Psychiatrists in Denver, CO

Phillip Bankston
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Denver, CO 80246
I'm a dedicated psychiatric physician assistant committed to providing inclusive and affirming care to individuals from all backgrounds, including the LGBTQIA+ community. With expertise in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD, I approach each patient with empathy and understanding. I tailor every treatment plan to each patient’s specific needs and goals. My passion lies in helping patients not just manage their symptoms but thrive and become their best selves.
I'm a dedicated psychiatric physician assistant committed to providing inclusive and affirming care to individuals from all backgrounds, including the LGBTQIA+ community. With expertise in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD, I approach each patient with empathy and understanding. I tailor every treatment plan to each patient’s specific needs and goals. My passion lies in helping patients not just manage their symptoms but thrive and become their best selves.
(720) 770-8293 View (720) 770-8293
Photo of Enrique Caloca, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Enrique Caloca
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Denver, CO 80205  (Online Only)
Hi, I'm Enrique and I am a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). I completed my BSN and MSN from Azusa Pacific University. I have practiced in multiple settings; geriatrics, correctional care, outpatient, and the emergency department. My experience in various settings has given me a combination of clinical insight and collaborative skills to help guide all clinical decisions. I help those struggling with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, ptsd, & psychosis.
Hi, I'm Enrique and I am a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). I completed my BSN and MSN from Azusa Pacific University. I have practiced in multiple settings; geriatrics, correctional care, outpatient, and the emergency department. My experience in various settings has given me a combination of clinical insight and collaborative skills to help guide all clinical decisions. I help those struggling with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, ptsd, & psychosis.
(720) 640-7817 View (720) 640-7817
Photo of Jennifer French, Psychiatrist
Jennifer French
Psychiatrist
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80246
My approach to patient care involves treating all of my patients with honor, humility, and kindness. I treat my patients as if they were family members, doing everything I possibly can to obtain the best outcome. I will always take the extra time to make sure my patients feel heard and understood. I believe it is critically important to treat patients of all backgrounds, races, religions, and sexual orientations with the utmost respect and to create a safe environment free of judgment. My philosophy is that the foundation of patient care is the human connection.
My approach to patient care involves treating all of my patients with honor, humility, and kindness. I treat my patients as if they were family members, doing everything I possibly can to obtain the best outcome. I will always take the extra time to make sure my patients feel heard and understood. I believe it is critically important to treat patients of all backgrounds, races, religions, and sexual orientations with the utmost respect and to create a safe environment free of judgment. My philosophy is that the foundation of patient care is the human connection.
(848) 222-2089 View (848) 222-2089
Photo of Amy Franks, MD, Psychiatrist
Amy Franks
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80206  (Online Only)
I am passionate about helping my patients navigate a wide array of mental health challenges, ranging from depression and anxiety to trauma and addiction. My approach involves conducting thorough and comprehensive evaluations to gain a holistic understanding of my patients' lives and symptoms. This forms the basis for my treatment recommendations, which may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both. My goal is to deeply understand my patients in order to provide compassionate care and facilitate lasting change.
I am passionate about helping my patients navigate a wide array of mental health challenges, ranging from depression and anxiety to trauma and addiction. My approach involves conducting thorough and comprehensive evaluations to gain a holistic understanding of my patients' lives and symptoms. This forms the basis for my treatment recommendations, which may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both. My goal is to deeply understand my patients in order to provide compassionate care and facilitate lasting change.
(720) 807-4169 View (720) 807-4169
Photo of Julie Angileri - Capstone Mental Health, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Capstone Mental Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
12 Endorsed
Denver, CO 80261  (Online Only)
Now an Autism and ADHD Certified Clinical Services Provider. If you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or simply need someone to talk to, I am here to help. I know reaching out can be the hardest part. Don't suffer in silence. I know you want to take back control over your life and truly feel alive again! I promise you, I will offer a safe and confidential environment where you can explore your thoughts and feelings and work through any challenges you may be facing. We aren't pushy, we are a member of your healthcare team, and make decisions...as a team! You are in full control over your healthcare.
Now an Autism and ADHD Certified Clinical Services Provider. If you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or simply need someone to talk to, I am here to help. I know reaching out can be the hardest part. Don't suffer in silence. I know you want to take back control over your life and truly feel alive again! I promise you, I will offer a safe and confidential environment where you can explore your thoughts and feelings and work through any challenges you may be facing. We aren't pushy, we are a member of your healthcare team, and make decisions...as a team! You are in full control over your healthcare.
(720) 307-3272 View (720) 307-3272
Photo of Kristen Sheffey, MSN, PMHNP, RN, CNL, CCRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kristen Sheffey
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP, RN, CNL, CCRN
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80216
