Psychiatrists in San Francisco, CA

Photo of Samir Hamed, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Francisco, CA
Samir Hamed
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94102
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.
(415) 612-5175 View (415) 612-5175
Photo of Lisa Ekeanyanwu, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Lisa Ekeanyanwu
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94111  (Online Only)
Lisa Ekeanyanwu, MD is a board eligible Psychiatrist. She completed her psychiatry residency training at Stanford. She has experience providing patients with compassionate psychiatric care. Dr. Ekeanyanwu's practice centers on pharmacotherapy. She offers this in conjunction with supportive therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy, to treat several types of psychiatric conditions. Occasionally she may believe that additional therapy is also needed and ask that you bring a therapist into your care team to provide the best outcome.
Lisa Ekeanyanwu, MD is a board eligible Psychiatrist. She completed her psychiatry residency training at Stanford. She has experience providing patients with compassionate psychiatric care. Dr. Ekeanyanwu's practice centers on pharmacotherapy. She offers this in conjunction with supportive therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy, to treat several types of psychiatric conditions. Occasionally she may believe that additional therapy is also needed and ask that you bring a therapist into your care team to provide the best outcome.
(415) 966-0668 View (415) 966-0668
Photo of Brightside Health, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Brightside Health
Psychiatrist
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94131  (Online Only)
Brightside Health offers online psychiatry and therapy from the comfort of home. Meet with a psychiatric provider in as little as 24 hours. We provide personalized, data-driven psychiatry, evidence-based therapy, and continuous support from expert providers to help our members feel better and stay that way. Our precision-prescribing analyzes over 100 unique data points and decades of clinical research to pinpoint your best match. At Brightside, we track your progress at every step so you and your provider can make informed decisions and adjust your care until it’s right for you.
Brightside Health offers online psychiatry and therapy from the comfort of home. Meet with a psychiatric provider in as little as 24 hours. We provide personalized, data-driven psychiatry, evidence-based therapy, and continuous support from expert providers to help our members feel better and stay that way. Our precision-prescribing analyzes over 100 unique data points and decades of clinical research to pinpoint your best match. At Brightside, we track your progress at every step so you and your provider can make informed decisions and adjust your care until it’s right for you.
(415) 851-9447 View (415) 851-9447
Photo of Neha Nayyar, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Neha Nayyar
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94108
My main focus is connecting with people in order to best support them. My working style is compassionate, empathetic, easy-going, supportive, and communicative. I am always working in the best interest of the patient. My philosophy brought me to Mindful Health Solutions since we both insist on patient-first care. I am determined to help each patient find what works best for them. I will be doing in-person and telehealth appointments for those in the San Francisco area, and working with Medication Management, Psychotherapy, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS).
My main focus is connecting with people in order to best support them. My working style is compassionate, empathetic, easy-going, supportive, and communicative. I am always working in the best interest of the patient. My philosophy brought me to Mindful Health Solutions since we both insist on patient-first care. I am determined to help each patient find what works best for them. I will be doing in-person and telehealth appointments for those in the San Francisco area, and working with Medication Management, Psychotherapy, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS).
(628) 313-5919 View (628) 313-5919
Photo of Bay Area Psychiatric - Integrative Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Francisco, CA
Bay Area Psychiatric - Integrative Psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MS, RN, CS, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94111
I'm interested in a person's priorities, what engages them in life, and how they want to get there. I take a whole-person, root cause approach that delivers enhanced resilience and renewed feelings of wellbeing beyond "good enough”. I strive for truly well, without side effects. Integrative psychiatry offers solutions to support the complexity and sustained recovery of mood, anxiety, trauma, cognition/ADHD, and sleep-related challenges, including "treatment resistance," which may simply indicate the correct diagnosis has not been found, a biological clue has been missed, or a treatment strategy is not optimal.
