Psychiatrists in San Diego County, CA

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Photo of Abigail Clark, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Abigail Clark
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92108  (Online Only)
I am a psychiatrist located in San Diego, California. I am licensed in the state of California and board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. I provide both medication management and psychotherapy to adults throughout the state of California. While I treat a wide array of psychiatric disorders, I specialize in treating those who are struggling with grief, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
I am a psychiatrist located in San Diego, California. I am licensed in the state of California and board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. I provide both medication management and psychotherapy to adults throughout the state of California. While I treat a wide array of psychiatric disorders, I specialize in treating those who are struggling with grief, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
(619) 688-8111 View (619) 688-8111
Muralikrishnan Parthasarathy
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Marcos, CA 92069
Dr. Parthasarathy graduated from Kempegowda Institute of Medical Science, Bangalore University, India in 1992. He practiced general medicine in India from 1992 to 2000. Dr. Parthasarathy completed General Psychiatry Residency in 2006 and Fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in 2008 at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. He also served as a Chief Resident during Child Fellowship training. Dr. Parthasarathy has extensive experience in treating children and adolescents.
Dr. Parthasarathy graduated from Kempegowda Institute of Medical Science, Bangalore University, India in 1992. He practiced general medicine in India from 1992 to 2000. Dr. Parthasarathy completed General Psychiatry Residency in 2006 and Fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in 2008 at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. He also served as a Chief Resident during Child Fellowship training. Dr. Parthasarathy has extensive experience in treating children and adolescents.
(760) 227-5081 View (760) 227-5081
Photo of Lena Allos, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Diego County, CA
Lena Allos
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92134
Waitlist for new clients
Lena is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). She has experience treating children, adolescents, and adults with psychiatric disorders including Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, OCD, PTSD, Sleeping Disorders, and Substance Abuse. She is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and specializes in LGBTQ+ mental health care. She also specializes in IV therapy including Ketamine infusions, vitamins, and NAD+ infusions. Ketamine is used for the treatment of depression. As an additional option for specialty care, we are proud to offer Concierge services.
Lena is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). She has experience treating children, adolescents, and adults with psychiatric disorders including Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, OCD, PTSD, Sleeping Disorders, and Substance Abuse. She is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and specializes in LGBTQ+ mental health care. She also specializes in IV therapy including Ketamine infusions, vitamins, and NAD+ infusions. Ketamine is used for the treatment of depression. As an additional option for specialty care, we are proud to offer Concierge services.
(442) 259-1282 View (442) 259-1282
Photo of Resilience Integrative Wellness, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Diego County, CA
Resilience Integrative Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, CRNA
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92120
Resilience Integrative Wellness, the foremost destination for cutting-edge ketamine infusion therapy catering to mental health and pain disorders in San Diego, CA. Our compassionate team of professionals is committed to delivering individualized and comprehensive care, empowering our patients on their path to optimal wellness. We recognize the significant toll that mental health and pain disorders can take on individuals and their loved ones. With a distinct approach, we dedicate ample time, comfort, and attention to guide our patients toward the relief and quality of life they truly deserve.
Resilience Integrative Wellness, the foremost destination for cutting-edge ketamine infusion therapy catering to mental health and pain disorders in San Diego, CA. Our compassionate team of professionals is committed to delivering individualized and comprehensive care, empowering our patients on their path to optimal wellness. We recognize the significant toll that mental health and pain disorders can take on individuals and their loved ones. With a distinct approach, we dedicate ample time, comfort, and attention to guide our patients toward the relief and quality of life they truly deserve.
(619) 547-1369 View (619) 547-1369
Photo of Dr. Monica Federoff, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Dr. Monica Federoff
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
La Jolla, CA 92037
Thank you for your interest in my practice. I am a board-certified adult psychiatrist practicing at the CalPsychiatry San Diego La Jolla office. I am passionate about treating patients holistically with a variety of psychiatric disorders including mood and anxiety disorders, women’s reproductive mental health, sleep disorders, OCD and ADHD. I value a personalized yet integrative approach to patient care and wellness, including both behavioral and pharmacologic based treatments. I obtained my MD from UC Irvine, PhD in Neurogenetics from University College London and completed my Psychiatry residency training at UC San Diego.
