- The Population of Greece is approximately 10 million. According to WHO statistics, 25 % of men (about 850.000) and 33% of women (about 1.1 million) suffer from mild severe depression. There is no information concerning psychotherapy or psychotherapists.
Psychotherapy in the health care system
- Psychotherapy is not recognized by the Greek Health System. However, it is offered to individuals with drug addiction in special public centers where psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers are employed by the State as specialists. These specialists have been trained in private institutions which offer training in Psychotherapy. Thus, the recognition of the qualification in psychotherapy takes place on the level of societies and institutes. Moreover, the Greek National Society of Psychotherapy has recently adopted the criteria of the European Association of Psychotherapy.
- The patients who need psychotherapeutic care refer directly to private day centers or private offices. The psychotherapists adopt the psychotherapeutic approach in which they have been trained. They recommend either individual, group or family therapy, as well as, child and adolescent care.
- The cost of psychotherapy is not covered by the Social Health Care System, or any private insurance company. Thus, the patients have to cover this cost on their own. However, some form of psychotherapy, mainly for children, might be financed by the Social Care, with the approval of a public hospital psychiatrist. Such psychotherapeutic practice takes place in a private domain by psychiatrists or psychologists.
- Psychotherapy in Greece is not protected by low, so far. A few attempts were made, some time ago, which did not succeed. However, the private institutions offer a 4-5 years postgraduate training program in psychotherapy in the following psychotherapeutic approaches: psychodynamic systemic, psychoanalytic, cognitive behavior, family therapy, individual and group. These training programs include a sufficient number of hours in theory, clinical practice, supervision, and personal therapy.
Psychotherapy for Depression
- Psychotherapy is not offered as a treatment for depression by the National Health Care System. Instead, pharmacotherapy is prescribed by psychiatrists to most depressive individuals.
Desirable Changes to Health Policy
- The recognition of the practice of psychotherapy and the granting of a license in psychotherapy should be of an immediate concern by the State. Such legislation would eliminate the practice of psychotherapy by non trained individuals.
- The Association of Greek Psychologists organizes several training seminars on the basis of continuing education. One of these is the “seven-step-program for Coping with traumatized people” which is organized in cooperation with the German Institute for coping with Trauma and the German Psychological Academy of BDP.
Marina Manthouli – MA in Counseling Psychology, Trained Group Analyst, Family Therapist, Graduate, Institute Diagnostic Psychology, Vice President Association of Greek Psychologists.
The text above is an excerpt from the paper "Psychotherapy in Europe – Disease Management Strategies for Depression. National Concepts of Psychotherapeutic Care".
You can download the paper here.