Psychiatrists in 93101

Photo of Barry Mills, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Barry Mills
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Barry Mills MD, PhD, has over twenty-five years experience as a psychiatrist including teaching on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He commonly treats problems such as ADD/ADHD, depression, insomnia, mood disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and chemical dependency, among other conditions. Dr. Mills has received a MD degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and a PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA. He has been an Editor for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, a Harvard Faculty Teaching Award nominee, consultant to the U. S.
Barry Mills MD, PhD, has over twenty-five years experience as a psychiatrist including teaching on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He commonly treats problems such as ADD/ADHD, depression, insomnia, mood disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and chemical dependency, among other conditions. Dr. Mills has received a MD degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and a PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA. He has been an Editor for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, a Harvard Faculty Teaching Award nominee, consultant to the U. S.
(512) 598-5822 View (512) 598-5822
Photo of Catvy Nguyen, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
Catvy Nguyen
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Catvy Nguyen takes a unique and progressive approach to mental health illnesses. Treatment is personalized, based on evidence research, and encompasses on a myriad of treatment modalities. Kathy believes in the influence of three factors: one's past and upbringing, current life situations, and one's genetic makeup, affecting mental illness.
Catvy Nguyen takes a unique and progressive approach to mental health illnesses. Treatment is personalized, based on evidence research, and encompasses on a myriad of treatment modalities. Kathy believes in the influence of three factors: one's past and upbringing, current life situations, and one's genetic makeup, affecting mental illness.
(805) 254-7289 View (805) 254-7289
Photo of Brainpower Wellness Institute, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Brainpower Wellness Institute
Psychiatrist
Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Brainpower Wellness Institute is a leading center for children and adolescent psychiatry. We provide comprehensive and compassionate care to children and adolescents ages 5 through 18. Our team of experienced and board-certified psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and tic disorders.
Brainpower Wellness Institute is a leading center for children and adolescent psychiatry. We provide comprehensive and compassionate care to children and adolescents ages 5 through 18. Our team of experienced and board-certified psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and tic disorders.
(805) 552-5878 View (805) 552-5878
Photo of Carolyn Love, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
Carolyn Love
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PhD, PMHNP, MFT
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Compassionate and mission-driven, Carolyn is a dual certified MFT and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She has a plethora of experience with outpatient psychiatric evaluations, evidence-based psychopharmacology, and collaborative care within multidisciplinary teams. She is committed to providing ethical and competent services to individuals, couples, and families. She is also dedicated to fostering meaningful connections, advocating for patients, and staying up to date with advancements in psychiatric care.
Compassionate and mission-driven, Carolyn is a dual certified MFT and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She has a plethora of experience with outpatient psychiatric evaluations, evidence-based psychopharmacology, and collaborative care within multidisciplinary teams. She is committed to providing ethical and competent services to individuals, couples, and families. She is also dedicated to fostering meaningful connections, advocating for patients, and staying up to date with advancements in psychiatric care.
(805) 303-2905 View (805) 303-2905
Photo of Roberta Gordin, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
Roberta Gordin
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Roberta received her Master of Science in Nursing with Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification from California State University, Long Beach. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Roberta has gained a well-rounded knowledge in outpatient, inpatient, and crisis stabilization for mental health. She offers evidence-based care while maintaining a supportive, compassionate, and judgment-free environment for her clients.
Roberta received her Master of Science in Nursing with Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification from California State University, Long Beach. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Roberta has gained a well-rounded knowledge in outpatient, inpatient, and crisis stabilization for mental health. She offers evidence-based care while maintaining a supportive, compassionate, and judgment-free environment for her clients.
(805) 429-8050 View (805) 429-8050
Photo of Patrick Sassoon Md, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Patrick Sassoon Md
Psychiatrist
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
