Psychiatrists in Oklahoma County, OK

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Photo of Karyn Taylor, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma County, OK
Karyn Taylor
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, CNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Oklahoma City, OK 73112  (Online Only)
Your mental well-being matters, and I am here to support you every step of the way. I am deeply committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive care to individuals seeking support for their mental health needs. My practice is founded on the belief that every person deserves access to effective treatment and the opportunity to thrive in their daily lives. For many individuals, the decision to seek psychiatric care can be daunting, and I understand the courage it takes to take that first step towards healing.
Your mental well-being matters, and I am here to support you every step of the way. I am deeply committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive care to individuals seeking support for their mental health needs. My practice is founded on the belief that every person deserves access to effective treatment and the opportunity to thrive in their daily lives. For many individuals, the decision to seek psychiatric care can be daunting, and I understand the courage it takes to take that first step towards healing.
(405) 450-7167 View (405) 450-7167
Photo of VPP Clinic | Dr Arif Mirza MD, Psychiatrist in Oklahoma County, OK
VPP Clinic | Dr Arif Mirza MD
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Oklahoma City, OK 73117  (Online Only)
Welcome to VPPclinic.com ... As an experienced Psychiatrist in private practice, inpatient and telehealth settings, I'm here to offer authentic, compassionate care. Time is precious, especially for busy students, parents, and working professionals. I look forward to collaborate to reach your goals ASAP! ... Same week Video appointments are available statewide in Oklahoma. Text 469-770-7750 for quick booking assist.
Welcome to VPPclinic.com ... As an experienced Psychiatrist in private practice, inpatient and telehealth settings, I'm here to offer authentic, compassionate care. Time is precious, especially for busy students, parents, and working professionals. I look forward to collaborate to reach your goals ASAP! ... Same week Video appointments are available statewide in Oklahoma. Text 469-770-7750 for quick booking assist.
(405) 674-4082 View (405) 674-4082
Photo of Safe space psychiatry, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma County, OK
Safe space psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, MSN, BSN, RN
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Oklahoma City, OK 73105  (Online Only)
Ferdinand “Freddy” Akoko has a decade of experience in healthcare. His love for mental health started at 17 while working for Veterans Affairs. Freddy believes in taking an integrative approach to mental health treatment and in the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and soul. He believes that the right medications plus the right tools equal the right response.
Ferdinand “Freddy” Akoko has a decade of experience in healthcare. His love for mental health started at 17 while working for Veterans Affairs. Freddy believes in taking an integrative approach to mental health treatment and in the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and soul. He believes that the right medications plus the right tools equal the right response.
(405) 829-6403 View (405) 829-6403
Photo of J. J. Jones, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma County, OK
J. J. Jones
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP-C, ANP-BC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Whether you're facing life transitions, relationship challenges, or simply seeking self-improvement, I'm here to provide unwavering support. Taking a holistic approach, we will partner together to nurture your inner self, fostering a renewed sense of balance and harmony.
Whether you're facing life transitions, relationship challenges, or simply seeking self-improvement, I'm here to provide unwavering support. Taking a holistic approach, we will partner together to nurture your inner self, fostering a renewed sense of balance and harmony.
(405) 449-5785 View (405) 449-5785
Photo of Melanie Barrett, Psychiatrist in Oklahoma County, OK
Melanie Barrett
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Edmond, OK 73034
Dr. Melanie Barrett received her medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine following undergraduate studies in Psychology at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. She completed her psychiatry residency at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, where she served as Chief Resident. She maintains board certification through the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. Dr. Barrett specializes in interventional treatments including Zulresso (brexanolone) for postpartum depression as well as Spravato (esketamine) and ketamine IV therapy for treatment resistant depression.
Dr. Melanie Barrett received her medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine following undergraduate studies in Psychology at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. She completed her psychiatry residency at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, where she served as Chief Resident. She maintains board certification through the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. Dr. Barrett specializes in interventional treatments including Zulresso (brexanolone) for postpartum depression as well as Spravato (esketamine) and ketamine IV therapy for treatment resistant depression.
(405) 645-6034 View (405) 645-6034
Photo of Karon Potter, Physician Assistant in Oklahoma County, OK
Karon Potter
Physician Assistant, PA
Verified Verified
Edmond, OK 73034
Karon Potter PA-C, RD, CSOWM, CDE graduated with her Master of Health Sciences with Distinction in the Physician Associate Program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2016. Prior to PA school she received a Bachelor and Master's in nutrition from Texas Tech University. Karon is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management and a Certified Diabetes Educator. Before joining LifeStance Karon worked for an Oklahoma City health system developing a comprehensive medical weight management program.