Thank you for your interest in my practice. I am a board-certified adult psychiatrist practicing at the CalPsychiatry San Diego La Jolla office. I am passionate about treating patients holistically with a variety of psychiatric disorders including mood and anxiety disorders, women’s reproductive mental health, sleep disorders, OCD and ADHD. I value a personalized yet integrative approach to patient care and wellness, including both behavioral and pharmacologic based treatments. I obtained my MD from UC Irvine, PhD in Neurogenetics from University College London and completed my Psychiatry residency training at UC San Diego.
(858) 901-8386 View (858) 901-8386
Photo of Wendy Alva, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Diego County, CA
Wendy Alva
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
La Mesa, CA 91942
Wendy Alva is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in California who has been practicing since 2000. She graduated as a Masters Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from the University of San Diego and a Post-Masters Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of Cincinnati. Wendy values partnering with patients to help find the best options to fit one's individual needs to facilitate healing. She believes in an integrative and holistic approach to care. Wendy has a special interest and training in treating children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Wendy Alva is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in California who has been practicing since 2000. She graduated as a Masters Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from the University of San Diego and a Post-Masters Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of Cincinnati. Wendy values partnering with patients to help find the best options to fit one's individual needs to facilitate healing. She believes in an integrative and holistic approach to care. Wendy has a special interest and training in treating children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
(619) 492-2554 View (619) 492-2554
Photo of Avis Hershfield, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Diego County, CA
Avis Hershfield
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-C
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92108  (Online Only)
Do you struggle with grief, upsetting thoughts and emotions, or a loss of your sense of self that affects your day-to-day life and ability to function? Do you feel overwhelmed by just getting through the day, or by the thought that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel? Do you wonder if you can live a life that is free from worry, guilt, anger, sadness, and anxiety? Now more than ever women and young women are feeling uncertain about who they are, about their feelings and thoughts, their struggles in difficult relationships, their ability to work through a loss, about finding their place in life or about moving past trauma.
Do you struggle with grief, upsetting thoughts and emotions, or a loss of your sense of self that affects your day-to-day life and ability to function? Do you feel overwhelmed by just getting through the day, or by the thought that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel? Do you wonder if you can live a life that is free from worry, guilt, anger, sadness, and anxiety? Now more than ever women and young women are feeling uncertain about who they are, about their feelings and thoughts, their struggles in difficult relationships, their ability to work through a loss, about finding their place in life or about moving past trauma.
(858) 330-5472 View (858) 330-5472
Photo of Kathryn Hirst, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Kathryn Hirst
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Encinitas, CA 92024
My relationships with patients are built on trust and authenticity. I seek to create a sacred space in which I can help people discover and become their true selves, using all the resources available. These include mindfulness-based psychotherapy, anxiety regulation, community support, and (when indicated) medication. My work in the field of psychiatry has transitioned from a large, university-based practice of mostly medication management to its current state: a small, personalized practice in which I can provide individual psychotherapy, support and treatment as each person needs and desires.
My relationships with patients are built on trust and authenticity. I seek to create a sacred space in which I can help people discover and become their true selves, using all the resources available. These include mindfulness-based psychotherapy, anxiety regulation, community support, and (when indicated) medication. My work in the field of psychiatry has transitioned from a large, university-based practice of mostly medication management to its current state: a small, personalized practice in which I can provide individual psychotherapy, support and treatment as each person needs and desires.
(760) 904-3161 View (760) 904-3161
Photo of Prof. David Feifel, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Prof. David Feifel
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
La Jolla, CA 92037
My expertise is providing cutting-edge treatment alternatives to conventional approaches. If conventional treatments such a psychotherapy or medications have failed to fully address your depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, etc, our team at Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute can provide highly advanced alternatives to help you break free from these debilitating conditions. I was the first provider to introduce FDA-approved Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in San Diego (2009) and the first to provide ketamine therapy (2008). I have more cumulative experience in utilizing these two innovative techniques than any other provider.
My expertise is providing cutting-edge treatment alternatives to conventional approaches. If conventional treatments such a psychotherapy or medications have failed to fully address your depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, etc, our team at Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute can provide highly advanced alternatives to help you break free from these debilitating conditions. I was the first provider to introduce FDA-approved Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in San Diego (2009) and the first to provide ketamine therapy (2008). I have more cumulative experience in utilizing these two innovative techniques than any other provider.
