Psychiatrists in Ventura, CA

Photo of Chelsea Vanicek, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ventura, CA
Chelsea Vanicek
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP, -BC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Ventura, CA 93003  (Online Only)
Meet Chelsea, a dedicated PMHNP with a fervor for transforming lives. With a heart for the adult and geriatric populations, she specializes in treating psychiatric illnesses like depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar 1 and 2, and schizophrenia. Chelsea's compassionate care blends clinical expertise with unwavering empathy, ensuring her patients feel seen and heard. Her mission? To restore hope, foster resilience, and empower individuals to lead fulfilling lives. In her hands, mental health becomes a journey of healing and growth.
Meet Chelsea, a dedicated PMHNP with a fervor for transforming lives. With a heart for the adult and geriatric populations, she specializes in treating psychiatric illnesses like depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar 1 and 2, and schizophrenia. Chelsea's compassionate care blends clinical expertise with unwavering empathy, ensuring her patients feel seen and heard. Her mission? To restore hope, foster resilience, and empower individuals to lead fulfilling lives. In her hands, mental health becomes a journey of healing and growth.
(805) 819-2246 View (805) 819-2246
Photo of Raelin Bright Wellness, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ventura, CA
Raelin Bright Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PhD, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93001  (Online Only)
Tired of ER visits due to panic attacks? Do you feel anxious, sad, out of control, or overwhelmed? Do you have racing thoughts, have 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, have 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.
(805) 303-7974 View (805) 303-7974
Photo of Michaela Martin, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ventura, CA
Michaela Martin
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, RN
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Ventura, CA 93003  (Online Only)
Michaela Martin is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, she got her start in healthcare as a Registered Nurse in the emergency room of an East Los Angeles county hospital. Michaela’s clinical experience includes acute psychiatric emergencies, crisis intervention, and medication management for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
Michaela Martin is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, she got her start in healthcare as a Registered Nurse in the emergency room of an East Los Angeles county hospital. Michaela’s clinical experience includes acute psychiatric emergencies, crisis intervention, and medication management for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
(213) 816-7586 View (213) 816-7586
Photo of Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Dr Mark Chofla | Empathy Therapy
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003  (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.
(805) 918-4910 View (805) 918-4910
Photo of Jane Li, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Jane Li
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003
As a board-certified, UCLA-trained psychiatrist, I provide care for adult patients, treating a range of diagnoses including depression, anxiety, bipolar/mood disorders, OCD, ADHD, PTSD, eating disorders. I completed a Mood Disorders Fellowship at UCLA treating bipolar patients. I also received extensive training in experiential psychodynamic therapy and other therapy modalities through the years. I am able to offer therapy to supplement medication management when patients see a need, for both the patients' convenience and a more rounded treatment experience.
As a board-certified, UCLA-trained psychiatrist, I provide care for adult patients, treating a range of diagnoses including depression, anxiety, bipolar/mood disorders, OCD, ADHD, PTSD, eating disorders. I completed a Mood Disorders Fellowship at UCLA treating bipolar patients. I also received extensive training in experiential psychodynamic therapy and other therapy modalities through the years. I am able to offer therapy to supplement medication management when patients see a need, for both the patients' convenience and a more rounded treatment experience.
(805) 283-6074 View (805) 283-6074
Photo of Traci Babcock, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ventura, CA
Traci Babcock
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003  (Online Only)
I am an experienced board-certified nurse practitioner for 23 years. I accept most major insurances. I work with Family Psychological Services, a Regional Behavioral Health Center. I have experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I work with adolescents and adults ages 17 and up. I have provided direct services through Cedars-Sinai Hospital, USC, and other major neuropsychiatric departments for psychiatric evaluation and medication management for patients with mental health disorders, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, and critical care.
I am an experienced board-certified nurse practitioner for 23 years. I accept most major insurances. I work with Family Psychological Services, a Regional Behavioral Health Center. I have experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I work with adolescents and adults ages 17 and up. I have provided direct services through Cedars-Sinai Hospital, USC, and other major neuropsychiatric departments for psychiatric evaluation and medication management for patients with mental health disorders, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, and critical care.
