Psychiatrists in Hickory, NC

Photo of Davette Patterson-Yount, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Davette Patterson-Yount
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
Davette is a dual-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in the state of NC. She graduated from Winston Salem State University in Winston Salem NC with her family medicine studies and from Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston SC with her psychiatric study. Davette has over 18 years of nursing experience in cardiology, psychiatry, and family practice. Her current specialty focuses on family psychiatry across all ages.
Davette is a dual-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in the state of NC. She graduated from Winston Salem State University in Winston Salem NC with her family medicine studies and from Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston SC with her psychiatric study. Davette has over 18 years of nursing experience in cardiology, psychiatry, and family practice. Her current specialty focuses on family psychiatry across all ages.
(828) 929-0797 View (828) 929-0797
Photo of Melissa Di Natale, EdD, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Melissa Di Natale
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, EdD, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
Now accepting new clients! Melissa Di Natale, a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) licensed in North Carolina, offers medication management and therapy services. With a BSN and MSN from Keuka College, Penn Yan, New York, and a PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate from Maryville University. Holding an EdD from St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York, her research focused on incivility's impact on hospital-based student nurses. With extensive experience across various settings, Melissa provides tailored expert care to children, adolescents, and adults.
Now accepting new clients! Melissa Di Natale, a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) licensed in North Carolina, offers medication management and therapy services. With a BSN and MSN from Keuka College, Penn Yan, New York, and a PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate from Maryville University. Holding an EdD from St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York, her research focused on incivility's impact on hospital-based student nurses. With extensive experience across various settings, Melissa provides tailored expert care to children, adolescents, and adults.
(828) 471-9234 View (828) 471-9234
Photo of Shane Brown, RN, MSN, FNP-C, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Shane Brown
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, RN, MSN, FNP-C
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
I am a board-certified nurse practitioner with over 8 years of psychiatric experience. I have worked with patients of all ages and with a wide range of psychiatric illnesses. My approach to treatment is patient-centered, and I believe in working collaboratively with my patients to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to their individual needs.
I am a board-certified nurse practitioner with over 8 years of psychiatric experience. I have worked with patients of all ages and with a wide range of psychiatric illnesses. My approach to treatment is patient-centered, and I believe in working collaboratively with my patients to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to their individual needs.
(828) 374-1740 View (828) 374-1740
Photo of June Smith-Hartness, PA-C, Physician Assistant
June Smith-Hartness
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
I have been practicing as a physician assistant in mental health for nearly 10 years. I treat all ages. I treat ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and other disorders. We have a great therapy staff here at CTS and I collaborate with the therapists often to see that all patients' mental health issues can be addressed.
I have been practicing as a physician assistant in mental health for nearly 10 years. I treat all ages. I treat ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and other disorders. We have a great therapy staff here at CTS and I collaborate with the therapists often to see that all patients' mental health issues can be addressed.
(828) 373-3273 View (828) 373-3273
Photo of Jennifer Carner, PHHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jennifer Carner
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PHHNP
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
Jenn is a Board Certified PMHNP who attended Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. She received a Doctorate of Nursing Practice Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner degree. She has years of experience working as a psychiatric nurse in various settings with children, adolescents, and adults. Working with children and adolescents in inpatient, residential, and educational settings such as day treatment has given her experience with ADHD, trauma, depression, anxiety, autism, substance use, and other mood disorders. She has understanding, compassion, and experience working with and educating families and adults about LGBTQ+ youth.
Jenn is a Board Certified PMHNP who attended Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. She received a Doctorate of Nursing Practice Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner degree. She has years of experience working as a psychiatric nurse in various settings with children, adolescents, and adults. Working with children and adolescents in inpatient, residential, and educational settings such as day treatment has given her experience with ADHD, trauma, depression, anxiety, autism, substance use, and other mood disorders. She has understanding, compassion, and experience working with and educating families and adults about LGBTQ+ youth.
(828) 888-0796 View (828) 888-0796
Photo of Phyllis Armstead Baez, MD, Psychiatrist
Phyllis Armstead Baez
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
