Psychiatrists in Columbia, TN

Photo of Eric Avent, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Eric Avent
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Columbia, TN 38401
Eric Avent is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. His training and experience qualify him to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication for patients across the lifespan. Eric's primary focus is to deliver evidence-based mental health care services and provide quality resources for patients involved. He offers telemedicine services. Some of his practice specialties include (but not limited to): ADHD, depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, and support for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Eric Avent is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. His training and experience qualify him to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication for patients across the lifespan. Eric's primary focus is to deliver evidence-based mental health care services and provide quality resources for patients involved. He offers telemedicine services. Some of his practice specialties include (but not limited to): ADHD, depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, and support for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
(615) 212-8887 View (615) 212-8887
Photo of Sumitra Patel, PMHNP, MSN, APRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sumitra Patel
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, MSN, APRN
Verified Verified
Columbia, TN 38401  (Online Only)
Hello! My name is Sumitra Patel. I am a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner based in Tennessee. I received my Masters from Walden University and began practicing about three years ago. I am dedicated to providing compassionate and expert care for individuals struggling with mental health disorders. My focus is on comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning tailored to each patient's unique needs. I aim to support individuals on their journey to improved mental well-being, empowering them to lead fulfilling lives.
Hello! My name is Sumitra Patel. I am a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner based in Tennessee. I received my Masters from Walden University and began practicing about three years ago. I am dedicated to providing compassionate and expert care for individuals struggling with mental health disorders. My focus is on comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning tailored to each patient's unique needs. I aim to support individuals on their journey to improved mental well-being, empowering them to lead fulfilling lives.
(615) 576-8583 View (615) 576-8583
Photo of undefined - Renewed Psychiatry, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Renewed Psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Columbia, TN 38401
When your mental health is suffering hope is often elusive. I take great joy in assisting children and adults find renewal through the challenges they face and directing you towards the appropriate medication to bring about this change. Based upon self-report measures my patients dealing with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress experience 50-60 percent improvement in symptoms within 3 months while people suffering from ADHD experience 60-80 percent improvement in symptoms within 3 months. When the right medication is combined with therapy patients report even higher rates of response.
When your mental health is suffering hope is often elusive. I take great joy in assisting children and adults find renewal through the challenges they face and directing you towards the appropriate medication to bring about this change. Based upon self-report measures my patients dealing with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress experience 50-60 percent improvement in symptoms within 3 months while people suffering from ADHD experience 60-80 percent improvement in symptoms within 3 months. When the right medication is combined with therapy patients report even higher rates of response.
(931) 391-3852 View (931) 391-3852
Photo of Kimberly Patterson, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kimberly Patterson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Columbia, TN 38401  (Online Only)
Hello, I am a board-certified virtual Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, based in Memphis Tennessee, with over 24 years of experience in the nursing industry.
Hello, I am a board-certified virtual Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, based in Memphis Tennessee, with over 24 years of experience in the nursing industry.
(615) 802-4818 View (615) 802-4818
Photo of Dr. Patrick Eneje, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Patrick Eneje
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Columbia, TN 38401  (Online Only)
Dr. Patrick Eneje is a doctoral-prepared, licensed and board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. He sees patients ages 14 to 65 with psychiatric conditions, including but not limited to PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. Dr. Eneje's primary practice goal is to provide evidence-based, holistic care by combining psychopharmacology with supportive psychotherapy to enhance each individual’s mental, physical, and emotional state of well-being. He values collaborative relationships and enjoys tailoring care by taking into account one’s unique identity and background.
Dr. Patrick Eneje is a doctoral-prepared, licensed and board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. He sees patients ages 14 to 65 with psychiatric conditions, including but not limited to PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. Dr. Eneje's primary practice goal is to provide evidence-based, holistic care by combining psychopharmacology with supportive psychotherapy to enhance each individual’s mental, physical, and emotional state of well-being. He values collaborative relationships and enjoys tailoring care by taking into account one’s unique identity and background.
(206) 203-7325 View (206) 203-7325
Photo of Marilyn D Haymaker, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Marilyn D Haymaker
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Columbia, TN 38401
Originally from Columbia Falls, Montana, Marilyn has lived in Tennessee since the late 80’s. She attended Tennessee State University, where she received her RN in 1992. Marilyn was drawn to the field of mental health after working in substance abuse treatment as a registered nurse, and returned to graduate school to further her education, earning her MSN and certification as Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) from the Vanderbilt School of Nursing. With over 29 years in healthcare, including 11 in mental health, Marilyn brings extensive knowledge to her practice. She draws from experience in a multitude of settings.
Originally from Columbia Falls, Montana, Marilyn has lived in Tennessee since the late 80’s. She attended Tennessee State University, where she received her RN in 1992. Marilyn was drawn to the field of mental health after working in substance abuse treatment as a registered nurse, and returned to graduate school to further her education, earning her MSN and certification as Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) from the Vanderbilt School of Nursing. With over 29 years in healthcare, including 11 in mental health, Marilyn brings extensive knowledge to her practice. She draws from experience in a multitude of settings.
