Psychiatrists in Berkeley, CA

Photo of berkeley behavioral health & wellness, Psychiatrist in Berkeley, CA
berkeley behavioral health & wellness
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94707
Life is hard. Relationships are stressful. Welcome to berkeley behavioral health & wellness. We’re here to help. We offer treatment for a full range of behavioral health conditions in an environment that is supportive, collaborative and personalized to each individual. Dr. Tsang is a UCLA-trained, board certified Psychiatrist with over 10 years of experience specializing in Ketamine treatment and medication management.
Life is hard. Relationships are stressful. Welcome to berkeley behavioral health & wellness. We’re here to help. We offer treatment for a full range of behavioral health conditions in an environment that is supportive, collaborative and personalized to each individual. Dr. Tsang is a UCLA-trained, board certified Psychiatrist with over 10 years of experience specializing in Ketamine treatment and medication management.
(510) 462-5510 View (510) 462-5510
Ante Luburic
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
I am a board certified adult psychiatrist and see patients for therapy with or without medication. My focus is in Depression, Anxiety, and OCD. However, what I emphasize in sessions is not the general diagnosis but the particularity, uniqueness, and subjectivity of a patient. I strive to create a space in which the patient's subjectivity emerges. Then to explore and work through what emerges in this process guides me. My hope is that a patient becomes more aware of themselves, their issues, and through this process achieve a sense of satisfaction and joy.
I am a board certified adult psychiatrist and see patients for therapy with or without medication. My focus is in Depression, Anxiety, and OCD. However, what I emphasize in sessions is not the general diagnosis but the particularity, uniqueness, and subjectivity of a patient. I strive to create a space in which the patient's subjectivity emerges. Then to explore and work through what emerges in this process guides me. My hope is that a patient becomes more aware of themselves, their issues, and through this process achieve a sense of satisfaction and joy.
(510) 878-3582 View (510) 878-3582
Photo of Denine Baldor, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Berkeley, CA
Denine Baldor
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705  (Online Only)
Denine is board-certified and has over 10 years of experience working with adults and seniors. She is passionate about the destigmatization of mental illness and works with incarcerated individuals with chronic mental illness.
Denine is board-certified and has over 10 years of experience working with adults and seniors. She is passionate about the destigmatization of mental illness and works with incarcerated individuals with chronic mental illness.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Serena Wu, Psychiatrist in Berkeley, CA
Serena Wu
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94704
I am a board-certified psychiatrist and family doctor who provides supportive therapy and medication management. I believe in the thoughtful use of psychiatric medications grounded in the best available evidence based principles. I use a combination of medications and therapeutic modalities to help each client achieve their mental health goals. I believe that lifestyle, nutrition and also physical health all interplay to influence mental health. I am here to support clients in whatever stage they are in with compassion and empathy.
I am a board-certified psychiatrist and family doctor who provides supportive therapy and medication management. I believe in the thoughtful use of psychiatric medications grounded in the best available evidence based principles. I use a combination of medications and therapeutic modalities to help each client achieve their mental health goals. I believe that lifestyle, nutrition and also physical health all interplay to influence mental health. I am here to support clients in whatever stage they are in with compassion and empathy.
(510) 630-2371 View (510) 630-2371
Photo of Bradley Engwall, Psychiatrist in Berkeley, CA
Bradley Engwall
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94704
I'm a board-certified, integrative pediatric and adult psychiatrist. I work with people interested in targetting root causes of suffering as much as possible. We know that for many, the roots can be psychological and in brain connections/wiring. New therapies allow us to target both of these more than ever.: Neurofeedback, TMS, Genetic and EEG markers that can personalize lifestyle, supplement and medication treatment. When properly used in the right setting, ketamine is known to dramatically speed up psychotherapy progress.
I'm a board-certified, integrative pediatric and adult psychiatrist. I work with people interested in targetting root causes of suffering as much as possible. We know that for many, the roots can be psychological and in brain connections/wiring. New therapies allow us to target both of these more than ever.: Neurofeedback, TMS, Genetic and EEG markers that can personalize lifestyle, supplement and medication treatment. When properly used in the right setting, ketamine is known to dramatically speed up psychotherapy progress.
(510) 296-5086 View (510) 296-5086
Photo of The Mindful Lemon , Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Berkeley, CA
The Mindful Lemon
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, RN
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94704  (Online Only)
Our mission is to provide quality online mental health and substance abuse services while breaking down the barriers of traditional, office-based therapy. Traditional mental health and substance abuse treatment tends to focus on what makes you sick, and what you are lacking but at The Mindful Lemon, our clinicians let you sit in the driver’s seat, focusing on your strengths and assets to help you become the best version of you! This can be via traditional talk therapy, medication management, mindfulness techniques, an emphasis on health, wellness, and fitness, or any combination of the above.
