Psychiatrists in Lewis And Clark County, MT

Photo of Kate Schiel, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kate Schiel
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Helena, MT 59602
Now accepting new clients! Has your therapist or physician suggested medication to relieve you or your child’s symptoms? Do you have questions about medication you are currently taking and whether adjustments can be made for better results and fewer side effects? Are you looking for someone who will listen to your unique experience to find the correct diagnosis and help manage your symptoms?
Now accepting new clients! Has your therapist or physician suggested medication to relieve you or your child’s symptoms? Do you have questions about medication you are currently taking and whether adjustments can be made for better results and fewer side effects? Are you looking for someone who will listen to your unique experience to find the correct diagnosis and help manage your symptoms?
(406) 602-0816 View (406) 602-0816
Photo of Michael German, MSN, APRN,  PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse
Michael German
Psychiatric Nurse, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Helena, MT 59602  (Online Only)
I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with 4 years of evaluating, diagnosing and treating many mental health disorders for children, adolescents and adults. I have experience working in the outpatient setting, telehealth appointments, inpatient unit and adolescent residential homes. In addition to my experience as a prescriber, I have over 15 years of nursing experience in multiple medical fields.
I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with 4 years of evaluating, diagnosing and treating many mental health disorders for children, adolescents and adults. I have experience working in the outpatient setting, telehealth appointments, inpatient unit and adolescent residential homes. In addition to my experience as a prescriber, I have over 15 years of nursing experience in multiple medical fields.
(406) 295-1645 View (406) 295-1645
Photo of Carly Sell, DNP, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Carly Sell
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Helena, MT 59601
Carly Sell, a Montana native, has worked as a psychiatric nurse for the past 15 years. Carly graduated in 2007 from Carroll College with her bachelor’s degree in nursing and from Montana State University in 2022 with her Doctor of Nursing Practice. Carly has always been passionate about improving overall mental health and well-being throughout Montana through suicide prevention, mental health awareness education, and trauma-informed care.
Carly Sell, a Montana native, has worked as a psychiatric nurse for the past 15 years. Carly graduated in 2007 from Carroll College with her bachelor’s degree in nursing and from Montana State University in 2022 with her Doctor of Nursing Practice. Carly has always been passionate about improving overall mental health and well-being throughout Montana through suicide prevention, mental health awareness education, and trauma-informed care.
(406) 351-7792 View (406) 351-7792
Photo of Heidi Geil - Optimize Psychiatry, LLC, DO, Psychiatrist
Optimize Psychiatry, LLC
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Helena, MT 59601
Not accepting new clients
Optimize Psychiatry offers a modern & natural approach to psychiatry that is Personalized, Holistic, Functional & Scientifically Informed. We take a root-cause analytic approach to each client's unique biochemistry, genetics & psychological factors and work to align physiology, neurology, and psychodynamics by incorporating insights from various disciplines within and outside of medicine. Our goal is always to help you retrieve or discover your Optimized Self through insight and future-driven change designed to improve your health across life domains and aligned with your deepest values. (More details at optimizepsychiatry.com)
Optimize Psychiatry offers a modern & natural approach to psychiatry that is Personalized, Holistic, Functional & Scientifically Informed. We take a root-cause analytic approach to each client's unique biochemistry, genetics & psychological factors and work to align physiology, neurology, and psychodynamics by incorporating insights from various disciplines within and outside of medicine. Our goal is always to help you retrieve or discover your Optimized Self through insight and future-driven change designed to improve your health across life domains and aligned with your deepest values. (More details at optimizepsychiatry.com)
Photo of Michelle Herron, DNP, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Michelle Herron
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Helena, MT 59601
Michelle Herron grew up in Helena, Montana. She has been specializing in psychiatric care for 13 years. Michelle graduated with her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Montana State University in 2022; she is passionate about providing inclusive psychiatric services to Montanans. Michelle believes that the provider and client work together to find an individualized treatment that promotes health, healing, and hope.
Michelle Herron grew up in Helena, Montana. She has been specializing in psychiatric care for 13 years. Michelle graduated with her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Montana State University in 2022; she is passionate about providing inclusive psychiatric services to Montanans. Michelle believes that the provider and client work together to find an individualized treatment that promotes health, healing, and hope.
(406) 991-1616 View (406) 991-1616
Photo of Holly L Gomez Levine - At Your Service Psychiatry PLLC, PMHNP, APRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
At Your Service Psychiatry PLLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, APRN
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Helena, MT 59601
Online Telepsychiatry Practice. No need to call or email an office. To see availability and schedule, go to AtYourServicePsychiatry.com. Prescription medications are sent to your local pharmacy after the visit. You finally decided to reach out for help, but it takes months to get in. I established this online telepsychiatry practice with the busy person in mind. In our psychiatric mental health practice, we care for people with ADHD, depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, bipolar, and more. We strive to offer compassionate and convenient psychiatric care.
Online Telepsychiatry Practice. No need to call or email an office. To see availability and schedule, go to AtYourServicePsychiatry.com. Prescription medications are sent to your local pharmacy after the visit. You finally decided to reach out for help, but it takes months to get in. I established this online telepsychiatry practice with the busy person in mind. In our psychiatric mental health practice, we care for people with ADHD, depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, bipolar, and more. We strive to offer compassionate and convenient psychiatric care.
