Psychiatrists in Santa Rosa, CA

Photo of Dr. Anne Phan-Huy, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
Dr. Anne Phan-Huy
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95401  (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 Prital Desai, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
Prital Desai
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95401  (Online Only)
Prital Desai, MD is board-certified in Child/Adolescent as well as Adult Psychiatry. Dr. Desai graduated from the University of Virginia, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship program. Prior to that, she completed her general psychiatry training at St. Elizabeths Hospital, D.C. In addition, Dr. Desai obtained a MPH (Master of Public Health) degree from California State University, Long Beach. With her public health background, she has a keen interest in the promotion of preventive and comprehensive care for her patients.
Prital Desai, MD is board-certified in Child/Adolescent as well as Adult Psychiatry. Dr. Desai graduated from the University of Virginia, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship program. Prior to that, she completed her general psychiatry training at St. Elizabeths Hospital, D.C. In addition, Dr. Desai obtained a MPH (Master of Public Health) degree from California State University, Long Beach. With her public health background, she has a keen interest in the promotion of preventive and comprehensive care for her patients.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of R S Isaac Gardner, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
R S Isaac Gardner
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Dr. Gardner received his undergraduate education at Princeton University, beginning 15 years of training leading him to become one of the most unique endocrine/psychiatric specialists in the nation. He is a compassionate physician whose goal is to help you achieve balance, whether it's an endocrine issue, a psychiatric issue, or both. If needed, a complete neuroendocrine evaluation is initiated and includes the appropriate hormone tests to rule out an endocrine cause for depression, anxiety or chronic fatigue. Most importantly, Dr. Gardner's focus is on the whole person as an integrative psychiatrist.
Dr. Gardner received his undergraduate education at Princeton University, beginning 15 years of training leading him to become one of the most unique endocrine/psychiatric specialists in the nation. He is a compassionate physician whose goal is to help you achieve balance, whether it's an endocrine issue, a psychiatric issue, or both. If needed, a complete neuroendocrine evaluation is initiated and includes the appropriate hormone tests to rule out an endocrine cause for depression, anxiety or chronic fatigue. Most importantly, Dr. Gardner's focus is on the whole person as an integrative psychiatrist.
(707) 387-9163 View (707) 387-9163
Photo of Lemlem Payne, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Rosa, CA
Lemlem Payne
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, FNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Rosa, CA 95401  (Online Only)
Hello, I'm Lemlem, a psychiatric nurse practitioner here to support and guide you through this journey. My current practice is rooted in meeting clients 'where they are,' working cohesively to untangle inner conflicts, and facilitating each client’s journey towards insight, agency, and self-efficacy.
Hello, I'm Lemlem, a psychiatric nurse practitioner here to support and guide you through this journey. My current practice is rooted in meeting clients 'where they are,' working cohesively to untangle inner conflicts, and facilitating each client’s journey towards insight, agency, and self-efficacy.
(707) 600-2954 View (707) 600-2954
Amy Shefftz
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, RN
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95403  (Online Only)
Is life becoming unmanageable? Looking for real answers? Seeking the best group of clinicians who accept your insurance? Welcome to WellPsyche Medical Group! WellPsyche providers are experts in Wellness and Mental Health. Our providers take a Thoughtful, Practical, and Caring approach to therapy and can help you balance your life. WellPsyche is also a leader in Telemedicine. Now you can visit with your provider from the privacy and convenience of your home or work.
Is life becoming unmanageable? Looking for real answers? Seeking the best group of clinicians who accept your insurance? Welcome to WellPsyche Medical Group! WellPsyche providers are experts in Wellness and Mental Health. Our providers take a Thoughtful, Practical, and Caring approach to therapy and can help you balance your life. WellPsyche is also a leader in Telemedicine. Now you can visit with your provider from the privacy and convenience of your home or work.
(707) 340-6730 View (707) 340-6730
Photo of Khadija Hamisi, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Rosa, CA
Khadija Hamisi
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
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.
(559) 404-6296 View (559) 404-6296
Photo of Pavel Ksendz, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Rosa, CA
Pavel Ksendz
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
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.
(707) 532-2144 View (707) 532-2144
Photo of Brittany Lute, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Rosa, CA
Brittany Lute
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Brittany Lute is a warm and dedicated psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who is passionate about providing care with a gentle touch of kindness and compassion. With experience in various settings such as outpatient clinics, community healthcare centers, and other facilities, Brittany has gained diverse knowledge and expertise in her field. She takes great joy in connecting with people from all walks of life and is especially enthusiastic about working with individuals from various cultural backgrounds.
Brittany Lute is a warm and dedicated psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who is passionate about providing care with a gentle touch of kindness and compassion. With experience in various settings such as outpatient clinics, community healthcare centers, and other facilities, Brittany has gained diverse knowledge and expertise in her field. She takes great joy in connecting with people from all walks of life and is especially enthusiastic about working with individuals from various cultural backgrounds.
(424) 317-9053 View (424) 317-9053
