Psychiatrists in Louisville, KY

Photo of JoLynn Gaither-Crenshaw, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
JoLynn Gaither-Crenshaw
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, FNP-C, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40228  (Online Only)
Welcome to JoLynn Gaither Behavioral HealthCare Services, PLLC. I am a Masters prepared dual-certified family and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specializing in a variety of mental health disorders. I provide telehealth online services for medication management for depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder to name a few.
Welcome to JoLynn Gaither Behavioral HealthCare Services, PLLC. I am a Masters prepared dual-certified family and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specializing in a variety of mental health disorders. I provide telehealth online services for medication management for depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder to name a few.
(502) 743-4115 View (502) 743-4115
Photo of Cindy Petzke, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Cindy Petzke
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40204
Hello! I am a caring, knowledgeable healthcare professional with over 28 years of nursing experience. I have been a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner for over 8 years and am experienced with all mental health populations. I am an Air Force Nurse Corp Veteran. I understand military and civilian problems. I understand trauma, individual, and family issues. I enjoy helping all age groups of people.
Hello! I am a caring, knowledgeable healthcare professional with over 28 years of nursing experience. I have been a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner for over 8 years and am experienced with all mental health populations. I am an Air Force Nurse Corp Veteran. I understand military and civilian problems. I understand trauma, individual, and family issues. I enjoy helping all age groups of people.
(502) 309-2879 View (502) 309-2879
Photo of Behj Group Behavioral Health, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Behj Group Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC, MSN
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40258
Our mission is to be a blessing to all we encounter. Whether through the services we provide, a kind word, or a soothing smile, we seek to understand all those who enter through our doors.
Our mission is to be a blessing to all we encounter. Whether through the services we provide, a kind word, or a soothing smile, we seek to understand all those who enter through our doors.
(270) 290-0874 View (270) 290-0874
Photo of Melissa Sullivan, Psychiatrist in Louisville, KY
Melissa Sullivan
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40222
Dr. Sullivan is a board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended medical school at the University of Louisville and completed a four-year residency training at the University of Louisville. She offers medication management in a therapeutic setting for a variety of disorders. Patients will receive an individualized treatment plan that will be designed in collaboration with Dr. Sullivan at the first appointment. Treatment will be offered in a caring and confidential setting where the goal is to help you, the patient, feel better as quickly as possible. Most patients can be seen within three weeks.
Dr. Sullivan is a board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended medical school at the University of Louisville and completed a four-year residency training at the University of Louisville. She offers medication management in a therapeutic setting for a variety of disorders. Patients will receive an individualized treatment plan that will be designed in collaboration with Dr. Sullivan at the first appointment. Treatment will be offered in a caring and confidential setting where the goal is to help you, the patient, feel better as quickly as possible. Most patients can be seen within three weeks.
(502) 317-2853 View (502) 317-2853
Photo of VirtualPsychiatricCare.com, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
VirtualPsychiatricCare.com
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40202  (Online Only)
Accepting new patients via telehealth visits in Kentucky state for psychiatric evaluations and medication management. We treat anyone suffering with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issue adversely affecting optimal functioning at work, deterring their best social self, or preventing being fully present for loved ones. Our clients are looking to be properly diagnosed and treated using the safest prescribing principles. Make your appointment on our website. Evening and weekend hours are available. We offer affordable rates-Initial Psychiatric Eval $199, Follow-ups $99. Accepting some insurances.
Accepting new patients via telehealth visits in Kentucky state for psychiatric evaluations and medication management. We treat anyone suffering with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issue adversely affecting optimal functioning at work, deterring their best social self, or preventing being fully present for loved ones. Our clients are looking to be properly diagnosed and treated using the safest prescribing principles. Make your appointment on our website. Evening and weekend hours are available. We offer affordable rates-Initial Psychiatric Eval $199, Follow-ups $99. Accepting some insurances.
(930) 205-4161 View (930) 205-4161
Photo of Sarah Schirmer, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Sarah Schirmer
