Psychiatrists in Cherokee County, GA

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Photo of Catherine Russell, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Catherine Russell
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189
Catherine works with individuals who are looking to gain insight into themselves and improve their quality of life. She seeks to understand each individual holistically, including their backgrounds and the strengths they already possess to provide an individualized approach. Catherine believes that establishing a strong alliance with her clients is essential to getting the most out of therapy and creating lasting change. Through this alliance, she partners with her clients to explore and address thought and behavior patterns that serve as barriers to enjoying life fully.
Catherine works with individuals who are looking to gain insight into themselves and improve their quality of life. She seeks to understand each individual holistically, including their backgrounds and the strengths they already possess to provide an individualized approach. Catherine believes that establishing a strong alliance with her clients is essential to getting the most out of therapy and creating lasting change. Through this alliance, she partners with her clients to explore and address thought and behavior patterns that serve as barriers to enjoying life fully.
(770) 762-3814 View (770) 762-3814
Photo of Jason Watts, ARNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jason Watts
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189
Jason Watts is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Georgia who specializes in the diagnosis and medical management of mental health disorders. Her has a Master and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Walden University, and his Associates in Nursing from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Jason has experience with treating depression, anxiety, addiction, bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADD/ADHD and sees patients from ages 18 to 90. Jason has 25+ years of healthcare experience in emergency and behavioral health settings. Jason aims to see each person as an individual with a distinctive situation that needs personal attention.
Jason Watts is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Georgia who specializes in the diagnosis and medical management of mental health disorders. Her has a Master and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Walden University, and his Associates in Nursing from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Jason has experience with treating depression, anxiety, addiction, bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADD/ADHD and sees patients from ages 18 to 90. Jason has 25+ years of healthcare experience in emergency and behavioral health settings. Jason aims to see each person as an individual with a distinctive situation that needs personal attention.
(470) 828-5672 View (470) 828-5672
Photo of Samantha Pruitt, PMHNP, FNP, C-DBT, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Samantha Pruitt
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP, C-DBT
Verified Verified
7 Endorsed
Woodstock, GA 30188
Tired of working up the courage to finally get the help you need only to end up feeling frustrated and unheard and scared to try again? Neurodivergent and worried you'll never find a provider who gets it? Trust me, I've been there! Discontent with my own experiences in the medical community shapes the way I practice. Research shows that the relationship between the provider and patient is one of the most important factors in patient outcomes. If you're looking for a safe space where all of your concerns and thoughts are valid, you've come to the right place. You deserve wellness.
Tired of working up the courage to finally get the help you need only to end up feeling frustrated and unheard and scared to try again? Neurodivergent and worried you'll never find a provider who gets it? Trust me, I've been there! Discontent with my own experiences in the medical community shapes the way I practice. Research shows that the relationship between the provider and patient is one of the most important factors in patient outcomes. If you're looking for a safe space where all of your concerns and thoughts are valid, you've come to the right place. You deserve wellness.
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Photo of Matthew 'dusty' Dowdy, PMHNP, APRN, MSN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Matthew 'dusty' Dowdy
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, APRN, MSN
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Woodstock, GA 30188
If you are in need of medication evaluation or management for depression, anxiety, ADHD, panic, insomnia, bipolar, schizophrenia, or substance abuse I can help. If you are looking for a provider that looks at the whole person and not just your symptoms, I can help. If you are tired of the stale, nonpersonal relationship with past providers, I can help. I've been a nurse for over 14 years, and a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner for the last 4. If you want more than just a white coat and a prescription pad, I am your guy. I always go the extra mile to ensure my patients are taken care of like family. Hope to see you soon.
If you are in need of medication evaluation or management for depression, anxiety, ADHD, panic, insomnia, bipolar, schizophrenia, or substance abuse I can help. If you are looking for a provider that looks at the whole person and not just your symptoms, I can help. If you are tired of the stale, nonpersonal relationship with past providers, I can help. I've been a nurse for over 14 years, and a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner for the last 4. If you want more than just a white coat and a prescription pad, I am your guy. I always go the extra mile to ensure my patients are taken care of like family. Hope to see you soon.
(770) 343-4063 View (770) 343-4063
Photo of Meah Mccray, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Meah Mccray
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189
Meah is an advocate for individuals and families impacted by mental illness. She has several years of behavioral health experience working in various settings. In these settings, Meah used her experience, commitment, and dedication, to deliver culturally competent care to ensure everyone was treated with respect and dignity. Meah enjoys spending time with her family.
Meah is an advocate for individuals and families impacted by mental illness. She has several years of behavioral health experience working in various settings. In these settings, Meah used her experience, commitment, and dedication, to deliver culturally competent care to ensure everyone was treated with respect and dignity. Meah enjoys spending time with her family.
(678) 607-8628 View (678) 607-8628
Photo of Naveen Thomas, MD, MPH, Psychiatrist
Naveen Thomas
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30188
