Psychiatrists in Garfield County, CO

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Photo of Amy Halstead -Lotus Wellness, MSN, APN, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Amy Halstead -Lotus Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Carbondale, CO 81623
I take an integrative approach to treatment which may include medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle modification to address patients’ mental health needs. I fully believe in the role that sleep, exercise, and nutrition play in mental wellness. My approach is warm and collaborative in an effort to facilitate healing and growth through patient empowerment. I will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan that prioritizes your goals and values in a safe environment that is free of judgement.
I take an integrative approach to treatment which may include medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle modification to address patients’ mental health needs. I fully believe in the role that sleep, exercise, and nutrition play in mental wellness. My approach is warm and collaborative in an effort to facilitate healing and growth through patient empowerment. I will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan that prioritizes your goals and values in a safe environment that is free of judgement.
(970) 512-3648 View (970) 512-3648
Photo of Lynn Ames, MSN, ANP, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lynn Ames
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, ANP, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Rifle, CO 81650
Lynn Ames, a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner licensed in Colorado, is dedicated to providing comprehensive mental health care. She has 2 years experience in psychiatric emergency and inpatient care.
Lynn Ames, a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner licensed in Colorado, is dedicated to providing comprehensive mental health care. She has 2 years experience in psychiatric emergency and inpatient care.
(970) 579-7646 View (970) 579-7646
Photo of Siri Achimbi, APN, NP, RXN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Siri Achimbi
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APN, NP, RXN
Verified Verified
Carbondale, CO 81623  (Online Only)
Life can be hard to explore especially during life events that present with uncertainties that accompany adulthood. As a compassionate, empathetic, experienced and knowledgeable provider, I collaborate with my clients to make treatment plans that target their needs. I am also very passionate about the veteran population as I have worked with the Veterans Administration for years.
Life can be hard to explore especially during life events that present with uncertainties that accompany adulthood. As a compassionate, empathetic, experienced and knowledgeable provider, I collaborate with my clients to make treatment plans that target their needs. I am also very passionate about the veteran population as I have worked with the Veterans Administration for years.
(720) 807-1787 View (720) 807-1787
Photo of Heather Shannon Ford, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Heather Shannon Ford
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601  (Online Only)
With backgrounds in both conventional and alternative therapies, I love personalizing care to your individual mental health needs. Your symptoms are often rooted in a deeper cause (or causes) that require considering your mind, body, daily habits and relationships. I specialize in working with adults 18 and older who want to go beyond just 'a pill for every ill' worldview and incorporate lifestyle changes, hormone optimization and effective supplement regimes. Appointments Online -Lunch Time and Evening/After Work Options Available! In Person Option in Grand Junction ONLY.
With backgrounds in both conventional and alternative therapies, I love personalizing care to your individual mental health needs. Your symptoms are often rooted in a deeper cause (or causes) that require considering your mind, body, daily habits and relationships. I specialize in working with adults 18 and older who want to go beyond just 'a pill for every ill' worldview and incorporate lifestyle changes, hormone optimization and effective supplement regimes. Appointments Online -Lunch Time and Evening/After Work Options Available! In Person Option in Grand Junction ONLY.
(970) 251-8077 View (970) 251-8077
Photo of Dean Joel Gainey, DNP, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dean Joel Gainey
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601  (Online Only)
I typically work with clients navigating complex emotions or struggling with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or mood disorders. Individuals from diverse backgrounds and varied ages, including children, adolescents, and adults. Their needs often include a desire for understanding, compassion, evidence-based treatments, and strategies for healing and growth. Their goals might encompass achieving stability, resilience, personal growth, and holistic well-being. They seek quality care and therapeutic relationships that resonate with their unique circumstances.
I typically work with clients navigating complex emotions or struggling with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or mood disorders. Individuals from diverse backgrounds and varied ages, including children, adolescents, and adults. Their needs often include a desire for understanding, compassion, evidence-based treatments, and strategies for healing and growth. Their goals might encompass achieving stability, resilience, personal growth, and holistic well-being. They seek quality care and therapeutic relationships that resonate with their unique circumstances.
(720) 704-2622 View (720) 704-2622
Photo of Robert H Benge, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Robert H Benge