Photo of Samir Hamed, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Rosa, CA
Samir Hamed
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
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.
(909) 531-4083 View (909) 531-4083
Photo of Dr. Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
Dr. Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95403  (Online Only)
Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his specialty residency training at the Los Angeles County and 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 and 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.
(707) 510-4740 View (707) 510-4740
Photo of Penny Greaves, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Rosa, CA
Penny Greaves
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, FNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
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.
(628) 232-8399 View (628) 232-8399
Photo of Dr. Ronil Shah, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
Dr. Ronil Shah
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Why choose Dr. Ronil Shah? Because his top-notch expertise combines with compassionate, personalized care. Treatment with Dr. Shah is a two-way collaboration. Working together, you will design a mental wellness strategy that’s tailored just for you. His philosophy? Your path to wellness should be as unique as you are, shaped by empathy and expertise, and empowered by evidence-based insights and tools.
Why choose Dr. Ronil Shah? Because his top-notch expertise combines with compassionate, personalized care. Treatment with Dr. Shah is a two-way collaboration. Working together, you will design a mental wellness strategy that’s tailored just for you. His philosophy? Your path to wellness should be as unique as you are, shaped by empathy and expertise, and empowered by evidence-based insights and tools.
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Photo of The Focus Doc, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
The Focus Doc
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Dr. Dave Auluck, M.D. is a 3rd generation physician, 2nd generation psychiatrist, and physician educator. He is passionate about improving the mental health treatment experience. His mission is to ensure personalized, industry-leading, preeminent care is accessible and affordable. He has worked with thousands of patients over the years and overseen program development for tens of thousands of others. He truly understands there is no "one size fits all" approach.
Dr. Dave Auluck, M.D. is a 3rd generation physician, 2nd generation psychiatrist, and physician educator. He is passionate about improving the mental health treatment experience. His mission is to ensure personalized, industry-leading, preeminent care is accessible and affordable. He has worked with thousands of patients over the years and overseen program development for tens of thousands of others. He truly understands there is no "one size fits all" approach.
(415) 324-6930 View (415) 324-6930
Photo of Marie Giarratana Young, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Rosa, CA
Marie Giarratana Young
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, MPH, MSN, NP
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Welcome! I am a Women's Mental Health Specialist. I offer services that are solution-focused, and supportive. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, I can offer treatment in a compassionate and individualized manner. If medication is necessary, I will provide the added benefit of prescribing your medication. I enjoy working with all age groups of women who have varying needs. Living through the pandemic has created another layer of stress for so many women, and I can be of support to you. The experience of navigating the world of reproductive health can feel overwhelming. I offer solution-focused care in a gentle manner.
Welcome! I am a Women's Mental Health Specialist. I offer services that are solution-focused, and supportive. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, I can offer treatment in a compassionate and individualized manner. If medication is necessary, I will provide the added benefit of prescribing your medication. I enjoy working with all age groups of women who have varying needs. Living through the pandemic has created another layer of stress for so many women, and I can be of support to you. The experience of navigating the world of reproductive health can feel overwhelming. I offer solution-focused care in a gentle manner.
(415) 691-6387 View (415) 691-6387
Photo of Sharon Smith, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Rosa, CA
Sharon Smith
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95404  (Online Only)
I am a dual board-certified nurse practitioner in psychiatric mental health and family medicine primary care. I am deeply committed to helping individuals facing complex mental health challenges. I provide medication management for adults and children. I prioritize creating a safe, non-judgmental environment for personalized, patient-centered care. My goal is to be your trusted partner on the journey to mental well-being, providing support, understanding, and guidance for a fulfilling life. I am committed to being your trusted partner on this transformative journey.
I am a dual board-certified nurse practitioner in psychiatric mental health and family medicine primary care. I am deeply committed to helping individuals facing complex mental health challenges. I provide medication management for adults and children. I prioritize creating a safe, non-judgmental environment for personalized, patient-centered care. My goal is to be your trusted partner on the journey to mental well-being, providing support, understanding, and guidance for a fulfilling life. I am committed to being your trusted partner on this transformative journey.
(907) 802-2969 View (907) 802-2969
Photo of Edward Oklan, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
Edward Oklan
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95401  (Online Only)
Not accepting new clients
I am an adult, adolescent & child psychiatrist with 45 years of experience serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Please Note: I Am No Longer Taking On Any New Patients. Before seeing a psychiatrist, it is often useful to obtain a comprehensive psychological evaluation. For an excellent initial evaluation and for individual or family psychotherapy, I recommend contacting Ari Oklan, PhD. If medication is required, he can then refer you to a psychiatrist. Ari Oklan, PhD, can be reached by phone at 510-621-7098 (tel:510-621-7098), or Google his website.
