Updated on 10/18/2021
Talkspace represents a major breakthrough for modern psychotherapy: using technology to improve individual and couples therapy. Also known as “telemedicine,” these advances are part of a growing shift in the healthcare industry with mobile therapy and technology facilitating more convenient, affordable, and on-demand benefits.
We’d like to give you a brief run-down of the app features and benefits Talkspace offers as part of the online therapy experience.
Table of Contents
- Flexible Therapy: Therapy at Home, or On the Go
- Personal Preference: Choose a Therapist Who’s Right for You
- Message Based Therapy
- Video Based Therapy
- NEW Live Chat: A New Format for Therapy Sessions
- In-App Assessments & Clinical Progress Tracking
- In-App Mental Health Exercises & Tools
- Provider Response Times
- Privacy Features
- HSA/FSA Account Benefit For Talkspace Services
1. Flexible Therapy: Therapy at Home, or On the Go
The advantage of combining therapy with technology is that you’re always connected with your therapist. You can write down what’s on your mind and send it to your therapist whenever you want.
Flexibility at Talkspace shows up across your entire journey — from helping you find the right plan that fits your needs, to matching you with the right therapist, to providing you with consistent, convenient access to quality mental health care via the Talkspace app. Talkspace is available on your smartphone, iOS or Android, and can also be reached from your desktop or laptop computer web browser.
Send unlimited messages at any time of day, wherever you are, whether you’re sitting in your car, laying on your couch, or on your work lunch break. Your therapist is only a few taps or clicks away.
2. Personal Preference: Choose a Therapist Who’s Right for You
One of the most challenging parts about starting therapy is searching for a therapist who fits with your needs, practices the type of therapy you’re looking for, and clicks with your personality.
To assist you with making this important connection, Talkspace enlists “consultation therapists,” as well as an advanced algorithm, to gather initial information and make the match for you based on many variables, answers to your questions, and the challenges you bring up. Depending on your location, you’re presented with a selection of knowledgeable, licensed therapists to choose from. Each therapist has an extensive bio that includes any condition specializations (i.e. depression, anxiety, PTSD), a bit about themselves, and often introductory videos as well.
Talkspace has a network of thousands of licensed therapists, providing coverage to all fifty states. Our therapists are trained to practice a variety of different types of therapy, including: cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness, psychodynamic therapy, and couples therapy, to name a few. You’ll be sure to find a way to practice the therapy you desire with a therapist who meets your needs. Choosing from multiple therapists — and being able to easily switch therapists in the app if they’re not quite a match — helps assure that you have the best online therapy experience possible.
3. Message Based Therapy
How we communicate has fundamentally changed over the past decades, with the bulk of our interactions coming via text-based messaging. We believe that you should be able to chat with your therapist however you like to communicate. After all, you need to feel comfortable to open up, and if texting feels like the most natural way to communicate, we want to support that with mobile therapy. If you choose to pursue message based therapy, you can make use of asynchronous messages, which is our traditional message based model where your therapist will reply to you about twice a day throughout the workweek. Besides for text alone, you are also able to send videos and audio messages to your therapist through this plan. Audio and video messaging is great for responses or discussions that require greater depth, or if you simply feel like going hands-free. Alternatively, if you want immediate, synchronous messaging with your therapist, take advantage of our Talkspace Live Chat feature for an extra fee.
4. Video Based Therapy
Since therapy can be bolstered by emotional and physical cues, we also offer live video sessions. This method is more similar to a brick-and-mortar therapy experience while letting you enjoy the other benefits and conveniences of online therapy.
When you need to get something off your chest, being able to send a message at any moment, through any channel, ensures you’re at your most comfortable during therapy.
5. Live Chat: A New Format for Therapy Sessions
You deserve flexibility to take your live sessions in whatever format meets your needs. Those who are on a Talkspace plan which includes live sessions can now utilize our new live chat feature. With the live chat feature, we strive to empower you even further by providing you with flexibility and control over how to receive your mental health care in your preferred format.
Now you can select from one of three unique formats for your live sessions: by video, by audio, or by live chatting with your provider in real-time, for the duration of your live session.
