Frequently Asked Questions
Who's included on First Session?
First Session includes Toronto and GTA based mental healthcare professionals (therapists/psychotherapists). At this time, the directory primarily includes those professionals who are Registered Psychotherapists (or Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, or Registered Social Workers with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. There are a few exceptions, for example, there is one Philosophical Therapist currently listed on First Session, whose training falls outside of the CRPO and the OCSWSSW, but is also supervised by a Clinical Psychologist (see Insurance/Coverage question below).
What happens when I directly book a free phone consultation or an initial session with a therapist via First Session?
When you use the online booking tool embedded within each therapist's profile page, you are reserving a spot directly in the calendar of that particular therapist. Some information that is not readily available up front, will be provided to your directly from the therapist after you make a booking. This information may include directions to their location, instructions for accessing an online therapy session, and payment options.
What happens when I contact a therapist via First Session contact form?
Am I covered under OHIP, or other insurance for therapy?
Currently OHIP does not cover the services of Registered Psychotherapists, Social Workers, or Psychologists listed on First Session (sad face). However, many employer benefits and extended insurance plans do cover these professionals. The best way to find out is to determine whether your insurance plan covers the services of Registered Psychotherapists, or Registered Social Workers. Several of the therapists listed on First Session are also Supervised by a Registered Clinical Psychologist, which often provides even more coverage within insurance plans. Please check each therapist's profile page, under Insurance Coverage, to see what designations/coverage they fall under.
How much does therapy cost?
The therapists listed on First Session charge between $80-200 per therapy session. Each therapist's price, or range of prices is listed on their profile page. Currently, all billing is handled with the therapists directly.
What is "Sliding Scale" or "Pay What You Can"?
On each of the therapists' profile pages, you may notice either "Sliding Scale" or "Pay What You Can". When a therapist offers a sliding scale, they typically reserve a few spots within their client roster, to offer up a discounted rate, for those without benefits, or with financial constraints.
When a therapist is offering "pay what you can", this implied that the therapist is being extremely generous, and is offering their services for whatever amount you, as the client, can afford.
Can therapy be tax deductible?
Currently in Ontario, if not covered under your insurance, the cost of the services from a Registered Psychotherapist and Registered Social Worker can be used as a medical expense tax credit. See the CRA website for more details (this is not tax advice).
There are no therapists near me—when and where will there be more listings?
First Session launched in 2019 with therapists located in downtown Toronto. We are now expanding outwards from this area, and have started to add therapists in the rest of Toronto, and the GTA. New therapists are being added every month.
I am a therapist, how do I join First Session?
You can apply here.
How do I share feedback, or simply get in touch with the First Session team?
We are constantly looking to improve this platform, and really appreciate any feedback you're willing to share with us. You can get in touch by filling out this form.