Psychiatrists in Sunnyvale, CA

Daria A Pasca
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Daria Pasca, M.D. is board certified in both Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Pasca received her Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from “Iuliu Hatieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She completed her Adult Psychiatry residency at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, a Tufts University affiliated program in Boston, Massachusetts.
Daria Pasca, M.D. is board certified in both Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Pasca received her Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from “Iuliu Hatieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She completed her Adult Psychiatry residency at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, a Tufts University affiliated program in Boston, Massachusetts.
(408) 676-2074 View (408) 676-2074
Photo of Catherine Shir, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Catherine Shir
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Waitlist for new clients
I am a Stanford-trained, Bay Area-based psychiatrist and therapist offering personalized and compassionate care. My practice is devoted to alleviating suffering and helping people live fulfilling and meaningful lives. If you are someone who is feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or unsure about how to grapple with difficult thoughts and feelings, I can help guide you toward healing, purpose, and recovery.
I am a Stanford-trained, Bay Area-based psychiatrist and therapist offering personalized and compassionate care. My practice is devoted to alleviating suffering and helping people live fulfilling and meaningful lives. If you are someone who is feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or unsure about how to grapple with difficult thoughts and feelings, I can help guide you toward healing, purpose, and recovery.
(408) 703-6683 View (408) 703-6683
Photo of Catalina Villa, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Catalina Villa
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(408) 617-8952 View (408) 617-8952
Photo of Thomas Mottsin, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Thomas Mottsin
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086  (Online Only)
ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS-Bonmente knows asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be.
ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS-Bonmente knows asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be.
(844) 993-0717 View (844) 993-0717
Photo of Moira Kessler, MD, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Moira Kessler, MD
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
I currently am accepting new patients, including early evening hours. My strongest clinical background is in treating adults, older children, and adolescents with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. I offer individual psychotherapy as well as medication management appointments. I also have expertise in consulting with schools to help best support students. I have worked extensively with patients and families in improving relationships and communication. I have clinical expertise in providing diagnostic assessments, consultation, and care linkage for children, adolescents, and adults as well.
I currently am accepting new patients, including early evening hours. My strongest clinical background is in treating adults, older children, and adolescents with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. I offer individual psychotherapy as well as medication management appointments. I also have expertise in consulting with schools to help best support students. I have worked extensively with patients and families in improving relationships and communication. I have clinical expertise in providing diagnostic assessments, consultation, and care linkage for children, adolescents, and adults as well.
(650) 542-0240 View (650) 542-0240
Photo of Joshua Flatow, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Joshua Flatow
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086  (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
(669) 248-8808 View (669) 248-8808
Photo of Rashmi Parmar, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Rashmi Parmar
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Dr. Rashmi Parmar is a dual board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. Dr. Parmar's treatment philosophy involves making patients and their families feel heard and understood while tailoring their treatment goals. She educates her patients to make well-informed treatment choices and believes in achieving the overall well-being of an individual rather than targeting the illness itself.
Dr. Rashmi Parmar is a dual board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. Dr. Parmar's treatment philosophy involves making patients and their families feel heard and understood while tailoring their treatment goals. She educates her patients to make well-informed treatment choices and believes in achieving the overall well-being of an individual rather than targeting the illness itself.
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Uchenna Okoye, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Uchenna Okoye
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(408) 550-1766 View (408) 550-1766
Photo of Hugh Brent Solvason, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Hugh Brent Solvason
Psychiatrist, PhD, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Dr. Solvason brings more than 20 years of knowledge and experience both doing research using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation TMS and treating patients since it was FDA approved in 2007. IntegralTMS is the culmination of Dr. Solvason’s extensive experience with the most difficult and disabling depression.
Dr. Solvason brings more than 20 years of knowledge and experience both doing research using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation TMS and treating patients since it was FDA approved in 2007. IntegralTMS is the culmination of Dr. Solvason’s extensive experience with the most difficult and disabling depression.
(669) 291-2694 View (669) 291-2694
Photo of Roselin Arunachalam, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Roselin Arunachalam
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Dr. Roseline Arunachalam has over 20 years of experience as a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist. Dr. Arunachalam strives to understand her patients and watch them blossom. She brings a holistic approach to psychiatry and offers same-day initial evaluations. Dr. Arunachalam completed her residency at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and her fellowship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. She was led to psychiatry by the quote, "Every disease starts in the mind, and so does every healing."
