Psychiatrists in Santa Cruz County, CA

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Photo of Mariam Fazil, DNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Mariam Fazil
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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.
(831) 406-5826 View (831) 406-5826
Stacey Mitchell
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
I am a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and I decided to become a nurse to have a positive impact on the lives of my clients. My favorite quote is “Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage do.” – Unknown. I have experience working with patients struggling with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, schizoaffective disorder, gender dysphoria, panic attacks, ADHD (children and adults) and PANDAS. I enjoy working with all conditions. I also work with patients dealing with substance use disorders.
I am a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and I decided to become a nurse to have a positive impact on the lives of my clients. My favorite quote is “Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage do.” – Unknown. I have experience working with patients struggling with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, schizoaffective disorder, gender dysphoria, panic attacks, ADHD (children and adults) and PANDAS. I enjoy working with all conditions. I also work with patients dealing with substance use disorders.
(831) 618-2595 View (831) 618-2595
Photo of Sandra Bialose, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sandra Bialose
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95064  (Online Only)
Sandra Bialose is a board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. I warmly welcome those taking the bold step of reaching out to address their mental well-being, assuring them that they are in capable hands. My commitment to providing compassionate and effective care, combined with my extensive experience and qualifications, establishes me as a trusted professional.
Sandra Bialose is a board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. I warmly welcome those taking the bold step of reaching out to address their mental well-being, assuring them that they are in capable hands. My commitment to providing compassionate and effective care, combined with my extensive experience and qualifications, establishes me as a trusted professional.
(831) 273-6955 View (831) 273-6955
Photo of Inti Flores, MD, Psychiatrist
Inti Flores
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
I treat a wide range of concerns including problems related to mood and anxiety, difficulties with intimacy and relationships, self-defeating behaviors, substance use problems, PTSD and complex forms of developmental trauma, challenging stage-of-life transitions, loss and bereavement, concerns regarding gender and sexuality, difficulties stemming from socially and culturally located trauma, living with pain and/or medical illness, as well as other problems adapting to stressful circumstances.
I treat a wide range of concerns including problems related to mood and anxiety, difficulties with intimacy and relationships, self-defeating behaviors, substance use problems, PTSD and complex forms of developmental trauma, challenging stage-of-life transitions, loss and bereavement, concerns regarding gender and sexuality, difficulties stemming from socially and culturally located trauma, living with pain and/or medical illness, as well as other problems adapting to stressful circumstances.
(831) 218-6902 View (831) 218-6902
Photo of Alma Caridad Ritsema, RN, MSN, PMHNP-B, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Alma Caridad Ritsema
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, RN, MSN, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
Aptos, CA 95003
Accepting New Patients - We are acutely aware that there is a shortage of mental health care practitioners in the area at a time when so many people are struggling to maintain their mental health. We are happy to be a new and growing practice that can address this shortage and help new patients. The goal of Manresa Wellness is to provide mental health support to adults in our community by providing competent and compassionate care.
Accepting New Patients - We are acutely aware that there is a shortage of mental health care practitioners in the area at a time when so many people are struggling to maintain their mental health. We are happy to be a new and growing practice that can address this shortage and help new patients. The goal of Manresa Wellness is to provide mental health support to adults in our community by providing competent and compassionate care.
(831) 603-3938 View (831) 603-3938
Photo of Deborah S Johnson, PMHNP, DNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Deborah S Johnson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, DNP
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), trained across the lifespan but specialized with children, adolescents and families. In addition to practicing from a strengths-based perspective, I have taught child/adolescent/family psychotherapy at UCSF, where I am a Professor Emeritus in the PMHNP and DNP programs. Furthermore, I am a Fellow with American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP).
I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), trained across the lifespan but specialized with children, adolescents and families. In addition to practicing from a strengths-based perspective, I have taught child/adolescent/family psychotherapy at UCSF, where I am a Professor Emeritus in the PMHNP and DNP programs. Furthermore, I am a Fellow with American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP).
(831) 540-2864 View (831) 540-2864
Photo of Jaime Jimenez, MSN, RN, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jaime Jimenez
