Psychiatrists in Alamo, CA

Photo of Uzma Khan, MD, ABPN, ABOM, Psychiatrist
Uzma Khan
Psychiatrist, MD, ABPN, ABOM
Verified Verified
Alamo, CA 94507
We practice Metabolic Psychiatry & more. Metabolic dysfunction is often associated with mood disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and ADHD. We are committed to addressing these challenges with personalized psychiatric services. Our comprehensive care includes specialized treatments such as weight loss programs designed specifically for patients managing psychiatric illnesses. With specific expertise, we navigate significant life events like perimenopause/ menopause & its possible impact on mental wellbeing.
We practice Metabolic Psychiatry & more. Metabolic dysfunction is often associated with mood disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and ADHD. We are committed to addressing these challenges with personalized psychiatric services. Our comprehensive care includes specialized treatments such as weight loss programs designed specifically for patients managing psychiatric illnesses. With specific expertise, we navigate significant life events like perimenopause/ menopause & its possible impact on mental wellbeing.
(925) 578-3538 View (925) 578-3538
Photo of Dr. Mark Chofla - Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, DO, Psychiatrist
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Alamo, CA 94507  (Online Only)
Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his specialty residency training at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California at Davis, Dr. Chofla earned his medical degree from Midwestern University: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his specialty residency training at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California at Davis, Dr. Chofla earned his medical degree from Midwestern University: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.
(925) 406-3759 View (925) 406-3759
Photo of Daniel Smeester, MD, Psychiatrist
Daniel Smeester
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alamo, CA 94507
There IS immediate help for those who are battling substance use disorder. You do not need to wait in the emergency room for help with withdrawal symptoms, or to find help to stop using. We have an outpatient program that provides everything you need, including in-person group counseling and an outpatient detox center. Personalized care. We also have a Telehealth program for those who prefer this. If you are battling pain, our addiction-free pain management program provides expert spine and musculoskeletal care as well as care for neuropathic pain- all non-surgical procedures performed, and of course primarily non-opiate based.
There IS immediate help for those who are battling substance use disorder. You do not need to wait in the emergency room for help with withdrawal symptoms, or to find help to stop using. We have an outpatient program that provides everything you need, including in-person group counseling and an outpatient detox center. Personalized care. We also have a Telehealth program for those who prefer this. If you are battling pain, our addiction-free pain management program provides expert spine and musculoskeletal care as well as care for neuropathic pain- all non-surgical procedures performed, and of course primarily non-opiate based.
(925) 267-6853 View (925) 267-6853

