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How to Find a Therapist in Canada | First-Time Guide

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You're not alone. About 5 million Canadians a year say they need help with their mental health. Our guide gives you everything you need to start your mental health journey.

Their biggest barrier? Not knowing where to start.

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How to Find a Therapist in Canada | First-Time Guide

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Written by 
Nicole Laoutaris
Last updated: 
November 22, 2023
Professionally Verified by 
Arunie Saldhi, Registered Provisional Psychologist

Feel like talking to somebody? If you've never been to a therapist, here's what you need to know to get started.

Therapy is a resource to help navigate a variety of challenges. How to find a therapist can be a challenge in and of itself. 

Therapy can help us through difficult or upsetting life events, to cope with stress, trauma or grief, with relationship issues or specific mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. 

It can also help address root causes of ongoing issues, which can lead to a healthier and happier outlook on life. Therapy can also be valuable for those seeking help with positive challenges, such as identifying and reaching new goals. 

Importantly, you don’t have to wait until you’re in distress or in a crisis to ask for help. Being proactive with your mental and emotional health is as important as being proactive with your physical health. Treating counselling or therapy like a preventative measure—not only a response—can help maintain emotional health, which can help with handling challenges as they arise, and nurture personal growth and wellbeing.

Whatever the reason for seeking therapy, it’s important to remember that finding the right therapist fit is of utmost importance. Numerous studies have shown the client-therapist relationship as the leading factor for positive outcomes in therapy. You’re more likely to get the full benefits out of therapy if you connect with the right therapist

Compatibility and trust are at the heart of this relationship. It’s important to work with someone who understands your needs, communicates in a way that works for you, and who creates a judgement-free environment. The relationship will be strong if you can align on your goals and values, and if the therapist is trained in your specific areas of concern. It’s okay if you don’t know how to recognize or articulate these needs at first. 

That’s why First Session was created—to empower Canadians to take agency over their mental health by removing the friction in finding the right therapist. You can filter for mental health professionals by location, their specialization or the type of therapy they offer, and more. To help you find a great fit and get to know them more, you can browse videos of each therapist before you reach out. 

Understanding the Need for Therapy

We tend to be very good at downplaying our own struggles, dismissing emotional distress, or coping in unhealthy ways with stress. Life is often challenging, so it can be difficult to recognize and accept when it’s time to seek help.

Our thoughts, emotions and behaviours give us clues that something might be wrong, such as:

  • Persistent negative emotions: Feelings like sadness, hopelessness, anxiety or anger that last for weeks and interrupt your daily life.
  • Difficulty coping with change: Experiencing major life changes like loss of a loved one, job loss, relationships ending, etc. can be difficult to manage alone. Even small changes can sometimes feel overwhelming.
  • Relationship issues: Ongoing or consistent conflicts or challenges with partners, friends, family members, coworkers, or even strangers.
  • Addiction or substance abuse: Outlets such as drugs, alcohol, or gambling can be a coping mechanism for unaddressed or unresolved issues that are causing emotional distress.
  • Low self-esteem: Consistent feelings of self-doubt or low self worth.
  • Stress and burnout: Feeling overwhelmed by daily responsibilities can negatively affect both physical and mental health.
  • Sleep disruption: Difficulty sleeping or insomnia can point to underlying causes interrupting your ability to calm and relax.
  • Difficulty managing emotions: Feeling like you can’t control your anger, or getting feedback from others that you’re “overreacting” can be an indication your emotions are not regulating in a healthy way.
  • No sense of purpose: Feeling like there is no direction in life or you’re confused about what the future holds, and it’s distracting from the present or impacting your emotions, relationships or daily life.
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide: If you’re having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek help immediately. 

​​If you or someone you know may be in danger of self harm or suicide, please get help. Call 911 for emergencies or contact the Canada Suicide Prevention Service hotline at 1-833-456-4566 (24/7) or text 45645 (4pm to 12am ET).

Seeking help early can help prevent minor issues from becoming major challenges. Results might be achieved faster, quality of life can be improved sooner than later, and you can acquire practical skills to give yourself a long-term positive outlook on life—and prevent negative coping strategies from taking root.

