Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

‘Mental disorders are stressful for patients and their families in equal measure. This is why we consider the whole person in his or her full individuality. Our treatment and care are geared to this, in a spirit of trust and a feeling of security.’

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The Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy offer their assistance if the patient is suffering mentally. The patients treated here suffer, for instance, from depression, anxiety and other neurotic disorders, psychotic problems, as well as from attention and memory disorders.

Professionally specialised multiprofessional teams are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of people with mental illnesses. In individual cases, this includes doctors, nurses and psychological psychotherapists as well as e.g. social education workers, and sport, music and art, theatre and dance, and occupational therapists.

Depending on the therapy geared towards the healing of the patient, pharmacological as well as psychosocial and psychotherapeutic treatments are considered, as well as a flexible combination of these approaches. These are based on an individual, symptom-oriented, single-patient and group treatment plan.

Apart from elimination and relief of symptoms, the aim is regularly to provide the best opportunities for sufferers’ lives in society. Accordingly, a return to and reintegration into the social setting is part of the holistic field of psychiatry and psychotherapy.

Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie

In the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, people with mental illness will find a broad selection of opportunities for counselling, diagnosis and therapy, as well as very special forms of assistance with their lives. Family members are also included in treatment, if the patients so desire.

The Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens maintains a total of three therapeutic areas for a tailor-made treatment of people with mental illness, organisationally divided up into four wards: the inpatient area, day clinic and outpatient institute.

Psychiatrie und PsychotherapieFour inpatient areas are offering help to patients whose treatment requires hospitalisation. Assignments of capacity for the promotion of social skills is carried out not on a case-by-case basis but rather in keeping with the principle of integration, and hence regardless of disease and age. Every controlled open ward has specialists and senior physicians, psychologists, social workers and nurses on hand at all times.

The day clinic treats sufferers of mental illness who have successfully completed acute treatment in the inpatient area as well as those whose illness requires no inpatient treatment to begin with. The patients come in the morning for their treatment programmes and then leave the clinic later in the day. This way, the expert care in the clinic is supplemented by an intact social fabric at home.

The psychiatric outpatient institute is a place for people with serious illness who need not day-clinic but rather multiprofessional treatment that significantly exceeds the capacity of specialists in private practice.

There, mental illnesses of adults are treated as defined in the classification of the World Health Organisation (WHO) ICD-10 F under numbers 0 through 7. These include in particular:

  • Organic disorders
  • Addictions
  • Schizophrenic disorders
  • Affective disorders
  • Neurotic disorders
  • Behavioural problems such as e.g. eating disorders
  • Personality and behavioural disorders
  • Behavioural disorders concomitant with intellectual deficits

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One-on-one psychiatric, psychotherapeutic, psychological and socio-educational consultations are part of the hospital’s range of services, together with psychotherapeutic group therapies for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, addictions and so-called ‘gerontopsychiatric’ disorders. An individual treatment programme is also drawn up for each patient, consisting of a wide range of available offers. There are bright, friendly rooms available for group and integrative therapies.

Leitender Oberarzt Dr. med. Thomas BetzChief Physician Dr. med. Thomas Betz

(Managing Senior Physician for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy)
Specialist for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Specialist for Neurology
Qualification in Traffic Medicine


Authorisation to provide advanced training

  • B 27. Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie (WBO 2006) 48 Monate

Managing Senior Physician (Psychiatry) Matthias Bosslet
(for Psychiatry and General Medicine)
Specialist for Psychiatry
Specialist for General Medicine



Leitender Oberarzt Jörg-Uwe BayerleManaging Senior Physician (Neurology) Jörg-Uwe Bayerle
(for the Neurological Function and Diagnostics Unit and Stroke Unit)
Specialist for Neurology
Additional qualification in Intensive Care Medicine



Authorisation to provide advanced training

  • B 20. Neurologie (WBO 2006) 12 Monate

Dr. Astrid WestphalSenior Physician Astrid Westphal
(for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy)
Specialist for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Specialist for Neurology
Additional qualification in Geriatrics


Angelika Groschopf de HuamanSenior Physician Angelika Groschopf de Huaman
Specialist for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy




Nathalie ChristianusSenior Physician Dr. med. Nathalie Christianus
Specialist for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy



  • Thanks to the authorisations to provide advanced training held by Managing Senior Physician (Neurology) Jörg-Uwe Bayerle, the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy can offer completion of the entire period of continuing professional development for specialists in psychiatry and psychotherapy.

