Psychiatrists in Chevy Chase, MD

Photo of David E Scharff, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
David E Scharff
Psychiatrist, MD, FABP
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
I'm a psychoanalyst who works with adults, children, couples and families, and have a subspecialty in sexual difficulties. I have taught and written about issues across many areas of the life cycle, and am probably best known for my treatment and teaching about couple and family difficulties. Although I am a psychiatrist, I only prescribe for patients I treat with psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.
I'm a psychoanalyst who works with adults, children, couples and families, and have a subspecialty in sexual difficulties. I have taught and written about issues across many areas of the life cycle, and am probably best known for my treatment and teaching about couple and family difficulties. Although I am a psychiatrist, I only prescribe for patients I treat with psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.
(240) 209-9657 View (240) 209-9657
Photo of Michael Dickson, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Chevy Chase, MD
Michael Dickson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815  (Online Only)
I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. I have eight years of experience in behavioral/mental health. I help my clients navigate emotional and psychological challenges by providing high-quality evidence-based care. My expertise spans multiple treatment areas, including depression, anxiety, other mood disorders and ADHD. My practice is dedicated to fostering a nurturing safe space for clients to share their stories, seek guidance, and, ultimately, work towards a brighter future.
I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. I have eight years of experience in behavioral/mental health. I help my clients navigate emotional and psychological challenges by providing high-quality evidence-based care. My expertise spans multiple treatment areas, including depression, anxiety, other mood disorders and ADHD. My practice is dedicated to fostering a nurturing safe space for clients to share their stories, seek guidance, and, ultimately, work towards a brighter future.
(240) 213-6293 View (240) 213-6293
Photo of Robert M Post, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Robert M Post
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
I do virtual consultations for children and adults with difficult-to-treat mood and anxiety disorders, especially unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. After reviewing your history, current and past medications, I will make a series of suggestions along with back up options in case the first things do not work out well enough for you. I will send this in a detailed email back to you so you can share it with and put it into action with your treating physician.
I do virtual consultations for children and adults with difficult-to-treat mood and anxiety disorders, especially unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. After reviewing your history, current and past medications, I will make a series of suggestions along with back up options in case the first things do not work out well enough for you. I will send this in a detailed email back to you so you can share it with and put it into action with your treating physician.
(240) 789-4929 View (240) 789-4929
Photo of Jill Savege Scharff, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Jill Savege Scharff
Psychiatrist, MD, FABP
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
I offer psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and I do not prescribe medication. Together, we focus on understanding your symptoms and mastering your upsetting impulses, conflicts, and relationships. You will learn to modify the way that early relationships affect current relationships. You’ll make links between your thoughts, feelings, and experiences now and in the past, decode your dreams, recognize your ways of protecting yourself, and acknowledge how you have been held back so you can then move forward in career, friendship, and love.
I offer psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and I do not prescribe medication. Together, we focus on understanding your symptoms and mastering your upsetting impulses, conflicts, and relationships. You will learn to modify the way that early relationships affect current relationships. You’ll make links between your thoughts, feelings, and experiences now and in the past, decode your dreams, recognize your ways of protecting yourself, and acknowledge how you have been held back so you can then move forward in career, friendship, and love.
(240) 635-8818 View (240) 635-8818
Photo of Gonzalo Laje, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Gonzalo Laje
Psychiatrist, MD, MHSc, FAPA
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Have you or your loved one been experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties? I believe that through a thorough diagnostic process and integrated treatment we can restore health and wellbeing. My name is Gonzalo Laje and I am a doubled Board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with over 25 years of experience and special interest in psychopharmacology. I completed my training at NYU/Bellevue Hospital and NIMH/Children's in DC. I evaluate and treat patients of all ages and severities with an emphasis on difficult to treat cases. My goal is to alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Have you or your loved one been experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties? I believe that through a thorough diagnostic process and integrated treatment we can restore health and wellbeing. My name is Gonzalo Laje and I am a doubled Board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with over 25 years of experience and special interest in psychopharmacology. I completed my training at NYU/Bellevue Hospital and NIMH/Children's in DC. I evaluate and treat patients of all ages and severities with an emphasis on difficult to treat cases. My goal is to alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
(301) 576-6044 View (301) 576-6044
Photo of Terri Lee Pargot, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Terri Lee Pargot
