This guide explains:
- How to find an English-speaking psychotherapist
- The difference between psychotherapists, psychiatrists and others
- The costs of getting therapy in Berlin
Psychiatrist, psychotherapist or counsellor?
Psychiatrists solve mental health problems with medical treatments. They are doctors who studied medicine.2
They can diagnose mental health problems, prescribe medication and give therapy. Many accept public health insurance.
They can diagnose mental health problems, give therapy and coach people. Some accept public health insurance, but most don’t. They can’t prescribe medication. They can’t give you a sick note.
Alternative practitioners for psychotherapy (Heilpraktiker für Psychotherapie) have varied qualifications and training. Some were licenced psychotherapists in another country. Others have no therapy training, and only passed a 60 minute exam.8
They can diagnose mental health problems, give therapy and coach people. They can’t give you a sick note. They can’t prescribe medication or call themselves psychotherapists. They are usually “therapists”. Look for words like “Heilpraktikergesetz”, “HeilprG” or “HPG” in their title.9
They are not covered by public health insurance.7
Counsellors have no specific qualifications. It’s not a protected title, so anyone can be a counsellor.4 Many therapists who move to Germany become counsellors because their diplomas are not recognised in Germany.6
They can only coach and advise people. They can’t diagnose mental health problems, give therapy, prescribe medication or give sick notes.
They are not covered by public health insurance.
How hard is it to find a psychotherapist?
It’s very hard. If you have public health insurance, it’s harder, because many therapists only accept private health insurance and self-pay.1 Many therapists are too busy, and don’t accept new clients. If you are lucky, it takes a week. If you are not lucky, it can take months.
How much does psychotherapy cost?
In Berlin, it costs around 100€ per hour.1 Group therapy is usually cheaper.
If you have public health insurance, find a therapist that accepts public insurance. Your insurance will cover the therapy. You don’t have to pay anything.
If you have private health insurance, your insurance will usually refund the costs. Check with your health insurer first, just to be sure.
If you are a student, you can also get free therapy from your Studentenwerk.
List of therapists
Other lists of therapists
These directories help you find English-speaking therapists:
- KV Berlin – Find therapists who accept public health insurance, with language filters
- Therapie.de directory – Therapist search by language
- It’s Complicated – Find therapists by language and insurance type
- ACTBerlin’s therapist directory – List of therapists with language information
- Doctolib – Find doctors and therapists by language
- AngloInfo’s English-speaking therapist directory
- Stillpoint Spaces – Find therapists by language
Your employer and your university might give you access to psychotherapy. It could be easier than finding a therapist yourself.
These resources can also help:
- Berliner Krisendienst – Emergency help, 24/7, also in English
- StudentenWERK counselling services – Counselling for students
- Schwulenberatung Berlin – Counselling for LGBTQ people
- Frauentreffpunkt – English, Spanish and German counselling for women who are victims of domestic violence
- GLADT – Help for people of colour and LGBTQ people
- Vista Berlin – Help for people with alcohol or drug addiction
- Mental State Berlin – Facebook group about mental health in Berlin
If you need psychological help right now, call the Berliner Krisendienst. They speak English, and they are available 24/7.