Betterhelp vs. Talkspace 2021 Comparison

Are you considering using Betterhelp or Talkspace, two of the most popular, best online therapy sites in the world? If you are new to virtual therapy, it can be hard to determine which of the two is better and can provide you with the treatment you need. 

In this Betterhelp vs Talkspace comparison, we’ll do our best to help you determine which one is best, by highlighting the pros and cons of each platform. Below, you can find a quick comparison table, followed by a detailed breakdown of each element these two have in common.

Our #1 Ranked Online Therapy Site
Betterhelp review
Editorial Rating
98.0%
Pricing

$90-$120 Per Week

Promo

50% discount for the first month

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Pros
  • Safe, Trustworthy Company
  • Excellent customer service and easy to use platform
  • Affordable price and financial aid programs
  • One week free trial
Cons
  • Only one pricing plan
  • Doesn’t work with insurance, Medicare or Medicaid
Best Prices For Online Therapy
talkspace review
Editorial Rating
97.2%
Pricing

$65 - $99 Per Week

Promo

$80 discount on the first month

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Pros
  • Guaranteed response time 5 days a week
  • Affordable price and insurance accepted
  • Excellent customer service
  • One week free trial
Cons
  • Getting matched with a therapist can take a few days
  • No live sessions included in the basic plan

Which Is Better - Talkspace or Betterhelp?

As you can see from our comparison overview above, both companies are very close to one another. In all honesty, our experts found it hard to pick a clear winner, even after years of working in the online therapy industry and using both platforms countless times. The similarity also stems from another reason – both sites target the same audience, as they aim to be the ultimate gateway for beginners into the world of online therapy.

At the end, it all comes down to small nuances of each platform, as well as personal taste. Keep reading this page to find out exactly why we feel that Betterhelp currently has a slight edge over their competitors. BetterHelp has a better, wider selection of therapists and is slightly cheaper (for live sessions), and that’s why we chose it as the winner in this BetterHelp vs TalkSpace comparison.

Betterhelp vs Talkspace: Sign Up Process

Both sites offer a very simple and intuitive sign up process which only requires a few minutes. In both cases you start things off by filling out a quick questionnaire with details about your demographics and desired treatment. This is then used to help match you with the appropriate therapist.

The key difference is while Betterhelp’s signup process is entirely automated, Talkspace immediately lets you speak to a licensed therapist. This therapist acts as a consultant – they interview you, explain how the site works, and then proceed to recommend a few psychologists for you to choose from.

Having gone through this process multiple times on both sites, we can clearly say that getting to speak to a real human as soon as you sign up is a major upside. It makes the experience feel much safer and more welcoming – especially for beginners. That said, one of our testers did feel like his Talkspace consultant was copy-pasting responses from a script, which clearly achieves the opposite goal as it makes you feel disrespected instead of welcomed.

Betterhelp on the other hand, uses an automated algorithm to suggest matches. You can also go to a separate page and see profiles of all therapists working on the site and choose your own. In the end, in both cases you should be done quickly and should have no problem finding a suitable match.

Winner: Talksapce with their human consultancy upon signup

Talkspace vs Betterhelp: Privacy and Safety

When it comes to safety and privacy protection, both sites are great. Being the 2 industry leaders means they have a reputation to protect and are heavily scrutinized by mainstream media. Here are a few features they both share, which will definitely help you realize you’ll be in safe hands no matter which one you choose:

  • Owned by publicly traded, fully licensed and regulated companies
  • Hipaa compliant
  • 100% anonymous – you can choose any nickname while signing up
  • Coverage in prominent media outlets
  • Over 1 million subscribed users in each
  • Modern software
  • Active and excellent customer service
  • Extensive vetting process for new therapists
  • All therapists must present at least a masters degree and 3,000 hours of clinical experience

In the end, we have to give Betterhelp the edge here, mainly due to the fact their vetting process is much more rigorous and demanding. We also like their feature for “shredding” messages you sent in the chat room, as well as their refusal to send out personal information to insurance companies unless you specifically demand they do so.

Betterhelp could be making much more money if they partnered with insurance companies through EAP or offered psychiatric services on their site. They actively avoid doing so, since if they do they’ll be required to keep a medical record for each client and share private information with other entities. Their reluctance to do so is strong evidence of how much they respect your privacy.