Karon Potter PA-C, RD, CSOWM, CDE graduated with her Master of Health Sciences with Distinction in the Physician Associate Program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2016. Prior to PA school she received a Bachelor and Master's in nutrition from Texas Tech University. Karon is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management and a Certified Diabetes Educator. Before joining LifeStance Karon worked for an Oklahoma City health system developing a comprehensive medical weight management program.
(405) 554-9663 View (405) 554-9663
Photo of Teresa Miller, Physician Assistant in Oklahoma County, OK
Teresa Miller
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Teresa completed her Masters of Health Sciences in the Physician Associate Program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2007. She got her Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and Biology from Southern Nazarene University. Before joining Balance Women's Health, Teresa worked as a PA in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility since 2011. She has a special interest in treating women who struggle with PCOS, infertility, and other hormonal issues. Previous to her time in REI, she worked four years in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. She maintains professional membership in the Oklahoma Academy of Physician Assistants.
Teresa completed her Masters of Health Sciences in the Physician Associate Program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2007. She got her Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and Biology from Southern Nazarene University. Before joining Balance Women's Health, Teresa worked as a PA in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility since 2011. She has a special interest in treating women who struggle with PCOS, infertility, and other hormonal issues. Previous to her time in REI, she worked four years in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. She maintains professional membership in the Oklahoma Academy of Physician Assistants.
(405) 993-5279 View (405) 993-5279
Photo of Colby Pacheco, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma County, OK
Colby Pacheco
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP-
Verified Verified
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Colby Pacheco, NP Colby Pacheco is a Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma who has been practicing since 2023. He has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a Master of Science in Nursing from Maryville University of Saint Louis. Colby has 10 years in healthcare as an RN and patient care technician. His nursing background includes Cardiothoracic ICU, Medical ICU, post-anesthesia, and hospice care. He utilizes nursing science to provide patient-centric holistic care and proudly offers LGBT+ affirming care.
Colby Pacheco, NP Colby Pacheco is a Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma who has been practicing since 2023. He has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a Master of Science in Nursing from Maryville University of Saint Louis. Colby has 10 years in healthcare as an RN and patient care technician. His nursing background includes Cardiothoracic ICU, Medical ICU, post-anesthesia, and hospice care. He utilizes nursing science to provide patient-centric holistic care and proudly offers LGBT+ affirming care.
(405) 873-8059 View (405) 873-8059
MIRCS Psychiatric and Counseling Services
Psychiatrist, MD, LPC-S
Verified Verified
Oklahoma City, OK 73139
At MIRCS, the Psychiatrists emphasizes in the use of evidence-based medicine, incorporating a psychotherapeutic, psychosocial, psychopharmacological, and holistic approach. We provide Cat-amine and Spravato treatment.All our patients will be evaluated by trained Psychiatrists who are qualified to treat a wide range of psychiatric disorders . We conduct evaluations via telemedicine and Face-Face to assess for possible psychiatric conditions. Based on the visit, we will develop an appropriate and potential pharmacologic treatment plan. We aim to bring compassionate, dedicated, individualized and exceptionally high quality care.
At MIRCS, the Psychiatrists emphasizes in the use of evidence-based medicine, incorporating a psychotherapeutic, psychosocial, psychopharmacological, and holistic approach. We provide Cat-amine and Spravato treatment.All our patients will be evaluated by trained Psychiatrists who are qualified to treat a wide range of psychiatric disorders . We conduct evaluations via telemedicine and Face-Face to assess for possible psychiatric conditions. Based on the visit, we will develop an appropriate and potential pharmacologic treatment plan. We aim to bring compassionate, dedicated, individualized and exceptionally high quality care.
(405) 583-7579 View (405) 583-7579
Photo of Karen Schaaf, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma County, OK
Karen Schaaf
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Edmond, OK 73003
Karen Schaaf is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in California who has been practicing since 2005. She graduated from Western University Health and Science. Karen treats her clients holistically to help with the mind and body, helping them to be functional and thrive. Outside of work, Karen loves the outdoors and travel and taking care of her family.
Karen Schaaf is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in California who has been practicing since 2005. She graduated from Western University Health and Science. Karen treats her clients holistically to help with the mind and body, helping them to be functional and thrive. Outside of work, Karen loves the outdoors and travel and taking care of her family.
(405) 266-4714 View (405) 266-4714
Photo of Alicia Thompson, Psychiatrist in Oklahoma County, OK
Alicia Thompson
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Edmond, OK 73034
