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Online therapy is making inroads with a public increasingly choosing digital solutions to replace offline services. Though traditional in-office counseling is also gaining in popularity due to increased mental health awareness, it does not compare to the growth of those choosing online therapy. While there are many tens of online therapy providers, the two largest companies by far are Betterhelp and Talkspace.
To help users navigate the differences between these two leading brands and understand what may seem like nuanced differences, we have created this detailed comparison.
|Number Of Therapists||4,000||3,000|
|Video Sessions on Mobile|
|Video Sessions on Desktop|
|Learn More||Visit Site||Visit Site|
In 2016 Talkspace tried to close the technology gap between themselves and Betterhelp by adding the option for live video and voice calls via it’s mobile app. However, Betterhelp’s technological superiority remains significant when it comes to the communication options they offer. On top of the messaging board, which both platforms offer, Betterhelp provides its users with live chat and video sessions via both desktop and mobile devices. They also offer live phone sessions, while Talkspace does not. While both offer video sessions we should also note that on Talkspace they are limited to Android and iOS devices, whereas Betterhelp also offers video conferencing via desktop devices. In other words, in this regard Betterhelp is way ahead with communication options for its users.
The therapists on both platforms are licensed. They all have degrees and are trained, licensed professionals. Both companies require their therapists (each employ over 3,000 therapists) to have at least a few thousand hours of experience prior to providing therapy through their platform. Since both Betterhelp and Talkspace use an algorithm to pair you with a therapist (based on questions you answer during the sign up process), it may not be entirely accurate (though for the overwhelming majority of people, it is). You can always request a change, both with Betterhelp and Talkspace, if you don’t like the therapist you were paired with. The big difference here is that Betterhelp lists profiles of many individual therapists on their site, enabling you to request a specific therapist if you choose, in addition to just providing a better sense of transparency which is important with a service as personal as therapy. Though the number of therapists on each platform can change from day to day, at the moment Betterhelp has 25% more therapists available.
Both Betterhelp and Talkspace are extremely well priced, especially considering the cost of traditional in-office therapy (which can run as much as $400 per session). Betterhelp’s plan costs $65 per week while Talkspace’s comparable plan costs $79 per week, though if you commit to a three-month plan, they offer a 10% discount. Keep in mind these are both for unlimited messaging. Both service providers offer extremely well- priced packages when compared to in-office therapy. Even though Betterhelp comes out a few dollars less expensive, in the grand scheme of things it is a negligible difference.
Do any type of search for online therapy services and you will see both Betterhelp and Talkspace everywhere. However, Talkspace has really done a fantastic job getting their name out there. And while Betterhelp is no pushover (mentions in WSJ, Fox and BBC), they pale in comparison to what Talkspace has accomplished in the press – both offline and online. From massive media outlets to mid and small sized blogs, along with the recent addition of Michael Phelps as a company spokesperson, Talkspace has received an impressive amount of press.
You would think that both companies have stellar online reputations, but (shockingly) that would be a false assumption. Betterhelp completely dominates Talkspace in this regard. Betterhelp has a 4-star rating on Reviewopedia, Yelp and Glassdoor, while Talkspace has a 3-star (Reviewopedia) and 2-star rating (Yelp and Glassdoor). Betterhelp has a whopping 10,000 online testimonials while Talkspace has none (yes, you read that right). Betterhelp is BBB accredited while Talkspace is not. Betterhelp has over 900,000 Facebook likes while Talkspace has roughly 35,000.
This area pertains to virtually everything else about the services, including confidentiality and privacy, usability, and the therapists’ areas of expertise. Both Betterhelp and Talkspace have top of the line privacy/security measures put in place (SSL encryption, HIPAA, etc.). Both have expert engineers; thus, usability is excellent on both platforms. Moreover, they both employ licensed therapists only, all of whom cover virtually all mental health areas (depression, stress, anxiety, bipolar, grief, marriage counseling, abuse, addiction, and many more).
The most important factors when choosing an online therapy provider are price, usability, the communication options, and the experience of their therapists. Betterhelp is slightly cheaper and with regard to the therapists, both of these providers use trained and licensed therapists. In terms of communication, Betterhelp gives more options for live interaction with the therapists. Lastly, when it comes to reputation of the companies themselves as well as their therapists, there’s just a lot more information our there and therefore greater transparency with Betterhelp. Both companies provide a good overall service, but all things considered, Betterhelp comes out on top wherever it matters most.
Editor’s Note: We have created a more detailed comparison chart for your convenience, which you can view here.
Eric Silver has been helping a close family member learn to cope with depression for nearly twenty years. Over the years, he’s developed a passion for mental health awareness. Mr. Silver has researched and written extensively within the mental health area, specifically in regard to bi-polar, depression, stress, and anxiety issues.