Psychiatrists in Berkeley, CA

Photo of Tara N Valenzuela, DNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Tara N Valenzuela
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
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 Judith Watt, MD, Psychiatrist
Judith Watt
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
I came to BACA Telehealth in 2021, practicing telehealth remotely from Sacramento. Originally from Palo Alto, I completed my undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley. After attending the Bryn Mawr College Pre-Med/ Post Bacc Program, I went to Temple University Medical School where I got my MD. While a fourth year med student at Temple, in Philadelphia, I took an elective at UCSF Langley Porter, and became interested in child and adolescent psychiatry.
I came to BACA Telehealth in 2021, practicing telehealth remotely from Sacramento. Originally from Palo Alto, I completed my undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley. After attending the Bryn Mawr College Pre-Med/ Post Bacc Program, I went to Temple University Medical School where I got my MD. While a fourth year med student at Temple, in Philadelphia, I took an elective at UCSF Langley Porter, and became interested in child and adolescent psychiatry.
(844) 560-5616 View (844) 560-5616
Photo of Adel Mostafavi, MD, Psychiatrist
Adel Mostafavi
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Berkeley, CA 94704  (Online Only)
Are you struggling to balance your physical and mental health? Are things becoming unmanageable? Is your time limited? Then welcome to WellPsyche! WellPsyche Medical Group provides experts in the field of Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Our practice offers the latest in psychiatry including Telemedicine! Now you can visit with your psychiatrist from the privacy and convenience of your home or work. Our providers take a Conservative and Effective approach to medication management and can help you balance your life.
Are you struggling to balance your physical and mental health? Are things becoming unmanageable? Is your time limited? Then welcome to WellPsyche! WellPsyche Medical Group provides experts in the field of Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Our practice offers the latest in psychiatry including Telemedicine! Now you can visit with your psychiatrist from the privacy and convenience of your home or work. Our providers take a Conservative and Effective approach to medication management and can help you balance your life.
(310) 856-9442 View (310) 856-9442
Photo of Rachel Crothers, MD, Psychiatrist
Rachel Crothers
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Berkeley, CA 94704  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
I am a licensed physician and board-certified psychiatrist who provides psychotherapy and medication management to individual adults. My approach to treatment is empathic, collaborative, holistic, and in-depth. My style is warm, engaging and interactive. My goal is to help you heal as well as to find greater authenticity, purpose and meaning in life. I provide a compassionate and safe space where we can understand and change patterns that are no longer serving you, support you through life transitions, and work together to help you heal and reach greater authenticity and meaning in life.
I am a licensed physician and board-certified psychiatrist who provides psychotherapy and medication management to individual adults. My approach to treatment is empathic, collaborative, holistic, and in-depth. My style is warm, engaging and interactive. My goal is to help you heal as well as to find greater authenticity, purpose and meaning in life. I provide a compassionate and safe space where we can understand and change patterns that are no longer serving you, support you through life transitions, and work together to help you heal and reach greater authenticity and meaning in life.
(510) 826-3658 View (510) 826-3658
Photo of Mukund Gnanadesikan, MD, Psychiatrist
Mukund Gnanadesikan
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist with nearly two decades worth of experience, I have come to cherish the collaborative aspects of patient care above all else. Treatment and recovery become more meaningful and durable when defined by patients, families, and doctors together. (Or, as some. might say, multiple heads are better than one.) In working with diverse populations, it has also become evident to me that "medication-only" treatment models have their place, but are limited in what they can do and what they should be asked to do. This is especially true in the child and adolescent population.
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist with nearly two decades worth of experience, I have come to cherish the collaborative aspects of patient care above all else. Treatment and recovery become more meaningful and durable when defined by patients, families, and doctors together. (Or, as some. might say, multiple heads are better than one.) In working with diverse populations, it has also become evident to me that "medication-only" treatment models have their place, but are limited in what they can do and what they should be asked to do. This is especially true in the child and adolescent population.
(844) 560-5616 View (844) 560-5616
