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Affordable Therapy Vaughan and York Region / GTA. What is Reduced Fee/Sliding Scale Therapy?

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Reduced fee therapy

If you’re thinking of seeing a therapist or are new to therapy altogether, you might be curious about a lot of different things, including the therapist’s title, cost differences between therapists, and really, where to even begin looking for a therapist. So, let’s break it all down.

What’s in a Title?


In Ontario, a therapist can operate under many different titles, including Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, MSW, OT, Registered Psychotherapist (RP), Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), counsellor, and there might be more that I’m not even mentioning here (such as Social workers and Nurses that can also practice psychotherapy). In this post, I’ll be distinguishing between RP and RP (Qualifying).

RP v. RP (Qualifying) – What’s the Difference?


A Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) is a person who is either in the process of completing their master’s degree in counselling or who has completed their degree. The Qualifying designation means that they are in the process of fulfilling the prescribed number of direct therapy client hours. Someone who has the RP (Qualifying) title is also required to be supervised by a qualified supervisor who essentially oversees their clinical work. Once both the hours and supervision requirements are fulfilled, the individual is eligible to take the registration exam. When they pass, they become a Registered Psychotherapist and can drop the (Qualifying) beside their title. This process if regulated by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Is Low-Cost Affordable Therapy Right for Me?

Low Cost Affordable Therapy

Now, let’s talk about the price per session. You might see a wide range of prices, varying from very low (around $20) to the higher range of upwards of $200 per session. How do you choose? It depends on a few different factors. Higher prices may be charged exclusively by psychologists or Registered Psychotherapists with decades of experience. Lower cost options are generally offered by clinicians who have been trained in offering psychotherapy, but who may not have those many years under their belt.

What are the Benefits of Low-Cost / Affordable Therapy?

Affordable Therapy

Regardless of your choice, you can be assured that the clinician is supervised by a practitioner who does have years of experience. Another assurance that is meant to directly benefit anyone seeking out therapy is that all clinicians in Ontario who are practicing psychotherapy are registered by a governing body - the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. This means that they are held to the standards of the college, must follow specific ethical standards, and a client can contact the college at any time with concerns.

Low-cost therapy is a great option for individuals who don’t have private insurance coverage. Lots of therapists also offer sliding scale options for clients who are on a very limited or fixed income. This increases the accessibility of therapy to a wider range of individuals. It also allows for individuals who do have coverage to fit in more sessions than they typically would be able to when seeing a therapist at full price.

Concluding Remarks

So, regardless of the price you end up paying for therapy, you can rest assured that the quality of your therapy will not be reduced if your rate is lower. I hope this article was helpful in clarifying some of the titles used by psychotherapists, and why some therapists are able to charge more than others. I also hope that readers can choose low-cost therapy options with more confidence after reading this post.

Want More?

Hands - Want more

Want to learn more about low cost therapy options? Our Therapist Interns are all Masters Level Registered Psychotherapists (Qualifying) currently supervised by a team of senior clinical supervisors at our clinic. We offer a sliding sacle of $20-$95 for Indivdiual and Couples/Relational, and Family Psychotherapy both online and in our offices in Concord, Ontario. to find out more, book a free 15 minute consult with any (or all!) of our Therapist interns today!

About the Author

Michelle Brenzel

Michelle Brenzel, MACP (In Progress), Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

CLICK HERE to learn more about Michelle!



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