Seeking therapy when not in a crisis does not mean your challenges are insignificant. It can provide an excellent foundation for flourishing in your life, living true to your values, and cultivating the life you want personally and professionally. Not being in crisis is also when you have the emotional capacity and energy to look for a therapist and vet them; this kind of time and focus is more difficult when you feel like you need help urgently.

Everyone has a different threshold for managing distress and everyone’s personal history, support systems, and existing emotional toolkits are different. A qualified therapist or counsellor can help build long term resilience—a skill that can help with handling current and future challenges or setbacks.

Different Types of Therapy Available in Canada

Learning how to find a therapist involves a bit of understanding of the different types of therapy offered by licensed counsellors and therapists across Canada

The choice of therapy type depends on your individual needs (what works for a friend may not work for you), the issues you want to work on, and the expertise of the therapist. A qualified professional can recommend an approach they think will work for you based on their experience and training. 

Generally, therapy modalities or techniques fall into a few broad categories. Therapy techniques can be grouped slightly differently depending on the resource you’re looking at, the professional group or the individual therapist. As a starting point, types of therapy include:

  1. Cognitive and behavioural therapy

One of the most well-funded (therefore well researched and made accessible for training) is Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This type focuses on examining how thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are connected, and teaches strategies to examine or change negative thoughts for improved mental wellbeing.

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a similar therapy that combines CBT techniques with emotional regulation, and teaches strategies for acceptance while working on change. Dialectical means two opposing things can be true at the same time, such as, “I’m capable and I’m struggling” or “I’m angry with you and I’m going to respect you.” This concept is very important for the emotional regulation component of DBT and is a core aspect of this therapy.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is another iteration of CBT, but focuses on individual values systems to encourage the acceptance of thoughts and feelings without judgement. This can help people move through difficult emotions without overthinking them or trying to change them. It’s about acceptance, being mindful and being in the moment to be able to take action and move forward.

  1. Interpersonal or communications-based therapy

This type of therapy focuses on social skills and interpersonal relationships as a way to decrease stress, alleviate symptoms of depression, or help address mood unbalances or disorders. Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) explores how life events and relationship dynamics contribute to emotional distress. This could include grief, life transitions or changes, conflict-resolution or communication improvement. 

Family therapy or group therapy are often considered interpersonal in nature because they involve working with the family or another group through common issues. 

Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) is another form of IPT, emphasizing the role of early attachments and how they impact current interpersonal relationships. 

This is not to be confused with another popular form of therapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS), which is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on intr-a-personal relationships (our own inner emotional dynamics or sub-personalities).

  1. Psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapy

This kind of therapy is typically focused on exploring unconscious thoughts and past experiences (as early as childhood) to uncover insights into current behaviour. 

Psychoanalysis is based on the work of Sigmund Freud, but it’s been heavily reformulated and evolved since the late 1800’s. Psychoanalysis is typically a long-term and a more intensive talk therapy; psychoanalysts are often educated at a high level to work with clients over a long duration (i.e. psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinically trained counsellor or social worker).

Psychodynamic therapy is based on similar principles around how thought processes and emotions may have developed over time to now impact daily life. However, it can be shorter term and more broad, encompassing various therapeutic approaches and techniques. 

  1. Humanistic therapy

This is more focused on an individual’s unique traits, versus grouping issues into a condition shared by many people. This is about how we see ourselves in the world, becoming more self aware of how our perceptions of ourselves impact our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. It focuses on making rational choices.

Some common types of therapy in this category include Client-Centred Therapy, which puts the client’s inner experiences at the forefront—therapists create a judgement-free environment where clients can explore thoughts and emotions freely. 

Another common form is Gestalt Therapy, a holistic type of therapy that focuses on the present experience of the individual, while looking at parts of one’s life and their experiences like a mosaic work of art. By stepping back and seeing a full picture composed of individual experiences, it helps lead to self awareness and an understanding for the context of our thoughts, emotions and behaviours in the present moment.

  1. Mindfulness and somatic therapy

Mindfulness and somatic therapies both emphasize the present moment, and an awareness of the self, the mind and the body to decrease stress, increase calm and enhance overall wellbeing. It creates a physical capacity for mental and emotional coping skills.

Mindfulness therapies are more focused on being present and in the moment while observing thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations. Some examples can include meditation or breathing techniques. 

Somatic therapies are more directly focused on how the mind and body connect, and how physical sensations can be released to improve emotional wellbeing. Techniques can include movement, touch, and breathing to release stored tension while becoming more aware of how the body’s sensations are tied to emotions.

