Psychiatrists in Santa Barbara, CA

Photo of Penny Greaves, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA
Penny Greaves
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Penny Greaves has over twenty years of Nursing experience and received her bachelor's in nursing in 2007 and a Master of Nursing with a primary care nurse practitioner certificate in 2010 from Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree in 2021 from National University and is dual certified with the ANCC in psychiatry and the AANP in family practice. She is currently pursuing a psychology doctorate degree (PsyD) to improve health outcomes. She is experienced with adults, adults with addictions, complex mental health problems, geriatrics and dementia.
Penny Greaves has over twenty years of Nursing experience and received her bachelor's in nursing in 2007 and a Master of Nursing with a primary care nurse practitioner certificate in 2010 from Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree in 2021 from National University and is dual certified with the ANCC in psychiatry and the AANP in family practice. She is currently pursuing a psychology doctorate degree (PsyD) to improve health outcomes. She is experienced with adults, adults with addictions, complex mental health problems, geriatrics and dementia.
(805) 576-9072 View (805) 576-9072
Photo of Michael Bolton, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Michael Bolton
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
I am a Harvard-Trained Board Certified psychiatrist in Santa Barbara. I specialize in ADHD, as well as issues related to positive psychiatry, well-being, achievement in college and at work. I am a former interviewer for Harvard and Yale, and my interest is in helping others achieve work-life balance and meaning in their lives. Please visit my new office and website and click on "request a consult" and I'll be in touch! BecomeYourAuthenticSelf.com
I am a Harvard-Trained Board Certified psychiatrist in Santa Barbara. I specialize in ADHD, as well as issues related to positive psychiatry, well-being, achievement in college and at work. I am a former interviewer for Harvard and Yale, and my interest is in helping others achieve work-life balance and meaning in their lives. Please visit my new office and website and click on "request a consult" and I'll be in touch! BecomeYourAuthenticSelf.com
(805) 730-0370 View (805) 730-0370
Photo of Brainpower Wellness Institute, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Brainpower Wellness Institute
Psychiatrist
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Brainpower Wellness Institute is a leading center for children and adolescent psychiatry. We provide comprehensive and compassionate care to children and adolescents ages 5 through 18. Our team of experienced and board-certified psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and tic disorders.
Brainpower Wellness Institute is a leading center for children and adolescent psychiatry. We provide comprehensive and compassionate care to children and adolescents ages 5 through 18. Our team of experienced and board-certified psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and tic disorders.
(805) 552-5878 View (805) 552-5878
Photo of Dr. Anne Phan-Huy, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Dr. Anne Phan-Huy
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93111  (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.
View
Photo of Penny Greaves, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA
Penny Greaves
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, FNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Penny Greaves has over twenty years of Nursing experience and received her bachelor's in nursing in 2007 and a Master's of Nursing with a primary care nurse practitioner certificate in 2010 from Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree in 2021 from the National University and is dual certified with the ANCC in psychiatry and the AANP in family practice. She is currently pursuing a psychology doctorate degree (PsyD) to improve health outcomes. She is experienced with adults, adults with addictions, complex mental health problems, geriatrics, and dementia.
Penny Greaves has over twenty years of Nursing experience and received her bachelor's in nursing in 2007 and a Master's of Nursing with a primary care nurse practitioner certificate in 2010 from Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree in 2021 from the National University and is dual certified with the ANCC in psychiatry and the AANP in family practice. She is currently pursuing a psychology doctorate degree (PsyD) to improve health outcomes. She is experienced with adults, adults with addictions, complex mental health problems, geriatrics, and dementia.
(805) 774-1934 View (805) 774-1934
Photo of Mary P Meiselman, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA
Mary P Meiselman
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Mary is passionate about guiding patients on their journey to improved wellness. Focused on psychiatry and medication management, she thrives on the dynamic nature of the field and embraces its ever-changing advances. Mary incorporates evidence-based approaches, offering support and psychoeducation and encouraging collaboration with other health care providers and family members. Her patients, predominantly composed of women, benefit from her holistic biopsychosocial approach, considering factors like support systems, living conditions, medical history, and social networks during evaluation and treatment.
Mary is passionate about guiding patients on their journey to improved wellness. Focused on psychiatry and medication management, she thrives on the dynamic nature of the field and embraces its ever-changing advances. Mary incorporates evidence-based approaches, offering support and psychoeducation and encouraging collaboration with other health care providers and family members. Her patients, predominantly composed of women, benefit from her holistic biopsychosocial approach, considering factors like support systems, living conditions, medical history, and social networks during evaluation and treatment.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of 'kim' Dung-Nghi Le, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
'kim' Dung-Nghi Le
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
Dr. Kim D.N. Le is a board-certified Integrative Psychiatrist dedicated to providing comprehensive and personalized care that harmonizes the mind, body, and spirit. With a deep understanding of both conventional psychiatry and complementary therapies, Dr. Le offers a unique and compassionate approach to mental wellness. Dr. Le holds an MD from UC Davis School of Medicine and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Le's passion lies in merging evidence-based treatments with alternative practices, offering her patients a wider spectrum of options to achieve lasting mental wellness.
