Psychiatrists in Centre County, PA

Photo of Katrina Denise Scannelli, PA-C, Physician Assistant
Katrina Denise Scannelli
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
State College, PA 16801  (Online Only)
If you are seeking expert medication management, you have come to the right place. We put you first, while we focus on quality care and convenience. As a Certified Physician Assistant in Psychiatry, I am not only knowledgeable, I also have a deep personal connection to the challenges of mental health. Growing up with close family and friends who battled depression and anxiety, I witnessed firsthand the impact these conditions can have on you and your loved ones. This experience has ignited my passion for psychiatry and set me on a path to help anyone interested in making a better life for themselves.
If you are seeking expert medication management, you have come to the right place. We put you first, while we focus on quality care and convenience. As a Certified Physician Assistant in Psychiatry, I am not only knowledgeable, I also have a deep personal connection to the challenges of mental health. Growing up with close family and friends who battled depression and anxiety, I witnessed firsthand the impact these conditions can have on you and your loved ones. This experience has ignited my passion for psychiatry and set me on a path to help anyone interested in making a better life for themselves.
(814) 787-0582 View (814) 787-0582
Photo of Bridgette Nelson - Trilessence, MSN/PHN, CRNP, PMHNP, ANP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Trilessence
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN/PHN, CRNP, PMHNP, ANP
Verified Verified
State College, PA 16801
Our offices provide a full range of services to treat your mental, emotional and psychological health. We conduct on-site assessments and testing for various conditions, and then put together an appropriate treatment plan, including medication management and/or psychotherapy services as needed. Our offices are also available for individual and family counseling. Our certified therapists will work with you to help manage issues with anger, anxiety, depression, guilt, abuse, grief, including certain traumas.
Our offices provide a full range of services to treat your mental, emotional and psychological health. We conduct on-site assessments and testing for various conditions, and then put together an appropriate treatment plan, including medication management and/or psychotherapy services as needed. Our offices are also available for individual and family counseling. Our certified therapists will work with you to help manage issues with anger, anxiety, depression, guilt, abuse, grief, including certain traumas.
(814) 954-7819 View (814) 954-7819
Photo of Melissa Lopez-Larson, MD, Psychiatrist
Melissa Lopez-Larson
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
State College, PA 16801
Don't wait 2 weeks, appointments available! Dr. Lopez-Larson is a board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and received her MD from the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. She performed her adult and child psychiatry training at Harvard Medical School training sites including Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital and Cambridge Hospital, respectively. She has been practicing for over 15 years in a variety of settings including academic research, inpatient, residential and outpatient psychiatric services.
Don't wait 2 weeks, appointments available! Dr. Lopez-Larson is a board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and received her MD from the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. She performed her adult and child psychiatry training at Harvard Medical School training sites including Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital and Cambridge Hospital, respectively. She has been practicing for over 15 years in a variety of settings including academic research, inpatient, residential and outpatient psychiatric services.
(814) 261-3729 View (814) 261-3729
Photo of Angela Heffner, CRNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Angela Heffner
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, CRNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
State College, PA 16803
Proud resident of the Penn State University area in State College, PA, and an alumnus of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. My nursing journey began with earning my ASN in 2006 and BSN in 2020, followed by achieving my graduate degree as a PMHNP from Walden University. Driven by a profound passion for aiding others, I have amassed a wealth of expertise, boasting certifications in perinatal loss/bereavement, perinatal psychopharmacology, PMH-C, certified school nursing, DBT, and CCTP. My journey into nursing was deeply influenced by my eldest son's health challenges, navigating through NICU struggles and mental health issues.
Proud resident of the Penn State University area in State College, PA, and an alumnus of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. My nursing journey began with earning my ASN in 2006 and BSN in 2020, followed by achieving my graduate degree as a PMHNP from Walden University. Driven by a profound passion for aiding others, I have amassed a wealth of expertise, boasting certifications in perinatal loss/bereavement, perinatal psychopharmacology, PMH-C, certified school nursing, DBT, and CCTP. My journey into nursing was deeply influenced by my eldest son's health challenges, navigating through NICU struggles and mental health issues.
(814) 501-4386 View (814) 501-4386
Photo of Dr. Axeline Johnson, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Axeline Johnson
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
State College, PA 16801
Dr. Johnson is bilingual (Spanish and English) and a Board-certified psychiatrist. She is welcoming new patients seeking professional help for anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, ADHD and other mental health concerns. With medical education at UCLA and specialty training at the University of Pennsylvania, she combines knowledge of psychopharmacology with a nuanced understanding of patients' concerns and experiences with medications. She is particularly cognizant of therapeutic inertia, and works with her patients to ensure that medications are effective and not over-used.
