Therapy 101

Affordable and sliding scale therapy

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Affordable and sliding scale therapy

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Many counsellors offer something called a “sliding scale” for clients who are unable to afford their full fee. 

Most therapists offer discounted rates this way because they want therapy to be accessible to those who need it. It’s up to the therapist if they want to offer and advertise a sliding scale option. Often, they’ll decide on a set number of discounted sessions within their full calendar. Accessing a discounted rate will depend on their availability. .

First Session lists clearly if a therapist offers sliding scale therapy. Always feel free to ask if there is availability—they’ll understand your request and the worst thing they’ll say is no.

If you need mental health support but face greater financial barriers, walk-in therapy and low-cost clinics offer therapy sessions by accredited and qualified therapists at a lower cost.

You can use tools like and to find counselling services and customize your search to find free and publicly funded options. 

Finally, try checking in with the nearest university that offers a counselling education program. Often these programs provide free counselling as a way to help graduate students log hours of clinical experience.

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