Psychiatrists in Auburn, AL

Photo of Saydie Marshall, MSN, CRNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Saydie Marshall
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, CRNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Auburn, AL 36830
Hi, my is Saydie Marshall and I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. I obtained my BSN from Jacksonville State University in 2020 and in 2023 obtained my MSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I have always been very intrigued and interested in psychiatry. My passion for mental health grew as I experienced how underserved the patients were while working as an RN with children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients on various acute inpatient psychiatric units in Alabama.
Hi, my is Saydie Marshall and I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. I obtained my BSN from Jacksonville State University in 2020 and in 2023 obtained my MSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I have always been very intrigued and interested in psychiatry. My passion for mental health grew as I experienced how underserved the patients were while working as an RN with children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients on various acute inpatient psychiatric units in Alabama.
(334) 423-3240 View (334) 423-3240
Photo of Aaron Hawkins - The Hawkins Group, MD, Psychiatrist
The Hawkins Group
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Auburn, AL 36830
At The Hawkins Group, we are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive psychiatric care to our patients. Our practice specializes in medication management, therapy, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for the treatment of depression. We are committed to creating a welcoming and supportive atmosphere where you can feel comfortable and understood. Our Approach: Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping you achieve your mental health goals. We prioritize staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in psychiatry through our multiple academic affiliations throughout Alabama and Tennessee.
At The Hawkins Group, we are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive psychiatric care to our patients. Our practice specializes in medication management, therapy, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for the treatment of depression. We are committed to creating a welcoming and supportive atmosphere where you can feel comfortable and understood. Our Approach: Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping you achieve your mental health goals. We prioritize staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in psychiatry through our multiple academic affiliations throughout Alabama and Tennessee.
(629) 229-9703 View (629) 229-9703
Photo of Caroline Abolade - Grace Point Behavioral, Psychiatrist
Grace Point Behavioral
Psychiatrist
Verified Verified
Auburn, AL 36830
Grace Point Behavioral provides medication management & counseling services to Montgomery & its surrounding counties. We treat Anxiety, Panic, OCD, Depression, Bipolar & ADHD. Ready to try a new treatment option for anxiety after trauma as in PTSD? We offer Yoga somatic classes to guide you through gentle Yoga & Deep breathing exercises, using your body & mind for self healing. We see all age groups seen from age 4. Play Therapist available on site. We are on a mission to deliver compassionate, high quality, behavioral health care. We focus on your needs, we meet them & hope to exceed your expectations. We do it better.
Grace Point Behavioral provides medication management & counseling services to Montgomery & its surrounding counties. We treat Anxiety, Panic, OCD, Depression, Bipolar & ADHD. Ready to try a new treatment option for anxiety after trauma as in PTSD? We offer Yoga somatic classes to guide you through gentle Yoga & Deep breathing exercises, using your body & mind for self healing. We see all age groups seen from age 4. Play Therapist available on site. We are on a mission to deliver compassionate, high quality, behavioral health care. We focus on your needs, we meet them & hope to exceed your expectations. We do it better.
(334) 384-6354 View (334) 384-6354
Photo of Dr. Chenhang Zou, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Chenhang Zou
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Auburn, AL 36849
Embark on your healing journey with Dr. Zou, a Board-certified psychiatrist who blends the precision of medicine with the art of psychotherapy. Trained at Emory and UAlabama, Dr. Zou is expert at integrating medication management and psychotherapy, including CBT. But her approach is not just about effective treatment; it's about empowering you with self-knowledge and tools for sustainable mental well-being. With Dr. Zou, you can explore a personalized, empathetic approach that resonates uniquely with you.
Embark on your healing journey with Dr. Zou, a Board-certified psychiatrist who blends the precision of medicine with the art of psychotherapy. Trained at Emory and UAlabama, Dr. Zou is expert at integrating medication management and psychotherapy, including CBT. But her approach is not just about effective treatment; it's about empowering you with self-knowledge and tools for sustainable mental well-being. With Dr. Zou, you can explore a personalized, empathetic approach that resonates uniquely with you.
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Photo of Dr. Ronil Shah, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Ronil Shah
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Auburn, AL 36849  (Online Only)
Why choose Dr. Ronil Shah? Because his top-notch expertise combines with compassionate, personalized care. Treatment with Dr. Shah is a two-way collaboration. Working together, you will design a mental wellness strategy that’s tailored just for you. His philosophy? Your path to wellness should be as unique as you are, shaped by empathy and expertise, and empowered by evidence-based insights and tools.
Why choose Dr. Ronil Shah? Because his top-notch expertise combines with compassionate, personalized care. Treatment with Dr. Shah is a two-way collaboration. Working together, you will design a mental wellness strategy that’s tailored just for you. His philosophy? Your path to wellness should be as unique as you are, shaped by empathy and expertise, and empowered by evidence-based insights and tools.
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More Psychiatrists Nearby