My approach is based on integrative psychiatry, which uses medications, therapy and complementary medicine to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. I address the combined impact of sleep, lifestyle, relationships, nutrition and chronic medical conditions on well-being, and use cutting edge tools like genetic testing to guide personalized treatment with medication and supplements. I consider the patient’s cultural background in my assessments and I can provide treatment in Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian. My goal is to help my patients create lasting changes and build vitality, resilience and purpose in life.
My approach is based on integrative psychiatry, which uses medications, therapy and complementary medicine to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. I address the combined impact of sleep, lifestyle, relationships, nutrition and chronic medical conditions on well-being, and use cutting edge tools like genetic testing to guide personalized treatment with medication and supplements. I consider the patient’s cultural background in my assessments and I can provide treatment in Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian. My goal is to help my patients create lasting changes and build vitality, resilience and purpose in life.
(805) 303-8258 View (805) 303-8258
Photo of Penny Greaves, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
Penny Greaves
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Penny Greaves has over twenty years of Nursing experience and received her bachelor's in nursing in 2007 and a Master of Nursing with a primary care nurse practitioner certificate in 2010 from Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree in 2021 from National University and is dual certified with the ANCC in psychiatry and the AANP in family practice. She is currently pursuing a psychology doctorate degree (PsyD) to improve health outcomes. She is experienced with adults, adults with addictions, complex mental health problems, geriatrics and dementia.
Penny Greaves has over twenty years of Nursing experience and received her bachelor's in nursing in 2007 and a Master of Nursing with a primary care nurse practitioner certificate in 2010 from Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree in 2021 from National University and is dual certified with the ANCC in psychiatry and the AANP in family practice. She is currently pursuing a psychology doctorate degree (PsyD) to improve health outcomes. She is experienced with adults, adults with addictions, complex mental health problems, geriatrics and dementia.
(805) 576-9072 View (805) 576-9072
Photo of Samir Hamed, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
Samir Hamed
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
We know asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Allied Healers, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be.
We know asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Allied Healers, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be.
(805) 600-5670 View (805) 600-5670
Photo of Penny Greaves, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
Penny Greaves
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, FNP, PMHNP
Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Penny Greaves has over twenty years of Nursing experience and received her bachelor's in nursing in 2007 and a Master's of Nursing with a primary care nurse practitioner certificate in 2010 from Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree in 2021 from the National University and is dual certified with the ANCC in psychiatry and the AANP in family practice. She is currently pursuing a psychology doctorate degree (PsyD) to improve health outcomes. She is experienced with adults, adults with addictions, complex mental health problems, geriatrics, and dementia.
Penny Greaves has over twenty years of Nursing experience and received her bachelor's in nursing in 2007 and a Master's of Nursing with a primary care nurse practitioner certificate in 2010 from Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree in 2021 from the National University and is dual certified with the ANCC in psychiatry and the AANP in family practice. She is currently pursuing a psychology doctorate degree (PsyD) to improve health outcomes. She is experienced with adults, adults with addictions, complex mental health problems, geriatrics, and dementia.
(805) 774-1934 View (805) 774-1934
Photo of Mariam Fazil, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
Mariam Fazil
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Hello, I'm Mariam Fazil, DNP, PMHNP,a board-certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Are you or your loved ones struggling to balance mental and physical health? Are you suffering from anxiety? If this somewhat sounds familiar, I would like to help you in your healing journey. I provide in-person as well as telemedicine services so that you can conveniently be seen from your home for psychiatry appointments and medication management without the need to travel. My aim is to help you to thrive at your best.
Hello, I'm Mariam Fazil, DNP, PMHNP,a board-certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Are you or your loved ones struggling to balance mental and physical health? Are you suffering from anxiety? If this somewhat sounds familiar, I would like to help you in your healing journey. I provide in-person as well as telemedicine services so that you can conveniently be seen from your home for psychiatry appointments and medication management without the need to travel. My aim is to help you to thrive at your best.
(805) 387-6790 View (805) 387-6790
Photo of Josephine McNary, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Josephine McNary
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
I am a board-certified general psychiatrist. I see a variety of patients in my outpatient practice. I provide medication management. I am interested in the use of complementary medicine for mood and anxiety disorders. I am currently attending staff at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, where I provide both inpatient psychiatry and consultation services.
