If you are governmentally insured:

In this case, a little more effort is required to apply for psychotherapy from both you and for us the therapists. As a member of a statutory health insurance you have a choice among all contract physicians and contract psychotherapists. You can consult a psychotherapist with a “Kassensitz” directly with your insurance card.

Although this should allow for a simple answer for anyone seeking psychotherapy, in the last several years there has been a massive "under-supply" of the therapists with a “Kassensitz”. Therefore this often leads to waiting several months for a therapist.

There is however an amendment that allows for a solution to this dilemma called "emergency regulation for under-supply (§13 Abs.3 SGB V)". Essentially this caviet means if the waiting period is unacceptably long, your health care provider can reimburse your treatment by a therapist without a “Kassensitz”. To achieve this solution you must apply for the costs via the "cost reimbursement procedure" (Kostenerstattungsverfahren) at your health insurance company.

A brief checklist to aid in requesting cost reimbursement:

  1. Step: Call your health insurance company
    Call the person in charge of your health insurance and ask how best to apply for a "Kostenerstattungsverfahren für Psychotherapie". At this time it is also good to ask which documents are required for the application.
  2. Step: Schedule a first session in our praxis
    If your health insurance company is willing to accept the costs, please make an initial consultation with us. If your health insurance covers the costs of psychotherapy, it usually will reimburse the costs for an initial consultation.
    In our first session, we talk about your issues that lead you to apply for psychotherapy. During this session the conditional framework, open questions and the organizational aspects can be discussed. In addition, you have the opportunity to check whether you feel comfortable in our practice and whether or not you can imagine therapy with us.
  3. Step: Collect proof of limited psychotherapy rehabilitation availibility
    Contact at least five, and possibly more (ask your health insurance how many as some require 10) therapists with ”Kassensitz”. Write down the name, date, time and result of the telephone call (for example, Therapeut Mustermann, Mustermannstr.1, Cologne, 1.1.2013, 13.45h, waiting time 8 months before therapy). Please be sure to note that an initial consultation session does not necessarily involve a timely start of therapy. Often, a first interview only takes you to the monthly waiting list. Therefore it is essential to clarify when the actual start of therapy can take place!
  4. Step: Acquire a Doctor’s consultation report
    Make an appointment with your doctor (your family physician for example). The health insurance companies are required to prove that a physician is in favor of the admission of a near-term Psychotherapy. The physician certifies that psychotherapy is recommended independent of medical treatment.

For further information on the cost reimbursement procedure, please consult the brochure of the Federal Psychotherapeutic Chamber.