Psychiatrists in San Luis Obispo, CA

Photo of Mary Garrett, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Luis Obispo, CA
Mary Garrett
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
I promote a holistic approach to care. In providing care, I attempt to raise awareness of the individual's medical condition related to mental health disorders. Patients are educated on their disorder and the biological changes that occur. Each treatment plan is individualized to the patient. Interventions are based on best-evidenced base practice. People can recover from mental health disorders, leading a fulfilling and productive life despite their disability. For certain people, it denotes a reduction in the severity of their symptoms. I believe that treatment adds to the spirit of a person, instead of diminishing their spirit.
I promote a holistic approach to care. In providing care, I attempt to raise awareness of the individual's medical condition related to mental health disorders. Patients are educated on their disorder and the biological changes that occur. Each treatment plan is individualized to the patient. Interventions are based on best-evidenced base practice. People can recover from mental health disorders, leading a fulfilling and productive life despite their disability. For certain people, it denotes a reduction in the severity of their symptoms. I believe that treatment adds to the spirit of a person, instead of diminishing their spirit.
(805) 541-6000 View (805) 541-6000
Photo of Murat Akalin, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Murat Akalin
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Dr. Murat Akalin is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Family Medicine. He treats adults, children and adolescents. He is expertly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness, including use of medications. He uses exercise, nutrition, behavioral, social and environmental interventions to help his patients, as well as medication when needed. You may visit our website at www.DrAkalin.com for more information about our services.
Dr. Murat Akalin is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Family Medicine. He treats adults, children and adolescents. He is expertly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness, including use of medications. He uses exercise, nutrition, behavioral, social and environmental interventions to help his patients, as well as medication when needed. You may visit our website at www.DrAkalin.com for more information about our services.
(760) 615-5036 View (760) 615-5036
Photo of Amanda Selman, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Luis Obispo, CA
Amanda Selman
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405  (Online Only)
Amanda Selman, PMHNP-BC is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She received her Masters in Nursing Science from Wilkes University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Her career has included working in both hospital and community mental health settings. She has experience in and enjoys working with diverse ages, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, and mental health issues. She also has a special interest in women’s mental health including pregnancy and postpartum.
Amanda Selman, PMHNP-BC is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She received her Masters in Nursing Science from Wilkes University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Her career has included working in both hospital and community mental health settings. She has experience in and enjoys working with diverse ages, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, and mental health issues. She also has a special interest in women’s mental health including pregnancy and postpartum.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Dr. Margaret K. Bauman, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Dr. Margaret K. Bauman
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Not accepting new clients
Dr. Bauman is known for her open and warm approach. She is well-versed in the medical complexities of psychiatric illness, and addresses each patient as a unique individual. Dr. Margaret Bauman is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both General Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry. She has extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Bauman has been named one of America’s Top Psychiatrists by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.
Dr. Bauman is known for her open and warm approach. She is well-versed in the medical complexities of psychiatric illness, and addresses each patient as a unique individual. Dr. Margaret Bauman is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both General Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry. She has extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Bauman has been named one of America’s Top Psychiatrists by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.
(805) 254-7183 View (805) 254-7183
Photo of Julia Tidik, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Luis Obispo, CA
Julia Tidik
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Not accepting new clients
I am a board certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), and am currently licensed in both California and Washington State. I specialize in treating substance abuse, including with the use of medication-assisted treatments such as buprenorphine (Suboxone). I additionally enjoy working with individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. My practice is currently focused on working with adults up to age 65. I am not able to see patients who have Medicare in my private practice.
I am a board certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), and am currently licensed in both California and Washington State. I specialize in treating substance abuse, including with the use of medication-assisted treatments such as buprenorphine (Suboxone). I additionally enjoy working with individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. My practice is currently focused on working with adults up to age 65. I am not able to see patients who have Medicare in my private practice.
(442) 239-2758 View (442) 239-2758
Photo of Matthew Kilthau, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Matthew Kilthau
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
I offer a private practice designed for patients who value receiving quality psychiatric care that is collaborative and current with the best scientific evidence. My practice approach believes in clear, open communication.  That the best treatment happens when we both understand your hopes and goals.  I focus on strategies backed by scientific research, but I also recognize that our lives are more nuanced than a randomized control trial, and not everything in life can be reduced to statistics or algorithms.
I offer a private practice designed for patients who value receiving quality psychiatric care that is collaborative and current with the best scientific evidence. My practice approach believes in clear, open communication.  That the best treatment happens when we both understand your hopes and goals.  I focus on strategies backed by scientific research, but I also recognize that our lives are more nuanced than a randomized control trial, and not everything in life can be reduced to statistics or algorithms.