I'm interested in a person's priorities, what engages them in life, and how they want to get there. I take a whole-person, root cause approach that delivers enhanced resilience and renewed feelings of wellbeing beyond "good enough”. I strive for truly well, without side effects. Integrative psychiatry offers solutions to support the complexity and sustained recovery of mood, anxiety, trauma, cognition/ADHD, and sleep-related challenges, including "treatment resistance," which may simply indicate the correct diagnosis has not been found, a biological clue has been missed, or a treatment strategy is not optimal.
(415) 650-4303 View (415) 650-4303
Photo of Gabriel Aranovich, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Gabriel Aranovich
Psychiatrist
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94109  (Online Only)
Dr. Gabriel Aranovich is a top-rated board certified psychiatrist, specializing in psychotherapy and medication management for optimizing mental health. At The Clinic, with locations in with locations in San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, Berkeley, and Marin County, California, Dr. Aranovich treats both adults and adolescents with a wide range of issues, such as: depression, anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, substance use and other common and complex mental health conditions. In addition, Dr. Aranovich, who speaks both English and Spanish, offers video and telemedicine services to patients residing in the state of California.
Dr. Gabriel Aranovich is a top-rated board certified psychiatrist, specializing in psychotherapy and medication management for optimizing mental health. At The Clinic, with locations in with locations in San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, Berkeley, and Marin County, California, Dr. Aranovich treats both adults and adolescents with a wide range of issues, such as: depression, anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, substance use and other common and complex mental health conditions. In addition, Dr. Aranovich, who speaks both English and Spanish, offers video and telemedicine services to patients residing in the state of California.
(844) 950-3167 View (844) 950-3167
Photo of Eilly Yang, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Francisco, CA
Eilly Yang
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP, WHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94115  (Online Only)
Trained at Johns Hopkins University and triple board-certified in psychiatry, family, and women's health, I have experience caring for a diverse client population. I use a holistic, whole-person approach, meaning that we not only focus on medication, but also on lifestyle and behavioral changes. When medication is recommended, our goal is to reduce side effects while maximizing the benefits. You will find that I am curious, open-minded, inquisitive, and accepting. I care about my clients deeply and aim to build trust and respect within our therapeutic relationship.
Trained at Johns Hopkins University and triple board-certified in psychiatry, family, and women's health, I have experience caring for a diverse client population. I use a holistic, whole-person approach, meaning that we not only focus on medication, but also on lifestyle and behavioral changes. When medication is recommended, our goal is to reduce side effects while maximizing the benefits. You will find that I am curious, open-minded, inquisitive, and accepting. I care about my clients deeply and aim to build trust and respect within our therapeutic relationship.
(415) 993-6324 View (415) 993-6324
Photo of Paul Abramson, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Paul Abramson
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94108
Paul Abramson MD is board certified in Addiction Medicine and Family Medicine (He is not a Psychiatrist). He specializes in the treatment of addiction, mental health and physical health utilizing his small and expert team - medical doctors and psychotherapists. Our methods are evidence based, outpatient and efficient. Dr. Abramson is a graduate of Stanford and UCSF and has specific expertise in the treatment of opioid addiction, alcohol use disorders, and benzodiazepine dependency (with Ashton-style slow tapers). My Doctor Medical Group is a top concierge medical practice in San Francisco.
Paul Abramson MD is board certified in Addiction Medicine and Family Medicine (He is not a Psychiatrist). He specializes in the treatment of addiction, mental health and physical health utilizing his small and expert team - medical doctors and psychotherapists. Our methods are evidence based, outpatient and efficient. Dr. Abramson is a graduate of Stanford and UCSF and has specific expertise in the treatment of opioid addiction, alcohol use disorders, and benzodiazepine dependency (with Ashton-style slow tapers). My Doctor Medical Group is a top concierge medical practice in San Francisco.
(415) 483-1528 View (415) 483-1528
Photo of Sweta Shah, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Sweta Shah
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94122  (Online Only)
I am a board certified psychiatrist with over 15 years of experience treating a wide range of mental health issues. I specialize in the management of eating disorders and women's mental health issues, particularly the emotional challenges specific to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and parenting/maternal identity. I work collaboratively with my patients to understand their unique experience and develop a treatment plan tailored to their individual needs.