I’m Kristy, a Psychiatric NP committed to providing integrative mental health care to children, adolescents, and adults. I combine traditional psychiatric care with holistic approaches that promote well-being, such as mindfulness, sleep hygiene practices, grounding techniques, lifestyle modification, and herbal supplements or medications if indicated. Whether you’re processing new stress or haven’t felt like yourself in a while, we can work together to create an individualized plan tailored to your specific concerns and needs. I prioritize building trust while providing a safe space for individuals to feel empowered.
I’m Kristy, a Psychiatric NP committed to providing integrative mental health care to children, adolescents, and adults. I combine traditional psychiatric care with holistic approaches that promote well-being, such as mindfulness, sleep hygiene practices, grounding techniques, lifestyle modification, and herbal supplements or medications if indicated. Whether you’re processing new stress or haven’t felt like yourself in a while, we can work together to create an individualized plan tailored to your specific concerns and needs. I prioritize building trust while providing a safe space for individuals to feel empowered.
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Photo of Richard Wallis, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Richard Wallis
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80227
**ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS** I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner with experience in several psychiatric settings. I completed my psychiatric training at the University of Kentucky and his PhD at the University of Texas Medical Branch. I obtained an advanced training in psychopharmacology and has presented several posters and spoken at several national psychiatry conferences.
**ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS** I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner with experience in several psychiatric settings. I completed my psychiatric training at the University of Kentucky and his PhD at the University of Texas Medical Branch. I obtained an advanced training in psychopharmacology and has presented several posters and spoken at several national psychiatry conferences.
(720) 704-1028 View (720) 704-1028
Photo of Richard Froude, MD, PhD, MFA, Psychiatrist
Richard Froude
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD, MFA
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80218
Richard Froude is a psychiatrist practicing in Denver, CO. He provides in-person and telehealth appointments for diagnostic evaluation, treatment solutions, psychotherapy, and medication management. Originally from Bristol, England, Dr Froude has made his home in Colorado for the past 20 years. His background in the literary arts, combined with a broad knowledge of psychotherapy and evidence-based psychopharmacology, affords a unique skillset to understand and conceptualize your individual narrative.
Richard Froude is a psychiatrist practicing in Denver, CO. He provides in-person and telehealth appointments for diagnostic evaluation, treatment solutions, psychotherapy, and medication management. Originally from Bristol, England, Dr Froude has made his home in Colorado for the past 20 years. His background in the literary arts, combined with a broad knowledge of psychotherapy and evidence-based psychopharmacology, affords a unique skillset to understand and conceptualize your individual narrative.
(303) 963-9331 View (303) 963-9331
Photo of Felicia Turner - Felicia Turner, APRN | Text #Enroll 503-925-6606, APRN, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Felicia Turner, APRN | Text #Enroll 503-925-6606
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Denver, CO 80202  (Online Only)
Welcome to Psychiatry On Demand, where we strive to create a warm and understanding environment that helps you begin your journey toward mental wellness. We are happy to welcome individuals like you who are navigating the complexities of mental health. Whether you are struggling with depression, anxiety, ADHD, or any other challenges, we are here to offer personalized strategies for growth and resilience that are precisely tailored to your needs.
Welcome to Psychiatry On Demand, where we strive to create a warm and understanding environment that helps you begin your journey toward mental wellness. We are happy to welcome individuals like you who are navigating the complexities of mental health. Whether you are struggling with depression, anxiety, ADHD, or any other challenges, we are here to offer personalized strategies for growth and resilience that are precisely tailored to your needs.
(503) 410-7472 View (503) 410-7472
Photo of Dr. Richard Alldin Oddy, MD, ABPN, ABAM, Psychiatrist
Dr. Richard Alldin Oddy
Psychiatrist, MD, ABPN, ABAM
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80209
Dr. Richard Oddy has 20+ years of expertise as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, operating a thriving private practice in Denver, previously established in Fort Collins in 2005. His medical education was accomplished at the University of Cambridge in England, followed by a residency in psychiatry at Cornell Medical Center-New York Hospital in 2000. Dr. Oddy holds board certifications in General Psychiatry, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, and is a distinguished lifetime fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Oddy is also experienced in the use of buprenorphine for opioid dependence.
Dr. Richard Oddy has 20+ years of expertise as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, operating a thriving private practice in Denver, previously established in Fort Collins in 2005. His medical education was accomplished at the University of Cambridge in England, followed by a residency in psychiatry at Cornell Medical Center-New York Hospital in 2000. Dr. Oddy holds board certifications in General Psychiatry, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, and is a distinguished lifetime fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Oddy is also experienced in the use of buprenorphine for opioid dependence.
(720) 802-0702 View (720) 802-0702
Photo of James Anderson, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
James Anderson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80204
Accepting New Patients! Looking forward to meet you. I'm board certified, specializing in medication management, treating depression, anxiety, addiction and many other ailments. Accepting new patients and variety of insurances. I can easily E-prescribe your medication and use the latest technology for easy virtual sessions, without you having to leave your home. Schedule your in-office or video appointment by clicking ‘My Website’ link or call us.