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Are you struggling with feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, uncertainty about your future? Are there problems in your relationships that you are having trouble understanding or working on by yourself? As a psychiatrist and psychotherapist I have been working with patients for over 30 years. I treat a wide range of emotional conflicts and their manifestations including depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety. Anxiety comes in many forms - e.g. chronic feelings of being anxious, panic attacks, social or performance anxiety, PTSD, OCD. I also treat adult patients with ADHD, eating disorders and sexual issues.
Are you struggling with feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, uncertainty about your future? Are there problems in your relationships that you are having trouble understanding or working on by yourself? As a psychiatrist and psychotherapist I have been working with patients for over 30 years. I treat a wide range of emotional conflicts and their manifestations including depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety. Anxiety comes in many forms - e.g. chronic feelings of being anxious, panic attacks, social or performance anxiety, PTSD, OCD. I also treat adult patients with ADHD, eating disorders and sexual issues.
(301) 758-5881 View (301) 758-5881
Photo of Titilayo Raji, Psychiatric Nurse in Chevy Chase, MD
Titilayo Raji
Psychiatric Nurse, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Titi Raji is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Maryland who has been practicing since 2019. She holds a DNP, PMHNP from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, an FNP from St Joseph College of Maine, and a BSN from Marymount University. Titi believes in providing individualized quality and compassionate mental health care services to clients and families in need through prevention, intervention, treatment, and education. She strives to provide patient-focused care in a supportive atmosphere in which patients, family members, and professionals are treated with the utmost dignity and respect.
Titi Raji is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Maryland who has been practicing since 2019. She holds a DNP, PMHNP from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, an FNP from St Joseph College of Maine, and a BSN from Marymount University. Titi believes in providing individualized quality and compassionate mental health care services to clients and families in need through prevention, intervention, treatment, and education. She strives to provide patient-focused care in a supportive atmosphere in which patients, family members, and professionals are treated with the utmost dignity and respect.
(240) 913-6283 View (240) 913-6283
Photo of Douglas A Chavis, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Douglas A Chavis
Psychiatrist, MD, MS
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
I can work with you on your struggles with anxiety, depression, or issues around intimacy, relationships, and sexuality. Or. I can work with your child or adolescent who may by overwhelmed with anxiety, depression, drug use, school difficulties, social difficulties, or conflicts with parents. If you are a couple I can help you resolve the intense pain of a difficult and conflicted relationship. I can also help if your family is struggling with loss, a disruptive parent or child, sibling squabbles or parent-child conflict.
I can work with you on your struggles with anxiety, depression, or issues around intimacy, relationships, and sexuality. Or. I can work with your child or adolescent who may by overwhelmed with anxiety, depression, drug use, school difficulties, social difficulties, or conflicts with parents. If you are a couple I can help you resolve the intense pain of a difficult and conflicted relationship. I can also help if your family is struggling with loss, a disruptive parent or child, sibling squabbles or parent-child conflict.
(301) 710-0483 View (301) 710-0483
Photo of Harry Gill, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Harry Gill
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
My Physician Assistant and I are accepting new patients for medication management via telemedicine across Maryland. I see patients for psychotherapy independently. We strive to continuously optimize your treatment plan and minimize medication use. Most emotional problems are multi-determined; that is, they frequently stem from more than one source. To best address these problems first requires an understanding of early development and its effects on the brain as well as relational and environmental stressors that affect us all. A deeper understanding evolves within the relationship between the client and the provider.
My Physician Assistant and I are accepting new patients for medication management via telemedicine across Maryland. I see patients for psychotherapy independently. We strive to continuously optimize your treatment plan and minimize medication use. Most emotional problems are multi-determined; that is, they frequently stem from more than one source. To best address these problems first requires an understanding of early development and its effects on the brain as well as relational and environmental stressors that affect us all. A deeper understanding evolves within the relationship between the client and the provider.
(301) 822-2484 View (301) 822-2484
Photo of Waritta Howell, Physician Assistant in Chevy Chase, MD
Waritta Howell
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815  (Online Only)
I am a Certified Physician Assistant specializing in psychiatry and am currently accepting new patients for medication management. I primarily see patients via telemedicine across DC, Maryland and Virginia, and in person, as-needed, in downtown Chevy Chase, Md.
I am a Certified Physician Assistant specializing in psychiatry and am currently accepting new patients for medication management. I primarily see patients via telemedicine across DC, Maryland and Virginia, and in person, as-needed, in downtown Chevy Chase, Md.
(240) 209-9703 View (240) 209-9703
