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How to Find the Right Therapist in Hamburg

Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by It’s Complicated

Finding mental health support, especially in a city like Hamburg, can be daunting. Whether you’re seeking therapy covered by public health insurance or need immediate crisis intervention, knowing where to turn is crucial. Here’s a detailed guide to accessing mental health resources in Hamburg.

Why is it so hard to find a therapist in Hamburg?

First and foremost, let’s address the demand. Hamburg is a vibrant metropolis, home to a diverse population of 1,788,000 with a wide range of mental health needs. From students struggling with academic pressure to professionals facing workplace stress and from families going through relationship issues to those dealing with anxiety and depression, the demand for therapy is undoubtedly high. According to, the total number of therapists in Hamburg is 964. Unfortunately, the increased demand for therapists in the area exceeds the available supply.

Then come long waiting lists and difficulty securing appointments. On average, it takes about three months to get an initial interview with a psychotherapist. Another three months are required before 50% of the patients begin psychotherapy. So, the treatment typically starts almost six months after the first contact.

Even for those who find a therapist in Hamburg that meets their criteria, there are often logistical challenges to cope with. This includes financial considerations, but in our guide on how to find a therapist who you click with in Hamburg (who charge less than €150 per session and are accessible to a wider scope of people), you’ll be able to find a therapist in Hamburg who matches your preferences or speaks English with no problems.

Therapists who speak English in Hamburg

Living in Hamburg does not equate to living your life in German. The opinions on the topic language and therapy are varied, but roughly speaking, the theories can be split into two categories: Those that claim non-native therapy to be less effective and less emotional than therapy in your mother tongue, and those which say non-native therapy might be more analytical than native therapy.

The language barrier can also pose a significant obstacle for non-native German speakers seeking therapy in Hamburg. While English is widely spoken in the city, not all therapists offer services in languages other than German. As per, 358 English-speaking therapists are available in Hamburg. This is extremely low for an expat population of 362,900 in the city, which makes it a hassle for foreigners to find a therapist here. It takes work to get someone who speaks your language and comprehends your context and cultural background, which is crucial for effective therapy.

But like with so many other criteria when looking for a therapist, it’s good to ask yourself if you need someone who resembles you or if it’s enough to find someone who simply shares aspects of your cultural experience. In the end, more than anything else, it’s the therapeutic relationship and rapport that makes for successful therapy.

List of mental health resources in Hamburg

Accessing Therapy Covered by Public Health Insurance in Hamburg

It’s quite unique for Germany that the public health insurance will cover the costs of psychotherapy. Unfortunately, finding a therapist who speaks English and can be covered by your insurance can be so difficult that it leaves people seeking therapy both confused and distressed. That’s why we’ve distilled the notoriously kafkaesque process into 5 steps.

Finding a therapist in Hamburg who accepts your insurance and has availability for new patients might require some research and possibly a waitlist. Many therapists in Germany work within a framework called “Kassenärztliche Vereinigung” (KV), which means they are authorized to provide services covered by public health insurance. But it’s not that simple – finding a therapist who fits both your needs and your insurance is a challenge.

1. Contact the Terminservicestelle der Kassenärztlichen Vereinigung:

  • Dial 116117 (central telephone number) or visit their website to schedule an appointment with a psychotherapist who has availability for an initial consultation.
  • Website: Terminservicestelle
  • For those of you who are TK health insurance members, you can access doctors on call 24/7 by calling 040-46 06 61 91 00 for year-round medical support.

2. Finding a Psychotherapist Independently:

  • Utilize psychotherapist directories like Psych-info and Die KVH-Arztsuche to find English-speaking psychotherapists in Hamburg.

3. Online Directories for Psychiatric Hospitals and Counselling Centres:

A person attending an appointment with a mental health provider

Handling Urgent Crises

  • Life-Threatening Emergencies: Dial 112 for immediate assistance.
  • Acute Mental Crises: Contact a psychiatric hospital or the Hamburger Krisentelefon helpline at +49 40 42811-3000.

