Psychiatrists in Charleston County, SC

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Photo of Gundu Reddy, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Gundu Reddy
Psychiatrist, MD, MBBS
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Mount Pleasant, SC 29466  (Online Only)
I am a Board Certified Psychiatrist in South Carolina. I have trained in Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family and Marital therapy, as well as Psychiatric Medication Management. I have always believed that brain health is the key to every form of well being and every individual regardless of their diagnosis or symptoms has the potential to be healthier. Whether your reasons for seeking treatment include treatment-resistant hallucinations, persistent irritability, dysphoria, insomnia, wanting to perform better at work- the core principles of treatment are often similar.
I am a Board Certified Psychiatrist in South Carolina. I have trained in Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family and Marital therapy, as well as Psychiatric Medication Management. I have always believed that brain health is the key to every form of well being and every individual regardless of their diagnosis or symptoms has the potential to be healthier. Whether your reasons for seeking treatment include treatment-resistant hallucinations, persistent irritability, dysphoria, insomnia, wanting to perform better at work- the core principles of treatment are often similar.
(843) 508-8883 View (843) 508-8883
Photo of Carla Warren, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Charleston County, SC
Carla Warren
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Charleston, SC 29414
Hello, my name is Carla Warren and I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. I am originally from New Jersey and have been living in South Carolina for over a decade now, and I absolutely love it. My personal philosophy includes the integration of social, cultural, spiritual and emotional values to treat the whole person. My objective is to implement evidence-based treatment to ensure high quality care and improved outcomes for my patients. I strongly believe that if my patient is not doing 90% better in 3 months, then I have missed something.
Hello, my name is Carla Warren and I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. I am originally from New Jersey and have been living in South Carolina for over a decade now, and I absolutely love it. My personal philosophy includes the integration of social, cultural, spiritual and emotional values to treat the whole person. My objective is to implement evidence-based treatment to ensure high quality care and improved outcomes for my patients. I strongly believe that if my patient is not doing 90% better in 3 months, then I have missed something.
(843) 427-3068 View (843) 427-3068
Photo of Sweetgrass Psychiatry, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Sweetgrass Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
YES, we are accepting new in person and virtual clients age 6+. YES, many of our providers take insurance (BCBS, Aetna, United/Optum, Cigna, Medicare, Tricare, Humana). We firmly believe you deserve integrative, holistic care and the best, most cutting edge treatments that work quickly with the least amount of risks. We are proud to offer the most groundbreaking new, FDA approved/cleared treatments for major depression, including transcranial magnetic stimulation and Spravato/esketamine which are covered by most commercial insurance plans. We also offer primary care services for our patients and have an in house family medicine MD.
YES, we are accepting new in person and virtual clients age 6+. YES, many of our providers take insurance (BCBS, Aetna, United/Optum, Cigna, Medicare, Tricare, Humana). We firmly believe you deserve integrative, holistic care and the best, most cutting edge treatments that work quickly with the least amount of risks. We are proud to offer the most groundbreaking new, FDA approved/cleared treatments for major depression, including transcranial magnetic stimulation and Spravato/esketamine which are covered by most commercial insurance plans. We also offer primary care services for our patients and have an in house family medicine MD.
(843) 279-5563 View (843) 279-5563
Photo of Abundant Grace Wellness, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Charleston County, SC
Abundant Grace Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, MSN
Verified Verified
Charleston, SC 29412
I believe in the caring and connected holistic approach integrating physical, mental, social and spiritual values. I value you and will inspire trust, will listen well, evaluate and treat . The techniques I utilize along with medication management are CBT, Mindfulness, Coaching , Holistic Thinking , Dietary and Lifestyle Changes. Together We will Develop a Plan in harmony with a doctor ( Psychologist or Medical). We will Develop an Individualized plan that Promotes Healing and Allows you to reach Your Goals.
I believe in the caring and connected holistic approach integrating physical, mental, social and spiritual values. I value you and will inspire trust, will listen well, evaluate and treat . The techniques I utilize along with medication management are CBT, Mindfulness, Coaching , Holistic Thinking , Dietary and Lifestyle Changes. Together We will Develop a Plan in harmony with a doctor ( Psychologist or Medical). We will Develop an Individualized plan that Promotes Healing and Allows you to reach Your Goals.