Photo of Kaizad Shroff - Rivertown Psychiatry-Columbus, MD, Psychiatrist
Rivertown Psychiatry-Columbus
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Opelika, AL 36801
WALK IN CLINIC: One of our regions biggest issues with mental health is the absence of a psychiatrist when a patient decides to see one. No more 1-2 month waits for appointments. By having a walk-in clinic available, we are here when you most need us! MISSION STATEMENT : To provide professional and compassionate evaluation and continuing care to adults, children and families with psychiatric issues in a confidential and caring environment. To achieve this we incorporate both physician and nurse practitioners in our practice who are Board Certified Psychiatrically specialized providers who essentially can provide medications and psychotherapy.
WALK IN CLINIC: One of our regions biggest issues with mental health is the absence of a psychiatrist when a patient decides to see one. No more 1-2 month waits for appointments. By having a walk-in clinic available, we are here when you most need us! MISSION STATEMENT : To provide professional and compassionate evaluation and continuing care to adults, children and families with psychiatric issues in a confidential and caring environment. To achieve this we incorporate both physician and nurse practitioners in our practice who are Board Certified Psychiatrically specialized providers who essentially can provide medications and psychotherapy.
(334) 275-9595 View (334) 275-9595
Rivertown Psychiatry - Opelika
Psychiatrist, MD
Not Verified Not Verified
Opelika, AL 36801
WALK IN CLINIC: One of our regions biggest issues with mental health is the absence of a psychiatrist when a patient decides to see one. No more 1-2 month waits for appointments. By having a walk-in clinic available, we are here when you most need us! MISSION STATEMENT : To provide professional and compassionate evaluation and continuing care to adults, children and families with psychiatric issues in a confidential and caring environment. To achieve this we incorporate both physician and nurse practitioners in our practice who are Board Certified Psychiatrically specialized providers who essentially can provide medications and psychotherapy.
WALK IN CLINIC: One of our regions biggest issues with mental health is the absence of a psychiatrist when a patient decides to see one. No more 1-2 month waits for appointments. By having a walk-in clinic available, we are here when you most need us! MISSION STATEMENT : To provide professional and compassionate evaluation and continuing care to adults, children and families with psychiatric issues in a confidential and caring environment. To achieve this we incorporate both physician and nurse practitioners in our practice who are Board Certified Psychiatrically specialized providers who essentially can provide medications and psychotherapy.
(334) 239-2558 View (334) 239-2558

