Depending to where you are calling and who you are looking to see, wait times to get in to see a therapist will vary. If you are accessing community agencies, wait times tend to be longer as they provide service to any and all individuals who come through the door regardless of income. Private practice agencies can often be quicker to get into, unless you are seeking out a well-known therapist or specialist. Private practice agencies require clients to pay the full fee of counselling upfront. You can expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $150+ depending on who you are seeing (ie. Registered Social Worker, Registered Psychologist, Marriage or Family Therapist, etc.) and whether or not they are a specialist in the field.
I know this might seem like a whole lot of money, but keep in mind your therapist has gone to school for a loooong time to be able to provide this service. It is also your right as a consumer to ask potential therapists about their credentials and training. Check with your employer before booking a therapist as many employers offer Employee and Family Assistance Plans (EFAP) that will cover the cost of counselling and your employer may have agreements with certain agencies. If you do not have an EFAP plan, but do have insurance (Sunlife, Great West Life) check in with them as they will often reimburse therapy costs, but may require you to see a therapist with certain credentials.
In terms of finding a therapist, if you have an EFAP plan they will likely send you to s specific agency and may recommend a specific therapist. If you are searching for a therapist on your own, don’t be afraid to ask around. Word of mouth is one of best marketing tools and chances are if a family member or friend thinks highly of their therapist, you will too. If you do not feel comfortable talking to others, then Google is your best friend. Take a look at local agency web sites and read up on therapist profiles. Educate yourself about the counsellors within your area. As I mentioned last week, not every client is a fit for every counsellor so if you choose someone who does not fit well with you, try out someone else. Once you have picked a potential therapist, go on and make the call!