Perhaps you would like to see a therapist, but would rather not take your story to your doctor for a referral first. Can you see a therapist directly, without a referral? Yes, you can. You can get psychological care both with and without a referral. Both options do have different advantages and disadvantages.

Therapy without a referral

If you go to a therapist who doesn’t require a referral, you can often get there quickly and bypass the sometimes long waiting lists. At The Online Therapists, for example, you can statrt therapy without a referral within a few days. The big disadvantage is that the psychological care in this case is not reimbursed. The referral is the ‘proof’ for your health insurance that a doctor considers psychological help to be medically necessary. This necessity ensures that the therapist is reimbursed.

For minor psychological complaints, no referral is necessary, the doctor or practice support person can treat these himself. This treatment is also simply reimbursed. If you received a referral from your general practitioner less than a year ago or you have already started with the treatment of your complaints, you do not need to request the referral again. You can then also go directly to a therapist.

When is a referral necessary?

You cannot see a psychiatrist without a referral from a family doctor. This is because a psychiatrist treats complex psychological complaints and may prescribe medication in addition to his or her psychological treatment. For serious problems, a referral is therefore necessary.

Furthermore, it is financially wise to request a referral if you expect the treatment to last longer. You do have to pay at your own risk before therapy is reimbursed; a short treatment of a few sessions is therefore better paid for out of your own pocket. Longer programs are, after deducting your deductible, fully covered. With a referral you are eligible for this.

Do I need a referral for The Online Therapists?

Online therapy is not yet reimbursed. Therefore, you do not need a referral for online treatment with one of our therapists. The advantage of this is that we have no waiting list and you can start therapy immediately. Also, we are not bound by certain protocols or contracts with general practitioners and health insurers, so that we can tailor the treatment entirely to your needs.


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