Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Do I Qualify To Use These Services?

If you feel you would benefit from the services of a therapist but are not in a financial position to pay standard fees, you qualify to use these services. You might be a student, unemployed, underemployed, struggling to support a family, between jobs, paying off debt, or for some other reason are not in a position to pay full therapist fees.

What Is The Rate For Therapy?

Each therapist on our site works independently in private practice and sets their own rates based on a number of factors. Therapists who use a sliding scale offer a flexible rate that reflects the financial and situational needs of their client.

What are Low-cost rates?

The Low-Cost Rate is a rate well below industry standard that is provided by our therapists to clients facing significant financial difficulty.  The Affordable Therapy Network sets this rate at $65 or less and the majority of practitioners listed with us offer a limited number of spots at this rate.

Each practitioner’s Low-Cost spots do fill up from time to time.  If the therapist you want to work with does not have any Low-Cost spots available, they may accept you on a wait-list.  Please note that not all therapists offer wait-lists, so you might instead try reaching out to another therapist.

Some therapists place limitations on the Low-Cost Rate, such as a limit on how many sessions they can offer at this rate.  Please talk to your therapist about their policy.

What Is A Sliding Scale?

Sliding Scale Rates are offered to clients who do not require the Low-Cost Rate, but cannot easily access Standard Rates.  The rate is determined on an individual basis in consideration of your unique financial situation.

As a rough guideline, Sliding Scale Rates often range anywhere between 70%-100% of a therapists regular rate. Talk to your therapist to learn more about their fee structure. 

How Do I Know Which Therapist to Choose?

When deciding who to choose, you might want to consider any areas of specialty listed that are relevant to your situation.  Other factors to consider are any needs you have in regards to location, gender, age, accessibility, rate, or hours of availability. 

Therapists come from wide variety of backgrounds and training.  It’s important to ask your therapist about their specific training and experience to ensure their particular approach and style will be a good fit for you.  We often recommend doing at least 2 consultations before deciding on a therapist.

You can change therapists at any time if you so choose. 

Who Do I Contact?

Browse through the list of therapists.  Once you find a therapist that you would like to contact, get in touch with them directly through the contact they have provided and set up a free consultation.  Most of our therapists provide an email as well as a telephone number.  The majority also have a link to their website so you can learn more about their style of therapy and decide if they might be a good match for you.

Understanding Credentials

The landscape of Regulation in Canada is evolving and each province has it’s own regulatory standards.  As such, the definitions below are subject to change.  Click here to learn more.

* Always ask your therapist about their credentials, training, and experience to evaluate if they are a good fit for you.

In our listing you will find three different categories of credentialing: 

Licensed Practitioners
Licensed Practitioners are governed by their respective Provincial Colleges ensuring that they meet the rigorous standards required to work competently and safely with the public.  Membership with a College lets you know that this therapist is accountable to their College’s standards and that their practice meets their standards and requirements. 
Licensed Practitioners are regulatedRegulatory Colleges exist to protect the public and you can seek assistance from these Colleges should any issues arise with your therapist.
Pre-Licensed Practioners
Pre-Licensed Practitioners may be completing their training to become registered in their Province, practice under supervision, or limit their practice to work that falls outside the scope of regulated acts within their Province.
Pre-Licensed Practitioners are not regulated. If any issues arise with your practitioner you will need to address them directly.  Talk to them to ensure their training and experience meets your needs.
Certified Practitioners
If a therapist on our listing is labeled as a Certified Professional, this usually means that they work outside of a regulated scope of practice or in a Province that currently does not require a license to practice Counselling or Psychotherapy (unregulated), but that they do hold certification(s) in their area of practice.  Ask your therapist about their credentials to ensure their experience meets your needs.
Certified Practitioners are generally not regulated because their Province does not yet have a Regulatory College.  Certified Practitioners, however, may have competed training that is equivalent to that of regulated practitioners and often belong to other relevant associations or overseeing organizations.  If any issues arise with your therapist you will need to address them directly.

Do You Verify Therapists Credentials?


It’s important to us that we only list qualified therapists and you can review our verification processes below.

* In all cases it is your responsibility to personally verify your therapist and we recommend that you inquire about their training and background to ensure their experience meets your needs.

Licensed Practitioners – All Licensed Practitioners are verified at their time of listing.  Licensed Practitioners belong to a Regulatory College with a publicly available register.  We check to ensure that they are members in good standing with their College when they list with us.  If you have any concerns you should check the public register of the College that your therapist belongs to.

Therapists In Training (Pre-Licensed) – We verify that all Therapists In Training are working under the supervision of a Regulated Practitioner at their time of listing and ensure that their supervisor belongs to a Regulatory College.

Counsellors/Practitioners (Pre-Licensed/Certified) – Our listed Counsellors and Practitioners come from a variety of backgrounds and experience.  There is no publicly available register to verify these practitioners so instead we review their experience and training in order to list with us.

Contacting Your Therapist

When you first contact your therapist by phone or email, let them know that you found them through the Affordable Therapy Network.  Ask them if they are currently accepting reduced rate clients and what sliding scale rate they are able to offer.  You are free to reach out to a few different therapists in order to find the best fit for you.  It’s also a good idea to inquire about their location, hours of availability, as well as any accessibility needs you require.  If everything seems like a good fit, go ahead and book your first session.

What Will My First Session Be Like?

It’s perfectly normal to feel a little nervous going in to your first session.  Your therapist will be sensitive to this fact and help you to feel as comfortable as possible.  Most first sessions begin with your therapist sharing a little about themselves and their style of therapy.  They will also go over the legal and ethical rights you have as a client including confidentiality, and the legal limits thereof.  If you decide to proceed, your therapist might ask you some questions, and things will unfold naturally from there.

What If I Have An Issue With My Therapist?

You are always free to discontinue working with a therapist or find a new therapist if the one you are working with does not meet your expectations.  Due to the diverse needs of clients and the different varieties of training and experience that therapists have, this is a normal and relatively common occurrence.

If an issue arises you will need to address your therapist directly or seek assistance from the governing body that your therapist or their supervisor belongs to.

The therapists listed with us are independent practitioners.  As a listing directory we are not affiliated with them in any way.  We are not able to offer any guidance beyond the suggestion that you reach out to that therapists regulatory body or address the therapist directly to resolve your concerns.