How we can help?

Information for clients about psychologists, consults and compensation

When do I need a psychologist?

Psychologists are trained and educated to help or advise people with psychological problems and complaints. It could concern specific problems, but the complaints can also be less clear. For example depressive feelings, life course problems, problems at work, relationship – or education problems. But also unspecified fears, fatigue, insomnia or hyperventilation. A consultation at a psychologist usually lasts 45 minutes. The information gained from clients will always be treated confidentially.


How do I find a psychologist?

When you are looking for a psychologist, the NIP, the professional association of psychologists, recommends you to visit your general practitioner (GP) first. Usually your GP can refer you. A reference is important in order to get your psychological help reimbursed by your insurance company. Another advantage is that the general practitioner can refer you to a care worker with whom they have good experiences. The NIP also had a search engine that helps you find a NIP-psychologist, Vind een psycholoog (Find a psychologist). Search in your place or area, or search for a psychologist with a specific NIP- or BIG-registration.

Which care is compensated?

First, there is mental healthcare that is covered by the Health Insurance Act law (Zorgverzekeringswet). Since January 1 2014 the former two types of mental healthcare (first line and second line) are divided in three echelons: GP and POH-GGZ, Generalistic Basic mental health care (GB GGZ) and Specialised mental healthcare (G GGZ).  Care given by your GP and POH-GGZ is reimbursed by the basic healthcare insurance. Care given in GB GGZ en G GGZ is reimbursed by your basic healthinsurance if there is a DSM-disorder, plus a reference from the GP ánd the psychologist is on the list of ‘head practitioners’ (hoofdbehandelaars), as appointed by the minister. On this list are, among others, psychologists and psychotherapists with a registration under the Individual Health Care Professions Act (BIG), Child- and Youth Psychologists NIP and Remedial Educationalist (NVO). Also, the type of treatment you get determines if this care will be reimbursed. Before you start seeing a psychologist, ask your GP, a psychologist or your healthcare insurance company if the type of care will be reimbursed.

The NZa (Dutch Healthcare Authority) has drawn up rules which professionals in the mental healthcare should stick to,  such as maximum tariffs, rules about what should be on an invoice and which information psychologists have to send to the health insurance companies. You find the rules of the NZa here on our website (only available in Dutch). 

When your psychological problems do not meet the criteria of DSM-disorders, the care is not covered by the Health Insurance Act law. There is a second category of psychological problems which is not covered by the Health Insurance Act law, but it ís covered by the Law Healthcare Market (Wet Marktordening Gezondheidszorg (Wmg)). These is care given in case of relationship problems, adjustment disorders and learning problems. This is what the NZA calls an OVP (free translated: other product). Because these problems are covered within the Law Healthcare Market, the NZa has made maximum tariffs and what you report on the invoice, as mentioned above. In this case the maximum tariff you can ask per consult is € 94,44. You see this tariff in the ‘tariefbeschikking of the NZa’ (page 2).

A third type of care given in case of psychological problems, is care like coaching or mindfulness (self contained). This is not seen as mental health care, but more as a form of mental support. In this case psychologists have to charge 21% VAT (value added tax), and a psychologist is free to charge any tariff and in what to mention on the invoice. 

Before you start seeing a psychologist, we advise you to ask your GP, a psychologist or your healthcare insurance company if the type of care you want or need will be reimbursed.


What can I expect from a NIP-psychologist?

One of the objectives of the NIP, the professional association of psychologists, is monitoring the quality of psychological care. The NIP strives to the best possible standards by ensuring that their members are well equipped professionals that are sufficiently trained, even after they graduate from university. More than 13,000 psychologists are a member of the NIP.


The NIP code of ethics

Psychologists who are a member of the NIP must abide the NIP code of ethics. The basic principles of the code are integrity, respect, competency and responsibility. Check out Code of Ethics
There are certain issues from the code which are important for you as a client:

  • The psychologist must discuss the financial costs with the client in the first session.
  • A client visits a psychologist on voluntary basis.
  • The psychologist must respect the professional secrecy and has to treat the problems of the client strictly confidential.
  • The client has the right to examine the file or report, to ask for a copy of the file or report and also has the right to destroy the file or report.


Complaints regulation

A psychologist who does not stick to the professional NIP code of ethics, can be brought to justice. The client can lodge a complaint at the Board of Supervision of the NIP. This board is an independent body that deals with the complaints against members of the NIP. When you have a complaint concerning professional behaviour of a psychologist, see also: Disciplinary Rules and Complaints


How does a psychologist work?

First, the psychologist gives you the opportunity to present your questions or complaints. You list the complaints in collaboration with the psychologist. After one or more sessions the psychologist will  discusses which form of support or treatment is most suitable for you. For this purpose the psychologist can also use psychological tests or questionnaires.
The first session is called an ‘intake’ and is meant to see weather you feel comfortable with the psychologist and if he or she can be of any help to you.  The intake generally costs the same as the following session. If your problem can be dealt with in a limited number of sessions, the treatment will focus on removing the complaint(s). This car eis given in the . It is also possible that a longer, more persistent therapy (second line care) is recommended. In that case the emphasis will lie on getting a better insight on the motivation and drives of ones behaviour.


Which type of psychologist can help me with my problem?

After finishing university, psychologists must train and develop themselves further with postmaster and practical training. These psychologists obtain qualifications and registrations established by the NIP or by the government. To find a psychologist with a certain NIP-or BIG-registration near you, use our search engine Vind een Psycholoog.
Also see: NIP and BIG Registrations


Generalistic Basic Mental Healthcare (GB GGZ)

The following psychologists can offer GB GGZ health care:


General Health care psychologist (BIG)

The healthcare psychologist BIG (gz-psycholoog) is the basic expert in the field of mental deficits and problems. These can be `common’ mental problems, such as nurture or relation problems, problems at the work, problems of family care or problems which are related to physical sicknesses or handicaps, but also serious mental deficits.


NIP Primary health care psychologist (Eerstelijnspsychologie NIP)

NIP Primary healthcare psychologists are healthcare psychologists who are specifically trained to help people with several types of problems. In some cases the primary health care psychologist refers to another form of care, such as a mental health care institute (ggz-instelling) or an independent, self employed psychotherapist.


Child and Youth Psychologist NIP

Child and Youth Psychologists NIP are psychologists who are specifically trained to work with children and adolescents. They have their own professional responsibility and are able to diagnose and treat independently.


Specialized Mental Healthcare ( G GGZ)

The primary healthcare psychologist (BIG) and the NIP Child and Adolescent psychologist are able to work in the primary health care as well as in the second line health care.
The following psychologists are experts in the second line health care:


Psychotherapist BIG

The profession of psychotherapist is monitored by the government and regulated through the  BIG-registration. The psychotherapist BIG is trained to offer intensive psychological support, with psychotherapeutic treatments. Like Primary Healthcare psychologists, psychotherapists are also obliged to be registered with the BIG-register.


Clinical Psychologist BIG

The clinical psychologist BIG is the expert in the field of psychological disorders and problems with the exception of neuropsychological problems. The clinical psychologist BIG is called in cases in which the expertise of a Primary Healthcare psychologist is insufficient. For example a combination of mental deficits and addiction, or problems which coincide with a serious physical illness.


Where can I find more information?

For other questions you can contact the NIP,  Information centre on working days between 09.00 and 12.30.
T +31 (0)30 820 15 00