I am a board certified psychiatrist with over 15 years of experience treating a wide range of mental health issues. I specialize in the management of eating disorders and women's mental health issues, particularly the emotional challenges specific to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and parenting/maternal identity. I work collaboratively with my patients to understand their unique experience and develop a treatment plan tailored to their individual needs.
(415) 985-4910 View (415) 985-4910
Photo of Adam Frey, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Adam Frey
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94102
I aim to establish a warm, collaborative relationship with patients, providing evidence-based support and intervention in a manner that is understandable, helpful and compassionate. While diagnosis and medication treatment is often an early focus, in my experience much of the meaningful work is based on getting to know a person, and from there confronting discomforts and engaging therapeutically within a safe environment. It is a privilege to provide this care, and I defend confidentiality as paramount. I encourage mindful self-compassion and forgiveness as a therapeutic approach to alleviating many depressive and anxious problems.
I aim to establish a warm, collaborative relationship with patients, providing evidence-based support and intervention in a manner that is understandable, helpful and compassionate. While diagnosis and medication treatment is often an early focus, in my experience much of the meaningful work is based on getting to know a person, and from there confronting discomforts and engaging therapeutically within a safe environment. It is a privilege to provide this care, and I defend confidentiality as paramount. I encourage mindful self-compassion and forgiveness as a therapeutic approach to alleviating many depressive and anxious problems.
(628) 265-8859 View (628) 265-8859
Photo of David Krassner, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
David Krassner
Psychiatrist
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94111  (Online Only)
Dr. David Krassner is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who has been practicing for over 20 years. His practice focuses on medication management, typically offered with supportive therapy. If Dr. Krassner feels you would benefit from working with a therapist, he welcomes collaboration with your therapist to work toward an optimal outcome for you. Dr. Krassner is a graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He completed residency at the UCSF-Fresno Psychiatry Training Program in Fresno, California. Dr. Krassner's expertise lies in psychopharmacology, with a focus on individualized treatment strategies.
Dr. David Krassner is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who has been practicing for over 20 years. His practice focuses on medication management, typically offered with supportive therapy. If Dr. Krassner feels you would benefit from working with a therapist, he welcomes collaboration with your therapist to work toward an optimal outcome for you. Dr. Krassner is a graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He completed residency at the UCSF-Fresno Psychiatry Training Program in Fresno, California. Dr. Krassner's expertise lies in psychopharmacology, with a focus on individualized treatment strategies.
(415) 480-5496 View (415) 480-5496
Photo of Patrick Sassoon, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Patrick Sassoon
Psychiatrist, MD, MS
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94102
My approach is based on integrative psychiatry, which uses medications, therapy and complementary medicine to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. I address the combined impact of sleep, lifestyle, relationships, nutrition and chronic medical conditions on well-being, and use cutting edge tools like genetic testing to guide personalized treatment with medication and supplements. I consider the patient’s cultural background in my assessments and I can provide treatment in Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian. My goal is to help my patients create lasting changes and build vitality, resilience and purpose in life.
My approach is based on integrative psychiatry, which uses medications, therapy and complementary medicine to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. I address the combined impact of sleep, lifestyle, relationships, nutrition and chronic medical conditions on well-being, and use cutting edge tools like genetic testing to guide personalized treatment with medication and supplements. I consider the patient’s cultural background in my assessments and I can provide treatment in Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian. My goal is to help my patients create lasting changes and build vitality, resilience and purpose in life.
(415) 966-2491 View (415) 966-2491
Photo of Dr. Reem Libdeh, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Dr. Reem Libdeh
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94104
Welcome! I am a board-certified psychiatrist based in San Francisco, with clinical expertise in eating disorders, addiction medicine, and women’s mental health. I’m passionate about helping patients get to the underlying causes of their distress, using a trauma-informed approach that includes psychotherapy techniques, lifestyle changes, and, when indicated, medications. I also treat mood disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, OCD, trauma disorders, and other psychiatric ailments. I have extensive experience working with high-functioning professionals struggling with their mental health and/or substance use.