Dr. Johnson is bilingual (Spanish and English) and a Board-certified psychiatrist. She is welcoming new patients seeking professional help for anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, ADHD and other mental health concerns. With medical education at UCLA and specialty training at the University of Pennsylvania, she combines knowledge of psychopharmacology with a nuanced understanding of patients' concerns and experiences with medications. She is particularly cognizant of therapeutic inertia, and works with her patients to ensure that medications are effective and not over-used.
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Photo of Dr. Chenhang Zou, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Chenhang Zou
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
State College, PA 16801
Embark on your healing journey with Dr. Zou, a Board-certified psychiatrist who blends the precision of medicine with the art of psychotherapy. Trained at Emory and UAlabama, Dr. Zou is expert at integrating medication management and psychotherapy, including CBT. But her approach is not just about effective treatment; it's about empowering you with self-knowledge and tools for sustainable mental well-being. With Dr. Zou, you can explore a personalized, empathetic approach that resonates uniquely with you.
Embark on your healing journey with Dr. Zou, a Board-certified psychiatrist who blends the precision of medicine with the art of psychotherapy. Trained at Emory and UAlabama, Dr. Zou is expert at integrating medication management and psychotherapy, including CBT. But her approach is not just about effective treatment; it's about empowering you with self-knowledge and tools for sustainable mental well-being. With Dr. Zou, you can explore a personalized, empathetic approach that resonates uniquely with you.
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Photo of Patricia Webb, PhD, CRNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Patricia Webb
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PhD, CRNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
State College, PA 16801
Hello, I'm Dr. Patricia Webb, a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with a broad background in holistic mental health care. My private practice is a client-centered, safe space where you can find in-depth, whole-person care offered with respect for you and compassion for your experiences. I partner with you and draw on a variety of therapeutic approaches, which we tailor to match your unique priorities and concerns. Together, we'll identify your goals and construct a path toward the life you seek.
Hello, I'm Dr. Patricia Webb, a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with a broad background in holistic mental health care. My private practice is a client-centered, safe space where you can find in-depth, whole-person care offered with respect for you and compassion for your experiences. I partner with you and draw on a variety of therapeutic approaches, which we tailor to match your unique priorities and concerns. Together, we'll identify your goals and construct a path toward the life you seek.
(814) 926-0124 View (814) 926-0124
Photo of Lula Thomas, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lula Thomas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
State College, PA 16802  (Online Only)
Hello, my name is Lula Thomas, I am a Board-Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and have been in practice for over ten years. I genuinely love what I do and believe in a holistic patient-centered approach. If you ever feel sad overwhelmed, lack motivation, struggle with goals, or don't enjoy things you used to, I am here to help. Sometimes, loved ones/friends see us struggle unnecessarily in certain areas of our lives but we have adapted to silent hardship. I do a complete evaluation for increased awareness, provide professional resources in many areas, and look forward to helping you find and easier path.
Hello, my name is Lula Thomas, I am a Board-Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and have been in practice for over ten years. I genuinely love what I do and believe in a holistic patient-centered approach. If you ever feel sad overwhelmed, lack motivation, struggle with goals, or don't enjoy things you used to, I am here to help. Sometimes, loved ones/friends see us struggle unnecessarily in certain areas of our lives but we have adapted to silent hardship. I do a complete evaluation for increased awareness, provide professional resources in many areas, and look forward to helping you find and easier path.
(484) 613-3179 View (484) 613-3179
Photo of Sheila Jourdain, CRNP, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sheila Jourdain
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, CRNP, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
State College, PA 16801  (Online Only)
Accepting New Patients I am a Board Certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who provides a holistic approach in the treatment of mental challenges and conditions. I specialize in the treatment of adults in providing motivational talk psychotherapy, medication management, consulting, and alternative treatments when applicable. I develop comprehensive and thorough treatment plans. I am eager and excited to assist patients in achieving their individual goals.
Accepting New Patients I am a Board Certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who provides a holistic approach in the treatment of mental challenges and conditions. I specialize in the treatment of adults in providing motivational talk psychotherapy, medication management, consulting, and alternative treatments when applicable. I develop comprehensive and thorough treatment plans. I am eager and excited to assist patients in achieving their individual goals.
(610) 798-1041 View (610) 798-1041

