Psychiatrists in San Clemente, CA

Photo of Shala Shardil, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Shala Shardil
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified
1 Endorsed
San Clemente, CA 92673
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
Dorothy Calabrese
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92672
Dorothy Calabrese MD is an outpatient psychiatrist, specializing in advanced treatment for children, adolescents, and adults - with the options of psychiatric medications and personalized therapy. Patients with co-morbid medical problems and those who need more advanced care to reclaim their lives. do well.
Dorothy Calabrese MD is an outpatient psychiatrist, specializing in advanced treatment for children, adolescents, and adults - with the options of psychiatric medications and personalized therapy. Patients with co-morbid medical problems and those who need more advanced care to reclaim their lives. do well.
(949) 267-5179 View (949) 267-5179
Photo of Trisha Paniagua, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Trisha Paniagua
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC
Verified
1 Endorsed
San Clemente, CA 92672
My name is Trisha Paniagua and I chose to be a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner because I desire to advocate for and educate patients in managing life’s challenges and their mental health. I’d like to help in assisting with a treatment plan, diagnosis and medication management. I desire to be able to participate in diminishing the stigma in mental healthcare. I have an extensive background in mental health that has helped me to gain a wealth of experience in working with a vast population of patients, students, and families of different cultures, varied socio-economic backgrounds, and with multiple diagnosis.
My name is Trisha Paniagua and I chose to be a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner because I desire to advocate for and educate patients in managing life’s challenges and their mental health. I’d like to help in assisting with a treatment plan, diagnosis and medication management. I desire to be able to participate in diminishing the stigma in mental healthcare. I have an extensive background in mental health that has helped me to gain a wealth of experience in working with a vast population of patients, students, and families of different cultures, varied socio-economic backgrounds, and with multiple diagnosis.
(858) 522-0145 View (858) 522-0145
Photo of Mehdi Bubba Thomas, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Mehdi Bubba Thomas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, DNP
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92672  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(949) 868-0326 View (949) 868-0326
Photo of Cinthia Walker, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Cinthia Walker
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC
Verified
1 Endorsed
San Clemente, CA 92672
Cinthia Walker is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who specializes in treating depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, and other mental health conditions across the lifespan. She has 18+ years of experience providing nursing care, managing client's care and education. She uses the latest evidence-based practices and research to treat her clients in a realistic, holistic, compassionate, culturally sensitive and nonjudgmental manner. Her treatment method is a collaborative approach between the client and the provider which combines both honest and empathetic communication with her clients.
Cinthia Walker is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who specializes in treating depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, and other mental health conditions across the lifespan. She has 18+ years of experience providing nursing care, managing client's care and education. She uses the latest evidence-based practices and research to treat her clients in a realistic, holistic, compassionate, culturally sensitive and nonjudgmental manner. Her treatment method is a collaborative approach between the client and the provider which combines both honest and empathetic communication with her clients.
(858) 522-0145 View (858) 522-0145
Photo of Brittany Watson, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Brittany Watson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC, DNP, FNP-C
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92672
Brittany Watson is a licensed and dual board-certified Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner in family medicine and psychiatric mental health. Her training in both specialties allows her to understand the critical link between physical and mental well-being across the lifespan. She has a strong belief in holistic care utilizing a variety of treatment modalities including psychotropic medications, in addition to evidence based complementary and alternative treatments. She believes in a collaborative approach with her client's in reaching their goals. She is a San Diego native and enjoys playing sports, traveling and beach days.
Brittany Watson is a licensed and dual board-certified Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner in family medicine and psychiatric mental health. Her training in both specialties allows her to understand the critical link between physical and mental well-being across the lifespan. She has a strong belief in holistic care utilizing a variety of treatment modalities including psychotropic medications, in addition to evidence based complementary and alternative treatments. She believes in a collaborative approach with her client's in reaching their goals. She is a San Diego native and enjoys playing sports, traveling and beach days.
(858) 522-0145 View (858) 522-0145
Photo of Kirsten Manalo, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Kirsten Manalo
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
1 Endorsed
San Clemente, CA 92672
I am a board-certified psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner that specializes in treating a variety of mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and ADHD. I have 8 years of nursing experience with background specialties in psychiatric/mental health, medical-surgical, home health, and academia. My education and experience enables me to treat patients with a holistic approach meaning other factors that affect mental health and well-being are taken into consideration as well. This includes addressing multiple facets of health including emotional, psychological, physiological, sociocultural, and spiritual.
I am a board-certified psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner that specializes in treating a variety of mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and ADHD. I have 8 years of nursing experience with background specialties in psychiatric/mental health, medical-surgical, home health, and academia. My education and experience enables me to treat patients with a holistic approach meaning other factors that affect mental health and well-being are taken into consideration as well. This includes addressing multiple facets of health including emotional, psychological, physiological, sociocultural, and spiritual.
(858) 522-0145 View (858) 522-0145
Photo of Ocean View Neuropsychiatry-Adult/Child Psychiatry, Psychiatrist in San Clemente, CA
Ocean View Neuropsychiatry-Adult/Child Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, MD, CHILD, PSYCH
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92673
Ocean View Neuropsychiatry is a Psychiatry practice located in Orange County, CA with additional locations in Riverside CA. We offer prompt appointments with flexible hours including later appointments to accommodate the family's schedule. Our practice consists of Board Certified Adult and Child psychiatrists.
Ocean View Neuropsychiatry is a Psychiatry practice located in Orange County, CA with additional locations in Riverside CA. We offer prompt appointments with flexible hours including later appointments to accommodate the family's schedule. Our practice consists of Board Certified Adult and Child psychiatrists.
(949) 312-4365 View (949) 312-4365
Photo of Mary A Offenheiser, Psychiatric Nurse in San Clemente, CA
