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Psychotherapy is specialist help for people with psychological or psychologically caused problems.

It is aimed at people who are not able to cope with disruptions to and problems in their lives because of their psychiatric problems and who are no longer able to deal with these alone or with the help of their usual contacts. Psychological problems can occur in all areas of a person’s life (in their dealings with their partners, in their sex life, in their work and in the way they feel about their lives) and can take different forms.

Psychotherapy can help!

You can talk about yourself and your concerns in a safe environment. For this purpose, you will have a space in which you can express any painful experiences, anxious thoughts and memories, and positive and negative feelings and impulses in the course of conversation (as well as to yourself).

As a result of fixed and regular appointments, the neutrality of the therapist and other basic conditions, unconscious patterns of conflict can be consciously explored. In this way, it is possible to establish links between the problems and their causes which you would not be able to find, bear or master in your own strength and through your own efforts.

Psychotherapy thus includes the development of solutions and patterns of action in your dealings with yourself and other people. It is an important and affirming experience to realise that psychological problems not only require psychological work, but can also be a source of new strength.

Therapeutic methods

In Germany, there are three qualitatively equivalent therapeutic methods which are recognised and thus paid for by the statutory health insurance funds:

  • psychoanalytical therapy;
  • deep psychologically based psychotherapy and
  • behavioural therapy.

For patients, it is important to discuss jointly with therapists what method is most suitable in individual cases. Other forms of therapy such as gestalt therapy, psychodrama, family therapy, bioenergetics, body psychotherapy, etc. are not reimbursed to members of statutory health insurance schemes.

Just as important as the kind of therapy is that the idea that you should feel good from the time of your first conversation with a therapist. If no trust develops during the first few sessions, you should look for another psychotherapist. The first five hours of treatment are referred to as probationary, i.e. preparatory sessions. During these sessions, the therapist will make a diagnosis and will, where relevant, decide what treatment is indicated.

After the probationary sessions with a psychotherapist, but before the therapist starts the actual treatment, you will have to visit a doctor, e.g. your GP. The latter will clarify whether any physical disease requiring treatment is present.

Your can find addresses and telephone numbers of psychotherapists on the website oft the Kassenärtzliche Vereinigung ('Association vo Health Insurance Fund Doctors').