Alicia Thompson is a Psychiatrist in Oklahoma who has been practicing since 2000. She completed her undergraduate training, receiving a BS in Psychology with some graduate course work. She worked with the Intellectually disabled and in chemical dependency during that time and while applying to medical school. Alicia attended the University of Missouri in Columbia for Medical School, General Psychiatric Residency, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. During her General Psychiatric training she rotated through pediatric specialties in the place of adult ones, because she knew my primary focus would be working with children.
Alicia Thompson is a Psychiatrist in Oklahoma who has been practicing since 2000. She completed her undergraduate training, receiving a BS in Psychology with some graduate course work. She worked with the Intellectually disabled and in chemical dependency during that time and while applying to medical school. Alicia attended the University of Missouri in Columbia for Medical School, General Psychiatric Residency, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. During her General Psychiatric training she rotated through pediatric specialties in the place of adult ones, because she knew my primary focus would be working with children.
(405) 266-4493 View (405) 266-4493
Photo of Gary L Massad, Psychiatrist in Oklahoma County, OK
Gary L Massad
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
With a distinguished career spanning over five decades, Dr. Gary Massad stands as a beacon in the medical community. He is a psychiatrist, widely recognized for his expertise in sports medicine, orthopedics, and workers' compensation. Currently, Dr. Massad is a pivotal figure at the Rivus Wellness and Research Institute, where he dedicates his extensive knowledge and experience to the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Dr. Massad's approach to patient care is deeply rooted in his passion for listening to and understanding the unique needs of each individu
With a distinguished career spanning over five decades, Dr. Gary Massad stands as a beacon in the medical community. He is a psychiatrist, widely recognized for his expertise in sports medicine, orthopedics, and workers' compensation. Currently, Dr. Massad is a pivotal figure at the Rivus Wellness and Research Institute, where he dedicates his extensive knowledge and experience to the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Dr. Massad's approach to patient care is deeply rooted in his passion for listening to and understanding the unique needs of each individu
(405) 987-4023 View (405) 987-4023
Photo of Colby Pacheco, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma County, OK
Colby Pacheco
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Hello! My name is Colby and I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). PMHNPs utilize nursing science coupled along with holistic care, medication management, and interventional psychiatry - and that is exactly my practice. Let’s explore a holistic approach to your mental health care and help you be the best person you can be. Proudly offering LGBT+, BIPOC, and gender affirming care.
Hello! My name is Colby and I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). PMHNPs utilize nursing science coupled along with holistic care, medication management, and interventional psychiatry - and that is exactly my practice. Let’s explore a holistic approach to your mental health care and help you be the best person you can be. Proudly offering LGBT+, BIPOC, and gender affirming care.
(405) 956-2182 View (405) 956-2182
Photo of Jennifer Van Treese, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma County, OK
Jennifer Van Treese
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Depression and anxiety are extremely prevalent in today's society and it is not uncommon for individuals to sometimes need help getting through the hard times in life. Please don't hesitate to call and set up an appointment today and start feeling better! My favorite thing about this job is seeing the change in people that comes from therapy and medication. In addition to depressions and anxiety, other diagnosis such as Bipolar and Schizophrenia are life-long conditions which require more complex management and treatment. If this is you and you are needing help managing your medications, call me today.
Depression and anxiety are extremely prevalent in today's society and it is not uncommon for individuals to sometimes need help getting through the hard times in life. Please don't hesitate to call and set up an appointment today and start feeling better! My favorite thing about this job is seeing the change in people that comes from therapy and medication. In addition to depressions and anxiety, other diagnosis such as Bipolar and Schizophrenia are life-long conditions which require more complex management and treatment. If this is you and you are needing help managing your medications, call me today.
(405) 583-4525 View (405) 583-4525
Photo of Ashley Wigington, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma County, OK
Ashley Wigington
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, CNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Oklahoma City, OK 73112  (Online Only)
My goal as a provider has always been to create a space where every patient feels heard, comfortable, and welcomed. I am passionate about providing care that not only addresses mental health concerns but also supports the overall well-being of my patients.
My goal as a provider has always been to create a space where every patient feels heard, comfortable, and welcomed. I am passionate about providing care that not only addresses mental health concerns but also supports the overall well-being of my patients.
(405) 775-9872 View (405) 775-9872
Photo of Advanced Practice Mental Health, LLC , Psychiatrist in Oklahoma County, OK
Advanced Practice Mental Health, LLC
Psychiatrist, PA-C , CAQ psy, LCSW
Verified Verified
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Hello, I'm Laurie Ray, a Board Certified PA-C with a Certificate of Advanced Qualification in psychiatry and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) working with a board certified psychiatrist to provide quality care to patients. My recent work includes inpatient/outpatient services for those suffering from PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Addiction, Bipolar Disorder, Insomnia, Sexual Dysfunction and OCD. Caring for Veterans, couples and individuals, I have learned to personalize patient care. My promise is to provide an open, safe and non-judgemental environment in which we can work together to achieve your optimal mental health.