(805) 232-7943 View (805) 232-7943
Photo of Opeyemi Bello, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ventura, CA
Opeyemi Bello
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93004  (Online Only)
Hi there, I am NP Bello I pay close attention to my client's stories and their backgrounds, and I love mixing spirituality, therapy and use medication as my last resort.
Hi there, I am NP Bello I pay close attention to my client's stories and their backgrounds, and I love mixing spirituality, therapy and use medication as my last resort.
(805) 622-2129 View (805) 622-2129
Photo of Margaret November, M.D., Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Margaret November, M.D.
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003
I am Dr. Margaret November. Originally a New Yorker, I have lived and practiced in California for over 30 years. I specialize in Psychotherapy, Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology. I am uniquely qualified to diagnose people, having been trained with the authors of the DSM IV. Without a proper diagnosis people can often languish in treatment for years. With a proper diagnosis, the real work begins. Together we will build trust and a specific treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.
I am Dr. Margaret November. Originally a New Yorker, I have lived and practiced in California for over 30 years. I specialize in Psychotherapy, Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology. I am uniquely qualified to diagnose people, having been trained with the authors of the DSM IV. Without a proper diagnosis people can often languish in treatment for years. With a proper diagnosis, the real work begins. Together we will build trust and a specific treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.
(805) 395-4542 View (805) 395-4542
Photo of The Focus Doc, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
The Focus Doc
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Ventura, CA 93003
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.
(805) 232-7379 View (805) 232-7379
Photo of Family Psychiatry - Counseling & Wellness, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Family Psychiatry - Counseling & Wellness
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93001  (Online Only)
Psychiatric Treatment & Counseling for the Whole family. We have a Multidisciplinary Team of Psychiatrist, Nurse Practitioners & Psychotherapists We perform Psychiatric Assessments & Treatment of ADHD in Adults and Children, Anxiety Disorders ( Panic attacks, Generalized Anxiety, OCD ) Depressive Disorders ( Major Depression), Bipolar Disorder, Substance Abuse Disorders Etc. We combine conventional medical treatment with non-medication treatments like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation ( TMS ) for Severe depression for patients who don't respond well to Medications.
Psychiatric Treatment & Counseling for the Whole family. We have a Multidisciplinary Team of Psychiatrist, Nurse Practitioners & Psychotherapists We perform Psychiatric Assessments & Treatment of ADHD in Adults and Children, Anxiety Disorders ( Panic attacks, Generalized Anxiety, OCD ) Depressive Disorders ( Major Depression), Bipolar Disorder, Substance Abuse Disorders Etc. We combine conventional medical treatment with non-medication treatments like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation ( TMS ) for Severe depression for patients who don't respond well to Medications.
(805) 341-3416 View (805) 341-3416
Photo of Gol Ara, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Gol Ara
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93001
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.
(562) 620-5558 View (562) 620-5558
Photo of Derek VanCamp, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ventura, CA
Derek VanCamp
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003
Derek VanCamp, DNP is a psychiatric specialist with 30 years of experience in emergency care, family practice, critical care, and psychiatric disorders. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from West Coast University Los Angeles, a Master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, a Doctoral degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Postdoctoral degree in psychiatry and mental health from Regis College of Boston. He is board-certified in acute care, gerontology, and psychiatry/mental health and specializes in treating children, adult, and geriatric patients.
Derek VanCamp, DNP is a psychiatric specialist with 30 years of experience in emergency care, family practice, critical care, and psychiatric disorders. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from West Coast University Los Angeles, a Master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, a Doctoral degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Postdoctoral degree in psychiatry and mental health from Regis College of Boston. He is board-certified in acute care, gerontology, and psychiatry/mental health and specializes in treating children, adult, and geriatric patients.
(747) 205-0584 x2 View (747) 205-0584 x2
Photo of Ronald D Sager, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Ronald D Sager
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Ventura, CA 93001
Dr. Sager studied at UCLA in General Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry where he did research studies in child development and attachment disorders in infancy. He remains an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA. He started his private practice in 1967 in General and Child Psychiatry and after five years returned to the LA Psychoanalytic Institute to receive special training in intensive psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Dr. Sager's practice branched out to inpatient work with adults, children and adolescents.