Online Psychiatrists

Mind&Medical Care
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Harrisburg, PA 17111
We believe Psychiatric illness has various complex components. Our social values, life experiences and genome play an important role in it. A life is beautiful, challenging and very individual process. Finding the right diagnosis and treatment can be a process but in most cases it is very possible. As a human being, we meant to learn, grow and find our path with each individual experience . We can be available and helpful in your life journey.
We believe Psychiatric illness has various complex components. Our social values, life experiences and genome play an important role in it. A life is beautiful, challenging and very individual process. Finding the right diagnosis and treatment can be a process but in most cases it is very possible. As a human being, we meant to learn, grow and find our path with each individual experience . We can be available and helpful in your life journey.
(717) 788-8026 View (717) 788-8026
Photo of Angela Marie Jacobs, MD , Psychiatrist
Angela Marie Jacobs
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Harrisburg, PA 17112  (Online Only)
Hello, I am glad you are here. My name is Dr. Angela Jacobs, and I am a Board-Certified Psychiatrist. I graduated from Medical School in 2008 and completed my formal psychiatric training in 2012. I have spent my career caring for patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. I also have experience in the state hospitals and prison system. Controlled substances are available from my practice on a very limited basis and never on the first session. All paperwork such as FMLA and related will only be considered after several months of treatment.
Hello, I am glad you are here. My name is Dr. Angela Jacobs, and I am a Board-Certified Psychiatrist. I graduated from Medical School in 2008 and completed my formal psychiatric training in 2012. I have spent my career caring for patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. I also have experience in the state hospitals and prison system. Controlled substances are available from my practice on a very limited basis and never on the first session. All paperwork such as FMLA and related will only be considered after several months of treatment.
(717) 923-5149 View (717) 923-5149
Photo of Caroline Elizabeth Brown, MSN, PMHNPBC, CRNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Caroline Elizabeth Brown
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNPBC, CRNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Landisville, PA 17538
I help those from adolescents to adults with psychotherapy and medication management. I am happy to work with you on your journey to finding a good medication plan for you- your body, your life, and your values! I specialize in providing medication management and psychotherapy for clients experiencing mood ups and downs, anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, and women's emotional wellness. I value a collaborative relationship with my clients, in which clients can feel comfortable sharing their treatment goals and preferences.
I help those from adolescents to adults with psychotherapy and medication management. I am happy to work with you on your journey to finding a good medication plan for you- your body, your life, and your values! I specialize in providing medication management and psychotherapy for clients experiencing mood ups and downs, anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, and women's emotional wellness. I value a collaborative relationship with my clients, in which clients can feel comfortable sharing their treatment goals and preferences.
(717) 987-7150 View (717) 987-7150
Photo of Chris Bedford, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Chris Bedford
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Harrisburg, PA 17101  (Online Only)
This profile is managed by Cerebral. To get connected with Chris and directly schedule, please click the "my website" button! Chris has experience working with both pediatric and adult populations treating a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, insomnia, and other health conditions. He believes in the importance of a strong client/clinician partnership which allows the client maximum autonomy in decision-making. To see if you are eligible for insurance coverage, please use your phone's camera app to scan the QR code below:
This profile is managed by Cerebral. To get connected with Chris and directly schedule, please click the "my website" button! Chris has experience working with both pediatric and adult populations treating a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, insomnia, and other health conditions. He believes in the importance of a strong client/clinician partnership which allows the client maximum autonomy in decision-making. To see if you are eligible for insurance coverage, please use your phone's camera app to scan the QR code below:
(223) 215-3997 View (223) 215-3997
Photo of Morgan Pontillo, PMHNP-, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Morgan Pontillo
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP-, BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Chambersburg, PA 17202  (Online Only)
Everyone's mental health journey is an individual experience and their mental health treatment should reflect that. My education and training as a PMHNP allows me to provide medication management and basic psychotherapy to help individuals better manage bothersome symptoms and mental health conditions. I pride myself on being relaxed and approachable and I prioritize creating an environment where you feel at ease and safe. I treat ages 6+. Let me support you on your journey to a happier, healthier life.
Everyone's mental health journey is an individual experience and their mental health treatment should reflect that. My education and training as a PMHNP allows me to provide medication management and basic psychotherapy to help individuals better manage bothersome symptoms and mental health conditions. I pride myself on being relaxed and approachable and I prioritize creating an environment where you feel at ease and safe. I treat ages 6+. Let me support you on your journey to a happier, healthier life.
(717) 973-8578 View (717) 973-8578
Photo of Eugene J Huang - Epiphany Psych Services, MD, PsyD, Psychiatrist
Epiphany Psych Services
Psychiatrist, MD, PsyD
Verified Verified
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Welcome to EpiphanyPsychServices! If traditional psychiatric medications and therapy have not helped, we have treatment that provides relief. Epiphany can provide medical and psychological recommendations to guide you on your healing journey. If you struggle with trauma, anxiety, depression, end of life issues and can imagine a future where the past and present no longer hurts quite as much, please know this is quite possible. EpiphanyPsychServices wants to help make this future a likelihood rather than a mere possibility. Heal Here!
Welcome to EpiphanyPsychServices! If traditional psychiatric medications and therapy have not helped, we have treatment that provides relief. Epiphany can provide medical and psychological recommendations to guide you on your healing journey. If you struggle with trauma, anxiety, depression, end of life issues and can imagine a future where the past and present no longer hurts quite as much, please know this is quite possible. EpiphanyPsychServices wants to help make this future a likelihood rather than a mere possibility. Heal Here!
(717) 398-3828 View (717) 398-3828
Photo of Dr. Allen Masry, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Allen Masry
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Middletown, PA 17057
I am Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry and have been practicing since 2005. I completed my residency from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and my Fellowship in Addictions from the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation. In 2014, I was featured in SJ Magazine as one of New Jersey’s top psychiatrists. I have experience working with adults as well as adolescents suffering from both psychiatric diagnosis and substance use disorders and have extensive experience working in both out-patient and in-patient settings.
I am Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry and have been practicing since 2005. I completed my residency from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and my Fellowship in Addictions from the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation. In 2014, I was featured in SJ Magazine as one of New Jersey’s top psychiatrists. I have experience working with adults as well as adolescents suffering from both psychiatric diagnosis and substance use disorders and have extensive experience working in both out-patient and in-patient settings.
(717) 971-4564 View (717) 971-4564
Photo of Lilian Ogujiofor, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lilian Ogujiofor
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Lancaster, PA 17603
Dr. Ogujiofor is a certified registered nurse practitioner with dual board certification in psychiatric mental health and family medicine. She is a highly motivated, team-oriented, and compassionate provider with the goal of providing evidence-based and individualized mental health care for each patient. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from West Chester University in 2016 and obtained her MSN from La Salle University in 2013 as well as Post-Master's in PMHNP in 2021 from Regis College.
Dr. Ogujiofor is a certified registered nurse practitioner with dual board certification in psychiatric mental health and family medicine. She is a highly motivated, team-oriented, and compassionate provider with the goal of providing evidence-based and individualized mental health care for each patient. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from West Chester University in 2016 and obtained her MSN from La Salle University in 2013 as well as Post-Master's in PMHNP in 2021 from Regis College.
