Psychiatrists in Asheville, NC

Photo of Heather Strauss, MPAS, PA-C, Physician Assistant
Heather Strauss
Physician Assistant, MPAS, PA-C
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Asheville, NC 28803  (Online Only)
Now accepting new patients throughout North Carolina & Florida: Contact us for same day or next day appointments! - - - Heather is a physician associate (PA) with over a decade of clinical experience. In her practice, she is dedicated to practicing shared decision-making, putting you in control of your mental health journey while providing guidance based on years of expertise. She is an advocate for evidence-based medicine, ensuring that your treatment plan is rooted in the latest research and tailored to your unique needs.
Now accepting new patients throughout North Carolina & Florida: Contact us for same day or next day appointments! - - - Heather is a physician associate (PA) with over a decade of clinical experience. In her practice, she is dedicated to practicing shared decision-making, putting you in control of your mental health journey while providing guidance based on years of expertise. She is an advocate for evidence-based medicine, ensuring that your treatment plan is rooted in the latest research and tailored to your unique needs.
(828) 235-4000 View (828) 235-4000
Photo of Randy Gergel - Randy S. Gergel, MD, P.A., MD, Psychiatrist
Randy S. Gergel, MD, P.A.
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28804
Key elements of good mental health care include (1) a solid bond between patient and psychiatrist, strengthened by open communication, mutual respect, and mutual trust; (2) involvement of spouse, or other close family member or close friend, in the treatment process; (3) coordination of care involving communication of psychiatrist with patient's primary care provider, and with other professionals, who provide care for the patient's emotional and physical needs.
Key elements of good mental health care include (1) a solid bond between patient and psychiatrist, strengthened by open communication, mutual respect, and mutual trust; (2) involvement of spouse, or other close family member or close friend, in the treatment process; (3) coordination of care involving communication of psychiatrist with patient's primary care provider, and with other professionals, who provide care for the patient's emotional and physical needs.
(828) 548-4127 View (828) 548-4127
Photo of Julie Chilton - Dr Julie Chilton, MD, PLLC, MD, DFAACAP, Psychiatrist
Dr Julie Chilton, MD, PLLC
Psychiatrist, MD, DFAACAP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Asheville, NC 28814  (Online Only)
I am a board-certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist in private practice in Asheville, NC and on faculty at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, CT. I provide therapy as well as medication management, when necessary. The primary modalities I use with clients are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. One of my biggest passions is providing excellent resources to supplement therapy, so clients feel well-versed in their treatment and realize they are not the only ones going through these struggles. Mental health issues are common and treatable and there should be no shame in getting help!
I am a board-certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist in private practice in Asheville, NC and on faculty at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, CT. I provide therapy as well as medication management, when necessary. The primary modalities I use with clients are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. One of my biggest passions is providing excellent resources to supplement therapy, so clients feel well-versed in their treatment and realize they are not the only ones going through these struggles. Mental health issues are common and treatable and there should be no shame in getting help!
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Photo of Malia Scott, PA-C, Physician Assistant
Malia Scott
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28801
Malia enjoys helping the psychiatric needs of patients of all ages but has a particular affinity for treating pediatric patients.
Malia enjoys helping the psychiatric needs of patients of all ages but has a particular affinity for treating pediatric patients.
(855) 698-1551 View (855) 698-1551
Photo of Denise Wilbanks, DNP, MA, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Denise Wilbanks
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, MA
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28805  (Online Only)
Great to meet you! I am Denise. I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 15 years of experience. I specialize in creating safe containers for patients to discover their own power and ability to heal. Working together, leveraging therapeutic exploration, empowerment, and inspiring you to understand the mind, body and spirit connection for whole health. You will discover your own truth and learn to expand yourself and your life to be the medicine and become your own hero.
Great to meet you! I am Denise. I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 15 years of experience. I specialize in creating safe containers for patients to discover their own power and ability to heal. Working together, leveraging therapeutic exploration, empowerment, and inspiring you to understand the mind, body and spirit connection for whole health. You will discover your own truth and learn to expand yourself and your life to be the medicine and become your own hero.
(828) 383-9402 View (828) 383-9402
Michael Alan Finch
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28801
Hello and Welcome to my practice. I emphasize an individualized and whole person approach to wellness and believe strongly in daily exercise, healthy diet, and mindfulness/meditation. Mindfulness and meditation come in many forms and is rapidly being recognized as essential in all areas of medicine. Although teachings about this have been around for thousands of years, only recently has this been rediscovered and it's importance recognized. If I can't provide the specific therapy that you need, I'm comfortable partnering with other qualified therapists who can.
