BetterHelp vs. Talkspace vs. Emote: Where Should I Go For Support?

BetterHelp vs. Talkspace vs. Emote

Comparing Online Therapy Providers

When 1 in 5 Americans cope with a mental illness of some kind, mental health services are crucial. 

Unfortunately, resources aren’t always accessible or practical. 

Online therapy services like Betterhelp, Talkspace, and Emote serve as affordable alternatives, providing emotional and psychological support at various pricing.

Each service virtually connects users with qualified mental health professionals. Users may communicate with their therapist or counselor privately in secure chat rooms, over the phone, or face-to-face in live video sessions. Each platform also has special features available to its users. Here’s a quick rundown of each:

  • BetterHelp: Launched in 2013, this California-based company has a broad user base with thousands of licensed therapists under its roster. Their services target a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and grief. They also offer teen counseling through their affiliate site, TeenCounseling.
  • Talkspace: Founded in 2012, Talkspace is an online therapy platform home to a variety of mental health services, including marriage counseling, work-life planning, and one-on-one therapy. They’ve recently released an additional psychiatry service for those interested in prescription management.
  • Emote: Emote is an online therapy website offering affordable, flexible mental health services. Sessions are done over text or video chat (available via web or mobile app). Convenient and confidential, Emote’s services include couples therapy, grief counseling, and emotional support for those suffering from depression, anxiety, or PTSD, and other mental illnesses. All user information is secured under a HIPAA-compliant system and strict privacy agreements. Emote also offers articles on mental health care and links to crisis resources.

In this article, we’ll go further in-depth on the pros and cons of each platform and what to expect during the sign-up process.

Want a quick at-a-glance at each of the platforms? We’ve gathered the main points below:

 

BetterHelp

Talkspace

Emote

Topics and services covered

Topics include mood disorders, couples and family therapy, addiction, eating disorders, stress, LGTBQIA+ topics, and self-esteem issues. 

Teen counseling is also available through an affiliate site.

Offers services through text messaging and weekly phone or live video appointments.

Topics include depression, anxiety, couples counseling, parenting, LGTBQIA+ topics, substance abuse, anger management, OCD, chronic illness, childhood abuse, and psychiatry.

Offers services through text messaging. No phone sessions. Live video appointments are offered at a premium.

Topics include mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, PTSD, couples counseling, self-esteem, LGTBQIA+ topics, gender identity, stress, substance abuse, trauma, grief counseling, and other mental health issues.

Offers services through unlimited messaging. Live video appointments are available on a weekly or biweekly basis, or as a separate fee per session.

Accessibility 

Mobile and desktop.

Mobile and desktop.

Mobile and desktop.

Ages

18+ 

13+

18+

Starting costs

$60 per week for text therapy/counseling and 1 live video chat per week.

Also offers monthly subscriptions.

$65 per week for text therapy/counseling, no live therapy sessions.

Also offers monthly subscriptions.

$35 for the first week of therapy; $50 per week for subsequent text therapy, and additional fees for video sessions.

Also offers monthly subscriptions.

Able to pause services?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Payment methods

Credit card, PayPal

Credit card

Credit card, processed and secured through Stripe.

BetterHelp, Talkspace, and Emote: The Pros and Cons

According to research, online therapy may be just as effective as traditional therapy. However, just as in typical therapy, online therapy and counseling services pose differing obstacles when it comes to meeting client needs.

To determine the best online therapy experience, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons first.

Please also note that online therapy is not a substitute for crisis resources. If you or someone you know needs emergency help, reach out to one of the crisis numbers provided here.

better help therapy

PROS

  • Subscription costs include at least 1 live session per week.
  • Offers financial assistance/financing and a free trial for up to 7 days.
  • More than 15,000 licensed and certified counselors/therapists.
  • Remain anonymous with your therapist.

CONS

  • Homework and worksheets can be an added stress. 
  • Matches you with a therapist based on an automated questionnaire.
  • BetterHelp therapists will not diagnose conditions or prescribe medications.
  • Often not covered by health insurance providers.
talk space therapy comparison

PROS

  • You can hand-select the therapist you’d like to work with.
  • Plans can be paid for using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
  • You can claim $65 off your first month of service.
  • Psychiatrists are available to evaluate you and prescribe some medications at a pharmacy.