I am a board-certified psychiatrist with over 30 years of clinical experience. I am originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where I completed both medical school and a psychiatric residency at the Drexel University College of Medicine. I am adept at treating patients of all ages in a variety of clinical settings, including those with the most severe and persistent mental illnesses. I am committed to making quality mental health treatment convenient and accessible to all, especially to those in the rural and underserved areas and therefore focus on virtual med management. I do offer in-person visits when clinically indicated.
I am a board-certified psychiatrist with over 30 years of clinical experience. I am originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where I completed both medical school and a psychiatric residency at the Drexel University College of Medicine. I am adept at treating patients of all ages in a variety of clinical settings, including those with the most severe and persistent mental illnesses. I am committed to making quality mental health treatment convenient and accessible to all, especially to those in the rural and underserved areas and therefore focus on virtual med management. I do offer in-person visits when clinically indicated.
(828) 501-0798 View (828) 501-0798
Photo of Lane Thompson, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lane Thompson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
Prior to becoming a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, Lane Thompson worked as a psychiatric nurse in inpatient and outpatient settings. He received his masters degree in nursing from The University of North Carolina Wilmington. Following his MSN he completed his post masters psychiatric certificate at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Mr Thompson is a military veteran and has worked as a firefighter, medical evacuation technician and flight nurse for the North Carolina Air National Guard for over 24 years. He also serves his community by being an active volunteer firefighter.
Prior to becoming a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, Lane Thompson worked as a psychiatric nurse in inpatient and outpatient settings. He received his masters degree in nursing from The University of North Carolina Wilmington. Following his MSN he completed his post masters psychiatric certificate at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Mr Thompson is a military veteran and has worked as a firefighter, medical evacuation technician and flight nurse for the North Carolina Air National Guard for over 24 years. He also serves his community by being an active volunteer firefighter.
(336) 443-6247 View (336) 443-6247
Photo of Gina Varalli, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Gina Varalli
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner focused on elevating mental well-being. My dedication to healing propels my practice and includes over 15 years’ experience in healthcare with 7 years’ experience in mental health exclusively. I have worked with patients from ages 6 and up, with a wide range of psychiatric needs. My approach is patient-centered and inclusive of individuals, reflecting my belief in addressing mental health comprehensively.
I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner focused on elevating mental well-being. My dedication to healing propels my practice and includes over 15 years’ experience in healthcare with 7 years’ experience in mental health exclusively. I have worked with patients from ages 6 and up, with a wide range of psychiatric needs. My approach is patient-centered and inclusive of individuals, reflecting my belief in addressing mental health comprehensively.
(828) 604-7196 View (828) 604-7196
Photo of Barbara Goodman, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Barbara Goodman
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
Barbara graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. She has 26 years of psychiatric nursing experience working in various healthcare settings, including inpatient psychiatric facilities. She earned her MSN at Walden University Minneapolis, MN. She has experience working with patients with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, autism, and ADHD. Barbara is passionate about providing compassionate care and support for sexual and gender minorities.
Barbara graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. She has 26 years of psychiatric nursing experience working in various healthcare settings, including inpatient psychiatric facilities. She earned her MSN at Walden University Minneapolis, MN. She has experience working with patients with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, autism, and ADHD. Barbara is passionate about providing compassionate care and support for sexual and gender minorities.
(336) 800-1704 View (336) 800-1704
Photo of Hannah Shay, PMHNP, MSN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Hannah Shay
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, MSN
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28601
Hello, I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and a provider at Stella who is passionate about providing exceptional care. My expertise include trauma-focused care for childhood, domestic violence, sexual abuse survivors, and military personnel. At Stella Center, my main responsibility is to provide medical and biopsychosocial assessments to guide your care journey. We treat mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and PTSD with biological treatments like the dual sympathetic reset (an advanced stellate ganglion block (SGB), ketamine infusion, and more.
Hello, I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and a provider at Stella who is passionate about providing exceptional care. My expertise include trauma-focused care for childhood, domestic violence, sexual abuse survivors, and military personnel. At Stella Center, my main responsibility is to provide medical and biopsychosocial assessments to guide your care journey. We treat mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and PTSD with biological treatments like the dual sympathetic reset (an advanced stellate ganglion block (SGB), ketamine infusion, and more.
(706) 989-9483 View (706) 989-9483
Photo of Kashea Moser, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kashea Moser