More Psychiatrists Nearby

Photo of Michelle Ladringan, DNP, APRN, PHN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-B, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Michelle Ladringan
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PHN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Concord, CA 94520
Book with me now by clicking on my website. The interactions that occur between our bodies, minds, and environment have always piqued my curiosity. This curiosity has taken me on a plethora of excursions as I have learned how we come to be such distinct individuals. The medical specialty that makes the most sense is psychiatry and the bio-psycho-social approach, which considers all facets of a person's life. Being an integrative psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, I am receptive to both conventional and complementary/alternative methods for achieving recovery and completeness.
Book with me now by clicking on my website. The interactions that occur between our bodies, minds, and environment have always piqued my curiosity. This curiosity has taken me on a plethora of excursions as I have learned how we come to be such distinct individuals. The medical specialty that makes the most sense is psychiatry and the bio-psycho-social approach, which considers all facets of a person's life. Being an integrative psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, I am receptive to both conventional and complementary/alternative methods for achieving recovery and completeness.
(707) 215-5929 View (707) 215-5929
Photo of Waqar Zuberi, MD , Psychiatrist
Waqar Zuberi
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Ramon, CA 94583  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging 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 Bonmente, 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. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging 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 Bonmente, 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. Now, welcoming new patients!
(408) 443-2257 View (408) 443-2257
Photo of Atef Shaikh, DO, Psychiatrist
Atef Shaikh
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
Welcome! I'm double board-certified in adult and addiction psychiatry. I provide treatment for a broad range of conditions including ADHD, anxiety, mood disorders, stress related to trauma and addictions. These conditions often have overlapping symptoms, which can make it challenging for patients to relate to a single diagnostic label. They can also manifest as feeling a lack of purpose, engagement in "non-productive" time consuming behaviors, being uncomfortable around other people and feeling negatively about oneself. I specialize in understanding how these experiences intersect and impact individuals.
Welcome! I'm double board-certified in adult and addiction psychiatry. I provide treatment for a broad range of conditions including ADHD, anxiety, mood disorders, stress related to trauma and addictions. These conditions often have overlapping symptoms, which can make it challenging for patients to relate to a single diagnostic label. They can also manifest as feeling a lack of purpose, engagement in "non-productive" time consuming behaviors, being uncomfortable around other people and feeling negatively about oneself. I specialize in understanding how these experiences intersect and impact individuals.
(925) 329-6377 View (925) 329-6377
Photo of Dr. Zainab Al-Dhaher, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Zainab Al-Dhaher
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Dr. Zainab Al-Dhaher is a dual board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. Dr. Al-Dhaher empowers the family unit and strengthens school and community support when working with children and teenagers. She believes mindfulness, a healthy lifestyle, and strong social connections are crucial to improving mental health.
Dr. Zainab Al-Dhaher is a dual board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. Dr. Al-Dhaher empowers the family unit and strengthens school and community support when working with children and teenagers. She believes mindfulness, a healthy lifestyle, and strong social connections are crucial to improving mental health.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Catalina Villa, MD , Psychiatrist
Catalina Villa
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Ramon, CA 94583  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging 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 Bonmente, 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. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging 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 Bonmente, 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. Now, welcoming new patients!
(408) 852-7953 View (408) 852-7953
Photo of Jeryl Girton, PMHNP-B, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jeryl Girton
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
I am a dual ANCC Board Certified Family and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I have been working in the mental health field since 1990 in various roles. I have had the opportunity to utilize my Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner skills with various ages and in various settings. I integrate medication management and psychotherapeutic approaches when indicated. My previous mental health clinical experiences include acute and long-term psychiatric facilities, as well as practicing in outpatient psychiatric clinics for children, adolescents and adults.
I am a dual ANCC Board Certified Family and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I have been working in the mental health field since 1990 in various roles. I have had the opportunity to utilize my Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner skills with various ages and in various settings. I integrate medication management and psychotherapeutic approaches when indicated. My previous mental health clinical experiences include acute and long-term psychiatric facilities, as well as practicing in outpatient psychiatric clinics for children, adolescents and adults.