Photo of Jessica Vermeulen, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jessica Vermeulen
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Berkeley, CA 94704
Unsure if medication is right for you or need help optimizing your current treatment? While medication can be beneficial, the most effective approach to mental health challenges often combines the right medications with holistic treatments. Sadly, the profit-driven mental healthcare system may not always prioritize your well-being. My goal is to help you thrive through holistic psychiatry, enabling you to achieve optimal wellness. Easily schedule an online appointment for personalized medication management at www.pwpsychiatry.com/CA and take the first step towards a healthier you.
Unsure if medication is right for you or need help optimizing your current treatment? While medication can be beneficial, the most effective approach to mental health challenges often combines the right medications with holistic treatments. Sadly, the profit-driven mental healthcare system may not always prioritize your well-being. My goal is to help you thrive through holistic psychiatry, enabling you to achieve optimal wellness. Easily schedule an online appointment for personalized medication management at www.pwpsychiatry.com/CA and take the first step towards a healthier you.
(341) 234-2952 View (341) 234-2952
Photo of Karsten M Heil - DIA Health - accessible psychiatric care, MD, NP, Psychiatrist
DIA Health - accessible psychiatric care
Psychiatrist, MD, NP
Verified Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
Our group of experienced clinicians has a collective goal of making high-quality mental health care more accessible. At DIA Health, you will have a dedicated mental health care clinician who will provide treatment tailored to your individual needs to help you live and function better. Personalized, high-quality mental health care is often out of reach to the average patient and family. To address this gap, we focus on patients who choose to use their commercial insurance to cover mental health care needs.
Our group of experienced clinicians has a collective goal of making high-quality mental health care more accessible. At DIA Health, you will have a dedicated mental health care clinician who will provide treatment tailored to your individual needs to help you live and function better. Personalized, high-quality mental health care is often out of reach to the average patient and family. To address this gap, we focus on patients who choose to use their commercial insurance to cover mental health care needs.
(510) 962-7049 View (510) 962-7049
Photo of Jack Mkroyan, MSN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jack Mkroyan
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
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 (Telepsychiatry) 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 (Telepsychiatry) 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) 444-3304 View (341) 444-3304
Photo of Cris Bissonnette, PMHNP, BC, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Cris Bissonnette
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC, FNP
Verified 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 Evan Joshua Trager, MD, Psychiatrist
Evan Joshua Trager
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
Hello, I am a board-certified psychiatrist trained to work with both adults and children, offering in-person services on Saturdays and evenings in the north Oakland/Berkeley area. My practice includes comprehensive assessments, customized interventions, and tailored treatments to assist individuals and families in navigating a wide spectrum of emotional and behavioral challenges. I have a particular focus on autism, anxiety, and trauma, providing support through parent coaching, psycho-dynamic and CBT-oriented therapy, and thoughtful medication management when appropriate.
Hello, I am a board-certified psychiatrist trained to work with both adults and children, offering in-person services on Saturdays and evenings in the north Oakland/Berkeley area. My practice includes comprehensive assessments, customized interventions, and tailored treatments to assist individuals and families in navigating a wide spectrum of emotional and behavioral challenges. I have a particular focus on autism, anxiety, and trauma, providing support through parent coaching, psycho-dynamic and CBT-oriented therapy, and thoughtful medication management when appropriate.
(341) 888-6205 View (341) 888-6205
Photo of Norman Postone, MD, Psychiatrist
Norman Postone
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified 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
Photo of Dr. Robbie Joseph - Queer Black Angels, MD, Psychiatrist
Queer Black Angels
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Berkeley, CA 94703  (Online Only)
Queer Black Angels (QBA) is dedicated to promoting the health and wellness of Queer Black folx. As a Queer Black Cis male, I know the pain and isolation of navigating systems that claim to support my success, health and wellness and fail to adequately do so due to their lack of understanding the significance of my Queerness and Blackness. I understand all too well the trauma, anxiety, depression and burnout that comes with this experience. Fortunately, I also know the relief, peace and joy of being truly seen, heard and understood by a fellow Queer Black Angel.
