How We Vet Our Therapists and Counsellors | First Session

Written by Rob Pintwala
Last updated on: Apr 22, 2024

First Session founder Rob Pintwala interviews a counsellor

First Session’s Rigorous Vetting Process

Licensed professionals only

Every therapist on our platform is not just licensed but also stands in good standing with their respective Colleges or Associations. We thoroughly screen each candidate to ensure they meet the highest standards of professional practice.

Personal interviews, on camera

We interview each therapist on camera. This process allows us to assess their qualifications, dedication, and their ability to prioritize clients' needs. We also use this video to create their individual profile videos to showcase their personality so you can choose the therapist you feel most comfortable with. The videos are intentionally unscripted and only lightly edited so we can showcase our therapists in their most authentic form—representative of what you, a client will experience. It’s essentially a ‘first session’ before you book your initial session with them, helping you narrow down your choices.

First Session provides a video profile of each therapist

Diversity and Inclusion

We understand the need for a therapist who understands you deeply. Canada has a very diverse population. Part of finding the right fit in a therapist means being both comfortable and feeling understood by your therapist. We strive to partner with diverse and inclusive therapists. 

Fun fact: Our therapists collectively speak over 15 languages. 

Fast response times

We ensure all client messages are responded to within 24 hours, if not faster. Your concerns are important, and our therapists are committed to prompt and effective communication. We know a lot of therapists out there are slow with email and text communication, and we ensure your messages will be responded to every time, on time.

Direct booking. No back and forth

It’s mandatory for our therapists to offer the convenience of direct calendar bookings. We’ve heard too many disappointing experiences of folks finding a therapist they’re excited about, only to learn that in fact they are full and not accepting clients anytime soon. Our therapist’s calendars are updated real-time, ensuring that when you see availability for new clients, those spots are open for you. 

Transparent pricing and online payments

No hidden costs. No e-transfers. Unfortunately, some therapists and counsellors are required to charge sales tax on their services, while others (namely Psychologists and Social Workers) are tax exempt. We know that as the client, you only care about the full amount your paying, regardless of tax. That’s why we list our our prices as tax inclusive, so you’ll know exactly what you’re paying and how much you’re covered for. 

Tech-savvy therapists

Our therapists are comfortable using technology to provide effective, seamless online therapy sessions. If a therapist can’t operate email, a virtual video session, or figure out some basic tech stuff, they can’t partner with First Session. In today’s world, providing great service means being tech literate.

We regularly ask for feedback, and act on it

As the client, you have endless opportunities to offer us feedback (as well as offer feedback direct to your therapist). We believe in quality of therapists over quantity on our platform, and we ensure our therapists continuously meet and exceed your expectations.

Evidence-based and grounded in science

We consult with top Canadian senior medical advisors to guide our approach as a platform, and as as a company which facilitates psychotherapy. 

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About the Author

Rob Pintwala

Rob is the founder of First Session. He has always been passionate about mental health and psychology. While completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree at McGill University, he experienced prolonged period of depression, which eventually motivated him to start a company in the mental health space. Prior to starting First Session, Rob worked for several high growth tech companies including Uber and Bench Accounting.