I am a board-certified general psychiatrist. I see a variety of patients in my outpatient practice. I provide medication management. I am interested in the use of complementary medicine for mood and anxiety disorders. I am currently attending staff at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, where I provide both inpatient psychiatry and consultation services.
(310) 935-0754 View (310) 935-0754
Photo of Samantha Lau, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
Samantha Lau
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified
4 Endorsed
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
I specialize in ketamine/psychedelic assisted psychotherapy and psychiatric med management. Are you feeling anxious, depressed and/or unmotivated? Do your dreams and goals seem out of reach? Have you been told that you are physically present but emotionally absent in relationships? Maybe your difficult emotions get in your way and you want to move past them, but you aren’t sure how to do it. Have you been with a life coach but want to go further in your transformation? Are you staying in therapy but don’t seem to be going anywhere? You need more specific strategies and a better support system to empower yourself.
I specialize in ketamine/psychedelic assisted psychotherapy and psychiatric med management. Are you feeling anxious, depressed and/or unmotivated? Do your dreams and goals seem out of reach? Have you been told that you are physically present but emotionally absent in relationships? Maybe your difficult emotions get in your way and you want to move past them, but you aren’t sure how to do it. Have you been with a life coach but want to go further in your transformation? Are you staying in therapy but don’t seem to be going anywhere? You need more specific strategies and a better support system to empower yourself.
(805) 232-7756 View (805) 232-7756
Photo of elevateher | concierge psychiatry + ketamine, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
elevateher | concierge psychiatry + ketamine
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Are you feeling anxious, depressed and/or unmotivated? Do your dreams and goals seem out of reach? Have you been told that you are physically present but emotionally absent in relationships? Maybe your difficult emotions get in your way and you want to move past them, but you aren’t sure how to do it. Have you been with a life coach but want to go further in your transformation? Are you staying in therapy but you don’t seem to be going anywhere? You need more specific strategies and a better support system to empower yourself. Then you’d feel most alive and aligned with yourself.
Are you feeling anxious, depressed and/or unmotivated? Do your dreams and goals seem out of reach? Have you been told that you are physically present but emotionally absent in relationships? Maybe your difficult emotions get in your way and you want to move past them, but you aren’t sure how to do it. Have you been with a life coach but want to go further in your transformation? Are you staying in therapy but you don’t seem to be going anywhere? You need more specific strategies and a better support system to empower yourself. Then you’d feel most alive and aligned with yourself.
(971) 286-5038 View (971) 286-5038
Photo of Tyisha Fletcher, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 93101, CA
Tyisha Fletcher
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
I am a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with dual certification as a family nurse practitioner. I have practiced for over six years in a variety of settings, including internal medicine, family medicine, and mental health. I enjoy working with diverse people from different cultures. I specialize in working with people of color by providing a safe space to focus on complete mental health. I have several years of experience working with clients experiencing mood disorders like bipolar, major depression and anxiety.
I am a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with dual certification as a family nurse practitioner. I have practiced for over six years in a variety of settings, including internal medicine, family medicine, and mental health. I enjoy working with diverse people from different cultures. I specialize in working with people of color by providing a safe space to focus on complete mental health. I have several years of experience working with clients experiencing mood disorders like bipolar, major depression and anxiety.
(858) 321-8642 View (858) 321-8642
Photo of Melinda M Hansen, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Melinda M Hansen
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Dr. Hansen began her medical career in the Army National Guard as a medic. After completing 12 years education, she moved to Alaska to work in integrated care models for the Native American people at Southcentral Foundation. During this time, she served as an adult & adolescent psychiatrist & director for the dual-diagnosis addiction program. She gradually transitioned to the field of tele-psychiatry & assumed the role of Behavioral Health Director for multiple towns in Alaska while concomitantly working in California for LA County. She now practices concierge tele-psychiatry in AK, AZ, CA & FL & is accepting new clients.
Dr. Hansen began her medical career in the Army National Guard as a medic. After completing 12 years education, she moved to Alaska to work in integrated care models for the Native American people at Southcentral Foundation. During this time, she served as an adult & adolescent psychiatrist & director for the dual-diagnosis addiction program. She gradually transitioned to the field of tele-psychiatry & assumed the role of Behavioral Health Director for multiple towns in Alaska while concomitantly working in California for LA County. She now practices concierge tele-psychiatry in AK, AZ, CA & FL & is accepting new clients.