Dr. Kim D.N. Le is a board-certified Integrative Psychiatrist dedicated to providing comprehensive and personalized care that harmonizes the mind, body, and spirit. With a deep understanding of both conventional psychiatry and complementary therapies, Dr. Le offers a unique and compassionate approach to mental wellness. Dr. Le holds an MD from UC Davis School of Medicine and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Le's passion lies in merging evidence-based treatments with alternative practices, offering her patients a wider spectrum of options to achieve lasting mental wellness.
(805) 301-1513 View (805) 301-1513
Photo of Sherif El-Asyouty, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Sherif El-Asyouty
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93111  (Online Only)
Dr. El-Asyouty believes it’s important to not confuse the person with their illness. Alcoholism, substance abuse and chemical dependency are all diseases that affect the nervous system resulting in a loss of control over the use of substances. Dr. El-Asyouty is aware of the need to be very careful about using addictive medications in patients who are in recovery from addiction. Additionally, it is also important to recognize that people who are in recovery from depression and anxiety usually also require a change in the way that the individual processes feeling information, which Dr. El-Asyouty provides in a training program.
Dr. El-Asyouty believes it’s important to not confuse the person with their illness. Alcoholism, substance abuse and chemical dependency are all diseases that affect the nervous system resulting in a loss of control over the use of substances. Dr. El-Asyouty is aware of the need to be very careful about using addictive medications in patients who are in recovery from addiction. Additionally, it is also important to recognize that people who are in recovery from depression and anxiety usually also require a change in the way that the individual processes feeling information, which Dr. El-Asyouty provides in a training program.
(805) 870-8046 View (805) 870-8046
Photo of Micah Martinez, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Micah Martinez
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Dr. Micah Martinez is a dedicated psychiatrist who helps young adults and adults through therapy and medication management. He creates a supportive environment for his patients, valuing the importance of their unique experiences. Dr. Martinez encourages patients to take an active role in their treatment plans, believing in the significance of their contribution to the healing process. He uses holistic and evidence-based techniques, including acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and psychodynamic therapy, tailoring his methods to meet each patient’s needs.
Dr. Micah Martinez is a dedicated psychiatrist who helps young adults and adults through therapy and medication management. He creates a supportive environment for his patients, valuing the importance of their unique experiences. Dr. Martinez encourages patients to take an active role in their treatment plans, believing in the significance of their contribution to the healing process. He uses holistic and evidence-based techniques, including acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and psychodynamic therapy, tailoring his methods to meet each patient’s needs.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Pavel Ksendz, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA
Pavel Ksendz
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
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.
(805) 900-4030 View (805) 900-4030
Photo of Barry Mills, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Barry Mills
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Barry Mills MD, PhD, has over twenty-five years experience as a psychiatrist including teaching on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He commonly treats problems such as ADD/ADHD, depression, insomnia, mood disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and chemical dependency, among other conditions. Dr. Mills has received a MD degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and a PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA. He has been an Editor for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, a Harvard Faculty Teaching Award nominee, consultant to the U. S.
Barry Mills MD, PhD, has over twenty-five years experience as a psychiatrist including teaching on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He commonly treats problems such as ADD/ADHD, depression, insomnia, mood disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and chemical dependency, among other conditions. Dr. Mills has received a MD degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and a PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA. He has been an Editor for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, a Harvard Faculty Teaching Award nominee, consultant to the U. S.
(512) 598-5822 View (512) 598-5822
Photo of Patrick Sassoon Md, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Patrick Sassoon Md
Psychiatrist
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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.
(805) 303-8258 View (805) 303-8258
Photo of Mariam Fazil, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA
Mariam Fazil
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Hello, I'm Mariam Fazil, DNP, PMHNP,a board-certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Are you or your loved ones struggling to balance mental and physical health? Are you suffering from anxiety? If this somewhat sounds familiar, I would like to help you in your healing journey. I provide in-person as well as telemedicine services so that you can conveniently be seen from your home for psychiatry appointments and medication management without the need to travel. My aim is to help you to thrive at your best.
Hello, I'm Mariam Fazil, DNP, PMHNP,a board-certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Are you or your loved ones struggling to balance mental and physical health? Are you suffering from anxiety? If this somewhat sounds familiar, I would like to help you in your healing journey. I provide in-person as well as telemedicine services so that you can conveniently be seen from your home for psychiatry appointments and medication management without the need to travel. My aim is to help you to thrive at your best.
(805) 387-6790 View (805) 387-6790
Photo of Khadija Hamisi, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA
Khadija Hamisi
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
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.
(657) 300-2401 View (657) 300-2401
