I Tried Talkspace’s Online Therapy for a Month—Here’s How It Went

Considering Talkspace for online therapy? Here’s my review to help you decide.

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Indian woman participating in Online therapy

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If you’re shopping around for online therapy, you’ve probably heard of Talkspace, one of most well-known providers in the industry. I started my month-long trial wondering if the brand would live up to the hype—and frankly, I was impressed. 

The platform itself was pretty standard, but what really stood out for me was what mattered most: the therapy itself. Like most people, I look for a therapist I click with, but who still asks me the right uncomfortable questions. Someone that makes me feel understood, yet also uses therapeutic techniques to help me challenge my own thoughts and behaviors. In these ways, Talkspace delivered. 

What I Knew About Talkspace Before Signing Up

Talkspace has been around since 2012, and helped develop the trend for online therapy, particularly the “unlimited messaging” model. Clocking in at over 15 million users in 2022, and with clout from celebrity users like Michael Phelps and Demi Lovato, it has a solid reputation as one of the best options out there for online therapy.

The company covers all the bases you would expect—it takes insurance, out-of-pocket pricing is relatively affordable, it's available in all states, and the sign-up process is easy to navigate. 

There has been some recent scandal. In March 2023, a class-action lawsuit was filed in California accusing Talkspace of charging users for therapy they were not receiving. If you’re the kind of person who signs up for a trial and then wonders what that recurring charge is on your credit card statement six months later, beware. Talkspace is a subscription service and you do need to cancel (at the click of a button) if you stop using it. 

There have also been issues raised with the company’s privacy policy. In 2016 and again in 2020, allegations arose that the company reads users “private” chats with therapists, and pulls quotes from them to use for marketing.

Sadly, privacy issues are certainly not unique to Talkspace—conversations about data mining at these types of large online therapy providers are unfortunately somewhat common. However, there is not the same concern with seeing a therapist in private practice via telehealth. And since these privacy concerns did not allege unsafe or inappropriate therapeutic or psychiatric care, they didn’t dissuade me from checking out Talkspace’s service. 

Signing Up at Talkspace

I downloaded the Talkspace app, and found sign-up to be incredibly simple. What wasn’t simple was not signing up until you had more details about what you were signing up for. 

I wanted more information about the different plans before committing, and some context around how the experience was going to go. I closed the app and headed over to the website, hoping for easier access to information about the actual services provided. Instead, it felt like being trapped in a hall of mirrors: no matter where I clicked, there I was, back at the entrance to the intake pipeline. Talkspace is set up this way quite intentionally—the process begins with you sharing your personal information, as well as your credit card number, while maintaining only the vaguest idea of what you are signing up for. 


I found it quite frustrating that after I had reluctantly jumped through all the hoops—birthday, location, gender identity, issue I hope to address, etc.—I was then asked to pick from three plans, with close to zero information as to what each plan entailed. (Okay, this plan includes workshopsbut what is a workshop? This plan is for unlimited messagingwhat’s the response time? This plan includes a weekly live sessionif I miss one, does it carry over?) 

It did feel like Talkspace was rushing me through to the payment page. Maybe it will respond to the current lawsuit by making the sign-up process more transparent.

Talkspace does accept insurance, and you can check your coverage during the sign-up process, which is incredibly helpful. If you’re paying out of pocket, messaging costs about $270 a month, and messaging plus four live therapy sessions a month costs about $400. Sessions are usable anytime during the month. They do not have to be one a week—but they do not carry over to the next month. (And no, Talkspace did not volunteer this information. I had to write to customer service and ask.) Adding the mysterious “workshops” option adds another $38 a month. Every plan comes with a $100 discount for the first month. I signed up for the whole shebang: messaging, live sessions, and workshops. 

Matching With a Therapist

All of Talkspace’s therapists are required to have a mental health care license—credentials include licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC), and doctorate in clinical psychology—and have completed a background check. 

After signing up, I was given access to my dashboard, and directed to fill out a more detailed medical history intake form. I did not complete the intake immediately, yet when I logged in again the next day, I’d already been matched with a therapist, and was prompted to schedule my first session. 

At first I bristled. I assumed my answers to the intake form would be used to help personalize my match, and as with the sign-up itself, I felt like I was being rushed. It seems Talkspace only uses the sign-up questions—age, gender and issue you are seeking to address—to make your match. 

Yet after I watched my new therapist’s introduction video, which appeared with her profile after I was matched, I was actually quite enthusiastic about meeting with her.

She was well-spoken, friendly, had years of experience, and a solid background specializing in the issue I’m looking for help with. However, her availability didn’t work for me (the first appointment was 10 days out, and I wanted something sooner), so after completing the intake form, I switched therapists. 