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40218
I work with people who encounter frequent, strong emotions that they experience as problematic and then find themselves avoiding the life they want to live. My patients may struggle with intense anxiety and worry, distressing depression, or problems with focus, concentration, and productivity. We work together to remind you of your strengths, values, and goals and create a holistic plan that works for you. Instead of avoiding your life, you will learn to accept and tolerate your emotions and get back to doing the things that are meaningful for you.
I work with people who encounter frequent, strong emotions that they experience as problematic and then find themselves avoiding the life they want to live. My patients may struggle with intense anxiety and worry, distressing depression, or problems with focus, concentration, and productivity. We work together to remind you of your strengths, values, and goals and create a holistic plan that works for you. Instead of avoiding your life, you will learn to accept and tolerate your emotions and get back to doing the things that are meaningful for you.
(502) 237-1376 View (502) 237-1376
Photo of Kay Jones, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Kay Jones
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40241
Teresa Kay Jones has 5 years of experience with Psychiatric medicine and is Board Certified. Holistic care is a consistent goal with balancing physical and mental health for everyone. Previous experience and certification with Family medical care with management of multiple conditions supports holistic care. Kay is an avid supporter of Holistic Self care and Holistic care education. Areas of expertise include patients with multiple medical illnesses in addition to mental health concerns. Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Dementia, Sleep disorders, ADHD, Autism, and Intellectually challenged.
Teresa Kay Jones has 5 years of experience with Psychiatric medicine and is Board Certified. Holistic care is a consistent goal with balancing physical and mental health for everyone. Previous experience and certification with Family medical care with management of multiple conditions supports holistic care. Kay is an avid supporter of Holistic Self care and Holistic care education. Areas of expertise include patients with multiple medical illnesses in addition to mental health concerns. Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Dementia, Sleep disorders, ADHD, Autism, and Intellectually challenged.
(502) 237-1411 View (502) 237-1411
Photo of Full Circle Psychiatry Katie Norris, APRN , Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Full Circle Psychiatry Katie Norris, APRN
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, RN, MSN, PMHNP, APRN-BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Louisville, KY 40228
I am a Board Certified Psychiatric NP in Louisville, KY. I have 13 years of psychiatric experience and treat children and adults treating a variety of illnesses: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, PTSD, and others. I have prescriptive authority. I am a REMS prescriber (phetermine) and also a certified medical marijuana prescriber. I have openings as soon as next week! I am self pay meaning I do not take insurance however I can provide a superbill for out of network benefits with your insurance company! You can pay with your FSA/HSA account and also may have out of network benefits that you may utilize.
I am a Board Certified Psychiatric NP in Louisville, KY. I have 13 years of psychiatric experience and treat children and adults treating a variety of illnesses: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, PTSD, and others. I have prescriptive authority. I am a REMS prescriber (phetermine) and also a certified medical marijuana prescriber. I have openings as soon as next week! I am self pay meaning I do not take insurance however I can provide a superbill for out of network benefits with your insurance company! You can pay with your FSA/HSA account and also may have out of network benefits that you may utilize.
(502) 628-4079 View (502) 628-4079
Photo of The Couch Immediate Mental Health Care, Psychiatrist in Louisville, KY
The Couch Immediate Mental Health Care
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Louisville, KY 40222
The Couch is Louisville's first and only immediate mental healthcare center,founded to help patients who are experiencing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety panic attacks, phobias, OCD, psychosis, ADHD, etc. Our mission is to provide patients with immediate support during a crisis, and to perform a complete psychiatric evaluation. We believe patients should be helped immediately when a mental health crisis arises. In these situations, patients who seek help are often facing two inadequate choices: waiting weeks to be seen by a psychiatrist, or going to the emergency room. We welcome walk-in patients.
The Couch is Louisville's first and only immediate mental healthcare center,founded to help patients who are experiencing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety panic attacks, phobias, OCD, psychosis, ADHD, etc. Our mission is to provide patients with immediate support during a crisis, and to perform a complete psychiatric evaluation. We believe patients should be helped immediately when a mental health crisis arises. In these situations, patients who seek help are often facing two inadequate choices: waiting weeks to be seen by a psychiatrist, or going to the emergency room. We welcome walk-in patients.
