Guide to Psychotherapy

How do I get access to therapy?

Is this a completely new topic for you? Has a therapy been recommended to you or prescribed by your doctor? Do you have unanswered questions? This introductory brochure from the Federal Chamber of Psychological Psychotherapists provides answers (in German).

In fact, the question of how to get psychotherapy is surprisingly complex.

The question of how to get psychotherapy depends on three aspects:

What problems do people looking for therapy present?

There are certain problems that are not treated the same way by different psychotherapist. An obvious example are problems which are common for women, such as maternity. Other problems, e.g. alcoholism, can be treated better or even exclusively in a specialised clinic.

Who pays for treatment? Does insurance cover the cost?

Most people seeking psychotherapy hope to have the cost covered by their public or private health insurance. The statutory regulations sometimes result in considerable restrictions in the choice of practitioners and the forms of treatment available. Certain treatments (e.g. couples therapy) are only possible if you cover the costs yourself. A very special situation is the treatment by the so-called reimbursement of costs, according to the assumption of costs by the public health insurance companies.

What types of therapy exist and which will suit me best?

Many people initially turn to a psychotherapist who was recommended to them. However, the therapist may not be equipped for specific treatments or there may be difficulties relating to cost coverage. Certain treatment methods are particularly suitable for some problem areas. Then there are special problems, for example traumas, which suggest a special form of therapy.

These three areas: the problem to be dealt with, questions of cost coverage and available treatment methods are closely interlinked in chosing the correct treatment and practitioner.

If you have not already done so, please read the information about psychotherapy in general first.