  1. Psychedelic-assisted therapy

Over many decades, there has been a growing interest in the therapeutic benefit of psychedelics, and growing research showing promising results for mental health.

Ketamine, a “dissociative” drug often used for anaesthesia and pain management in medical settings, is being used legally by select clinics across Canada, with medical doctors on staff, for mental health treatments. Dissociative drugs, like ketamine, can alter or affect consciousness and awareness of the self. Those who have participated in ketamine-assisted therapy have noted improvements in mood and outlook on life. 

There are also a number of special access programs in Canada giving practitioners access to substances, once approved, like psilocybin, MDMA, or LSD as an effective treatment for mental health issues like depression or PTSD. These special access programs can be applied for by a licensed therapist when other therapies have failed or are unsuitable to their client or patient, or when there are medically serious circumstances such as terminal illness. This still prevents someone from getting something like a “prescription” for psychedelics by a doctor. 

In early 2023, Alberta became the first province to regulate psychedelics for medicinal use, overseen by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (“CPSA”) including for medical use in psychotherapy. 

Regulations are continuing to evolve; until then, with the exception of the above, these drugs remain illegal for personal use. As more scientific research comes available, there are certain organizations across Canada preparing for more legalization by providing training programs for practitioners in the field of psychedelic assisted therapy.

These are only some examples of the types of therapies offered by licensed therapists. Often, trained professionals will employ an integrated approach (more than one technique) and they’ll tailor the approach to an individual’s needs. 

Determining what might work best for you will take some practice and open mindedness to different approaches. Stay focused on your goals, think about your individual experiences, ask questions along the way to track your progress, and reflect on how you’re feeling after your sessions.

Keep in mind, the relationship with a therapist can outweigh the technique in terms of effectiveness. Always come back to your comfort level and your connection to your counsellor or therapist. You can always try a different therapist or ask for a different approach if therapy isn’t working.

Finding a Therapist that Aligns with Your Budget

Cost is a key question when learning how to find a therapist. Knowing your budget and understanding how therapy is billed is crucial for several reasons: it helps you make informed decisions, it may allow you to charge back some or all costs to a healthcare plan, and it will reduce stress to remain financially sustainable in your mental health care.

In Canada, you do not need a doctor’s referral to see a therapist. You can get a doctor’s referral for some mental health care, like for an assessment, a diagnosis or a prescription (if that becomes part of your treatment plan). Otherwise, therapy is treated similarly to getting a massage, or working with a psychotherapist or chiropractor: in general, you’ll pay out-of-pocket or have insurance coverage.

In general, therapy costs between $65 to $250 per session, and beyond. Many factors come into play when determining the price of a therapy visit, including where you are accessing care, the type of professional, and any coverage by health insurance plans.

Here are the top must-knows when it comes to therapy costs and coverage in Canada:

  • Prices vary by professional: Each type of professional has a certain level of education and training, some at a higher level than others. For example, when looking at psychologists vs. psychotherapists, psychologists have higher education and training requirements, therefore their session costs are usually higher. 
  • Watch for variability in coverage: If you have health benefits or additional insurance, usually through workplace benefits, mental health coverage is often included. Look at your plan carefully to understand which professionals are covered, how services are billed and if there are any deductibles or copayments (i.e. some paid by you and some covered under the plan).
  • Therapy is not covered by provincial healthcare: There are some resources and services offered by public health care (see next point), but a typical counselling therapy visit is not covered. There are some exemptions, such as being provided mental health care through a medical or hospital visit, including a referral to a psychiatrist for a prescription or assessment.
  • No or low-cost options: There are options available across Canada at low or no-cost therapy as part of the public health care offerings. They include clinic resources, free 24/7 call lines and other agencies dedicated to helping people access the care they need. They can be limited and there may be wait times, depending on the service. Therapists sometimes offer something called sliding-scale therapy, where they offer a set number of lower-cost sessions for those with financial need.

By understanding your budget and how therapy costs work, you can manage your expectations around frequency and type of care, and explore options that work for you. 

Use First Session to filter therapists by budget range and by designation (according to your insurance coverage).

