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Old 11.12.2020, 02:56
doropfiz doropfiz is offline
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Re: Psychotherapy, what it is and how to get it

How to Get Psychotherapy

Typically, start by going to see your doctor. By this, I mean your general practitioner (GP, in German Hausarzt). This is the usual first place to go, when in need of any kind of medical and/or psychological help.

The GP is the starting point and the coordinating hub. The GP's job is to listen as the patient sets out their symptoms and the outline of their worries, and then to decide, together with the patient, whether the person needs physical tests, or psychological support for a short while, or something urgent, or something that lasts longer. Sometimes, a good conversation with a GP, perhaps several over a few visits, can be very therapeutic, especially if the patient already has built up a relationship of trust with the doctor, or else if the doctor is wise from rich life experience, and/or particularly perspicacious. And those conversations may very well suffice to help the patient find their own way again. As far as I know, there is even an official billing/tariff point for a GP to bill for psychotherapy.

If the matter is urgent and the patient seems to be desperate, or clearly going to be long-term, the GP may arrange for a place in a clinic.

If more therapy is needed, but a clinic unnecessary, and if the GP's practice doesn't feel like the right place for the conversation, the GP will recommend that the patient goes to someone else. Ideally, the GP will know a suitable psychiatrist or a psychologist to whom to refer the patient.

This may be a psychiatrist, if the GP thinks that it is imperative that someone makes a proper diagnosis, and if the GP thinks that medication may be necessary, or simply because of the convenience and security of knowing that the medical insurance will certainly cover those consultations. Or it may be a psychologist. As long as the person is qualified as and working as a psychotherapist, it does not really matter whether their original qualification was that of a psychiatrist or a psychologist. That specialist may recommend a colleague who is better suited to the patient or to the material, either straight away, or after having seen the patient once.

If the GP does not know to whom to refer the patient (and yes, that happens), the GP will encourage the patient to search, themselves, but will write a letter of referral for the psychotherapist, and if need be (depending upon the patient's medical insurance cover) a letter of motivation for the costs to be covered.

Some patients have to do the search themselves, and some prefer to. Some need the backing of their GP, and some of their medical insurance, and some intend to foot the bill themselves. It's a good idea to collect recommendations from friends, or from fora, or to wade through therapist's websites, or search on
and contact the psychotherapist directly.
I hope others will add useful links.

In any case, it is important to find a good fit. Different criteria are important to different people. The patient should feel comfortable with the language, gender, location of the practice and transport logistics, physical space in the practice, voice and intent of the psychotherapist, etc. It usually takes one, two or at the most three sessions for the patient and the therapist to decide whether or not they wish to continue together.

Last edited by doropfiz; 11.12.2020 at 03:32.
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