Helplines and Chat Support

  • Telefonseelsorge: Free counselling helpline available 24/7 at 0800 1110111.
  • Krisenchat: Crisis chat offering free online counselling for youth up to 25 years.
  • Redezeit für dich: Free virtual support talks available in 12 languages.
  • Violence Against Women Support Hotline: Call 116 016 for assistance.
  • Centra: Help centre for traumatized refugees offering trauma-specific counseling.

LGBTQI+ Support

  • Resources available here.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Help Centres

  • Resources available here.

Additional Resources

  1. Read Enrica Sarrotto’s recent blog post on health insurance and finding an English-speaking therapist in Hamburg: Blog Post.
  2. Access English information pamphlets from Psychotherapeutenkammer:

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your health insurance provider for guidance on covered therapies, including options for private therapists through the “Kostenerstattungsverfahren” or Heilpraktiker für Psychotherapie. Additionally, consider contacting The Expat Couch, a multicultural practice offering counselling and psychotherapy in English, German, and Italian.

Finding the right therapist in Hamburg

Unlike other healthcare professionals whose services are more readily accessible through general practitioners, finding a therapist in Hamburg involves extensive research and trial and error. Factors such as specialisation, approach to therapy, availability, and location all play a role in finding the right fit. Without guidance or prior therapy experience, you may be unsure of where to start or how to proceed.

So, how can you overcome these challenges and find the right therapist in Hamburg? Even though it could seem overwhelming at first, you can get the help you need if you have patience, persistence, and some advice. Here are some pointers to aid you with your journey:

  1. Define Your Needs: Before you start your quest, consider the characteristics you are looking for in a therapist. Think about the treatment approach, specialization, and cultural sensitivity you want. This can help you narrow down the list of potential therapists and help you choose the right one for you.
  2. Ask for Recommendations: Consult with friends, family, or colleagues who have previously received therapy in Hamburg. Based on their experiences, you may get wise advice. Your searching for therapist recommendations can also be facilitated by participating in online discussion forums and support groups.
  3. Utilise Online Directories: Psychotherapy and specialist search engines in Hamburg can be found on several internet directories and platforms. You can even get their qualifications, specialisations, and contact details here. Websites like Psychology Today and It’s Complicated are great places to start.
  4. Consider Teletherapy: Many therapists have switched to providing treatment sessions online after the COVID-19 outbreak. If you prefer the flexibility of virtual sessions or cannot find a good therapist in Hamburg, this can be a helpful choice.
  5. Be Persistent: Don’t be discouraged if you encounter obstacles or setbacks in your search for a Hamburg therapist. Keep reaching out to different professionals, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification regarding their services. Remember, finding the right therapist is worth the effort.
  6. Consider Alternative Options: If traditional therapy isn’t feasible for you, explore alternative forms such as support groups, self-help resources, or online therapy platforms. Finding a solution that works for you while meeting your unique needs is essential.

Finding a Therapist in Hamburg with It’s Complicated

Undeniably, finding the right therapist in Hamburg can be complicated. But with the above-given factors in place, you’ll reach a safe decision. Or, you can simple down the process with a therapist directory platform such as It’s Complicated.

The platform, while one of many, has access to more than 2,000 mental health practitioners from more than 80 countries. They provide in-person and online therapy in almost 100 languages. Our top priority is your comfort, so we provide secure communications, hassle-free invoicing, and a video solution that complies with GDPR. We also offer a free online therapist matching service, completed by trained psychologists.

Advantages of Discovering Your Therapist via It’s Complicated

  • No Setup Costs: Creating an account and reaching out to therapists is entirely cost-free.
  • Transparent Pricing: You’ll only pay the session fee, with no concealed booking fees.
  • Precise Search: Utilise our robust search tool to pinpoint therapists based on your specific preferences.
  • Thorough Listings: Easily explore therapists categorised by their specialty, approach, location, and language.

It’s Complicated is a therapy platform that not only helps clients find their perfect therapist but also supports therapists in their craft of helping others. Featuring over 2,000 mental health professionals from 80+ countries, counselling is available in almost 100 languages, both online and in person. A GDPR-compliant video solution, encrypted messaging, and easy invoicing guarantee a private and seamless counselling experience for therapists and clients alike. If you are in a serious crisis and need urgent help, please use one of these resources instead.

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