Hello and Welcome to my practice. I emphasize an individualized and whole person approach to wellness and believe strongly in daily exercise, healthy diet, and mindfulness/meditation. Mindfulness and meditation come in many forms and is rapidly being recognized as essential in all areas of medicine. Although teachings about this have been around for thousands of years, only recently has this been rediscovered and it's importance recognized. If I can't provide the specific therapy that you need, I'm comfortable partnering with other qualified therapists who can.
(828) 536-4530 View (828) 536-4530
Photo of Dr. Mona Venzon Rice, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Mona Venzon Rice
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28803
Your child is having a hard time learning or has significant behavioral issues. Perhaps excessive worry, obsessive fixations, past trauma or deep sadness prevent her from making friends, going to school or enjoying life. Or his moods & thoughts can be strange & disruptive. Or their social & emotional development appear off. You're very concerned but not sure where to start or what to do. You have tried to understand & adjust your parenting to attempt to help. Or you may have taken him to therapist/s or doctor/s & tried various treatments, but he continues to struggle & something is still missing.
Your child is having a hard time learning or has significant behavioral issues. Perhaps excessive worry, obsessive fixations, past trauma or deep sadness prevent her from making friends, going to school or enjoying life. Or his moods & thoughts can be strange & disruptive. Or their social & emotional development appear off. You're very concerned but not sure where to start or what to do. You have tried to understand & adjust your parenting to attempt to help. Or you may have taken him to therapist/s or doctor/s & tried various treatments, but he continues to struggle & something is still missing.
(828) 600-4919 View (828) 600-4919
Photo of Ijaz Rasul - TelePsychiatrist_Piedmont Behavioral Services, MD, Psychiatrist
TelePsychiatrist_Piedmont Behavioral Services
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28801
Our clinic provides Child, Adult Psychiatry, Therapy and Substance abuse services including Suboxone Treatment via video across North Carolina. Our Board Certified Psychiatrists and Therapists are available to help everyday and we can offer same day appointments. Telepsychiatry or Telemedicine uses video link (via computer or smartphone) to offer appointments from home or outside clinic. It offers the option to see a psychiatrist any time as long as you have access to your smart phone or computer. Please use our website or below link to make an appointment. https://piedmontbs.com/telepsychiatry/
Our clinic provides Child, Adult Psychiatry, Therapy and Substance abuse services including Suboxone Treatment via video across North Carolina. Our Board Certified Psychiatrists and Therapists are available to help everyday and we can offer same day appointments. Telepsychiatry or Telemedicine uses video link (via computer or smartphone) to offer appointments from home or outside clinic. It offers the option to see a psychiatrist any time as long as you have access to your smart phone or computer. Please use our website or below link to make an appointment. https://piedmontbs.com/telepsychiatry/
(828) 575-0687 View (828) 575-0687
Photo of Brittany Vasquez, MD, Psychiatrist
Brittany Vasquez
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi there! My name is Dr. Brittany Vasquez and I am dual board certified as an adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist. Originally from Appalachia and having returned home, I am excited to be starting private practice at the established and historic Carolina Mountain Psychiatry. I specialize in the treatment of depression, anxiety, ADHD, adjustment, trauma (childhood), autism spectrum disorder, and emerging longer term mood and psychotic disorders.
Hi there! My name is Dr. Brittany Vasquez and I am dual board certified as an adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist. Originally from Appalachia and having returned home, I am excited to be starting private practice at the established and historic Carolina Mountain Psychiatry. I specialize in the treatment of depression, anxiety, ADHD, adjustment, trauma (childhood), autism spectrum disorder, and emerging longer term mood and psychotic disorders.
(828) 471-9272 View (828) 471-9272
Photo of Maria MacDougall, MSN, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Maria MacDougall
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Asheville, NC 28801
Not accepting new clients
Maria MacDougall is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner providing psychiatric evaluation and medication management services. After working at a psychiatric facility as an inpatient nurse, she entered and graduated from the nurse practitioner program at Anderson University. She is currently accepting new patients at Amica Mental Health, a practice based in Asheville that serves Western North Carolina. She specializes in medication management for adults.
Maria MacDougall is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner providing psychiatric evaluation and medication management services. After working at a psychiatric facility as an inpatient nurse, she entered and graduated from the nurse practitioner program at Anderson University. She is currently accepting new patients at Amica Mental Health, a practice based in Asheville that serves Western North Carolina. She specializes in medication management for adults.
(828) 332-5291 View (828) 332-5291
Photo of Lee Anne Horn, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lee Anne Horn
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28801
See website for client application form. . . . . . . . . . I approach every interaction as a privilege and honor to be invited to a vulnerable moment in your life. I respect each individual for the life story you bring to our work together and I view my role as a partner in your care. Together we determine goals of treatment and problem solve a pathway to improved health. Please note that I do not accept insurance and fees are due at the time of service.
See website for client application form. . . . . . . . . . I approach every interaction as a privilege and honor to be invited to a vulnerable moment in your life. I respect each individual for the life story you bring to our work together and I view my role as a partner in your care. Together we determine goals of treatment and problem solve a pathway to improved health. Please note that I do not accept insurance and fees are due at the time of service.