Our mission is to provide quality online mental health and substance abuse services while breaking down the barriers of traditional, office-based therapy. Traditional mental health and substance abuse treatment tends to focus on what makes you sick, and what you are lacking but at The Mindful Lemon, our clinicians let you sit in the driver’s seat, focusing on your strengths and assets to help you become the best version of you! This can be via traditional talk therapy, medication management, mindfulness techniques, an emphasis on health, wellness, and fitness, or any combination of the above.
(341) 999-5020 View (341) 999-5020
Photo of Evan Joshua Trager, Psychiatrist in Berkeley, CA
Evan Joshua Trager
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
Hi, I'm a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist offering in person work on Saturdays and evenings in the north Oakland/Berkeley area. I provide comprehensive assessments, customized interventions, and tailored treatments to assist families and youth navigating a vast range of emotions and behavioral obstacles. Areas of special focus support include autism, anxiety, and trauma. I offer support to parents looking for coaching on how to support their child, psycho-dynamic and CBT-oriented therapy, and medication management when appropriate.
Hi, I'm a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist offering in person work on Saturdays and evenings in the north Oakland/Berkeley area. I provide comprehensive assessments, customized interventions, and tailored treatments to assist families and youth navigating a vast range of emotions and behavioral obstacles. Areas of special focus support include autism, anxiety, and trauma. I offer support to parents looking for coaching on how to support their child, psycho-dynamic and CBT-oriented therapy, and medication management when appropriate.
(341) 888-6205 View (341) 888-6205
Photo of Haley Horn, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Berkeley, CA
Haley Horn
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705  (Online Only)
Haley is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with over 10 years of experience helping adults.
Haley is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with over 10 years of experience helping adults.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Lily Allen, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Berkeley, CA
Lily Allen
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705  (Online Only)
In psychiatric mental health since 2016, I specialize in combination medication management and brief therapy for patients who suffer from trauma, depression and anxiety. I offer a supportive, open environment for my patients. LGBTQAI+ and neurodivergent clients most welcome! I am a certified autism spectrum disorder clinical specialist. In addition, I offer non-judgmental alcohol and substance abuse medication management, as well.
In psychiatric mental health since 2016, I specialize in combination medication management and brief therapy for patients who suffer from trauma, depression and anxiety. I offer a supportive, open environment for my patients. LGBTQAI+ and neurodivergent clients most welcome! I am a certified autism spectrum disorder clinical specialist. In addition, I offer non-judgmental alcohol and substance abuse medication management, as well.
(341) 888-7107 View (341) 888-7107
Photo of Jennifer S. Birch, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Berkeley, CA
Jennifer S. Birch
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94702
Not accepting new clients
*Not currently accepting new patients* As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I've helped people who struggle with symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, or ADHD, and/or who are questioning their relationship with substances. My goal is to listen to you without judgment. I will try to provide you with information about your treatment options in a way that you can understand, so that you feel empowered to make informed decisions about your care. I feel that the most successful treatment plans are developed collaboratively, so I value your perspective and find your input essential to designing your path to recovery.
*Not currently accepting new patients* As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I've helped people who struggle with symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, or ADHD, and/or who are questioning their relationship with substances. My goal is to listen to you without judgment. I will try to provide you with information about your treatment options in a way that you can understand, so that you feel empowered to make informed decisions about your care. I feel that the most successful treatment plans are developed collaboratively, so I value your perspective and find your input essential to designing your path to recovery.
(510) 629-6267 View (510) 629-6267
Photo of Tara N Valenzuela, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Berkeley, CA
Tara N Valenzuela
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified
1 Endorsed
Berkeley, CA 94704  (Online Only)
Dr. Tara Valenzuela DNP, PMHNP-BC. is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She treats mental health across the lifespan. Her treatments are healing-centered, education-forward, person-focused. This involves customized strategies that may begin with therapy and medication, and can involve holistic planning including nutrition and activity to treat the whole person. She aligns with the idea that Nursing is the facilitation of healing, and works to provide intervention, education, and advocacy. Dr. Tara Valenzuela believes psychiatric treatment allows a life worth living to be lived.
Dr. Tara Valenzuela DNP, PMHNP-BC. is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She treats mental health across the lifespan. Her treatments are healing-centered, education-forward, person-focused. This involves customized strategies that may begin with therapy and medication, and can involve holistic planning including nutrition and activity to treat the whole person. She aligns with the idea that Nursing is the facilitation of healing, and works to provide intervention, education, and advocacy. Dr. Tara Valenzuela believes psychiatric treatment allows a life worth living to be lived.