(502) 514-0497 View (502) 514-0497
Photo of Bliss Progressive Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Bliss Progressive Psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, FNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Louisville, KY 40207
Are you tired of the 15 minute ‘med check’ style of psychiatric practice? Me, too. I specialize in treatment of individuals with a history of trauma and/or depression and anxiety that have not responded to traditional treatments. When a client says, “I’ve tried every medicine out there – none of them work,” my response is, “Let’s dig deeper.” I practice from a trauma-informed perspective. I'm endlessly curious and a creative thinker - both of these traits shape how I prescribe medications and which non-medication treatments recommendations I make.
Are you tired of the 15 minute ‘med check’ style of psychiatric practice? Me, too. I specialize in treatment of individuals with a history of trauma and/or depression and anxiety that have not responded to traditional treatments. When a client says, “I’ve tried every medicine out there – none of them work,” my response is, “Let’s dig deeper.” I practice from a trauma-informed perspective. I'm endlessly curious and a creative thinker - both of these traits shape how I prescribe medications and which non-medication treatments recommendations I make.
(502) 427-0381 View (502) 427-0381
Photo of Sarah Thomas | The Lotus Connection, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Sarah Thomas | The Lotus Connection
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40223  (Online Only)
My mission at The Lotus Connection is to normalize mental health as a part of the human experience and allow everyone to love and accept every part of themselves; knowing they are uniquely and beautifully made; accepting that we are each perfectly imperfect! Regardless of circumstances you feel you may presently be or have been in, you can rise above and blossom Beautifully and Gracefully as the Lotus Flower. I specialize in medication management for Anxiety Disorders (OCD, PTSD, Social Anxiety), Depression, ADHD, Mood Disorders (Bipolar and Schizophrenia), and SUD.
My mission at The Lotus Connection is to normalize mental health as a part of the human experience and allow everyone to love and accept every part of themselves; knowing they are uniquely and beautifully made; accepting that we are each perfectly imperfect! Regardless of circumstances you feel you may presently be or have been in, you can rise above and blossom Beautifully and Gracefully as the Lotus Flower. I specialize in medication management for Anxiety Disorders (OCD, PTSD, Social Anxiety), Depression, ADHD, Mood Disorders (Bipolar and Schizophrenia), and SUD.
(502) 791-9800 View (502) 791-9800
Photo of Kurt Kristiansen, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Kurt Kristiansen
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Louisville, KY 40202  (Online Only)
Schedule now through www.leafytreepsychiatry.com. Dr. Kristiansen has seen a wide variety of patients as both a critical care nurse and psychiatric nurse practitioner, and that experience enables him to provide comprehensive care and treatment to patients. He understands that mental health struggles can be just as serious as a physical injury, and he desires to help each and every one of his patients overcome their difficulties. He is a compassionate, understanding, and sensitive listener who is dedicated to finding solutions which will help patients live healthy, happy lives.
Schedule now through www.leafytreepsychiatry.com. Dr. Kristiansen has seen a wide variety of patients as both a critical care nurse and psychiatric nurse practitioner, and that experience enables him to provide comprehensive care and treatment to patients. He understands that mental health struggles can be just as serious as a physical injury, and he desires to help each and every one of his patients overcome their difficulties. He is a compassionate, understanding, and sensitive listener who is dedicated to finding solutions which will help patients live healthy, happy lives.
(502) 281-0323 View (502) 281-0323
Photo of Mehdi Bubba Thomas, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Mehdi Bubba Thomas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40299  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(502) 317-8408 View (502) 317-8408
Photo of Dr. Ethan Short, Psychiatrist in Louisville, KY
Dr. Ethan Short
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40241
My calling is to care for those struggling under the gravity of severe mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, addictions (opiates, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, alcohol, tobacco, etc.), PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders, and adult ADHD. I am trained in multiple psychotherapies, but primarily practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as an alternative to medication, or as an adjunctive treatment for the above conditions.
My calling is to care for those struggling under the gravity of severe mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, addictions (opiates, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, alcohol, tobacco, etc.), PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders, and adult ADHD. I am trained in multiple psychotherapies, but primarily practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as an alternative to medication, or as an adjunctive treatment for the above conditions.
(502) 806-8395 View (502) 806-8395
Photo of Victoria Spreitler, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Victoria Spreitler
