Affordable Therapy Ontario Practicum Progam (ATOPP)

Our mission is to provide top quality professional therapy training while serving the community by offering affordable therapy to all!

Our University Partners

Information for Prospective Practicum Students

Looking to do your psychotherapy practicum? You’re in the right place.

Affordable Therapy Ontario welcomes all students to apply to our practicum program. We welcome all students to apply, as we celebrate and affirm all persons of all cultures, ethnicities, faiths, ages, abilities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and intersectionalities.

What We Offer

Before working with their own clients, therapist interns are provided an intensive 40 hour introductory course offered by our clinical supervisors. This mandatory week-long course covers all the essentials to lead therapists to succeeding in private practice, including training on all our systems, a thorough overview of the most important aspects of doing therapy, and the secrets to success in our industry.

Interns are also provided the opportunity to observe our senior therapists in session to get real-life perspectives of what it’s like to conduct a therapy session. After the training and observations, therapist interns are then provided clients to work with in a measured fashion, so that caseloads grow gradually and sustainably.

Finally, our student therapists are provided ongoing monthly trainings to gradually introduce more advanced concepts and skills. 

We offer therapist interns the opportunity to complete their required Direct Client Contact (DCC) hours by working with individuals, couples, and families in our practice, Building Bridges Psychotherapy.

Interns may be offered the opportunity to work in-person at one of our many locations in Ontario (Mississauga, Guelph, Vaughan, Toronto, Markham, and Windsor). Interns will also provide therapy video over video and phone.

Most of our affiliated graduate programs require that therapist interns complete 200 hours of DCC, though it is quite common for our therapists to complete even more hours if they so choose. To date, none of our graduated therapist interns has ever failed to reach their school’s DCC requirement by the end of their practicum.

In addition to providing our student therapists with the opportunity to work with individuals, we also proudly offer training and experience working with couples and families. After our student therapists have sufficient experience doing individual therapy, our student therapists are then provided with extensive training on how to provide relational therapy (i.e., couple therapy and family therapy), and are then provided with couple and family clients to work with.

Being able to work with couples and families offers our student therapists a tremendous competitive advantage post-graduation, as it sets them apart from the average therapist.

We also provide intensive, thorough, and high quality individual and group supervision to our students on a frequent basis, by our experienced clinical supervisors. Our supervisors meet the required criteria for clinical supervision by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Many of our supervisions are also highly experienced in their respective fields, as they are also either professors, published authors, or highly experienced supervisors with many years of training therapists. 

As for quantity of supervision hours, most of our affiliated programs require that we provide 30 hours of clinical supervision at the supervisee’s cost, whereas we provide our supervisees roughly 70 hours of supervision, at no cost for the supervisee. We believe that interns need a lot more than 30 hours of supervision to be properly trained during their one practicum. We also believe that graduate school tuition is expensive enough.

What You Offer

  • You are enrolled in a Master’s level CRPO-accredited program (or equivalent)
  • You will have completed the required coursework that your program deems necessary by the time you wish to start your practicum
  • You will have completed all other requirements to start doing therapy by the time you wish to start your practicum, as set by your program
  • You must be able to do therapy virtually
  • If you’re able to do therapy in-person at one of our locations, that’s a bonus!
  • Your values as a therapist align with our values 
  • Our approaches to therapy  aligns with how you’d like to do therapy
  • You are relationally-focused, strength-based, and committed to inclusivity and anti-oppression
  • You are passionate about mental health, helping people, and psychotherapy!
  • If you also want to work with couples and families: that’s a bonus!

How To Apply

  • An up-to-date resume
  • A cover letter addressed to our practice
  • An up to date Vulnerable Sector Check provided by the police (can submit after applying, only needed before the practicum starts)
  • Fill out our online application form. Take your time to submit the form. You can save your progress and return to it later if needed.
  • Submit your Resume and Cover letter. If you have google drive, you can upload it directly in the application form (preferred). Or, you can send it to [email protected]
  • If you have your Vulnerable Sector Check, you can also upload it or email it, but you can submit it at a later time if needed.

Congratulations on submitting your application! If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted in the near future. We thank all who apply, but only those considered for an interview will be contacted.

Our Team

Justin Michel, MA, MSc, RP

Director of Clinical Training

I believe that there is good in every person, and hope in every situation. I believe that relationships are the heart of our well-being and mental health concerns. I decided to create Building Bridges Psychotherapy to help people connect with what’s most important to them—family, partners, culture, community, and themselves.

After years of working with thousands of clients, I realized there was a need for affordable therapy. At the same time, students have been reaching out on a continual basis asking to do their internship at our practice. The solution to both was simple, so I created Affordable Therapy Ontario with the goal of making therapy financially accessible to all, while at the same time providing a top of the line training program for the next generation of therapists.

Sierrah Hamilton

Practicum Coordinator

Hello! My name is Sierrah and I am the practicum coordinator for the Affordable Therapy Ontario Practicum Program (ATOPP). In this role, I focus on practicum student applications and intake, hours tracking, and providing support to the students throughout their placement.

I am also in my fourth year of the Specialized Honours Psychology program at York University, working towards a career in clinical child psychology.

Tarana Steinke

Intake Specialist

Hey there! My name is Tarana and I am honoured to be one of the voices taking intake calls and responding to your messages at ATO! Aspiring to become a psychotherapist, I am currently enrolled in a masters in Counselling Psychology at Western University. I am passionate about mental health accessibility, sex education, and the importance of healthy relationships during adolescent identity development. When I’m not studying or working you may find me on a canoe trip, playing board games, or blending voices with my choral buddies.

Elizabeth Bushara

Intake Specialist

I am a finance manager by day and a client care specialist by night! I love helping others and connecting with people, which is why I always look forward to doing this job. Although I don’t work in the field, I have my BSC in Psychology & Health Sciences from UofT, and I am extremely passionate about learning how our behaviours are developed and affected by things and people around us! Outside of my work, I spend my free time serving my church community, tutoring children and serving low-income families. I strongly believe that we are all here to help each other and never judge others. I’m always happy to learn new things and help others when given the opportunity, and watch a lot of TV when I can!