(323) 894-2097 View (323) 894-2097
Photo of Jill Norman, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Jill Norman
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
I am a double board certified child, adolescent and adult (general) psychiatrist with a focus on children, teens, young adults and adult mental health. I provide a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation then make recommendations for specific conditions including different therapeutic approaches and if necessary medication. I specialize in working with children/adolescents and focus on development, behavior, educational and social functioning. I work closely with parents or guardians to better understand the child/adolescent and most importantly to help them thrive.
I am a double board certified child, adolescent and adult (general) psychiatrist with a focus on children, teens, young adults and adult mental health. I provide a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation then make recommendations for specific conditions including different therapeutic approaches and if necessary medication. I specialize in working with children/adolescents and focus on development, behavior, educational and social functioning. I work closely with parents or guardians to better understand the child/adolescent and most importantly to help them thrive.
(805) 243-0772 View (805) 243-0772
Photo of Jane Li, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Jane Li
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
As a board-certified, UCLA-trained psychiatrist, I provide care for adult patients, treating a range of diagnoses including depression, anxiety, bipolar/mood disorders, OCD, ADHD, PTSD, eating disorders. I completed a Mood Disorders Fellowship at UCLA treating bipolar patients. I also received extensive training in experiential psychodynamic therapy and other therapy modalities through the years. I am able to offer therapy to supplement medication management when patients see a need, for both the patients' convenience and a more rounded treatment experience.
As a board-certified, UCLA-trained psychiatrist, I provide care for adult patients, treating a range of diagnoses including depression, anxiety, bipolar/mood disorders, OCD, ADHD, PTSD, eating disorders. I completed a Mood Disorders Fellowship at UCLA treating bipolar patients. I also received extensive training in experiential psychodynamic therapy and other therapy modalities through the years. I am able to offer therapy to supplement medication management when patients see a need, for both the patients' convenience and a more rounded treatment experience.
(805) 283-6074 View (805) 283-6074
Photo of Hee-Sang Lyu, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Hee-Sang Lyu
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
My ideal patient is someone who is interested in approaching his or her issues from a multi-dimensional approach, which often involves combination of psychotherapy and medications, as warranted. I provide a comprehensive assessment of you as an individual, which includes potential diagnoses to guide treatment. I will tailor a treatment plan to target your specific concerns, which will integrate therapy, medications, and other strategies. If you already have a therapist, I can work with him or her together for your treatment needs.
My ideal patient is someone who is interested in approaching his or her issues from a multi-dimensional approach, which often involves combination of psychotherapy and medications, as warranted. I provide a comprehensive assessment of you as an individual, which includes potential diagnoses to guide treatment. I will tailor a treatment plan to target your specific concerns, which will integrate therapy, medications, and other strategies. If you already have a therapist, I can work with him or her together for your treatment needs.
(424) 359-1618 View (424) 359-1618
Photo of Michael Mrizek, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Michael Mrizek
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
As a psychiatrist, I bring a blend of medical and psychological training to my practice. I work closely with my patients to understand their individual needs and preferences, taking a holistic approach to their care.
As a psychiatrist, I bring a blend of medical and psychological training to my practice. I work closely with my patients to understand their individual needs and preferences, taking a holistic approach to their care.
(202) 902-8845 View (202) 902-8845
Photo of Dr. Margaret K. Bauman, Psychiatrist in 93101, CA
Dr. Margaret K. Bauman
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Dr. Bauman is known for her open and warm approach. She is well-versed in the medical complexities of psychiatric illness, and addresses each patient as a unique individual. Dr. Margaret Bauman is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both General Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry. She has extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Bauman has been named one of America’s Top Psychiatrists by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.
Dr. Bauman is known for her open and warm approach. She is well-versed in the medical complexities of psychiatric illness, and addresses each patient as a unique individual. Dr. Margaret Bauman is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both General Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry. She has extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Bauman has been named one of America’s Top Psychiatrists by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.
(805) 254-7183 View (805) 254-7183