Photo of Jiff (Jennifer) McAnally, DNP, APRN, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jiff (Jennifer) McAnally
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Helena, MT 59601  (Online Only)
Jiff is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Montana State University and focused her research on treating Adverse Childhood Experiences. She has worked and trained at Montana State Hospital, the VA, and many regional hospitals and outpatient facilities where she has served all ages and complexities. She authors continuing education courses for nurses and instructs undergraduate and graduate nursing courses. Jiff grew up in the small-town, farming, ranching, and rodeo ways of life in Montana. She operates from the values of community learned here.
Jiff is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Montana State University and focused her research on treating Adverse Childhood Experiences. She has worked and trained at Montana State Hospital, the VA, and many regional hospitals and outpatient facilities where she has served all ages and complexities. She authors continuing education courses for nurses and instructs undergraduate and graduate nursing courses. Jiff grew up in the small-town, farming, ranching, and rodeo ways of life in Montana. She operates from the values of community learned here.
(406) 431-1336 View (406) 431-1336
Photo of Doug Mitchell, ARNP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Doug Mitchell
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP-BC
Verified Verified
Helena, MT 59601  (Online Only)
ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS IN NY, FL, MT & CA. I'm Dr. Mitchell, PMHNP- BC, DNP & retired USAF Veteran. As a Psychiatric provider, my aim is to identify, address and modify conditions, limiting patterns and behaviors that diminish function and suppress growth. My philosophy is Bio-Psycho-Social; I acknowledge the whole dynamic being and maintain the explicit intent of fostering personal accountability, growth and development. I approach each therapeutic encounter as a unique opportunity to facilitate the process of expanding awareness and elevating consciousness. We believe illuminating barriers is the first step toward eliminating them.
ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS IN NY, FL, MT & CA. I'm Dr. Mitchell, PMHNP- BC, DNP & retired USAF Veteran. As a Psychiatric provider, my aim is to identify, address and modify conditions, limiting patterns and behaviors that diminish function and suppress growth. My philosophy is Bio-Psycho-Social; I acknowledge the whole dynamic being and maintain the explicit intent of fostering personal accountability, growth and development. I approach each therapeutic encounter as a unique opportunity to facilitate the process of expanding awareness and elevating consciousness. We believe illuminating barriers is the first step toward eliminating them.
(347) 479-1352 View (347) 479-1352
Photo of Jennifer Foresman, DNP, CRNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jennifer Foresman
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, CRNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Helena, MT 59601  (Online Only)
Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to overcome your mental illness? Are you suffering from persistent feelings of sadness, chaotic mood swings, or debilitating anxiety? You might not remember a time when you didn’t feel this way. You are desperate for relief but beginning to wonder if there is hope of feeling better. Clients come to me looking for a provider with the experience and knowledge to manage challenging chronic symptoms, because mental health treatment does not need to be a constant unconquerable quest.
Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to overcome your mental illness? Are you suffering from persistent feelings of sadness, chaotic mood swings, or debilitating anxiety? You might not remember a time when you didn’t feel this way. You are desperate for relief but beginning to wonder if there is hope of feeling better. Clients come to me looking for a provider with the experience and knowledge to manage challenging chronic symptoms, because mental health treatment does not need to be a constant unconquerable quest.
(878) 217-0537 View (878) 217-0537
Photo of Julie Funke, ARNP, FNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Julie Funke
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, FNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Helena, MT 59601  (Online Only)
We are a small, intimate office! The best way to reach us for scheduling appointments is through email. I am accepting patients in Idaho, Washington, Montana and Nevada via telehealth! I am passionate to treating you as an individual and make a treatment plan WITH you! I take a holistic approach to your physical and mental health treatment. There is so much more to wellness than medications alone! We will work closely together to develop a plan that focuses on total health for your body and mind to improve mental wellbeing. I see individuals ages 18 and up. I look forward to brining total wellness to you!
We are a small, intimate office! The best way to reach us for scheduling appointments is through email. I am accepting patients in Idaho, Washington, Montana and Nevada via telehealth! I am passionate to treating you as an individual and make a treatment plan WITH you! I take a holistic approach to your physical and mental health treatment. There is so much more to wellness than medications alone! We will work closely together to develop a plan that focuses on total health for your body and mind to improve mental wellbeing. I see individuals ages 18 and up. I look forward to brining total wellness to you!
(208) 537-2722 View (208) 537-2722
Photo of Nicole Davis - Bellathia Psychiatry, LLC, APRN, PMHNP, PMHC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Bellathia Psychiatry, LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP, PMHC
Verified Verified
Helena, MT 59601
***Accepting NEW PATIENTS in Montana*****SCHEDULE DIRECTLY at www.bellathiapsychiatry.com****** I can provide psychiatric services including diagnostic evaluation, medication management, laboratory monitoring, follow up care, and referrals as needed. You are important and so is your self care! I'm here to help. I have several years of diverse experience in education and nursing. My goal is to help you understand why you are feeling this way and how we can work together towards meeting your needs.
***Accepting NEW PATIENTS in Montana*****SCHEDULE DIRECTLY at www.bellathiapsychiatry.com****** I can provide psychiatric services including diagnostic evaluation, medication management, laboratory monitoring, follow up care, and referrals as needed. You are important and so is your self care! I'm here to help. I have several years of diverse experience in education and nursing. My goal is to help you understand why you are feeling this way and how we can work together towards meeting your needs.
(406) 534-7769 View (406) 534-7769