Online Psychiatrists

Photo of Summyji Groom - Optimal Mental Health Virtual Clinical, PLLC, DNP, CRNP, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Optimal Mental Health Virtual Clinical, PLLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, CRNP, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
5 Endorsed
Birmingham, AL 35235  (Online Only)
Are you an adult struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety? Do you often find yourself overwhelmed by life's stressors, such as relationship issues, career uncertainties, financial difficulties, health concerns, or even the joy and stress of getting married? Are you navigating the challenging waters of grief and loss? If any of these resonate with you, I want you to know that you are not alone. We understand how these concerns can make you feel isolated, with no one to share your struggles with. But remember, reaching out for help is a strength, not a weakness.
Are you an adult struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety? Do you often find yourself overwhelmed by life's stressors, such as relationship issues, career uncertainties, financial difficulties, health concerns, or even the joy and stress of getting married? Are you navigating the challenging waters of grief and loss? If any of these resonate with you, I want you to know that you are not alone. We understand how these concerns can make you feel isolated, with no one to share your struggles with. But remember, reaching out for help is a strength, not a weakness.
(303) 479-3448 View (303) 479-3448
Photo of Shawn Howard, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Shawn Howard
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Montgomery, AL 36130  (Online Only)
I am currently an ANCC-board-certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner. I have over 20 years of psychiatric experience, ranging from inpatient psychiatric care to outpatient psychiatric care. My specialties include depression, anxiety, panic, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, sleep, OCD, ADHD and more. My philosophy is focused on caring for patients in a holistic approach, which ensures their mental health needs are met. This helps patients and their families reach optimal mental health outcomes. I am licensed and currently accepting patients in Oregon and Colorado.
I am currently an ANCC-board-certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner. I have over 20 years of psychiatric experience, ranging from inpatient psychiatric care to outpatient psychiatric care. My specialties include depression, anxiety, panic, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, sleep, OCD, ADHD and more. My philosophy is focused on caring for patients in a holistic approach, which ensures their mental health needs are met. This helps patients and their families reach optimal mental health outcomes. I am licensed and currently accepting patients in Oregon and Colorado.
(334) 401-1146 View (334) 401-1146
Photo of Amin Gilani - Alabama Psychiatry Pelham, MD, Psychiatrist
Alabama Psychiatry Pelham
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Pelham, AL 35124
Alabama Psychiatry Pelham we believe you are important. We are a dynamic office of highly qualified mental health professionals. If you are a senior, a child or an adult we have the ability to understand what you are going through, and we have the professionals with the ability to treat what ails you. You are important.
Alabama Psychiatry Pelham we believe you are important. We are a dynamic office of highly qualified mental health professionals. If you are a senior, a child or an adult we have the ability to understand what you are going through, and we have the professionals with the ability to treat what ails you. You are important.
(205) 255-3828 View (205) 255-3828
Photo of Ashley Dumas - Alabama Psychiatry Montgomery, MD, Psychiatrist
Alabama Psychiatry Montgomery
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Montgomery, AL 36117
We hear at Alabama Psychiatry welcome patients of all ages and treat most all mental health issues. We have a dynamic team of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers to help you find the best you. We believe YOU ARE IMPORTANT and we can help.
We hear at Alabama Psychiatry welcome patients of all ages and treat most all mental health issues. We have a dynamic team of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers to help you find the best you. We believe YOU ARE IMPORTANT and we can help.
(334) 239-2622 View (334) 239-2622
Photo of Ioana N Shirley, MD, Psychiatrist
Ioana N Shirley
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Birmingham, AL 35242
Hello, I am Ioana Shirley, medical doctor board certified in Child and Adult Psychiatry. I have 30 years of daily experience in the outpatient treatment of all psychiatric disorders, using a variety of modalities that include therapy, medications, family interventions, TMS, Esketamine etc. I believe that the success of all psychiatric and psychological interventions depends on the provider's training and skills, but also on the relationship between you and this provider. I offer a one stop safe, private and respectful place for psychoeducation, counseling and complex treatments. Healing is the goal in our partnership.
Hello, I am Ioana Shirley, medical doctor board certified in Child and Adult Psychiatry. I have 30 years of daily experience in the outpatient treatment of all psychiatric disorders, using a variety of modalities that include therapy, medications, family interventions, TMS, Esketamine etc. I believe that the success of all psychiatric and psychological interventions depends on the provider's training and skills, but also on the relationship between you and this provider. I offer a one stop safe, private and respectful place for psychoeducation, counseling and complex treatments. Healing is the goal in our partnership.
(205) 624-0062 View (205) 624-0062
Photo of Jarrett Mental Health Wellness, PMHNP, FNP-C, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jarrett Mental Health Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP-C
Verified Verified
Chelsea, AL 35043  (Online Only)
A quote by Mariel Hemingway states, "Mental Health and Mental Balance is critical to leading a Healthy Life." In my practice, I believe mental health and addiction treatment should be free from stigma and disability. With telemedicine services you can get the mental health or addiction treatment you need in the privacy of your home.
A quote by Mariel Hemingway states, "Mental Health and Mental Balance is critical to leading a Healthy Life." In my practice, I believe mental health and addiction treatment should be free from stigma and disability. With telemedicine services you can get the mental health or addiction treatment you need in the privacy of your home.
(205) 905-6340 x100 View (205) 905-6340 x100
Photo of Krystal Patrick, MSN, CRNP, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Krystal Patrick
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, CRNP, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Birmingham, AL 35242
My name is Krystal Patrick & I am a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. I obtained my MSN from The University of Alabama at Birmingham & I am board certified through ANCC. In 2011, I began working in the mental health field. Since then, I have worked with children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and veterans. Currently, I treat individuals 18 and older. I have experience treating individuals with ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder.
