POH-GGZ information

The information on this page is intended for anyone seeking mental health care in The Netherlands.

Different kinds of psychologists

Everyone who studied clinical psychology is called ‘psychologist’. This term doesn’t mean much. When a psychologist takes further education, that person can become a GZ-psycholoog, klinisch psycholoog and/or psychotherapeut. A psychologist who didn’t finish yet further education can still treat people under the supervision of a GZ-psycholoog, klinisch psycholoog and psychotherapeut. Such a psychologist is called ‘basispsycholoog’. 

Referral letter

In order to have the treatment costs reimbursed by your insurance, you need a referral letter from your GP. Insurance companies also demand that the GP states a (DSM) diagnosis, like generalized anxiety disorder and the kind of help: BGGZ or SGGZ. Often a GP just chooses a diagnosis because of this requirement. But you don’t have to take this diagnosis very seriously. Once you start treatment, the psychologist will do his/her own diagnosis. 


Note: burnout is not a DSM diagnosis. So in order to have your treatment costs reimbursed, the psychologist will have to give you a diagnosis like depression or somatic symptom disorder. 

Where to find a therapist

You can choose yourself a psychologist. The problem is that most psychologists (especially the ones specialized in SGGZ) have long waiting lists. It’s worth searching, as there can be big differences between different psychologists with regard to the waiting list. If your problems are urgent, your insurance company can try negotiate that you get priority (wachtlijstbemiddeling). 


Some places to get therapy within the Utrecht area

Max Ernst


Lievegoed (antroposophic background)


Mentaal Beter



  • There are 2 kinds of mental help in The Netherlands:

  • BGGZ (basis geestelijke gezondheidszorg): this is when your problems are not complex. Average number of sessions is 10. Here you will mostly be treated by a basispsycholoog.  

  • SGGZ (specialistische geestelijke gezondheidszorg): this is when your problems are more complex. The number of sessions you can get is much higher. Here you will most often be treated by a psychotherapeut. 

Own deductible

If you have a Dutch insurance, then you will first have to pay your own deductible (“eigen risico”). The costs that come after are covered by your insurance. You pay this deductible once per treatment trajectory. So if your treatment covers 2 years, then you pay it only once.

If you’re insured through AON, then you don’t have this deductible.