Psychiatrists in Ladera Ranch, CA

Photo of Advanced TMS Center, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Advanced TMS Center
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694
At Advanced TMS Center we typically have adult & child psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, clinical psychologists, & Family Therapists, some wtth over 20 years experience. We see patients ages 5 and up. Our large, first class office in Ladera Ranch offers the best possible patient care. We are in-network with nearly every insurance company. We have many office staff to answer your phone cals in person to address all of your concerns. We do "traditional" medication management, ADD testing, and Spravato (ketamine). We also offer Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for depression, anxiety & OCD.
At Advanced TMS Center we typically have adult & child psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, clinical psychologists, & Family Therapists, some wtth over 20 years experience. We see patients ages 5 and up. Our large, first class office in Ladera Ranch offers the best possible patient care. We are in-network with nearly every insurance company. We have many office staff to answer your phone cals in person to address all of your concerns. We do "traditional" medication management, ADD testing, and Spravato (ketamine). We also offer Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for depression, anxiety & OCD.
(949) 768-2988 View (949) 768-2988
Photo of Riz Ahmad, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Riz Ahmad
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at 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 not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at 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!
(949) 776-4752 View (949) 776-4752
Photo of Stefani LaFrenierre, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Stefani LaFrenierre
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694
I offer personalized mental health treatment and utilize an integrative and evidence-based approach for the treatment of mental health and addiction conditions. I am double board-certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. I focus on building long-lasting changes and resiliency so you can achieve a balanced and fulfilling life. I bring a cautious and conservative approach to medication while considering all aspects of your health in treatment planning. I am therapeutically-oriented, and see Adults.
I offer personalized mental health treatment and utilize an integrative and evidence-based approach for the treatment of mental health and addiction conditions. I am double board-certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. I focus on building long-lasting changes and resiliency so you can achieve a balanced and fulfilling life. I bring a cautious and conservative approach to medication while considering all aspects of your health in treatment planning. I am therapeutically-oriented, and see Adults.
(310) 742-9259 View (310) 742-9259
Photo of Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694  (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.
(650) 540-7046 View (650) 540-7046
Photo of Jerry F Benzl, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Jerry F Benzl
Psychiatrist, MD, MA
Verified
1 Endorsed
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694  (Online Only)
(949) 694-3868 View (949) 694-3868