Welcome! I am a board-certified psychiatrist based in San Francisco, with clinical expertise in eating disorders, addiction medicine, and women’s mental health. I’m passionate about helping patients get to the underlying causes of their distress, using a trauma-informed approach that includes psychotherapy techniques, lifestyle changes, and, when indicated, medications. I also treat mood disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, OCD, trauma disorders, and other psychiatric ailments. I have extensive experience working with high-functioning professionals struggling with their mental health and/or substance use.
(415) 876-5583 View (415) 876-5583
Photo of Amy Tyson, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Amy Tyson
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94118
Not accepting new clients
People come to me with a wide range of problems, often not clear about why they are suffering. They may feel anxious, depressed, empty or confused; they may be having difficulty with relationships or work but not understand why. I will meet with you to evaluate what the problem is and how best to approach treatment. Why choose a psychoanalytically oriented psychiatrist? I believe that in a nonjudgmental atmosphere you will be able to explore why you are stuck in old patterns or feel unhappy in your life and relationships. I will help you gain insight so that you can feel freer, more confident, and happier.
People come to me with a wide range of problems, often not clear about why they are suffering. They may feel anxious, depressed, empty or confused; they may be having difficulty with relationships or work but not understand why. I will meet with you to evaluate what the problem is and how best to approach treatment. Why choose a psychoanalytically oriented psychiatrist? I believe that in a nonjudgmental atmosphere you will be able to explore why you are stuck in old patterns or feel unhappy in your life and relationships. I will help you gain insight so that you can feel freer, more confident, and happier.
(628) 216-7168 View (628) 216-7168
Photo of Samantha Scherzinger, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Francisco, CA
Samantha Scherzinger
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94109
Samantha Scherzinger is a board-certified family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. Samantha has a broad range of experience working with patients from diverse backgrounds across the lifespan. She has worked in community mental health settings as well as John Hopkins Medical Center. Samantha focuses on empowering her patients to achieve their optimal level of health and quality of life.
Samantha Scherzinger is a board-certified family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. Samantha has a broad range of experience working with patients from diverse backgrounds across the lifespan. She has worked in community mental health settings as well as John Hopkins Medical Center. Samantha focuses on empowering her patients to achieve their optimal level of health and quality of life.
(628) 444-4882 View (628) 444-4882
Photo of Nishi Bhopal, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Nishi Bhopal
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94133  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Another late night trying to catch up. Setting boundaries is tough because you don’t want to let your team down, but the workload keeps piling up and your personal life is suffering. It’s hard to relax, your mind is on overdrive, and restful sleep feels like a thing of the past. Imposter syndrome is creeping in and you try to work even harder, but it’s taking a toll on your physical and mental health. Anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, and digestive problems are a daily occurrence. You know you’re not on your A game but you don’t know where to start. Medications might be helpful, but you want more than just a prescription for pills.
Another late night trying to catch up. Setting boundaries is tough because you don’t want to let your team down, but the workload keeps piling up and your personal life is suffering. It’s hard to relax, your mind is on overdrive, and restful sleep feels like a thing of the past. Imposter syndrome is creeping in and you try to work even harder, but it’s taking a toll on your physical and mental health. Anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, and digestive problems are a daily occurrence. You know you’re not on your A game but you don’t know where to start. Medications might be helpful, but you want more than just a prescription for pills.
(415) 942-5037 View (415) 942-5037
Photo of Elaine Liu, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Elaine Liu
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94115
Are you feeling stuck? Do you struggle with uncomfortable emotions or bodily sensations? Do you feel unsure about how to move forward with your life? Sometimes it takes a professional to help sort out what will be helpful for you. Together we can examine where the struggle lies, how ready you are to change, what the effective treatments are, and what role medications can play. If psychotherapy is a part of your treatment we can choose from various modalities to fit your needs including mindfulness, cognitive restructuring, behavioral strategies, exposure, and psychodynamic techniques.
