Launched in Toronto in the Spring of 2019, First Session originated from a simple, yet widespread problem: How do you find the right therapist?
When turning to Google and other directories, we shouldn't need to rely on an outdated selfie, a long-winded, self-written bio, and an archaic website to assess who we might want to speak with.
At First Session we strongly believe that the fit between you and your therapist is the most important factor for a successful outcome.
First Session is determined to create a user friendly, transparent, and private experience for those searching for a therapist or counsellor.
Hi 👋, I'm Rob Pintwala, the founder of First Session. Back in 2018, my wife was looking for a therapist while her father was terminally ill. Her search ended abruptly after a negative experience during the intake process at local mental health clinic. This was heartbreaking—there must be a better way.
I then began to speak to everyone I possibly could about their own search for a therapist. My biggest realization was that everybody has a unique set of criteria as far as what they are looking for in a therapist. Too many people give up early in their search, have been turned off by a poor experience, or have not even started their search, due to not knowing where to begin...
As someone who experienced a prolonged period of depression and anxiety in their early twenties, I can relate to what it feels like to be stuck in a dark place, for a prolonged period of time...without any hope of feeling better. Luckily I have had several, mostly positive experiences with different therapists over the last 15 years. I am grateful to have experienced first hand, the positive impact a good therapist can have on one's life.
Mental health challenges have run in my family for generations. This includes attempted suicide, PTSD, alcoholism, psychiatry hospital ward visits, etc. Unfortunately, I know that I am not alone with this experience, and I am very grateful that the conversation around mental health keeps getting louder, and that the stigma continues to lift.
I truly believe that, before one can make a positive impact in the world, one must be in a good space mentally. I believe that it is not selfish or unreasonable to want to speak with a mental health professional who is exactly right for you. There is no one size fits all option when it comes to finding a therapist.
In building First Session, it is my hope to enable people to take control of their mental wellness journey, by providing an easier, faster, and more simple—yet thorough—way, to discover a therapist or counsellor that is right for them.
Each therapist on First Session has been vetted, interviewed, and filmed in-person by a member of our team.
In providing a short video for each therapist, our goal is to help you determine your fit in the matter of minutes, not hours. For more on How to Find a Therapist, go here.
All therapists on First Session do not work directly for First Session—they run their own practice or operate out of a clinic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of our therapists are only offering online, remote sessions. Once you book a session, your therapist will contact you with instructions on how to connect online.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve our service, and to make your search for a therapist as easy as possibly. Please get in touch!