As a therapist with extensive experience and expertise in individual counseling for clients who experience anxiety, stress, grief, depression, trauma, life transition, and bereavement, I have researched these 2 general e-counseling service providers and talked to patients who have used them as well.
I have tested these 2 online counseling platforms, Calmerry, and Talkspace over time and am happy to provide a clear opinion about them in this article from the sign-up process to the service and care that the e-therapists were giving.
Thanks to years of practicing counseling and exchanging with clients the major concerns that they have with therapy, I was able to identify the important criteria that most people use to make a choice for therapy in general and most specifically online therapy services. Here is the shortlist of the major criteria gathered when writing my reviews on the online therapy providers:
- Expertise of the each therapist and their service
- Time spent with therapist
- Quality of service
- Therapy response time
- Ease of use: website, app, emails
- Client support related to memberships
1. Price and Plans
The most efficient plan, and closest to the live – in office experience, is the one that offers the maximum of sessions, which will give you 4 live 30-minute sessions for the price of $270 a month for the first month ($90 discount) instead of the $360. That gives a major discount to test the service and decide if you want to sign up for a long membership plan.
Mycharlestontherapist.com always encourages in-person sessions as you receive a deeper counseling experience than with online therapy. However, live video sessions via online therapy are as close to the in-person session as you can get. They give you the best results and the closest experience to a traditional in-person therapy session. These online counseling services also provide other ways to communicate with counselors through messaging and phone sessions, but live video calls remain the best option to get the most in-depth connection, according to Mycharlestontherapist.com.
Having face-to-face live sessions with your therapist remains the best option to ensure that the therapist grasps all the client’s emotions. In-person sessions with a local therapist are usually 50 minutes appointments. Calmerry offers 30-minute video calls. 30-minute calls are an excellent way to communicate with the e-therapist and develop a solution to solve the client’s issues.
Out of the two online therapy sites, this is the first one that explains what it takes to become a therapist and offers to obtain more information on the many designations therapists achieve. You can request to receive more detailed information about each designation and the years of experience and the level of expertise of any Calmerry telehealth therapist.
After reading all the explanations about how Calmerry works, you have to wait to get matched with a therapist. Usually, within 30 minutes after your payment, you will receive an email that you have been matched with a therapist, at which point you will be brought to a chat with your selected therapist. You will also receive his/her brief bio and his/her expertise.
I had to text the therapist to get their availability in order to set up a live session. There is no calendar option to make an appointment online via Calmerry. The therapist sets up an appointment with you through the messaging exchanges.
Calmerry gives you a choice to switch therapists at any time if you feel that the one you were matched with is not the right fit.
3. Client Support
Calmerry starts with a survey of several questions to get your wellbeing score and the projected progress that you may achieve by signing up with Calmerry (scores should improve within 2 or 3 months).
After my first two videos with the therapist, another feature became available – the Coa Reflection Helper. The helper provided me with free tools and resources to keep track of my mood and state of mind. They helped me gain some insight about myself that I later shared with my therapist in my live sessions, which kept me engaged in solving my issues and getting better faster.
The customer service is very responsive and helpful with membership or therapy questions. They responded immediately with the chat and emails.
1. Price and Plans
I focus on getting the best help possible through online therapy, and I compare the services with the best plan offered by Talkspace, which is the 4 live video sessions per month at $94/week or $376 a month.
Talkspace matches you with an agent instantly. After a series of questions via chat messenger, you are assigned an online therapist. The questionnaire starts with your name and age, followed by what brings you to Talkspace with a total of 9 questions. The matching agent will send you 3 online therapists from whom you can choose. A quick bio on their expertise, a picture, the number of years practicing therapy, and years they’ve been working for Talkspace are provided. Once the therapist is selected, a 10-minute introductory live session with the telehealth therapist is scheduled to see if you are a good match. If you’d like to change your therapist, simply go back to the page where you can select from a list of e-therapists according to the topic/issue you want to discuss in your sessions. With each new pick, you can have a 10-minute introduction with the new therapist to see if she/he is a better match.
Once matched with the therapist, you will be asked to complete 2 assessments for mental and physical health as well as create a list of your symptoms. It is good feedback for the therapist and a good starting point for the live sessions.
You will also get different membership plans to choose from. I am focusing on the full 4 live videos service plan as it provides the best counseling option for clients.
Live sessions are 30 minutes long, providing a good communication tool for you and your therapist to exchange about the issues you want to discuss.
3. Client Support
Client Customer service is through email exchange and not responsive. It took days for them to reply to my requests, and I did not get satisfaction nor the appropriate help with my issues.
Calmerry vs Talkspace
Calmerry offers their unique Coa Reflection Helper feature, and Talkspace offers a 10-minute introduction video call with your matched therapist. You need to select the platform according to the price you can afford and the features that each of these e-counseling services offers.
The most important aspect of counseling remains the counselor. Getting a counselor that fits your personality will be the most effective and impactful in your therapy. Calmerry and Talkspace give you a choice between three counselors and the 10-minute video call introduction is a great feature. These 2 e-counseling service providers allow you to switch therapists if you do not like the one you originally matched with.
Comparison Chart: Talkspace – Calmerry
|Price||Financial Aid||Length of Live Session||Insurance||Services|
|No||30 Minutes||No||Unlimited Text, Audio Messaging, Video|
1 weekly live session
|$94/week ($376 month)||No||30 Minutes||Yes||Unlimited Text, Audio Messaging, Video|
1 weekly live session
Deciding to get counseling and choosing an online therapy membership is an important commitment for your better self, as much as choosing a local therapist but if you carefully research, pay attention to serious reviews, and commit to your most suited service, it can be a life-changing experience and even exceed your expectations.
Calmerry is an excellent service for its explanation about therapy and its COA helper tool.
Talkspace has a great sign-up and matching process but focuses more on messaging than live sessions, which I do not encourage. Their customer service is slow and not helpful with the membership plans, which is a big turn-off for their services.