We've done our best to answer some common questions asked about therapy and our services.


If you have other questions, please feel free to call us at 905-321-0550 or email here.

How do I book an appointment?

We have two options for booking appointments:

1. Book Online. You can view therapist profiles, choose a therapist and book your appointment online HERE.

You will immediately receive a confirmation e-mail and a text message reminder (if you provide a cell number) the day before your appointment. From within the confirmation email, choose the link to download consent and intake forms to fill out and bring with you to your first appointment. You can also re-schedule or cancel your appointment within the confirmation email as well.

2. Call or text us at 905-321-0550.  If leaving a message, let us know a good time to reach you and we'll do our best to respond to you within 24 hours.

Do I need a doctor's referral?

If you are accessing health benefits, check the requirements of your plan. If no referral is needed, you can self-refer.

How much will therapy cost?

Our normal rates for each 50 minute counselling session are as follows:

  • Registered Psychotherapist:  $115.00 to $120 + HST

  • Registered Social Worker: $115.00


Payment can be made by cash or credit card and is collected at the time of your session. We provide a receipt which you can forward to your health plan for reimbursement or include in your tax return as an non-insurable health benefit.


We recommend that you budget for at six to eight sessions, which is the average time that people begin to notice positive changes in how they feel about themselves and their relationships.

Is therapy covered by OHIP or a health plan?

OHIP does not cover the cost of private psychotherapy. Some insurance and employee benefits programs offer partial or full coverage for therapy - we recommend that you check with your plan to confirm your coverage before attending your first session.  

The services of Registered Psychotherapists and Social Workers are increasingly being covered by employee benefit plans including Green Shield Canada, Manulife Financial, Sun Life Financial and Equitable Life.


If your plan only covers “Psychological Services”, our therapists also provide psychological services under the supervision of an off-site Registered Psychologist.

Please be sure to check with your particular provider and plan about coverage details before your first session.

I've never been to a counsellor before. What should I expect?

Generally, the Counselling process is as follows:


  • Initial Session: together, we explore the nature of the problem and identify your goals for counselling;

  • Subsequent Sessions: we explore solutions that work best for you and develop strategies that are a good fit;

  • Closing Session: we review your progress, highlight your gains, and book a follow-up session if needed.

We are committed to equipping you with practical tools and strategies that will help you solve present and future challenges.  After each session, we will provide some hands-on exercises that will help you move closer to your goals.

What's the difference between Psychotherapy, Psychological Services and Social Work?

Services by all these types of practitioners look very similar: each has at least a Masters-level Education (most Psychologists also have a PhD which allows them to perform assessments and diagnoses), each belongs to a College that oversees their practices and each provides treatment for a wide range of issues. While most insurers cover Psychological Services, many are also adding Psychotherapy and Social Work to their plans as well.

Is therapy worth it?

While we cannot offer any guarantees, we can say with confidence that counselling and the work you will do in between sessions will make a noticeable difference in your life. Being the person you want to be and doing those things that make life rich, full and satisfying will be worth your time, effort and financial investment. Your therapist will work hard with you to help you meet your goals and the average length of treatment is 6-8 sessions.

If you have any other questions about our services,

please call us at (905) 321-0550.

Abma Counselling Services has been providing counselling services in Niagara since 2008. What began as a solo practice by Steve Abma has grown into a group practice of eight experienced therapists providing treatment for a wide variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, ADD, relationships, marriage, addictions & stress. We are a team of dedicated professionals, passionate about helping individuals, couples and families feel and be their best.  Serving Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, St. David's, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Virgil, Fort Erie, Ridgeway, Beamsville, Jordan, Vineland, Grimsby, Thorold and Welland.

​© Steve Abma. Published by Steve Abma.