Psychiatrists in San Mateo, CA

Photo of Kenneth Etefia, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Kenneth Etefia
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
1 Endorsed
San Mateo, CA 94402
Greetings, I am a board certified psychiatrist specializing in the care of children, teens and adults suffering from mood problems, ADHD, drug addiction and anxiety disorders. I work closely with my patients to develop integrated treatment plans that involve both medication and psychotherapy based approaches. Treatments are based on the most current research and tailored to the needs of the individual to expedite recovery. I am licensed in Florida and Illinois as well and provide services statewide in those regions.
Greetings, I am a board certified psychiatrist specializing in the care of children, teens and adults suffering from mood problems, ADHD, drug addiction and anxiety disorders. I work closely with my patients to develop integrated treatment plans that involve both medication and psychotherapy based approaches. Treatments are based on the most current research and tailored to the needs of the individual to expedite recovery. I am licensed in Florida and Illinois as well and provide services statewide in those regions.
(650) 206-8932 View (650) 206-8932
Photo of Lisa Chan, Physician Assistant in San Mateo, CA
Lisa Chan
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(650) 910-6028 View (650) 910-6028
Photo of Desiree Bonomo, Physician Assistant in San Mateo, CA
Desiree Bonomo
Physician Assistant, PMHNP
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(650) 735-8319 View (650) 735-8319
Photo of Mehdi Bubba Thomas, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Mateo, CA
Mehdi Bubba Thomas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(650) 300-3576 View (650) 300-3576
Photo of Minyang Mao, M.D., Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Minyang Mao, M.D.
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404
I am a board-certified adult psychiatrist whose practice is shaped by three core values: Caring, Comprehensive, and Confidential. Caring - Medical care too often makes patients to feel like they are just a number - dismissed, rushed, not heard, and not understood. One of my core values as a psychiatrist is to establish a caring treatment relationship with my patients that is guided by my patients' priorities and preferences, and is characterized by trust and open dialogue. I believe the quality of my relationship with my patient is the foundation to treatment success.
I am a board-certified adult psychiatrist whose practice is shaped by three core values: Caring, Comprehensive, and Confidential. Caring - Medical care too often makes patients to feel like they are just a number - dismissed, rushed, not heard, and not understood. One of my core values as a psychiatrist is to establish a caring treatment relationship with my patients that is guided by my patients' priorities and preferences, and is characterized by trust and open dialogue. I believe the quality of my relationship with my patient is the foundation to treatment success.
(650) 539-5581 View (650) 539-5581
Photo of Renaissance Behavioral Medicine, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Renaissance Behavioral Medicine
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94402  (Online Only)
Renaissance Behavioral Medicine provides psychotherapy and medication management services for children, teens and adults for various mental health conditions including but not limited to major depressive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, substance addiction and all anxiety disorders. Services are provided in person and via telehealth for Southern and Northern California residents.
Renaissance Behavioral Medicine provides psychotherapy and medication management services for children, teens and adults for various mental health conditions including but not limited to major depressive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, substance addiction and all anxiety disorders. Services are provided in person and via telehealth for Southern and Northern California residents.
(650) 447-2871 View (650) 447-2871
Photo of Eric Alcid, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Eric Alcid
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94401
I am a University of Washington and UCSF-trained addiction and general psychiatrist and scientist. I carry a small panel of patients so that I can best deliver comprehensive and personalized care. I specialize in treating complex addiction issues, dual-diagnoses such as ADHD and depression combined with substance use, and behavioral addictions such as gambling. I tailor treatment based on the individual, and I have expertise with both abstinence and harm-reduction approaches to recovery. In designing a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan, I consider the most up-to-date evidence-based methods and latest research.
I am a University of Washington and UCSF-trained addiction and general psychiatrist and scientist. I carry a small panel of patients so that I can best deliver comprehensive and personalized care. I specialize in treating complex addiction issues, dual-diagnoses such as ADHD and depression combined with substance use, and behavioral addictions such as gambling. I tailor treatment based on the individual, and I have expertise with both abstinence and harm-reduction approaches to recovery. In designing a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan, I consider the most up-to-date evidence-based methods and latest research.
(415) 843-6288 View (415) 843-6288
