Psychiatrists in Los Altos, CA

Photo of Mu Xu, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Mu Xu
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94024  (Online Only)
Dr. Xu is a University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and New York University trained psychiatrist with expertise in treating a variety of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Xu provides both medication management and psychotherapy (aka talk therapy). Dr. Xu offers online and in-person visits to residents of San Francisco Bay Area and online visits across California.
Dr. Xu is a University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and New York University trained psychiatrist with expertise in treating a variety of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Xu provides both medication management and psychotherapy (aka talk therapy). Dr. Xu offers online and in-person visits to residents of San Francisco Bay Area and online visits across California.
(650) 648-7343 View (650) 648-7343
Photo of Mehnaz Hyder, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Mehnaz Hyder
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
1 Endorsed
Los Altos, CA 94022  (Online Only)
Please note-cash only practice. Your brain is the most brilliantly designed piece of engineering in the whole universe. It allows you to experience the world. It's where all of your great ideas live. And it's what makes you a unique individual. You are one in billions! You are meant to experience joy and to do spectacular things-according to your best paradigm based on your values. Traumatic life experiences and chronic stress can interfere with your ability to curate your paradigm which may lead to depression, anxiety, and poor functioning. I can help you with these symptoms.
Please note-cash only practice. Your brain is the most brilliantly designed piece of engineering in the whole universe. It allows you to experience the world. It's where all of your great ideas live. And it's what makes you a unique individual. You are one in billions! You are meant to experience joy and to do spectacular things-according to your best paradigm based on your values. Traumatic life experiences and chronic stress can interfere with your ability to curate your paradigm which may lead to depression, anxiety, and poor functioning. I can help you with these symptoms.
(650) 275-6820 View (650) 275-6820
Photo of Mali Mann MD, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Mali Mann MD
Psychiatrist, MD, FIPA
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94024
Waitlist for new clients
Mali Mann, MD is adult, adolescent and child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Palo Alto and San Francisco California. After finishing her medical school, she finished her residency and child fellowship at University Rochester and Kanas. She finished adolescent Medicine fellowship at Stanford university Psychiatry Department. She completed her adult and child psychoanalytic training at San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. She is a faculty member and Training and supervising psychoanalyst, adult and child at SFCP. She is also an adjunct Clinical Professor at Stanford University, School of Medicine. She published "Psychoanalytic Aspect of Assisted reproductive Technology" and collection of her poetry.
Mali Mann, MD is adult, adolescent and child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Palo Alto and San Francisco California. After finishing her medical school, she finished her residency and child fellowship at University Rochester and Kanas. She finished adolescent Medicine fellowship at Stanford university Psychiatry Department. She completed her adult and child psychoanalytic training at San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. She is a faculty member and Training and supervising psychoanalyst, adult and child at SFCP. She is also an adjunct Clinical Professor at Stanford University, School of Medicine. She published "Psychoanalytic Aspect of Assisted reproductive Technology" and collection of her poetry.
(650) 867-7461 View (650) 867-7461
Photo of Lise A Rak, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Lise A Rak
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94024
I have been in practice for 25 year. I work with patients in ongoing psychotherapy to help identify, understand, and work through patterns that may lead to unhappiness and anxiety in life, work, and relationships. Since I am a psychiatrist and can prescribe medication, I may recommend medication when I feel it would be helpful. The decision to use medication is arrived at mutually, with the patient, and medication treatment is provided in conjunction with the "talking" part of the treatment. Given our psychological and biological complexity, I have found this coordinated approach to be most effective and helpful for patients.
I have been in practice for 25 year. I work with patients in ongoing psychotherapy to help identify, understand, and work through patterns that may lead to unhappiness and anxiety in life, work, and relationships. Since I am a psychiatrist and can prescribe medication, I may recommend medication when I feel it would be helpful. The decision to use medication is arrived at mutually, with the patient, and medication treatment is provided in conjunction with the "talking" part of the treatment. Given our psychological and biological complexity, I have found this coordinated approach to be most effective and helpful for patients.
(650) 476-2973 View (650) 476-2973
Photo of Zaakir Yoonas, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Zaakir Yoonas