I am an adult, adolescent & child psychiatrist with 45 years of experience serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Please Note: I Am No Longer Taking On Any New Patients. Before seeing a psychiatrist, it is often useful to obtain a comprehensive psychological evaluation. For an excellent initial evaluation and for individual or family psychotherapy, I recommend contacting Ari Oklan, PhD. If medication is required, he can then refer you to a psychiatrist. Ari Oklan, PhD, can be reached by phone at 510-621-7098 (tel:510-621-7098), or Google his website.
(415) 877-1021 View (415) 877-1021
Photo of Gol Ara, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
Gol Ara
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Accepting New Patients - Dr. Ara completed her fellowship training in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (CLP) at UCLA. CLP is a subspecialty of psychiatry that focuses on treating mental health issues in patients with complex medical conditions. Before her fellowship training, she completed her psychiatry residency at the University of New Mexico and earned her M.D. degree from Tehran University.
Accepting New Patients - Dr. Ara completed her fellowship training in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (CLP) at UCLA. CLP is a subspecialty of psychiatry that focuses on treating mental health issues in patients with complex medical conditions. Before her fellowship training, she completed her psychiatry residency at the University of New Mexico and earned her M.D. degree from Tehran University.
(424) 526-4198 View (424) 526-4198
Photo of Edmee Danan, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
Edmee Danan
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Not accepting new clients
I am a Board Certified psychiatrist-psychotherapist with over 30 years of experience. I know it is hard to ask for help. I offer individual consultations where personal and professional issues are discussed in a confidential, compassionate way. The goal is to help you be prepared to confront any difficult life/work stressors taking into consideration your personal preferences, cultural background and spiritual beliefs. I also provide experienced support for health care practitioners. As a clinician like you, I understand the responsibilities and stresses of medical and mental health practitioners. I will help you heal the healer.
I am a Board Certified psychiatrist-psychotherapist with over 30 years of experience. I know it is hard to ask for help. I offer individual consultations where personal and professional issues are discussed in a confidential, compassionate way. The goal is to help you be prepared to confront any difficult life/work stressors taking into consideration your personal preferences, cultural background and spiritual beliefs. I also provide experienced support for health care practitioners. As a clinician like you, I understand the responsibilities and stresses of medical and mental health practitioners. I will help you heal the healer.
(707) 709-1084 View (707) 709-1084
Photo of Joshua Flatow, Psychiatrist in Santa Rosa, CA
Joshua Flatow
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95401  (Online Only)
Pacific Mind Health approaches mental health using a variety of evidence-based treatments including medication, psychotherapy, telemedicine, Spravato, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). We are excited to offer Theta Burst Stimulation (TBS) - a revolutionary 3-minute procedure with equal or better efficacy to standard 40+ minute TMS protocols. We provide a thorough diagnostic evaluation to create a personalized treatment plan that will help guide you towards wellness. Please use this link for a free informational TMS session https://www.pacificmindhealth.com/tmsinfo.html
Pacific Mind Health approaches mental health using a variety of evidence-based treatments including medication, psychotherapy, telemedicine, Spravato, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). We are excited to offer Theta Burst Stimulation (TBS) - a revolutionary 3-minute procedure with equal or better efficacy to standard 40+ minute TMS protocols. We provide a thorough diagnostic evaluation to create a personalized treatment plan that will help guide you towards wellness. Please use this link for a free informational TMS session https://www.pacificmindhealth.com/tmsinfo.html
(424) 396-2687 View (424) 396-2687
Photo of Insights Psychiatric - Heather Rosdail, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Santa Rosa, CA
Insights Psychiatric - Heather Rosdail
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Verified Verified
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Hi, I'm Heather, an experienced mental health professional dedicated to your well-being and personal growth. With compassion and expertise, I create a safe and supportive space for you to explore your thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Together, we'll tailor evidence-based treatments to your unique needs. If you're ready to embark on this transformative path towards a healthier and happier life, I warmly invite you to connect with me. Let's work together to unlock your inner strengths and facilitate positive change.
Hi, I'm Heather, an experienced mental health professional dedicated to your well-being and personal growth. With compassion and expertise, I create a safe and supportive space for you to explore your thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Together, we'll tailor evidence-based treatments to your unique needs. If you're ready to embark on this transformative path towards a healthier and happier life, I warmly invite you to connect with me. Let's work together to unlock your inner strengths and facilitate positive change.
(916) 277-9010 View (916) 277-9010

See more therapy options for Santa Rosa

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Santa Rosa, CA

20+

Average cost per session

$275

Psychiatrists in Santa Rosa, CA who prioritize treating:

100% Depression
100% Anxiety
96% Medication Management
92% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
92% Bipolar Disorder
83% Stress
75% ADHD

Average years in practice

12 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

93% Aetna
93% Cigna and Evernorth
80% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Santa Rosa, CA see their clients

63% In Person and Online
37% Online Only

Gender breakdown

57% Female
43% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Santa Rosa?

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.