Mary A Offenheiser
Psychiatric Nurse, RN, MSN, PMHCNS, BC
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92672
Are you feeling lost, angry, scared, hopeless and helpless about the future, or have a history of painful experiences? Are you always sick or in pain? Is life out of control? Are you spending much time imagining "how things should be" rather than dealing with how it is today? Do you do the things you need to do, to take care of yourself? Do you know how to be good to yourself? Having difficulties with closeness and distance in intimate relationships? I work with adults, young adults and elders to find courage and calmness, wisdom and clarity to embrace life!
Are you feeling lost, angry, scared, hopeless and helpless about the future, or have a history of painful experiences? Are you always sick or in pain? Is life out of control? Are you spending much time imagining "how things should be" rather than dealing with how it is today? Do you do the things you need to do, to take care of yourself? Do you know how to be good to yourself? Having difficulties with closeness and distance in intimate relationships? I work with adults, young adults and elders to find courage and calmness, wisdom and clarity to embrace life!
(949) 407-5789 View (949) 407-5789
Photo of Balanced Behavioral Health, Physician Assistant in San Clemente, CA
Balanced Behavioral Health
Physician Assistant, MS, PA-C
San Clemente, CA 92672
Brynn Bailey MS, PA-C, has been practicing psychiatry over the last 10 years. She is passionate about helping her patients optimize their health, wellbeing, & happiness through a compassionate & comprehensive approach to treatment. Brynn is a careful listener & collaborates with her patients to formulate a treatment plan that addresses each person's unique needs & leverages their strengths & capabilities. She specializes in working with anxiety, depression, mood disorders, psychosis, eating disorders, PTSD, ADHD, & other conditions created by situational life stressors. She is distinguished by her kind, easy going, yet professional manner. Brynn's focus is medication management with a supportive & collaborative treatment model.
Brynn Bailey MS, PA-C, has been practicing psychiatry over the last 10 years. She is passionate about helping her patients optimize their health, wellbeing, & happiness through a compassionate & comprehensive approach to treatment. Brynn is a careful listener & collaborates with her patients to formulate a treatment plan that addresses each person's unique needs & leverages their strengths & capabilities. She specializes in working with anxiety, depression, mood disorders, psychosis, eating disorders, PTSD, ADHD, & other conditions created by situational life stressors. She is distinguished by her kind, easy going, yet professional manner. Brynn's focus is medication management with a supportive & collaborative treatment model.
(949) 647-5310 View (949) 647-5310
Photo of Jada Alston, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Jada Alston
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, BC
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92672
Are you struggling with managing your emotions? Has your daily life become challenging or too overwhelming? Living with symptoms of mental health disorders can be frightening and can interrupt your ability to work and maintain healthy social relationships. Most individuals that suffer from mental health disorders feel isolated, alone, and fear being judged or mistreated. Let us work together to restore your happiness and well-being. I specialize in medication management and can help you find a medication to help boost your wellness journey. Due to the high volume of emails, please call my clinic for scheduling instead of emailing.
Are you struggling with managing your emotions? Has your daily life become challenging or too overwhelming? Living with symptoms of mental health disorders can be frightening and can interrupt your ability to work and maintain healthy social relationships. Most individuals that suffer from mental health disorders feel isolated, alone, and fear being judged or mistreated. Let us work together to restore your happiness and well-being. I specialize in medication management and can help you find a medication to help boost your wellness journey. Due to the high volume of emails, please call my clinic for scheduling instead of emailing.
(949) 722-7118 View (949) 722-7118
Photo of Samir Hamed, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Samir Hamed
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92673
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 Allied Healers, 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.
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 Allied Healers, 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.
(949) 919-5847 View (949) 919-5847
Photo of Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, Psychiatrist in San Clemente, CA
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92673  (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.
(714) 463-1626 View (714) 463-1626
Photo of Riz Ahmad, Psychiatrist in San Clemente, CA
Riz Ahmad
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92672  (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.
(657) 325-8756 View (657) 325-8756
Photo of Purpose Psychiatry / Jeremy R Verhines, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Purpose Psychiatry / Jeremy R Verhines
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92673
Purpose Psychiatry is a single specialty concierge fee-for-service practice that offers comprehensive mental health diagnosis, treatment and medication management services to clients in both California and Hawaii. We are dedicated to helping individuals enhance and achieve their psychological well-being. We are dedicated to helping individuals enhance and achieve their psychological well-being. We offer treatment for ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, and OCD Disorders.
Purpose Psychiatry is a single specialty concierge fee-for-service practice that offers comprehensive mental health diagnosis, treatment and medication management services to clients in both California and Hawaii. We are dedicated to helping individuals enhance and achieve their psychological well-being. We are dedicated to helping individuals enhance and achieve their psychological well-being. We offer treatment for ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, and OCD Disorders.
(949) 274-4286 View (949) 274-4286
Photo of Mottsin Thomas, Psychiatrist in San Clemente, CA
Mottsin Thomas
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92673  (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.
(951) 261-8669 View (951) 261-8669
Photo of Lauren Sarah Debski, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Lauren Sarah Debski
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified
San Clemente, CA 92674
Are you doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Have you tried countless times to change a your behavior, such as quitting alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, heroin, methamphetamines, or nicotine? Have you recently left inpatient rehabilitation or an inpatient psychiatric ward and need additional support? Do you feel like your mood, anxiety, and depression are running your life? Do you feel triggered by your past? Making these changes can be extremely difficult and cannot be done alone. My name is Lauren Debski. I am a dual board-certified family and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner.
Are you doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Have you tried countless times to change a your behavior, such as quitting alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, heroin, methamphetamines, or nicotine? Have you recently left inpatient rehabilitation or an inpatient psychiatric ward and need additional support? Do you feel like your mood, anxiety, and depression are running your life? Do you feel triggered by your past? Making these changes can be extremely difficult and cannot be done alone. My name is Lauren Debski. I am a dual board-certified family and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner.
(760) 276-6579 View (760) 276-6579