(805) 790-8832 View (805) 790-8832
Photo of Edward Valkov, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Edward Valkov
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401  (Online Only)
I work very closely with my patients utilizing their life experiences and strengths in the creation of treatment plans that empower them to achieve their mental and physical wellness goals. I am certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, embracing pharmacology and psychotherapy treatment modalities, and specialize in the assessment and care of mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, and ADHD.
I work very closely with my patients utilizing their life experiences and strengths in the creation of treatment plans that empower them to achieve their mental and physical wellness goals. I am certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, embracing pharmacology and psychotherapy treatment modalities, and specialize in the assessment and care of mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, and ADHD.
(805) 330-3156 View (805) 330-3156
Photo of Richard Altesman, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Richard Altesman
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401  (Online Only)
Richard Altesman, M.D. is a nationally renowned Biological Psychiatrist, specializing in clinical psychopharmacology and neuropsychiatry, affective and mood disorders, anxiety, dual diagnosis and substance use disorders. He combines a caring, humanistic approach within this advanced knowledge of psychopharmacology. He was at the forefront of this field (Founding Director of the Psychopharmacology Service at Harvard, and on the faculty at Cornell,) and use the most advanced concepts to correctly diagnose and treat patient’s emotional difficulties.
Richard Altesman, M.D. is a nationally renowned Biological Psychiatrist, specializing in clinical psychopharmacology and neuropsychiatry, affective and mood disorders, anxiety, dual diagnosis and substance use disorders. He combines a caring, humanistic approach within this advanced knowledge of psychopharmacology. He was at the forefront of this field (Founding Director of the Psychopharmacology Service at Harvard, and on the faculty at Cornell,) and use the most advanced concepts to correctly diagnose and treat patient’s emotional difficulties.
(805) 819-5790 View (805) 819-5790
Photo of Douglas Peter Murphy, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Douglas Peter Murphy
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
My care derives a holistic approach to care informed by evidence-based guidelines to care in a highly collaborative approach. It always begins with making a warm and comfortable therapeutic relationship. Preventative care and an emphasis on living habits that promote health & wellness. It is common that medications may be part of most treatment plans in my practice, associated with teaching and some form of psychotherapy to facilitate long-term gains and improve chances for successful outcomes.
My care derives a holistic approach to care informed by evidence-based guidelines to care in a highly collaborative approach. It always begins with making a warm and comfortable therapeutic relationship. Preventative care and an emphasis on living habits that promote health & wellness. It is common that medications may be part of most treatment plans in my practice, associated with teaching and some form of psychotherapy to facilitate long-term gains and improve chances for successful outcomes.
(805) 600-5117 View (805) 600-5117
Photo of Peter Afsari, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Peter Afsari
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Dr. Peter Afsari helps children, adolescents, adults, and families. Dr. Afsari uses a psychotherapeutic approach to balance medication and helps his patients identify trauma. He has several years of experience working in various community mental health settings. Dr. Afsari completed his adult psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the University of Arizona. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, playing piano, traveling, and is an avid basketball fan.
Dr. Peter Afsari helps children, adolescents, adults, and families. Dr. Afsari uses a psychotherapeutic approach to balance medication and helps his patients identify trauma. He has several years of experience working in various community mental health settings. Dr. Afsari completed his adult psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the University of Arizona. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, playing piano, traveling, and is an avid basketball fan.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Douglas Williamson, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Luis Obispo, CA
Douglas Williamson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401  (Online Only)
My philosophy is based on the Nursing Care Model: a holistic approach to patient care focused on the mind, body, and soul, while implementing a combination of brief psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and self-care activities. My experience includes serving clients suffering from mild to severe mental health disorders including: depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, insomnia, psychotic, and other mood disorders.
My philosophy is based on the Nursing Care Model: a holistic approach to patient care focused on the mind, body, and soul, while implementing a combination of brief psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and self-care activities. My experience includes serving clients suffering from mild to severe mental health disorders including: depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, insomnia, psychotic, and other mood disorders.
(805) 321-1449 View (805) 321-1449
Photo of Craig Fisher, Physician Assistant in San Luis Obispo, CA
Craig Fisher
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
I am accepting new clients and can schedule you within a few days of you reaching out. I employ collaborative decision-making with you to reach your mental health goals. I work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. My specialty is in the treatment, diagnosis, and medication management of mental health disorders. I am committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome and will work collaboratively with your therapist and other providers for you to receive the best treatment and benefits of medication management.
I am accepting new clients and can schedule you within a few days of you reaching out. I employ collaborative decision-making with you to reach your mental health goals. I work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. My specialty is in the treatment, diagnosis, and medication management of mental health disorders. I am committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome and will work collaboratively with your therapist and other providers for you to receive the best treatment and benefits of medication management.
(805) 622-2916 View (805) 622-2916
Photo of Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405  (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.
(805) 920-8363 View (805) 920-8363
Photo of Deborah Holzman, Psychiatric Nurse in San Luis Obispo, CA
Deborah Holzman
