Psychiatrists in Sparks, MD

Photo of Baltimore Ketamine Clinic, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Baltimore Ketamine Clinic
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, CRNA, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Sparks, MD 21152
Our focus is to guide you through your healing path and support you in embracing your inner strength and beauty. We provide a sacred space, where we listen to you and where we together plan your treatment. We walk with you through your journey and hold the light while you grow from your struggles, heal from your pain, and reach your goals.
Our focus is to guide you through your healing path and support you in embracing your inner strength and beauty. We provide a sacred space, where we listen to you and where we together plan your treatment. We walk with you through your journey and hold the light while you grow from your struggles, heal from your pain, and reach your goals.
(410) 639-3356 View (410) 639-3356
Photo of Mariel V Otter, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Mariel V Otter
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, , CRNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Sparks, MD 21152
Difficult emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are, at times, part of the human experience but they need NOT control your life. Reclaim your humanity & cope effectively with a provider who listens to your story and supports your intentions. Mariel Otter, DNP, CRNP-PMH has 13 years of psychiatric experience and is an alumna of Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland with clinical training from renowned psychiatrists including Dr. Scott Aronson, MD, and Dr. Larry Alessi, MD. Mariel Otter, DNP, CRNP-PMH is rated as an expert in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder by U.S. News and World Report Health.
Difficult emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are, at times, part of the human experience but they need NOT control your life. Reclaim your humanity & cope effectively with a provider who listens to your story and supports your intentions. Mariel Otter, DNP, CRNP-PMH has 13 years of psychiatric experience and is an alumna of Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland with clinical training from renowned psychiatrists including Dr. Scott Aronson, MD, and Dr. Larry Alessi, MD. Mariel Otter, DNP, CRNP-PMH is rated as an expert in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder by U.S. News and World Report Health.
(410) 936-6731 View (410) 936-6731
Photo of Susan Ouellette, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Susan Ouellette
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Sparks, MD 21152
I have worked in healthcare for over forty years, twenty of which working as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I love working with folks of all ages with short and long-term mental and physical conditions. I also enjoy helping those who are going through a rough patch that, as we all know, life tends to throw unexpectedly. I recognize that staying healthy requires a more complex treatment plan than simply prescribing a pill; although I can do that, I also offer tools to help you communicate, to feel better about yourself and your life, and to find your purpose and what brings you true, internal happiness.
I have worked in healthcare for over forty years, twenty of which working as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I love working with folks of all ages with short and long-term mental and physical conditions. I also enjoy helping those who are going through a rough patch that, as we all know, life tends to throw unexpectedly. I recognize that staying healthy requires a more complex treatment plan than simply prescribing a pill; although I can do that, I also offer tools to help you communicate, to feel better about yourself and your life, and to find your purpose and what brings you true, internal happiness.
(443) 665-8173 View (443) 665-8173

