Psychiatrists in Cambridge, MA

Harold J Bursztajn
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02138
I have more than 30 year of service as senior faculty at Harvard Medical School. Distinctions include receipt of the highest HMS mentorship award. My private practice is at my home office, with privacy and discretion assured. Patients include healthcare professionals executives. My patients and I work together to foster personal and professional growth and development, Medications prescribed when needed. Age range from early adolescents to supe-elder. My practice is an evaluation, consultation, and treatment resource for patients, families and clinicians locally and nationally.
I have more than 30 year of service as senior faculty at Harvard Medical School. Distinctions include receipt of the highest HMS mentorship award. My private practice is at my home office, with privacy and discretion assured. Patients include healthcare professionals executives. My patients and I work together to foster personal and professional growth and development, Medications prescribed when needed. Age range from early adolescents to supe-elder. My practice is an evaluation, consultation, and treatment resource for patients, families and clinicians locally and nationally.
(617) 812-2648 View (617) 812-2648
Photo of Emeric Bojarski, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Emeric Bojarski
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Cambridge, MA 02138
I am a Harvard-trained Child, Adolescent, and Adult psychiatrist who offers online visits to patients in the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, California, and Florida. I believe that you should be able to receive the best care, on your terms and that treatment should not interfere with other life pursuits, but enhance them. I work closely with your therapist and other treaters and provide expert medication management across the diagnostic spectrum, including my particular expertise in depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
I am a Harvard-trained Child, Adolescent, and Adult psychiatrist who offers online visits to patients in the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, California, and Florida. I believe that you should be able to receive the best care, on your terms and that treatment should not interfere with other life pursuits, but enhance them. I work closely with your therapist and other treaters and provide expert medication management across the diagnostic spectrum, including my particular expertise in depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
(617) 812-8242 View (617) 812-8242
Photo of Arnold Robbins, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Arnold Robbins
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02139  (Online Only)
I provide comprehensive humanistic psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. I have a lot of experience and clinical know-how across many psychotherapeutic approaches. I am empathic and thoughtful and approachable. I am a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Boston University, and a Lecturer at Tufts . I am a sought after supervisor for resident psychiatrists and colleagues. I work with all age groups except young children. My web site (ArnoldRobbinsMD.com.} I am comprehensive in my evaluations and treatment recommendations. I am responsive to each patient's needs. I use cinema to illustrate important emotions.
I provide comprehensive humanistic psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. I have a lot of experience and clinical know-how across many psychotherapeutic approaches. I am empathic and thoughtful and approachable. I am a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Boston University, and a Lecturer at Tufts . I am a sought after supervisor for resident psychiatrists and colleagues. I work with all age groups except young children. My web site (ArnoldRobbinsMD.com.} I am comprehensive in my evaluations and treatment recommendations. I am responsive to each patient's needs. I use cinema to illustrate important emotions.
(617) 941-4131 View (617) 941-4131
Photo of Mona Itani, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Mona Itani
Psychiatrist
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02139
Dr. Itani is committed to helping people find relief from depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and OCD. She offers compassionate, patient-focused treatments for mood and anxiety disorders using Ketamine, TMS and Psychedelic Therapy / Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP), as well as psychiatric treatment consultation services.
Dr. Itani is committed to helping people find relief from depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and OCD. She offers compassionate, patient-focused treatments for mood and anxiety disorders using Ketamine, TMS and Psychedelic Therapy / Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP), as well as psychiatric treatment consultation services.
(617) 765-1468 View (617) 765-1468
Photo of Nassir Ghaemi, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Nassir Ghaemi
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02139
People go to clinicians with symptoms. The job of a good clinician should be to find out what is causing those symptoms, and then to diagnose and treat those causes, sometimes with medications, sometimes with psychotherapies. Instead, many people receive a drug for each symptom, or psychotherapies instead of appropriate medications. They are then overtreated in many cases, undertreated in others. My approach is to treat diseases, when present, not symptoms. And my approach to diagnosis goes beyond simplistic reliance on DSM labels. This approach is scientifically sound, independent minded, and not the conventional wisdom.
People go to clinicians with symptoms. The job of a good clinician should be to find out what is causing those symptoms, and then to diagnose and treat those causes, sometimes with medications, sometimes with psychotherapies. Instead, many people receive a drug for each symptom, or psychotherapies instead of appropriate medications. They are then overtreated in many cases, undertreated in others. My approach is to treat diseases, when present, not symptoms. And my approach to diagnosis goes beyond simplistic reliance on DSM labels. This approach is scientifically sound, independent minded, and not the conventional wisdom.
