How Much Does Therapy Cost in Alberta & Calgary?

advice calgary counselling cbt costsoftherapy counselling alberta shelly qualtieri therapy therapy calgary Feb 27, 2023
A photo of someone calculating the cost of therapy

This blog post is based on our latest Fiercely Fabulous Life podcast on the topic. “What is the cost of therapy?” With people taking mental health more seriously, it can be easy to get lost in the specifics of mental health. Below, you can read a digestible summary of the words of Shelly Qualtieri as she gives you a complete breakdown of the costs associated and the ways those fees are calculated. Working on your mental health is important and figuring out the costs can be tricky. Read below for more information. 




How much does therapy cost in Alberta? There are many different types of therapists, from social workers, to psychologists, and counsellors. Many of these professionals do not actually put their fees and what they charge for a session on their website. I don’t know about you but I really would like to know the costs before even setting up an initial call when I'm looking to improve my mental health. I don't necessarily want to have an initial phone call to find out what their fees are and lets be honest, we're already feeling overwhelmed, life is already feeling tricky, hard, your emotions might be all over the place, or you may be in crisis, depending on the kind of therapy we're looking for and the reasons at the time 


  • Maybe you've experienced  a recent loss. 
  • Maybe you experienced a trauma. 
  • Maybe you have been dealing with something for so many years you don't know what you're feeling anymore. 


One thing, we as therapists - can make simple and easy for you, it is putting their fees on their websites for your ease and convenience.


Fees for therapists can vary a fair amount depending on the professional designation. For example; a social worker versus a psychologist versus a therapist versus a counsellor or even a professional who is new in the field and trying to build up a client base. 


Here's some quick information about average fees at a glance.


Type of Session Average Cost
Social Workers $120+
Couples Counselling $300-$330
Family Counselling $300-$330
Intake Session $250-$350
Psychologists $220+


Now, let's break down these fees…


Social Workers


Social Workers actually have quite a lot of flexibility in what they charge, so when you're looking for therapists, if you notice they're a social worker, you might notice they charge anything from:


$120.00 for a 50 minute session - with a teen, a child, or adult.


Oftentimes; there might be a slight difference in fees you pay for a session for a child or teen versus an adult, but more often than not, the fees will be the same and  standard. You might even find the charge is more for seeing your child or your teen than for an adult session because behind the scenes the counsellor is preparing and doing a lot of work to try and navigate how to collect information, build trust, engage, and connect. 


In addition; after a session with a child or teen, conversations and follow up with parents may also be time the counsellor must set aside which cantake considerable time. These are all reasons you may see higher fees for kids and teens.


Extended Sessions


Some therapists also offer extended sessions.  of us offer not just 50-minute sessions, but also offer 90-minute sessions because sometimes people  enjoy a little bit longer time together to unpack the hard things These sessions typically run about one and a half times the price of what you would pay for 50-minutes.


So, if you have a little extaa time and bit of flexibility it's  really good deal!However, it doesn't necessarily feel like a good deal because, let's be honest -  therapy is expensive!


Couples Counselling


With two people attending a session, you will pay more. There are many dynamics that can happen in couples sessions, there's a lot to unpack, and understand a dynamic between  a couple, therefore couplese sessions can be quite costly. 


How much does a couples therapy session cost in Calgary?


  •  You will find   you will pay anywhere from $300 to $330 for a couples session. 

How much do family sessions cost in Calgary?


Similar to couples counselling, family therapy has many dynamics and many individuals so these sessions will cost between $300 and $350.


Couples and family sessions are a huge benefit to many but we can see how quickly (insurance benefits can be depleted when the costs are high. (

Intake Calls and First Sessions


Another important aspect of therapy is  an initial intake session.  This is a 90-minutes session where you and your therapist take some time to gather and collect a lot of information, set goals, and build a plan to move forward, you will address topic such as: 


  • personal information
  • physical health information
  • mental health information
  • family dynamics
  • set goals
  • build a plan

Initial intake sessions range from $250 to $350 

Cost to see a Psychologist in Calgary?


Psychologists have a governing body just like social workers and set a standard rate for what psychologists charge and their rate,


$220 for a 50-minute sessions is a Psychologists standard fee.


Cost to see a Provisional Psychologist in Calgary?


The only time you might see a different fee is with provisional psychologists. They are not fully licensed, have a supervisor they're reporting to regularly and are  not ye  completed their clinical hours. If you're seeing a registered provisional psychologist, it doesn't mean they're not amazing, it means they may be charging less of the rate because they're not fully licensed. 


Social workers and psychologists are required to complete multiple training hours before we can practice therapy all on our own in Alberta. and we're very heavily mandated under the Alberta Health Act.


The Bottom Line


Make sure when you are working with your therapist to ask them about how many sessions they see people and how long they think your therapyit might take. We're not magic, but do have a general idea how many sessions may be helpful to you. 


So rest assured you can feel confident in your journey with us. 


If you’re looking to learn more let’s chat! We would love to hear from you and our team is ready to support you on your mental health journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

The words in this post have been edited to be easily readable and accessible for all, to get the full context of the conversation listen to Shelly Qualtieri’s podcast here and on all platforms, and learn more about us below:

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