What Is the Cost of Therapy in Calgary?

what is the cost of therapy in calgary

If you had to guess out of the blue, how much do you think a 50-minute therapy session is in Alberta?

$100? $200? $300+?

The answers can depend on a lot of factors, which aren’t always easy to figure out. Today we’d like to pull back the curtain a little bit and shine a light on the expected costs of counselling in Calgary and beyond. We like to be transparent, which is why we have our rates posted right on our contact page.

We understand that when you’re looking for therapy, it’s essential to have clear information about the costs involved. The last thing you want to do is try and figure out what you can expect to pay, based on hearsay and old Google reviews. So, let’s talk about how much therapy costs and what affects those prices in the first place.


What Affects the Cost of Therapy in calgary?

The cost of therapy is based on several factors, and understanding them can help you better comprehend the pricing of therapy services and make informed decisions about your mental health care. Here are some key factors that affect the cost of therapy:

Length of the Session

The duration of therapy sessions plays a significant role in determining the cost. Traditional therapy sessions are typically 50 minutes long, but sometimes may last as long as 90 minutes.

Number of People in the Session

Couples counselling and family therapy involve working with multiple people, addressing complex dynamics and relationships. These complex sessions require the therapist’s expertise to navigate, ensuring each individual and the overall unit are considered and supported equally. Due to the additional time, effort, and expertise required, the fees for couples counselling and family therapy are often higher compared to individual therapy sessions.

Type of Therapist Qualifications

Therapy services are provided by various professionals, including social workers, registered psychologists, and counsellors, each with their own professional qualifications and specializing in different approaches. Knowing these qualifications is important, because the more skilled and educated a therapist is, the higher a price they can set for their services.

Type of Session (Intake vs. Regular)

Intake sessions are the first major meeting between you and a therapist. It’s where, together, you gather information, set goals, and establish a therapeutic plan. These sessions are vitally important and typically run longer than regular sessions. Ours are 60 minutes long, 10 minutes more than the 50-minute standard.


There may be other unique qualities that influence the cost of therapy beyond these, so it’s always a good idea to have open and honest communication right from the beginning. Remember, many clinics – including ours – have sliding scale rates that may apply on an individual basis, and many are covered under insurance plans, too.

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Average Therapy Fees in Alberta

So, with all that variation, is there such thing as an average cost for counselling? There sure is – and there’s even a maximum cost, too.

In Alberta, the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (PAA) sets the maximum fees for a 50-minute therapy session at $220. This standard fee guideline ensures consistency and provides a benchmark for clients seeking therapy services.

However, most therapists charge fees lower than the maximum set by the PAA; our team rate is $180, or $160 for a virtual session. This doesn’t mean that they are less skilled or experienced – rather, it simply means that we recognize the need to be financially accessible to our clients. This opens up more opportunities for people who are pursuing better mental health habits.

Fees for Extra-Long Sessions

To cater to different preferences and needs, some therapists, including us, offer extended sessions lasting 90 minutes. These longer sessions provide an opportunity to delve deeper into the issues at hand and provide more comprehensive support. Typically, these extended sessions cost about 1.5x the fee of a regular session – somewhere between $200 and $300.

(Note: Now is also a good time to mention that therapy sessions are considered 60 minutes in total, with 50 minutes of that time dedicated to the actual in-session therapy and the remaining 10 minutes for essential administrative tasks like documentation, session planning, and follow-up communication. This ten-minute span may seem unnecessary, but it’s actually crucial for the therapist to provide comprehensive care and ensure that all records are accurate and complete. So though your “hour” is always wrapping up ten minutes before…there’s nothing to worry about!)

Cost for Couples and Family Counselling

In Calgary, couples therapy session prices can fluctuate quite a bit – it’s not unheard of to get a $300+ bill for family sessions. In our opinion, that’s neither helpful nor sustainable, so we’ve set our rates to be much more affordable – just $200 for a 50-minute, in-person session, or $180 for a virtual one.

Extra Costs for Intake Sessions

Intakes (which are different than your consultation, the very short introductory call that happens before you even come in for the first time) last longer than regular sessions, meaning they may cost a little more as well. However, that’s not the case here at our collective practice of Calgary counsellors – our intakes and our regular sessions are the same price, so you won’t have to worry about any unexpected costs.

Fees for Registered and Provisionally Registered Psychologists in Calgary

Sometimes, people seeking out lower fees may want to see provisionally registered psychologists, who are in the process of completing their clinical hours and are still under supervision from their advisors.  While there are no provisionally registered psychologists here at Your Counselling, in certain situations this can be a valuable alternative for people in need of support.


Costs vs. Benefits of Therapy

Choosing therapy is just like any other commitment to a healthy lifestyle – you may not see the results in a day, a week, or even a month. But if you stick to it, consistently, you will establish new habits and build up better tools to take charge of your own mental health journey. So don’t think of the money spent as though it disappears; rather, think of it as an investment into a healthier, happier future.

Remember, at Your Counselling, we prioritize your well-being and strive to provide a supportive environment. We want you to feel confident and empowered as you embark on a new therapeutic path. So, if you still have questions – about therapy costs, insurance coverage, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Your 15-minute consultation is always free and we’re always here to help!

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