(925) 488-2819 View (925) 488-2819
Photo of Neha Nayyar, MD, Psychiatrist
Neha Nayyar
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
My main focus is connecting with people in order to best support them. My working style is compassionate, empathetic, easy-going, supportive, and communicative. I am always working in the best interest of the patient. My philosophy brought me to Mindful Health Solutions since we both insist on patient-first care. I am determined to help each patient find what works best for them. I will be doing in-person and telehealth appointments for those in the San Francisco area, and working with Medication Management, Psychotherapy, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS).
My main focus is connecting with people in order to best support them. My working style is compassionate, empathetic, easy-going, supportive, and communicative. I am always working in the best interest of the patient. My philosophy brought me to Mindful Health Solutions since we both insist on patient-first care. I am determined to help each patient find what works best for them. I will be doing in-person and telehealth appointments for those in the San Francisco area, and working with Medication Management, Psychotherapy, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS).
(628) 313-5919 View (628) 313-5919
Photo of Pamela Giacalone, MD, Psychiatrist
Pamela Giacalone
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Walnut Creek, CA 94597  (Online Only)
While I am comfortable with managing medications when clinically necessary, my primary treatment modality is psychodynamic therapy. My approach is straightforward and warm, and I am flexible about the structure of sessions. Some patients appreciate coaching and education, while others find meaning in more open-minded and abstract discussions. I am especially interested in working with patients with depression, anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, binge eating disorder, and/or alcohol abuse, and I am skilled in helping women cope with emotional changes associated with pregnancy, the postpartum period, and menopause.
While I am comfortable with managing medications when clinically necessary, my primary treatment modality is psychodynamic therapy. My approach is straightforward and warm, and I am flexible about the structure of sessions. Some patients appreciate coaching and education, while others find meaning in more open-minded and abstract discussions. I am especially interested in working with patients with depression, anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, binge eating disorder, and/or alcohol abuse, and I am skilled in helping women cope with emotional changes associated with pregnancy, the postpartum period, and menopause.
(925) 297-1779 View (925) 297-1779
Photo of Dr. Mark Chofla - Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, DO, Psychiatrist
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
San Ramon, CA 94583  (Online Only)
Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his specialty residency training at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California at Davis, Dr. Chofla earned his medical degree from Midwestern University: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his specialty residency training at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California at Davis, Dr. Chofla earned his medical degree from Midwestern University: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.
(925) 428-6735 View (925) 428-6735
Photo of Kevin Rosi - Mindful Health Solutions - Kevin Rosi, MD, MD, Psychiatrist
Mindful Health Solutions - Kevin Rosi, MD
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
I specialize in treating patients with Mood Depressive Disorders (MDD), which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, may impact 14-17% of the adult population in their lifetime. Also known as "clinical depression", patients who suffer from this may be treated with medication, interventional psychotherapy, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
I specialize in treating patients with Mood Depressive Disorders (MDD), which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, may impact 14-17% of the adult population in their lifetime. Also known as "clinical depression", patients who suffer from this may be treated with medication, interventional psychotherapy, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
(844) 867-8444 View (844) 867-8444
Photo of Tirath Gill, MD, Psychiatrist
Tirath Gill
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Danville, CA 94506  (Online Only)
I have been in practice for over 25 years serving patients and communities in different roles. I believe in keeping the patient’s concerns front and center when making treatment plans and it delights me to see them get better. I believe many individuals are capable of brilliant insights that can bring lasting joy and peace in their lives. I believe in the great potential of cognitive behavior therapy and other therapies. Sometimes therapy works even better when combined with the right psychiatric medication. I enjoy working with other clinicians on collaborative care.
I have been in practice for over 25 years serving patients and communities in different roles. I believe in keeping the patient’s concerns front and center when making treatment plans and it delights me to see them get better. I believe many individuals are capable of brilliant insights that can bring lasting joy and peace in their lives. I believe in the great potential of cognitive behavior therapy and other therapies. Sometimes therapy works even better when combined with the right psychiatric medication. I enjoy working with other clinicians on collaborative care.
(669) 213-1256 View (669) 213-1256
Photo of Teresa Lee, MD, FAPA, CGP, Psychiatrist
Teresa Lee
Psychiatrist, MD, FAPA, CGP
Verified Verified
Hayward, CA 94552
Waitlist for new clients