Clarity Integrative Psychiatry was founded with the principle that Psychiatry can do so much better. We can move beyond just covering up symptoms with psychiatric medications and achieve profound life changes by getting to the root causes of problematic symptoms. Examples of possible root causes may include nutritional imbalances, gut imbalances, hormonal imbalances, environmental toxins, and unresolved psychological trauma, just to name a few. Please note, that we are out of network with all health insurance providers. Telemedicine is an option.
Clarity Integrative Psychiatry was founded with the principle that Psychiatry can do so much better. We can move beyond just covering up symptoms with psychiatric medications and achieve profound life changes by getting to the root causes of problematic symptoms. Examples of possible root causes may include nutritional imbalances, gut imbalances, hormonal imbalances, environmental toxins, and unresolved psychological trauma, just to name a few. Please note, that we are out of network with all health insurance providers. Telemedicine is an option.
(404) 882-7516 View (404) 882-7516
Photo of Andrew Daniel, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Andrew Daniel
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189
Andrew Daniel is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) who specializes in the diagnosis and medical management of behavioral health concerns. Andrew has experience with treating depression, anxiety, addiction, bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADD/ADHD and sees patients from ages 5 to 90. Andrew has 12 years of healthcare experience in emergency and behavioral health settings. He strives to see each person as an individual with a unique situation that needs personal attention. He focuses on an environment that promotes trust and the development of a team atmosphere where he and the client work together to reach common goals.
Andrew Daniel is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) who specializes in the diagnosis and medical management of behavioral health concerns. Andrew has experience with treating depression, anxiety, addiction, bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADD/ADHD and sees patients from ages 5 to 90. Andrew has 12 years of healthcare experience in emergency and behavioral health settings. He strives to see each person as an individual with a unique situation that needs personal attention. He focuses on an environment that promotes trust and the development of a team atmosphere where he and the client work together to reach common goals.
(678) 506-7844 View (678) 506-7844
Photo of Lindsay Thomas, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lindsay Thomas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Holly Springs, GA 30142
I am a compassionate and patient focused psychiatric nurse practitioner. For many patients seeking help, there are times that you might struggle to want to get out of bed in the morning and face the day, or you feel anxious and worried about everything. You may feel shame and guilt for feeling this way, and I'm here to provide you support and guidance on your journey to better mental health. I want you to participate in your life again and enjoy the friends and family around you. It's important you know you aren't alone in this struggle.
I am a compassionate and patient focused psychiatric nurse practitioner. For many patients seeking help, there are times that you might struggle to want to get out of bed in the morning and face the day, or you feel anxious and worried about everything. You may feel shame and guilt for feeling this way, and I'm here to provide you support and guidance on your journey to better mental health. I want you to participate in your life again and enjoy the friends and family around you. It's important you know you aren't alone in this struggle.
(678) 661-6557 View (678) 661-6557
Photo of undefined - Windermere Medical Group, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Windermere Medical Group
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Canton, GA 30115
Windermere Medical Group (WMG) was established in 2009. Our goal is to ensure we do everything possible to help our patients maintain happy, productive and successful lives. Please visit one of our 3 locations in North Georgia: Cumming, Canton and Baldwin. WMG prides itself on having Providers (MD, PMHNP, NP/PA) that are dedicated, compassionate, and innovative. Our excellent reputation is a reflection of our commitment to actively support continuous quality improvement and providing exceptional care via proven treatments. We specialize in all ages (children, teens, adults, and seniors).
Windermere Medical Group (WMG) was established in 2009. Our goal is to ensure we do everything possible to help our patients maintain happy, productive and successful lives. Please visit one of our 3 locations in North Georgia: Cumming, Canton and Baldwin. WMG prides itself on having Providers (MD, PMHNP, NP/PA) that are dedicated, compassionate, and innovative. Our excellent reputation is a reflection of our commitment to actively support continuous quality improvement and providing exceptional care via proven treatments. We specialize in all ages (children, teens, adults, and seniors).
(470) 333-7758 View (470) 333-7758
Photo of Maima Fortune, MSN, APRN-BC, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Maima Fortune
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN-BC, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and Psychology from The University of Rhode Island in 2010, then went on to get my Master’s in Nursing from Drexel University, graduating as a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in 2018. I have worked in variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as telemedicine. For 4 years, I have care for and provided psychotropic medication management to children, adolescent, adult, and geriatric patients in a variety of settings including hospital, outpatient, nursing home and state psychiatric facilities.
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and Psychology from The University of Rhode Island in 2010, then went on to get my Master’s in Nursing from Drexel University, graduating as a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in 2018. I have worked in variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as telemedicine. For 4 years, I have care for and provided psychotropic medication management to children, adolescent, adult, and geriatric patients in a variety of settings including hospital, outpatient, nursing home and state psychiatric facilities.
(470) 688-9393 View (470) 688-9393
Photo of Amber Dale, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Amber Dale
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189
I am a board-certified mental health care professional dedicated to providing individualized care to all people across the lifespan. My professional role as a Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner involves caring for society's most vulnerable citizens. I have experience with patients in all settings. With roots in New York and a current residence in Georgia, my vision is to make mental health care more accessible and accessible to everyone.