(843) 594-2321 View (843) 594-2321
Photo of Nicholas Germano, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Charleston County, SC
Nicholas Germano
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Charleston, SC 29405
Nick Germano, MSN, PMHNP-BC Nick Germano is a Board-Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in South Carolina who has been practicing since 2020. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the College of Charleston and a Master of Science in Nursing, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Nick believes that the most essential component to medication management is collaboration.
Nick Germano, MSN, PMHNP-BC Nick Germano is a Board-Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in South Carolina who has been practicing since 2020. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the College of Charleston and a Master of Science in Nursing, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Nick believes that the most essential component to medication management is collaboration.
(843) 483-6455 View (843) 483-6455
Photo of We Care Healthcare, LLC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Charleston County, SC
We Care Healthcare, LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Charleston, SC 29422  (Online Only)
Hello, my name is Dr. Michelle Pinckney, I am a doctoral-prepared Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 26 years of experience as a Registered Professional Nurse in the field of Mental Health. I am here to assist you with meeting your mental health needs. This practice is dedicated to spreading mental health awareness, breaking the cycle of the stigma associated with mental illness, and providing mental health treatment to address each individual's needs. Our goal is to provide compassionate care for patients with mental health needs in a patient-centered environment.
Hello, my name is Dr. Michelle Pinckney, I am a doctoral-prepared Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 26 years of experience as a Registered Professional Nurse in the field of Mental Health. I am here to assist you with meeting your mental health needs. This practice is dedicated to spreading mental health awareness, breaking the cycle of the stigma associated with mental illness, and providing mental health treatment to address each individual's needs. Our goal is to provide compassionate care for patients with mental health needs in a patient-centered environment.
(843) 417-0261 View (843) 417-0261
Photo of Steven Sinderman, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Steven Sinderman
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Dr. Steven Sinderman is passionate about providing the best treatment for his patients in a collaborative atmosphere. Dr. Sinderman specializes in adult psychiatry. He was fascinated with the function of the brain and psychology in college, but was side-tracked and pursued a career in neurosurgery.
Dr. Steven Sinderman is passionate about providing the best treatment for his patients in a collaborative atmosphere. Dr. Sinderman specializes in adult psychiatry. He was fascinated with the function of the brain and psychology in college, but was side-tracked and pursued a career in neurosurgery.
(855) 724-1139 View (855) 724-1139
Photo of Reya Demirozu, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Charleston County, SC
Reya Demirozu
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Reya is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specializing in individuals of all ages. She specializes in anxiety, depression, bipolar I & II, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Reya brings a holistic approach that utilizes medication management, therapeutic engagement, and a promotion of a healthy lifestyle. She provides patient-centered care to help individuals develop more balanced coping skills, self-care, and perspective while achieving stability. Reya completed crisis prevention training at McLean Hospital. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and hiking with her dog.
Reya is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specializing in individuals of all ages. She specializes in anxiety, depression, bipolar I & II, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Reya brings a holistic approach that utilizes medication management, therapeutic engagement, and a promotion of a healthy lifestyle. She provides patient-centered care to help individuals develop more balanced coping skills, self-care, and perspective while achieving stability. Reya completed crisis prevention training at McLean Hospital. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and hiking with her dog.
(855) 724-1139 View (855) 724-1139
Photo of Lanier Summerall, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Lanier Summerall
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified Verified
Charleston, SC 29407
