Since the introduction of the Psychotherapists Act of 1999, training, fields of activity and permits have been for Psychotherapists precisely regulated. While professional groups such as psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors with additional training are allowed to perform psychotherapy, only people who meet very specific criteria are allowed to call themselves psychotherapists.
Psychotherapists are in demand when severe psychological and psychosomatic stress is caused by problems in marriage, the job, disturbed parent-child relationships or unprocessed traumatic experiences.
Psychotherapists are allowed to carry out healing psychotherapy. It is a protected term reserved for people who have completed a university degree in medicine, psychology or psychiatry and who have completed several years of additional training.
At the end of their training and after passing all exams, the prospective psychotherapists receive their state approval. If you want to work as a psychotherapist for children and young people, you can also study social work, pedagogy or music therapy. The additional training focuses on a specific therapeutic method.
Alternative practitioners with appropriate additional training are also allowed to practice psychotherapy, but they have to call themselves "alternative practitioners for psychotherapy"; they are not entitled to the designation "psychotherapist".
Psychotherapists work in clinics, hospitals, their own practice, various advice centers, teaching and research. Psychotherapy is generally used for mental illnesses. Alternative terms are mental disorders or mental illnesses.
To qualify as psychotherapy, there must be symptoms "with a disease value", for example depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia or addiction problems. Psychotherapists are in demand when severe psychological and psychosomatic stress is caused by problems in marriage, the job, disturbed parent-child relationships or unprocessed traumatic experiences.
Often the transition between a mental illness like a depressive mood and "normal" emotions like deep sadness is fluid. One criterion for determining a mental illness is that the symptoms persist over a long period of time or keep coming back.
If there are no complaints with an illness value, the activity of the psychotherapist is not counted as therapy, but only as advice. The health insurance companies only cover the costs of illness-related psychotherapy.
psychotherapy can be done in individual or group sessions. The psychotherapist uses five to eight sessions to clarify the clinical picture. Extensive patient interviews and psychological tests are mainly used to make a diagnosis. Family members and spouses may also be interviewed.
Furthermore, a medical report must be submitted, which excludes a physical illness and shows exactly which medication the patient is taking. This is followed by short-term therapy with up to 25 therapy hours or long-term therapy. The latter can have a maximum duration of 45 to 240 hours, depending on the disease and the type of therapy used.
The health insurance companies support three common forms of psychotherapy: Behavioral therapy aims to "help people help themselves". The patient should learn methods of being able to live better with certain situations or a general disorder in the future. For example, stimuli that trigger certain reactions are analyzed and new behaviors are trained.
The Psychotherapy based on depth psychology focuses more on root cause research. The therapist tries to connect the current disorders with traumatic childhood experiences or unconscious disorders. Finding the causes should alleviate the symptoms.
The third major form of treatment is that analytical psychotherapy. It is a long-term therapy that is unlimited in time and mainly deals with the patient's childhood and adolescence. Defense mechanisms and fear management are an important focus.
When choosing the Psychotherapists The first question that arises is whether the administration of medication is desirable or necessary. A medical psychotherapist, i.e. a medical graduate, is allowed to perform psychotherapy and prescribe medication.
A psychological psychotherapist is not allowed to prescribe medication, but will also recommend a visit to a psychiatrist and work closely with him if he considers the administration of medication in addition to psychotherapy to be useful.
Furthermore, the question arises as to whether cooperation with a psychotherapist or an alternative practitioner for psychotherapy is desired. Psychotherapists are generally well trained due to strict regulations; there are sometimes large differences in training among alternative practitioners. However, they can very well specialize in certain therapeutic procedures.
Other important questions are: Which therapy method appears to be the most appealing and most useful? Is individual or group therapy desired? Which treatments does the health insurance company pay for? Medical psychotherapists generally have a more scientific-biological way of working, psychological psychotherapists usually work more on the psyche. Ultimately, one thing above all has to be right: the chemistry and the relationship of trust between patient and therapist.