I am a board-certified mental health care professional dedicated to providing individualized care to all people across the lifespan. My professional role as a Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner involves caring for society's most vulnerable citizens. I have experience with patients in all settings. With roots in New York and a current residence in Georgia, my vision is to make mental health care more accessible and accessible to everyone.
(706) 909-3950 View (706) 909-3950
Photo of Shikira Woods, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Shikira Woods
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189  (Online Only)
Hi! My name is Shikira. I’m a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner with a doctorate degree in nursing practice. I’m originally from Ohio. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, sports, travel, community service activities, and my beloved fur babies. My experience is in medical/surgical nursing, brief counseling, and adult/child/adolescent mental health care. I have worked in inpatient, outpatient, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment settings throughout my 10+ years in healthcare.
Hi! My name is Shikira. I’m a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner with a doctorate degree in nursing practice. I’m originally from Ohio. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, sports, travel, community service activities, and my beloved fur babies. My experience is in medical/surgical nursing, brief counseling, and adult/child/adolescent mental health care. I have worked in inpatient, outpatient, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment settings throughout my 10+ years in healthcare.
(678) 712-5914 View (678) 712-5914
Photo of Evelyn Dennis, DNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Evelyn Dennis
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189  (Online Only)
I specialize in treating teen and adult mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder ), and depression. I'm a board-certified advanced psychiatrist Nurse practitioner with experience in inpatient, outpatient, and community settings, as well as a strong track record of building solid relationships with clients, their families, and colleagues, with high expertise in assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, medication management, and treatment in a variety of mental health conditions and across the lifespan.
I specialize in treating teen and adult mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder ), and depression. I'm a board-certified advanced psychiatrist Nurse practitioner with experience in inpatient, outpatient, and community settings, as well as a strong track record of building solid relationships with clients, their families, and colleagues, with high expertise in assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, medication management, and treatment in a variety of mental health conditions and across the lifespan.
(404) 334-2465 View (404) 334-2465
Photo of Gregory Claxton, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Gregory Claxton
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189  (Online Only)
Are you struggling with anxiety? Moodiness? Restlessness? Feeling down? Can't focus? I'd love to work with you to see if we can find solutions together. My main goal is to help YOU decide a mental health treatment that will be safe and most effective for you. My role is not to simply prescribe medication. My role is to be your collaborator and resource for information about medication options and prescribe them as appropriate!
Are you struggling with anxiety? Moodiness? Restlessness? Feeling down? Can't focus? I'd love to work with you to see if we can find solutions together. My main goal is to help YOU decide a mental health treatment that will be safe and most effective for you. My role is not to simply prescribe medication. My role is to be your collaborator and resource for information about medication options and prescribe them as appropriate!
(478) 250-0462 View (478) 250-0462
Photo of Edyn McKinnon, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Edyn McKinnon
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189  (Online Only)
I work with individuals from the age of 6 to geriatrics. I have had the pleasure to work on several inpatient crisis stability units for adult age patients 18-55 years old as well as geriatric units for patients ages 55 years and older. I have also worked in a private practice setting for the past 3 years that I just recently left. I felt it was time to move out more on my own. So here I am, I have come to realize when you love what you do it no longer truly is work.
I work with individuals from the age of 6 to geriatrics. I have had the pleasure to work on several inpatient crisis stability units for adult age patients 18-55 years old as well as geriatric units for patients ages 55 years and older. I have also worked in a private practice setting for the past 3 years that I just recently left. I felt it was time to move out more on my own. So here I am, I have come to realize when you love what you do it no longer truly is work.
(912) 299-8606 View (912) 299-8606
Photo of Dr. Diana Jubilee Awuah, DNP, PMNP-BC, FNP-C, CME, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Diana Jubilee Awuah
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMNP-BC, FNP-C, CME
Verified Verified
Woodstock, GA 30189  (Online Only)
Hi there, I'm Dr. Diana Jubilee Awuah. I am the founder of Jubilee Healthcare Providers LLC. I have over 11 years of combined experience as a healthcare provider. Do you feel pulled in many directions and unable to fit it all in? Are you struggling to keep up with your relationships, work, and health? Are you feeling lost? I help men, women, and children who are struggling with Anxiety, Depression, and other mental health problems to finally get a breakthrough so they can reclaim their joy, restore their confidence, and improve their overall health. Together, we can identify what is not working and get you back to balance.
Hi there, I'm Dr. Diana Jubilee Awuah. I am the founder of Jubilee Healthcare Providers LLC. I have over 11 years of combined experience as a healthcare provider. Do you feel pulled in many directions and unable to fit it all in? Are you struggling to keep up with your relationships, work, and health? Are you feeling lost? I help men, women, and children who are struggling with Anxiety, Depression, and other mental health problems to finally get a breakthrough so they can reclaim their joy, restore their confidence, and improve their overall health. Together, we can identify what is not working and get you back to balance.
(470) 458-2539 View (470) 458-2539
Photo of Harleen Singh, MD, Psychiatrist
Harleen Singh
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Canton, GA 30114
Please call our office directly for appointments at 678-394-0000. Thanks
Please call our office directly for appointments at 678-394-0000. Thanks
(678) 797-7826 View (678) 797-7826