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Carbondale, CO 81623  (Online Only)
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with 16 years of experience in mental healthcare. I specialize is in diagnosing and treating depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and ADHD. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, I worked as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse for 10 years.
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with 16 years of experience in mental healthcare. I specialize is in diagnosing and treating depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and ADHD. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, I worked as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse for 10 years.
(720) 797-5476 View (720) 797-5476
Photo of Rick Loonam, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Rick Loonam
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Carbondale, CO 81623
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
(720) 640-7038 View (720) 640-7038
Photo of Peter Bordelon, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Peter Bordelon
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
El Jeble, CO 81623  (Online Only)
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Rochester. A few years later, I completed a Master of Social Work at Syracuse University. I worked as a Clinical Social Worker for several years with youth in various community, school and hospital settings before returning to school to completed a Masters in Nursing (University of Maryland) and a post master's certificate in psychiatry and mental health (University of Virginia).
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Rochester. A few years later, I completed a Master of Social Work at Syracuse University. I worked as a Clinical Social Worker for several years with youth in various community, school and hospital settings before returning to school to completed a Masters in Nursing (University of Maryland) and a post master's certificate in psychiatry and mental health (University of Virginia).
(720) 792-8529 View (720) 792-8529
Photo of Stryder Reilly- - -Takes Medicaid, NP , Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Stryder Reilly- - -Takes Medicaid
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
We Take Medicaid! Ketamine is a groundbreaking psychedelic treatment that not only offers hope for treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD but also helps rewire the brain, providing a unique opportunity for healing and lasting transformation. Under the guidance of professionals, your treatment plan becomes a personalized journey, confronting deep-seated traumas & pain. Ketamine's holistic approach addresses both mental and physical aspects, paving the way for profound transformation. Embrace this opportunity for healing – lets start your journey to recovery now! Give us a call or checkout www.ketaminewest.com
We Take Medicaid! Ketamine is a groundbreaking psychedelic treatment that not only offers hope for treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD but also helps rewire the brain, providing a unique opportunity for healing and lasting transformation. Under the guidance of professionals, your treatment plan becomes a personalized journey, confronting deep-seated traumas & pain. Ketamine's holistic approach addresses both mental and physical aspects, paving the way for profound transformation. Embrace this opportunity for healing – lets start your journey to recovery now! Give us a call or checkout www.ketaminewest.com
(970) 500-1183 View (970) 500-1183
Photo of Jesse Maizels, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jesse Maizels
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, I am licensed and trained to assess and diagnose mental health conditions, provide supportive therapy, and write medication prescriptions where appropriate. Additionally, I have a broad range of experience working with clients across the lifespan and with many different presenting concerns including, but not limited to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD and ADHD. I also have a special interest in providing care to LGBTQIA+ individuals and aim to provide nonjudgmental care to people from all walks of life.
As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, I am licensed and trained to assess and diagnose mental health conditions, provide supportive therapy, and write medication prescriptions where appropriate. Additionally, I have a broad range of experience working with clients across the lifespan and with many different presenting concerns including, but not limited to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD and ADHD. I also have a special interest in providing care to LGBTQIA+ individuals and aim to provide nonjudgmental care to people from all walks of life.
(720) 571-4063 View (720) 571-4063
Photo of Lauren Hood, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lauren Hood
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Rifle, CO 81650
Accepting New Patients! Lauren Hood is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who provides a full range of psychiatric services and specializes in medication management. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Wyoming. She became certified as a psychiatric registered nurse, through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, as her career progressed. Lauren completed her Master of Science in Nursing through Walden University.
Accepting New Patients! Lauren Hood is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who provides a full range of psychiatric services and specializes in medication management. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Wyoming. She became certified as a psychiatric registered nurse, through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, as her career progressed. Lauren completed her Master of Science in Nursing through Walden University.