Hello, I'm Laurie Ray, a Board Certified PA-C with a Certificate of Advanced Qualification in psychiatry and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) working with a board certified psychiatrist to provide quality care to patients. My recent work includes inpatient/outpatient services for those suffering from PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Addiction, Bipolar Disorder, Insomnia, Sexual Dysfunction and OCD. Caring for Veterans, couples and individuals, I have learned to personalize patient care. My promise is to provide an open, safe and non-judgemental environment in which we can work together to achieve your optimal mental health.
(405) 833-1108 View (405) 833-1108
Photo of Baili Reichenberger, Psychiatrist in Oklahoma County, OK
Baili Reichenberger
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
I am a board certified psychiatrist providing outpatient mental health treatment online anywhere in Oklahoma or in person in Oklahoma City to adults ages 18-60. My areas of expertise include depression, anxiety, insomnia, ADHD and bipolar disorder. I have special training in women’s mental health with a focus on sexual health, pregnancy and postpartum mental health.
I am a board certified psychiatrist providing outpatient mental health treatment online anywhere in Oklahoma or in person in Oklahoma City to adults ages 18-60. My areas of expertise include depression, anxiety, insomnia, ADHD and bipolar disorder. I have special training in women’s mental health with a focus on sexual health, pregnancy and postpartum mental health.
(405) 452-8206 View (405) 452-8206
Photo of Skye Helker, Physician Assistant in Oklahoma County, OK
Skye Helker
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
Edmond, OK 73034
Skye graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2017, with distinction, with her Master of Health Sciences in the Physician Associate Program. Following graduation, she went on to complete an Emergency Medicine APC fellowship. Her undergraduate degree is from Oklahoma Baptist University, where she played collegiate volleyball. Before joining LifeStance Health in January of 2021, Skye worked as a PA in the Emergency Room. Skye desires to combine both modern medicine and a holistic approach to help women achieve their optimal health.
Skye graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2017, with distinction, with her Master of Health Sciences in the Physician Associate Program. Following graduation, she went on to complete an Emergency Medicine APC fellowship. Her undergraduate degree is from Oklahoma Baptist University, where she played collegiate volleyball. Before joining LifeStance Health in January of 2021, Skye worked as a PA in the Emergency Room. Skye desires to combine both modern medicine and a holistic approach to help women achieve their optimal health.
(405) 296-7026 View (405) 296-7026
Photo of Maris Mills, Physician Assistant in Oklahoma County, OK
Maris Mills
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Hello! My name is Maris Mills, and I'm a licensed and certified physician assistant working with a board certified psychiatrist to provide mental health care to adult patients. As a psychiatry physician assistant, I work closely with patients to develop individualized treatment plans that address their unique needs. I am dedicated to providing quality care by incorporating both medication management and therapy into treatment plans as needed. I strive to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for patients, focused on improving both self-compassion and interpersonal skills to improve wellbeing and achieve optimal mental health.
Hello! My name is Maris Mills, and I'm a licensed and certified physician assistant working with a board certified psychiatrist to provide mental health care to adult patients. As a psychiatry physician assistant, I work closely with patients to develop individualized treatment plans that address their unique needs. I am dedicated to providing quality care by incorporating both medication management and therapy into treatment plans as needed. I strive to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for patients, focused on improving both self-compassion and interpersonal skills to improve wellbeing and achieve optimal mental health.
(405) 725-2696 View (405) 725-2696
Photo of Brooke Thompson Peyton, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma County, OK
Brooke Thompson Peyton
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
I am a board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner and have been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. I provide compassionate, thoughtful and individualized care and will work together with you to help you improve your mental and emotional well being.
I am a board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner and have been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. I provide compassionate, thoughtful and individualized care and will work together with you to help you improve your mental and emotional well being.
(405) 369-8860 View (405) 369-8860

See more therapy options for Oklahoma County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Oklahoma County, OK

60+

Average cost per session

$150

Psychiatrists in Oklahoma County, OK who prioritize treating:

94% Anxiety
90% Depression
83% Bipolar Disorder
81% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
81% Medication Management
76% ADHD
71% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

11 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

92% BlueCross and BlueShield
86% Aetna
86% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Oklahoma County, OK see their clients

80% In Person and Online
20% Online Only

Gender breakdown

80% Female
20% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Oklahoma 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.