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 Your host Mio Yokoi talks to founder Rob Pintwala about FirstSession.co, an online directory of mental health professionals focused on individuals looking for mental health support find the ‘right fit’.

FirstSession.co uses video profiles so potential clients can get a more nuanced sense of which professionals might be a good fit for them.

Episode Highlights:

  • Rob started First Session to help people find a therapist with the focus on finding ‘the right fit’, after hearing stories of people going to multiple consultation appointments and still having difficulties finding a fit.
  • Every therapist on the platform has a video profile filmed by Rob himself in an interview format to give potential clients a good sense of the person’s energy and style.
  • Existing and legacy online directories don’t appear to incorporate specific user experiences.
  • Rob wants to provide a user experience that is quiet, simple, private, and free of ads so that people can engage in this vulnerable process with as little overwhelm or friction as possible.
  • Rob has initially decided not to include fees on therapist profiles so that style, energy, and overall fit would come first.
  • Rob hopes to include a visual guide for how to determine what services are covered by insurance, resources to pay for therapy, etc.
  • He hopes FirstSession will be scalable to expand to different provinces.
  • Criteria for looking for a therapist are deeply subjective and different for everyone.
  • A significant factor for successful outcomes in therapy is the ‘therapeutic alliance’, which can determine the client’s trust in their therapist and willingness to engage more fully in the process.
  • For the video profiles on FirstSession, Rob strives for authentic conversations that can’t be listed in bulletpoints.
  • Rob is a mental health and vulnerability advocate, influenced by experiences with and witnessing various mental health challenges in his life and with those in his life.

Resources Mentioned:
● Life Stuff 101: lifestuff101.com | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
● Mio Yokoi: Registered Psychotherapist
● First Session: Website | Twitter | Instagram
● Rob Pintwala: Twitter
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in the First Person by Anna Mehler Paperny

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Three Key Points

• The are many variables when it comes to effectiveness of psychotherapy, one can be finding the the 'right fit' between the therapist and client.
• People’s criteria for finding a 'good fit' are deeply subjective and variable.
• Vulnerability between people allows for the opportunity to better understand one another.

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