Photo of Taylor Alexander, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Mateo, CA
Taylor Alexander
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(650) 882-6701 View (650) 882-6701
Photo of Randall Scott Bailey, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Randall Scott Bailey
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404  (Online Only)
Are you struggling to balance your physical and mental health? Are things becoming unmanageable? Is your time limited? Then welcome to WellPsyche! WellPsyche Medical Group provides experts in the field of Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Our practice offers the latest in psychiatry including Telemedicine! Now you can visit with your psychiatrist from the privacy and convenience of your home or work. Our providers take a Conservative and Effective approach to medication management and can help you balance your life.
Are you struggling to balance your physical and mental health? Are things becoming unmanageable? Is your time limited? Then welcome to WellPsyche! WellPsyche Medical Group provides experts in the field of Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Our practice offers the latest in psychiatry including Telemedicine! Now you can visit with your psychiatrist from the privacy and convenience of your home or work. Our providers take a Conservative and Effective approach to medication management and can help you balance your life.
(310) 340-7508 View (310) 340-7508
Photo of Harry David Verby, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Harry David Verby
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94402
I Am a Nationally Recognised Speciaist in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Add/Adhd in Adults, Adolescents and Children as well as its frequently associated Comorbid Conditions such as Anxiety, Depression And Bipolar Disorder My Diagnostic initial Workup includes a thorough Battery of Diagnostic Inventories, A Face To Face Interview, and Administration of The QBT computer test, an FDA Approved Platform For Objective Adhd Diagnossi [see adhdmd.net for details
I Am a Nationally Recognised Speciaist in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Add/Adhd in Adults, Adolescents and Children as well as its frequently associated Comorbid Conditions such as Anxiety, Depression And Bipolar Disorder My Diagnostic initial Workup includes a thorough Battery of Diagnostic Inventories, A Face To Face Interview, and Administration of The QBT computer test, an FDA Approved Platform For Objective Adhd Diagnossi [see adhdmd.net for details
(650) 437-9558 View (650) 437-9558
Photo of Adel Mostafavi, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Adel Mostafavi
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404  (Online Only)
Are you struggling to balance your physical and mental health? Are things becoming unmanageable? Is your time limited? Then welcome to WellPsyche! WellPsyche Medical Group provides experts in the field of Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Our practice offers the latest in psychiatry including Telemedicine! Now you can visit with your psychiatrist from the privacy and convenience of your home or work. Our providers take a Conservative and Effective approach to medication management and can help you balance your life.
Are you struggling to balance your physical and mental health? Are things becoming unmanageable? Is your time limited? Then welcome to WellPsyche! WellPsyche Medical Group provides experts in the field of Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Our practice offers the latest in psychiatry including Telemedicine! Now you can visit with your psychiatrist from the privacy and convenience of your home or work. Our providers take a Conservative and Effective approach to medication management and can help you balance your life.
(310) 340-7787 View (310) 340-7787
Photo of Aura Mena, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Mateo, CA
Aura Mena
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94402
Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner I worked for 12 years as an inpatient nurse at a local hospital, 8 of which were as an inpatient psychiatric nurse working with the adult population. I've spent the last 6 years working as a Community Mental Health Nurse with underserved communities in the county that suffer from severe mental illnesses. During that time, I also completed the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program at UCSF. My area of expertise are adults suffering from depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. From the start of my career, I realized that I have the responsibility to meet my clients where they are.
Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner I worked for 12 years as an inpatient nurse at a local hospital, 8 of which were as an inpatient psychiatric nurse working with the adult population. I've spent the last 6 years working as a Community Mental Health Nurse with underserved communities in the county that suffer from severe mental illnesses. During that time, I also completed the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program at UCSF. My area of expertise are adults suffering from depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. From the start of my career, I realized that I have the responsibility to meet my clients where they are.
(650) 610-2488 View (650) 610-2488
Photo of Steven James Pennybaker, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Steven James Pennybaker
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
1 Endorsed
