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Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility & Application

Q: Can student interns join as a member therapist?
Yes, student interns enrolled in their practicum or clinical internship can become Open Path member therapists by submitting their application and providing Open Path with a copy of their current, unofficial transcripts and their signed supervision contract for their internship. Students who are enrolled in classes only and not a practicum/internship are not eligible.
You also must agree to offer $30 sessions for all modalities to Open Path clients.
Q: Why should I join Open Path? Why not just offer low-fee sessions on my own?

It’s true: most of us already offer lower fees to certain clients. However, when we offer lower fees to clients we are acting as lone altruistic individuals. By becoming an Open Path Member Clinician you put your altruism to work, becoming part of a nationwide movement of clinicians dedicated to ending economic disparity in the mental health field. Also, it’s our intent to make Open Path a place of support for clinicians offering low-fee therapy: in addition to your profile page bringing increased traffic to your website, we offer discounts on CEUs, and other benefits listed here.

Q: How do I apply to be an Open Path Member therapist?

Start the application process here. An Open Path staff member will review your application and look up your license by the close of the following business day. If we can’t find your license information or you are a postgraduate intern, pre-licensed professional, an associate, or a student intern, we will follow up with you via email.

Q: What qualifications do I need to apply?

You must be a licensed or provisionally licensed (Pre-Licensed/License Eligible) mental health clinician with a graduate degree in psychotherapy, counseling, or a related field from an accredited institution. You must also pass our peer-reviewed online application process.

We also accept student interns who can offer $30 sessions to Open Path clients. In that case, you must be completing your practicum or clinical internship to obtain your master’s degree. You will be required to provide a copy of your current, unofficial transcripts and your signed supervision contract for your internship.

Q: Can therapists in Canada join Open Path?

Yes, we welcome therapists in Canada to join Open Path. In order to participate, you will need to be a Registered Social Worker, Registered Psychologist, or Registered Psychotherapist and meet the following criteria:

  1. You must provide documentation of your postgraduate degree in psychotherapy, counseling, or a related field from an accredited institution.

  2. You will need to provide documentation showing that you are registered with your provincial college.*

* If you are a psychotherapist and applying from one of the 4 regulated provinces (Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia) you must be able to show that you are a Registered Psychotherapist with your provincial college.

If you are applying from one of the other 9, unregulated provinces, you must provide proof of your postgraduate degree in a psychology-related field and registration with any provincial associations.

We look forward to reviewing your application.

Q: Can my group practice or clinic have an Open Path profile?

Yes, it is possible to have a profile on our site for a clinic or group practice. However, we recommend having therapists from the clinic use individual profiles on our site for two reasons:

1. It provides a greater SEO push for your clinic.

2. We’ve learned that people are far more likely to click on a face, than a company logo. The individual clinician can link to your main website from their profile.

If you would like to go with having the clinic posted only, we would need an application from the point person (who would receive all of the emails coming from Open Path staff and prospective clients).

After you submit the application, please email the names of the therapists in your practice that plan to see Open Path clients to We will verify their license.

If there are interns at the clinic, we can accept them into Open Path as long as they already hold their postgraduate degree in counseling, psychology, or related field. Postgraduate interns can submit their supervisors’ name if they do not hold their own license.

*Please Note: For a group profile, all participating therapists must have completed a master’s degree in a psychotherapy-related field and be licensed, provisionally licensed, or pre-licensed. Student interns cannot be included in group profiles, all student interns must have individual profiles.

If you would like to create profiles for each therapist, which we recommend, each therapist would need to fill out the application in order to create their profile.

The application can be found here.

Q: What happens after I apply?

After being approved to be an Open Path Member Clinician, we will send you a username and password to set up your profile page. Once we send a client your way, they will get in touch with you to schedule the first therapy session.

Q: What do you do with my professional information on my application?

We simply use it for our own records: Open Path will never share or sell your information. Our only goal is to connect you with people who can’t afford therapy while supporting your practice in the process.

Q: How much do I have to pay to have a profile page on your site?

Absolutely nothing! Part of our mission is to support you in your therapy or counseling practice. As Open Path grows and our visibility increases, your visibility will increase too. It’s our belief that your involvement with Open Path will have a positive impact for your full-fee practice as well, driving new web traffic to your practice’s homepage. Also, we’re committed to supporting your practice in other ways: Click here to learn more about the benefits of being an Open Path Member Clinician.

Rates & Fees

Q: Can I ask or require my Open Path clients to pre-pay for sessions?
No. Open Path therapists can charge the negotiated Open Path rate at the time of the session. We ask that you not charge clients in advance of sessions, especially for multiple sessions at a time. With the client’s consent, you may request to keep a credit card on file so that session fees are collected in a timely manner.
Q: How long do Open Path sessions have to be?

A: The Open Path sliding scale rates of $40-$70 per session for individuals and $40-$80 for couples and family are based on a standard, 50-minute session. If a session will be longer than 50 minutes, you can prorate the session fee. For example, you could charge $126 for a 90-minute intake session. You may not offer sessions that are shorter than the standard, 50-minute session.

If you have any further questions regarding setting the fee, please email Open Path at

Q: I’m a therapist in Canada. Are Open Path session rates charged in U.S. dollars or Canadian dollars?
Canadian therapists can charge Open Path clients between $40-$70 CAD for individual sessions or $40-$80 CAD for couples or family sessions.
Please note that Canadian clients will submit their one-time, $65 registration fee in U.S. dollars directly to Open Path.
Q: Can I offer the reduced rate for a limited number of sessions, and then raise the rate above $70 after the limit is met?