Accepting New Patients! Looking forward to meet you. I'm board certified, specializing in medication management, treating depression, anxiety, addiction and many other ailments. Accepting new patients and variety of insurances. I can easily E-prescribe your medication and use the latest technology for easy virtual sessions, without you having to leave your home. Schedule your in-office or video appointment by clicking ‘My Website’ link or call us.
(720) 459-4497 View (720) 459-4497
Photo of Jared Sciarrotta, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jared Sciarrotta
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80216  (Online Only)
Hey there! Congratulations on taking your first step towards healing in your mental health journey. If you're reading this, you're probably in a place where things could be going better. Maybe this is your first time looking for help, or perhaps you're looking for a fresh start, as your current treatment options have not been serving you well. This is where I come in to help. I am a board certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who is able to treat children, adolescents, and adults. Whether you're here for yourself or a loved one, my focus is to have each individual I work with start feeling better than they were before we met.
Hey there! Congratulations on taking your first step towards healing in your mental health journey. If you're reading this, you're probably in a place where things could be going better. Maybe this is your first time looking for help, or perhaps you're looking for a fresh start, as your current treatment options have not been serving you well. This is where I come in to help. I am a board certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who is able to treat children, adolescents, and adults. Whether you're here for yourself or a loved one, my focus is to have each individual I work with start feeling better than they were before we met.
(720) 864-0055 View (720) 864-0055
Photo of Kristina Mordecai, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kristina Mordecai
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80227
Accepting New Patients! Kristina is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who is currently accepting new clients. Her journey began in 1999 when she graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing from Meridian Community College. She then progressed to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University in 2015 and graduated at the top of her class. After furthering her career in nursing management and stress management courses, she decided to pursue the Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Psychiatry, at Herzing University where she graduated with honors.
Accepting New Patients! Kristina is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who is currently accepting new clients. Her journey began in 1999 when she graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing from Meridian Community College. She then progressed to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University in 2015 and graduated at the top of her class. After furthering her career in nursing management and stress management courses, she decided to pursue the Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Psychiatry, at Herzing University where she graduated with honors.
(720) 669-7966 View (720) 669-7966
Photo of Kristina Mordecai, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kristina Mordecai
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80222
Accepting New Patients! Kristina is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who is currently accepting new clients. Her journey began in 1999 when she graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing from Meridian Community College. She then progressed to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University in 2015 and graduated at the top of her class. After furthering her career in nursing management and stress management courses, she decided to pursue the Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Psychiatry, at Herzing University where she graduated with honors.
Accepting New Patients! Kristina is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who is currently accepting new clients. Her journey began in 1999 when she graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing from Meridian Community College. She then progressed to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University in 2015 and graduated at the top of her class. After furthering her career in nursing management and stress management courses, she decided to pursue the Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Psychiatry, at Herzing University where she graduated with honors.
(720) 730-2735 View (720) 730-2735
Photo of Kristina Mordecai, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kristina Mordecai
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80210
Accepting New Patients! Kristina is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who is currently accepting new clients. Her journey began in 1999 when she graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing from Meridian Community College. She then progressed to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University in 2015 and graduated at the top of her class. After furthering her career in nursing management and stress management courses, she decided to pursue the Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Psychiatry, at Herzing University where she graduated with honors.
Accepting New Patients! Kristina is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who is currently accepting new clients. Her journey began in 1999 when she graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing from Meridian Community College. She then progressed to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University in 2015 and graduated at the top of her class. After furthering her career in nursing management and stress management courses, she decided to pursue the Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Psychiatry, at Herzing University where she graduated with honors.
(303) 622-5068 View (303) 622-5068
Photo of Jacqueline Beeson Croney - Jacqueline Croney - Denver Wellness Associates, PA, Physician Assistant
Jacqueline Croney - Denver Wellness Associates
Physician Assistant, PA
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80209
I see medication management patients, just like a Psychiatrist would, and am currently open to new patients. I'm passionate about working with any and all patients that are willing to work collaboratively with me. I recognize the time, energy, and effort that is required from a patient's perspective to prioritize their mental health, and want to honor that in making the most of our time shared together in appointments. While needs and goals can change with time, I believe that a mutually respectful patient-provider relationship is best to establish, and most beneficial in the way that I choose to practice.