More Psychiatrists Nearby

Photo of Gabriel Obu, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Gabriel Obu
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Lutherville, MD 21093  (Online Only)
I diagnose and treat ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Sleep disorder, PTSD, Social anxiety, Schizophrenia, OCD, and offer laboratory testing to rule out any organic cause. No Waitlist. Appointments are within 24-48 hours. I am currently accepting new patients from Texas, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maryland, and New Mexico. You can self-schedule at I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). My treatment philosophy is rooted in a holistic, integrative, and collaborative approach to achieving my patient holistic goals.
I diagnose and treat ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Sleep disorder, PTSD, Social anxiety, Schizophrenia, OCD, and offer laboratory testing to rule out any organic cause. No Waitlist. Appointments are within 24-48 hours. I am currently accepting new patients from Texas, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maryland, and New Mexico. You can self-schedule at I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). My treatment philosophy is rooted in a holistic, integrative, and collaborative approach to achieving my patient holistic goals.
(240) 332-1696 View (240) 332-1696
Photo of TSG Mental Health Services, LLC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
TSG Mental Health Services, LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Owings Mills, MD 21117  (Online Only)
I am a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in private practice, who is also a certified Family Nurse Practitioner. My belief is that the patient benefits most by following the psychiatric evaluation with a dynamic and in-depth plan of action which is focused on the emotional and physical health of the patient. My duel degrees and clinical experience, provides a wealth of knowledge in medication management.
I am a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in private practice, who is also a certified Family Nurse Practitioner. My belief is that the patient benefits most by following the psychiatric evaluation with a dynamic and in-depth plan of action which is focused on the emotional and physical health of the patient. My duel degrees and clinical experience, provides a wealth of knowledge in medication management.
(443) 448-8722 View (443) 448-8722
Photo of David Mwangi, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
David Mwangi
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Timonium, MD 21093  (Online Only)
I am a board-certified mental health nurse practitioner with extensive clinical experience in mental health. I graduated from Maryville University and have a passion to assist clients find their strength in navigating through various mental health challenges.
I am a board-certified mental health nurse practitioner with extensive clinical experience in mental health. I graduated from Maryville University and have a passion to assist clients find their strength in navigating through various mental health challenges.
(410) 941-3533 View (410) 941-3533
Photo of Amoah Asante, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Amoah Asante
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, CRNP
Verified Verified
Cockeysville, MD 21030
My ideal client is an adult who is struggling with adult ADHD & depression. You may feel overwhelmed and struggle to complete tasks and you may experience a lack of motivation and energy that makes it challenging to engage in these tasks or daily activities. You might find it difficult to get out of bed or take care of basic tasks due to depressive symptoms.
My ideal client is an adult who is struggling with adult ADHD & depression. You may feel overwhelmed and struggle to complete tasks and you may experience a lack of motivation and energy that makes it challenging to engage in these tasks or daily activities. You might find it difficult to get out of bed or take care of basic tasks due to depressive symptoms.
(443) 648-9803 View (443) 648-9803
Photo of Modinat (Ty) Fagbenro, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Modinat (Ty) Fagbenro
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Lutherville Timonium, MD 21093
Are you feeling sad or lonely lately? Do you have problems with anxiety or issues with self-esteem? If you do, you may benefit from the services of our health professionals. I am well-experienced in providing behavioral health support for various disorders which may include medications and therapy sessions. This journey is client-driven, and I feel honored when clients invite me to be a part of their journey to renew and restore their mental health. I will not only treat your current and existing mental health conditions, but I will equally educate you on different ways to prevent other mental health conditions from occurring.
Are you feeling sad or lonely lately? Do you have problems with anxiety or issues with self-esteem? If you do, you may benefit from the services of our health professionals. I am well-experienced in providing behavioral health support for various disorders which may include medications and therapy sessions. This journey is client-driven, and I feel honored when clients invite me to be a part of their journey to renew and restore their mental health. I will not only treat your current and existing mental health conditions, but I will equally educate you on different ways to prevent other mental health conditions from occurring.
(410) 672-7028 View (410) 672-7028
Photo of Sara Bortner, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Sara Bortner
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, CRNP, PMH
Verified Verified
Cockeysville, MD 21031
Dr. Sara Bortner is a native of Maryland and earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health from the University of Maryland. She received her BSN from Towson University. Sara originally started her career as a Registered Nurse at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and COVID-19 relief efforts. Sara is board certified and is trained across the lifespan including, pediatrics and adults, to treat various mental health disorders.
Dr. Sara Bortner is a native of Maryland and earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health from the University of Maryland. She received her BSN from Towson University. Sara originally started her career as a Registered Nurse at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and COVID-19 relief efforts. Sara is board certified and is trained across the lifespan including, pediatrics and adults, to treat various mental health disorders.
(443) 708-5856 View (443) 708-5856
Photo of Dr. Enrique B. Olivares, Psychiatrist in Sparks, MD
Dr. Enrique B. Olivares
Psychiatrist, MD, FAPA
Verified Verified
Lutherville, MD 21093