More Psychiatrists Nearby

Photo of Thomas Mottsin, Psychiatrist in San Clemente, CA
Thomas Mottsin
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.
(844) 994-2624 View (844) 994-2624
Photo of Bernadette Harned, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Clemente, CA
Bernadette Harned
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, RN, MSN, PMHNPBC
Verified
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Not accepting new clients
"I am passionate about helping people feel better about themselves and the world around them. I am honored to be part of each person's individual journey to mind and body wellness."
"I am passionate about helping people feel better about themselves and the world around them. I am honored to be part of each person's individual journey to mind and body wellness."
(949) 647-4256 View (949) 647-4256
Photo of Alex Malekzadeh, Psychiatrist in San Clemente, CA
Alex Malekzadeh
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified
Mission Viejo, CA 92675
As a Psychiatrist, hearing patients out and understanding what symptoms they consider most impairing to them is the most important part of my personal practice. I prefer a collaborative space where both myself and the patient can talk about their conditions in an in depth way, in order to find what specific treatments will work best for them. To me, an ideal patient has good insight into their condition or is willing to develop this through dedication towards treatment.
As a Psychiatrist, hearing patients out and understanding what symptoms they consider most impairing to them is the most important part of my personal practice. I prefer a collaborative space where both myself and the patient can talk about their conditions in an in depth way, in order to find what specific treatments will work best for them. To me, an ideal patient has good insight into their condition or is willing to develop this through dedication towards treatment.
(510) 529-2786 View (510) 529-2786

See more therapy options for San Clemente

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in San Clemente, CA

10+

Average cost per session

$187

Psychiatrists in San Clemente, CA who prioritize treating:

94% Depression
88% Anxiety
76% Trauma and PTSD
76% Bipolar Disorder
76% Medication Management
71% ADHD
71% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

16 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

93% BlueCross and BlueShield
93% Anthem | Elevance
86% Aetna

How Psychiatrists in San Clemente, CA see their clients

77% In Person and Online
23% Online Only

Gender breakdown

62% Female
38% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in San Clemente?

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.