Seeking Recommendations

When looking at how to find a therapist, many people begin their search online - looking through articles, searching local clinics or professionals, reading online forums, etc. It’s helpful to use online directories like First Session—therapists are professionally and thoroughly vetted for their qualifications and licensing, and you can use several search filters based on your needs. 

Researching therapists based on their credentials and experience is important, but these areas of expertise can be confusing to the general public. Therapists also often find it challenging to articulate their expertise in an easy-to-understand way. 

This is where First Session’s video interviews really help. You can get a much better understanding of the potential personality fit. Experiencing how they speak in a conversation setting can provide a crucial understanding of their approach and presence, even before speaking or meeting them for the first time. 

It can be challenging to fully trust your instincts around a therapist or in your ability to form a relationship with them. Recommendations or referrals from your network can also be helpful to build some early confidence in your search and in the process.

Recommendations from family, friends or other professionals can be highly valuable for many reasons:

  • Reduced search time: Searching for a therapist can be overwhelming, so having a starting point from someone you trust can help streamline the process. They may refer to a specific professional, or a type of therapy.
  • Recommendations will be personalized: Your community knows you best, and they’ll understand your unique circumstances (financial, accessing appointments, etc.). Their recommendations could be a great first step in finding a good fit with your personality, needs and goals.
  • Trust and credibility: A referral from someone you know and trust who had a positive experience can help you build that confidence in the therapist’s background and abilities.
  • Increase chances of success: A referral, particularly from another healthcare professional, could mean you’re more likely to be connected to a specialist who can address your specific needs. There is also a greater chance you will be accepted for an appointment, especially if the professional is highly sought out.

Check out First Session’s therapist video interviews to determine who will be a good fit for you.

If you’re in a non-emergency situation, you can go through a general practitioner (either your family doctor or a walk-in clinic) to request a referral. If you believe you’d benefit from therapy, explain to your doctor what is troubling you and request resources or a referral for an evaluation. 

Keep close records of these conversations and appointments. You may need to provide documentation if your situation is more serious and you think you need to request time off of work because of a mental health condition or illness.

Cultural and Personal Sensitivity

Diversity in the field of psychology and in counselling therapy is important to ensure equity and inclusion. Representation across the field of study, and in client care settings, ensures important context is considered in data collection, in research conclusions, and in how clients are treated when receiving care. 

It’s important that people have the opportunity to seek out care from a professional who understands them, and who is trained to avoid additional harm that can occur when a client feels further isolated or rejected by their therapist. Cultural or personal sensitivity can refer to cultural, racial, gender and 2SLGBTQIA+ considerations. 

Here are a few reasons why it’s important to choose a therapist with an understanding of these sensitivities:

  • Complexities are understood: Those who have a specific cultural or demographic experience have complexities that other clients may not have, including discrimination or grappling with identity issues. A culturally sensitive therapist can provide advice and guidance with that layer of psychological and physical safety in mind.
  • Trust and rapport: When clients feel their cultural or demographic needs are recognized, they’re more likely to engage fully in therapy and get the most benefit out of the process.
  • Context is meaningful: There can be nuances to language and cultural practices that should be respected in a therapeutic context. If a client feels they are being misunderstood or their specific circumstances are not being respected, it can create barriers in communication and care.
  • Time and financial savings: Another important outcome is saving time (and therefore, potentially session costs) because you don’t need to explain certain contexts of family or social dynamics, upbringing, cultural nuances, etc.

Overall, cultural and demographic sensitivity enhances the experience, and can lead to more positive outcomes for greater emotional wellbeing, personal growth and mental health.

For example, in 2SLGBTQIA+ therapy, cultural sensitivity is achieved when a therapist can provide affirmative care (validating and understanding the needs of those who are not cisgender), while being empathetic to the outsized mental health challenges often faced by this community. Those who have specific training in 2SLGBTQIA+ care can also provide referrals to medical healthcare in a safe and confident way.

Another layer to demographically sensitive therapy is for cisgender, heterosexual men. Men are historically less likely than women to seek therapy. Men tend to face barriers accessing the mental health care they need because of social and gendered stigma, leading to serious challenges, ranging from poor coping mechanisms to increased rates of addiction or substance abuse and suicide. Therapy for men takes into consideration those social and cultural experiences that can require a unique approach.

Trying using First Session’s “Specialization” filter to find therapists who match or understand your cultural or personal experiences.