Queer Black Angels (QBA) is dedicated to promoting the health and wellness of Queer Black folx. As a Queer Black Cis male, I know the pain and isolation of navigating systems that claim to support my success, health and wellness and fail to adequately do so due to their lack of understanding the significance of my Queerness and Blackness. I understand all too well the trauma, anxiety, depression and burnout that comes with this experience. Fortunately, I also know the relief, peace and joy of being truly seen, heard and understood by a fellow Queer Black Angel.
(341) 888-7509 View (341) 888-7509
Photo of Kumar Vedantham, MD, Psychiatrist
Kumar Vedantham
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified 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 Jonathan Allotey, DNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jonathan Allotey
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Berkeley, CA 94704  (Online Only)
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 Emily Toch, MD, Psychiatrist
Emily Toch
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Berkeley, CA 94704  (Online Only)
Dr. Toch is deeply committed to the care of her patients. She believes in a collaborative, thoughtful, and humanistic approach to treatment, offering more than just a neurobiological perspective on the wide range of mental health, relationship, and unique life circumstances that bring patients to her door. She specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic, bipolar illness, grief and loss, and difficulties with relationships and life transitions. She has experience with women's mental health issues and also offers the possibility of combining medication with psychotherapy when clinically indicated.
Dr. Toch is deeply committed to the care of her patients. She believes in a collaborative, thoughtful, and humanistic approach to treatment, offering more than just a neurobiological perspective on the wide range of mental health, relationship, and unique life circumstances that bring patients to her door. She specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic, bipolar illness, grief and loss, and difficulties with relationships and life transitions. She has experience with women's mental health issues and also offers the possibility of combining medication with psychotherapy when clinically indicated.
(628) 212-6828 View (628) 212-6828
Photo of Miriam Lundy, MSN, NP, Psychiatric Nurse
Miriam Lundy
Psychiatric Nurse, MSN, NP
Verified 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 Thomas Paul Tarshis, MD, MPH, Psychiatrist
Thomas Paul Tarshis
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified 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 Jeanne Leventhal Alexander, MD, ABPN, FRCPC, FAPA, FACPsyc, Psychiatrist
Jeanne Leventhal Alexander
Psychiatrist, MD, ABPN, FRCPC, FAPA, FACPsyc
Verified Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
J. B, Danville, wrote: " I am a post-menopausal woman whose ADD was undiagnosed prior to the thorough evaluation by Dr Alexander. My life has certainly improved with the treatment she has prescribed. I have found her to be insightful, compassionate and intelligent. I highly recommend her!" ....... Greg, Walnut Creek, wrote: "Dr. Alexander's diagnostic skills and her ability to empathize make her an extremely effective psychiatrist… I found her to be patient, thoughtful, intelligent, professional, and caring, and highly recommend her."
J. B, Danville, wrote: " I am a post-menopausal woman whose ADD was undiagnosed prior to the thorough evaluation by Dr Alexander. My life has certainly improved with the treatment she has prescribed. I have found her to be insightful, compassionate and intelligent. I highly recommend her!" ....... Greg, Walnut Creek, wrote: "Dr. Alexander's diagnostic skills and her ability to empathize make her an extremely effective psychiatrist… I found her to be patient, thoughtful, intelligent, professional, and caring, and highly recommend her."
(510) 878-5665 View (510) 878-5665
Photo of Kayla Patel, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kayla Patel
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Berkeley, CA 94705
Kayla is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner dedicated to providing high-quality care and promoting mental well-being through evidence-based treatments.
Kayla is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner dedicated to providing high-quality care and promoting mental well-being through evidence-based treatments.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Bradley Brown, MD, Psychiatrist
Bradley Brown
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified 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
1

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Berkeley, CA

100+

Average cost per session

$330

Psychiatrists in Berkeley, CA who prioritize treating:

91% Anxiety
87% Depression
82% Medication Management
78% ADHD
70% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
64% Trauma and PTSD
60% Bipolar Disorder

Average years in practice

14 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

96% Aetna
89% Cigna and Evernorth
82% Optum

How Psychiatrists in Berkeley, CA see their clients

66% In Person and Online
34% 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.