Dr. Sager studied at UCLA in General Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry where he did research studies in child development and attachment disorders in infancy. He remains an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA. He started his private practice in 1967 in General and Child Psychiatry and after five years returned to the LA Psychoanalytic Institute to receive special training in intensive psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Dr. Sager's practice branched out to inpatient work with adults, children and adolescents.
(818) 296-0777 View (818) 296-0777
Photo of Michael R P Vivian, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Michael R P Vivian
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003
I practice general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, offering evaluations, medication management, and counseling.
I practice general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, offering evaluations, medication management, and counseling.
(805) 590-9787 View (805) 590-9787
Photo of Tyisha Fletcher, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ventura, CA
Tyisha Fletcher
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93004
I am a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with dual certification as a family nurse practitioner. I have practiced for over six years in a variety of settings, including internal medicine, family medicine, and mental health. I enjoy working with diverse people from different cultures. I specialize in working with people of color by providing a safe space to focus on complete mental health. I have several years of experience working with clients experiencing mood disorders like bipolar, major depression and anxiety.
I am a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with dual certification as a family nurse practitioner. I have practiced for over six years in a variety of settings, including internal medicine, family medicine, and mental health. I enjoy working with diverse people from different cultures. I specialize in working with people of color by providing a safe space to focus on complete mental health. I have several years of experience working with clients experiencing mood disorders like bipolar, major depression and anxiety.
(858) 321-8642 View (858) 321-8642
Photo of Adelina Lopez, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ventura, CA
Adelina Lopez
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PMHNP, FNP-BC
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003
You create your healing path, I am here to support that journey. I am experienced in treating various medical and mental health needs across the lifespan. I welcome all cultures, preferences, points of view and LGBTQ+ individuals with care and respect. I educate and partner with my patients to optimize their self-care and well-being and help them actualize their chosen goals. I take a holistic approach and place the patient at the center of their treatment plan.
You create your healing path, I am here to support that journey. I am experienced in treating various medical and mental health needs across the lifespan. I welcome all cultures, preferences, points of view and LGBTQ+ individuals with care and respect. I educate and partner with my patients to optimize their self-care and well-being and help them actualize their chosen goals. I take a holistic approach and place the patient at the center of their treatment plan.
(805) 624-3942 View (805) 624-3942
Photo of Catalina Villa, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Catalina Villa
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003  (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!
(805) 429-2824 View (805) 429-2824
Photo of Uchenna Okoye, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Uchenna Okoye
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003  (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!
(805) 334-8702 View (805) 334-8702
Photo of Bubba Mehdi Thomas, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Ventura, CA
Bubba Mehdi Thomas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93002  (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!
(805) 790-8293 View (805) 790-8293
Photo of Susan Guy, Psychiatrist in Ventura, CA
Susan Guy
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Ventura, CA 93003  (Online Only)
I like to focus on how our environment, behaviors, and beliefs impact our experience with the world. I work to empower my clients to help them realize their goals.
I like to focus on how our environment, behaviors, and beliefs impact our experience with the world. I work to empower my clients to help them realize their goals.
(424) 786-5021 View (424) 786-5021

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Ventura, CA

20+

Average cost per session

$240

Psychiatrists in Ventura, CA who prioritize treating:

91% Depression
91% Anxiety
78% Bipolar Disorder
78% Medication Management
74% ADHD
70% Trauma and PTSD
65% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

24 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

84% Aetna
84% Cigna and Evernorth
74% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Ventura, CA see their clients

60% Online Only
40% In Person and Online

Gender breakdown

67% Female
33% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Ventura?

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.