Dr. Roseline Arunachalam has over 20 years of experience as a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist. Dr. Arunachalam strives to understand her patients and watch them blossom. She brings a holistic approach to psychiatry and offers same-day initial evaluations. Dr. Arunachalam completed her residency at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and her fellowship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. She was led to psychiatry by the quote, "Every disease starts in the mind, and so does every healing."
(855) 743-2006 View (855) 743-2006
Photo of Sham Singh, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Sham Singh
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is not an easy thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now welcoming new patients!
(408) 547-3019 View (408) 547-3019
Photo of LGTC Group, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
LGTC Group
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Comprehensive Mental Health Practice comprised of Psychiatrists, Psychiatric nurse practitioners, Psychiatric Physician Assistants and Psychotherapists. Members of our team from various disciplines collaborate and coordinate interventions in order to provide the most effective and current treatment options.
Comprehensive Mental Health Practice comprised of Psychiatrists, Psychiatric nurse practitioners, Psychiatric Physician Assistants and Psychotherapists. Members of our team from various disciplines collaborate and coordinate interventions in order to provide the most effective and current treatment options.
(669) 221-8926 View (669) 221-8926
Photo of Raelin Bright Wellness, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sunnyvale, CA
Raelin Bright Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PhD, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Tired of ER visits due to panic attacks? Do you feel anxious, sad, out of control, or overwhelmed? Do you have racing thoughts, nightmares or, trouble sleeping, or trouble relaxing? Are you feeling sad, like a dark cloud is over you, or experiencing trauma responses? Do you feel treated as a number, not a person, when seeking help? I provide mental health treatment that is tailored to fit your needs. My approach is person-centered; I have mastered listening and recognizing people’s needs. I treat with evidence-based practices and believe in medication reduction as much as possible to avoid people being on too many medications.
Tired of ER visits due to panic attacks? Do you feel anxious, sad, out of control, or overwhelmed? Do you have racing thoughts, nightmares or, trouble sleeping, or trouble relaxing? Are you feeling sad, like a dark cloud is over you, or experiencing trauma responses? Do you feel treated as a number, not a person, when seeking help? I provide mental health treatment that is tailored to fit your needs. My approach is person-centered; I have mastered listening and recognizing people’s needs. I treat with evidence-based practices and believe in medication reduction as much as possible to avoid people being on too many medications.
(323) 487-7038 View (323) 487-7038
Photo of Penny Greaves, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sunnyvale, CA
Penny Greaves
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
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.
(408) 413-3685 View (408) 413-3685
Photo of Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086  (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.
(408) 539-6759 View (408) 539-6759
Photo of Khadija Hamisi, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sunnyvale, CA
Khadija Hamisi
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
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 based 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 based 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.
(415) 630-2542 View (415) 630-2542
Photo of Prital Desai, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Prital Desai
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94087  (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 Gol Ara, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Gol Ara
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086  (Online Only)
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.
(628) 313-4197 View (628) 313-4197
Photo of Brittany Lute, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sunnyvale, CA
Brittany Lute
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94089  (Online Only)
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.
(888) 977-7096 View (888) 977-7096
Photo of Michael F Cochran, Psychiatrist in Sunnyvale, CA
Michael F Cochran
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
I’m a general psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist. I have extensive experience helping patients with complex psycho-pharmacologic needs. In addition, I’ve steadily acquired a range of therapy skills: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the cornerstone of many evidence-based treatments; Motivational Interviewing (MI), particularly useful for addiction (e.g. alcohol, cannabis, gaming, etc.); Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), often with older clients; Exposure/Response Prevention, as well as non-exposure-based treatment, for OCD or intrusive thoughts; and I'm currently training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
I’m a general psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist. I have extensive experience helping patients with complex psycho-pharmacologic needs. In addition, I’ve steadily acquired a range of therapy skills: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the cornerstone of many evidence-based treatments; Motivational Interviewing (MI), particularly useful for addiction (e.g. alcohol, cannabis, gaming, etc.); Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), often with older clients; Exposure/Response Prevention, as well as non-exposure-based treatment, for OCD or intrusive thoughts; and I'm currently training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
(650) 229-5238 View (650) 229-5238

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Sunnyvale, CA

40+

Average cost per session

$300

Psychiatrists in Sunnyvale, CA who prioritize treating:

100% Anxiety
89% Depression
89% Medication Management
85% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
79% ADHD
77% Stress
74% Bipolar Disorder

Average years in practice

11 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

97% Aetna
97% Cigna and Evernorth
94% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Sunnyvale, CA see their clients

52% In Person and Online
48% Online Only

Gender breakdown

56% Female
44% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Sunnyvale?

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.