Cost is an obvious factor in deciding on any service. In the case of psychotherapy, and if you live in Toronto, or anywhere else in Ontario for that matter, OHIP will cover your therapy with a medical doctor. This is a very attractive option indeed but it does have some drawbacks and it is not the only one you have. As much as money is a very legitimate concern, it shouldn't be the only one when it comes to your mental health and well-being.

Keep in mind that, at the end of the day, it is qualifications and personal fit that will decide whether or not you'll receive a useful and valuable service. Here are a few things to consider:

1- The services of a general MD or a psychiatrist (FRCP) are covered by OHIP. However, these practitioners tend to be overbooked. Some of them (especially the good ones) have waiting lists that, sadly, can keep you hanging anywhere from six months to three years. If you need to deal with your issues right now, your better bet is to consult a psychotherapist who is not be covered by OHIP.

2- Some private health insurance plans may reimburse part of your costs if you choose to see someone not covered by OHIP. This can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a year. Some plans will restrict coverage to work done with clinical psychologists while others will include sessions with registered psychotherapists. Read the fine print in your benefits package and discuss your options with the therapist you want to work with.

3- With some registered psychotherapists, the standard rates are sometimes adjusted to the kind of therapy done (whether it is brief or long-term) and to the weekly frequency of the sessions. Some therapists set aside a few sessions a week for sliding scale rates reserved specifically for individuals on a low or limited income. Find out what options you have and think about what is going to work best for you.