Photo of Falk W Lohoff, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Falk W Lohoff
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
I am double Board certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine and specialize in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, ADHD and addictions. I completed my training at the University of Pennsylvania and have special interest in neuropsychopharmacology and psychotherapy. My overall goal is to alleviate your symptoms and increase your quality of life.
I am double Board certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine and specialize in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, ADHD and addictions. I completed my training at the University of Pennsylvania and have special interest in neuropsychopharmacology and psychotherapy. My overall goal is to alleviate your symptoms and increase your quality of life.
(301) 761-4191 View (301) 761-4191
Photo of Robert M. Post, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Robert M. Post
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815  (Online Only)
Dr. Post is world-renowned psychiatrist known for providing one-time consultations for children and adults with difficult-to-treat mood disorders such as unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. He has published over 1080 articles on these topics and continues to conduct research and publish work to contribute to the scientific advancement of treatments for these disorders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he is providing consults via telemedicine.
Dr. Post is world-renowned psychiatrist known for providing one-time consultations for children and adults with difficult-to-treat mood disorders such as unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. He has published over 1080 articles on these topics and continues to conduct research and publish work to contribute to the scientific advancement of treatments for these disorders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he is providing consults via telemedicine.
(240) 569-8174 View (240) 569-8174
Photo of Elspeth Dwyer, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Chevy Chase, MD
Elspeth Dwyer
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MS, CRNP, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
I am a board-certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, specializing in psychopharmacology. I received both a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in nursing from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner I worked as a psychotherapist and have my MSW from Boston College. I have extensive experience working in inpatient, partial hospital, outpatient and college health settings. I have a special interest in women's mental health across the lifespan, including the perinatal and postpartum period. I also especially enjoy working with young adults and college students.
I am a board-certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, specializing in psychopharmacology. I received both a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in nursing from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner I worked as a psychotherapist and have my MSW from Boston College. I have extensive experience working in inpatient, partial hospital, outpatient and college health settings. I have a special interest in women's mental health across the lifespan, including the perinatal and postpartum period. I also especially enjoy working with young adults and college students.
(301) 720-1119 View (301) 720-1119
Photo of Jeanne Holzgrefe, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Jeanne Holzgrefe
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
I am a Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety, depression, ADHD, relationship issues, and transitions in life. I also have extensive experience with a variety of other mental health issues. Therapy, I believe, is a collaborative exploration of important aspects of one's present and past, in order to develop alternative coping mechanisms and strategies for growth, to relieve suffering, to foster healthy relationships, and to attain one's personal goals. I have had much success in helping patients along a path to better mental health and functioning.
I am a Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety, depression, ADHD, relationship issues, and transitions in life. I also have extensive experience with a variety of other mental health issues. Therapy, I believe, is a collaborative exploration of important aspects of one's present and past, in order to develop alternative coping mechanisms and strategies for growth, to relieve suffering, to foster healthy relationships, and to attain one's personal goals. I have had much success in helping patients along a path to better mental health and functioning.
(301) 298-2836 View (301) 298-2836
Photo of Eric Taswell, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Eric Taswell
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
"No man is an island...", John Donne wrote. No woman, either. From birth, we depend upon relationships to give life meaning. But life sometimes leaves us feeling alone with our troubles. We may feel misunderstood, sad, worried, scared or angry. We may struggle with our direction, fall short of our hopes, suffer a loss. Yet our social connections are at the core of our humanity. That is why I believe talking can help to relieve suffering and create new directions. I strive to help by listening carefully and reflecting with you to better understand obstacles to a more fulfilling life.
"No man is an island...", John Donne wrote. No woman, either. From birth, we depend upon relationships to give life meaning. But life sometimes leaves us feeling alone with our troubles. We may feel misunderstood, sad, worried, scared or angry. We may struggle with our direction, fall short of our hopes, suffer a loss. Yet our social connections are at the core of our humanity. That is why I believe talking can help to relieve suffering and create new directions. I strive to help by listening carefully and reflecting with you to better understand obstacles to a more fulfilling life.
(301) 685-0781 View (301) 685-0781
Photo of Hedy Howard, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Hedy Howard