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94024
I am a Stanford-trained, Board-Certified Psychiatrist with a specialization in Adult ADHD and Mood & Anxiety disorders. My Psychiatry training at Stanford, where I also served as Chief Resident, has equipped me with the most up-to-date treatment strategies to help my clients achieve their goals as soon as possible. Our mission when working together is singularly focused on helping you build neuro-resilience -- the brain’s ability to not only weather the storms of life, but also to grow, change and constantly improve. Learn more at my website: www.DrYoonas.com.
I am a Stanford-trained, Board-Certified Psychiatrist with a specialization in Adult ADHD and Mood & Anxiety disorders. My Psychiatry training at Stanford, where I also served as Chief Resident, has equipped me with the most up-to-date treatment strategies to help my clients achieve their goals as soon as possible. Our mission when working together is singularly focused on helping you build neuro-resilience -- the brain’s ability to not only weather the storms of life, but also to grow, change and constantly improve. Learn more at my website: www.DrYoonas.com.
(650) 490-4735 View (650) 490-4735
Photo of Shebna N Osanmoh, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Los Altos, CA
Shebna N Osanmoh
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022  (Online Only)
Navigating the complexities of mental health challenges can be an overwhelming journey, but you're not alone. I'm Shebna Nwayobuije Osanmoh I, and I'm here to walk alongside you on this path towards healing and resilience. I understand that seeking help for mental health concerns can be a daunting step, but please know that your well-being is my utmost priority. My commitment to you is rooted in empathy, understanding, and a holistic approach to care.
Navigating the complexities of mental health challenges can be an overwhelming journey, but you're not alone. I'm Shebna Nwayobuije Osanmoh I, and I'm here to walk alongside you on this path towards healing and resilience. I understand that seeking help for mental health concerns can be a daunting step, but please know that your well-being is my utmost priority. My commitment to you is rooted in empathy, understanding, and a holistic approach to care.
(650) 610-1549 View (650) 610-1549
Photo of Laurence Tecott, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Laurence Tecott
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022
Dr. Tecott holds the prestigious position of Professor Emeritus at UCSF, where he served as the Maurice Eliaser Professor in Molecular Biology and Genetics in the Department of Psychiatry within the School of Medicine. Additionally, he is affiliated with the Neuroscience Program and Biomedical Sciences Program at UCSF. Dr. Tecott is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, showcasing his expertise and commitment to the field.
Dr. Tecott holds the prestigious position of Professor Emeritus at UCSF, where he served as the Maurice Eliaser Professor in Molecular Biology and Genetics in the Department of Psychiatry within the School of Medicine. Additionally, he is affiliated with the Neuroscience Program and Biomedical Sciences Program at UCSF. Dr. Tecott is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, showcasing his expertise and commitment to the field.
(650) 750-7362 View (650) 750-7362
Photo of Inna E Larsen, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Inna E Larsen
Psychiatrist, MD, MBA
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94024
I treat adult patients for a wide variety of mental health issues or disorders. I also welcome patients, who do not have diagnosable psychiatric disorders but are interested in their personal or professional growth. My approach to psychotherapy is eclectic and may incorporate different therapeutic modalities based on their effectiveness for your individual needs and goals.
I treat adult patients for a wide variety of mental health issues or disorders. I also welcome patients, who do not have diagnosable psychiatric disorders but are interested in their personal or professional growth. My approach to psychotherapy is eclectic and may incorporate different therapeutic modalities based on their effectiveness for your individual needs and goals.
(650) 629-7532 View (650) 629-7532
Photo of Michael F Cochran, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Michael F Cochran
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022
I’m a general psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist. I have extensive experience helping patients with complex psycho-pharmacologic needs. In addition, I’ve steadily acquired a range of therapy skills: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the cornerstone of many evidence-based treatments; Motivational Interviewing (MI), particularly useful for addiction (e.g. alcohol, cannabis, gaming, etc.); Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), often with older clients; Exposure/Response Prevention, as well as non-exposure-based treatment, for OCD or intrusive thoughts; and I'm currently training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
I’m a general psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist. I have extensive experience helping patients with complex psycho-pharmacologic needs. In addition, I’ve steadily acquired a range of therapy skills: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the cornerstone of many evidence-based treatments; Motivational Interviewing (MI), particularly useful for addiction (e.g. alcohol, cannabis, gaming, etc.); Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), often with older clients; Exposure/Response Prevention, as well as non-exposure-based treatment, for OCD or intrusive thoughts; and I'm currently training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