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Photo of Christopher Michael Tangren, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Christopher Michael Tangren
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02139
Waitlist for new clients
I am a psychiatrist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Services I provide include psychiatric evaluation/consultation, individual psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology for adults 18 to 65. At this point, I only provide medication management for patients whom I am working with in a regular psychotherapy. I have an academic affiliation with McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Program, where I teach in a psychotherapy course and provide outpatient supervision of residents.
I am a psychiatrist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Services I provide include psychiatric evaluation/consultation, individual psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology for adults 18 to 65. At this point, I only provide medication management for patients whom I am working with in a regular psychotherapy. I have an academic affiliation with McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Program, where I teach in a psychotherapy course and provide outpatient supervision of residents.
(857) 214-2256 View (857) 214-2256
Photo of Dr. Jeffrey Kerner, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Dr. Jeffrey Kerner
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02138
I am a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. I recently started a private practice to offer patients flexible scheduling and personalized treatment plans. My clinical specialties include ADHD, depression, anxiety, and OCD. My focus will be on the diagnosis and medication management of mental health challenges. However, I strongly believe in a well-rounded approach to mental health that can include psychotherapy and lifestyle modifications.
I am a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. I recently started a private practice to offer patients flexible scheduling and personalized treatment plans. My clinical specialties include ADHD, depression, anxiety, and OCD. My focus will be on the diagnosis and medication management of mental health challenges. However, I strongly believe in a well-rounded approach to mental health that can include psychotherapy and lifestyle modifications.
(508) 501-1484 View (508) 501-1484
Photo of Alice Husted, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Cambridge, MA
Alice Husted
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Cambridge, MA 02139
Alice Husted is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who has 10 years of experience treating adults and adolescents (13 and older) with an array of mental health issues. Alice has specialized experience working with patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which has provided her expertise in treating disorders that are often a result of trauma, such as addictions, mood disorders, and eating disorders.
Alice Husted is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who has 10 years of experience treating adults and adolescents (13 and older) with an array of mental health issues. Alice has specialized experience working with patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which has provided her expertise in treating disorders that are often a result of trauma, such as addictions, mood disorders, and eating disorders.
(617) 431-1895 View (617) 431-1895
Photo of Jose Aguilar, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Cambridge, MA
Jose Aguilar
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02142  (Online Only)
I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, graduated from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. My experience is over 16 years providing patient care for adults, and the elderly at the inpatient acute psychiatric units and, outpatient mental health setting. I have worked with integrated behavioral health primary care clinics, community, and federal qualified health centers, and private practices.
I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, graduated from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. My experience is over 16 years providing patient care for adults, and the elderly at the inpatient acute psychiatric units and, outpatient mental health setting. I have worked with integrated behavioral health primary care clinics, community, and federal qualified health centers, and private practices.
(857) 367-8230 View (857) 367-8230
Photo of Ah Lahm Shin, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Ah Lahm Shin
Psychiatrist
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Cambridge, MA 02138
As a Harvard-trained psychiatrist specializing in child, adolescent, and adult care, I offer my patients an exceptional level of expertise and knowledge. To further our commitment to providing comprehensive and specialized care, I have collaborated with two academic psychiatrists to establish a group private practice called ReThink Minds, LLC. We offer a broad range of services tailored to our patients' needs. I strongly believe in the importance of personalized care, as every patient has unique circumstances and experiences. My aim is to deliver personalized treatment that addresses not only symptoms, but also individual needs.
As a Harvard-trained psychiatrist specializing in child, adolescent, and adult care, I offer my patients an exceptional level of expertise and knowledge. To further our commitment to providing comprehensive and specialized care, I have collaborated with two academic psychiatrists to establish a group private practice called ReThink Minds, LLC. We offer a broad range of services tailored to our patients' needs. I strongly believe in the importance of personalized care, as every patient has unique circumstances and experiences. My aim is to deliver personalized treatment that addresses not only symptoms, but also individual needs.
(617) 925-9148 View (617) 925-9148
Photo of Sarah Sanders, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Sarah Sanders
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02138
As a Harvard-trained, board-certified psychiatrist and therapist, I support adults from all life stages and backgrounds navigate challenging experiences; including anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties. Based on your preference, I offer visits in-person in Harvard Square or via tele-health. My approach is warm, empathetic, and respectful of your personal experience and autonomy. Depending on your unique situation, we have the option to explore various solutions including both medication and therapy, tailored to your needs and goals.