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
I work with my patients in an individualized collaborative process to understand the roots of the problem they are having and to design the best treatment plan. The goal is to restore health and alleviate pain but also to achieve the insight and self understanding that provides the freedom to be one's best self, to make the best choices in all aspects of life.
I work with my patients in an individualized collaborative process to understand the roots of the problem they are having and to design the best treatment plan. The goal is to restore health and alleviate pain but also to achieve the insight and self understanding that provides the freedom to be one's best self, to make the best choices in all aspects of life.
(240) 377-0919 View (240) 377-0919
Photo of Barbara Byers, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Barbara Byers
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
I am an adult psychiatrist who also specializes in reproductive psychiatry. I work with women who have mood and anxiey issues related to reproductive changes including pregnancy, posptpartum, and infertility, as well as PMS and menopause. I also treat general patients who have mood and axiety symptoms as well.
I am an adult psychiatrist who also specializes in reproductive psychiatry. I work with women who have mood and anxiey issues related to reproductive changes including pregnancy, posptpartum, and infertility, as well as PMS and menopause. I also treat general patients who have mood and axiety symptoms as well.
(703) 291-3727 View (703) 291-3727
Photo of Gift of Dreams Wellness and Consulting, LLC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Chevy Chase, MD
Gift of Dreams Wellness and Consulting, LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, MDiv, MPH, MSN
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
At The Gift of Dreams, you will have your specific needs met in a way that is collaborative, comfortable, and conscientious. Dr. Mekeshia Bates will work with you and for you to ensure that you are meeting your individual therapeutic goals and becoming the person you have always been capable of being. In unison, you and Dr. Bates will work to remove negative behavioral and thought patterns that give rise to problems in your life, helping you to become a happier, more fulfilled person. She will always help you to make your dreams your reality!
At The Gift of Dreams, you will have your specific needs met in a way that is collaborative, comfortable, and conscientious. Dr. Mekeshia Bates will work with you and for you to ensure that you are meeting your individual therapeutic goals and becoming the person you have always been capable of being. In unison, you and Dr. Bates will work to remove negative behavioral and thought patterns that give rise to problems in your life, helping you to become a happier, more fulfilled person. She will always help you to make your dreams your reality!
(301) 327-2817 View (301) 327-2817
Photo of June Ottley, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Chevy Chase, MD
June Ottley
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
June Ottley is certified as an Adult, Geriatric and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Maryland who has been practicing since 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Adult and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner from the University of Maryland. She later returned to advance her education and clinical expertise, by obtaining a Post Master's degree from the University of Cincinnati.
June Ottley is certified as an Adult, Geriatric and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Maryland who has been practicing since 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Adult and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner from the University of Maryland. She later returned to advance her education and clinical expertise, by obtaining a Post Master's degree from the University of Cincinnati.
(240) 523-4470 View (240) 523-4470
Photo of Megan Bowers, Psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, MD
Megan Bowers
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
Chevy Chase, MD 20815  (Online Only)
My approach is integrative, which means that treatment with medications may be combined with non-medication options, such as mindfulness-based interventions, life-style optimization, and nutritional supplementation. Together, we will develop an individualized well-being plan, which will incorporate your unique goals, and importantly, your perspective on health. My role is to offer these treatment options to you, and guide you as you make the decisions about which of these is aligned with your goals. All treatment options are evidence-informed, based on the medical and scientific literature.
My approach is integrative, which means that treatment with medications may be combined with non-medication options, such as mindfulness-based interventions, life-style optimization, and nutritional supplementation. Together, we will develop an individualized well-being plan, which will incorporate your unique goals, and importantly, your perspective on health. My role is to offer these treatment options to you, and guide you as you make the decisions about which of these is aligned with your goals. All treatment options are evidence-informed, based on the medical and scientific literature.
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How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Chevy Chase, MD

40+

Average cost per session

$325

Psychiatrists in Chevy Chase, MD who prioritize treating:

89% Depression
83% Anxiety
72% Medication Management
67% ADHD
65% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
65% Bipolar Disorder
54% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

16 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

71% Cigna and Evernorth
57% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH
50% Aetna

How Psychiatrists in Chevy Chase, MD see their clients

70% In Person and Online
30% Online Only

Gender breakdown

51% Male
49% Female
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Chevy Chase?

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.