(828) 457-9553 View (828) 457-9553
Photo of Dr. Ami Pearse, DNP, APRN, PMHNP, BC, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Ami Pearse
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PMHNP, BC, FNP
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28803
“As the influence behind Peace of Mind Center, PLLC, I bring a wealth of experience and expertise honed over a diverse career in healthcare. From a solid foundation built on 20 years of critical care nursing, I’ve more than 30 years of dedicated service allowing me to possess a unique perspective that informs my approach to psychiatry. My journey as a psychiatric provider has been shaped by profound understandings of the human experience, from the ICU and ER settings to complexities of mental health. This background equips me with invaluable insights into the interconnectedness of physical and mental wellness to offer holistic care.
“As the influence behind Peace of Mind Center, PLLC, I bring a wealth of experience and expertise honed over a diverse career in healthcare. From a solid foundation built on 20 years of critical care nursing, I’ve more than 30 years of dedicated service allowing me to possess a unique perspective that informs my approach to psychiatry. My journey as a psychiatric provider has been shaped by profound understandings of the human experience, from the ICU and ER settings to complexities of mental health. This background equips me with invaluable insights into the interconnectedness of physical and mental wellness to offer holistic care.
(828) 977-6046 View (828) 977-6046
Photo of Anne Fulbright, MA, MMS, PA, Physician Assistant
Anne Fulbright
Physician Assistant, MA, MMS, PA
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28801
Not accepting new clients
People do best when they are curious about furthering their own understanding of themselves, and want to learn to demonstrate empathy and forgiveness, this solves problems for people. Improving coping skills and healing from trauma help people feel better as well. The foundations of treatment success are compassion, trust and support, which allow for the development of skills and insights as well as improved self care. Many stressors are related to health, and it is valuable to think "whole person" as medical problems, such as thyroid disease, can cause anxiety, for example.
People do best when they are curious about furthering their own understanding of themselves, and want to learn to demonstrate empathy and forgiveness, this solves problems for people. Improving coping skills and healing from trauma help people feel better as well. The foundations of treatment success are compassion, trust and support, which allow for the development of skills and insights as well as improved self care. Many stressors are related to health, and it is valuable to think "whole person" as medical problems, such as thyroid disease, can cause anxiety, for example.
(828) 554-2798 View (828) 554-2798
Photo of Tabatha Jones - Daya Mental Health and Wellness, PLLC, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Daya Mental Health and Wellness, PLLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28801
Accepting New Clients! Please fill out our new patient forms on our website at www.dayamentlahealth.com to become a client. Our practice contains Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and Therapists who provide comprehensive treatment plans for individuals age 18+ for a wide range of mental health needs. Our specialties include substance use, depression, anxiety, bipolar, self esteem concerns, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders and post traumatic stress. We are providers of MAT: Suboxone, Sublocade and Vivitrol and we also provide ketamine assisted psychotherapy.
Accepting New Clients! Please fill out our new patient forms on our website at www.dayamentlahealth.com to become a client. Our practice contains Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and Therapists who provide comprehensive treatment plans for individuals age 18+ for a wide range of mental health needs. Our specialties include substance use, depression, anxiety, bipolar, self esteem concerns, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders and post traumatic stress. We are providers of MAT: Suboxone, Sublocade and Vivitrol and we also provide ketamine assisted psychotherapy.
(828) 412-3330 View (828) 412-3330
Photo of Alexis B Ressler, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Alexis B Ressler
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28801  (Online Only)
I am an experienced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with the privilege of practicing for a decade in Vermont. I relocated to Western North Carolina in 2019. I have devoted myself to outpatient psychiatric and neurological practice specializing in treating adults with mood and anxiety disorders in a cognitive behavioral therapy setting as well as dementia care for patients and their families. My role is primarily medication management. Also, I am a veteran Army officer who has experience providing psychiatric care to active duty serice members. My practice is 100% telehealth.
I am an experienced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with the privilege of practicing for a decade in Vermont. I relocated to Western North Carolina in 2019. I have devoted myself to outpatient psychiatric and neurological practice specializing in treating adults with mood and anxiety disorders in a cognitive behavioral therapy setting as well as dementia care for patients and their families. My role is primarily medication management. Also, I am a veteran Army officer who has experience providing psychiatric care to active duty serice members. My practice is 100% telehealth.
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Photo of Sandy Howard - Mountain Mental Health and Wellness, PLLC, NP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Mountain Mental Health and Wellness, PLLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP-BC
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Asheville, NC 28803
