towards PTSD. Although ASD doesn’t mean it will be followed by PTSD, studies suggest 80% of individuals suffering from ASD can take up PTSD even six months later.
Can TalkSpace Prescribe You Medication?
No, they can’t prescribe all sorts of medication. TalkSpace offers a psychiatry service for people who are interested in mental health care and prescription management. However, psychiatry professionals on the platform still cannot prescribe some control substances such as Adderall, Xanax, Ativan, Librium, Ritalin, Concerta, lithium, and similar kinds.
Here are some reasons why they don’t do it.
1. Limited Physical Examination
If you choose to take a psychiatry service on the platform, they will ask you to take a range of evaluations and tests. However, it may still not be as impactful as it would be in the case of doing treatment in person.
The scope of physical examination is very limited, leading to biased or misinterpreted results. Which should be highly avoided in the case of prescribing controlled substances.
2. State Laws
TalkSpace is accessible to residents outside the US, and some State Laws may not allow prescribing controlled substances without an in-person evaluation.
3. Limited Information
Even the video sessions on Talkspace run a maximum of 30 mins. Perhaps, while reading body language and observing the patient, the expert’s judgment can also get influenced by aspects like camera quality, internet connection, etc. Which can lead to the wrong diagnosis.
4. Lack of Continuity
In the case of online therapy platforms like TalkSpace, the patient has major control over when they want to have the therapy. Hence it may not provide the same level of continuity and care that in-person therapy can give. It can make it difficult for the psychiatrist to monitor and adjust the patient’s treatment plan.
Please note: If you do sign up for Talkspace’s psychiatry services, you will need to spend $249 for the initial evaluation, along with $125 for each follow-up session. Which makes it even pricier than regular psychiatry services.
TalkSpace Vs. BetterHelp: What’s The Difference?
In the space of online therapy TalkSpace and BetterHelp are two prominent names. Both provide convenient therapy from licensed professionals, but there are still some differences between the two. Let’s take a look.
|Depression, Anxiety, Relationships, Trauma, Anger, Productivity, Addiction, Eating disorder, LGBTQA+, Childhood abuse, Social anxiety, Parenting, Mood disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
|Stress, anxiety, relationship, parenting, depression, addiction, sleeping, trauma, family conflicts, LGBTQ matters, grief, religion, self-esteem.
|Individual therapy, couples therapy, teen therapy, sleep therapy
|Individual therapy, couple therapy, and teen therapy.
|It ranges between $79- $139 per week, depending on the services taken.
For psychiatric services, $199 initial charges then, followed by $125 per session. Availability of combos can cost less.
The entire sleep therapy (8 weeks duration) costs $520.
|The prices are more straightforward. You may pay $60 to $90 depending on the type of communication, you select.
Source: Forbes Health
Apart from these basic differences, here are the top three differences that make TalkSpace better than BetterHelp.
1. Even though both are online therapy platforms, you get 24*7 support only in TalkSpace. Flexibility is not present at BetterHelp.
2. You don’t need to pay extra to switch between different communication modes in TalkSpace, which is not the case for BetterHelp. You will be charged extra if you want to switch between communication modes.
3. You get psychiatric services at TalkSpace, which is not available on BetterHelp.
Platforms like TalkSpace are revolutionary in removing the stigma around therapy. They are also easy to access and, in some cases, can be more affordable than in-person therapy. Moreover, they also provide benefits like 24*7 service and different modes of communication.
However, they are only preferable for people who struggle with moderate to low mental health issues. TalkSpace can help you manage your prescription for only those cases where controlled substances like Xanax, Adderall, and similar are not involved.
She is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Writer with a decade of expertise in psychology. Skilled in assessment, therapy, and patient care. Committed to helping individuals through clinical practice and mental health writing at Therapyjourney.co. Passionate about promoting mental well-being and awareness. Open to aligned opportunities.