We do not allow member therapists to raise the rate after a certain number of sessions to an amount over $70. We ask that you see Open Path clients within the range of $40-70 per session ($40-80 for couples and family counseling).

Q: If a client’s financial situation positively changes, is it acceptable to renegotiate their fee outside of Open Path’s $40-70 range?

Yes, if a client’s financial situation significantly improves, it is acceptable to renegotiate their fee. For example, if the client is paying $40 a session and a therapist’s rate is $125 and the client suddenly gets a high paying job, we believe it’s financially and therapeutically appropriate and important to change the fee. The therapist would be encouraged to respectfully renegotiate the rate with the client at that time. If the client has any questions about their membership with Open Path at that point, the therapist can direct them to Open Path at

Q: Why do you charge low(er) fee paying clients a membership fee?

Open Path is a nonprofit organization: we use the funds we receive from the membership fee to market Open Path, maintain our website, pursue grants and other avenues of funding, and recruit new therapists and counselors nationwide.

Q: What am I allowed to charge Open Path clients for couples counseling and/or family therapy?

Open Path member therapists are allowed to charge up to $80 for couples counseling and/or family therapy sessions. If you plan to charge greater than $70 for this kind of session, we recommend that you share that information on your Open Path profile so that clients know what to expect.

Open Path Clients

Q: So you’ve received your first Open Path referral. What’s next?
1. Reach out to the client within 4 business days. If it is not a good fit, or you’re not accepting new clients, refer them back to Open Path for assistance in finding a different therapist. If you’re not accepting new clients please update your availability on your account dashboard.
2. Schedule your first session, and negotiate the Open Path session rate ($40-$70 for individuals, $40-$80 for couples/family). Then, proceed as you would with any other self-pay client. Your intake forms, consent forms, payment systems, and preferred communication method are all the same as what you normally use. Your account dashboard is used only for updating your profile/availability/and finding important information and benefits for Open Path therapists.
*If you are a student intern, you will charge a flat, $30 rate for all modalities.
Q: What makes a client eligible to be an Open Path member?

Open Path serves clients in financial need who are seeking affordable therapy. Open Path clients cannot afford market rates for therapy, are uninsured or underinsured, and have an annual household income below $100,000.

By underinsured, we are referring to people who have health insurance that does not include affordable in-network mental health benefits. This could be due to a high deductible and/or a copay higher than $70 per session for individual therapy (or higher than $80 per session for couples or family therapy). Learn more.

Q: Can I see more than two clients at a time?

Yes. As long as your profile page indicates that you are accepting new Open Path clients, we will do our best to send them in your direction.

Q: How many clients do I have to see to be an Open Path therapist?

Just one. Your profile page has a field for you to indicate and update your availability to show if you have space for a new client or not.

Q: Can my current low(er) fee paying clients become Open Path clients?

Yes. Your client(s) would need to fill out our application and pay our one-time $65 membership fee.

Q: How will Open Path bring new clients to my door?

In addition to strengthening your digital presence and fielding queries from potential clients who discover Open Path in their own web search or via word of mouth, we support therapists who wish to conduct outreach to gain additional referrals. If there are organizations in your community you’d like to contact, please let us know by emailing and we can provide you with the needed materials and information.

Thanks to a generous grant from Google, we direct marketing resources toward targeted ads designed to increase the number of referrals throughout the country.

Q: I don’t have any room in my current caseload, can I still join?

Yes, with a caveat. After signing up for Open Path, you may indicate on your profile page that you are not currently accepting Open Path clients. We do ask that within six months time, you change this status on your page to make room for at least one Open Path client in your caseload.

Q: If a non-Open Path client requests reduced fee appointments with me, and I have no room in my schedule, may I refer them to Open Path?

Of course. We hope that Open Path will help alleviate the burden of saying no to certain clients. While we can’t promise there will be a therapist available to work with them, we welcome the referral and will do our best to help them find an affordable clinician.

Q: Can clients who have Medicaid use Open Path?

If there are no available Medicaid providers in the client’s area, a client could use Open Path to meet their need for affordable mental health care. It’s important to note that Open Path rates are much higher than Medicaid rates for psychotherapy. If there are available Medicaid providers in the client’s area, we ask that they not use Open Path.

Q: If I am already seeing a few Open Path clients and I don’t have room for more, will I get swamped with phone calls from people hoping to work with me?

No. You will be able to indicate whether or not you are accepting Open Path clients on your profile page. This page is always in your control.

Modalities Offered

Q: Instead of individual therapy, may I see an Open Path client in a group setting, or propose this to my prospective Open Path client as an option?

This is between you and your client. However, we expect that all Open Path clients have access to one-on-one sessions with their therapist if they prefer it.

Q: What are Open Path’s guidelines on online therapy?

Open Path allows its member therapists to offer online therapy. We strongly encourage all therapists offering online therapy to research the guidelines or policies of their state’s licensing board as well as of their medical liability insurance policy. Some therapists may only be able to offer remote counseling to clients located in the same state as where they are licensed. We also highly recommend that therapists conduct an initial assessment with new clients requesting online therapy to determine the appropriateness of this approach before regular sessions are undertaken.