I'm a nurse practitioner specialist, providing compassionate mental health care for residents of NC. At your first appointment we will explore your life's journey and evaluate any previous treatment response. Then medication is prescribed or adjusted, and a plan of action is made through collaboration. My philosophy for prescribing medication incorporates evidence-based science and wellness. I will keep in touch with you in between appointments with a medical app giving you the best opportunity for successful and sustained wellness.
I'm a nurse practitioner specialist, providing compassionate mental health care for residents of NC. At your first appointment we will explore your life's journey and evaluate any previous treatment response. Then medication is prescribed or adjusted, and a plan of action is made through collaboration. My philosophy for prescribing medication incorporates evidence-based science and wellness. I will keep in touch with you in between appointments with a medical app giving you the best opportunity for successful and sustained wellness.
(828) 759-5470 View (828) 759-5470
Photo of Kathryn Baglini, DNP, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kathryn Baglini
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Asheville, NC 28801
Hi! My name is Kathryn, but I go by Kat. I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). My career began in emergency medicine, where I saw firsthand the challenges patients face when struggling with mental health & substance use. After ten years in the ER, I was ready to change how I could help people, which led me here.
Hi! My name is Kathryn, but I go by Kat. I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). My career began in emergency medicine, where I saw firsthand the challenges patients face when struggling with mental health & substance use. After ten years in the ER, I was ready to change how I could help people, which led me here.
(828) 475-8336 View (828) 475-8336
Photo of Jason Fredericks, PA-C, MPH, Physician Assistant
Jason Fredericks
Physician Assistant, PA-C, MPH
Verified Verified
6 Endorsed
Asheville, NC 28803
I have been practicing psychiatry and psychotherapy for the past 6 years in WNC. My promise to you is to remain dedicated to your health and helping you achieve lasting change as we work together. I feel strongly that an individualized approach is key in the management of all clients. While many people may present with similar symptoms, the causes and context of these can vary greatly from person to person. The decision to prescribe medications, develop a therapy plan, or an amalgamation of both is made with careful consideration of the situation and your needs and wishes. I enjoy working together to find a plan that works for you.
I have been practicing psychiatry and psychotherapy for the past 6 years in WNC. My promise to you is to remain dedicated to your health and helping you achieve lasting change as we work together. I feel strongly that an individualized approach is key in the management of all clients. While many people may present with similar symptoms, the causes and context of these can vary greatly from person to person. The decision to prescribe medications, develop a therapy plan, or an amalgamation of both is made with careful consideration of the situation and your needs and wishes. I enjoy working together to find a plan that works for you.
(828) 274-1415 View (828) 274-1415
Photo of Peggy Ohara, MD, Psychiatrist
Peggy Ohara
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Asheville, NC 28803
Waitlist for new clients
The journey can be overwhelming in this modern age. In the rush, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in the moment. Conscious awareness of ourselves requires motivation, practice, support and an open mind. Digital detox and getting in touch with our five senses and honoring our humanness can provide freedom and acceptance. I prescribe psychiatric medications for symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, OCD. I believe in their value as a tool for transformation. There is more to my practice than pills. Self-reflection, honesty and drive are required to transform and optimize the body, brain and spirit.
The journey can be overwhelming in this modern age. In the rush, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in the moment. Conscious awareness of ourselves requires motivation, practice, support and an open mind. Digital detox and getting in touch with our five senses and honoring our humanness can provide freedom and acceptance. I prescribe psychiatric medications for symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, OCD. I believe in their value as a tool for transformation. There is more to my practice than pills. Self-reflection, honesty and drive are required to transform and optimize the body, brain and spirit.
(828) 827-4309 View (828) 827-4309
Photo of Rebekah MacNair, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Rebekah MacNair
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Asheville, NC 28801
I am currently accepting new clients over the age of 18. I have special interests in perinatal mental health and eating disorders of all types. I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). I have completed the full psychotherapy and pharmacology perinatal training through PSI. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Western Carolina University and my Master of Science in Nursing at Frontier Nursing University in Lexington, Kentucky.
I am currently accepting new clients over the age of 18. I have special interests in perinatal mental health and eating disorders of all types. I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). I have completed the full psychotherapy and pharmacology perinatal training through PSI. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Western Carolina University and my Master of Science in Nursing at Frontier Nursing University in Lexington, Kentucky.
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How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Asheville, NC

40+

Average cost per session

$172

Psychiatrists in Asheville, NC who prioritize treating:

85% Depression
83% Anxiety
78% ADHD
71% Trauma and PTSD
68% Bipolar Disorder
68% Medication Management
61% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

14 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

82% Aetna
82% BlueCross and BlueShield
79% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Asheville, NC see their clients

79% In Person and Online
21% Online Only

Gender breakdown

72% Female
28% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Asheville?

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.