In Germany psychotherapy follows a certain formal pattern: We will make an appointment and you will come to one to three sessions of consultation (Sprechstunde), each lasting about 50 minutes. In these sessions we get to know each other, you tell me about your problem, and we try to find out, what an adequate help or treatment might be.
If behavior or trauma therapy is an adequate treatment in your case we will have 2-4 so called probatory sessions of 50 minutes each, where you tell me more about your problems and your life. We will try to find out, why you are not feeling well and how your problem is connected with your life history and your behavior. We also put the emphasis on your skills and ressources. These sessions also give us the opportunity to find out whether we can work with each other and whether you feel safe working with me. If we both feel comfortable with each other you have to see a medical doctor to get a physical (as a psychologist I don’t have sufficient knowledge of somatic disorders). Following this we will file a request for psychotherapy with your medical insurance, either as a short term therapy with up to 24 sessions or a long term therapy with 60 sessions, each 50 minutes. If we need more time we can request more sessions. Up to 80 sessions are paid by the insurance companies.
If it turns out in the consultation sessions that you need psychotherapy very urgently we can start right away with an acute treatment of 12 sessions.