More Psychiatrists Nearby

Photo of Jordan Blaine, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ladera Ranch, CA
Jordan Blaine
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677  (Online Only)
Bonmente knows asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, 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. Welcome to Bonmente!
Bonmente knows asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, 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. Welcome to Bonmente!
(949) 996-0465 View (949) 996-0465
Photo of Gerontologi: Mental Wellness for Seniors, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ladera Ranch, CA
Gerontologi: Mental Wellness for Seniors
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, CDP
Verified
1 Endorsed
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
We warmly welcome adults who are navigating the complex journey of aging, encountering challenges such as cognitive changes or feelings of depression or anxiety. Whether you or your loved one are grappling with dementia or transitioning to a new living environment, we are here to provide heartfelt support & guidance. Our goal is to work closely with you to enhance your quality of life & foster nurturing relationships with your loved one. We are committed to offering a compassionate, collaborative approach that integrates family members, caregivers, & medical teams. Together, we can strive towards achieving the best possible outcome.
We warmly welcome adults who are navigating the complex journey of aging, encountering challenges such as cognitive changes or feelings of depression or anxiety. Whether you or your loved one are grappling with dementia or transitioning to a new living environment, we are here to provide heartfelt support & guidance. Our goal is to work closely with you to enhance your quality of life & foster nurturing relationships with your loved one. We are committed to offering a compassionate, collaborative approach that integrates family members, caregivers, & medical teams. Together, we can strive towards achieving the best possible outcome.
(949) 776-3494 View (949) 776-3494
Photo of Riz Ahmad, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Riz Ahmad
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Laguna Hills, CA 92653  (Online Only)
Bonmente knows asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at 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.
Bonmente knows asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at 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.
(323) 312-3677 View (323) 312-3677
Photo of Hadi Estakhri, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Hadi Estakhri
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656  (Online Only)
Hadi Estakhri, MD — or Dr. E as his patients know him — is a double board-certified, Harvard-trained psychiatrist practicing at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health in Newport Beach, California. He offers customized, patient-focused treatments to address the unique needs and circumstances of each patient. With more than two decades of professional experience, he has vast proficiency in the mental health field. His expertise is in treating a wide range of psychiatric and addictive disorders in both adult and adolescents.
Hadi Estakhri, MD — or Dr. E as his patients know him — is a double board-certified, Harvard-trained psychiatrist practicing at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health in Newport Beach, California. He offers customized, patient-focused treatments to address the unique needs and circumstances of each patient. With more than two decades of professional experience, he has vast proficiency in the mental health field. His expertise is in treating a wide range of psychiatric and addictive disorders in both adult and adolescents.
(949) 426-7874 View (949) 426-7874
Photo of Kristi Lebesco, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ladera Ranch, CA
Kristi Lebesco
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, RN, MSN, PMHNP
Verified
Laguna Beach, CA 92656
Kristi is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her goal is to work together with each client to determine the best course of treatment to help empower them to live happier healthier lives. She believes in the mind/body connection and treating the whole person to help them reach their full potential and well-being. She strives to make her patients feel at ease by providing a comforting, non-judgmental space.
Kristi is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her goal is to work together with each client to determine the best course of treatment to help empower them to live happier healthier lives. She believes in the mind/body connection and treating the whole person to help them reach their full potential and well-being. She strives to make her patients feel at ease by providing a comforting, non-judgmental space.
(714) 912-1844 View (714) 912-1844
Photo of Kenneth Neil Sokolski, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Kenneth Neil Sokolski
Psychiatrist, MD, MS
Verified
Mission Viejo, CA 92690
As a graduate of U.C. Irvine School of Medicine and Residency in Psychiatry with 28 years of experience diagnosing and treating behavioral conditions, author of over 35 peer reviewed publications in mood and anxiety disorders, and a professor of psychiatry in charge of the psychopharmacology course for psychiatric residents at U.C.I., I am in a unique position to understand and provide the most appropriate therapy for my patients' emotional needs. I am at the forefront of psychiatric treatments and am sought out by therapists and physicians for treatment of the most difficult psychiatric cases as well as for my compassionate care.
As a graduate of U.C. Irvine School of Medicine and Residency in Psychiatry with 28 years of experience diagnosing and treating behavioral conditions, author of over 35 peer reviewed publications in mood and anxiety disorders, and a professor of psychiatry in charge of the psychopharmacology course for psychiatric residents at U.C.I., I am in a unique position to understand and provide the most appropriate therapy for my patients' emotional needs. I am at the forefront of psychiatric treatments and am sought out by therapists and physicians for treatment of the most difficult psychiatric cases as well as for my compassionate care.
(949) 899-6704 View (949) 899-6704
Photo of Hadi Estakhri, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Hadi Estakhri
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Hadi Estakhri, MD — or Dr. E as his patients know him — is a double board-certified, Harvard-trained psychiatrist practicing at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health in Newport Beach, California. He offers customized, patient-focused treatments to address the unique needs and circumstances of each patient. With more than two decades of professional experience, he has vast proficiency in the mental health field. His expertise is in treating a wide range of psychiatric and addictive disorders in both adult and adolescents.
Hadi Estakhri, MD — or Dr. E as his patients know him — is a double board-certified, Harvard-trained psychiatrist practicing at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health in Newport Beach, California. He offers customized, patient-focused treatments to address the unique needs and circumstances of each patient. With more than two decades of professional experience, he has vast proficiency in the mental health field. His expertise is in treating a wide range of psychiatric and addictive disorders in both adult and adolescents.
(949) 401-7487 View (949) 401-7487
Photo of Mind Thrive Health , Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Mind Thrive Health
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Laguna Hills, CA 92653  (Online Only)
Mind Thrive health offers Virtual mental health group therapy. Individual therapy and medication management.
Mind Thrive health offers Virtual mental health group therapy. Individual therapy and medication management.
(949) 894-4630 View (949) 894-4630
Photo of Amanda Seif, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Amanda Seif
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Laguna Hills, CA 92653  (Online Only)
