Europe has a rabid distrust of science and medicine and a corresponding higher level of belief in in naturopathy, homeopathy and various other alternative techniques.

Given that, it is little surprise that psychosomatic medicine has taken off in Europe. and especially in Germany. Psychosomatic issues - "it's all in your head" - have a long history but it was popularized by German psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud in the early part of the 20th century. Today, psychiatrists officially disavow treatment for people who might be making it up but others have pursued mind-body relations.

In Germany, departments of psychosomatic medicine are part of overarching departments for internal medicine, because German psychiatry does not want psychotherapy to become fuzzy 'we just need to listen to peoples' complaints' treat,em. German psychosomatic medicine has focused on integrated care for the following non-specific disorders: somatoform/functional disorders, eating disorders, somatopsychic disorders (including psycho-oncology, psychocardiology, neuropsychosomatics, and psychodiabetology), and psychotraumatology. An overlap with psychiatry exists in the fields of depressive, anxiety, and personality disorders. Health insurance (public or private) covers treatment costs from a budget separate from the one for psychiatry and costs for psychosomatic care are based on length of treatment rather than on the diagnosis-related group, which has opened the field up to misuse.

Clinically, disorder-oriented psychotherapy says it has value for nonreductionist accounts of the interactions of (sick) persons with their environment and say they are a strong partner for bio-psycho-social medicine in the 21st century.

Citation: Zipfel S, Herzog W, Kruse J, Henningsen P. Psychosomatic Medicine in Germany: More Timely than Ever. Psychother Psychosom 2016;85:262-269