This article is aimed to provide specific information about finding a therapist or psychologist in Korea.
Finding Therapy Or Psychologist In korea
Are you looking for an English speaking therapist in Korea? You may have different therapists you can choose from so how do you decide which therapist to choose? In this post, we discuss what you need to consider when choosing a therapist in Korea.
Psychologist In Korea
If you are a foreigner or not fluent in Korean, it can be difficult to find a therapist in Korea. While you can visit a local clinic, if you are not fluent in Korean it is most likely that you will not be able to receive the proper mental health service you need. Fortunately, there are multiple clinics and individual therapists who offer mental health services in English in Korea. If you are just starting your search for a therapist in Korea who can speak English, try visiting the mental health clinics’ websites for initial research.
Expat groups and websites, and social media groups such as Facebook groups can also be a great resource for finding therapists in Korea. The admins of these groups will often post information on different therapists, and you can communicate anonymously. This is a good option for anyone who does not have time to look for a psychologist in Korea. However, we also would like to recommend that you do your research online when initially choosing your therapist. Most therapists and clinics have websites with details on the background of themselves and each therapist. It is recommended you read this information to help you choose a therapist that best suits you. If you cannot find a clinic or therapist in the city where you live, you can always check out an online therapist.
1. Appointment Based Therapy
When choosing your therapist, please note that most therapists and clinics in Korea are appointment based, and do not offer a walk-in appointment. Some therapists may also not be available as they already have a full caseload and cannot see a new patient. To avoid any confusion and wasting of time, make sure that you contact them via email or phone call first to check their availability and to schedule an appointment. Clinics also have a contact form on their website, with some mandating a contact form submission. In Korea Psychological Group, you are not required to submit a contact form, but it is just another option for you to reach us. We usually try to contact you back within the same day, and maximum within 2 days. We are open from 11 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Saturday if you prefer a phone call.
2. Korean National Insurance
Before scheduling your first session, you may like to consider the financial aspect first. Please bear in mind that Korean national health insurance currently does not cover psychological services in mental health clinics. Insurance companies based in Korea also do not cover psychological services in mental health clinics.
Some clinics, including the Korea Psychological Group, do accept international insurance. For example, Korea Psychological Group is in-network with and accepts Tiecare GBG and United Healthcare Global (UHCG). We also have experience working with and is currently accepting DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity). If your therapists do not accept international insurance, you can choose to get your sessions reimbursed yourself. Make sure you request a Superbill, which include your diagnosis, from the mental health clinic or your therapist so you can submit your claim.
Please note that insurance companies generally only cover Psychotherapy sessions, which focus on a given diagnosis. Although all sessions offered by the Korea Psychological Group are psychotherapy sessions, some clinics offer Wellbeing sessions, which focus on your general wellbeing but not a diagnosis. In such a case, your insurance company is most likely not going to cover ‘Wellbeing sessions’ so make sure you are receiving a psychotherapy session if you would like to have your sessions reimbursed by your insurance company. In the Korea Psychological Group the fee for your sessions whether you have are covered by insurance or not, is the same.
For more information and process regarding using your international insurance, feel free to contact Korea Psychological Group via email. Please also contact us for more information on our fees.
It is important to note that mental health clinics in Korea, such as ourselves, do not prescribe medication. For medication, please kindly visit your local hospitals or psychiatrists. If you are already having psychotherapy sessions with the Korea Psychological Group we can provide a referral letter, which includes diagnosis, for you to bring to your doctor. You will not be charged additionally for the referral letter, however, we only issue the letter for the patients who are has had a session with us in the last month, for ethical and reliability reasons.
If you are facing a psychological emergency, we recommend that you visit your local hospital and ask to see the attending psychiatrist. Some mental health clinics do not provide emergency services.
What to Consider When Choosing Therapist
Now that you have researched and have the lists of available therapists in Korea, you may wonder “How do I know which therapists to choose?”. Here are some areas that you should consider when choosing your therapist.
1. Therapy Approaches and the Therapists’ Areas of Expertise
There are different approaches for psychotherapy, including but not limited to:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Behaviour therapy
- Existential therapy
- Humanistic therapy
- Integrative or holistic therapy
It may be helpful to first research different types of therapies and choose a therapist who offers an approach you think may best suit your needs.
Each psychotherapist also has psychological areas they specialise in. For example, one of our psychotherapists at the Korea Psychological Group specialises in children with ADHD. You can think about the areas you may need help with and ask to see a specific psychotherapist when contacting a mental health clinic.
You may be unsure about which therapy approach best suits you, or do not have a specific area you would like to explore. If so, you can also choose to explore different types of therapies and areas you need help with the psychotherapist during your sessions.
- Other areas of expertise of therapists to consider
Therapists may also have the age that they specialise in. For example, some therapists may specialise in children and young people up to the age of 19, and do not see adult patients, and vice versa. Make sure you also check if the therapist you chose have the age range that they specialise in prior to your first session.
2. Your Comfort
Whichever therapy approaches and whoever your therapist is, one of the most important things is you have a good rapport with your therapist. When choosing your psychotherapist, think about if you feel comfortable and at ease with them during your sessions.
To maximise your comfort, it is also important to consider your available hours and find a therapist with a matching availability. This is important as seeing a therapist who is not available when you are may discourage you or not allow you to schedule a session regularly.
Please note that the clinic opening hour does not always match the therapist’s available hours. For example, although Korea Psychological Group’s opening hour is from 11 AM to 7 PM, we have psychotherapists who are available after 7 PM, so please try contacting the clinic for the detailed availability of a therapist you are interested in.
It can be difficult to find mental health services in Korea, and even more difficult to find someone who speaks your language. However, choosing a therapist you feel comfortable with also means it is recommended that you choose a therapist who can speak the same language you are most comfortable with. If you are most comfortable speaking in English, it is recommended that you find a therapist who can speak English.
Fortunately, there are English-speaking psychiatric facilities and mental health clinics, such as ourselves, in Korea.
If you are not sure about which language you would feel more comfortable with, try working with bilingual therapists. For example, the Korea Psychological Group has psychotherapists who are fluent in both English and Korean.
If you cannot find a therapist that meets your needs in person, try exploring online therapy.
You can read more about how to choose an online therapist here.
Korea Psychological Group
In the Korea Psychological Group, we have licensed psychologists and psychotherapists who have extensive experience. They are fluent in English and Korean. Some services are also available in Spanish. The sessions are available in-person (Seoul), online, and on-campus.
Therapy approaches offered by Korea Psychological Group include but are not limited to:
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
- ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
- Solution-based approach
- Mindfulness practice
- Integrative approach therapy
Our therapists’ specialised areas include but are not limited to:
- Anxiety and stress
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- OCD(Obsessive-compulsive disorder)
- PTSD (Posttraumatic stress disorder) and trauma
- ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
All information you share with your therapist in the Korea Psychological Group is confidential with some exceptional situations. The details for these exceptional situations are written in our consent form, which you will be asked to sign prior to your session.
By Ashley Kim