13 Best Online Therapy Services of 2024

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When you’re new to seeking therapy, you may not always know exactly what kind of therapy you want. For example, maybe you’re experiencing issues in your relationship and also struggling with depression and are not sure if individual or couples therapy makes more sense. Or, maybe you’re not sure if you should see a therapist or a psychiatrist for your anxiety. That’s why Talkspace stood out to us during our testing and when compared to the 79 other companies we reviewed: it’s a one-stop shop for virtual mental health treatment, offering individual therapy, couples therapy, teen therapy (ages of 13 to 19), and psychiatry, while also specializing in care tailored to veterans and the LGBTQ+ community.

To thoroughly test Talkspace and all its different services, we had ten people from a variety of different backgrounds, professions (including some therapists), and locations (from New York to South Dakota) sign up for its multiple subscription options to get a better sense of how well the company serves a variety of needs. Overall, we were impressed with the company’s comprehensive options and quality of care.

With a network of 3,000 therapists across all 50 states, we were pleased with how well the company matched us with qualified, competent, affirming providers, regardless of whether we signed up for individual, couples, or teen therapy.

The matching process was fast, too: After we filled out an intake questionnaire, we received our match in less than 24 hours (and when signing up using the app, we got to pick between three therapist options). If we didn’t have a connection with the therapist we were matched with, we could easily switch with the click of a button, which would then show us three more therapists to choose from. 

We also like that Talkspace offers several different methods of communication (including live chat, asynchronous messaging, phone calls, or live video sessions) and a range of other subscription plans for individual and teen therapy. For example, the cheapest plan includes just asynchronous messaging with your therapist, which allows you to message them whenever you want and receive at least one response five days a week, Monday to Friday.

While text therapy has been shown to be effective in some studies, particularly for milder mental health conditions, we found the quality of responses we got back from our therapists varied wildly. Sometimes the answers were thoughtful and personalized; at other times, they were robotic and superficial. The live chat option worked particularly well for teen therapy since it allows for written communication without the lag of waiting a long time for a response, making the exchange feel more like a conversation, only over a teen-friendly platform. Talkspace could also be a suitable communication method for someone with social anxiety. 

We also appreciate that it is just as easy to switch plans at Talkspace as it is to swap therapists.

If you sign up for individual therapy but decide that couples therapy makes more sense for you, you can change it anytime in your patient portal. You can also add additional psychiatry services to any plan, and your Talkspace psychiatrists will then be able to work with other Talkspace providers to give you the care you need, including prescribing you medication such as antidepressants.

Talkspace is also HIPAA-compliant, meaning it complies with the federal law protecting personal health information—though keep in mind that this does not mean that the company is exempt from the general privacy concerns that plague the online therapy world.

In addition, we were disappointed to find that Talkspace’s live video or audio sessions are only 30 minutes long, which is shorter than the other online therapy companies we tested (and most in-person therapy too).

While the shorter session time does make it easier to slot therapy into busy schedules (like your lunch break at work), it does make it challenging to have the time to delve into more serious issues you might be experiencing.

We found the 30-minute sessions especially short for couples therapy, where covering a lot of ground in that little time can be difficult. 

If you sign up for individual or teen therapy, you can choose between three therapy subscription plans, which range in price from $69 to $109 a week (though you’re billed monthly and upfront). The plan options include messaging only; video and live messaging therapy; or video, messaging, and workshop therapy (though in our experience, the workshops were not worth the extra cost due to the limited topic options and times available). 

There is only one couples therapy plan, which costs $109 a week (billed monthly) and includes one live video session a week and messaging therapy. 

Psychiatry services are considered add-on services and are billed per session, not as a subscription. Your intake session will cost $249 and include a full psychiatric evaluation. Follow-ups then cost $125.

Of the 105 new and past Talkspace users we surveyed, nine out of 10 users rated their overall experience at Talkspace as excellent, very good, or good. Not only that, but a whopping 97% of those that had tried another online therapy service said Talkspace was much better, better, or a little better than others they’d tried in the past.

Three out of four users also said they’d return to Talkspace if they ever needed to find a new therapist, while 82% said they would recommend Talkspace to a friend or someone like them.

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