Deciding on the right online therapy provider is extremely important when you’re reaching out for some extra help. Two of the big names in the industry you’ve probably already heard of are BetterHelp and Talkspace. While both providers offer a high level of online therapy services, there are some major differences when it comes to BetterHelp vs. Talkspace.
In this guide, we’ll talk about those differences, the similarities, which costs more, and who each online therapy service might be best for.
Key Differences Between Talkspace and BetterHelp
- Talkspace has psychiatrists on staff who can prescribe medicine; BetterHelp does not
- BetterHelp provides group therapy options; Talkspace does not
- Weekly costs differ based on the level of service you’re looking for
- BetterHelp has one main plan option; Talkspace has several options to choose from
Comparing the Services Offered
What’s the Same
- Both companies have licensed therapists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors ready to help you with your needs
- Talkspace and BetterHelp both offer forms of unlimited text message, video, and audio support with your provider without an appointment
- Live sessions are conducted via video from your phone, computer, or tablet
- Not every Talkspace plan comes with live therapy sessions (though you can get them)
- BetterHelp doesn’t have psychiatrists on staff who can prescribe medicine
- Talkspace requires you to sign up under your real name; BetterHelp lets you use a nickname for anonymity if you want to
- Talkspace has several different plans, including a dedicated therapy regimen for insomnia
In a lot of industries, the major players generally have the same or similar offerings with a few minor differences. In the online therapy world, when it comes to Talkspace vs. BetterHelp, not so much. While the core offerings of these two companies are online therapy help for people in need, there are a lot of major differences you should be aware of before making your decision.
First, let’s talk about what’s the same. Both companies offer online counseling and therapy services. Each offers unlimited text messaging support with your provider. Additionally, both Talkspace and BetterHelp offer live video sessions with your provider. All providers with both companies are fully licensed in their respective fields.
Here’s where things get different. BetterHelp only has one plan option, and it comes with unlimited messaging as well as one live therapy session per week. Talkspace, on the other hand, has a lot of different options for you to choose from. However, the base plan only comes with the messaging function and no live session. If you want the live, one-on-one sessions, you’ll need to choose one of the upgraded plans.
The biggest difference between the two is probably the fact that Talkspace has the option for psychiatry sessions where you can get prescribed medicine. And while BetterHelp talks a lot about medication in their advice blog, it doesn’t appear to be an option just yet.
So, which of these online therapy providers is right for you? After we highlight some of the pricing differences between the two companies, we’ll answer that question and talk about exactly which option, in our opinion, is best for what situations.
The Price Difference – BetterHelp vs. Talkspace
- For unlimited messaging and one live session per week, BetterHelp is slightly less expensive. The median price at BetterHelp for this plan is $300, and the price at Talkspace is $396. If you prepay for six months at Talkspace, that price comes down to $316.
- The base plan at Talkspace is just over $60 per week. The median cost of the base plan at BetterHelp is $75 per week (though it can range from $60-$90, depending on where you live and what you need).
- Talkspace offers discounts for signing up for longer terms. The price at BetterHelp is the same.
- Talkspace plans are charged monthly, quarterly, or biannually (your choice), while BetterHelp plans are charged in four-week blocks.
- BetterHelp doesn’t offer psychiatry services, so we’re unable to compare pricing there.
- Talkspace doesn’t provide financial aid services for those in need; BetterHelp may be able to help
|Plan||Weekly Cost||Monthly Cost||Features|
|4 Week Plan||$60 - $90||$240 - $360||Unlimited text, video, audio messaging + 1 live session per week|
|Therapy Plans||Monthly Pricing||Quarterly Pricing||Biannual Pricing||Features|
|Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus||$260||$708||$1,248||Unlimited text, video, and audio 5 days a week|
|Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium||$316||$852||$1,512||All Plus Plan options + 1 monthly live session|
|Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate||$396||$1,068||$1,896||All Plus Plan options + 4 monthly live sessions|
|Couples Therapy||$396||$1,068||NA||All Plus Plan options + 4 monthly live sessions|
|Teen Therapy||$260||NA||NA||Unlimited text, video, and audio 5 days a week|
|Insomnia Therapy||$260||$520 (for 8 weeks)||NA||8 weeks of therapy|
|Psychiatry Plans||Initial Evaluation||Follow-Up Session||Total Cost||Bundle Savings|
|Initial Evaluation + 1 follow-up session||$199||$113||$312||10%|
|Initial Evaluation + 3 follow-up session||$199||$106||$518||15%|
|Initial Evaluation + 6 follow-up session||$199||$100||$799||20%|
The Bottomline on the Cost Comparison
The winner for pricing all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re not interested in live, one-on-one video sessions, then it’s a toss-up between the two companies. If you do want these weekly sessions, BetterHelp is less expensive. If you’re looking for psychiatry services or in addition to your therapy services, you won’t be able to get that through BetterHelp.
That all being said, BetterHelp mentions multiple times that most of their services are not covered by insurance. However, Talkspace mentions that over 40 million Americans qualify for coverage of their services. Additionally, the company works with a lot of major employers to offer employee assistance programs (EAPs), which may help cover your costs. So, if you do have insurance or an EAP that covers your services, that may be the least expensive option.
Ultimately, your decision about which online therapy provider to use should be based on which best fits your needs.
Who is BetterHelp Better For?
- If you’re looking for live sessions and cost is the most important issue, BetterHelp is less expensive.
- If you’d like to remain anonymous (outside of providing an emergency contact), then you’ll get that through BetterHelp.
- If you don’t want to take the time to choose between multiple plans, BetterHelp’s simplified single plan is a good fit.
- For those people who aren’t able to afford therapy, BetterHelp does offer some forms of financial aid. When you sign up through the link below, you’ll find a link to fill out a financial aid form on the checkout screen you can fill out and apply through.
Who is Talkspace Better For?
- If you’re looking for specialty couples therapy, teen therapy, or insomnia therapy—Talkspace offers and highlights these programs.
- For those of you with insurance or an employee assistance program looking for extra help, you may be able to save as Talkspace mentions over 40 million people in the U.S. qualify for coverage of their services. (You can check eligibility through the link posted below.)
- If you are in need of psychiatric care or are looking to get medicine prescribed, you’ll need to choose Talkspace over BetterHelp.