(858) 412-4130 View (858) 412-4130
Photo of Daniel Reyes, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Diego County, CA
Daniel Reyes
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Carlsbad, CA 92008  (Online Only)
Living with ADHD can feel like a whirlwind, where every new thought demands immediate attention, making it tough to focus or complete tasks. This constant mental buzz can be exhausting, turning simple tasks into daunting challenges. But it's important to remember that ADHD also brings unique perspectives and rapid problem-solving skills. My goal is to help you channel these strengths, while effectively managing the more challenging aspects of ADHD.
Living with ADHD can feel like a whirlwind, where every new thought demands immediate attention, making it tough to focus or complete tasks. This constant mental buzz can be exhausting, turning simple tasks into daunting challenges. But it's important to remember that ADHD also brings unique perspectives and rapid problem-solving skills. My goal is to help you channel these strengths, while effectively managing the more challenging aspects of ADHD.
(858) 298-2518 View (858) 298-2518
Photo of Krishna Vijayasarath, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Krishna Vijayasarath
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Del Mar, CA 92014
Krishna Vijayasarathi, D.O. (Dr. Vijay) is a board-certified psychiatrist who treats children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Vijay received his medical degree from the Western University of Health Sciences. Afterward, he went on to complete his psychiatry residency at UCLA Kern, and his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the University of South Caroline, Prisma Health.
Krishna Vijayasarathi, D.O. (Dr. Vijay) is a board-certified psychiatrist who treats children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Vijay received his medical degree from the Western University of Health Sciences. Afterward, he went on to complete his psychiatry residency at UCLA Kern, and his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the University of South Caroline, Prisma Health.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Joseph Wurbel, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Joseph Wurbel
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Del Mar, CA 92014
Joseph Wurbel, D.O., attended the University of San Diego for his undergraduate degree prior to matriculating at Midwestern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Thereafter he moved to Fort Lauderdale to receive residency training in General Adult Psychiatry at University Hospital. Desiring to further specialize his care for children, adolescents, and transitional age youth, he completed his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and served as Chief Fellow at the University of Southern California/LAC+USC Medical Center.
Joseph Wurbel, D.O., attended the University of San Diego for his undergraduate degree prior to matriculating at Midwestern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Thereafter he moved to Fort Lauderdale to receive residency training in General Adult Psychiatry at University Hospital. Desiring to further specialize his care for children, adolescents, and transitional age youth, he completed his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and served as Chief Fellow at the University of Southern California/LAC+USC Medical Center.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Marym Lateef, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Diego County, CA
Marym Lateef
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP-C, EFTMP-C
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92101  (Online Only)
Is life becoming unmanageable? Looking for real answers? Seeking the best group of clinicians who accept your insurance? Welcome to WellPsyche Medical Group! WellPsyche providers are experts in Wellness and Mental Health. Our providers take a Thoughtful, Practical, and Caring approach to therapy and can help you balance your life. WellPsyche is also a leader in Telemedicine. Now you can visit with your provider from the privacy and convenience of your home or work.
Is life becoming unmanageable? Looking for real answers? Seeking the best group of clinicians who accept your insurance? Welcome to WellPsyche Medical Group! WellPsyche providers are experts in Wellness and Mental Health. Our providers take a Thoughtful, Practical, and Caring approach to therapy and can help you balance your life. WellPsyche is also a leader in Telemedicine. Now you can visit with your provider from the privacy and convenience of your home or work.
(619) 493-3897 View (619) 493-3897
Photo of Ripal Patel, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Diego County, CA
Ripal Patel
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92109  (Online Only)
Hello! As a psychiatric nurse practitioner provider, I am committed to providing high-quality, evidence-based, and individualized care to each of my patients. I believe that mental health care should be tailored to each person's specific needs and experiences.
Hello! As a psychiatric nurse practitioner provider, I am committed to providing high-quality, evidence-based, and individualized care to each of my patients. I believe that mental health care should be tailored to each person's specific needs and experiences.
(619) 332-1169 View (619) 332-1169
Photo of Karine Khatchatrian, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Karine Khatchatrian
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92128
Dr. Karine Khatchatrian helps adults with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Dr. Karine Khatchatrian helps adults with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
(858) 568-7546 View (858) 568-7546