Winner: Betterhelp has a better vetting process for new therapists + more committed to keeping users privacy

Betterhelp vs Talkspace: Price

This is where these two competitors differ the most, and is also an area which obviously matters a lot to most people. We all want the best possible treatment, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to get it in the most affordable manner possible. Both Talkspace and Betterhelp are among the cheaper options on the market – but the way they do it is quite different.

Betterhelp Therapy Package

$ 360 Per Month
  • Text, Video & Audio Messaging
  • Daily Messaging With Therapist
  • 1 Weekly Live Session

Talkspace Basic Package

$ 260 Per Month
  • Text, Video & Audio Messaging
  • Therapist Replies 5 Days a Week
  • No Live Sessions

Talkspace Premium Package

$ 396 Per Month
  • Text, Video & Audio Messaging
  • Therapist Replies 5 Days a Week
  • 1 Weekly Live Session

This is where these two competitors differ the most, and is also an area which obviously matters a lot to most people. We all want the best possible treatment, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to get it in the most affordable manner possible. Both Talkspace and Betterhelp are among the cheaper options on the market – but the way they do it is quite different.

Talkspace’s basic plan is the cheapest out there. However, it doesn’t include any live sessions – only chat and texting services. This plan costs $65 per week, and if you want to upgrade and include a monthly live session then the price goes up to $79 a week. Having a plan with a weekly live session will cost you $99 a week instead.

Betterhelp on the other hand, offers only one plan. Similarly to Talkspace, it includes unlimited texting and chatting with your therapist. On top of that, weekly live sessions are already included and don’t incur extra payments. This plan has a starting price of $90 a week, but there are several ways you can get it for cheaper.

We feel therapy without live sessions is not as effective. A key element of treatment is not only being able to see and get a feel for one another, but also having a rigid structure and routine for the whole process. While certainly therapist dependent, chatting can often feel robotic and pretty generic, which can be fine to keep you going through the week – but the real gains and progress are usually made in the live sessions.

Winner: Betterhelp is better if you want live sessions as part of your plan

Betterhelp vs Talkspace: Available Treatments

Both sites offer a wide assortment of treatments and have psychologists on staff specializing in different areas and techniques. In both, the most popular treatment methods are CBT and psychodynamic therapy. They both also focus on the same common issues most of us are dealing with such as anxiety, depression, addiction and PTSD.

The difference is that while Talkspace only has 5000 therapists on staff, Betterhelp has over 20,000 listed. This means you are much more likely to find the best possible match. On the other hand, Talkspace offers psychiatric services and medical prescriptions, which are not available through Betterhelp.

Winner: Tied, you are extremely likely to find the right treatment in both.

Betterhelp vs Talkspace: Software and Customer Service

This is yet another area of comparison where it’s hard to find a big difference between Betterhelp and Talkspace. They both do a very good job with these, and no matter which one you choose you should have no problem navigating the platform and getting any type of assistance you might need.

There’s nothing to really set them apart when it comes to customer support – in both cases we have always found them to be very responsive and accommodating. The only thing we don’t like is the fact they don’t show a phone number anywhere on the site and instead push you towards filling up the contact form instead. 

When it comes to the software, we do feel Talkspace’s is slightly better and more advanced. While they both work seamlessly through desktop and the mobile app, Talkspace offers a more advanced dashboard, which makes it easier to navigate as well as track your progress through therapy.

Winner: Both have excellent customer support, Talkspace has a slightly better software.

Final Verdict

Both sites offer everything you would expect out of an online therapy platform. They are both affordable compared to live therapy, safe to use and have excellent customer service. Being the two largest sites in the U.S also means you’ll have no trouble finding a good therapist no matter which one you choose.

If you are currently using one or the other and looking for an alternative, we hope this Talkspace vs Betterhelp comparison helps you understand how they differ from one another. We also encourage you to read our Talkspace review or our Betterhelp review to get even more information about the company you are interested in the most.

Overall, we do feel Betterhelp is the slightly better option. This is based on our own personal experiences with both and everything we have learned through years of working in the online therapy industry. That said, if you need to use insurance, EAP or student benefits, then Talkspace might be a better fit for you.