(717) 912-8510 View (717) 912-8510
Photo of Laura Moyer, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Laura Moyer
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Lebanon, PA 17046  (Online Only)
Hello! I am a board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner based in Pennsylvania. I received my Masters from Purdue University Global and I have been practicing for 5 years. My specialties include treatment of anxiety, depression, and mood disorders base upon evidenced-based practice. My mission is to treat individuals with compassion and empathy to assist each individual become the best version of themselves.
Hello! I am a board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner based in Pennsylvania. I received my Masters from Purdue University Global and I have been practicing for 5 years. My specialties include treatment of anxiety, depression, and mood disorders base upon evidenced-based practice. My mission is to treat individuals with compassion and empathy to assist each individual become the best version of themselves.
(717) 482-6934 View (717) 482-6934
Photo of Lisa Lynn Hengen - Green Pastures Mental Health Services, CRNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Green Pastures Mental Health Services
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, CRNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Du Bois, PA 15801  (Online Only)
Telepsych PA statewide. New patients seen within 1-2 weeks. Now offering remote QB testing for ADHD. At Green Pastures Mental Health Services, we believe that care should be accessible, compassionate, & patient-centered. Our team of board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality telepsychiatric care from the comfort & convenience of your own home. Your mental well-being is our top priority, & we are here to support you on your journey to a healthier, happier life.Services We Offer: Psychiatric Assessment. Medication Management, Psychotherapy, Education.
Telepsych PA statewide. New patients seen within 1-2 weeks. Now offering remote QB testing for ADHD. At Green Pastures Mental Health Services, we believe that care should be accessible, compassionate, & patient-centered. Our team of board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality telepsychiatric care from the comfort & convenience of your own home. Your mental well-being is our top priority, & we are here to support you on your journey to a healthier, happier life.Services We Offer: Psychiatric Assessment. Medication Management, Psychotherapy, Education.
(814) 980-7467 View (814) 980-7467
Photo of John G Wilson III - Philadelphia Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, MD, Psychiatrist
Philadelphia Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Lancaster, PA 17602
I am a board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who works hard to practice psychotherapy and psychopharmacology in both a private & supportive setting. While I strongly believe in pharmacologic interventions backed by empirical evidence, I am a firm believer in the value of therapy & more holistic interventions (exercise, diet, meditation, mindfulness). I understand the importance of shoring up wellness rather than treating illness, and you can expect to spend a significant amount of time discussing the importance of sleep, fitness and nutrition, in addition to tackling deeper psychological issues.
I am a board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who works hard to practice psychotherapy and psychopharmacology in both a private & supportive setting. While I strongly believe in pharmacologic interventions backed by empirical evidence, I am a firm believer in the value of therapy & more holistic interventions (exercise, diet, meditation, mindfulness). I understand the importance of shoring up wellness rather than treating illness, and you can expect to spend a significant amount of time discussing the importance of sleep, fitness and nutrition, in addition to tackling deeper psychological issues.
(484) 471-6024 View (484) 471-6024

See more therapy options for Centre County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Centre County, PA

< 10

Psychiatrists in Centre County, PA who prioritize treating:

100% Anxiety
89% Depression
78% Trauma and PTSD
78% Bipolar Disorder
78% Stress
67% ADHD
67% Grief

Average years in practice

13 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH
75% Aetna
75% BlueCross and BlueShield

How Psychiatrists in Centre County, PA see their clients

67% In Person and Online
33% Online Only

Gender breakdown

100% Female
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Centre 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.