A comparison between two therapy apps reveals that online therapists need to be more available

Caption of a therapy session.
Photo: Polina Zimmerman

Us humans tend to feel blue from time to time regardless of pandemics and luckily, there’s the option of receiving help in the safety of your own home. It’s heaven-sent for some while others hate it. Therefore, we wanted to find out what makes a therapy app the best as well as the worst.

Why do we say this?

How the clients are being treated is one of the most important factors to any good psychologist and BetterHelp has a high average grade at a 4,08 / 5. Talkspace has an average grade of 3,27 / 5. It seems that on several occasions, the therapists had been unqualified for the issues clients were having. They seemed to be inexperienced and sometimes didn’t answered the questions asked.

In terms of “availability”, BetterHelp stands out with an average grade of 3,58 / 5, while Talkspace has an average grade of 2,03 / 5. One of the main reasons why people want to use a therapy app is so that they can conveniently, talk to someone whenever they need to. It seems that the response time is poor and that therapists are not available as often as they claim.

How efficient is it to cancel an appointment then? Once again, BetterHelp has the highest average grade of 3,67 / 5, for the topic “scheduling”. Talkspace has an average grade of 2,36 / 5. Apparently, they need to create an easy way for clients to cancel their appointments to prevent being charged for it.

Caption from the comparative dashboard for the topic “availability”.

It seems that a well-functioning therapy app requires a reliable cancelation option, fast response time, and experienced therapists caring for their clients. So what are we suggesting? It’s obvious that the therapists need to engage more with their clients. Therapists with various types of expertise need to be available. There also seems to be a need for a more efficient cancelation option in the app and a better notifications system, avoiding clients having to stress about paying for consultations they had canceled. Clients should also be able to count on a prompt response.


The research team at Gavagai performed this analysis using our AI-powered text analysis tool, Gavagai Explorer. All texts for BetterHelp and Talkspace analyzed in this article are collected from public online data published on App Store.

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