My name is Krystal Patrick & I am a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. I obtained my MSN from The University of Alabama at Birmingham & I am board certified through ANCC. In 2011, I began working in the mental health field. Since then, I have worked with children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and veterans. Currently, I treat individuals 18 and older. I have experience treating individuals with ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder.
(205) 553-9171 View (205) 553-9171
Jarrett Mental Health and Wellness LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP-C
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Chelsea, AL 35043  (Online Only)
Jarrett Mental Health & Wellness is a psychiatry clinic providing mental health & addiction services for adults and children, court mandated evaluations, and court mandated online classes. Lea Jarrett is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner PMHNP-BC and Family Nurse Practitioner FNP-C. Lea has many years of psychiatric experience which began with working as a Nurse Practitioner since 2017. She has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients in both inpatient hospital and outpatient facilities. Lea also has experience treating addiction in outpatient and inpatient detox programs.
Jarrett Mental Health & Wellness is a psychiatry clinic providing mental health & addiction services for adults and children, court mandated evaluations, and court mandated online classes. Lea Jarrett is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner PMHNP-BC and Family Nurse Practitioner FNP-C. Lea has many years of psychiatric experience which began with working as a Nurse Practitioner since 2017. She has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients in both inpatient hospital and outpatient facilities. Lea also has experience treating addiction in outpatient and inpatient detox programs.
(205) 964-5778 View (205) 964-5778
Photo of Valisia Davis, DNP, CRNP-BC, PMHS, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Valisia Davis
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, CRNP-BC, PMHS
Verified Verified
Birmingham, AL 35209
My expertise is working with patients who are dealing with Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Patients need a trusting place to be honest about their mental health concerns and the confidence they will receive quality care. I have clinical concentration of more than 15 years in pediatric psychiatry. I believe my years of experience working with child psychiatrists and psychologists allows me provide this level care..
My expertise is working with patients who are dealing with Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Patients need a trusting place to be honest about their mental health concerns and the confidence they will receive quality care. I have clinical concentration of more than 15 years in pediatric psychiatry. I believe my years of experience working with child psychiatrists and psychologists allows me provide this level care..
(205) 882-3011 View (205) 882-3011
Photo of Meagan Carson - Nfinite Healthcare Services, DNP, PMHNP, CRNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Nfinite Healthcare Services
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, CRNP
Verified Verified
Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
Hello, I am Dr. Meagan Carson and I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I treat adult (age 18+) patients who are dealing with depression and anxiety as well as other mental health illnesses. I take a holistic approach with treatment because I understand that all aspects of our lives play a part in our wellbeing. I focus on the individual needs of each patient and cater a treatment plan based on those specific needs.
Hello, I am Dr. Meagan Carson and I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I treat adult (age 18+) patients who are dealing with depression and anxiety as well as other mental health illnesses. I take a holistic approach with treatment because I understand that all aspects of our lives play a part in our wellbeing. I focus on the individual needs of each patient and cater a treatment plan based on those specific needs.
(323) 334-0599 View (323) 334-0599
Photo of Dr. Laura Montgomery-Barefield - Ascend Psychiatry Wellness & Consulting Group, MD, FAPA, Psychiatrist
Ascend Psychiatry Wellness & Consulting Group
Psychiatrist, MD, FAPA
Verified Verified
Birmingham, AL 35209
Dr. Montgomery-Barefield completed her Medical Degree Residency and Fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Tx. As a former Professor of Psychiatry and Training Director at UAB, she dedicated nearly 20 years of her career to training the next generation of psychiatrists. Dr. Montgomery-Barefield is an American Psychiatry Association Fellow and is board Certified in Adult and Child Psychiatry. She has been in practice for over 30 years and brings a wealth of expertise.
Dr. Montgomery-Barefield completed her Medical Degree Residency and Fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Tx. As a former Professor of Psychiatry and Training Director at UAB, she dedicated nearly 20 years of her career to training the next generation of psychiatrists. Dr. Montgomery-Barefield is an American Psychiatry Association Fellow and is board Certified in Adult and Child Psychiatry. She has been in practice for over 30 years and brings a wealth of expertise.
(205) 797-2177 View (205) 797-2177
Photo of Shunesa Perkins - Mindful Paths, LLC, MSN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Mindful Paths, LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Birmingham, AL 35226
You do not have to struggle alone. Let me help you find the healthier you. Our goal is to listen and understand your specific situation. Together we will work hard to establish a treatment plan to address your situation and provide a safe environment free of bias.
You do not have to struggle alone. Let me help you find the healthier you. Our goal is to listen and understand your specific situation. Together we will work hard to establish a treatment plan to address your situation and provide a safe environment free of bias.
(205) 990-6753 View (205) 990-6753
Photo of Dr. Phillip Smith, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Phillip Smith
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Birmingham, AL 35242  (Online Only)
I am a psychiatrist medical doctor (MD). I will offer you my approach as a physician throughout your treatment journey. I understand the difficulties you face, whether it's battling depression, can't sleep, struggling with inattention, coping with psychosis, or fighting substance use disorders. If your goal is to find relief from these acute and chronic mental health conditions, and I am here to prioritize your journey towards remission.
I am a psychiatrist medical doctor (MD). I will offer you my approach as a physician throughout your treatment journey. I understand the difficulties you face, whether it's battling depression, can't sleep, struggling with inattention, coping with psychosis, or fighting substance use disorders. If your goal is to find relief from these acute and chronic mental health conditions, and I am here to prioritize your journey towards remission.
(205) 551-0367 View (205) 551-0367

See more therapy options for Auburn

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Auburn, AL

< 10

Psychiatrists in Auburn, AL who prioritize treating:

100% Depression
100% Anxiety
100% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
100% Trauma and PTSD
100% Bipolar Disorder
100% Sleep or Insomnia
80% Grief

Average years in practice

6 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% BlueCross and BlueShield
100% Medicare
100% TRICARE

How Psychiatrists in Auburn, AL see their clients

80% In Person and Online
20% Online Only

Gender breakdown

75% Female
25% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Auburn?

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.