Psychiatrists in West Chester, PA

Photo of Erin Gautier, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Erin Gautier
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19382
I am a psychiatric NP currently accepting new clients for medication management. I enjoy working with folks across the lifespan, and have a special fondness for working with teens and young adults. I have experience working inpatient, outpatient, and by telehealth. I can help with issues including anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, and mood disorders. As a nurse practitioner, I work on a holistic level, and approach my clients as individuals, rather than focusing on a particular diagnosis. My clients and I work together to identify targets for treatment, and discuss how medication may play a role in meeting their wellness goals.
I am a psychiatric NP currently accepting new clients for medication management. I enjoy working with folks across the lifespan, and have a special fondness for working with teens and young adults. I have experience working inpatient, outpatient, and by telehealth. I can help with issues including anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, and mood disorders. As a nurse practitioner, I work on a holistic level, and approach my clients as individuals, rather than focusing on a particular diagnosis. My clients and I work together to identify targets for treatment, and discuss how medication may play a role in meeting their wellness goals.
(484) 232-8297 View (484) 232-8297
Photo of David Street, MD, Psychiatrist
David Street
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19382
It is important to me to understand my patients as people with relationships, culture, religion and life experiences and the impact of their mental illness on their lives. Next, collaboratively we will determine how to use my knowledge and their experience to improve their situation. I have a particular interest in mood disorders, personality disorders, and PTSD. I attended the Medical College of Pennsylvania and then did my psychiatry residency at Vanderbilt University where I served as chief resident and received The Marc H. Hollender, M.D., Award, For Outstanding Resident Performance.
It is important to me to understand my patients as people with relationships, culture, religion and life experiences and the impact of their mental illness on their lives. Next, collaboratively we will determine how to use my knowledge and their experience to improve their situation. I have a particular interest in mood disorders, personality disorders, and PTSD. I attended the Medical College of Pennsylvania and then did my psychiatry residency at Vanderbilt University where I served as chief resident and received The Marc H. Hollender, M.D., Award, For Outstanding Resident Performance.
(484) 558-1897 View (484) 558-1897
Photo of Marie Kupis Bigas, MSN,  PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Marie Kupis Bigas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19382
Marie Bigas is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania who has been practicing since 2021. She has a Post Master’s Certification as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from DeSales University. Marie has many years of behavioral health experience including children, adolescents, adults, geriatrics, developmental disabilities, and addictions. She has strong communication and listening skills and enjoys interactive education. Marie’s goals are to develop a relationship and plan with the patient. Outside of work, Marie enjoys hiking, kayaking, crafts, and sleeping.
Marie Bigas is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania who has been practicing since 2021. She has a Post Master’s Certification as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from DeSales University. Marie has many years of behavioral health experience including children, adolescents, adults, geriatrics, developmental disabilities, and addictions. She has strong communication and listening skills and enjoys interactive education. Marie’s goals are to develop a relationship and plan with the patient. Outside of work, Marie enjoys hiking, kayaking, crafts, and sleeping.
(484) 779-9579 View (484) 779-9579
Photo of Dr. Allen Masry, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Allen Masry
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19380
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.
(484) 939-9754 View (484) 939-9754
Photo of Edena Walden, MSN, PMHNP-B, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Edena Walden
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19380
Ideally my patient is as invested in their care as I am. They could have a variety of diagnoses but the thing they have in common is they are willing to give the process time, are open to new ideas, and know there is no magic pill to fix all their problems. My patients want to get to the best version of themselves and are willing to try therapy as well as medications to help them reach that goal. My patient wants an empathetic, listening provider who can guide their care based on the evidence, but tailored to their individual needs.
Ideally my patient is as invested in their care as I am. They could have a variety of diagnoses but the thing they have in common is they are willing to give the process time, are open to new ideas, and know there is no magic pill to fix all their problems. My patients want to get to the best version of themselves and are willing to try therapy as well as medications to help them reach that goal. My patient wants an empathetic, listening provider who can guide their care based on the evidence, but tailored to their individual needs.
(484) 233-5825 View (484) 233-5825
Photo of Dr. Chris Burritt, DO, Psychiatrist
Dr. Chris Burritt
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19382