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, RN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Are you frustrated with clinicians not calling you back or whose costs are prohibitive? Have you been wondering if medications may be an appropriate treatment for your persistent mental health symptoms? I will listen carefully and patiently to you and reflect not only your concerns, but also the strengths and motivations you bring to improving your mental health. I will work “with” you to develop a holistic assessment of your needs, suggest evidence-based treatments, and explain how these address the goals we establish collaboratively.
Are you frustrated with clinicians not calling you back or whose costs are prohibitive? Have you been wondering if medications may be an appropriate treatment for your persistent mental health symptoms? I will listen carefully and patiently to you and reflect not only your concerns, but also the strengths and motivations you bring to improving your mental health. I will work “with” you to develop a holistic assessment of your needs, suggest evidence-based treatments, and explain how these address the goals we establish collaboratively.
(831) 215-5738 View (831) 215-5738
Photo of Andrea Ludwick, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Andrea Ludwick
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
June 2024: Currently taking new clients! Insurance accepted: Aetna, FHN, Cigna/Evernorth, UHC/Optum, Humana, TRICARE, Magellan, Medicare with more insurance carriers being covered soon. Cash pay/Out of Network is ok and we can provide a super bill upon request. My ideal client is someone who wants to understand their mental health and the different options for managing their symptoms and treating the underlying causes. You want to use the most up-to-date treatment strategies for your mental health. You are interested in building a lasting relationship with your provider.
June 2024: Currently taking new clients! Insurance accepted: Aetna, FHN, Cigna/Evernorth, UHC/Optum, Humana, TRICARE, Magellan, Medicare with more insurance carriers being covered soon. Cash pay/Out of Network is ok and we can provide a super bill upon request. My ideal client is someone who wants to understand their mental health and the different options for managing their symptoms and treating the underlying causes. You want to use the most up-to-date treatment strategies for your mental health. You are interested in building a lasting relationship with your provider.
(831) 291-3540 View (831) 291-3540
Photo of Jaime Jimenez, MSN, RN, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jaime Jimenez
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, RN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Are you frustrated with clinicians not calling you back or whose costs are prohibitive? Have you been wondering if medications may be an appropriate treatment for your persistent mental health symptoms? I will listen carefully and patiently to you and reflect not only your concerns, but also the strengths and motivations you bring to improving your mental health. I will work “with” you to develop a holistic assessment of your needs, suggest evidence-based treatments, and explain how these address the goals we establish collaboratively.
Are you frustrated with clinicians not calling you back or whose costs are prohibitive? Have you been wondering if medications may be an appropriate treatment for your persistent mental health symptoms? I will listen carefully and patiently to you and reflect not only your concerns, but also the strengths and motivations you bring to improving your mental health. I will work “with” you to develop a holistic assessment of your needs, suggest evidence-based treatments, and explain how these address the goals we establish collaboratively.
(831) 226-7209 View (831) 226-7209
Photo of Samir Hamed, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Samir Hamed
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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.
(831) 318-8262 View (831) 318-8262
Photo of Julianne Vilardi - Zelinka, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Julianne Vilardi - Zelinka
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
I am motivated to help my patients reach optimal wellness. My practice focuses on integrative mental health for emotional and physical well-being, using non-ordinary states of consciousness. I use an integrative and holistic approach to treat patients who have experienced trauma. I am motivated to help my patients reach optimal wellness. After living my entire life in the San Fransisco Bay Area, I relocated to Santa Cruz. I have always dreamed of living close to the ocean and am happy to walk to the ocean everyday. I love to be outdoors, travel, and spend time with my dog. I enjoy practicing yoga and meditating.
I am motivated to help my patients reach optimal wellness. My practice focuses on integrative mental health for emotional and physical well-being, using non-ordinary states of consciousness. I use an integrative and holistic approach to treat patients who have experienced trauma. I am motivated to help my patients reach optimal wellness. After living my entire life in the San Fransisco Bay Area, I relocated to Santa Cruz. I have always dreamed of living close to the ocean and am happy to walk to the ocean everyday. I love to be outdoors, travel, and spend time with my dog. I enjoy practicing yoga and meditating.
(831) 432-7002 View (831) 432-7002
Photo of undefined - Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, DO, Psychiatrist
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060  (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.
(831) 586-6578 View (831) 586-6578
Photo of undefined - Integrated Psychiatric Nursing Inc, MSN, PMHNP-C, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Integrated Psychiatric Nursing Inc
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP-C
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Soquel, CA 95073
I offer comprehensive psychiatric services to children, teens and adults. I work with adolescents and adults with bipolar and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. l enjoy helping kiddos navigate ADHD, ODD, DMDD treatment options and psychotherapeutic interventions which may be beneficial. My goal is to help each client reach their goals and explore all domains of life and evaluate areas which may need some extra care. Whether you're going through a life stressor and need help navigating that or are ready to work on a chronic problem, I am here to help see you through this and provide you with comprehensive care.