Clearly Define Your Therapy Goals

Goal-setting is a crucial part of therapy, but it can be a barrier for many who may think they need to have everything absolutely defined before starting therapy. Many people hold back from therapy because they don’t know where to start. 

You don’t have to have all of the answers.

A good therapist will always help a client determine what they want out of therapy, and eventually set some goals to work toward. It’s okay to be uncertain at first.

If you feel prepared to do some thinking before meeting with a therapist, consider the following:

  • Reflect on your challenges: Sometimes it’s easier to identify the problem than the solution. By articulating the issues or concerns, you and your therapist can work together to pinpoint therapy goals.
  • Prioritize your concerns: You might have a long list, but not everything is of equal importance to you. By considering the most important concerns in your life, you can start to pull together a plan and set realistic expectations for change.
  • Be specific: Good goals are time-sensitive and measurable. You’ll likely work on getting more specific with your language as you progress, such as moving from “I want to feel better” to something like “I want to reduce the amount of sick days I’m taking per month from three to one.” 
  • Adjust as you go: Be open to exploration. Often in therapy, new discoveries and insights come up. Goals are helpful, but so is uncovering new possibilities you didn’t consider before.

You don’t have to have all the answers when you look for a therapist the first time, but it can be helpful in the search process. First Session can help match you with therapists who specialize in your specific goals. Use the search bar for specific keywords, watch therapist videos and read their profiles to find similarities between their offerings and your needs.

Initial Communication and Questions to Ask

Once you’ve identified some therapists, the next step is to prepare for a first therapy session. This is your opportunity to really assess the fit with the therapist. 

These preliminary discussions are your first indication of a good relationship. It’s normal for it to take several meetings, so don’t give up. You may even see someone for a few (or many) sessions before knowing if you have a successful relationship with your therapist—that’s okay.

When you decide to meet with a therapist for the first time, they’ll expect to answer your questions. When therapy is new, it can be a bit scary to speak with a professional, and you might not know which questions to ask. 

Try some of these:

  • Can you explain your approach and process for therapy? What can I expect? 
  • What’s your experience working with people with similar concerns to mine?
  • What’s your fee and scheduling structure? What is your availability like?
  • What are your goals when working with a client?
  • Can you explain your views around being non-judgmental?
  • Are you open to feedback in the therapy process? How do you like feedback to happen?
  • How will I know when it's time to end therapy?

These questions can help you assess the therapist’s work style, their communication style, and their experiences working with people like you. It’s not a one-size-fits-all. If you don’t think it’ll be a great fit, chances are they felt the same. Trust your instincts.

You can easily book consultations or single sessions on First Session with just a few clicks.

Trying Multiple Therapists

Meeting with multiple therapists in the early stages of your search allows you to compare and assess how different therapists approach their work, the techniques they use, and whether or not you’d feel comfortable with them. 

It’s also a gut check to see if you think you can build a rapport with this person. There are clues and cues to look for, but a lot of it comes down to who you feel most comfortable with.  

This is going to be a sensitive relationship. The first professional you talk to may not meet your needs. Vetting professionals through sites like First Session that list everything you need to know about their qualifications, experience and specializations can help.

For those just starting their search, a list of credentials and specializations can be difficult to understand—that’s okay. That’s why First Session’s video interviews are so important. They are available on every therapist profile page, and are there to help you consider who you feel most comfortable with, making it easier to narrow down your choices even before the initial consult.

Many therapists offer free therapy consultations, which are short meetings usually about 15-minutes long where the intention is to assess fit and approach. Not all therapists offer this, but First Session clearly lists when a consultation is available.

However, multiple meetings, regardless of how easy they were to book, can be time-consuming and emotionally draining. It can also become too difficult to compare if you book too many appointments; keep to only two or three meetings at a time. 

You can also help this process by being transparent with the therapists you meet; the more honest you are, the more accurate the experience will be. 

Considering Online Therapy in Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic forever changed the landscape of online mental health care. Most providers had to pivot to remote sessions during the pandemic, and research is showing that online therapy is here to stay. Patients and practitioners are seeing positive outcomes from online therapy, at least on par with in-person sessions. Some people even seem to benefit more from online therapy.  

There are considerations when thinking about online vs. in person therapy. Virtual sessions offer added flexibility around busy schedules, and you can connect from anywhere you have an internet connection. That means you can work with practitioners or specialists you may not otherwise have access to locally. 