The offer of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy comprises an outpatient institute as well as a private outpatient clinic.

Consultation hours of the outpatient institute:
By appointment
Telephone: 06331/714-1780

Consultation hours of the private outpatient clinic:
By appointment
Telephone: 06331/714-1701

With its offer for 20 patients, the psychiatric day clinic in the Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens is suitable for adults from the age of 18 with mental disorders and a residence within the catchment area of the hospital. There is a multiprofessional team available for on-site care, consisting of physicians, psychologists, nursing staff and social workers, as well as sport, music, art and occupational therapists.

Treatment in the day clinic is recommended if outpatient therapy is no longer sufficient. If an individual stands to benefit by remaining in his or her accustomed social surroundings, therapy in the day clinic can be an alternative to inpatient treatment in the hospital. After an inpatient stay, the day clinic also offers a good follow-up programme to smooth the return to everyday life or work.
A patient’s health insurance scheme usually covers the costs of treatment.

Deliberately structured to help people help themselves, the offer targets all those who want to address their mental difficulties as part of the therapeutic process. The treatment approach offers resource- and solution-oriented support based on commonly agreed therapy goals. The aim is for people to achieve the greatest possible autonomy, quality of life and psychological resilience.


The extensive and wide-ranging therapy offer includes:

  • Basic programme for coping with everyday life:
    Nursing staff assist and accompany patients through the routine of the day clinic, helping them refresh and develop their skills as part of a fixed daily structure in the following areas: cooking, shopping, laundry, housekeeping and cleaning as well as leisure pursuits in the form of outdoor activities.

  • Social Service: support with orientation in the current life situation as well as assistance in the search for further perspectives in terms of their social life, finances and career.
  • Medical/psychotherapeutic treatment:
    • One-on-one psychotherapeutic sessions (if necessary, couple and family interviews)
    • Psychiatric diagnosis
    • Drug-based therapy
    • Group psychotherapy (managing depression, anxiety and stress; addiction groups, women’s group, interactional group, problem-solving group)
  • Additional therapies available:
    • Movement therapy
    • Art therapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Music therapy
    • Relaxation methods (AT, PMR)

Basic prerequisites for participation in the therapy offer:

The day clinic is suitable for patients

  • with a stable living situation
  • who can come to the day clinic on their own
  • who can follow the treatment programme in the day clinic building and in the hospital (8th and 9th storeys) (basic physical mobility)
  • who are capable of working in groups (sufficient cognitive and language skills)
  • who can abstain from drugs in the event of comorbid addictions


Call +49 (0)6331 714-1710 for initial information and, if necessary, to arrange an appointment for an admission date directly – or to arrange a preliminary consultation if need be.

The agreed admission date must be confirmed one week prior to beginning treatment in the day clinic. If not confirmed in advance, the admission date might be reassigned to someone else.

You must bring along:

  • an up-to-date referral from the general practitioner or specialist
  • health insurance scheme card, if available
  • any preliminary diagnoses (e.g. discharge reports)
  • a current medication list


Opening hours:

Monday - Wednesday8.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.                           
Thursday8.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
Friday8.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.