(415) 870-3670 View (415) 870-3670
Photo of Thomas Paul Tarshis, Psychiatrist in Berkeley, CA
Thomas Paul Tarshis
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
I am a Bay Area native thrilled to be living in Berkeley (where I attended college) after being in the South Bay for years. I am passionate about fixing broken systems of care, in using technology as a resource for mental health treatment, and keeping a positive attitude for my patients and their families. I enjoy working with patients to resolve current mental health issues and help youth achieve their full potential.
I am a Bay Area native thrilled to be living in Berkeley (where I attended college) after being in the South Bay for years. I am passionate about fixing broken systems of care, in using technology as a resource for mental health treatment, and keeping a positive attitude for my patients and their families. I enjoy working with patients to resolve current mental health issues and help youth achieve their full potential.
(341) 766-0817 View (341) 766-0817
Photo of Bradley Brown, Psychiatrist in Berkeley, CA
Bradley Brown
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94702
My practice here is based on two fundamental clinical ideas: The first is that in medication management, most psychiatrists are too timid regarding escalation of a medication algorithm, and they're not weighing the risks and benefits to the patient. It's a principal agent problem. My second concern is that as psychotherapists, some (not all, but some) of the core ideas of our therapeutic culture are theoretically flawed, and this makes them counterproductive, or at least less productive than they could be. Fees: $215 for 30 min follow up and $330 for 60 min intake. Visit my website / substack for more info. (link to side)
My practice here is based on two fundamental clinical ideas: The first is that in medication management, most psychiatrists are too timid regarding escalation of a medication algorithm, and they're not weighing the risks and benefits to the patient. It's a principal agent problem. My second concern is that as psychotherapists, some (not all, but some) of the core ideas of our therapeutic culture are theoretically flawed, and this makes them counterproductive, or at least less productive than they could be. Fees: $215 for 30 min follow up and $330 for 60 min intake. Visit my website / substack for more info. (link to side)
(805) 307-7358 View (805) 307-7358
Photo of Cris Bissonnette, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Berkeley, CA
Cris Bissonnette
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC, FNP
Verified
1 Endorsed
Berkeley, CA 94709
As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I provide compassionate and competent care to everyone who comes into my office. My belief is that mental and emotional wellness is a nonlinear process, often characterized by periods of stability, growth, and occasional setbacks- and I am here to support clients in whatever stage they are in with compassion and non-judgment.
As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I provide compassionate and competent care to everyone who comes into my office. My belief is that mental and emotional wellness is a nonlinear process, often characterized by periods of stability, growth, and occasional setbacks- and I am here to support clients in whatever stage they are in with compassion and non-judgment.
View
Photo of Rainbow Psychiatry - Rafik Sidaros, MD, Psychiatrist in Berkeley, CA
Rainbow Psychiatry - Rafik Sidaros, MD
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94702  (Online Only)
I am an MD, double Board-certified psychiatrist providing affirming care for LGBTQ+ patients seeking medication management for depression, anxiety, insomnia, bipolar disorder, ADHD and other conditions. I've worked with members of the community in different settings, including LGBTQ+ refugees and sexuality/gender based asylum seekers. My goal is to provide an environment where my patients can bring their full selves to their encounter with their physician. I accept patients from anywhere in California, my sessions are online. Find me on Instagram: rainbowpsychiatry
I am an MD, double Board-certified psychiatrist providing affirming care for LGBTQ+ patients seeking medication management for depression, anxiety, insomnia, bipolar disorder, ADHD and other conditions. I've worked with members of the community in different settings, including LGBTQ+ refugees and sexuality/gender based asylum seekers. My goal is to provide an environment where my patients can bring their full selves to their encounter with their physician. I accept patients from anywhere in California, my sessions are online. Find me on Instagram: rainbowpsychiatry
(415) 758-0932 View (415) 758-0932
Kiera S Levine
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
I treat adults who are struggling with a range of emotional pain or anxieties. Problems I try to help people sort out include loss and grief, the impact of loss on relationships and the meaning of a life indelibly altered; illness, new or a new stage of it, and how it impacts one's sense of self, potential, and meaning; identity, related to race, ethnicity, sexuality or gender; the complexity of parenting or having difficult parents; and ordinary but intimidating transition from one stage of life to another, the changes to the body, meaning, and connections to others that come with these transitions.
I treat adults who are struggling with a range of emotional pain or anxieties. Problems I try to help people sort out include loss and grief, the impact of loss on relationships and the meaning of a life indelibly altered; illness, new or a new stage of it, and how it impacts one's sense of self, potential, and meaning; identity, related to race, ethnicity, sexuality or gender; the complexity of parenting or having difficult parents; and ordinary but intimidating transition from one stage of life to another, the changes to the body, meaning, and connections to others that come with these transitions.