Online Psychiatrists

Photo of John Tumeh, MD, Psychiatrist
John Tumeh
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Atlanta, GA 30309
My ideal client is someone battling Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or major depressive disorder with suicidal thoughts. They seek compassionate care, innovative treatments like TMS and Spravato (esketamine), and a personalized approach to find relief and regain a fulfilling life. Their goal is not just recovery but to reclaim life's richness and build emotional resilience. They want to break free from suffering and embrace purpose, joy, and growth, driven by a deep desire for transformation.
My ideal client is someone battling Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or major depressive disorder with suicidal thoughts. They seek compassionate care, innovative treatments like TMS and Spravato (esketamine), and a personalized approach to find relief and regain a fulfilling life. Their goal is not just recovery but to reclaim life's richness and build emotional resilience. They want to break free from suffering and embrace purpose, joy, and growth, driven by a deep desire for transformation.
(404) 998-4384 View (404) 998-4384
Photo of Dr. Randy Tyler Warner, MD, ABPN, Psychiatrist
Dr. Randy Tyler Warner
Psychiatrist, MD, ABPN
Verified Verified
Atlanta, GA 30363
Each and every individual is unique and has had their own collective experience to shape the person that they have become. Also, each and every individual has variances in how they might respond to standard or novel treatments. Decades of experience in post-residency training and thousands of patients of all ages later have shaped my treatment approach. That would be one that is extremely methodical. You can be assured that every step along the way will be executed to the highest professional standards. I will work tirelessly to see that you are returned to your baseline functioning and won't stop trying until that is attained.
Each and every individual is unique and has had their own collective experience to shape the person that they have become. Also, each and every individual has variances in how they might respond to standard or novel treatments. Decades of experience in post-residency training and thousands of patients of all ages later have shaped my treatment approach. That would be one that is extremely methodical. You can be assured that every step along the way will be executed to the highest professional standards. I will work tirelessly to see that you are returned to your baseline functioning and won't stop trying until that is attained.
(404) 383-5978 View (404) 383-5978
Photo of Dr. Olaocha B. Okwuadigbo, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Olaocha B. Okwuadigbo
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Stockbridge, GA 30281
Dr. Olaocha Okwuadigbo is a Licensed adult Psychiatrist, specialized in evaluating, diagnosing & management of various mental health illnesses: Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar disorder, insomnia, OCD, as well as medication management. She is result oriented medical professional consistently motivated and committed to improving the health of her patients.
Dr. Olaocha Okwuadigbo is a Licensed adult Psychiatrist, specialized in evaluating, diagnosing & management of various mental health illnesses: Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar disorder, insomnia, OCD, as well as medication management. She is result oriented medical professional consistently motivated and committed to improving the health of her patients.
(678) 884-1974 View (678) 884-1974

See more therapy options for Cherokee County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Cherokee County, GA

10+

Average cost per session

$125

Psychiatrists in Cherokee County, GA who prioritize treating:

100% Depression
100% Anxiety
88% Trauma and PTSD
88% Bipolar Disorder
82% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
65% ADHD
65% Medication Management

Average years in practice

12 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% Aetna
73% Cigna and Evernorth
67% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Cherokee County, GA see their clients

71% In Person and Online
29% Online Only

Gender breakdown

62% Female
38% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Cherokee 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.