Psychiatrische Tagesklinik
Pettenkoferstraße 22
66955 Pirmasens

Telephone: 06331 714-1710
Fax: 06331 714-1799

Dr. med. Nathalie Christianus
Day clinic senior physician



Wolfgang Sänger

Psychological psychotherapist


Dr. med. Thomas Betz
Chief Physician of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens



Secretariat: Helga Engel, Miriam Kapeller
Telephone: 06331 714-1701
Fax: 06331 714-1703


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Each year, more than 200,000 people in Germany are victims of stroke; about 70 percent of these subsequently suffer a permanent speech disorder, and around one in four is left dependent on constant assistance. Even young people are not exempt from this fate. Because roughly ten percent of all stroke victims are not yet 40 years of age. For more than half of these people, a stroke means the end of their active working life.   

In each case, whether or not a stroke ends in personal disaster is a matter decided in the first hours after the event. From the standpoint of a physician’s diagnosis, a ‘cerebral ischaemia’ means nothing other than clogging in an artery that ordinarily supplies the brain with blood and oxygen. About 80 percent of all ‘strokes’ fall under this category; these cases are diagnosed and appropriately treated in a so-called ‘Stroke Unit’ at the Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens. The Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (together with the colleagues in Cardiology) is responsible for this unit. Four of the Clinic’s specialists provide the Stroke Unit with neurological expertise round the clock.

Stroke-UnitFour of the Clinic’s specialists provide the Stroke Unit with neurological expertise round the clock. This also applies in connection with the second type of stroke – the result of a ruptured artery, known in the vernacular as a ‘brain haemorrhage’. A feature common to both kinds of infarction is death of the nerve cells in the brain due to a lack of oxygen. In principle, this is similar to a heart attack.  

The Latin word ‘infarct’ simply describes the death of living tissue. Unlike a heart attack, a diabetic foot or similar diagnoses that are associated with visible signs and at times considerable pain, a stroke usually catches its victims unaware and without the usual warning signs. Too often, patients who dismiss symptoms of early vascular disease with a shrug are then hit by a proverbial ‘blindside’, and that’s when every second counts. In fact, every stroke is always an emergency.  

Part of treatment in the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy is an individual treatment plan that is drawn up for each patient. Among other offerings, the modular courses include:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Brain jogging
  • Computer-assisted cognitive training
  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Riding therapy
  • Chair and spinal gymnastics
  • Theatre and dance therapy
  • Medicinal consultation
  • Autogenic training
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Training in social skills
  • Psychoeducation
  • Group of family members
  • Offers by Alcoholics Anonymous and Blaues Kreuz
  • Appointments outside the facility with sports therapy and psychiatric nursing staff
  • Weekend-leisure therapy
  • Light therapy
  • Ear acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy

This is supplemented by one-on-one personal consultations, usually to address issues not suitable for addressing in groups.

The Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy also offers repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), an innovative, patient-friendly form of therapy. This relatively new, medically recognised procedure is used in treating depression both as an alternative to and in support of medication.

rTMS is based on the finding that magnetic fields significantly influence brain activity. BIn this procedure, a solenoid attached to the head of the patient produces low-dose electromagnetic impulses that stimulate the underlying, depression-related area of the brain; patients perceive this stimulus merely as a light tapping on the head.

As a non-invasive method with anti-depressive effects, the rTMS method entails a side-effects profile that has been unmatched to date. Due to the comparatively high cost of the equipment, it is actually offered only in large psychiatric treatment centres.

Although only a few treatments are elective, the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy is also equipped to handle emergencies. Patients are referred either by practising physicians, or they report directly to the clinic in search of help.

The clinic is also responsible for tending to the community-based psychiatric care of adults. It performs regulatory tasks on behalf of the Cities of Pirmasens and Zweibrücken, and for the entire County of Southwest Palatinate; this means that patients have been ordered by courts of law to seek treatment. A positive aspect of this is that these cases account for less than five percent of all occupancies each year. At all times, the aim is to motivate patients to seek voluntary treatment.

