When should someone start receiving therapy?

Paths to psychotherapy: where can I get help?

For many people, friends and relatives are the first point of contact when they are not doing well. Anyone who needs professional help with psychological problems can first contact their family doctor, a psychosocial counseling center or a psychotherapeutic or psychiatric practice directly.

Psychotherapeutic consultation hours: An initial interview in a psychotherapeutic practice has been possible since 2017 without a doctor's referral or an application to the health insurance company. In the psychotherapeutic consultation you can get advice on your problems and assess whether psychotherapy could be helpful or necessary.

Acute treatment: In emergencies, psychiatric practices with an emergency service, psychotherapeutic outpatient clinics, psychiatric or psychosomatic clinics are available. Since 2017, psychotherapeutic practices have also been able to offer acute treatment without having to apply to the health insurance company. You are entitled to acute treatment if the psychological complaints could otherwise become more severe or chronic, or an inability to work or hospitalization would be probable. The outpatient acute treatment can include up to 24 appointments of 25 minutes each.

Psychosocial counseling centers: Psychosocial counseling centers are, for example, family, women, education, life or addiction counseling centers. Employees from various professional groups such as doctors, (social) pedagogues, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers and specially trained nurses work together there to help those seeking advice with their problems. The counseling centers are usually financed by their provider, by subsidies and donations. They do not offer any therapies themselves, but they can advise, inform about support options and convey them.

Social psychiatric services: Another point of contact are the social psychiatric services. They are located at the health authorities and can be used free of charge. Above all, they look after and accompany people with acute or chronic mental illnesses in need of treatment. Also in the social psychiatric services, teams from medicine and nursing, psychotherapy and social education advise and support. The specialists usually do not offer any therapies themselves, but can determine whether someone has a disease that requires treatment. They also accompany people who are currently doing one or have been to a clinic to give them additional support. Relatives, friends and colleagues can also contact the Social Psychiatric Service if they feel that someone around them needs help. The social psychiatric services also offer home visits if necessary.

The employees in the social psychiatric services and psychosocial counseling centers, like therapists, are subject to confidentiality.