San Mateo, CA 94403  (Online Only)
I am accepting patients for medication management, ketamine, and TMS. I am not available for weekly therapy. If you are looking to be a new patient, send me a message about your goals, treatment desired, and insurance carrier and if I have availability we will reach out! I am a psychiatrist who works with patients with a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and psychotic illness. I enjoy working with patients and finding a treatment plan that works for them.
I am accepting patients for medication management, ketamine, and TMS. I am not available for weekly therapy. If you are looking to be a new patient, send me a message about your goals, treatment desired, and insurance carrier and if I have availability we will reach out! I am a psychiatrist who works with patients with a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and psychotic illness. I enjoy working with patients and finding a treatment plan that works for them.
(415) 687-5889 View (415) 687-5889
Photo of Dr. Anne Phan-Huy, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Dr. Anne Phan-Huy
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94403  (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 Sham Singh, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Sham Singh
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404  (Online Only)
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 Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now welcoming new patients!
(925) 709-5594 View (925) 709-5594
Photo of Kimberly Erlich, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Mateo, CA
Kimberly Erlich
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94402
Kim enjoys the opportunity to partner with pediatric/adolescent patients and their families to address common issues including anxiety, depression, attention and other learning disorders, as well as challenges related to behavioral/emotional regulation. She is committed to using evidence-based diagnostic and treatment approaches, and often collaborates with interdisciplinary colleagues (therapists, schools, dietitians, etc. ) to optimize management.
Kim enjoys the opportunity to partner with pediatric/adolescent patients and their families to address common issues including anxiety, depression, attention and other learning disorders, as well as challenges related to behavioral/emotional regulation. She is committed to using evidence-based diagnostic and treatment approaches, and often collaborates with interdisciplinary colleagues (therapists, schools, dietitians, etc. ) to optimize management.
(650) 675-2071 View (650) 675-2071
Photo of Catalina Villa, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Catalina Villa
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(925) 940-7004 View (925) 940-7004
Photo of Elizabeth Qin, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Elizabeth Qin
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94402
Dr. Elizabeth Qin is a Psychiatrist in California who has been practicing since 2023. She has an MD, PhD, from Stanford University and completed an Adult Psychiatry Residency at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Qin believes in a collaborative approach and prioritizes working together with patients to help them meet their goals for their mental health. In her spare time, Dr. Qin enjoys spending time outdoors, running, hiking, and going to the beach.
Dr. Elizabeth Qin is a Psychiatrist in California who has been practicing since 2023. She has an MD, PhD, from Stanford University and completed an Adult Psychiatry Residency at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Qin believes in a collaborative approach and prioritizes working together with patients to help them meet their goals for their mental health. In her spare time, Dr. Qin enjoys spending time outdoors, running, hiking, and going to the beach.
(650) 643-4749 View (650) 643-4749
Photo of Dr. Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Dr. Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94403  (Online Only)
Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his specialty residency training at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California at Davis, Dr. Chofla earned his medical degree from Midwestern University: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his specialty residency training at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California at Davis, Dr. Chofla earned his medical degree from Midwestern University: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.
(650) 881-4012 View (650) 881-4012
Photo of Uchenna Okoye, Psychiatrist in San Mateo, CA
Uchenna Okoye
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified
San Mateo, CA 94404  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(925) 293-9636 View (925) 293-9636

See more therapy options for San Mateo

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in San Mateo, CA

30+

Average cost per session

$300

Psychiatrists in San Mateo, CA who prioritize treating:

97% Anxiety
94% Depression
94% Medication Management
81% ADHD
81% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
78% Bipolar Disorder
67% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

12 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% Aetna
100% Cigna and Evernorth
100% Blue Shield

How Psychiatrists in San Mateo, CA see their clients

56% In Person and Online
44% Online Only

Gender breakdown

57% Male
43% Female

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in San Mateo?

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.