CONS

  • Live video sessions cost more and are not included in the basic subscription plan.
  • Requires users to have a monthly subscription even though plans are broken down by week.
  • Talkspace may analyze conversations using an AI.
  • Service is viewed as expensive for the limited contact with therapists.

PROS

  • The first week is only $35. Subsequent costs are $50 per week. Overall, a less expensive alternative without compromising quality.
  • Provides more individual, personalized support.
  • Plans can be paid for using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
  • Video-only therapy plans, and option to buy a single one-time session.

CONS

  • Emote may not be covered by your insurance carrier. 
  • Only have services in 4 US states currently.
  • Emote matches you to a therapist rather than you choosing from a menu of options.
  • It’s still a newer company, so it may not be as established in the online therapy community.

How Do These Therapy Providers Work? (Signing up)

Similar to in-person therapy, online therapy services have an assessment process before you can sign up. This process will determine both the type of therapy you will receive and the therapist you will work with. 

To learn more about each platform, we’ve outlined the steps below.

 

better help therapy

BetterHelp

Step 1: Complete questionnaire

Through either the desktop or mobile app, you will be required to complete an automated questionnaire before using BetterHelp’s services. This questionnaire will identify your needs and the type of therapy you’re interested in (i.e. therapy for depression, anxiety, or addiction).

Step 2: Fill out the registration form

After completing the quiz, you may put in your information, including name and email. You may use an alias or nickname if you’d like to remain anonymous to your therapist.

Step 3: State your preferences for counselors/therapists 

Following registration, you will be asked to select therapist criteria, such as age, gender, and LGBTQIA+ or PoC representation. This way, you will be matched according to your comfort levels.

Step 4: Process your payment 

BetterHelp offers a 7-day trial for first-time users and financial aid at a discounted price of $60 per week. Non-discounted prices are offered on a sliding scale of around $80 to $90 a week, sometimes more.

Step 5: Wait for match and begin therapy

Determined by their algorithm, you will then be matched with a therapist within 24 hours.

talk space therapy comparison

Talkspace

Step 1: Take an assessment 

After signing up through their website or mobile app, you will be directed to a private chat room with a consultation therapist. You will then be asked routine questions about your needs and desire for therapy.

Step 2: Find the therapist you want to work with 

Following assessment, the consultant will suggest several therapists. 

Step 3: Start your therapy 

Once you select a therapist you feel is right for you, you may begin therapy. The type of sessions available will depend on your payment plan.

Step 4: Complete payment

Talkspace’s base payment plan is $65 per week for text-only therapy, paid monthly. Plans including live video appointments are more expensive but may be covered by health insurance.

emote life logo

Emote

Step 1: Sign up and choose the best option 

Before signing up, you’ll be asked to complete a short and easy quiz to assess your needs and available therapy options. As with BetterHelp, you may use a preferred name or alias. 

Step 2: Get connected with a qualified therapist that’s right for you

After registration, you will be matched with an experienced therapist versed in your therapy needs. You may switch to a different therapist later if desired. 

Step 3: Start your therapy

Once matched with a therapist, you may set up your first virtual appointment. Therapy can be conducted over chat sessions or live video.

Step 4: Complete payment

Your first week with Emote will cost only $35. After which, text therapy services will be available for $50 per week with additional fees for 30-minute or 60-minute video chat appointments. You may also select text/video or video-only subscription plans. Therapy with Emote may be covered by your health insurance. 

BetterHelp vs. Talkspace vs. Emote: Final Thoughts

Online therapy is an effective alternative for those interested in therapy, but without the means or time to attend in-person therapy. Alongside a virtual therapist, you may have real-time conversations over the phone, video, or through unlimited text messaging.

However, just as every client is different, so are online therapy platforms. 

BetterHelp offers financial aid and weekly live video sessions, but downsides include lack of insurance coverage and personalized experiences. 

Meanwhile, Talkspace’s therapy services are versatile and intuitive but more expensive, with video sessions only available at higher prices. 

Emote, on the other hand, is currently only available in four states, but offers an intimate experience for users with a focus on comfort, confidentiality, affordability, and convenience.

With Emote, you’re not alone. 

Start today and receive a week of therapy for only $35. Subsequent plans are affordable and versatile—without compromising quality or ease of use. 

To learn more, visit our FAQ page or contact us at [email protected] for further questions.