Other benefits include:

  • Efficiency: Eliminating the need to travel to a therapist’s office saves time and transportation costs.
  • Comfort: Some people might feel more comfortable to be in their own space when discussing sensitive topics.
  • Continuity: You can maintain working with one therapist if either of you move, if you are traveling, or you have a tight schedule.
  • Communication: Some people who find it easier to communicate through written messages or phone calls, and those who might struggle face-to-face interactions have greater access to care that works for them. 

You must ensure your practitioner is licensed to practice where you live. Mental health professionals are regulated at a provincial level and require approval to practice with clients across provincial borders. 

Additionally, access to an internet connection or a safe and secure space at home for virtual sessions is not possible for everyone. While many online platforms supporting virtual health sessions are dedicated to security, there are always privacy risks with technology. 

Like any other type of therapy, the choice between online or in-person therapy comes down to personal preference and circumstances. 

You can explore First Session’s directory of qualified Canadian counsellors and therapists to find professionals who offer online or in-person therapy options. Check under “locations served” on any therapist’s profile page.

Warning Signs and Red Flags 

Recognizing therapists who may not be a great fit for you is part of understanding how to find a therapist. 

First Session works closely with every therapist listed to vet for professionalism, qualifications and service. However, there are still reasons a professional may not be a great fit. 

Recognizing those red flags can help you refocus on those who may better suit your needs. 

Some examples of red flags include:

  • Poor communication: If your therapist fails to return calls or emails or cancels sessions regularly, you may want to consider someone more consistent. In sessions, if you find the information is unclear, or you think they’re not understanding you, it may indicate a lack of professionalism (at worst) or a simple mismatch.
  • Incompatibility: There are so many ways to approach therapy, and each therapist’s style or technique will not work for all. If their approach doesn’t align with your goals or preferences, move to a new therapist.
  • Overstepping boundaries: Therapists should establish and help maintain clear and professional boundaries. If they overstep, such as sharing information you feel is too personal, or making inappropriate comments, it may indicate the relationship lines have been crossed. This can be detrimental to your relationship and outcomes.
  • Feeling judged: Therapy requires you to feel safe, open and honest. If you feel judged during a session, it may impact your ability to be authentic and truthful and that can negatively impact your progress.  
  • Inadequate qualifications: If the therapist’s certifications or credentials are inaccurate or misrepresented in any way, that’s a significant red flag and should be reported to your local College or Association overseeing those professionals.

Finding the right therapist who respects your needs and creates a safe and effective therapeutic environment is essential for a successful therapy journey.

Therapy can be incredibly impactful if you take some time to consider how to find a therapist who can address your concerns and help you reach your goals.

It can seem a daunting task to learn how to find a therapist, but the outcomes can far outweigh the time and effort it takes to search for a professional. Studies show that 75% of people benefit in some way from counselling or therapy. 

Remember, it’s not about waiting until you’re in distress or a crisis. If you feel like something is off, it will be much easier to build skills for resilience and wellbeing proactively, before issues become difficult to unravel. 

Therapy won’t fix every challenge in life, but it will help you manage your emotions and stress levels while you handle your issues in a healthy way.

If you have changes you’re going through, or you want to work on self-acceptance, improvement and growth, therapy can be a great tool to help you reach the next level in your overall mental health and happiness.

When considering how to find a therapist, remember:

  • The relationship with your therapist is the best predictor for success.
  • Take some time to consider your W’s—why you’re reaching out, what you’re struggling with, who you are, where and when you can meet with a therapist.
  • Familiarize yourself with basic therapy types and approaches so you can make a more informed decision about the type of therapist.
  • Consider your budget and review your coverage and workplace insurance options.
  • It’s a personal decision, but consider referrals from healthcare professionals, friends, family or coworkers.
  • Be critical of the therapist’s understanding of your background and any cultural nuances. 
  • Write down some questions before you meet with a new therapist, and don’t be afraid to set up more than one meeting.

Start your journey with First Session today and find the therapist that's right for you in Canada.

Resources and Additional Links

Want to know more? Take a look at these reputable resources for evidence-based mental health research and guidance:

Check out First Session’s extensive resources and tools to help guide you on your mental health journey.

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.

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