Online Psychiatrists

Photo of Dessye-Dee Clark, APRN, PhD, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dessye-Dee Clark
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Missoula, MT 59802
Are you creative, entrepreneurial, but struggle with focus, impulsivity, and productivity? Social anxiety and assertiveness? Would you like to optimize your potential and begin to do things that are meaningful and sustainable? Do you need somebody with expertise in psychopharmacology, who truly cares about your welfare, who will work closely with you and your primary therapist? Do you know a child or teen that needs urgent psychiatric assessment or stabilization after hospitalization? We understand developmental needs, neurosensory sensitivities, learning differences. We provide Trauma-informed care, always.
Are you creative, entrepreneurial, but struggle with focus, impulsivity, and productivity? Social anxiety and assertiveness? Would you like to optimize your potential and begin to do things that are meaningful and sustainable? Do you need somebody with expertise in psychopharmacology, who truly cares about your welfare, who will work closely with you and your primary therapist? Do you know a child or teen that needs urgent psychiatric assessment or stabilization after hospitalization? We understand developmental needs, neurosensory sensitivities, learning differences. We provide Trauma-informed care, always.
(406) 412-6934 View (406) 412-6934
Photo of Shannon Davis, PMHNPBC, FNP-C, AGACNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Shannon Davis
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC, FNP-C, AGACNP
Verified Verified
Great Falls, MT 59401
I moved to Alaska In July 2021 from Tennessee . I had been providing telehealth for two years in Alaska. I decided to move my family to open a practice to be more active in the community. I am a daughter and wife of a Veteran. I have a passion for mental health, addiction, and alternative treatments. My special interest is ADHD because I was diagnosed with this late in life and had another provider wrongly diagnosis me with PTSD. I also specialize in anxiety and bipolar along with other diagnoses. Ketamine and TMS along with other alternative treatments are a passion of mine.
I moved to Alaska In July 2021 from Tennessee . I had been providing telehealth for two years in Alaska. I decided to move my family to open a practice to be more active in the community. I am a daughter and wife of a Veteran. I have a passion for mental health, addiction, and alternative treatments. My special interest is ADHD because I was diagnosed with this late in life and had another provider wrongly diagnosis me with PTSD. I also specialize in anxiety and bipolar along with other diagnoses. Ketamine and TMS along with other alternative treatments are a passion of mine.
(855) 968-5040 View (855) 968-5040
Photo of Hope Hollingsworth - Sparrow Psychiatry and Wellness, PLLC, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sparrow Psychiatry and Wellness, PLLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Anaconda, MT 59711
I am rooted in integrative mental health, seeing a client as a whole person where family history, medical history, genetics, lifestyle choices and social connection intersect. I partner with clients to chart an individualized plan for wellness and psychiatric care. My treatment tool belt includes traditional western medicine and medications, pioneering interventions such as intranasal ketamine, as well as non-pharmaceutical interventions like meditation, mindfulness, and acudetox. I have high standards for dignified, ethical, and principled mental health care.
I am rooted in integrative mental health, seeing a client as a whole person where family history, medical history, genetics, lifestyle choices and social connection intersect. I partner with clients to chart an individualized plan for wellness and psychiatric care. My treatment tool belt includes traditional western medicine and medications, pioneering interventions such as intranasal ketamine, as well as non-pharmaceutical interventions like meditation, mindfulness, and acudetox. I have high standards for dignified, ethical, and principled mental health care.
(406) 641-3509 View (406) 641-3509
Photo of Megan Bowers, MD, PhD, Psychiatrist
Megan Bowers
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
Bozeman, MT 59718  (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.
View
Photo of Jennifer Buscher, DNP, PMHNP-B, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jennifer Buscher
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
Missoula, MT 59808  (Online Only)
Now accepting new patients! As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner on the Luvita Team, I am dedicated to making a difference in Wyoming communities. With extensive medical education and experience, combined with my role as a mother and leader, I bring a unique perspective to my work. My passion lies in providing trauma-informed care, effective leadership, and nurturing resilient communities.