Dr. Burritt is Board Certified in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has experience working with all ages from young children to older adults from various backgrounds. His training enabled him to see a wide range of patient situations at hospitals including Einstein, Jefferson, and Nemours DuPont. He enjoys working with individuals as well as couples and families. In addition to treating specific symptoms such as depression or anxiety, patients and he have worked together to address other challenges such as improving relationships or identifying what is blocking them from getting more out of life.
Dr. Burritt is Board Certified in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has experience working with all ages from young children to older adults from various backgrounds. His training enabled him to see a wide range of patient situations at hospitals including Einstein, Jefferson, and Nemours DuPont. He enjoys working with individuals as well as couples and families. In addition to treating specific symptoms such as depression or anxiety, patients and he have worked together to address other challenges such as improving relationships or identifying what is blocking them from getting more out of life.
(267) 438-9302 View (267) 438-9302
Photo of Nichelle Jones, DNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Nichelle Jones
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19380
My ideal client is dealing with a mental concern that is causing them distress that they are seeking relief from. They are looking for someone who will listen to their concerns and work with them to develop an individualized treatment plan that aligns with their unique goals. They seek a safe, nonjudgmental environment with a trustworthy provider to deliver quality care. Hi, my name is Nichelle and I'm a Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I have over 10 years of clinical experience in treating psychiatric disorders and specialize in treating major depression, anxiety disorder, mood disorders, PTSD & ADHD.
My ideal client is dealing with a mental concern that is causing them distress that they are seeking relief from. They are looking for someone who will listen to their concerns and work with them to develop an individualized treatment plan that aligns with their unique goals. They seek a safe, nonjudgmental environment with a trustworthy provider to deliver quality care. Hi, my name is Nichelle and I'm a Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I have over 10 years of clinical experience in treating psychiatric disorders and specialize in treating major depression, anxiety disorder, mood disorders, PTSD & ADHD.
(484) 451-7197 View (484) 451-7197
Photo of Dr. Andrea Papa-Molter, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Andrea Papa-Molter
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19380
I am double board-certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. I believe in using both medication when indicated as well as therapy. I was trained in CBT and was given the Excellence in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy during my residency program. I use supportive therapy with each client I see. During my residency I served as Chief Resident and was awarded the Overall Excellence in Psychiatry Award as well as the Clinical Excellence Award.
I am double board-certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. I believe in using both medication when indicated as well as therapy. I was trained in CBT and was given the Excellence in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy during my residency program. I use supportive therapy with each client I see. During my residency I served as Chief Resident and was awarded the Overall Excellence in Psychiatry Award as well as the Clinical Excellence Award.
(484) 673-6376 View (484) 673-6376
Photo of Suzanne Palekar, DO, Psychiatrist
Suzanne Palekar
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
West Chester, PA 19380  (Online Only)
Dr. Palekar became a psychiatrist because she loves hearing people's stories, motivations, and fears. She loves problem-solving to craft the most individualized and evidence-based treatment plan. She loves developing relationships with patients over time and truly getting to know them. Reaching out for help during a time of vulnerability is one of the hardest things you can do. Dr. Palekar is honored to be considered as someone who can help during these dark times. She has a history of working with all types of psychiatric illness, from minor anxiety to the most treatment resistant cases.
Dr. Palekar became a psychiatrist because she loves hearing people's stories, motivations, and fears. She loves problem-solving to craft the most individualized and evidence-based treatment plan. She loves developing relationships with patients over time and truly getting to know them. Reaching out for help during a time of vulnerability is one of the hardest things you can do. Dr. Palekar is honored to be considered as someone who can help during these dark times. She has a history of working with all types of psychiatric illness, from minor anxiety to the most treatment resistant cases.
(484) 868-9396 View (484) 868-9396
Photo of Dr. Heather John, MD, PhD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Heather John
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
West Chester, PA 19382
In this Chester County & Wilmington practice, Dr. Heather John, MD, works with adults (18 or older) with a variety of mental health difficulties, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, interpersonal issues, & sleep issues. For more details, to initiate a referral, or contact Dr. John, visit www.terrafirmapsychiatry.com. This practice is currently accepting new patients for psychotherapy, with the addition of medications when appropriate; it is not currently accepting new patients for medication management-only, or for split treatment (medication management in this practice, & psychotherapy with another professional).