(650) 229-5238 View (650) 229-5238
Photo of Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022  (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) 613-4553 View (650) 613-4553
Photo of Leena A Khanzode, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Leena A Khanzode
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022
I am tranied in both Adult and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry from Stanford Hospital and Clinics. I am also an experienced Board certified Psychiatrist.I provide quality,evidence based treatment to help individuals and families overcome difficulties and lead happier, more productive lives. I believe in a holistic approach to address your concerns through careful evaluation and psychotherapy and medication management. I offer treatment including both psychotherapy and medication management, for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders for all ages including Children, Adolescents and Adults. I provide Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), Interpersonal therapy (IPT, Mindfullness based psychotherapy,family therapy and Parent training.
I am tranied in both Adult and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry from Stanford Hospital and Clinics. I am also an experienced Board certified Psychiatrist.I provide quality,evidence based treatment to help individuals and families overcome difficulties and lead happier, more productive lives. I believe in a holistic approach to address your concerns through careful evaluation and psychotherapy and medication management. I offer treatment including both psychotherapy and medication management, for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders for all ages including Children, Adolescents and Adults. I provide Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), Interpersonal therapy (IPT, Mindfullness based psychotherapy,family therapy and Parent training.
(650) 262-5598 View (650) 262-5598
Photo of Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022  (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) 436-4177 View (650) 436-4177
Photo of Swapnil Khurana, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Swapnil Khurana
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022
Dr. Swapnil Khurana is an experienced and board-certified psychiatrist and psychosomatic medicine specialist who brings over a decade of expertise to her practice. She is committed to delivering high-quality care to her patients and providing them with the best possible treatment options. Her dedication and passion for her field make her a valuable asset to the healthcare community.
Dr. Swapnil Khurana is an experienced and board-certified psychiatrist and psychosomatic medicine specialist who brings over a decade of expertise to her practice. She is committed to delivering high-quality care to her patients and providing them with the best possible treatment options. Her dedication and passion for her field make her a valuable asset to the healthcare community.
(650) 353-9749 View (650) 353-9749
Photo of Elite Focus Clinic, Inc., Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Elite Focus Clinic, Inc.
Psychiatrist, MD, MFT
Los Altos, CA 94024
Elite Focus Clinic was founded by three of Silicon Valley's top adult ADHD and cognitive performance experts (Zaakir Yoonas, M.D., Lawrence Choy, M.D., and Phil Boissiere, MFT). The goal of our clinic is to provide cutting edge medical and psychological approaches for the management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in adults. We also work with professionals that do not have ADHD, who strive to reach optimal mental performance in their professional and personal lives.
Elite Focus Clinic was founded by three of Silicon Valley's top adult ADHD and cognitive performance experts (Zaakir Yoonas, M.D., Lawrence Choy, M.D., and Phil Boissiere, MFT). The goal of our clinic is to provide cutting edge medical and psychological approaches for the management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in adults. We also work with professionals that do not have ADHD, who strive to reach optimal mental performance in their professional and personal lives.
(650) 332-9620 View (650) 332-9620
Photo of Vidushi Savant, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Vidushi Savant
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022
Dr. Savant specializes in addressing comorbid psychiatric disorders in individuals with medical illnesses. She holds dual board certifications in Psychosomatic Medicine and General Psychiatry since 2013.
Dr. Savant specializes in addressing comorbid psychiatric disorders in individuals with medical illnesses. She holds dual board certifications in Psychosomatic Medicine and General Psychiatry since 2013.
(650) 640-0613 View (650) 640-0613
Photo of Andrea Ament, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Andrea Ament
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022
Dr. Ament, a psychiatrist with training from Stanford, specializes in addressing psychiatric disorders in adults. She holds dual board certifications in Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry).
Dr. Ament, a psychiatrist with training from Stanford, specializes in addressing psychiatric disorders in adults. She holds dual board certifications in Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry).