As a Harvard-trained, board-certified psychiatrist and therapist, I support adults from all life stages and backgrounds navigate challenging experiences; including anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties. Based on your preference, I offer visits in-person in Harvard Square or via tele-health. My approach is warm, empathetic, and respectful of your personal experience and autonomy. Depending on your unique situation, we have the option to explore various solutions including both medication and therapy, tailored to your needs and goals.
(508) 514-5784 View (508) 514-5784
Photo of Milena Djuric, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Milena Djuric
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Cambridge, MA 02138  (Online Only)
Patients come for various reasons to see a psychiatrist -depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, acute stress, relationship, family, identity problems. My goal is to establish a trusted relationship and supportive environment in order to help my patients to meet their needs, build coping skills, enhance their strengths and resolve symptoms. I strongly believe in compassionate and nonjudgemental approach. I enjoy working with patients of all different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations. My approach is patient centered and individualized.
Patients come for various reasons to see a psychiatrist -depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, acute stress, relationship, family, identity problems. My goal is to establish a trusted relationship and supportive environment in order to help my patients to meet their needs, build coping skills, enhance their strengths and resolve symptoms. I strongly believe in compassionate and nonjudgemental approach. I enjoy working with patients of all different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations. My approach is patient centered and individualized.
(617) 826-8849 View (617) 826-8849
Photo of Michael D Alpert, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Michael D Alpert
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Cambridge, MA 02138
I am a Board-Certified Psychiatrist and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. I am also a therapist in psychedelic research trials. I offer psychotherapy, which I combine with medication management or ketamine-assisted psychotherapy if and when needed. I have experience working with a diverse range of patients, including immigrants and their families.
I am a Board-Certified Psychiatrist and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. I am also a therapist in psychedelic research trials. I offer psychotherapy, which I combine with medication management or ketamine-assisted psychotherapy if and when needed. I have experience working with a diverse range of patients, including immigrants and their families.
(857) 858-2591 View (857) 858-2591
Photo of Connor Stimpson, Physician Assistant in Cambridge, MA
Connor Stimpson
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02141
My clients are often people who want to get better and are open to treatment recommendations. If you are seeking treatment, you should be provided with empathy, compassion, and evidence-based practice.
My clients are often people who want to get better and are open to treatment recommendations. If you are seeking treatment, you should be provided with empathy, compassion, and evidence-based practice.
(857) 401-8244 View (857) 401-8244
Photo of Ayelet Barkai, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Ayelet Barkai
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02139
People are often unaware of, and frustrated by, the emotional and relational roadblocks that repeatedly thwart them. I work with you to clarify and understand these issues and their origins, to help you effect positive change. I believe that the self-understanding that catalyzes such change is best reached by cultivating a psychotherapeutic relationship in which compassionate, honest and constructive communication can occur. I strive to create an environment that encourages the development of empathic and reflective self-awareness, recognizes and fosters resilience, and promotes your optimal well-being.
People are often unaware of, and frustrated by, the emotional and relational roadblocks that repeatedly thwart them. I work with you to clarify and understand these issues and their origins, to help you effect positive change. I believe that the self-understanding that catalyzes such change is best reached by cultivating a psychotherapeutic relationship in which compassionate, honest and constructive communication can occur. I strive to create an environment that encourages the development of empathic and reflective self-awareness, recognizes and fosters resilience, and promotes your optimal well-being.
(617) 440-3237 View (617) 440-3237
Photo of Christopher Magoon, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Christopher Magoon
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Cambridge, MA 02138
I am a psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School faculty member with expertise treating a wide range of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, substance use, and psychosis. I have additional expertise in grief/bereavement, supporting patients through complex medical decisions, advanced care planning, and anxiety disorders. I can see patients who are located in New York or Massachusetts via secure video platform or in person at my office near Harvard Square.
I am a psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School faculty member with expertise treating a wide range of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, substance use, and psychosis. I have additional expertise in grief/bereavement, supporting patients through complex medical decisions, advanced care planning, and anxiety disorders. I can see patients who are located in New York or Massachusetts via secure video platform or in person at my office near Harvard Square.
(508) 501-8315 View (508) 501-8315
Photo of Malak Rafla, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Malak Rafla
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Cambridge, MA 02139
Waitlist for new clients