Now accepting new patients! As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner on the Luvita Team, I am dedicated to making a difference in Wyoming communities. With extensive medical education and experience, combined with my role as a mother and leader, I bring a unique perspective to my work. My passion lies in providing trauma-informed care, effective leadership, and nurturing resilient communities.
(406) 626-7375 View (406) 626-7375
Photo of Kristel Kishbaugh - Mental Health Connections, LLC, DNP, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Mental Health Connections, LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Montana City, MT 59634
Good health includes both physical and mental health which is why I believe a holistic perspective is key. I became an RN in 2008 and later, in 2016, I completed a Masters in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership later graduating with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice specializing in Psychiatric Mental Health in 2022.
Good health includes both physical and mental health which is why I believe a holistic perspective is key. I became an RN in 2008 and later, in 2016, I completed a Masters in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership later graduating with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice specializing in Psychiatric Mental Health in 2022.
(406) 416-4963 View (406) 416-4963
Photo of Eric Dees, MMS, PA-C, CAQ-Psy, Physician Assistant
Eric Dees
Physician Assistant, MMS, PA-C, CAQ-Psy
Verified Verified
Missoula, MT 59808  (Online Only)
I work with individuals seeking to bring order to their lives as a result of mental health or substance use concerns. Many patients often struggle to achieve their health goals with one size fits all treatment and I work hard to break the mold and provide comprehensive, individualized care to each of my patients.
I work with individuals seeking to bring order to their lives as a result of mental health or substance use concerns. Many patients often struggle to achieve their health goals with one size fits all treatment and I work hard to break the mold and provide comprehensive, individualized care to each of my patients.
(406) 313-2398 View (406) 313-2398
Photo of Jamie Beth Goldberg - Wellness Options LLC, PMHNP-C, ACNP-BC, APRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Wellness Options LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP-C, ACNP-BC, APRN
Verified Verified
Anaconda, MT 59711
My focus is to assist those who may struggle with their mental health and tailor a specific plan of care that the individual and myself create. The recent pandemic has pushed society to recognize that individuals may need assistance with mental wellness. Montana is very rural and services are not always readily available, I am committed to the wellness of individuals and would like to provide services to our community.
My focus is to assist those who may struggle with their mental health and tailor a specific plan of care that the individual and myself create. The recent pandemic has pushed society to recognize that individuals may need assistance with mental wellness. Montana is very rural and services are not always readily available, I am committed to the wellness of individuals and would like to provide services to our community.
(406) 905-0705 View (406) 905-0705
Photo of Nicole Davis Aprn, PMHNP, PMH-C, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Nicole Davis Aprn
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, PMH-C
Verified Verified
Butte, MT 59750
***Accepting new patients in Montana****SCHEDULE TODAY DIRECTLY ONLINE at www.bellathiapsychiatry.com***** I can provide psychiatric services including diagnostic evaluation, medication management, laboratory monitoring, follow up care, and referrals as needed. You are important and so is your self care! I'm here to help. I have several years of diverse experience in education and nursing. My goal is to help you understand why you are feeling this way and how we can work together towards meeting your needs.
***Accepting new patients in Montana****SCHEDULE TODAY DIRECTLY ONLINE at www.bellathiapsychiatry.com***** I can provide psychiatric services including diagnostic evaluation, medication management, laboratory monitoring, follow up care, and referrals as needed. You are important and so is your self care! I'm here to help. I have several years of diverse experience in education and nursing. My goal is to help you understand why you are feeling this way and how we can work together towards meeting your needs.
(406) 319-3476 View (406) 319-3476

See more therapy options for Lewis And Clark County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Lewis And Clark County, MT

10+

Average cost per session

$312

Psychiatrists in Lewis And Clark County, MT who prioritize treating:

100% Anxiety
91% Depression
91% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
91% Sleep or Insomnia
91% Medication Management
82% ADHD
82% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

9 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

88% BlueCross and BlueShield
75% Aetna
75% Medicaid

How Psychiatrists in Lewis And Clark County, MT see their clients

55% In Person and Online
45% Online Only

Gender breakdown

89% Female
11% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Lewis And Clark County?

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.