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28602
KaShea, PMHNP-BC graduated with a master’s from Maryville University in Saint Louis Missouri. Prior to Nurse Practitioner school, she received her BSN from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Kashea has experience in assisting individuals with serious and persistent mental illnesses in the outpatient and community setting. She believes in meeting people where they are to provide hope, support, and compassion. Kashea also lives by the golden rule and treats everyone with respect. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and attending sporting events.
KaShea, PMHNP-BC graduated with a master’s from Maryville University in Saint Louis Missouri. Prior to Nurse Practitioner school, she received her BSN from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Kashea has experience in assisting individuals with serious and persistent mental illnesses in the outpatient and community setting. She believes in meeting people where they are to provide hope, support, and compassion. Kashea also lives by the golden rule and treats everyone with respect. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and attending sporting events.
(336) 810-1629 View (336) 810-1629
Photo of Amanda Ward, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Amanda Ward
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28601
Amanda, a native of Morganton, began her career in healthcare as a registered nurse at Broughton Hospital. Working in an inpatient psychiatric setting for nearly a decade, and dealing with her own depression and anxiety, opened Amanda’s eyes to the unique challenges faced by those with mental illness. Desiring to have a greater influence within the mental health community, Amanda pursued her master’s degree and graduated from Walden University in 2021.
Amanda, a native of Morganton, began her career in healthcare as a registered nurse at Broughton Hospital. Working in an inpatient psychiatric setting for nearly a decade, and dealing with her own depression and anxiety, opened Amanda’s eyes to the unique challenges faced by those with mental illness. Desiring to have a greater influence within the mental health community, Amanda pursued her master’s degree and graduated from Walden University in 2021.
(828) 544-5101 View (828) 544-5101
Photo of Taylor Ballew, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Taylor Ballew
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Hickory, NC 28601
NOW accepting new clients! I am a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) licensed in the state of North Carolina. I offer both medication management and therapy. At Aspire Psychiatry, I offer both in- person and telehealth appointments. Dealing with my own depression and anxiety has made me passionate about ensuring everyone has access to cutting edge treatments for mental health issues. I'm proud to offer Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS); a revolutionary new treatment for depression.
NOW accepting new clients! I am a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) licensed in the state of North Carolina. I offer both medication management and therapy. At Aspire Psychiatry, I offer both in- person and telehealth appointments. Dealing with my own depression and anxiety has made me passionate about ensuring everyone has access to cutting edge treatments for mental health issues. I'm proud to offer Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS); a revolutionary new treatment for depression.
(828) 544-5101 View (828) 544-5101
Photo of Dr. Caleb Whitenack, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Caleb Whitenack
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Hickory, NC 28602
North Carolina-wide adolescent and adult ADHD care. If you have a long-standing history of ADHD, have been newly diagnosed, or are seeking an evaluation for symptoms you are concerned might represent ADHD, you are welcome to this clinic. I recognize that ADHD often is attached to many other conditions. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, insomnia, learning disabilities, impulse control problems, internet addiction, or other substance use disorders, I work with you to non-judgmentally identify and develop an achievable treatment strategy that will work for you.
North Carolina-wide adolescent and adult ADHD care. If you have a long-standing history of ADHD, have been newly diagnosed, or are seeking an evaluation for symptoms you are concerned might represent ADHD, you are welcome to this clinic. I recognize that ADHD often is attached to many other conditions. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, insomnia, learning disabilities, impulse control problems, internet addiction, or other substance use disorders, I work with you to non-judgmentally identify and develop an achievable treatment strategy that will work for you.
(919) 261-3543 View (919) 261-3543
Photo of Casey Watson, FNP , PMHNP , Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Casey Watson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, FNP , PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Hickory, NC 28602
Revitalize Psychiatry is a mental health practice located in Charlotte, NC that provides psychiatric evaluations and medication management. Online and in person appointments available for adults 18+. Casey is dual board certified as a nurse practitioner specializing in psychiatric mental health and family medicine. Casey has over 17 years in the medical field. Casey sees each patient as an individual and not your disorder. As a team, we will design a customized and comprehensive care plan for your continued care.
Revitalize Psychiatry is a mental health practice located in Charlotte, NC that provides psychiatric evaluations and medication management. Online and in person appointments available for adults 18+. Casey is dual board certified as a nurse practitioner specializing in psychiatric mental health and family medicine. Casey has over 17 years in the medical field. Casey sees each patient as an individual and not your disorder. As a team, we will design a customized and comprehensive care plan for your continued care.
(704) 666-4042 View (704) 666-4042

