Psychiatrists in Iowa City, IA

Photo of Curtis Long, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Curtis Long
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, MBA
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52246
All people deal with varying levels of mental health but some face more intense circumstances. As a mental health medication prescriber, I am dedicated to providing support to you to help you unleash their potential. There is no simple blood test when it comes to determining the best mental health medication for each individual. Each person’s situation and experience is unique. Your voice and ability to share your symptoms in a calm environment is critical. A key part of my process is to listen to your questions and concerns from the first moment you meet and continually throughout treatment.
All people deal with varying levels of mental health but some face more intense circumstances. As a mental health medication prescriber, I am dedicated to providing support to you to help you unleash their potential. There is no simple blood test when it comes to determining the best mental health medication for each individual. Each person’s situation and experience is unique. Your voice and ability to share your symptoms in a calm environment is critical. A key part of my process is to listen to your questions and concerns from the first moment you meet and continually throughout treatment.
(319) 419-4776 View (319) 419-4776
Photo of Mariposa Psychiatric Center, Psychiatrist in Iowa City, IA
Mariposa Psychiatric Center
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52245
At Mariposa Psychiatric Center, Elizabeth Homan, MD, MPH is a ABPN Board Certified Psychiatrist, and Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who has expertise in treating children, adolescents, and young adults. Dr. Homan graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine in 2010, Psychiatry Residency Training at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2013, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 2015. At Mariposa Psychiatric Center obtain the expertise to help your or loved one to adapt and soar.
At Mariposa Psychiatric Center, Elizabeth Homan, MD, MPH is a ABPN Board Certified Psychiatrist, and Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who has expertise in treating children, adolescents, and young adults. Dr. Homan graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine in 2010, Psychiatry Residency Training at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2013, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 2015. At Mariposa Psychiatric Center obtain the expertise to help your or loved one to adapt and soar.
(319) 536-1964 View (319) 536-1964
Photo of Courtney Ramirez, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Courtney Ramirez
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified
2 Endorsed
Iowa City, IA 52246  (Online Only)
As a PMHNP-BC, I firmly believe in a collaborative and person-centered approach to mental health care. Every individual is unique, and I strive to provide personalized treatment plans tailored to each person's specific needs and goals. My therapeutic approach integrates evidence-based practices, including medication management, psychotherapy techniques, and lifestyle modifications. I understand that seeking help can be daunting, and I aim to create a safe, non-judgmental space where individuals can express themselves freely.
As a PMHNP-BC, I firmly believe in a collaborative and person-centered approach to mental health care. Every individual is unique, and I strive to provide personalized treatment plans tailored to each person's specific needs and goals. My therapeutic approach integrates evidence-based practices, including medication management, psychotherapy techniques, and lifestyle modifications. I understand that seeking help can be daunting, and I aim to create a safe, non-judgmental space where individuals can express themselves freely.
(319) 264-2960 View (319) 264-2960
Photo of Candice Boyce, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Candice Boyce
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, CRNP
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52246  (Online Only)
My approach is all-encompassing- I want to hear about any aspect of your life that you believe is influencing your mental health: relationships, home, occupational stress, and review any medical testing done to be certain there are not physical factors influencing your mood. Over time I found myself enjoying challenging scenarios that offer the opportunity to "think outside the box" approaches. We are all multifaceted, and our needs demand a unique plan.
My approach is all-encompassing- I want to hear about any aspect of your life that you believe is influencing your mental health: relationships, home, occupational stress, and review any medical testing done to be certain there are not physical factors influencing your mood. Over time I found myself enjoying challenging scenarios that offer the opportunity to "think outside the box" approaches. We are all multifaceted, and our needs demand a unique plan.
(319) 343-3672 View (319) 343-3672
Photo of Kara Whalen, Physician Assistant in Iowa City, IA
Kara Whalen
Physician Assistant, PA-C, MPAS
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52245
Please reach out if you are interested in exploring a wholistic approach to your psychiatric care including a combination of medication therapy, integrated ketamine sessions, and motivational interviewing to identify goals and areas of dysfunction. I enjoy working with motivated individuals of all backgrounds. I have 10 plus years of experience in developing treatments plan for those suffering from depression, anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar, trauma, and personality disorders.