Feel like doing one session by text, and another by video? No problem. Live chat is the same high quality discussion as any live session, with the added convenience of typing and chatting by messaging in the Talkspace app. Enjoy the same exceptional care with even more choice.
Here’s How it Works:
To get started, simply log in to the Talkspace app, schedule your next session, and select “Chat.”
- When it’s time to book your next session in the Talkspace app, you will have the chance to select which format you prefer: video, audio, or live chat. Select “Chat,” and your session is booked.
- At the time of your scheduled session, simply log in to the Talkspace app and tap the “join session” button that appears in your room. Your therapist will meet you there and your session will begin.
- Conduct your session with your provider as you normally would, typing messages back and forth in real-time as if you were speaking via audio or video. Your therapist will be right there with you throughout. You will know when your session is complete with the timer; your session will end at your standard time.
6. In-App Assessments & Clinical Progress Tracking
If you want to track your progress and growth in therapy, brick-and-mortar therapy doesn’t provide great options. Talkspace offers a way to visualize your growth, keeping you focused on next steps throughout your journey with a therapy progress tracker.
As you build a relationship with your Talkspace therapist, you track your progress in our “client journey” timeline. This timeline guides you through the initial stages as you begin therapy and your therapist gets to know you, through your first steps in online therapy, and as you make progress toward the goals you agree on at each new phase of your progress.
7. In-App Mental Health Exercises & Tools
Learning new skills takes practice! In the app you will find guided self help exercises put together by Talkspace clinical experts to help you with a range of situations. If you’re looking to reduce stress, try our deep breathing exercise. Want to increase your awareness? Do so by cultivating each of your five senses and appreciating the present with our unique exercise. You can also learn how to identify negative thoughts and improve your coping skills with our “Navigating the Negative” exercise, which helps you identify a negative thought to overcome and learn techniques to shift that thought over time. There are many other exercises to take advantage of and you’re sure to find the perfect one for you. These exercises range in varied lengths from one to fifteen minutes and are created to serve a wide array of needs that compliment you on your mental health journey.
You can find these tools in the app on your dashboard under Therapy Tools > Exercises and can use them at any time.
8. Provider Response Times
All Talkspace therapists have set schedules to check in with clients with morning or evening response times at least 5 days per week.
9. Privacy Features
At Talkspace, your privacy and safety are a first priority. We go to great lengths to ensure both you and your data are kept safe and confidential.
Our technology is fully HIPAA-compliant and therapy sessions are kept completely confidential between you and your therapist.
All chat data is encrypted on our servers, as well as all communication between our software and the servers. On the Talkspace app, you’re required to enter your password and also have the option of creating a unique passcode for extra security. Furthermore, our iOS app uses Touch ID and Face ID on enabled devices.
10. HSA/FSA Account Benefit For Talkspace Services
“Can you use your FSA or HSA for therapy?” This is a common question that many people wonder about, and the answer is yes — in many cases you can use FSA or HSA for therapy. We recommend that you double check with your HSA/FSA provider to see what information they need to accept Talkspace therapy; it might be as simple as an itemized receipt or a “super bill,” — which you can easily get by emailing customer support at [email protected]
To use your FSA/HSA on our platform, all you need to do is enter your card details when you provide payment information as you would for a normal credit card. Using HSA or FSA dollars for Talkspace online therapy is a great way to save money — with these accounts, you’re using pre-taxed income you’ve set aside for health care costs.
If you’re wondering about the difference between the two accounts and which you might have, you’re not alone! FSA accounts (Flexible Spending Accounts) are more common, while HSA (Health Savings Accounts) are supplementary additions to HDHP coverage (High-Deductible Health Plan). FSA accounts expire at the end of each year, while HSA accounts allow the money you contribute to roll over year to year. Check out this guide for more details on the two accounts.
Take the Next Step
If you’ve been thinking about trying online therapy, Talkspace is here for you. Online therapy can help you feel happier, healthier, and works to improve your well-being. Everyone’s therapy experience is unique and Talkspace continues to build technology and communities to support you on your way to better mental health.