The legal framework for this is provided particularly by the following regulations:

  • Mental Health Act of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate [PsychKG – Rheinland-pfälzisches Landesgesetz für psychisch kranke Personen]
  • German Involuntary Commitment Act [UBG – Unterbringungsgesetz]
  • German Guardianship Act [BtG – Betreuungsgesetz]

The most important partners of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy include the somatic clinics of the Municipal Hospital, particularly the Clinic for Internal Medicine. Robust contacts at a professional level, together with the spatial proximity, make it possible to work holistically on the well-being of each patient.

The Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy also supports a variety of counselling centres and self-help groups. These particularly include addiction counselling and self-help groups in the area of alcohol and anxiety disorders, as well as psychiatric-based problems.

In addition to this, the Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens is active in the region on behalf of reintegration assistance and social-psychiatric services for the mentally ill and for disabled persons and persons with addictions, as well as their family members. The stated goal is to prepare patients, in the shortest possible time, to return to an independent life in known surroundings.

This is done in close and trustful cooperation with specialised providers of further offers of assistance, such as:

ASB Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund
Kreisverband Pirmasens
Pettenkoferstraße 13-15
66955 Pirmasens
Telephone: 06331/148860
Fax: 06331/1488616

Deutscher Caritasverband e. V.
Karlstraße 40
79104 Freiburg im Breisgau
Telephone: 0761/200-0

Internationaler Bund (IB)
Freier Träger der Jugend-, Sozial- und Bildungsarbeit e. V.
Valentin-Senger-Straße 5
60389 Frankfurt am Main
Telephone: 069/94545-0
Fax: 069/94545-280

Lebenshilfe Kreisvereinigung Pirmasens/Südwestpfalz e. V.
Uhlandstraße 11
66955 Pirmasens
Telephone: 06331/144942

Eisenbahnstraße 66
67655 Kaiserslautern
Telephone: 0631/36618-0
Fax: 0631/36618-30

Retirement homes and nursing facilities throughout the region

Socio-Psychiatric Service [SPDI – Sozialpsychiatrischer Dienst] of the health authorities

THZ Teilhabezentrum Dahn and Teilhabezentrum Rodalben
(socio-psychiatric residences of the Pfalzklinikum in Dahn and Rodalben)
Aufsuchende Hilfe nach Maß Dahn
Michael Köhler
Hauensteiner Straße 43
66994 Dahn
Telephone: 06391/924469

Aufsuchende Hilfe nach Maß Rodalben
Susanne Trapp
Eichenstraße 8
66976 Rodalben
Telephone: 06331/219761

Advanced training for physicians

The Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy is accredited to provide advanced training for four years.

There is also a cooperation arrangement in place with the Training Institute for the Healthcare Professions [Lehrinstitut für Gesundheitsberufe] of SHG from Saarbrücken, where aspiring specialists in psychiatry and psychotherapy can complete portions of their training at the Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens.

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Advanced training for psychologists

As a clinical partner, the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy works closely with several institutes where certified psychologists can earn their licence to practise psychotherapy. At the Municipal Hospital, they have the opportunity to gather compulsory experience in acute psychiatry.

Cooperating institutions of training also include, among others:

AHG Klinik Berus, Überherrn-Berus
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IFKV Institut für Fort- und Weiterbildung in klinischer Verhaltenstherapie e. V., Bad Dürkheim
State-approved training institute
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IF Weinheim GmbH, Weinheim
Institute for systemic training and development
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University of Koblenz-Landau / Department of Psychology
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The Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy regularly conducts topic-based courses in professional training featuring its own or outside speakers. These Medical Association-approved events address a very wide array of topics in psychiatry topics from a professional perspective; anyone with an interest is welcome to participate, however. Participation is free of charge and is not subject to prior registration.

Unless indicated otherwise in the overview of scheduled events, continuing training offerings are held in the conference room on the 8th floor of the Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens.

Contact the doctors

Chief Physician:Medical Director Dr. med. Thomas Betz
Dr. med. Thomas Betz



Managing Senior
Physician (Psychiatry):
Matthias Bosslet


Managing Senior
Physician (Neurology):
Jörg-Uwe Bayerle




Contact the clinic

Secretariat:Helga Engel
Helga Engel


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