(720) 797-7601 View (720) 797-7601
Photo of Jennifer Crowe - Vistas Pediatric and Family Mental Wellness, MSN, RN, PMHNP-B, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Vistas Pediatric and Family Mental Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, RN, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
It can be difficult to reach out for help, I'm glad you are here! If you ask any of my past or current patients about their treatment experiences with me, you'd hear that; I am a down-to-earth provider who is easy to talk to, who actually takes the time to listen and understand your struggles and lived experiences, explains things in a way that is understandable, and thorough in sharing treatment options. I like to have fun, and most importantly establish a sincere connection. I believe trust and connection are most valuable in this therapeutic relationship. I look forward to working together on your journey of mental wellness.
It can be difficult to reach out for help, I'm glad you are here! If you ask any of my past or current patients about their treatment experiences with me, you'd hear that; I am a down-to-earth provider who is easy to talk to, who actually takes the time to listen and understand your struggles and lived experiences, explains things in a way that is understandable, and thorough in sharing treatment options. I like to have fun, and most importantly establish a sincere connection. I believe trust and connection are most valuable in this therapeutic relationship. I look forward to working together on your journey of mental wellness.
(970) 620-9523 View (970) 620-9523
Photo of Carrie Shahbahrami - Lifespan Psychiatry of Colorado, PMHNP, CNS, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lifespan Psychiatry of Colorado
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, CNS
Verified Verified
Rifle, CO 81650
Our provider, Carrie Shahbahrami, MSN, APRN, ACCNS-AG, PMHNP-BC, is dually boarded in medical and psychiatric care allowing a comprehensive assessment of each client's needs. Carrie began her nursing career in 2000 focusing on the needs of patients within the acute hospital setting. Upon furthering her education at Johns Hopkins University and University of Cincinnati, Carrie chose to focus on client's needing specialized psychiatric care and treatment. Carrie's passion is serving the underrepresented while reducing the stigma associated with mental health.
Our provider, Carrie Shahbahrami, MSN, APRN, ACCNS-AG, PMHNP-BC, is dually boarded in medical and psychiatric care allowing a comprehensive assessment of each client's needs. Carrie began her nursing career in 2000 focusing on the needs of patients within the acute hospital setting. Upon furthering her education at Johns Hopkins University and University of Cincinnati, Carrie chose to focus on client's needing specialized psychiatric care and treatment. Carrie's passion is serving the underrepresented while reducing the stigma associated with mental health.
(970) 426-0925 View (970) 426-0925
Photo of Lauren Hood, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lauren Hood
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Accepting New Patients! Lauren Hood is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who provides a full range of psychiatric services and specializes in medication management. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Wyoming. She became certified as a psychiatric registered nurse, through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, as her career progressed. Lauren completed her Master of Science in Nursing through Walden University.
Accepting New Patients! Lauren Hood is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who provides a full range of psychiatric services and specializes in medication management. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Wyoming. She became certified as a psychiatric registered nurse, through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, as her career progressed. Lauren completed her Master of Science in Nursing through Walden University.
(720) 902-7345 View (720) 902-7345
Photo of Eileen Spangler - Colorado Psychiatric, Psych, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Colorado Psychiatric
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Psych, NP
Verified Verified
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601  (Online Only)
Although carefully chosen medications can quickly achieve much needed relief of anxiety, depression, insomnia and trauma symptoms, a thorough evaluation can also identify many opportunities for improvement without medications. The most effective treatment plan may include work-life balance, nutrition and sleep strategies, addressing, avoiding or adapting to triggers, in addition to multiple psychotherapies. When needed, medications with the lowest side effects, easiest to use, most predictably effective & not addictive are recommended. Ultimately, it is up to each person to decide which strategies they will use to achieve wellness.
Although carefully chosen medications can quickly achieve much needed relief of anxiety, depression, insomnia and trauma symptoms, a thorough evaluation can also identify many opportunities for improvement without medications. The most effective treatment plan may include work-life balance, nutrition and sleep strategies, addressing, avoiding or adapting to triggers, in addition to multiple psychotherapies. When needed, medications with the lowest side effects, easiest to use, most predictably effective & not addictive are recommended. Ultimately, it is up to each person to decide which strategies they will use to achieve wellness.
(719) 839-7321 View (719) 839-7321