Feeling "stuck" or even "paralyzed" in your career, daily life, or relationships (in areas even beyond romantic) are often why people seek me. My culturally open approach means we will understand how your past and present relationships, ideas, and feelings shape who you are today. I primarily offer psychodynamic and relational therapy and add in CBT, DBT, and mindfulness as needed. Talk therapy can lead to deep and lasting changes, and medications, when thoughtfully prescribed, can lessen the intensity of pain and suffering. With my medical and therapy resources, we will create an approach that lends itself to personal growth.
Feeling "stuck" or even "paralyzed" in your career, daily life, or relationships (in areas even beyond romantic) are often why people seek me. My culturally open approach means we will understand how your past and present relationships, ideas, and feelings shape who you are today. I primarily offer psychodynamic and relational therapy and add in CBT, DBT, and mindfulness as needed. Talk therapy can lead to deep and lasting changes, and medications, when thoughtfully prescribed, can lessen the intensity of pain and suffering. With my medical and therapy resources, we will create an approach that lends itself to personal growth.
(925) 690-1891 View (925) 690-1891
Photo of Dominique Sanders - Raelin Bright Wellness, PhD, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Raelin Bright Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PhD, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Walnut Creek, CA 94595  (Online Only)
Tired of ER visits due to panic attacks? Do you feel anxious, sad, out of control, or overwhelmed? Do you have racing thoughts, have nightmares or trouble sleeping, or trouble relaxing? Are you feeling sad, like a dark cloud is over you or experiencing trauma responses? Do you feel treated as a number, not a person, when seeking help? I provide mental health treatment that is tailored to fit your needs. My approach is person-centered; I have mastered listening and recognizing people’s needs. I treat with evidence-based practices and believe in medication reduction as much as possible to avoid people being on too many medications.
Tired of ER visits due to panic attacks? Do you feel anxious, sad, out of control, or overwhelmed? Do you have racing thoughts, have nightmares or trouble sleeping, or trouble relaxing? Are you feeling sad, like a dark cloud is over you or experiencing trauma responses? Do you feel treated as a number, not a person, when seeking help? I provide mental health treatment that is tailored to fit your needs. My approach is person-centered; I have mastered listening and recognizing people’s needs. I treat with evidence-based practices and believe in medication reduction as much as possible to avoid people being on too many medications.
(415) 599-8715 View (415) 599-8715
Photo of Dr. Mark Chofla - Dr. Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, DO, Psychiatrist
Dr. Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Concord, CA 94520  (Online Only)
Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his specialty residency training at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California at Davis, Dr. Chofla earned his medical degree from Midwestern University: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his specialty residency training at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California at Davis, Dr. Chofla earned his medical degree from Midwestern University: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.
(925) 690-1546 View (925) 690-1546
Photo of Penny Greaves, FNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Penny Greaves
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, FNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Concord, CA 94519  (Online Only)
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.
(925) 204-2300 View (925) 204-2300
Photo of David Kan, MD, Psychiatrist
David Kan
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
I am an addiction and general psychiatrist. I practice evidence-based treatment and Medication Assisted Treatment for addictive disorders (Suboxone, Naltrexone). I believe in a patient-centered approach to treatment. I want to meet you where you are to craft a treatment plan that gets you to where you want to be. I can help you achieve control over your addiction (Opioids like Heroin, Oxycontin, Vicodin, alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, and/or tobacco). I am a general psychiatrist as well and you don't need to be addicted in order to seek help.
I am an addiction and general psychiatrist. I practice evidence-based treatment and Medication Assisted Treatment for addictive disorders (Suboxone, Naltrexone). I believe in a patient-centered approach to treatment. I want to meet you where you are to craft a treatment plan that gets you to where you want to be. I can help you achieve control over your addiction (Opioids like Heroin, Oxycontin, Vicodin, alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, and/or tobacco). I am a general psychiatrist as well and you don't need to be addicted in order to seek help.
(925) 361-3399 View (925) 361-3399
Photo of Michael H Swetye - Michael Swetye, M.D., P.C., MD, MBA, Psychiatrist
Michael Swetye, M.D., P.C.
Psychiatrist, MD, MBA
Verified Verified
Orinda, CA 94563
I am a Yale and UCSF-trained psychiatrist with board certifications in Adult, Adolescent and Child Psychiatry. I work with adults (including young adults), couples, families, teens, and middle schoolers.
I am a Yale and UCSF-trained psychiatrist with board certifications in Adult, Adolescent and Child Psychiatry. I work with adults (including young adults), couples, families, teens, and middle schoolers.
(415) 969-5356 View (415) 969-5356

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Alamo, CA

< 10

Psychiatrists in Alamo, CA who prioritize treating:

67% Depression
67% ADHD
67% Other
67% Obesity
67% Medication Management
67% Women's Issues
67% Chronic Illness

Average years in practice

22 Years

Gender breakdown

66% Male
34% Female

How Psychiatrists in Alamo, CA see their clients

67% In Person and Online
33% Online Only
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Alamo?

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.