Our goal is to:
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.
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.