See more therapy options for 93101

Nearby Searches for 93101

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in 93101

20+

Psychiatrists in 93101 who prioritize treating:

96% Depression
96% Anxiety
86% ADHD
86% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
86% Medication Management
79% Bipolar Disorder
68% Stress

Average years in practice

13 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

94% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH
94% Optum
88% Anthem | Elevance

How Psychiatrists in 93101 see their clients

86% In Person and Online
14% Online Only

Gender breakdown

69% Female
31% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in 93101?

The Psychology Today Directory enables you to search specifically for psychiatrists, using the drop down provider menu in the navigation bar, by city or zip code, or by the name of the psychiatrist. Search results provide detailed profiles of professionals, including their treatment approach and areas of expertise. In addition, listings provide important information about each psychiatrist’s credentials, fees, payment options, and insurance affiliations. Directory users can select psychiatrists who meet an array of personally-desired criteria, such as familiarity with a specific community or condition.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

Psychiatrists are medical specialists who focus on understanding, diagnosing, and treating diseases of the brain and disorders of the mind and behavior. As physicians, psychiatrists are trained to recognize the often-subtle biological causes of mental disorders and to monitor the effects of mental disturbances on physical conditions, such as heart disease. Psychologists are especially attuned to the influence of early experience on development and behavior, emotional and cognitive processes, the nature of personality, and social functioning. They are also trained to deploy an array of psychological tests—IQ tests, personality tests, behavioral assessments—to gauge a person’s functioning.

What is a psychiatric nurse practitioner?

A psychiatric nurse practitioner, also known as a mental health nurse practitioner, is a registered nurse who completes advanced training in psychiatric care, earning either a master’s or doctoral degree in psychiatric nursing, and in the U.S., passes a national certification exam. Like psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions. In some locales, psychiatric nurse practitioners can offer the full range of psychiatric care, including prescribing and managing medication. In other places, they must work in collaboration with a physician.

Is everyone in the Psychology Today Therapy Directory a licensed psychiatrist?

The Psychology Today directory lists providers who offer legitimate mental health services to the public, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors. All psychiatrists listed in the directory have a valid license issued by the state(s) in which they practice and are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Providers whose license or primary credential has been verified by Psychology Today are signified by a “Verified” symbol. Some individuals or organizations provide services for which their state or country does not offer licenses, such as pastoral counseling. They may be selectively included without the “Verified” seal.

Can a psychiatrist prescribe medication?

Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who are trained to recognize the many ways body processes affect the functioning of the brain and mind. As physicians, they can prescribe medication. Patients who are prescribed medications will typically need to continue to see a psychiatrist so that the effects of the medication can be monitored. For many psychiatric conditions, including common disorders such as anxiety and depression, the preferred treatment is combination therapy—medication accompanied by psychotherapy.

Do psychiatrists offer therapy?

Psychiatrists are generally trained in a number of treatment modalities, including psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and, increasingly, somatic therapies. Typically, psychiatrists make a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment based on chemical or biological factors, using lab tests, brain scans and physical and psychological evaluations. While psychotherapy may be used in the first session to aid in diagnosis, it is not typically utilized in subsequent visits. In fact, after the introductory session, most sessions with a psychiatrist may only be 15-20 minutes in length and are largely focused on medication management. Many psychiatrists who do not offer psychotherapy work collaboratively with psychologists and other mental health clinicians and can refer clients seeking talk therapy to those providers.

How do I know if I need a psychiatrist or a therapist?

It is not always easy to know which type of mental health practitioner to choose. Many people are unaware of the root of their mental or behavioral problem. One way many people learn which type of care is best for them is by seeing their primary care provider first. Depending on the nature and severity of the symptoms, the physician may review their medical history or perform medical tests to determine whether biological factors are involved before making a referral. It is not necessary for a person to know precisely what type of care they need in order to seek help. Many psychiatrists and psychologists refer clients to each other depending on client needs.

Do I need a referral to see a psychiatrist?

A referral to a psychiatrist is often not required. However, seeing your primary care physician first can be helpful and actually prove to be a shortcut to getting what you need. Your PCP may have a clear idea whether psychiatric help is needed and/or which kind of mental health care would be most beneficial and refer you to the right type of practitioner. For that reason alone, some psychiatrists require a referral. Further, many insurance plans require a referral from a PCP if they cover all of part of the cost of seeing a specialist; if, however, you are paying out of pocket, you may not need a referral. In any case, a referral may speed the process of securing an appointment with a psychiatrist, especially in areas where there is a shortage of mental health specialists and new patients face long waits for appointments.