(615) 412-5405 View (615) 412-5405
Photo of Ashley Falkner, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Ashley Falkner
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Columbia, TN 38401
Hi! I am a board certified advanced psychiatric nurse practitioner. I am licensed in Tennessee and Texas.
Hi! I am a board certified advanced psychiatric nurse practitioner. I am licensed in Tennessee and Texas.
(901) 621-4099 View (901) 621-4099
Photo of Sonya Butler, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sonya Butler
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Columbia, TN 38401  (Online Only)
As a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) with numerous years of dedicated experience, Sonya is deeply committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive mental health care to individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and various thought and mood disorders. Her passion lies in helping her clients achieve mental well-being and regain control of their lives. She has honed her skills in treating anxiety and depression, recognizing that these conditions can profoundly impact an individual's daily functioning and overall quality of life.
As a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) with numerous years of dedicated experience, Sonya is deeply committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive mental health care to individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and various thought and mood disorders. Her passion lies in helping her clients achieve mental well-being and regain control of their lives. She has honed her skills in treating anxiety and depression, recognizing that these conditions can profoundly impact an individual's daily functioning and overall quality of life.
(615) 857-3477 View (615) 857-3477
Photo of Shahid Ali, MD, Psychiatrist
Shahid Ali
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Columbia, TN 38402
Shahid Ali, MD, Gold Medalists is a Board Certified Psychiatrist, Board Certified Addiction Medicine Specialist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders. Dr. Ali utilizes Buprenorphine to assist patients struggling with opioid use disorder. In addition to medication assisted treatment Dr. Ali works with patients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders, offers medication management for Bi-polar and mood disorders, ADD/ADHD, and anxiety disorders.
Shahid Ali, MD, Gold Medalists is a Board Certified Psychiatrist, Board Certified Addiction Medicine Specialist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders. Dr. Ali utilizes Buprenorphine to assist patients struggling with opioid use disorder. In addition to medication assisted treatment Dr. Ali works with patients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders, offers medication management for Bi-polar and mood disorders, ADD/ADHD, and anxiety disorders.
(615) 813-4765 View (615) 813-4765
Photo of Simonpeter Emokpaire, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Simonpeter Emokpaire
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Columbia, TN 38401  (Online Only)
As a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, my practice focuses on comprehensive care across all age groups, specializing in anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and psychotic disorders. I have a particular interest in integrating medication management with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness to enhance treatment outcomes, especially for mood disorders.
As a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, my practice focuses on comprehensive care across all age groups, specializing in anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and psychotic disorders. I have a particular interest in integrating medication management with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness to enhance treatment outcomes, especially for mood disorders.
(832) 346-8022 View (832) 346-8022

Online Psychiatrists

Photo of undefined - Just Journey Wellness Clinic, DNP, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Just Journey Wellness Clinic
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Murfreesboro, TN 37130  (Online Only)
Mental health stability can open the door for unlimited possibilities in our journey through life. My job as a mental health provider is to help clients open new doors by changing their perspectives with medication management and psychotherapy. I encourage clients to take the initiative and responsibility for their mental health wellness. As a mental health provider, it is important for me to stay abreast of effective mental health principles and treatment options to ensure that all clients reach their full potential during their lifelong journey to positive mental health outcomes.
Mental health stability can open the door for unlimited possibilities in our journey through life. My job as a mental health provider is to help clients open new doors by changing their perspectives with medication management and psychotherapy. I encourage clients to take the initiative and responsibility for their mental health wellness. As a mental health provider, it is important for me to stay abreast of effective mental health principles and treatment options to ensure that all clients reach their full potential during their lifelong journey to positive mental health outcomes.
(901) 445-9485 View (901) 445-9485
Photo of undefined - Elite Psychiatry of Tennessee, PA-C, Physician Assistant
Elite Psychiatry of Tennessee
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
6 Endorsed
Dickson, TN 37055  (Online Only)
What sets Elite Psychiatry apart? This is a locally owned practice where you will have continuous and personalized care with the same provider every visit, which is essential for appropriate diagnosis and medication management. We offer compassionate care without judgement; you will feel heard. This is your journey. You will have to put the work in, but we are here to help and pride ourselves on being as invested as you are!
What sets Elite Psychiatry apart? This is a locally owned practice where you will have continuous and personalized care with the same provider every visit, which is essential for appropriate diagnosis and medication management. We offer compassionate care without judgement; you will feel heard. This is your journey. You will have to put the work in, but we are here to help and pride ourselves on being as invested as you are!
(615) 637-3131 View (615) 637-3131
Photo of undefined - Novus Behavioral Health, PA-C, Psychiatrist
Novus Behavioral Health
Psychiatrist, PA-C
Verified Verified
Clarksville, TN 37043
Experienced, compassionate psychiatric medication management services provided in Clarksville, TN in office or online. We're honored to join our patients on their journey from mental illness to mental wellness - we will not only react to symptoms of mental illness, we will work together to identify and implement a proactive plan to attain mental wellness . Our practice is comprised of experienced psychiatric providers. Veteran owned & operated. Please visit the website, call or email for further information.