I am a University of Maryland trained psychiatrist, board-certified in Adult Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. I specialize in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma issues, schizophrenia, substance use disorders and conditions associated to immigration. I treat individuals 18 years and older, and 16 years and older with parental permission. During my 23+ years in practice, I have worked at state psychiatric facilities, outpatient mental health centers, as a Chief Psychiatrist for an academic-affiliated medical center and as a Medical Director for a nationwide behavioral health company.
I am a University of Maryland trained psychiatrist, board-certified in Adult Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. I specialize in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma issues, schizophrenia, substance use disorders and conditions associated to immigration. I treat individuals 18 years and older, and 16 years and older with parental permission. During my 23+ years in practice, I have worked at state psychiatric facilities, outpatient mental health centers, as a Chief Psychiatrist for an academic-affiliated medical center and as a Medical Director for a nationwide behavioral health company.
(443) 251-3217 View (443) 251-3217
Photo of Maryland Psychiatric Care Marshall James, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Maryland Psychiatric Care Marshall James
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Marshall James, CRNP-PMH is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who specializes in the treatment both children and adults. He uses a patient-centered based approach to empower and improve mental wellness. Marshall began his career as a nurse on the adult inpatient psychiatric unit. He has experience working with a wide variety of adults, each with their own unique stressors and strengths. His experience includes people with severe mental illness as well as those struggling with substance abuse. Marshall has gained training and experience working with children and families, as well as adolescents and adults.
Marshall James, CRNP-PMH is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who specializes in the treatment both children and adults. He uses a patient-centered based approach to empower and improve mental wellness. Marshall began his career as a nurse on the adult inpatient psychiatric unit. He has experience working with a wide variety of adults, each with their own unique stressors and strengths. His experience includes people with severe mental illness as well as those struggling with substance abuse. Marshall has gained training and experience working with children and families, as well as adolescents and adults.
(410) 888-0007 View (410) 888-0007
Photo of Dr. Allen Masry, Psychiatrist in Sparks, MD
Dr. Allen Masry
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Cockeysville, MD 21030
I am Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry and have been practicing since 2005. I completed my residency from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and my Fellowship in Addictions from the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation. In 2014, I was featured in SJ Magazine as one of New Jersey’s top psychiatrists. I have experience working with adults as well as adolescents suffering from both psychiatric diagnosis and substance use disorders and have extensive experience working in both out-patient and in-patient settings.
I am Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry and have been practicing since 2005. I completed my residency from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and my Fellowship in Addictions from the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation. In 2014, I was featured in SJ Magazine as one of New Jersey’s top psychiatrists. I have experience working with adults as well as adolescents suffering from both psychiatric diagnosis and substance use disorders and have extensive experience working in both out-patient and in-patient settings.
(443) 407-8930 View (443) 407-8930
Photo of LivingWaters Integrative Health, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
LivingWaters Integrative Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Lutherville Timonium, MD 21093
Are you feeling sad or lonely lately? Do you have problems with anxiety or issues with self-esteem? If you do, you may benefit from the services of our health professionals. They are well-experienced in providing behavioral health support for various disorders which may include medications and therapy sessions. This journey is client-driven and we feel honored when clients invite us to be a part of their journey to renew and restore their mental health. We will not only treat your current and existing mental health conditions, but we will also educate you on different ways to prevent other mental health conditions from occurring.
Are you feeling sad or lonely lately? Do you have problems with anxiety or issues with self-esteem? If you do, you may benefit from the services of our health professionals. They are well-experienced in providing behavioral health support for various disorders which may include medications and therapy sessions. This journey is client-driven and we feel honored when clients invite us to be a part of their journey to renew and restore their mental health. We will not only treat your current and existing mental health conditions, but we will also educate you on different ways to prevent other mental health conditions from occurring.
(410) 672-7028 View (410) 672-7028
Photo of Paul Giannandrea, Psychiatrist in Sparks, MD
Paul Giannandrea
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Lutherville, MD 21093
For 20 years, I was a full-time faculty member at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine teaching medical students and training residents. I have 32 years experience in private practice assisting persons with substance use disorders, major psychiatric disturbances and behavioral addictions, including sexual addiction and gambling. As a Board certified psychiatrist in Addiction Medicine, Addiction Psychiatry and Adult Psychiatrist, I deal with the negative consequences of a variety of disorders alone and in combination, as well as relationship issues not related to addictions. I am particularly trained and experienced in the use of medication for these problems and their symptoms.
For 20 years, I was a full-time faculty member at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine teaching medical students and training residents. I have 32 years experience in private practice assisting persons with substance use disorders, major psychiatric disturbances and behavioral addictions, including sexual addiction and gambling. As a Board certified psychiatrist in Addiction Medicine, Addiction Psychiatry and Adult Psychiatrist, I deal with the negative consequences of a variety of disorders alone and in combination, as well as relationship issues not related to addictions. I am particularly trained and experienced in the use of medication for these problems and their symptoms.
(410) 709-3180 View (410) 709-3180
Photo of Glenna Guthrie, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Glenna Guthrie
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Cockeysville, MD 21030
