What is the reason why psychotherapy works

Psychotherapeutic treatment

Thepsychotherapy is one of the two pillars in treating depression.

In psychotherapy, mental illnesses and their side effects are throughconversations andExercises treated with a psychotherapist. The concreteTherapy goal will be determined in advance together.

Paths to Psychotherapy

As a rule, a medical diagnosis is useful first to clarify whether the symptoms are an expression of depression or another disease (e.g. thyroid disease, inflammation, brain disease). If psychotherapy is then recommended, the way to get there is usually via a "psychotherapeutic consultation". In this initial consultation, the medical or psychological psychotherapist clarifies whether the person concerned needs psychotherapy or not, or whether other treatment offers (e.g. medication) or support and counseling offers are helpful.

The appointment service points of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians arrange an appointment for the consultation hour. Those affected can still contact a medical or psychological psychotherapist directly.

If psychotherapy is necessary, there is the option of two to four trial sessions (so-calledprobatory sessions) to use. During these sessions, all open questions regarding the course of psychotherapy can be clarified with the psychotherapist. In addition, the patient can determine whether the "chemistry" is right, i.e. whether he and the psychotherapist can work together over the long term. If the psychotherapist has a statutory health insurance certificate (this does not apply to all psychologists, but only to the "psychological psychotherapists"), it will take overHealth insurance the costs for this upon request.

Around Addresses and phone numbersTo find out from medical and psychological psychotherapists in Germany, please contact:
your general practitioner or your specialist in psychiatry,
- the local health insurance companies,
- the local association of statutory health insurance physicians,
- the psychotherapy information service.

Important to know: a psychotherapeutic consultation does not mean that a treatment place is also available with this psychotherapist. If necessary, any necessary psychotherapy must be started with another psychotherapist. When contacting us by phone, you shouldn't be discouraged if only an answering machine is available or if a message is not called back immediately. The psychotherapists usually have telephone consultation hours. Here you can be reached directly to make appointments.

When choosing a psychotherapist, the type of therapy method and the type of mental illness play an important role.


Psychotherapy procedures

There arevarious psychotherapy proceduresbased on different scientific theories about the development and treatment of mental disorders.

In general, three psychotherapy procedures that can be used for a wide range of mental illnesses are paid for by the health insurance company (so-called guideline procedures). For the treatment of depression, cognitive behavioral therapy is by far the bestProof of effectiveness in front.

On how behavior therapy works: Dr. Frauke Goerges

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) belongs to the large group of behavioral therapy methods that are based on the laws of learning theory. In learning theory, mental illnesses are understood as the result of unfavorable (learning) experiences in the past. These unfavorable learning experiences are dealt with in therapy. With exercises and conversations, new, more favorable behaviors are learned.

In CBT, internal processes such as thoughts, (negative) attitudes and feelings are also addressed in order to change them. The treatment is therefore primarily about conveying and learning new behavior and thought patterns so that more joyful experiences are possible and the mood can normalize. Psychoeducation, in which the therapist conveys knowledge about the disease and ways of dealing with it actively, is also an important element of CBT.

The KVT takes place in one-to-one discussions, group sessions are also possible. In contrast to psychoanalysis and psychotherapy based on depth psychology, the therapeutic approach is clearly structured. The topics discussed in therapy relate to the present.

CBT usually comprises one to a maximum of two sessions per week and extends over 60 to 80 sessions, with short-term therapy of up to 24 hours being possible.

Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy based on depth psychology

The aim of psychoanalysis is to remember and work through conflicts, traumatic experiences (especially from childhood) and relationship patterns that are disturbed at an early age, which are usually not conscious. Psychoanalytic treatment is a process that aims to promote personal development and knowledge and thus recovery.

Psychoanalysis is rather unsuitable for the acute treatment of depression.

Psychotherapy based on depth psychology works with the findings of psychoanalysis and its further developments. Like psychoanalysis, it belongs to the psychodynamic process and has similar assumptions about the causes of mental illness.

In contrast to psychoanalysis, the focus of the treatment is on current psychological conflicts that the patient repeatedly experiences with himself and in relationships with others and that are dealt with in the therapy.


Additional information

More information on the subject of psychotherapy and ways to psychotherapy is available from Adviser to the Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists.