Public health insurance
Psychotherapy: Most Germans and people who live in Germany have public health insurance. The following kinds of psychotherapy are covered by public insurance: Cognitive-behavioral therapy, depth-psychology and classical analytical therapy for groups and single patients. In order to bill public health insurance providers, a psychotherapist needs a health insurance license or has to make a contract for reimbursement with the insurance provider for a single patient directly. The first five sessions are the probatory sessions and are available to all therapists. In this phase, the therapist and client are supposed to get to know each other and apply for the actual therapy. Short-term therapy is 25 sessions long, long-term therapy starts at 50 sessions, and can be up to 100 sessions in depth-psychology, 80 sessions in CBT and considerably longer in analytical therapy.
Generally speaking, there is a 2-year-stop for the respective procedure after a therapy has been completed.
This means, that if you have completed a 50 session therapy and you unexpectedly fall ill again in that 2-year timespan, you have to initiate a change of procedure in order for your therapy to be covered by public health-insurance. In especially severe cases the regional association might step in after the sessions quota has been exhausted, or the stop can be reversed. However, this can only happen if special reasons are given.
Long-term therapy of 100 sessions always has to be justified with a medical assessment, which then has to be examined and approved by the health insurance provider. In this assessment the therapist has to explain why the therapy is necessary and promises healing. If this cannot be sufficiently reasoned, for instance if a person has had the disorder for decades and has not responded to any treatment, the insurance provider might refuse to cover the costs. So there are always also economic considerations that go into an application for therapy. Speak to your therapist about the necessary number of sessions and the formalities of the application.