Photo of Martina Nankivell, Physician Assistant in San Diego County, CA
Martina Nankivell
Physician Assistant, PA-C, MPAS
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92101  (Online Only)
Accepting New Patients - Martina is a highly qualified physician assistant with an impressive academic and clinical background. She earned her Master of Medical Science degree from Nova Southeastern University and holds board certifications in both general medicine and psychiatry. Additionally, Martina possesses a Certificate of Added Qualifications in psychiatry, reflecting her commitment to excellence in patient care.
Accepting New Patients - Martina is a highly qualified physician assistant with an impressive academic and clinical background. She earned her Master of Medical Science degree from Nova Southeastern University and holds board certifications in both general medicine and psychiatry. Additionally, Martina possesses a Certificate of Added Qualifications in psychiatry, reflecting her commitment to excellence in patient care.
(619) 586-5976 View (619) 586-5976
Photo of Christian Small, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Christian Small
Psychiatrist, MD, ABPN, ABFM, ABPM
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Escondido, CA 92025
Thanks for visiting! My professional experience encompasses General Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry and Family Medicine. I am the founder of Headlands ATS, a leader in addiction psychiatry. Our services are professional, personable, and based on methods proven to help you achieve sustainable recovery from substance use. At Headlands, we understand that the underpinnings of addiction have little to do with morality, character or personal responsibility – and everything to do with an individual trying desperately to cope with their suffering. We want to help you, give us a call.
Thanks for visiting! My professional experience encompasses General Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry and Family Medicine. I am the founder of Headlands ATS, a leader in addiction psychiatry. Our services are professional, personable, and based on methods proven to help you achieve sustainable recovery from substance use. At Headlands, we understand that the underpinnings of addiction have little to do with morality, character or personal responsibility – and everything to do with an individual trying desperately to cope with their suffering. We want to help you, give us a call.
(442) 280-7695 View (442) 280-7695
Photo of Lindsey Hughes, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Diego County, CA
Lindsey Hughes
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
La Mesa, CA 91942
I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and I have been in the healthcare field for 10 years. I have experience working in a variety of settings including inpatient, acute care psychiatric rehab, and residential treatment facilities. I use a comprehensive method of caring for patients and realize therapeutic medications work in combination with psychotherapy. I take a non-judgmental and compassionate approach and believe patients should be partners in their care and have choices.
I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and I have been in the healthcare field for 10 years. I have experience working in a variety of settings including inpatient, acute care psychiatric rehab, and residential treatment facilities. I use a comprehensive method of caring for patients and realize therapeutic medications work in combination with psychotherapy. I take a non-judgmental and compassionate approach and believe patients should be partners in their care and have choices.
(858) 330-2467 View (858) 330-2467
Photo of Nita Paintal, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Nita Paintal
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
La Mesa, CA 91942
Dr. Nita Paintal is an adult and geriatric psychiatrist.
Dr. Nita Paintal is an adult and geriatric psychiatrist.
(619) 453-0114 View (619) 453-0114
Photo of Cecilia M Lipira, Psychiatrist in San Diego County, CA
Cecilia M Lipira
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92109  (Online Only)
I am a board-certified, Cornell and Mount Sinai-trained adult and child psychiatrist in New York and California. My approach to treatment is holistic and firmly rooted in the science of the brain, combining psychotherapy (for individuals, families, and couples) with nutrition, lifestyle modification, as well as state-of-the-art medication treatment, when helpful. I view each person as a complex individual with a unique story to tell, so I take time getting to know my clients and work collaboratively to develop a targeted plan to achieve their treatment goals.
I am a board-certified, Cornell and Mount Sinai-trained adult and child psychiatrist in New York and California. My approach to treatment is holistic and firmly rooted in the science of the brain, combining psychotherapy (for individuals, families, and couples) with nutrition, lifestyle modification, as well as state-of-the-art medication treatment, when helpful. I view each person as a complex individual with a unique story to tell, so I take time getting to know my clients and work collaboratively to develop a targeted plan to achieve their treatment goals.
(917) 525-4558 View (917) 525-4558

See more therapy options for San Diego County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in San Diego County, CA

500+

Average cost per session

$225

Psychiatrists in San Diego County, CA who prioritize treating:

94% Anxiety
92% Depression
77% Bipolar Disorder
74% ADHD
73% Trauma and PTSD
71% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
70% Medication Management

Average years in practice

11 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

92% Aetna
91% Cigna and Evernorth
88% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in San Diego County, CA see their clients

53% In Person and Online
47% Online Only

Gender breakdown

61% Female
38% Male
1% Non-Binary
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in San Diego County?

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.