Sometimes, we need something more than a friend to talk to. We need trained, accredited and experienced mental health care. Virtual therapy provides you with the opportunity to receive expert counseling without the inconvenience of an office visit. Talkspace and BetterHelp each provide convenient, affordable remote access to top therapists who will assist you with family and marital counseling, grief and depression, addiction issues, stress and anxiety, overall well-being and much more.
But while both Talkspace and BetterHelp have a decade of experience in providing top-quality mental health care, they differ in important ways. How do they compare? And how do you choose the best teletherapy platform for your mental health and well-being needs?
Choice, Quality and Availability of Virtual Counselors
Both Talkspace and Betterhelp provide a brief assessment which matches you with the best available counselor to meet your needs. This simple—and even fun—digital questionnaire takes into account more than your current needs. It also assesses your background, religious preferences, personality and overall demographics, ensuring your best match with a therapist.
Where we give BetterHelp a strong edge is in its transparency of quality and range of providers. BetterHelp spells out clearly that every therapist is licensed and accredited with a master’s or doctorate degree, but has more than 1,000 hours of hands-on experience in their respective fields. Likewise, BetterHelp has more than 27,000 available counselors. While you only need one, this vast army of mental health practitioners ensures the best match for your background and needs.
Ease of Access When You Need It Most
Both Talkspace and BetterHelp provide customized access to your provider. You may prefer meeting by video on a mobile device, laptop or desktop. A phone call may better suit you. Sometimes, a phone call or even a text message better suits you, and both Talkspace and BetterHelp meet these often-changing needs and preferences.
When it comes to ease of access between Talkspace and BetterHelp, we call it a draw. Both teletherapy provide access to counseling when you need it and how you prefer it. In fact, even among persons accustomed to in-person visits, nearly 50% preferred telepsychiatry counseling over office visits when given the choice.
Pricing and Insurance Coverage
Both Talkspace and BetterHelp provide a cost advantage over in-person counseling and therapy. Currently, Talkspace offers plans starting at $69 to $129 weekly. BetterHelp offers a slight up-front advantage for similar service at $60 to $90.
But the greater point is that either option is less expensive for multiple reasons. When you visit in person, you pay for much more than the therapy you need. You pay for the office, staff, property taxes and upkeep when all you really need is the qualified therapist. Also, your own time and travel expenses factor in. As an added advantage, virtual therapy offers the same advantages of any remote care or business: greater choice for the best provider.
When it comes to insurance, your best choice depends on your personal situation. Neither Talkspace nor BetterHelp providers currently accept Medicare or Medicaid. But Talkspace appears more aggressive in ensuring providers who may accept your insurance coverage within your state. While this may limit your option of therapists, you will have a stronger chance of at least some insurance coverage with Talkspace.
BetterHelp also works with some insurance providers. It is, however, more aggressive in building a top network of providers nationwide while providing lower cost therapy overall. It also has tiered available.
Plus, insurance is often not the best cost solution since copays can actually exceed the price of therapy. All things considered, we give BetterHelp an overall cost advantage for lower price and greater choice of quality care.
Bottom Line: Is BetterHelp the Best Virtual Therapy Platform for You?
Virtual therapy provides major advantages over traditional, in-office counseling and therapy. The advantages of teletherapy care include:
- Choice of providers
- Convenience and ease of access
- Choice of communication methods
- Equal or greater overall happiness with care
In fact, businesses and other organizations have come on board, particularly since the pandemic. Both Talkspace and Betterhelp provide business plans to help you keep your organization healthy, happy and productive.
All things considered, we find that BetterHelp provides the best remote mental health care, counseling and therapy in most cases.
Overall benefits compared to other virtual platforms include:
- Simplicity in getting started
- Personalized matches with top therapists
- Transparency of mental health provider qualifications
- Simple and affordable pricing structures with or without insurance
- Customer care and satisfaction
BetterHelp has provided assistance for more than 3,200,000 persons in need and has a 4.8 star rating at the Apple App store.