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How much does therapy usually cost?
In All Things Therapy
Emily Chatten
Nov 20, 2020
Great question! There are a lot of factors that go into it outlined below, but the short answer is therapy is charged at a consistent hourly rate decided upon by the therapist, and usually ranges from $100-$250 per hour. In Ontario, Registered/Clinical Social Workers and Registered Psychotherapists usually charge between $100-$150 per hour, and Registered Psychologists usually charge between $200-$250 per hour. Generally, you go to your first session of therapy and the therapist will tell you how much they charge per hour. If you have a session that is longer or shorter than one hour, they will charge at the same rate, according to the length of time (I.e., If one hour of therapy costs $100, then 1.5 hours will cost $150). If you want your therapist to do any formal diagnosis or testing, this will cost more. The additional cost covers the test itself (they have to buy the physical test from a company), and how many hours the therapist takes to go through and analyze the test, and write their assessment. These tests are usually multiple choice questions on paper in the form of a booklet that you complete on your own, although many tests are completed verbally with your therapist. Testing aside, the cost per hour of therapy can vary a lot, and depends on the therapist's professional title, level of education, and experience. Just like other fields, the rule of thumb is the higher their level of education, and the more experience they have, the more expensive they will be. When I'm trying to figure out how much one hour of therapy should cost with a particular therapist, the first thing I look at and what is usually weighed the most, is their professional title. By this, I mean the title they have beside their name: Social worker, Psychotherapist, Psychologist, etc. To help you figure this out, therapists put beside their name a bunch of letters and their professional titles. If it says "Registered" or there is an "R" somewhere n the letters, they are registered under a regulatory body. In Ontario, this is usually the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers (OCSWSSW), and the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO). By being in these regulatory bodies, they are allowed to use the protected professional titles: Social Worker, Psychotherapist, Psychologist, etc. This means you can go on these websites, search for that therapist, and see important information about them. Most importantly, if they do something unethical, they can be kicked out of these regulatory bodies. By choosing a therapist that is registered, you know they are liable for their actions, and you have somewhere to report them if you think they are doing something unethical. At Kinthera, we only have registered therapists to make sure they are held liable and we can direct our clients to their professional record. As noted earlier, this tells you a normal range for that type of professional to charge. If they have any other professional titles that you don't recognize, don't be afraid to go to Google; no one will be using an unknown title. By researching the title they are using on your own, you can know what kind of education they have and if that's the kind of therapist you want to go to. Lastly, most therapists do not charge the exact same amount for all clients. Most therapists have a "sliding scale," which means they can change how much they charge depending on the financial situation of the client, making it more accessible. This does NOT mean you can negotiate with your therapist, but it does mean they care about making therapy accessible, and may charge you less if you are struggling financially.
Emily Chatten
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