(510) 916-3123 View (510) 916-3123
Photo of Miriam Lundy, Psychiatric Nurse in Berkeley, CA
Miriam Lundy
Psychiatric Nurse, MSN, NP
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94704
I am a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and I have extensive experience in individual psychotherapy and medication management. I believe in healing and growth through self-knowledge and that care must be individualized to suit each client's needs. I work with clients suffering from depression & mood disturbance, anxiety and addiction. My other specialties include young adult issues/college students, relationship issues, eating issues, women's health and perinatal mental health concerns.
I am a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and I have extensive experience in individual psychotherapy and medication management. I believe in healing and growth through self-knowledge and that care must be individualized to suit each client's needs. I work with clients suffering from depression & mood disturbance, anxiety and addiction. My other specialties include young adult issues/college students, relationship issues, eating issues, women's health and perinatal mental health concerns.
(510) 254-3506 View (510) 254-3506
Photo of Jonathan Allotey, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Berkeley, CA
Jonathan Allotey
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified
Berkeley, CA 94704
Are you struggling to balance your mental and physical health and in need of a more comprehensive approach? No problem! I provide Telemedicine (Online Psychiatry) Services, so that you can conveniently be seen from your home for psychiatry appointments and medication management without the need to travel! I provide the same psychiatry services as an in-person office visit and I can also address other aspects that encompass your complete wellness. My aim is to help you to thrive at your best! You can easily self-schedule a Telepsychiatry video appointment now at: www.pwpsychiatry.com/CA
Are you struggling to balance your mental and physical health and in need of a more comprehensive approach? No problem! I provide Telemedicine (Online Psychiatry) Services, so that you can conveniently be seen from your home for psychiatry appointments and medication management without the need to travel! I provide the same psychiatry services as an in-person office visit and I can also address other aspects that encompass your complete wellness. My aim is to help you to thrive at your best! You can easily self-schedule a Telepsychiatry video appointment now at: www.pwpsychiatry.com/CA
(341) 895-7292 View (341) 895-7292
Photo of Kumar Vedantham, Psychiatrist in Berkeley, CA
Kumar Vedantham
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
2 Endorsed
Berkeley, CA 94709
Waitlist for new clients
Combining Science with Kindness is what drew me to psychiatry and is the cornerstone of my practice. After graduating from Brown Medical School, I completed my psychiatry training at UCSF. I have been practicing psychiatry for over 30 years. I currently treat veterans at the Oakland VA Clinic and teach medical students at UCSF. I am proficient at treating Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, ADHD, Addiction, and Trauma. My practice is primarily focused on pharmacologic treatment though I always view my patients through a holistic lens. The engine of my practice is curiosity and compassion.
Combining Science with Kindness is what drew me to psychiatry and is the cornerstone of my practice. After graduating from Brown Medical School, I completed my psychiatry training at UCSF. I have been practicing psychiatry for over 30 years. I currently treat veterans at the Oakland VA Clinic and teach medical students at UCSF. I am proficient at treating Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, ADHD, Addiction, and Trauma. My practice is primarily focused on pharmacologic treatment though I always view my patients through a holistic lens. The engine of my practice is curiosity and compassion.
(510) 757-1624 View (510) 757-1624
Photo of Norman Postone, Psychiatrist in Berkeley, CA
Norman Postone
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
1 Endorsed
Berkeley, CA 94707
As a board certified psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience in both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, I provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for a broad range of psychiatric and medical-psychiatric problems affecting adults. My approach in therapy is to collaboratively work with you to clarify and understand the issues and conflicts that currently interfere with achieving your life goals. The primary aim of the therapy would be for you to be able to make long lasting and satisfying changes in your life. I combine medication with psychotherapy when needed.
As a board certified psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience in both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, I provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for a broad range of psychiatric and medical-psychiatric problems affecting adults. My approach in therapy is to collaboratively work with you to clarify and understand the issues and conflicts that currently interfere with achieving your life goals. The primary aim of the therapy would be for you to be able to make long lasting and satisfying changes in your life. I combine medication with psychotherapy when needed.
(510) 571-3104 View (510) 571-3104

See more therapy options for Berkeley

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Berkeley, CA

100+

Average cost per session

$300

Psychiatrists in Berkeley, CA who prioritize treating:

89% Anxiety
86% Depression
78% Medication Management
75% ADHD
66% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
56% Trauma and PTSD
53% Bipolar Disorder

Average years in practice

14 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

90% Aetna
88% Cigna and Evernorth
81% Optum

How Psychiatrists in Berkeley, CA see their clients

69% In Person and Online
31% Online Only

Gender breakdown

51% Female
49% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Berkeley?

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.