- SBK benefits
- Back Advice
- Insurance and tariffs
- Meine SBK
- Health care in Germany
Coping with psychological issues with the help of SBK
In many cases, psychotherapy can help alleviate or even completely eliminate psychological problems. These problems can lead to the affected person no longer being able to cope with daily life or result in psychosomatic problems.
If you feel that you may benefit from receiving psychotherapy, please speak to your doctor. They can then identify if any physical causes may be responsible or partly responsible. If this is not the case, they will recommend treatment from a psychotherapist to help improve your condition.
We here at SBK will help you to find a therapist and cover all recognised forms of therapy. You will find all the information you need on this page.
Before starting the actual psychotherapy, there is usually an initial discussion, known as the psychotherapeutic consultation, as well as trial sessions with the therapist, known as probatory sessions. For the subsequent treatment, there is the option of short-term or long-term therapy or in urgent cases the option of acute treatment. Below you will find details on these types of psychotherapy treatment.
All patients begin their psychotherapy treatment with a psychotherapeutic consultation. Your psychotherapist will ascertain during the initial discussion whether you require treatment and what kind of care you need. If your therapist identifies a particularly urgent need for treatment, they may recommend acute psychotherapy treatment of up to twelve sessions. If your therapist considers psychotherapy to be necessary, the consultation will be followed by probatory sessions.
If your therapist identifies a particularly urgent need for treatment during the initial consultation, a course of acute psychotherapy treatment of up to twelve sessions may be considered. Acute treatment is used for crisis intervention and can, if necessary, lead to short-term or long-term psychotherapy. Any therapy sessions already carried out in the acute treatment are counted towards the subsequent psychotherapy.
If during the initial consultation the therapist determines that you require psychotherapy, trial consultations known as probatory sessions will follow. In these sessions, you and your therapist will examine together whether the ‘chemistry’ between you is right and if a trusting relationship can be built between you. Before therapy begins, a minimum of two probatory sessions is prescribed.
During the probatory sessions, you must decide if you want to continue with this therapist. If you want to change therapists, you will have a minimum of two further probatory sessions with the new therapist.
Short-term therapy is initially limited to twelve hours of treatment. If a continuation is necessary after these twelve hours of treatment have been completed, your therapist can apply to SBK for up to twelve more hours. Short-term therapy can therefore include up to 24 hours of treatment in total.
If you have already completed any acute therapy with the same therapist, that time will be counted towards this total.
If during the probatory sessions or short-term therapy your therapist determines that you require long-term therapy, you can apply for long-term therapy together with your therapist. The maximum allocation of hours that SBK can approve depends on the form of therapy.
The following allocations apply for the initial application:
Behavioural therapy: 60 hours
Psychodynamic therapy: 60 hours
Analytic psychotherapy: 160 hours
If required, your therapist can request another extension. The following upper limits apply for the three forms of therapy for adults:
Behavioural therapy: 80 hours
Psychodynamic therapy: 100 hours
Analytic psychotherapy: 300 hours
Different maximum allocations apply for children and young people. Please contact your personal consultant for more information on this.
Psychotherapy treatment starts with the psychotherapeutic consultation. This new form of therapy is intended to provide you with rapid support if you have psychological issues. Your therapist will clarify during the initial discussion whether you require treatment and what kind of care you need. As of 1 April 2018, participating in a psychotherapeutic consultation has been a mandatory requirement for continued psychotherapy treatment.
If you cannot find a therapist for the consultation in your area, the appointments office (Terminservicestelle) run by your federal state will arrange a consultation appointment for you within four weeks. You can find an overview of the services on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health. Please have your SBK health care card ready when you call.
If during the consultation your therapist determines that you require treatment, trial consultations known as probatory sessions will follow. In these sessions, you and your therapist will examine together whether the ‘chemistry’ between you is right and if a trusting relationship can be built between you.
After the probatory sessions, a physical examination will then be carried out by your GP or specialist. This is intended to exclude a physical disease as the cause of your psychological symptom.
If you decide to undergo psychotherapy, please submit an application to your personal consultant together with your therapist. In certain cases, we may consult a qualified expert. Once we have approved your application, you can begin therapy. All you need to do then is present your SBK health care card to your psychotherapist.