Leading a fulfilling and happy life can be challenging and may even seem impossible at times. I believe that communicating and connecting via talk therapy is one path towards a happier and more meaningful life. My view is that therapy provides an opportunity to gain insight into one's relationships with one's self, others and society. I use a variety of approaches in my therapeutic work according to what works for each individual person. Together we'll focus on trying to understand the root causes of various problems and repetitive patterns of behavior that are difficult to change.
Leading a fulfilling and happy life can be challenging and may even seem impossible at times. I believe that communicating and connecting via talk therapy is one path towards a happier and more meaningful life. My view is that therapy provides an opportunity to gain insight into one's relationships with one's self, others and society. I use a variety of approaches in my therapeutic work according to what works for each individual person. Together we'll focus on trying to understand the root causes of various problems and repetitive patterns of behavior that are difficult to change.
(857) 259-5821 View (857) 259-5821
Photo of Tyrone J Williams, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Tyrone J Williams
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Cambridge, MA 02138
I am a psychiatrist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts with board certification in adult and child & adolescent psychiatry. I have 15 years of experience in practice and most commonly treat ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and substance use. I specialize in individual therapy and provide guidance to parents and families. I normally emphasize diet, exercise, and sleeping habits as essential elements to therapy. If I think it makes sense, I will prescribe medications, collaborating with my patients and their healthcare providers to make safe and appropriate medication choices.
I am a psychiatrist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts with board certification in adult and child & adolescent psychiatry. I have 15 years of experience in practice and most commonly treat ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and substance use. I specialize in individual therapy and provide guidance to parents and families. I normally emphasize diet, exercise, and sleeping habits as essential elements to therapy. If I think it makes sense, I will prescribe medications, collaborating with my patients and their healthcare providers to make safe and appropriate medication choices.
(617) 941-4632 View (617) 941-4632
Photo of Dr. Catline Jacques, Psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA
Dr. Catline Jacques
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Cambridge, MA 02140  (Online Only)
Hello and welcome! I am Dr. Catline Jacques, a double-boarded psychiatrist, Tufts-trained in general psychiatry and Harvard-trained in consultation-liaison psychiatry, and I am the founder of Alverdia Health. Alverdia is a holistic virtual mental health practice that serves adults from 21 to 65 in MA. With over 8 years of experience, I've dedicated my career to helping adults with anxiety and depression flourish. At Alverdia Health, my team & I use an evidence-based, person-centered approach to provide compassionate and high-quality care. We provide medication management when needed, supportive therapy and psychiatric consultation.
Hello and welcome! I am Dr. Catline Jacques, a double-boarded psychiatrist, Tufts-trained in general psychiatry and Harvard-trained in consultation-liaison psychiatry, and I am the founder of Alverdia Health. Alverdia is a holistic virtual mental health practice that serves adults from 21 to 65 in MA. With over 8 years of experience, I've dedicated my career to helping adults with anxiety and depression flourish. At Alverdia Health, my team & I use an evidence-based, person-centered approach to provide compassionate and high-quality care. We provide medication management when needed, supportive therapy and psychiatric consultation.
(617) 272-7355 View (617) 272-7355
Photo of Dr. Simbiat (Dr. Sim) Oladiran-Adighije, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Cambridge, MA
Dr. Simbiat (Dr. Sim) Oladiran-Adighije
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, PhD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Cambridge, MA 02138  (Online Only)
Introducing Dr. Sim: Your Partner in Mental Health and Well-being! Looking for expert guidance and support on your mental health journey? Meet Dr. Simbiat Oladiran-Adighije, affectionately known as Dr. Sim! With over 15 years of experience, she's your go-to professional specializing in Adult ADHD, Anxiety disorders, Mood Disorders (Depressive disorders & Bipolar disorders), Perinatal psychiatry, and comorbid mental disorders. Dr. Sim is not your average clinician—she's a trailblazer! Graduating Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers University with her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degrees in Nursing,
Introducing Dr. Sim: Your Partner in Mental Health and Well-being! Looking for expert guidance and support on your mental health journey? Meet Dr. Simbiat Oladiran-Adighije, affectionately known as Dr. Sim! With over 15 years of experience, she's your go-to professional specializing in Adult ADHD, Anxiety disorders, Mood Disorders (Depressive disorders & Bipolar disorders), Perinatal psychiatry, and comorbid mental disorders. Dr. Sim is not your average clinician—she's a trailblazer! Graduating Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers University with her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degrees in Nursing,
(281) 305-0364 View (281) 305-0364

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Cambridge, MA

100+

Average cost per session

$300

Psychiatrists in Cambridge, MA who prioritize treating:

93% Anxiety
92% Depression
70% Trauma and PTSD
67% Medication Management
64% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
64% Bipolar Disorder
61% ADHD

Average years in practice

15 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

88% BlueCross and BlueShield
75% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH
71% Cigna and Evernorth

How Psychiatrists in Cambridge, MA see their clients

59% In Person and Online
41% Online Only

Gender breakdown

57% Female
43% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Cambridge?

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.