Please reach out if you are interested in exploring a wholistic approach to your psychiatric care including a combination of medication therapy, integrated ketamine sessions, and motivational interviewing to identify goals and areas of dysfunction. I enjoy working with motivated individuals of all backgrounds. I have 10 plus years of experience in developing treatments plan for those suffering from depression, anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar, trauma, and personality disorders.
(319) 670-2794 View (319) 670-2794
Photo of Melissa Osada, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Melissa Osada
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified
1 Endorsed
Iowa City, IA 52242
Now Accepting New Patients in Iowa! Online video appointments! I provide a personal and empathetic approach to managing mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia through medication management. I utilize strong critical thinking and knowledge of assessment and diagnostics to provide exceptional care while at the same time successfully building relationships with patients.
Now Accepting New Patients in Iowa! Online video appointments! I provide a personal and empathetic approach to managing mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia through medication management. I utilize strong critical thinking and knowledge of assessment and diagnostics to provide exceptional care while at the same time successfully building relationships with patients.
(319) 264-1533 View (319) 264-1533
Photo of Amber Arthurs, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Amber Arthurs
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52240
Amber is focused on developing a partnership with her clients by providing patient-centered care. She believes it is important to take the time to listen to her clients’ concerns and health goals to develop an optimal treatment plan. Amber’s style of practice includes traditional medicine, as well as natural treatments including but not limited to: vitamins, supplements, lifestyle modification, nutrition, exercise, and stress management
Amber is focused on developing a partnership with her clients by providing patient-centered care. She believes it is important to take the time to listen to her clients’ concerns and health goals to develop an optimal treatment plan. Amber’s style of practice includes traditional medicine, as well as natural treatments including but not limited to: vitamins, supplements, lifestyle modification, nutrition, exercise, and stress management
(319) 469-8623 x16 View (319) 469-8623 x16
Photo of Baraka Behavioral Health (BBH), LLC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Baraka Behavioral Health (BBH), LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified
1 Endorsed
Iowa City, IA 52240
I am board certified psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner providing psychiatric services includes evaluations, diagnosis, and psychiatric medication management for such conditions as depression, personality disorders, anxiety, bipolar, and attention deficit disorders among others for children, adolescents, adults and geriatrics. At BBS, you are guaranteed of a highly skilled and knowledgeable Practitioner, from the confines of your home, virtually, through your smartphone, and or computer. You are at the center, and You matter!
I am board certified psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner providing psychiatric services includes evaluations, diagnosis, and psychiatric medication management for such conditions as depression, personality disorders, anxiety, bipolar, and attention deficit disorders among others for children, adolescents, adults and geriatrics. At BBS, you are guaranteed of a highly skilled and knowledgeable Practitioner, from the confines of your home, virtually, through your smartphone, and or computer. You are at the center, and You matter!
(206) 649-8071 View (206) 649-8071
Photo of Bliss Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Bliss Psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52246  (Online Only)
Accepting NEW patients, can get new patients in within a week! Telemedicine, treating most psychiatric conditions. We also offer personalized ADHD diagnosis and treatment, treatment for depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, as well as some addiction and substance abuse! We accept most insurances and have discount self pay options. We offer comprehensive assessments and customized treatment plans, we work hard to improve your quality of life.
Accepting NEW patients, can get new patients in within a week! Telemedicine, treating most psychiatric conditions. We also offer personalized ADHD diagnosis and treatment, treatment for depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, as well as some addiction and substance abuse! We accept most insurances and have discount self pay options. We offer comprehensive assessments and customized treatment plans, we work hard to improve your quality of life.
(515) 379-8572 View (515) 379-8572
Photo of Hecen Healthcare, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Hecen Healthcare
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52240  (Online Only)
Looking for someone to talk to? Well, look no further! At Hecen Healthcare, we provide medication management, psychoeducation, and psychiatric evaluation virtually. Our focus areas include anxiety, depression, ADHD, sleep problems, bipolar, PTSD, psychosis, attention & focus, and panic disorder. We provide patient-driven care and treat our patients with respect, honesty, and dignity. We are passionate and caring about our services and your utmost well-being is the goal, ensuring a non-judgmental approach.
Looking for someone to talk to? Well, look no further! At Hecen Healthcare, we provide medication management, psychoeducation, and psychiatric evaluation virtually. Our focus areas include anxiety, depression, ADHD, sleep problems, bipolar, PTSD, psychosis, attention & focus, and panic disorder. We provide patient-driven care and treat our patients with respect, honesty, and dignity. We are passionate and caring about our services and your utmost well-being is the goal, ensuring a non-judgmental approach.
(319) 264-6892 View (319) 264-6892