Hello my name is Glenna! I provide emotional support, encouragement, and validation. I have many years of experience in the mental health field and my patients are my number one priority. I am fully dedicated and attentive to each patient I see. I believe in a comprehensive treatment approach in order to understand and treat underlying issues. My goal is for each of my patients to achieve overall wellness. If you are motivated to see changes in yourself in a short period of time, I believe I am the Nurse Practitioner for you!
Hello my name is Glenna! I provide emotional support, encouragement, and validation. I have many years of experience in the mental health field and my patients are my number one priority. I am fully dedicated and attentive to each patient I see. I believe in a comprehensive treatment approach in order to understand and treat underlying issues. My goal is for each of my patients to achieve overall wellness. If you are motivated to see changes in yourself in a short period of time, I believe I am the Nurse Practitioner for you!
(443) 706-8642 View (443) 706-8642
Photo of James Park, Psychiatric Nurse in Sparks, MD
James Park
Psychiatric Nurse, PMHNP, CRNP, Adult
Verified Verified
Phoenix, MD 21131
****TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE***** In life, we all experiences times of emotional pain. Sometimes, this leads to experiences of depression, anxiety, and other symptoms that may impact your relationships, work, and overall well-being. I work collaboratively with each patient to help relieve unnecessary suffering. Medications can be an important component of treatment. I work with each patient to carefully consider the best options as part of a holistic treatment plan. My areas of clinical focus include treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, trauma, and childhood onset ADHD.
****TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE***** In life, we all experiences times of emotional pain. Sometimes, this leads to experiences of depression, anxiety, and other symptoms that may impact your relationships, work, and overall well-being. I work collaboratively with each patient to help relieve unnecessary suffering. Medications can be an important component of treatment. I work with each patient to carefully consider the best options as part of a holistic treatment plan. My areas of clinical focus include treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, trauma, and childhood onset ADHD.
(443) 501-2806 View (443) 501-2806
Photo of Elizabeth Omopariola, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Elizabeth Omopariola
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Cockeysville, MD 21030
My name is Elizabeth Omopariola and I am a Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
My name is Elizabeth Omopariola and I am a Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
(240) 563-0510 View (240) 563-0510
Photo of Yarelis Guzmán Quiñones, Psychiatrist in Sparks, MD
Yarelis Guzmán Quiñones
Psychiatrist, MD, FAPA
Verified Verified
Towson, MD 21204  (Online Only)
Dr. Yarelis Guzmán Quiñones is a board-certified psychiatrist and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, focusing on women's mental health. Specializing in the emotional well-being of women, she addresses a range of issues, including ADHD, perinatal mental health, fertility concerns, perinatal loss, and postpartum depression. She completed her residency in General Psychiatry at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she served as the chief resident.
Dr. Yarelis Guzmán Quiñones is a board-certified psychiatrist and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, focusing on women's mental health. Specializing in the emotional well-being of women, she addresses a range of issues, including ADHD, perinatal mental health, fertility concerns, perinatal loss, and postpartum depression. She completed her residency in General Psychiatry at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she served as the chief resident.
(443) 888-2306 View (443) 888-2306
Photo of Speakeasy Health and Wellness, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Sparks, MD
Speakeasy Health and Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, CRNP, FNE-A
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Monkton, MD 21111  (Online Only)
Support for your mental health can be accessible and personalized. I want my patients to feel heard and supported. Children, teens, adults, and pregnant patients can come to Speakeasy for any mental health needs, be it medication management, therapy, holistic treatment, or medical cannabis. There is no “one size fits all” approach to taking care of you. Together we will collaborate to find the best path for you to feel better.
Support for your mental health can be accessible and personalized. I want my patients to feel heard and supported. Children, teens, adults, and pregnant patients can come to Speakeasy for any mental health needs, be it medication management, therapy, holistic treatment, or medical cannabis. There is no “one size fits all” approach to taking care of you. Together we will collaborate to find the best path for you to feel better.
(410) 498-7845 View (410) 498-7845
Renee C Feller
Psychiatric Nurse, MS, APRN, PMH
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Are you interested in an integrated, holistic approach to coping with life's problems that feel overwhelming? Need help dealing with anxiety, depression, or spiritual issues? Deeper issues may include trauma, PTSD, panic, aging, loss, cancer, physical disorders, sensitive to life (HSP), and relationship issues. Treatments involve a range of psychodynamic modalities, EMDR, Ego State Theory, CBT, and meditation. These may be coupled with spiritual direction to help someone who is spiritually depressed or depleted. Helping you to achieve wholeness of body/mind/spirit/soul so that you can come alive to being your best self.
Are you interested in an integrated, holistic approach to coping with life's problems that feel overwhelming? Need help dealing with anxiety, depression, or spiritual issues? Deeper issues may include trauma, PTSD, panic, aging, loss, cancer, physical disorders, sensitive to life (HSP), and relationship issues. Treatments involve a range of psychodynamic modalities, EMDR, Ego State Theory, CBT, and meditation. These may be coupled with spiritual direction to help someone who is spiritually depressed or depleted. Helping you to achieve wholeness of body/mind/spirit/soul so that you can come alive to being your best self.
(410) 701-0961 View (410) 701-0961

See more therapy options for Sparks

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Sparks, MD

< 10

Psychiatrists in Sparks, MD who prioritize treating:

100% Depression
100% Anxiety
100% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
100% Trauma and PTSD
100% Bipolar Disorder
100% Suicidal Ideation
67% Sleep or Insomnia

Average years in practice

11 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% Aetna
100% BlueCross and BlueShield
100% Cigna and Evernorth

How Psychiatrists in Sparks, MD see their clients

100% In Person and Online

Gender breakdown

100% Female
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Sparks?

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.