In this Chester County & Wilmington practice, Dr. Heather John, MD, works with adults (18 or older) with a variety of mental health difficulties, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, interpersonal issues, & sleep issues. For more details, to initiate a referral, or contact Dr. John, visit www.terrafirmapsychiatry.com. This practice is currently accepting new patients for psychotherapy, with the addition of medications when appropriate; it is not currently accepting new patients for medication management-only, or for split treatment (medication management in this practice, & psychotherapy with another professional).
(215) 515-6504 View (215) 515-6504
Photo of Dr. Michael Rosen, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Michael Rosen
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19380
The ideal client is quite simply someone who truly wants help. Someone who is willing to work where the goal is to live the best life, reach the goals one seeks, and to enjoy the journey. The details of how that is done of course depends on the individual's station at the time one seeks help.
The ideal client is quite simply someone who truly wants help. Someone who is willing to work where the goal is to live the best life, reach the goals one seeks, and to enjoy the journey. The details of how that is done of course depends on the individual's station at the time one seeks help.
(484) 559-6648 View (484) 559-6648
Photo of Jill Rodger, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jill Rodger
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19380
Jill Roger is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who has been practicing since 2022. Jill believes in approaching each person with compassion and understanding to foster a positive professional relationship. She provides medication management, supportive therapy, and psychoeducation. Jill believes individuals have their own personal and unique needs based on their symptoms and past experiences. Individuals should be actively involved in their treatment planning and setting goals they desire to achieve.
Jill Roger is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who has been practicing since 2022. Jill believes in approaching each person with compassion and understanding to foster a positive professional relationship. She provides medication management, supportive therapy, and psychoeducation. Jill believes individuals have their own personal and unique needs based on their symptoms and past experiences. Individuals should be actively involved in their treatment planning and setting goals they desire to achieve.
(484) 232-3507 View (484) 232-3507
Photo of Dr. Chenhang Zou, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Chenhang Zou
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19380
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 Samantha Huyett, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Samantha Huyett
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19380
Samantha Huyett is a Board-Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania who has been practicing since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Immaculata University and an MSN, PMHNP-BC from Wilkes University. Samantha believes in meeting people wherever they may be in life and partnering to develop a treatment plan specific to their needs. She strives to create a trusting relationship and provide an environment where the individual feels safe to express themselves. Her approach is patient centered, strength based and focused on the individual as a whole.
Samantha Huyett is a Board-Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania who has been practicing since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Immaculata University and an MSN, PMHNP-BC from Wilkes University. Samantha believes in meeting people wherever they may be in life and partnering to develop a treatment plan specific to their needs. She strives to create a trusting relationship and provide an environment where the individual feels safe to express themselves. Her approach is patient centered, strength based and focused on the individual as a whole.
(484) 282-7310 View (484) 282-7310
Photo of Marina Makous, MD, Psychiatrist
Marina Makous
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19382
Waitlist for new clients
Dr. Makous a Fellowship in Neuropsychiatry-trained, Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician with extensive experience in Psychiatry and Counseling. In the past she established mental health clinics around the world, treating individuals from different cultures for a variety of mental illnesses. After a 2-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Neuropsychiatry at Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry, she stayed on as an Assistant Professor. She recently relocated to Exton, PA, where she treats adults with depression, anxiety, neuropsychiatric complications of Lyme, etc. Dr. Marina Makous is astute, warm, and collaborative: she listens to her patients and follows them to ensure the best treatment outcome possible.
Dr. Makous a Fellowship in Neuropsychiatry-trained, Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician with extensive experience in Psychiatry and Counseling. In the past she established mental health clinics around the world, treating individuals from different cultures for a variety of mental illnesses. After a 2-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Neuropsychiatry at Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry, she stayed on as an Assistant Professor. She recently relocated to Exton, PA, where she treats adults with depression, anxiety, neuropsychiatric complications of Lyme, etc. Dr. Marina Makous is astute, warm, and collaborative: she listens to her patients and follows them to ensure the best treatment outcome possible.
(484) 997-7075 View (484) 997-7075
