Applying for a professional licence as a psychotherapist

Psychotherapists examine patients and carry out a somatic assessment. Using scientifically tested and recognised psychotherapeutic procedures or methods, they carry out an activity to identify, cure or alleviate disorders with disease value for which psychotherapy is indicated. In addition, counselling and prevention are provided to maintain, promote and restore the mental health of the population.

The profession of psychotherapist is regulated in Germany. This means that in order to be able to work as a psychotherapist in Germany without restriction, you need a licence to practise.
Temporary practice of the psychotherapeutic profession or practice limited to a specific activity is permitted on the basis of a permit, the so-called professional licence. Both the licence to practise and the professional permit are the state admission to the profession.

The professional permit can be applied for in the state of Berlin in connection with an application for the licence to practise.

In order to obtain the professional permit, it is determined whether the professional qualification you completed in a so-called third country has been fully completed and the reference qualification is given. Third countries are all countries that do not belong to the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

In addition to the completion of the professional qualification, you must also fulfil other requirements for the granting of the permit. Further requirements are, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.

If your professional qualification originates from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, a professional permit will only be granted in rare individual cases. In this case, the regulations on the granting of a licence to practise apply with priority.

You can also submit the application for the procedure from abroad.

1. Application
You submit an application for the granting of permission to temporarily practice the psychotherapeutic profession (professional permit) in addition to the application for the granting of the licence to practice as a psychotherapist to the competent body. The competent body then checks whether your training has been completed, whether the reference qualification to German training is given and whether all other requirements are met. If the aforementioned conditions are met, the professional licence can be granted concurrently with the Approbation as part of the recognition procedure.

2. Verification of the completion of training
The competent body checks whether your professional qualification from abroad has been fully completed in the country of study or, if applicable, the country of origin, corresponds to the German professional qualification (reference qualification) and whether a professional aptitude for exercising the profession is given.

3. Possible results of the examination
If your professional qualification is completed and corresponds to the reference qualification, your foreign professional qualification will be recognised for the purpose of issuing a professional licence. The authority can confirm the result to you in writing. You still have to fulfil the other requirements and prove your language skills. Then you will be granted the professional permit.


  • A psychotherapeutic training completed abroad
  • Health fitness
  • Proof of reliability and worthiness for the practice of medicine
  • Sufficient knowledge of German level B 2
  • Technical language test
  • Proof of responsibility

Documents required

  • Application for a professional licence in connection with the application for licensure
  • Proof of responsibility for the Land of Berlin
    (e.g. confirmation of employment, proof of habitual residence in the Land of Berlin/
    main residence if applicable, applications for vacancies in the Land of Berlin, invitations to interviews).
  • Curriculum vitae in tabular form with signature and date
  • Proof of identity (valid identity card or passport)
  • Certificate of birth
    (in the event of a change of name, e.g. due to marriage, also this document)
  • Certificate of good conduct for presentation to an authority
    To verify personal reliability, information from the Federal Central Register (certificate of good conduct) is required for submission to an authority (document type O).
    The information must not be older than three months.
  • Certificate of Good Conduct/ Certificate of Clearance of Offences
    of the police or judicial authorities of the home country, if applicable, of the study country (if presented, not older than 3 months)
  • Certificate of good standing/ Certificate of good standing
    of the competent authority of the country in which the profession was practised (if presented, not older than 3 months)
  • Medical certificate from a doctor licensed in Germany
    (not older than 3 months if presented)
  • Evidence of completed education (third country)
    (see checklist for persons with third-country education)
  • Certificate B 2 on knowledge of the German language
    (from telc, TestDaF or Goethe-Institut - not older than 3 years).
    It is not necessary to submit the language certificates at the time of application.
  • Professional Language Test - Level C 2 (Psychotherapeutic Chamber Berlin)
    It is not necessary to submit the language certificates at the time of application.
  • Doctoral certificate (if available)
  • Official certification of copies
    If copies are submitted, they must be officially certified. In the case of copies without official certification, the simultaneous submission of the originals is required.


EUR 150.00

Average time to process request

approx. 3-4 months, if all documents are complete

Hinweise zur Zuständigkeit

Permission to temporarily practice the psychotherapeutic profession in connection with the application for licensure is only granted by the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs.

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