By Samantha Denefrio, PhD
What is it?
Talkspace is an online therapy platform giving you access to a licensed, independent therapist through any desktop or mobile device. It is the alternative to scheduling an in-person, traditional therapy session. Instead, you can send a text, audio or video message anytime, anywhere, and receive a response that same day. If you are interested in online therapy, you first complete a brief assessment and get matched with a list of potential providers. Then, you choose who you want to work with and reach out to him or her. This licensed clinician will become your dedicated therapist. Talkspace has more than 4,000 licensed therapists and has helped over 1,000,000 members (Talkspace).
There is no shortage of telehealth options on the market right now providing on-demand talk therapy direct to the consumer (e.g. MDLIVE, Woebot, betterhelp, ReGain, MyTherapist, Breakthrough). The model can provide a first entry point for many people hesitant to try therapy and also be a supplemental income source for professionals (American Psychological Association).
Why is it innovative?
The growing category of mental telehealth reduces stigma associated with therapy and mental illness. It also makes reaching out much easier allowing you to discuss emotions as they come up, more often, and for shorter amounts of time. The idea is to provide therapy on your time, when you really need it, and without sacrificing quality. Research has just begun to tackle this question and some studies have already shown telehealth to be as beneficial as traditional office visits (e.g. Journal of Affective Disorders).
Talkspace is a starting point for anyone who might be interested in therapy but also aims to address the unique needs of teens, couples, veterans, and lgbt community members. They cater to specific price points and therapy needs by offering a range of plans depending on how often per week depending on how often you want to communicate with your therapist. In addition, Talkspace has the platform to work with businesses in an effort to provide mental telehealth services to employees.
“Our mission is to provide more people with convenient access to licensed therapists who can help those in need live a happier and healthier life. We are not trying to replace in-office therapy. Many people prefer that, which is fine. We created Talkspace so more people could benefit from therapy and overcome their day-to-day challenges in a stigma-free environment.”
How much does it cost?
Available plans start at $49 per week and include text, video, and audio messaging. When a message is sent, you can expect a response the same day, five days a week. More expensive plans include 30 minute live therapy sessions. More pricing information can be found at Talkspace.com.
Sept 2017 Series C $31M
Qumra Capital, Israel’s most active growth stage fund, led the Series C round with participation from existing investors including Norwest Venture Partners, Spark Capital, SoftBank, Compound Ventures and FirstTime
Facts Sheet and Details (Crunchbase)
News Stories on Talkspace