I was fortunate to grow up in Charleston where my family has lived for many generations. I spent my childhood playing on Sullivan's Island and sailing at my grandparents' House on Wadmalaw Island. I attended medical school at the university of Colorado and completed psychiatry residency at Dartmouth. I emphasize a holistic, patient focused treatment built on a foundation of a strong doctor-patient alliance. In 2014 I decided to return home to my family in Charleston. I was in a clinical leadership position downtown at the VA until joining Mt. Pleasant Psychiatry in 2017.
I was fortunate to grow up in Charleston where my family has lived for many generations. I spent my childhood playing on Sullivan's Island and sailing at my grandparents' House on Wadmalaw Island. I attended medical school at the university of Colorado and completed psychiatry residency at Dartmouth. I emphasize a holistic, patient focused treatment built on a foundation of a strong doctor-patient alliance. In 2014 I decided to return home to my family in Charleston. I was in a clinical leadership position downtown at the VA until joining Mt. Pleasant Psychiatry in 2017.
(843) 885-8052 View (843) 885-8052
Photo of Charleston Medicine and Behavioral Health, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Charleston County, SC
Charleston Medicine and Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, AGNP-BC, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Charleston, SC 29412
Dr. W. Rodney Andrews: I help clients who are experiencing difficulties from anxiety, depression, and a host of other issues. Additionally, I work with individuals suffering from a lack of motivation or having difficulty performing to their best at work, school, or on the playing field. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or past traumas you're not alone. If you are ready to reclaim your joy, find your inner peace, or if you're seeking relief from emotional pain let's navigate your challenges together and ignite positive transformation in your life. Allow me to guide your journey towards healing and empowerment.
Dr. W. Rodney Andrews: I help clients who are experiencing difficulties from anxiety, depression, and a host of other issues. Additionally, I work with individuals suffering from a lack of motivation or having difficulty performing to their best at work, school, or on the playing field. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or past traumas you're not alone. If you are ready to reclaim your joy, find your inner peace, or if you're seeking relief from emotional pain let's navigate your challenges together and ignite positive transformation in your life. Allow me to guide your journey towards healing and empowerment.
(843) 920-3891 View (843) 920-3891
Photo of Van Nguyen, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Van Nguyen
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
I am board certified adult psychiatrist with fellowship child / adolescent training. I believe that every child and young adult can shine to his/her fullest potential with the right support and nurturing approach. I assess each patient and crafts individualized treatment plans to help patients reach their short and long term treatment goals.
I am board certified adult psychiatrist with fellowship child / adolescent training. I believe that every child and young adult can shine to his/her fullest potential with the right support and nurturing approach. I assess each patient and crafts individualized treatment plans to help patients reach their short and long term treatment goals.
(843) 279-8614 View (843) 279-8614
Photo of Dr. Amanda Allen-Sands, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Dr. Amanda Allen-Sands
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464  (Online Only)
Not accepting new clients
Being alive in today's world can often mean feeling overworked, under-supported, and filled with insecurities and instability. Navigating this on our best day can be challenging, and if you find yourself dealing with sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, anger, rage, it starts to feel nearly impossible to put one foot in front of the other day by day. Because so much of today's world is out of our control, it is important to grasp onto the things we do have control of, namely our mental health. If you, your job, your relationships, your world are struggling because of your mental health, I am here to help.
Being alive in today's world can often mean feeling overworked, under-supported, and filled with insecurities and instability. Navigating this on our best day can be challenging, and if you find yourself dealing with sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, anger, rage, it starts to feel nearly impossible to put one foot in front of the other day by day. Because so much of today's world is out of our control, it is important to grasp onto the things we do have control of, namely our mental health. If you, your job, your relationships, your world are struggling because of your mental health, I am here to help.
(843) 612-6836 View (843) 612-6836
Photo of Patrick Mcarthur, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Patrick Mcarthur
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
Not accepting new clients
I have practiced Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry in Mount Pleasant for over 19 years, and in Murrell's Inlet, SC for two years. I offer experienced, confidential and solution-focused treatment for all ages. In every session I do both talk therapy and (when indicated) medication management. The success of my practice is based on my taking the time to really know each patient and his/her needs and to develop mutual trust with each patient.