Dr. Seif is a board certified psychiatrist with a subspecialty in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and integrative mental health. As an integrative psychiatrist, she looks with her patients and looks at the roots of their problems. Instead of addressing the illness itself only, Dr. Seif’s approach is proactive. Her goal is to find the deep cause of the current mental state of her patients, to better understand their thought process and to prevent future illness and setbacks. Dr. Seif’s journey, her education, and her passion for helping others have led her to develop a patient-centered outlook in her line of work.
Dr. Seif is a board certified psychiatrist with a subspecialty in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and integrative mental health. As an integrative psychiatrist, she looks with her patients and looks at the roots of their problems. Instead of addressing the illness itself only, Dr. Seif’s approach is proactive. Her goal is to find the deep cause of the current mental state of her patients, to better understand their thought process and to prevent future illness and setbacks. Dr. Seif’s journey, her education, and her passion for helping others have led her to develop a patient-centered outlook in her line of work.
(949) 635-7149 View (949) 635-7149
Photo of Shala Shardil, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ladera Ranch, CA
Shala Shardil
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified
1 Endorsed
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Hi! I'm Shala, a board certified mental health nurse practitioner supporting adolescents, teens, and adults in overcoming anxiety, depression, and PTSD. For those who need to taper off meds, I use a holistic method which includes psychotherapy, nutrition, and sleep hygiene in addition to gentle tapering from Benzos and other psychotropics based on well known methods like the Ashton Manual and Dr. Horowitz guidelines. I am also a member of the Benzodiazepine Information and Coalition (BIC).
Hi! I'm Shala, a board certified mental health nurse practitioner supporting adolescents, teens, and adults in overcoming anxiety, depression, and PTSD. For those who need to taper off meds, I use a holistic method which includes psychotherapy, nutrition, and sleep hygiene in addition to gentle tapering from Benzos and other psychotropics based on well known methods like the Ashton Manual and Dr. Horowitz guidelines. I am also a member of the Benzodiazepine Information and Coalition (BIC).
(949) 776-7897 View (949) 776-7897
Photo of Sunny Hills Medical Center, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Sunny Hills Medical Center
Psychiatrist, MD, MBA
Verified
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Welcome to Sunny Hills Behavioral HeaIth. If you or loved ones are struggling with depression, anxiety, focus, attention problems, ability to advance in your career, or other issues affecting relationships, you are at the right place to make positive changes. Dr. Gudapati uses an interactive, solution-focused approach that is tailored to each client. Dr. Gudapati provides therapy for behavioral and emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, anger management, bipolar disorders, and mood disorders. Dr. Gudapati is also a certified TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) physician for treatment of depression.
Welcome to Sunny Hills Behavioral HeaIth. If you or loved ones are struggling with depression, anxiety, focus, attention problems, ability to advance in your career, or other issues affecting relationships, you are at the right place to make positive changes. Dr. Gudapati uses an interactive, solution-focused approach that is tailored to each client. Dr. Gudapati provides therapy for behavioral and emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, anger management, bipolar disorders, and mood disorders. Dr. Gudapati is also a certified TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) physician for treatment of depression.
(714) 786-5084 View (714) 786-5084
Photo of Elias Tsambis, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Elias Tsambis
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Laguna Beach, CA 92677
Specializing in evaluation and medication management During these difficult time we are offering phone sessions to our current and new patients 15 min free consultation will be done by lcsw I am a board certified psychiatrist practing for over 35 Years I work with individuals couples and famlies providing therapy evaluations and medication management for the treatment of depression anxiety panic and bipolar disorder. Why suffer needlessly we can help we have a psychiatrist and lcsw
Specializing in evaluation and medication management During these difficult time we are offering phone sessions to our current and new patients 15 min free consultation will be done by lcsw I am a board certified psychiatrist practing for over 35 Years I work with individuals couples and famlies providing therapy evaluations and medication management for the treatment of depression anxiety panic and bipolar disorder. Why suffer needlessly we can help we have a psychiatrist and lcsw
(949) 234-6544 View (949) 234-6544
Photo of Robert Cadena, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ladera Ranch, CA
Robert Cadena
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, RN, MSN-Ed, PMHNP
Verified
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Robert is a board-certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, serving teens to adults of Southern California. In addition to his experience in the outpatient and private practice setting, he provides homeless mental health care for the Friendship Shelter to the most vulnerable members of our community. Furthermore, he has a strong background in crisis intervention and inpatient mental health through his work at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach. Lastly, he finds great passion in educating & mentoring future healthcare professionals in a teaching role to end the stigma within this ever-changing mental health community.
Robert is a board-certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, serving teens to adults of Southern California. In addition to his experience in the outpatient and private practice setting, he provides homeless mental health care for the Friendship Shelter to the most vulnerable members of our community. Furthermore, he has a strong background in crisis intervention and inpatient mental health through his work at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach. Lastly, he finds great passion in educating & mentoring future healthcare professionals in a teaching role to end the stigma within this ever-changing mental health community.
(949) 676-5694 View (949) 676-5694
Bettina Franz
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Not accepting new clients
I am no longer accepting new patients
I am no longer accepting new patients
(949) 328-6942 View (949) 328-6942
Photo of Mottsin Thomas, Psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch, CA
Mottsin Thomas
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677  (Online Only)
ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS-Bonmente knows asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at 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.
ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS-Bonmente knows asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at 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.
(657) 256-5949 View (657) 256-5949

See more therapy options for Ladera Ranch

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Ladera Ranch, CA

< 10

Psychiatrists in Ladera Ranch, CA who prioritize treating:

80% Depression
80% Medication Management
60% Anxiety
60% ADHD
60% Trauma and PTSD
60% Sleep or Insomnia
60% Women's Issues

Average years in practice

16 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% Aetna
100% BlueCross and BlueShield
100% Magellan

How Psychiatrists in Ladera Ranch, CA see their clients

60% Online Only
40% In Person and Online

Gender breakdown

75% Male
25% Female

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Ladera Ranch?

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.