Psychiatric Nurse, NP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I provide psychiatric medication to mostly younger adults (18+) and college students with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, OCD, PTSD. I treat ADHD with a confirmed diagnoses; I don't offer ADHD testing. I do my best to help you understand potential side effects and how medication can help alleviate symptoms. Medication is one piece of a treatment plan. Most people I see also see a therapist. Taking the time to explore and understand your inner world in whatever way is valuable to you is an essential piece of treatment. I collaborate with a supervising psychiatrist, Margaret Bauman, MD.
As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I provide psychiatric medication to mostly younger adults (18+) and college students with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, OCD, PTSD. I treat ADHD with a confirmed diagnoses; I don't offer ADHD testing. I do my best to help you understand potential side effects and how medication can help alleviate symptoms. Medication is one piece of a treatment plan. Most people I see also see a therapist. Taking the time to explore and understand your inner world in whatever way is valuable to you is an essential piece of treatment. I collaborate with a supervising psychiatrist, Margaret Bauman, MD.
(805) 500-2849 View (805) 500-2849
Photo of Eric Hixon, Physician Assistant in San Luis Obispo, CA
Eric Hixon
Physician Assistant, PA
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
My care philosophy is that patients should always be placed at the center of their medical care, knowing that each patient I care for is complex and unique. I appreciate it when patients take the time to share all pertinent medical and life experiences both past and present so that I can provide the best care possible.
My care philosophy is that patients should always be placed at the center of their medical care, knowing that each patient I care for is complex and unique. I appreciate it when patients take the time to share all pertinent medical and life experiences both past and present so that I can provide the best care possible.
(805) 410-1303 View (805) 410-1303
Photo of Welby Nielsen, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Welby Nielsen
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Dr. Welby Nielsen focuses on wellness and improved quality of life for each patient. Dr. Nielsen treats children, adolescents, adults, and seniors.
Dr. Welby Nielsen focuses on wellness and improved quality of life for each patient. Dr. Nielsen treats children, adolescents, adults, and seniors.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Samir Hamed, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Luis Obispo, CA
Samir Hamed
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
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.
(559) 462-3060 View (559) 462-3060
Photo of Pavel Ksendz, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Luis Obispo, CA
Pavel Ksendz
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) specialized in treating mood, anxiety, cognitive, trauma-related, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. I am a strong proponent of the philosophy that health is multifactorial, made up of physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual facets. I value taking a collaborative approach with clients to create a thorough, individualized treatment plan that best meets their specific needs and goals. I have a long-held passion for mental healthcare and have worked with individuals of all ages in a variety of settings within psychiatry.
I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) specialized in treating mood, anxiety, cognitive, trauma-related, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. I am a strong proponent of the philosophy that health is multifactorial, made up of physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual facets. I value taking a collaborative approach with clients to create a thorough, individualized treatment plan that best meets their specific needs and goals. I have a long-held passion for mental healthcare and have worked with individuals of all ages in a variety of settings within psychiatry.
(559) 242-1690 View (559) 242-1690
Photo of Dr. Anne Phan-Huy, Psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo, CA
Dr. Anne Phan-Huy
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401  (Online Only)
Dr. Phan-Huy's philosophy of care is all about you. Your beliefs, your experiences, your goals. By partnering with Dr. Phan-Huy, you will be empowered with the tools necessary to achieve fulfilment. That’s because – with Board certification in psychiatry and specialty training from the University of Michigan – Dr. Phan-Huy is a beacon of clarity in the complex world of mental health.
Dr. Phan-Huy's philosophy of care is all about you. Your beliefs, your experiences, your goals. By partnering with Dr. Phan-Huy, you will be empowered with the tools necessary to achieve fulfilment. That’s because – with Board certification in psychiatry and specialty training from the University of Michigan – Dr. Phan-Huy is a beacon of clarity in the complex world of mental health.
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Photo of Khadija Hamisi, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Luis Obispo, CA
Khadija Hamisi
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Khadija Hamisi, DNP, PMHNP-BC, takes a unique and progressive approach to mental health illnesses. Treatment is personalized, based on evidence research, and encompasses on a myriad of treatment modalities. The influence of three factors: one's past and upbringing, current life situations, and one's genetic makeup, affecting mental illness Being trained and current with the best evidence-bas medication treatment strategy, he places a strong emphasis on psychosocial, and psychodynamic factors as the foundation of his treatment. Many psychiatric conditions have an underlying biological and genetic component of treatment.
Khadija Hamisi, DNP, PMHNP-BC, takes a unique and progressive approach to mental health illnesses. Treatment is personalized, based on evidence research, and encompasses on a myriad of treatment modalities. The influence of three factors: one's past and upbringing, current life situations, and one's genetic makeup, affecting mental illness Being trained and current with the best evidence-bas medication treatment strategy, he places a strong emphasis on psychosocial, and psychodynamic factors as the foundation of his treatment. Many psychiatric conditions have an underlying biological and genetic component of treatment.
(805) 723-2587 View (805) 723-2587

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Number of Psychiatrists in San Luis Obispo, CA

30+

Average cost per session

$312

Psychiatrists in San Luis Obispo, CA who prioritize treating:

97% Depression
97% Anxiety
74% ADHD
74% Bipolar Disorder
74% Medication Management
71% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
68% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

12 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

82% Magellan
76% Aetna
76% Blue Cross

How Psychiatrists in San Luis Obispo, CA see their clients

65% In Person and Online
35% Online Only

Gender breakdown

68% Male
32% Female
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in San Luis Obispo?

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.