(650) 523-9702 View (650) 523-9702
Photo of Sara Johansen, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Sara Johansen
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
1 Endorsed
Los Altos, CA 94022
I am a Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford and private practice psychiatrist. As a therapist and psychiatrist, my approach is to be compassionate, inquisitive, and candid. I value our collaborative work and believe our partnership is foundational to change. The challenges you are facing now may feel overwhelming, and you may feel stuck in patterns that are no longer serving you. We will work together to understand what is happening in your life right now, while exploring the historical patterns, beliefs, and experiences that may be contributing to your current experience.
I am a Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford and private practice psychiatrist. As a therapist and psychiatrist, my approach is to be compassionate, inquisitive, and candid. I value our collaborative work and believe our partnership is foundational to change. The challenges you are facing now may feel overwhelming, and you may feel stuck in patterns that are no longer serving you. We will work together to understand what is happening in your life right now, while exploring the historical patterns, beliefs, and experiences that may be contributing to your current experience.
(650) 610-7765 View (650) 610-7765
Photo of Alex Mageno, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Alex Mageno
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022  (Online Only)
I am a holistic and root-cause oriented psychiatrist, comfortable working with all ages and stages of life with additional specialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry, nutritional psychiatry, and integrative psychiatry. I trained at various locations including University of California, Riverside and Stanford University and am board certified in general psychiatry. At my webpage, www.lifestylementalhealth.com, you can view some of my story.
I am a holistic and root-cause oriented psychiatrist, comfortable working with all ages and stages of life with additional specialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry, nutritional psychiatry, and integrative psychiatry. I trained at various locations including University of California, Riverside and Stanford University and am board certified in general psychiatry. At my webpage, www.lifestylementalhealth.com, you can view some of my story.
(510) 519-3416 View (510) 519-3416
Photo of Joann Mundin, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Joann Mundin
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
Los Altos, CA 94022  (Online Only)
Dr. Joann Mundin is a dedicated and experienced psychiatrist with a practice spanning over Texas- Phone: (469)-946-7897, California and Nevada-2300 West Sahara Ave, Suite 800. Las Vegas 89102, Phone: (725)-214-2366. Since 2003, she has provided comprehensive assessments and treatments for patients with severe mental illness across various settings, such as hospitals, offices, jails, workplaces, and telehealth services. Dr. Mundin is passionate about using a multidisciplinary, collaborative team approach to deliver the highest quality psychiatric care to patients with severe mental disorders.
Dr. Joann Mundin is a dedicated and experienced psychiatrist with a practice spanning over Texas- Phone: (469)-946-7897, California and Nevada-2300 West Sahara Ave, Suite 800. Las Vegas 89102, Phone: (725)-214-2366. Since 2003, she has provided comprehensive assessments and treatments for patients with severe mental illness across various settings, such as hospitals, offices, jails, workplaces, and telehealth services. Dr. Mundin is passionate about using a multidisciplinary, collaborative team approach to deliver the highest quality psychiatric care to patients with severe mental disorders.
(650) 749-7188 View (650) 749-7188
Photo of Aimee McArthur, Psychiatrist in Los Altos, CA
Aimee McArthur
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified
1 Endorsed
Los Altos, CA 94022
Dr. McArthur is a distinguished and compassionate psychiatrist, committed to enhancing the lives of adults grappling with psychiatric disorders. With an unwavering dedication to understanding the intricacies of the human mind, Dr. McArthur has been earning respect for her expertise and personalized approach to patient care.
Dr. McArthur is a distinguished and compassionate psychiatrist, committed to enhancing the lives of adults grappling with psychiatric disorders. With an unwavering dedication to understanding the intricacies of the human mind, Dr. McArthur has been earning respect for her expertise and personalized approach to patient care.
(650) 749-7327 View (650) 749-7327

See more therapy options for Los Altos

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Los Altos, CA

50+

Average cost per session

$370

Psychiatrists in Los Altos, CA who prioritize treating:

96% Depression
96% Anxiety
89% Medication Management
79% ADHD
79% Trauma and PTSD
72% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
70% Stress

Average years in practice

16 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

87% Aetna
83% Cigna and Evernorth
83% Optum

How Psychiatrists in Los Altos, CA see their clients

57% In Person and Online
43% Online Only

Gender breakdown

57% Female
43% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Los Altos?

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.