Are you feeling stuck? Do you struggle with uncomfortable emotions or bodily sensations? Do you feel unsure about how to move forward with your life? Sometimes it takes a professional to help sort out what will be helpful for you. Together we can examine where the struggle lies, how ready you are to change, what the effective treatments are, and what role medications can play. If psychotherapy is a part of your treatment we can choose from various modalities to fit your needs including mindfulness, cognitive restructuring, behavioral strategies, exposure, and psychodynamic techniques.
(415) 799-5546 View (415) 799-5546
Photo of Mindful Health Solutions - Aarti Chhatlani, MD, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Mindful Health Solutions - Aarti Chhatlani, MD
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94108  (Online Only)
I treat patients with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders. My individualized patient plans provide evidence-based treatment options, including medication management. I am a Board-Certified Psychiatrist who has a collaborative and empathetic approach based on mindfulness principles. For me, telepsychiatry is the modern equivalent to a home visit, where a patient can have their video appointment in a familiar environment such as their home or office. Our practice, founded in 2007, provides innovative, patient-centric care and accepts most major insurance plans.
I treat patients with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders. My individualized patient plans provide evidence-based treatment options, including medication management. I am a Board-Certified Psychiatrist who has a collaborative and empathetic approach based on mindfulness principles. For me, telepsychiatry is the modern equivalent to a home visit, where a patient can have their video appointment in a familiar environment such as their home or office. Our practice, founded in 2007, provides innovative, patient-centric care and accepts most major insurance plans.
(415) 908-1486 View (415) 908-1486
Photo of Neha Chaudhary, Psychiatrist in San Francisco, CA
Neha Chaudhary
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94133
On faculty at Harvard / Mass General, I'm a double-boarded child, adolescent, & adult psychiatrist who offers telemedicine-based evaluation and treatment of kids, adolescents, and adults. I take a comprehensive approach, considering all aspects of you or your child’s lifestyle in order to create an individualized treatment program that meets you where you are. I believe that for treatment to be successful, you or your child will need to be evaluated and treated within the broader context of who you are, considering genetics, family dynamics, social supports, romantic relationships, careers, hobbies, habits, and unique stressors.
On faculty at Harvard / Mass General, I'm a double-boarded child, adolescent, & adult psychiatrist who offers telemedicine-based evaluation and treatment of kids, adolescents, and adults. I take a comprehensive approach, considering all aspects of you or your child’s lifestyle in order to create an individualized treatment program that meets you where you are. I believe that for treatment to be successful, you or your child will need to be evaluated and treated within the broader context of who you are, considering genetics, family dynamics, social supports, romantic relationships, careers, hobbies, habits, and unique stressors.
(628) 265-8883 View (628) 265-8883
Photo of Hilda Nguthu-Bell, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Francisco, CA
Hilda Nguthu-Bell
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94105  (Online Only)
Hilda Nguthu-Bell is a skilled and professional Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse with over several years of experience, primarily in clinical Healthcare in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Specialized in Mental Health and Case Management she has proven her ability to lead and motivate others.
Hilda Nguthu-Bell is a skilled and professional Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse with over several years of experience, primarily in clinical Healthcare in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Specialized in Mental Health and Case Management she has proven her ability to lead and motivate others.
(415) 650-4168 View (415) 650-4168

See more therapy options for San Francisco

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in San Francisco, CA

300+

Average cost per session

$300

Psychiatrists in San Francisco, CA who prioritize treating:

93% Anxiety
90% Depression
78% Medication Management
69% Trauma and PTSD
68% ADHD
68% Bipolar Disorder
62% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

12 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

91% Aetna
86% Cigna and Evernorth
79% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in San Francisco, CA see their clients

59% In Person and Online
41% Online Only

Gender breakdown

57% Female
42% Male
1% Non-Binary
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in San Francisco?

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.