I offer comprehensive psychiatric services to children, teens and adults. I work with adolescents and adults with bipolar and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. l enjoy helping kiddos navigate ADHD, ODD, DMDD treatment options and psychotherapeutic interventions which may be beneficial. My goal is to help each client reach their goals and explore all domains of life and evaluate areas which may need some extra care. Whether you're going through a life stressor and need help navigating that or are ready to work on a chronic problem, I am here to help see you through this and provide you with comprehensive care.
(831) 612-1379 x1 View (831) 612-1379 x1
Photo of Amelia Jester, DNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Amelia Jester
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Ami Jester is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with more than seven years of experience, including exploring the country as a travel nurse. Dr. Jester is focused on improving LGBTQIA+ patients’ experiences in healthcare settings and is passionate about raising the bar in LGBTQIA+ health. She wants her patients to be successful in school, work, and relationships, as a person who will always be learning and growing. Dr. Jester respects each patient’s unique experiences in the world and understands how the intersectionality of multiple identities affects it.
Ami Jester is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with more than seven years of experience, including exploring the country as a travel nurse. Dr. Jester is focused on improving LGBTQIA+ patients’ experiences in healthcare settings and is passionate about raising the bar in LGBTQIA+ health. She wants her patients to be successful in school, work, and relationships, as a person who will always be learning and growing. Dr. Jester respects each patient’s unique experiences in the world and understands how the intersectionality of multiple identities affects it.
(831) 432-7002 View (831) 432-7002
Photo of Jonathan Tallman, MD, Psychiatrist
Jonathan Tallman
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Capitola, CA 95010
Hi! I am a board certified adult psychiatrist, specializing in the treatment of all mental health disorders, including Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, and Schizophrenia. My training was at a research institution in the areas of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy and I keep up to date with the latest advances in this ever-changing field of treatment. My past experience working for Santa Cruz County Mental Health has informed me about the patient experience, the impact on families, as well as cultural aspects and connections with local mental health resources. I am fluent in both English and Spanish.
Hi! I am a board certified adult psychiatrist, specializing in the treatment of all mental health disorders, including Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, and Schizophrenia. My training was at a research institution in the areas of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy and I keep up to date with the latest advances in this ever-changing field of treatment. My past experience working for Santa Cruz County Mental Health has informed me about the patient experience, the impact on families, as well as cultural aspects and connections with local mental health resources. I am fluent in both English and Spanish.
(831) 244-9261 View (831) 244-9261
Photo of Penny Greaves, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Penny Greaves
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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.
(657) 256-3763 View (657) 256-3763
Photo of Khadija Hamisi, DNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Khadija Hamisi
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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.
(209) 268-3161 View (209) 268-3161
Photo of Pavel Ksendz, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Pavel Ksendz
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060  (Online Only)
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.
(831) 786-5223 View (831) 786-5223
Photo of Lawrence Cronin, MD, Psychiatrist
Lawrence Cronin
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
I have practiced as a psychiatrist for over 25 years. I graduated from University of Michigan Medical School and completed a psychiatry residency at UC San Francisco. I specialize in working with adult men. My particular areas of interest are Bipolar & Depressive Disorders along with Anxiety & Addiction issues. My evaluations are very thorough & detailed. I take a holistic approach working with each patient's background and their treatment preferences. Medication management is often a part of treatment. There can be significant paperwork to fill out as part of the evaluation. This facilitates the best use of our time together.
I have practiced as a psychiatrist for over 25 years. I graduated from University of Michigan Medical School and completed a psychiatry residency at UC San Francisco. I specialize in working with adult men. My particular areas of interest are Bipolar & Depressive Disorders along with Anxiety & Addiction issues. My evaluations are very thorough & detailed. I take a holistic approach working with each patient's background and their treatment preferences. Medication management is often a part of treatment. There can be significant paperwork to fill out as part of the evaluation. This facilitates the best use of our time together.
(831) 221-9095 View (831) 221-9095
Photo of Dr. Anne Phan-Huy, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Anne Phan-Huy
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Cruz, CA 95060  (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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How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Santa Cruz County, CA

