Our story

First Session exists to help you find the right therapist for you so you can get help now. We deeply believe that the fit between you and your therapist is the most important factor for a positive outcome. First Session is committed to making your search for a therapist user friendly, transparent, and trustworthy.

Our goal is to:

  • Create meaningful human connection
  • Empower you to take control of your health
  • Make mental healthcare accessible to as many people as possible

Founder story

Hi, I’m Rob Pintwala. In 2019, I launched First Session in Toronto. My dream was—as it is now—to make finding the right therapist as easy as possible.

I’m no stranger to therapy. Like a lot of people, before ever experiencing it myself, I saw mental health challenges troubling members of my family—both immediate and extended. PTSD, alcoholism, and trips to the psych ward: They were part of the backdrop of my youth.

Rob and his wife Shannon, with their rescue dog Miguel

In my 20s, I suffered a prolonged period of anxiety and depression. I was lucky enough to find the right therapist to help me at the time. Over the past 15 years, I’ve continued seeing a number of professionals—and seeing the profound positive impact therapy can have. I know what it’s like to feel trapped in a dark place, and what it’s like to get help.

But that’s not what sparked the inspiration for First Session. It came from my wife, Shannon. In 2018, Shannon’s dad was terminally ill. She felt she needed help processing her experiences, so she reached out to a local clinic.

What did she get? A sales pitch from the clinic’s intake coordinator. An experience devoid of any empathy—she was just another customer, another source of profit. After weeks of building up the courage to reach out for help, she was dismayed. It broke my heart.

A few months later, I started interviewing and filming licensed therapists around Toronto, and First Session came to life.

The team

Rob Pintwala

Founder

Rosa Park

Content Manager

Omar Andani

Product Designer

Nicole Laoutaris

Content Editor

Erika Anderson

Designer

Brittany Tilstra

Marketing Consultant

Arunie Saldhi

Consultant & Student Therapist

Miguel

Unlicensed Therapy Dog

Advisors

Dr. Martin Drapeau, M.Ps., Ph.D

Clinical Psychologist, Professor at McGill University

Andrew Macdonald

SVP Mobility, Uber

Kerri-Lynn McAllister

Founder, Pawzy