Adeline Gjergji

Psychotherapy – The Secret to Switzerland’s Happiness

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Adeline Gjergji, (2023, March 30). Psychotherapy – The Secret to Switzerland’s Happiness. Psychreg on Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. https://www.psychreg.org/psychotherapy-the-secret-to-switzerlands-happines/
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Is psychotherapy the secret to Switzerland’s happiness or is it the health insurance system and special mental health treatments?

Mental health is highly valued in Switzerland, and individuals living there are considered fortunate to have access to some of the most highly skilled mental health professionals in the world. The Swiss government invests significant resources into mental health services, ensuring that they are widely available and accessible to everyone in need. This commitment to mental health is reflected in Switzerland’s low rates of mental illness and high levels of overall well-being.

Switzerland is a country that is often associated with happiness and contentment. However, there are differing opinions as to what contributes to this national sense of well-being. Some argue that psychotherapy plays a key role in promoting mental health and overall happiness in Switzerland. Others attribute this happiness to the mental treatment and high quality of health insurance system in Switzerland.

Switzerland’s laws on psychotherapy

The release of the latest global mental health report by the World Health Organization reveals that in 2019, roughly one billion people across the globe were dealing with mental health problems. Furthermore, the study indicates that almost 70% of people worldwide who experience psychosis do not have access to any type of mental health insurance.

Starting on July 1st, 2022, Switzerland’s mandatory health insurance will include coverage for psychotherapy provided by licensed psychologists, provided that the service meets the requirements and is recommended by a doctor. Due to this modification, several supplemental health insurance plans that previously included coverage for psychotherapy are now unnecessary since psychotherapy coverage is now provided by basic health insurance.

The Federal Council has estimated that the implementation will incur an annual expense of CHF 100 million, which could potentially increase to CHF 170 million. However, there is currently no information available regarding the allocation of these additional funds.

What mandatory health insurance covers?

All general practitioners and psychiatrists are allowed to prescribe up to 15 hours of psychotherapy sessions. Once the patient has completed the 15 hours, the ordering physician must receive a report from the psychotherapist in case the patient desires to continue therapy. If more sessions are considered necessary by a professional after an additional 15 hours, the doctor must then write a report for the health insurance. 

The Swiss social health insurance system covers up to 40 hours per year of outpatient therapies and treatments provided by medical doctors who specialize in Psychiatry & Psychotherapy. However, for psychotherapy conducted by psychologists, the insurance will only cover the cost if the psychologist is employed by a physician and the physician takes formal responsibility for the therapy. In the case of psychotherapy conducted by independent psychologists, the social insurance does not cover the therapy, and patients may receive only partial reimbursement if they have private additional insurance

Collaboration between doctors and psychotherapists ensures that patients receive a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan that takes into account all aspects of their health and well-being.

What distinguishes Switzerland’s mental health treatments from others?

In Switzerland, the treatment of patients with psychiatric illnesses and hospitalisations is an approach that prioritizes rehabilitation and reintegration back into the community. To achieve this goal, patients are provided with different forms of therapy, including individual and group psychotherapy, exercise therapy, as well as art and music therapy, during their hospital stays. The primary focus is on regaining or maintaining self-control and peace. This approach has made retreats a popular choice for treatment in Switzerland, not only for locals but also for people from around the world seeking rehabilitation.

Retreat centres are built into the surroundings, which are the nation’s most valuable resource. Researchers and experts in the field of mental health claim that nature has the capacity to lessen unfavourable emotions like rage, stress, and fear while fostering both emotional and physical well-being. A well-liked form of nature therapy that doesn’t involve water or personal care is forest bathing. Patients are instructed to fully immerse themselves in the environment while participating in a Forest Bathing session, which is frequently offered as group therapy and meditation and can have a healing effect on the brain.

Final thoughts

While the exact cause of Switzerland’s happiness may be up for debate, it is clear that the country places a high value on mental health and well-being. Access to highly skilled mental health professionals, a quality health insurance system, and a culture that values balance and self-care are all contributing factors to Switzerland’s reputation as a happy and contented nation.


Adeline Gjergji is a professional researcher at Hoi Versicherung, a leading insurance company. With five years of experience in content writing, she is a seasoned expert in crafting compelling content that engages and informs readers.


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