I have practiced Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry in Mount Pleasant for over 19 years, and in Murrell's Inlet, SC for two years. I offer experienced, confidential and solution-focused treatment for all ages. In every session I do both talk therapy and (when indicated) medication management. The success of my practice is based on my taking the time to really know each patient and his/her needs and to develop mutual trust with each patient.
(843) 628-2140 View (843) 628-2140
Photo of Debbie White, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Debbie White
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464  (Online Only)
I have about 35 years experience in psychiatry, including residency, and only do outpatient psychiatry in recent years. I provide both medicine management and individual therapy. My approach is as a partnership- input from from a patient is valued and not ignored. What works for one person often does not work for another. My strengths include spending time with people (sometimes at the expense of punctuality). There is always an emergency system in place - I handle my own after hour calls. My areas of expertise include mood and anxiety disorders, women's issues, addictions, relationship issues, pharmacology, among others.
I have about 35 years experience in psychiatry, including residency, and only do outpatient psychiatry in recent years. I provide both medicine management and individual therapy. My approach is as a partnership- input from from a patient is valued and not ignored. What works for one person often does not work for another. My strengths include spending time with people (sometimes at the expense of punctuality). There is always an emergency system in place - I handle my own after hour calls. My areas of expertise include mood and anxiety disorders, women's issues, addictions, relationship issues, pharmacology, among others.
(843) 800-2303 View (843) 800-2303
Photo of Angel Oak Counseling, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Angel Oak Counseling
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Johns Island, SC 29455
Are you facing a personal problem? Perhaps you need help after a traumatic event? When you find yourself in situations like these, feel free to come and visit us at Angel Oak Counseling for assistance. We provide professional counseling services for individuals seeking support and guidance in dealing with significant life changes. We also evaluate your need for psychiatric medication and prescribe as needed. Allow us to help you in your time of need. Visit our counseling clinic in Johns Island, SC today to properly discuss your needs.
Are you facing a personal problem? Perhaps you need help after a traumatic event? When you find yourself in situations like these, feel free to come and visit us at Angel Oak Counseling for assistance. We provide professional counseling services for individuals seeking support and guidance in dealing with significant life changes. We also evaluate your need for psychiatric medication and prescribe as needed. Allow us to help you in your time of need. Visit our counseling clinic in Johns Island, SC today to properly discuss your needs.
(843) 507-4957 View (843) 507-4957
Photo of Mallory Darnell, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Charleston County, SC
Mallory Darnell
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over five years of experience with children and adults, I am aware that all individuals are unique and bring with them their own experiences and beliefs. In our work together, I will provide you with an open and supportive environment, so you will feel comfortable sharing and discussing your concerns. I will partner with you in your treatment process and truly listen to ensure you meet your personal mental health goals. I believe in treating each of my patients with a holistic approach, incorporating lifestyle and medication changes when beneficial.
As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over five years of experience with children and adults, I am aware that all individuals are unique and bring with them their own experiences and beliefs. In our work together, I will provide you with an open and supportive environment, so you will feel comfortable sharing and discussing your concerns. I will partner with you in your treatment process and truly listen to ensure you meet your personal mental health goals. I believe in treating each of my patients with a holistic approach, incorporating lifestyle and medication changes when beneficial.
(843) 920-3183 View (843) 920-3183
Photo of Abbey Borich, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Abbey Borich
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Dr. Borich is a seasoned child and adolescent psychiatrist dedicated to providing extraordinary care to children, adolescents, and young adults. With a wealth of experience spanning over a decade, Dr. Borich brings a compassionate, individually tailored, and evidence-based approach to every patient interaction. Dr. Borich has extensive inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room experience, and specializes in a wide range of pathologies including depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, psychosis, mania, and behavioral disorders.