Switching Therapists

The switching process is painless, and done through a link in the dropdown menu of your dashboard. I was given three new choices, and after reading their bios—where they list their approaches, experience, and specialties—I chose a therapist who has been practicing for three years and uses dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and emotionally focused approaches to her work. 

I scheduled our first live video session for just three days away. I was asked if I wanted to add the date my Google calendar, which I did. Talkspace also sent me a reminder via the app a day ahead of time.

How Therapy at Talkspace Works

In my first session, my therapist was easy to talk to and gave me helpful advice. By the end of the half-hour session, she’d helped me map out a potential solution to an issue I had felt was intractable, and left me thinking about it in a new light. I left the session feeling optimistic and empowered. 

For our next session, I opted for a live chat format, which (not surprisingly) did not go as well as our video session. I found it much harder to connect with her without the audio and visual elements, and her responses felt more general and less helpful. However, I don’t necessarily fault my therapist with this, but rather the format itself. Therapy works best for me (and probably most people) when speaking out loud and making eye contact. It did bother me that the live chat took place in the same text box as everything else—messaging, questions about scheduling, etc. It felt messy and disorganized to me, and I would have appreciated a separate space dedicated to the session itself. 

However, it does keep it simple, which seems to be in line with Talkspace’s model of care. 

Both my video and chat sessions took place inside the Talkspace app or website, and both started on time and ended with zero technical issues. 

The workshops I had paid an extra $40 a month for proved disappointing, though. The selection was very sparse—there is less than one workshop offered a day, and often at inconvenient times, such as 9 p.m. You can browse the schedule about two months out, and out of the 35 workshops listed, none of them were on the specific topic I specified I was attending therapy for. 

Nine were specifically for parents (such as Emotionally Intelligent Parenting and Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Teen) and eight were only for people in relationships (such as Managing Depression Together and Your Relationship Check-In). Of the small handful I was interested in, none were at times that worked for me. 

The workshops are led by a therapist, who guides you through exercises before answering questions. There is no group therapy or peer support element, though. It would be nice if past workshops were posted for users to watch at their convenience, but they are not. If I’d been given a clearer idea of what the workshops entailed before sign-up, I would have skipped them entirely.

Pros & Cons

Ultimately, I was happy with my experience at Talkspace, though some of it was a mixed bag. 

  • Simple sign-up process

  • High level of care

  • Takes insurance

  • Easy to switch therapists

  • Available in all 50 states

  • Sign-up and matching process feels rushed and uninformed

  • Problematic privacy and billing policies

  • Very little information provided upfront about therapy plans 

  • Matching process is not very personalized

Final Thoughts

Overall, I had an excellent experience with Talkspace. I felt the level of care offered was highly professional, competent, and experienced. My concerns over the rudimentary matching system were unfounded, as I had no problem finding a therapist that was a great fit for me in terms of personality, scheduling, and treatment approach. 

The sessions were shorter than I expected and yet, I liked the shorter session time. It was easier to squeeze sessions into a tight schedule, and we still managed to set a goal and close the session with productive take-aways. 

When paired with daily messaging, where I could touch base with my therapist about what we’d talked about during our session and how I’d applied skills we’d discussed, it was a nice way to spread the work out across the week, rather than cramming everything into a longer once-a-week session. I always got a response within an hour or two—but they were always fairly short, and generally offered encouragement and support more than discussion of therapeutic concepts. 

Based on how frustratingly vague the homepage is, I was pleasantly surprised by how effective the Talkspace platform was once I had actually signed up. 

My experience is far from unique—90% of the 105 users of Talkspace my editors surveyed rated the company as excellent or very good, compared to 84% of users across all 55 companies we surveyed. Eighty-two percent of surveyed users said they were likely or very likely to recommend Talkspace to a friend, compared to 71% of users across all companies. 

I would agree with the users we surveyed: Talkspace is a great option for online therapy. It’s easy to use, widely accessible, takes insurance, and provides an excellent level of care.

1 Source
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  1. Federal Trade Commission. FTC says online counseling service BetterHelp pushed people into handing over health information - and broke its privacy promises.

By Mary X. Dennis
Mary X. Dennis is a Singapore-born, New York-raised, bilingual and biracial science reporter. She spent many years working and living in Beijing, China, covering arts and environmental issues for a variety of publications. Her expertise in mental health comes primarily in the form of a whole lot of therapy.

Edited by Hannah Owens
Hannah Owens

Hannah Owens is the Mental Health/General Health Editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is a licensed social worker with clinical experience in community mental health.

Learn about our editorial process
and Simone Scully

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

Learn about our editorial process