You can turn to a psychotherapist directly. You need only your health insurance card. You do not need a referral from a general practitioner or specialist.
We agree on an initial appointment for an interview, during which we will spend 50 minutes‘ time together. Initial interviews are for the purpose of getting to know each other and finding out whether you have a complaint that needs treatment. The most important thing about these initial interviews is that you also get an impression as to whether you can speak openly and confidently with me. The five first meetings are called “probationary sessions” (probatorische Sitzungen). I ask you expressly after the first “probationary” sessions whether you agree to treatment. I will suggest a specific treatment to you, explain the alternatives, and agree on the goals of the treatment with you.
Your health insurance covers the costs of these sessions in any event. What you discuss is not passed on to anyone else – not to your employer and not to your health insurance. We are bound by an oath of professional secrecy, which means that it is forbidden for us to pass on personal information about patients to others without the patient‘s explicit agreement.
Psychotherapy does not work overnight. You should therefore prepare yourself for a period of treatment lasting several months, during which you will have at least one session of 50 minutes a week. At the start of treatment, treatment goals are agreed upon together and the treatment plan is explained. It should therefore be clear to you when these goals have been achieved.