Photo of Anjum Irfan, MD, Psychiatrist
Anjum Irfan
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
West Chester, PA 19380
We have been serving Chester county for last 25 years. We take pride in providing client oriented and customized treatment plan. We specialize in treatment of Anxiety, depression, mood disorders, life transitions, job stress, marital problems and family adjustments. We use both biochemical /medical principles and psychological theory and practices. We also use alternative and spiritual methods when needed. Ultimately our goal is patient’s wellbeing, and outcome based treatment plans implemented with our patient as our team player.
We have been serving Chester county for last 25 years. We take pride in providing client oriented and customized treatment plan. We specialize in treatment of Anxiety, depression, mood disorders, life transitions, job stress, marital problems and family adjustments. We use both biochemical /medical principles and psychological theory and practices. We also use alternative and spiritual methods when needed. Ultimately our goal is patient’s wellbeing, and outcome based treatment plans implemented with our patient as our team player.
(610) 989-7618 View (610) 989-7618
Photo of undefined - Brandywine Valley TMS, MD, Psychiatrist
Brandywine Valley TMS
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
West Chester, PA 19382
At Brandywine Valley TMS we provided TMS therapy (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) for patients with depression who have tried medications and/or psychotherapy but have not yet experienced the relief they seek.
At Brandywine Valley TMS we provided TMS therapy (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) for patients with depression who have tried medications and/or psychotherapy but have not yet experienced the relief they seek.
(302) 754-5641 View (302) 754-5641
Photo of Sherifat Forcey, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sherifat Forcey
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
West Chester, PA 19382
I am currently accepting patients in need of mental health assistance via telehealth and in-person in Pennsylvania and Minnesota and I am a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. My specialty is in medication management, and I look forward to working with clients who are interested in a client-centered, caring approach to treatment.
I am currently accepting patients in need of mental health assistance via telehealth and in-person in Pennsylvania and Minnesota and I am a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. My specialty is in medication management, and I look forward to working with clients who are interested in a client-centered, caring approach to treatment.
(717) 482-6062 View (717) 482-6062
Photo of Jessica Plocher, CRNP, Psychiatric Nurse
Jessica Plocher
Psychiatric Nurse, CRNP
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
West Chester, PA 19380
I am currently scheduling new patients for initial psychiatric evaluations and medication management. We additionally have psychotherapists (within our network at Rittenhouse Psychiatric Associates) whom we collaborate with if indicated. I have over a decade of experience working in the mental health field, including working as a mental health resource specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital (2003-2008), The Johns Hopkins Hospital in both clinical and supervisor roles (2009-2012) and have instructed at The University of Pennsylvania (where I completed my training including certification to prescribe psychiatric medications).
I am currently scheduling new patients for initial psychiatric evaluations and medication management. We additionally have psychotherapists (within our network at Rittenhouse Psychiatric Associates) whom we collaborate with if indicated. I have over a decade of experience working in the mental health field, including working as a mental health resource specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital (2003-2008), The Johns Hopkins Hospital in both clinical and supervisor roles (2009-2012) and have instructed at The University of Pennsylvania (where I completed my training including certification to prescribe psychiatric medications).
(267) 331-4799 View (267) 331-4799
Photo of Andrea Favini, MD, Psychiatrist
Andrea Favini
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
West Chester, PA 19380  (Online Only)
Dr. Favini is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who is currently accepting new patients. She has experience treating a variety of conditions including depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. She has expertise in perinatal psychiatry as well as infertility and mood changes related to the menstrual cycle and perimenopause.
Dr. Favini is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who is currently accepting new patients. She has experience treating a variety of conditions including depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. She has expertise in perinatal psychiatry as well as infertility and mood changes related to the menstrual cycle and perimenopause.
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How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in West Chester, PA

30+

Average cost per session

$225

Psychiatrists in West Chester, PA who prioritize treating:

94% Depression
94% Anxiety
75% Bipolar Disorder
72% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
69% ADHD
69% Medication Management
66% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

11 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% Cigna and Evernorth
94% Aetna
94% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in West Chester, PA see their clients

82% In Person and Online
18% Online Only

Gender breakdown

70% Female
30% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in West Chester?

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.