Find a therapist
Therapy 101

How to Book a Free Therapy Consultation Online

Browse all therapists
Book with
Written by 
Nicole Laoutaris
Last updated: 
November 22, 2023
Professionally Verified by 

The number one barrier preventing people from having their mental health needs met is not knowing where to go. First Session simplifies the process to find a therapist—you can compare hundreds of licensed therapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists; filter by province, specialization, therapy type and more. You can book appointments directly on our website, and many of our therapists offer a free 15-minute consultation.

Why book a therapy consultation first?

Finding a therapist fit is an important piece of the puzzle. An initial consultation is a low-pressure opportunity to see if you and that therapist might be a good fit. There is time to discuss which topics you’d like to address, you can ask how the therapist might approach your sessions, and what therapy techniques they might use. There is no need to make a commitment for a first paid appointment after the consultation.

How many consultations should you book?

We recommend booking 1-3 consultations maximum to start. It’s valuable to be able to compare therapists, especially if you’re new to therapy, but it’s not valuable to meet so many practitioners that you’ll forget your discussions with each of them. Decision fatigue is also a real thing. Finding the right therapist requires going with your gut. If none of those first therapists are a fit for you, then you can consider additional consultations. 

Why do some therapists not offer free consultations?

Yours and the therapist’s time is very valuable. If a therapist is very experienced, and/or runs on a very tight schedule, they may only offer full initial (paid) sessions

It’s important to remember that a consultation is not a therapy session. Many therapists also prefer to book a full session right away because it will help you both get a more complete picture of what treatment could look like, and they can offer you more value during that first discussion. 

First Session features interview videos and full profiles for each therapist on our site. If they don’t offer a consultation, watch their intro video(s) to get a sense of who they are and their specializations. Oftentimes this is enough to make that first commitment.

How do I book a free therapy consultation on First Session?

  1. If you’re brand new to therapy, consider reading through our Learning Centre or take our free 6-day email course with everything you need to know to get started.
  2. Head to and click on Find a therapist in the top menu
  3. Toggle through the filters on the left side for categories that match your needs
  4. Watch therapist intro videos to get a sense of who they are and how they practice
  5. When you’re ready, click View & Book
  6. Under Choose Appointment, select the Free Phone Consultation
  7. Pick a time and date that works for you, and you’re all set!

What should you expect during and after the consultation?

Your initial consultation may be a phone call or a video meeting. The therapist will share details for how to connect for this first meeting, or it will be clear in the booking instructions.

Here are some common questions to help you prepare for this meeting:

Professional background

  • What types of patients do you typically work with?
  • What do you believe are the most important qualities in a therapist?
  • What are your strengths and limitations as a therapist?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Can you walk me through your education, licensing and professional memberships?

Treatment approach

  • What would be your treatment approach for [insert mental health issue here]?
  • How often do you recommend we conduct sessions?
  • How long do you expect the treatment plan to take?
  • When can I expect to feel better?
  • How much is the cost per session?

After the meeting, you’ll want to assess if this is someone you can work with. Here are some thought prompts to help you make your decision:

  • Did I feel comfortable talking to them, and did they make me feel at ease?
  • Did they explain their approach in a way I understood?
  • Do they work with other people in similar situations as mine?
  • Can I afford them? Are they covered by my workplace benefits plan?
  • Can I regularly attend my appointments with them?

Once you’ve found someone you’d like to work with, congratulations!

About the author
Nicole Laoutaris

Nicole Laoutaris is a freelance writer and adult learning professional based in the Greater Toronto Area. She specializes in educational content for brands and companies in industries such as mental health, pet health, lifestyle and wellness, cannabis, and personal finance. Nicole holds a double undergraduate degree in Communications and Film studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, and post-graduate certificate in Corporate Communications from Seneca College. She currently lives in Hamilton Ontario with her spouse and her cat.

First Session

First Session exists to help you find the right therapist for you so you can get help now.

More about First Session
Find the right therapist for you.
Find a therapist
Discover more about
therapy costs and coverage
therapy costs and coverage