30+

Average cost per session

$275

Psychiatrists in Santa Cruz County, CA who prioritize treating:

94% Depression
94% Anxiety
84% Medication Management
68% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
65% ADHD
65% Bipolar Disorder
61% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

14 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

94% Aetna
88% Cigna and Evernorth
81% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Santa Cruz County, CA see their clients

71% In Person and Online
29% Online Only

Gender breakdown

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

How can I find a psychiatrist in Santa Cruz County?

The Psychology Today Directory enables you to search specifically for psychiatrists, using the drop down provider menu in the navigation bar, by city or zip code, or by the name of the psychiatrist. Search results provide detailed profiles of professionals, including their treatment approach and areas of expertise. In addition, listings provide important information about each psychiatrist’s credentials, fees, payment options, and insurance affiliations. Directory users can select psychiatrists who meet an array of personally-desired criteria, such as familiarity with a specific community or condition.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

Psychiatrists are medical specialists who focus on understanding, diagnosing, and treating diseases of the brain and disorders of the mind and behavior. As physicians, psychiatrists are trained to recognize the often-subtle biological causes of mental disorders and to monitor the effects of mental disturbances on physical conditions, such as heart disease. Psychologists are especially attuned to the influence of early experience on development and behavior, emotional and cognitive processes, the nature of personality, and social functioning. They are also trained to deploy an array of psychological tests—IQ tests, personality tests, behavioral assessments—to gauge a person’s functioning.

What is a psychiatric nurse practitioner?

A psychiatric nurse practitioner, also known as a mental health nurse practitioner, is a registered nurse who completes advanced training in psychiatric care, earning either a master’s or doctoral degree in psychiatric nursing, and in the U.S., passes a national certification exam. Like psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions. In some locales, psychiatric nurse practitioners can offer the full range of psychiatric care, including prescribing and managing medication. In other places, they must work in collaboration with a physician.

Is everyone in the Psychology Today Therapy Directory a licensed psychiatrist?

The Psychology Today directory lists providers who offer legitimate mental health services to the public, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors. All psychiatrists listed in the directory have a valid license issued by the state(s) in which they practice and are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Providers whose license or primary credential has been verified by Psychology Today are signified by a “Verified” symbol. Some individuals or organizations provide services for which their state or country does not offer licenses, such as pastoral counseling. They may be selectively included without the “Verified” seal.

Can a psychiatrist prescribe medication?

Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who are trained to recognize the many ways body processes affect the functioning of the brain and mind. As physicians, they can prescribe medication. Patients who are prescribed medications will typically need to continue to see a psychiatrist so that the effects of the medication can be monitored. For many psychiatric conditions, including common disorders such as anxiety and depression, the preferred treatment is combination therapy—medication accompanied by psychotherapy.

Do psychiatrists offer therapy?

Psychiatrists are generally trained in a number of treatment modalities, including psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and, increasingly, somatic therapies. Typically, psychiatrists make a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment based on chemical or biological factors, using lab tests, brain scans and physical and psychological evaluations. While psychotherapy may be used in the first session to aid in diagnosis, it is not typically utilized in subsequent visits. In fact, after the introductory session, most sessions with a psychiatrist may only be 15-20 minutes in length and are largely focused on medication management. Many psychiatrists who do not offer psychotherapy work collaboratively with psychologists and other mental health clinicians and can refer clients seeking talk therapy to those providers.

How do I know if I need a psychiatrist or a therapist?

It is not always easy to know which type of mental health practitioner to choose. Many people are unaware of the root of their mental or behavioral problem. One way many people learn which type of care is best for them is by seeing their primary care provider first. Depending on the nature and severity of the symptoms, the physician may review their medical history or perform medical tests to determine whether biological factors are involved before making a referral. It is not necessary for a person to know precisely what type of care they need in order to seek help. Many psychiatrists and psychologists refer clients to each other depending on client needs.

Do I need a referral to see a psychiatrist?

A referral to a psychiatrist is often not required. However, seeing your primary care physician first can be helpful and actually prove to be a shortcut to getting what you need. Your PCP may have a clear idea whether psychiatric help is needed and/or which kind of mental health care would be most beneficial and refer you to the right type of practitioner. For that reason alone, some psychiatrists require a referral. Further, many insurance plans require a referral from a PCP if they cover all of part of the cost of seeing a specialist; if, however, you are paying out of pocket, you may not need a referral. In any case, a referral may speed the process of securing an appointment with a psychiatrist, especially in areas where there is a shortage of mental health specialists and new patients face long waits for appointments.