More Psychiatrists Nearby

Photo of Your Best Life- Medication And Counseling Valerie Starr, PMHNP, MSN, RN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Your Best Life- Medication And Counseling Valerie Starr
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, MSN, RN
Verified Verified
Granite Falls, NC 28630  (Online Only)
I enjoy working with clients from all walks of life. I am have a non-judgemental and patient lead approach to treatments. I have worked with many patients with many different experiences. I am familiar with working with children to older adults. I work with patients that have anxiety, PTSD, bipolar, depression, autism, psychosis, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders, dissociative disorders, somatic disorders, dementias. I offer online video appointments and can see anyone living in NC from their phone.
I enjoy working with clients from all walks of life. I am have a non-judgemental and patient lead approach to treatments. I have worked with many patients with many different experiences. I am familiar with working with children to older adults. I work with patients that have anxiety, PTSD, bipolar, depression, autism, psychosis, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders, dissociative disorders, somatic disorders, dementias. I offer online video appointments and can see anyone living in NC from their phone.
(336) 582-0121 View (336) 582-0121

Online Psychiatrists

Photo of Erin Elizabeth Klender - Common Ground Psychiatry, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Common Ground Psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
6 Endorsed
Davidson, NC 28036
Common Ground Psychiatry is here to help North Carolina adults and teens get back to feeling happy again! We prescribe medication that makes sense for you and your unique situation, taking the time to listen, truly understand your goals, and educate you on all available options. Experience 100% confidential care in-person in our Davidson, or Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill location. The goal at Common Ground is to help you feel less anxious, more rested, and ready to crush your goals in relationships, business, parenthood, or whatever YOU want.
Common Ground Psychiatry is here to help North Carolina adults and teens get back to feeling happy again! We prescribe medication that makes sense for you and your unique situation, taking the time to listen, truly understand your goals, and educate you on all available options. Experience 100% confidential care in-person in our Davidson, or Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill location. The goal at Common Ground is to help you feel less anxious, more rested, and ready to crush your goals in relationships, business, parenthood, or whatever YOU want.
(704) 237-0752 View (704) 237-0752
Photo of Elizabeth Lemons, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Elizabeth Lemons
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Charlotte, NC 28209  (Online Only)
Elizabeth "Liz" Lemons is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who manages and treats a wide range of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, ADHD, sleep/insomnia, OCD, Bipolar II, PTSD, substance use, and other areas. She has over 10 years of experience working with teens, adults, and seniors.
Elizabeth "Liz" Lemons is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who manages and treats a wide range of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, ADHD, sleep/insomnia, OCD, Bipolar II, PTSD, substance use, and other areas. She has over 10 years of experience working with teens, adults, and seniors.
(704) 610-5313 View (704) 610-5313
Photo of Jill Karelitz, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jill Karelitz
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Charlotte, NC 28210
Immediate Availability for NEW patients. I offer in-person appointments and telehealth to alleviate time management stressors from your busy work-life balance. My mindset: you can and will improve! My approach focuses on body, mind, and spirit. Success means empowering you. Take control of your wellness, improve your relationships, and optimize your life.
Immediate Availability for NEW patients. I offer in-person appointments and telehealth to alleviate time management stressors from your busy work-life balance. My mindset: you can and will improve! My approach focuses on body, mind, and spirit. Success means empowering you. Take control of your wellness, improve your relationships, and optimize your life.
(980) 300-6853 View (980) 300-6853
Photo of Byron Strother, MD, Psychiatrist
Byron Strother
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Matthews, NC 28105
Dr. Strother graduated from Case Western Reserve medical school in Cleveland Ohio, and completed his psychiatry residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is a board-certified psychiatrist, and has been proud to practice his specialty in the US Army as an active duty physician. Dr. Strother is also an attorney who previously specialized in corporate tax law. Doc B as he is frequently called by many of his patients, enjoys both outpatient psychiatry and inpatient acute care.
Dr. Strother graduated from Case Western Reserve medical school in Cleveland Ohio, and completed his psychiatry residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is a board-certified psychiatrist, and has been proud to practice his specialty in the US Army as an active duty physician. Dr. Strother is also an attorney who previously specialized in corporate tax law. Doc B as he is frequently called by many of his patients, enjoys both outpatient psychiatry and inpatient acute care.
(980) 393-6609 View (980) 393-6609

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Hickory, NC

10+

Average cost per session

$292

Psychiatrists in Hickory, NC who prioritize treating:

87% Depression
80% Anxiety
73% ADHD
73% Trauma and PTSD
73% Bipolar Disorder
73% Substance Use
60% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

1 Year

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% Aetna
100% Cigna and Evernorth
93% BlueCross and BlueShield

How Psychiatrists in Hickory, NC see their clients

100% In Person and Online

Gender breakdown

75% Female
25% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Hickory?

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.