At a glance

Here you will find the answers to frequently asked questions, as well as some definitions.

Frequently asked questions

What is psychotherapy?
Translated literally, the term psychotherapy means two things: On one side, it means treating the soul or emotional problems. On the other side, it means treating patients through psychological methods, without the use of drugs or medicine.

The psychotherapist law defines psychotherapy as "each practice which is done using scientifically recognized psychotherapeutic methods in order to determine, heal or ease disorders with a medical condition where psychotherapy is indicated."

How do I get access to psychotherapy?
You can get a referral from a doctor to a psychotherapist or you can contact a psychotherapist directly.

Which costs are covered by health insurance funds?
Health insurance funds cover all treatment costs, as long as it is a mental disorder with a medical condition - among those disorders are anxiety disorders, depressions, eating disorders, personality disorders, psychosomatic disorders, addictions, behavioral disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders. Whether such a mental disorder exists, can be determined by a psychological psychotherapist. The therapist then applies to the statutory or private health insurance for the coverage of the costs.
Services such as child guidance, marriage or life counseling are not covered by health insurance funds.

What is a psychological psychotherapist?
After an additional qualification, acquired in a recognized therapy education, psychologists with a relevant university degree receive this job description, which is protected by the psychotherapist law (Psychotherapeutengesetz) since January 1999. An approval by the statutory health insurance is only possible on this legal basis.

How long does the therapy take?
Before the therapy begins, there are up to five trial sessions, which serves to make a detailed diagnosis and to help us get to know each other. The costs for those sessions are covered by the statutory health insurance without prior application. After that, the therapist, in accordance with the patient, files an application with the relevant statutory health insurance for the cost coverage of the therapy. Usually a short term therapy, which comprises up to 25 sessions, is applied for. A session lasts 50 minutes and usually takes place weekly. Beyond that, a long term therapy of up to 80 sessions can be applied for in multiple steps.