Dr. Borich is a seasoned child and adolescent psychiatrist dedicated to providing extraordinary care to children, adolescents, and young adults. With a wealth of experience spanning over a decade, Dr. Borich brings a compassionate, individually tailored, and evidence-based approach to every patient interaction. Dr. Borich has extensive inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room experience, and specializes in a wide range of pathologies including depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, psychosis, mania, and behavioral disorders.
(843) 978-0450 View (843) 978-0450
Photo of Jennifer Shierlock, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Jennifer Shierlock
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Charleston, SC 29406  (Online Only)
I use a personalized approach to treatment, integrating evidence-based medicine and a holistic understanding of your unique needs and circumstances. I'm dedicated to understanding who you are as a whole person, not just a diagnosis or set of symptoms. My style is one of warmth, compassion, and empathy. Through psychotherapy, medication management, and collaborative goal-setting, I want to help you navigate your mental health journey with confidence and resilience. I am here to help promote healing, growth and the achievement of your goals.
I use a personalized approach to treatment, integrating evidence-based medicine and a holistic understanding of your unique needs and circumstances. I'm dedicated to understanding who you are as a whole person, not just a diagnosis or set of symptoms. My style is one of warmth, compassion, and empathy. Through psychotherapy, medication management, and collaborative goal-setting, I want to help you navigate your mental health journey with confidence and resilience. I am here to help promote healing, growth and the achievement of your goals.
(843) 954-0260 View (843) 954-0260
Photo of Sarah Dalechek, Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Sarah Dalechek
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
We offer collaborative and patient-centered care through the use of medication and therapy as forms of treatment for a wide array of mental health needs. Whether you have been experiencing mental health issues your whole life or have just recently developed disruptions in mood, anxiety, etc. we are here to assist you. Also, we help those who are stable on their current medication regimens with medication management appointments for ADHD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder just to name a few.
We offer collaborative and patient-centered care through the use of medication and therapy as forms of treatment for a wide array of mental health needs. Whether you have been experiencing mental health issues your whole life or have just recently developed disruptions in mood, anxiety, etc. we are here to assist you. Also, we help those who are stable on their current medication regimens with medication management appointments for ADHD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder just to name a few.
(843) 806-3401 View (843) 806-3401
Photo of Fermo Psychiatric Solutions, INC., Psychiatrist in Charleston County, SC
Fermo Psychiatric Solutions, INC.
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
I am a double board certified psychiatrist in Adult / Child and Adolescent who has been practicing for over 25 years. I practice on the principle of "Biopsychosocial Model", providing a psychiatric evaluation, building a strong therapeutic alliance, being patient oriented, providing psychoeducation on diagnosis(s), treatment options and interventions. I practice evidence based medicine, standard of care, and cutting edge psychotropic interventions when necessary. I provide psycho-educational support to my patients and their families.
I am a double board certified psychiatrist in Adult / Child and Adolescent who has been practicing for over 25 years. I practice on the principle of "Biopsychosocial Model", providing a psychiatric evaluation, building a strong therapeutic alliance, being patient oriented, providing psychoeducation on diagnosis(s), treatment options and interventions. I practice evidence based medicine, standard of care, and cutting edge psychotropic interventions when necessary. I provide psycho-educational support to my patients and their families.
(843) 593-9626 View (843) 593-9626

See more therapy options for Charleston County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Charleston County, SC

50+

Average cost per session

$250

Psychiatrists in Charleston County, SC who prioritize treating:

96% Depression
96% Anxiety
88% Medication Management
84% ADHD
75% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
75% Bipolar Disorder
73% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

9 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% BlueCross and BlueShield
88% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH
85% Aetna

How Psychiatrists in Charleston County, SC see their clients

75% In Person and Online
25% Online Only

Gender breakdown

60% Female
40% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Charleston 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.