I see medication management patients, just like a Psychiatrist would, and am currently open to new patients. I'm passionate about working with any and all patients that are willing to work collaboratively with me. I recognize the time, energy, and effort that is required from a patient's perspective to prioritize their mental health, and want to honor that in making the most of our time shared together in appointments. While needs and goals can change with time, I believe that a mutually respectful patient-provider relationship is best to establish, and most beneficial in the way that I choose to practice.
(720) 637-4105 View (720) 637-4105
Photo of Marjorie Lavin, MD, Psychiatrist
Marjorie Lavin
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80206  (Online Only)
For the past 20 years, Dr. Lavin worked at the University of Denver Health and Counseling Center where she treated undergraduate and graduate students. She also worked at a training clinic for students pursuing their PsyD degree. She has supervised and taught psychiatry residents. She taught a psychopharmacology and differential diagnosis course to psychology trainees. Dr. Lavin has a strong interest in functional medicine and alternative therapies. She is board certified in adult psychiatry. Dr. Lavin focuses on a comprehensive medical assessment, medication management, psychoeducation, wellness, and alternative therapies.
For the past 20 years, Dr. Lavin worked at the University of Denver Health and Counseling Center where she treated undergraduate and graduate students. She also worked at a training clinic for students pursuing their PsyD degree. She has supervised and taught psychiatry residents. She taught a psychopharmacology and differential diagnosis course to psychology trainees. Dr. Lavin has a strong interest in functional medicine and alternative therapies. She is board certified in adult psychiatry. Dr. Lavin focuses on a comprehensive medical assessment, medication management, psychoeducation, wellness, and alternative therapies.
(303) 872-8295 View (303) 872-8295
Photo of Busayo Obigbesan - Candor Mind and Body, APN, PMHNP, RN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Candor Mind and Body
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APN, PMHNP, RN
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80224  (Online Only)
Not accepting new clients
Life can be hard to explore particularly during life events that presents with uncertainties that accompany adulthood. Sometimes, it becomes hard to deal with these uncertainties as they appear when we don’t have the right tools to deal with them. I can help with pharmacotherapy and non-pharmacotherapy approaches to help calm the waters.
Life can be hard to explore particularly during life events that presents with uncertainties that accompany adulthood. Sometimes, it becomes hard to deal with these uncertainties as they appear when we don’t have the right tools to deal with them. I can help with pharmacotherapy and non-pharmacotherapy approaches to help calm the waters.
(720) 868-9204 View (720) 868-9204
Photo of Julie Cain - Julie Cain PMHNP/ Healthy Minds, PMHNP, AGNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Julie Cain PMHNP/ Healthy Minds
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, AGNP
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80237  (Online Only)
Offering psychiatric medication management including ketamine treatment for clients seeking relief from depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health concerns. I enjoy working with clients who are open to change and transformation in their lives. I have a supportive, encouraging, intuitive style and enjoy partnering with clients on their goals to improve their quality of life. In addition to psychiatric medication management for mental health concerns and substance use disorders, I have additional training in psychedelic assisted therapy offering harm reduction, and psycho educational supports for interested clients.
Offering psychiatric medication management including ketamine treatment for clients seeking relief from depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health concerns. I enjoy working with clients who are open to change and transformation in their lives. I have a supportive, encouraging, intuitive style and enjoy partnering with clients on their goals to improve their quality of life. In addition to psychiatric medication management for mental health concerns and substance use disorders, I have additional training in psychedelic assisted therapy offering harm reduction, and psycho educational supports for interested clients.
(303) 369-4228 View (303) 369-4228
Photo of Joe Maxwell, PMHNP, APRN, MSN, Psychiatric Nurse
Joe Maxwell
Psychiatric Nurse, PMHNP, APRN, MSN
Verified Verified
Denver, CO 80216  (Online Only)
My style of practice includes a comprehensive patient-centered focus of care that supports traditional as well as holistic care. I believe that treatment of the whole person to be included as mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. My style of conservative psychopharmcological treatment is designed to be utilized collaboratively with the addition of a primary psychotherapist. Other important aspects of focus in his practice include: complementary and alternative medicine, lifestyle modification, exercise, nutrition, and stress management.
My style of practice includes a comprehensive patient-centered focus of care that supports traditional as well as holistic care. I believe that treatment of the whole person to be included as mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. My style of conservative psychopharmcological treatment is designed to be utilized collaboratively with the addition of a primary psychotherapist. Other important aspects of focus in his practice include: complementary and alternative medicine, lifestyle modification, exercise, nutrition, and stress management.
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How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Denver, CO

500+

Average cost per session

$225

Psychiatrists in Denver, CO who prioritize treating:

97% Anxiety
95% Depression
85% Medication Management
84% ADHD
83% Bipolar Disorder
77% Trauma and PTSD
73% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

9 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

94% Cigna and Evernorth
93% Aetna
90% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Denver, CO see their clients

64% In Person and Online
36% Online Only

Gender breakdown

69% Female
31% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Denver?

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.