In delegated psychotherapy, patients are referred by a doctor to a designated non-medical psychotherapist for the evaluation and treatment of mental or psychosomatic disorders. The therapist is employed by the doctor and consultations take place in the surgery of the attending doctor. Health insurance companies thereby consider the work of delegated psychotherapists as a standard benefit. In contrast, psychiatrists can as doctors have their invoices settled directly by health insurance companies.

Delegated psychotherapy involves recognising (diagnosing) psychiatric or psychosomatic disorders according to the official diagnosis code (ICD-10). Psychotherapy is also used to treat mental disorders and to protect and preserve health.

Psychotherapeutic methods include analysis, behavioural therapies and systemic, holistic therapies. Psychotherapy is carried out in individual, group, couple or family settings.