Photo of Kristina Flanagan, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Kristina Flanagan
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, FPMHNP
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52240
I practice patient centered care and see each patient as an individual not a diagnosis. I provided a thorough assessment, diagnosis, medication management, and help guide you to an individualized treatment plan.
I practice patient centered care and see each patient as an individual not a diagnosis. I provided a thorough assessment, diagnosis, medication management, and help guide you to an individualized treatment plan.
(319) 536-1228 View (319) 536-1228
Photo of Margaret Burchianti, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Margaret Burchianti
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, ARNP
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52246  (Online Only)
What is the toll of psychiatric symptoms on your life? Are you still suffering after years of being on the merry-go-round of conventional medications? Did you experience some relief from medications but are left with side effects or residual symptoms? Do you suspect a connection between your psychiatric and non-psychiatric symptoms? Are you skeptical of the conventional medical paradigm of "a pill for every ill"? Do you want options beyond pharmaceuticals? Do you want a provider who takes both a holistic and a scientific approach and who is committed to doing the detective work required to uncover the unique causes of your illness?
What is the toll of psychiatric symptoms on your life? Are you still suffering after years of being on the merry-go-round of conventional medications? Did you experience some relief from medications but are left with side effects or residual symptoms? Do you suspect a connection between your psychiatric and non-psychiatric symptoms? Are you skeptical of the conventional medical paradigm of "a pill for every ill"? Do you want options beyond pharmaceuticals? Do you want a provider who takes both a holistic and a scientific approach and who is committed to doing the detective work required to uncover the unique causes of your illness?
(319) 658-5164 View (319) 658-5164
Photo of Joshua Curphy, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Joshua Curphy
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APNP, CNP
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52240
As a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, my clinical interests span various mental health conditions, focusing on a comprehensive understanding and holistic treatment approach.
As a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, my clinical interests span various mental health conditions, focusing on a comprehensive understanding and holistic treatment approach.
(319) 528-5125 View (319) 528-5125
Photo of Natalie Christensen, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Natalie Christensen
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, FNP-C, PMH-C
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52242  (Online Only)
I am a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner who has been practicing in the family practice setting since 2016 providing chronic disease management, including mental health care. I developed a passion for mental health, specifically the perinatal population. I have an understanding of how chronic health conditions, including mental health, can affect all aspects of our lives and be interconnected. I provide medication management services via telehealth to women 18+ in the state of Iowa. I offer treatment for anxiety, depression, ADHD, and some sleep disorders.
I am a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner who has been practicing in the family practice setting since 2016 providing chronic disease management, including mental health care. I developed a passion for mental health, specifically the perinatal population. I have an understanding of how chronic health conditions, including mental health, can affect all aspects of our lives and be interconnected. I provide medication management services via telehealth to women 18+ in the state of Iowa. I offer treatment for anxiety, depression, ADHD, and some sleep disorders.
(515) 717-7823 View (515) 717-7823
Photo of Integrative Medical and Mental Wellness, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Integrative Medical and Mental Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, FNP, PMHNP
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52240  (Online Only)
My focus areas for mental health treatment include psychotherapeutic treatment and medication management for the following: anxiety, depression, PTSD, attention deficit disorder, and substance use disorder. I use evidence-based strategies to support issues such as trauma focused care. Motivational interviewing, strength-based care, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral strategies. My goal is to provide improvement in your overall health.
My focus areas for mental health treatment include psychotherapeutic treatment and medication management for the following: anxiety, depression, PTSD, attention deficit disorder, and substance use disorder. I use evidence-based strategies to support issues such as trauma focused care. Motivational interviewing, strength-based care, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral strategies. My goal is to provide improvement in your overall health.
(708) 894-1898 View (708) 894-1898
Photo of Maria Lynn Sonnack, Physician Assistant in Iowa City, IA
Maria Lynn Sonnack
Physician Assistant, MPAS, PA-C
Verified
3 Endorsed
Iowa City, IA 52240
I truly enjoy working with all psychiatric diagnoses, but I especially enjoy working with borderline personality disorder and facilitating STEPPS group for this group of patients. I also have a strong passion in treating child and adult ADHD. I firmly believe in psychiatric wellness and work with my patients from a “whole person” approach to not only treat their illness with medication, but also therapy, good nutrition and general health.