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP-C
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40241
Feeling overwhelmed with life’s demands? Juggling too much and don’t know where to turn for help? Life can be tough, especially if you’ve sought out help but didn’t feel like you were truly being heard. Vicki Spreitler is not just any Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner; she’s one who cares. Born and raised in Kentucky with over 15 years of diverse experience, including pediatrics, emergency medicine, primary and acute care, and mental health, Vicki has a wealth of knowledge to help you face your biggest fears. Vicki knows firsthand the challenges of balancing a hectic life—she’s been there as a single mom raising two boys.
Feeling overwhelmed with life’s demands? Juggling too much and don’t know where to turn for help? Life can be tough, especially if you’ve sought out help but didn’t feel like you were truly being heard. Vicki Spreitler is not just any Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner; she’s one who cares. Born and raised in Kentucky with over 15 years of diverse experience, including pediatrics, emergency medicine, primary and acute care, and mental health, Vicki has a wealth of knowledge to help you face your biggest fears. Vicki knows firsthand the challenges of balancing a hectic life—she’s been there as a single mom raising two boys.
(502) 427-7548 View (502) 427-7548
Photo of Morgan Smither, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Morgan Smither
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40207
Morgan Smither is an advanced practice registered nurse, board certified as a family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky and her master's degree in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University. She has experience working in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Her specialty areas include the treatment of chronic mental illness, bipolar disorder, addiction and depression. Morgan Smither treats patients starting at 16 years old.
Morgan Smither is an advanced practice registered nurse, board certified as a family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky and her master's degree in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University. She has experience working in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Her specialty areas include the treatment of chronic mental illness, bipolar disorder, addiction and depression. Morgan Smither treats patients starting at 16 years old.
(502) 317-0567 View (502) 317-0567
Photo of Kimberly Mosley, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Kimberly Mosley
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, ANP-C, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40218
Management of mental health issues has three components: you, your therapist, and your PMHNP. There is no one component that is better than the next. Mental health care is an ongoing treatment that relies on positive intentions and manifestations. The combined work of the client (you), therapist, and medication provider (PMHNP), allows the client to reach the goal of being the best version he/she can be.
Management of mental health issues has three components: you, your therapist, and your PMHNP. There is no one component that is better than the next. Mental health care is an ongoing treatment that relies on positive intentions and manifestations. The combined work of the client (you), therapist, and medication provider (PMHNP), allows the client to reach the goal of being the best version he/she can be.
(502) 677-3782 View (502) 677-3782
Photo of Sage Mental Health , Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Sage Mental Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC, APRN, MSN
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40243
Our goal at Sage is for you, the patient, to be well and healthy. We promote both an encouraging and healing environment where we will assist (and promote!) your goals and be here for you each step of the way.
Our goal at Sage is for you, the patient, to be well and healthy. We promote both an encouraging and healing environment where we will assist (and promote!) your goals and be here for you each step of the way.
(502) 273-0496 View (502) 273-0496
Photo of Mottsin Thomas, Psychiatrist in Louisville, KY
Mottsin Thomas
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40207  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(502) 461-1201 View (502) 461-1201
Photo of Mehdi Bubba Thomas, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, KY
Mehdi Bubba Thomas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40202  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(502) 547-0886 View (502) 547-0886

See more therapy options for Louisville

Nearby Searches for Louisville

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Louisville, KY

90+

Average cost per session

$150

Psychiatrists in Louisville, KY who prioritize treating:

92% Depression
92% Anxiety
79% Medication Management
78% Trauma and PTSD
78% Bipolar Disorder
75% ADHD
63% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

8 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

82% Aetna
82% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH
81% Cigna and Evernorth

How Psychiatrists in Louisville, KY see their clients

59% In Person and Online
41% Online Only

Gender breakdown

78% Female
22% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Louisville?

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.