Online Psychiatrists

Photo of Kathleen Johnson, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kathleen Johnson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Aspen, CO 81611  (Online Only)
CURRENTLY ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS & Saturday Appointments Available! I assist patients who are experiencing a range of presenting concerns, including: anxiety, depression, substance dependence, ADHD, autism, stress related disorders, PTSD, sleep challenges, and more. As a psychiatric provider, I take the time to explain the science behind what is creating the the challenges you are experiencing, answer questions, and work with you on the goal of full remission of the mental health or addictive crisis so you can go on living your life to the fullest.
CURRENTLY ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS & Saturday Appointments Available! I assist patients who are experiencing a range of presenting concerns, including: anxiety, depression, substance dependence, ADHD, autism, stress related disorders, PTSD, sleep challenges, and more. As a psychiatric provider, I take the time to explain the science behind what is creating the the challenges you are experiencing, answer questions, and work with you on the goal of full remission of the mental health or addictive crisis so you can go on living your life to the fullest.
(970) 323-2524 View (970) 323-2524
Photo of Michelle Weckenbrock, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Michelle Weckenbrock
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Why Roam & Wonder? I offer in-person/telemedicine appts in Grand Junction with mobile office/nature-based appointments throughout the Western Slope including Grand Junction, Lake City, and Gateway, CO. I am disrupting mental health, focusing instead on life health. The brain, body, life, environment, and physical health impact and disrupt life. I see mental illness as a reordering of mood, attention, anxiety, happiness, etc as it gets in the way of living a healthy life. I am seeking clients who are ready to reorder those symptoms and help you meet your goals through medication, analysis, therapy, nutrition, and nature.
Why Roam & Wonder? I offer in-person/telemedicine appts in Grand Junction with mobile office/nature-based appointments throughout the Western Slope including Grand Junction, Lake City, and Gateway, CO. I am disrupting mental health, focusing instead on life health. The brain, body, life, environment, and physical health impact and disrupt life. I see mental illness as a reordering of mood, attention, anxiety, happiness, etc as it gets in the way of living a healthy life. I am seeking clients who are ready to reorder those symptoms and help you meet your goals through medication, analysis, therapy, nutrition, and nature.
(970) 410-2589 View (970) 410-2589
Photo of Joanna Kluender, APN, PMHNP, AGNP-C, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Joanna Kluender
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APN, PMHNP, AGNP-C
Verified Verified
Edwards, CO 81632  (Online Only)
In-person appointments starting August! Teleheath appointments currently available. As a psychiatric provider living in the Rocky Mountains, I understand the unique challenges our rural lifestyle can have on mental health. I'm here to make psychiatric support accessible, compassionate, and tailored to your needs. From adolescents to adults, I offer diagnostic and medication management for mental health issues.
In-person appointments starting August! Teleheath appointments currently available. As a psychiatric provider living in the Rocky Mountains, I understand the unique challenges our rural lifestyle can have on mental health. I'm here to make psychiatric support accessible, compassionate, and tailored to your needs. From adolescents to adults, I offer diagnostic and medication management for mental health issues.
(970) 972-0976 View (970) 972-0976
Photo of Adriana Manygoats de Julio, MD, MSPH, Psychiatrist
Adriana Manygoats de Julio
Psychiatrist, MD, MSPH
Verified Verified
Edwards, CO 81632
My motto is, “You’re the expert on you.” I have expert knowledge in psychiatry, and you are the expert on your life, body, and needs. My goal is to work together with you to assess your unique story and create a plan to help you address your needs and meet your goals. I work with my team at Plus by APN to help you evaluate additional psychiatric options like Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Spravato or ketamine-assisted healing, or neurofeedback.
My motto is, “You’re the expert on you.” I have expert knowledge in psychiatry, and you are the expert on your life, body, and needs. My goal is to work together with you to assess your unique story and create a plan to help you address your needs and meet your goals. I work with my team at Plus by APN to help you evaluate additional psychiatric options like Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Spravato or ketamine-assisted healing, or neurofeedback.
(833) 480-1404 View (833) 480-1404
Photo of Stacey Salmonson, PMHNP, RXN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Stacey Salmonson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, RXN
Verified Verified
Board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with clinical experience in outpatient, inpatient, substance abuse treatment centers, and jail settings. Education includes a Master of Science in Nursing, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner specialization, from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Experience treating people across the life span, including veterans, for anxiety disorders, ADHD, bipolar, psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, PTSD, trauma, and depression.
Board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with clinical experience in outpatient, inpatient, substance abuse treatment centers, and jail settings. Education includes a Master of Science in Nursing, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner specialization, from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Experience treating people across the life span, including veterans, for anxiety disorders, ADHD, bipolar, psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, PTSD, trauma, and depression.
(970) 713-9525 View (970) 713-9525

See more therapy options for Garfield County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Garfield County, CO

10+

Average cost per session

$120

Psychiatrists in Garfield County, CO who prioritize treating:

100% Anxiety
93% Depression
80% Trauma and PTSD
73% Medication Management
67% ADHD
60% Bipolar Disorder
47% Addiction

Average years in practice

9 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

92% Aetna
92% Cigna and Evernorth
92% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Garfield County, CO see their clients

60% In Person and Online
40% Online Only

Gender breakdown

60% Female
40% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Garfield County?

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

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

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

What is a psychiatric nurse practitioner?

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

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

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

Can a psychiatrist prescribe medication?

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

Do psychiatrists offer therapy?

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

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

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

Do I need a referral to see a psychiatrist?

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