I truly enjoy working with all psychiatric diagnoses, but I especially enjoy working with borderline personality disorder and facilitating STEPPS group for this group of patients. I also have a strong passion in treating child and adult ADHD. I firmly believe in psychiatric wellness and work with my patients from a “whole person” approach to not only treat their illness with medication, but also therapy, good nutrition and general health.
(319) 595-4327 View (319) 595-4327
Photo of Robin Cook Kopelman, Psychiatrist in Iowa City, IA
Robin Cook Kopelman
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52240
Dr. Robin Kopelman is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult Psychiatry and is a leading expert in the state of Iowa in the fields of Women’s and Maternal/Perinatal Mental Health. She is passionate about working with women to streamline their care to address their unique preferences and life circumstances. Her expertise includes helping patients make informed decisions about medication use related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and reproductive hormone status, while offering broader services to all women across adulthood.
Dr. Robin Kopelman is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult Psychiatry and is a leading expert in the state of Iowa in the fields of Women’s and Maternal/Perinatal Mental Health. She is passionate about working with women to streamline their care to address their unique preferences and life circumstances. Her expertise includes helping patients make informed decisions about medication use related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and reproductive hormone status, while offering broader services to all women across adulthood.
(319) 209-9344 View (319) 209-9344
Photo of Laurie McCormick, Psychiatrist in Iowa City, IA
Laurie McCormick
Psychiatrist, MD, DFAPA
Verified
3 Endorsed
Iowa City, IA 52242
I’m an integrative/holistic psychiatrist and family physician with functional medicine as well as psychedelic-assisted therapy training. I’ve been in practice for 20 years (post-residency, as a tenure-track academic research scientist and educator at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, then in private practice in St Thomas, USVI, and Iowa City. I’m excited to now be able to offer a variety of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy options to more people suffering from a variety of conditions including anxiety, treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, OCD, and eating disorders.
I’m an integrative/holistic psychiatrist and family physician with functional medicine as well as psychedelic-assisted therapy training. I’ve been in practice for 20 years (post-residency, as a tenure-track academic research scientist and educator at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, then in private practice in St Thomas, USVI, and Iowa City. I’m excited to now be able to offer a variety of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy options to more people suffering from a variety of conditions including anxiety, treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, OCD, and eating disorders.
(319) 220-0134 View (319) 220-0134
Photo of Scott Psychiatric Consultants, PLLC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Iowa City, IA
Scott Psychiatric Consultants, PLLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified
1 Endorsed
Iowa City, IA 52240  (Online Only)
My name is Darnelle, and I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC). I am a provider who listens to and supports every patient. When life brings you troubles, I support you every step of the way. Disclaimer: I do not prescribe controlled substances
My name is Darnelle, and I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC). I am a provider who listens to and supports every patient. When life brings you troubles, I support you every step of the way. Disclaimer: I do not prescribe controlled substances
(737) 520-7823 View (737) 520-7823
Photo of David Edwin Drake, Psychiatrist in Iowa City, IA
David Edwin Drake
Psychiatrist, DO, MTS
Verified
Iowa City, IA 52242  (Online Only)
Fees are negotiable! As a psychiatrist I have a unique practice where I offer combined talk work (psychotherapy) along with conservative use of medication, where helpful. I work with individuals, couples, and families from a family systems perspective, having trained extensively in Bowen Family Systems Theory. A Colorado native, I live in Des Moines, Iowa and provide televideo psychiatry throughout both Iowa and Colorado. I negotiate fees with my patients. I am able to see folks on Medicare if they sign a waiver that allows me to bill them on a self-pay basis. Call me and let's talk.
Fees are negotiable! As a psychiatrist I have a unique practice where I offer combined talk work (psychotherapy) along with conservative use of medication, where helpful. I work with individuals, couples, and families from a family systems perspective, having trained extensively in Bowen Family Systems Theory. A Colorado native, I live in Des Moines, Iowa and provide televideo psychiatry throughout both Iowa and Colorado. I negotiate fees with my patients. I am able to see folks on Medicare if they sign a waiver that allows me to bill them on a self-pay basis. Call me and let's talk.
(515) 585-1323 View (515) 585-1323

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How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Iowa City, IA

20+

Average cost per session

$167

Psychiatrists in Iowa City, IA who prioritize treating:

100% Depression
96% Anxiety
92% Medication Management
84% ADHD
80% Trauma and PTSD
80% Bipolar Disorder
80% Stress

Average years in practice

10 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

67% BlueCross and BlueShield
57% Aetna
57% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Iowa City, IA see their clients

52% In Person and Online
48% Online Only

Gender breakdown

87% Female
13% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Iowa City?

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.