Photo of Samir Hamed, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA
Samir Hamed
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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.
(805) 600-5670 View (805) 600-5670
Photo of Catvy Nguyen, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA
Catvy Nguyen
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Catvy Nguyen 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. Kathy believes in the influence of three factors: one's past and upbringing, current life situations, and one's genetic makeup, affecting mental illness.
Catvy Nguyen 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. Kathy believes in the influence of three factors: one's past and upbringing, current life situations, and one's genetic makeup, affecting mental illness.
(805) 254-7289 View (805) 254-7289
Photo of Josephine McNary, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Josephine McNary
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
I am a board-certified general psychiatrist. I see a variety of patients in my outpatient practice. I provide medication management. I am interested in the use of complementary medicine for mood and anxiety disorders. I am currently attending staff at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, where I provide both inpatient psychiatry and consultation services.
I am a board-certified general psychiatrist. I see a variety of patients in my outpatient practice. I provide medication management. I am interested in the use of complementary medicine for mood and anxiety disorders. I am currently attending staff at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, where I provide both inpatient psychiatry and consultation services.
(310) 935-0754 View (310) 935-0754
Photo of Carlos Barrios MD, Boarded Pediatric Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Carlos Barrios MD, Boarded Pediatric Psychiatrist
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93101  (Online Only)
Dr. Carlos Barrios, with 20+ years of experience, is a renowned child and adolescent psychiatrist. He uniquely integrates metabolic health principles into his practice, emphasizing exercise, nutrition, and sleep for mental health. Specializing in Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Pediatric PTSD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dr. Barrios advocates a holistic approach to reduce medication dependency. His telepsychiatric practice serves a diverse clientele across several states. A cancer survivor, Dr. Barrios embodies his "Healing Minds, Minimizing Meds" philosophy. Visit carlosbarriosmd.com for more information.
Dr. Carlos Barrios, with 20+ years of experience, is a renowned child and adolescent psychiatrist. He uniquely integrates metabolic health principles into his practice, emphasizing exercise, nutrition, and sleep for mental health. Specializing in Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Pediatric PTSD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dr. Barrios advocates a holistic approach to reduce medication dependency. His telepsychiatric practice serves a diverse clientele across several states. A cancer survivor, Dr. Barrios embodies his "Healing Minds, Minimizing Meds" philosophy. Visit carlosbarriosmd.com for more information.
(805) 665-3475 View (805) 665-3475
Photo of Jill Norman, Psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA
Jill Norman
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
I am a double board certified child, adolescent and adult (general) psychiatrist with a focus on children, teens, young adults and adult mental health. I provide a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation then make recommendations for specific conditions including different therapeutic approaches and if necessary medication. I specialize in working with children/adolescents and focus on development, behavior, educational and social functioning. I work closely with parents or guardians to better understand the child/adolescent and most importantly to help them thrive.
I am a double board certified child, adolescent and adult (general) psychiatrist with a focus on children, teens, young adults and adult mental health. I provide a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation then make recommendations for specific conditions including different therapeutic approaches and if necessary medication. I specialize in working with children/adolescents and focus on development, behavior, educational and social functioning. I work closely with parents or guardians to better understand the child/adolescent and most importantly to help them thrive.
(805) 243-0772 View (805) 243-0772
Photo of Samantha Lau, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA
Samantha Lau
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
I specialize in ketamine/psychedelic assisted psychotherapy and psychiatric med management. Are you feeling anxious, depressed and/or unmotivated? Do your dreams and goals seem out of reach? Have you been told that you are physically present but emotionally absent in relationships? Maybe your difficult emotions get in your way and you want to move past them, but you aren’t sure how to do it. Have you been with a life coach but want to go further in your transformation? Are you staying in therapy but don’t seem to be going anywhere? You need more specific strategies and a better support system to empower yourself.
I specialize in ketamine/psychedelic assisted psychotherapy and psychiatric med management. Are you feeling anxious, depressed and/or unmotivated? Do your dreams and goals seem out of reach? Have you been told that you are physically present but emotionally absent in relationships? Maybe your difficult emotions get in your way and you want to move past them, but you aren’t sure how to do it. Have you been with a life coach but want to go further in your transformation? Are you staying in therapy but don’t seem to be going anywhere? You need more specific strategies and a better support system to empower yourself.
(805) 232-7756 View (805) 232-7756

See more therapy options for Santa Barbara

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Santa Barbara, CA

60+

Average cost per session

$225

Psychiatrists in Santa Barbara, CA who prioritize treating:

95% Depression
95% Anxiety
83% ADHD
83% Bipolar Disorder
83% Medication Management
79% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
76% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

14 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

93% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH
90% Aetna
86% Optum

How Psychiatrists in Santa Barbara, CA see their clients

61% In Person and Online
39% Online Only

Gender breakdown

53% Female
47% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Santa Barbara?

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.