Experienced, compassionate psychiatric medication management services provided in Clarksville, TN in office or online. We're honored to join our patients on their journey from mental illness to mental wellness - we will not only react to symptoms of mental illness, we will work together to identify and implement a proactive plan to attain mental wellness . Our practice is comprised of experienced psychiatric providers. Veteran owned & operated. Please visit the website, call or email for further information.
(931) 240-2134 View (931) 240-2134
Photo of Michael Kanell, MD, Psychiatrist
Michael Kanell
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37212  (Online Only)
Currently accepting new patients. Dr. Kanell is a board-certified psychiatrist practicing in West Los Angeles and remotely in Tennessee. Dr. Kanell's approach balances evidence-based medication with emotionally aware therapy to help you make real change. His goal is to help you live your own life honestly and build the self-reliance to take control of your future and make deep character change.
Currently accepting new patients. Dr. Kanell is a board-certified psychiatrist practicing in West Los Angeles and remotely in Tennessee. Dr. Kanell's approach balances evidence-based medication with emotionally aware therapy to help you make real change. His goal is to help you live your own life honestly and build the self-reliance to take control of your future and make deep character change.
(310) 361-4381 View (310) 361-4381
Photo of Paula Wilt, MD, Psychiatrist
Paula Wilt
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37238  (Online Only)
Dr. Wilt is board certified in adult psychiatry. She earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University in New Orleans where she also completed her four-year residency in psychiatry. Dr. Wilt takes a biopsychosocial approach to mental health and has over 13 years of experience with an array of mental health diagnoses including Depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and sleep disorders. Dr. Wilt enjoys spending time getting to know her patients and working hand in hand with them to accurately diagnose and treat the symptoms they are experiencing.
Dr. Wilt is board certified in adult psychiatry. She earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University in New Orleans where she also completed her four-year residency in psychiatry. Dr. Wilt takes a biopsychosocial approach to mental health and has over 13 years of experience with an array of mental health diagnoses including Depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and sleep disorders. Dr. Wilt enjoys spending time getting to know her patients and working hand in hand with them to accurately diagnose and treat the symptoms they are experiencing.
(629) 218-3723 View (629) 218-3723
Photo of undefined - Belmont Behavioral Health, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Belmont Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Clarksville, TN 37040
Belmont Behavioral Health is a mental health care service provider located in the downtown Clarksville, Tennessee area. We help individuals experiencing various mental health challenges through medication management and counseling. In addition, our role is to teach and explain the specific condition of a client not only to the client but also to his/her family so they are aware of the symptoms, effects, and scenarios that may arise, allowing them to be more prepared to help them mentally and emotionally.
Belmont Behavioral Health is a mental health care service provider located in the downtown Clarksville, Tennessee area. We help individuals experiencing various mental health challenges through medication management and counseling. In addition, our role is to teach and explain the specific condition of a client not only to the client but also to his/her family so they are aware of the symptoms, effects, and scenarios that may arise, allowing them to be more prepared to help them mentally and emotionally.
(931) 218-6158 View (931) 218-6158
Photo of Bailey Buckner, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Bailey Buckner
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Clarksville, TN 37043
I chose psychiatry because I’ve always been passionate about helping others, and I’ve witnessed, both personally and professionally, how life-changing psychiatric care can be. My ultimate goal is to empower you by providing compassionate, inclusive, and evidence-based care so that we can work together to cultivate your mental health and well-being.
I chose psychiatry because I’ve always been passionate about helping others, and I’ve witnessed, both personally and professionally, how life-changing psychiatric care can be. My ultimate goal is to empower you by providing compassionate, inclusive, and evidence-based care so that we can work together to cultivate your mental health and well-being.
(931) 213-3810 View (931) 213-3810
Photo of undefined - Kast Dynamic Therapy and Psychiatry PLLC, MD, Psychiatrist
Kast Dynamic Therapy and Psychiatry PLLC
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37203
Welcome! I am Dr. Kristopher Kast, a psychiatrist in Nashville, Tennessee. My practice is focused on dynamic therapy, also called psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy. This is an evidence-based treatment for a number of problems - including depression, anxiety, and difficulties with relationships or self-esteem regulation - and it is well-suited to understanding and treating complexity. Dynamic therapy is open-ended and may include more frequent sessions. We will work together on a plan that best fits you.
Welcome! I am Dr. Kristopher Kast, a psychiatrist in Nashville, Tennessee. My practice is focused on dynamic therapy, also called psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy. This is an evidence-based treatment for a number of problems - including depression, anxiety, and difficulties with relationships or self-esteem regulation - and it is well-suited to understanding and treating complexity. Dynamic therapy is open-ended and may include more frequent sessions. We will work together on a plan that best fits you.
(615) 237-7238 View (615) 237-7238
Photo of Luis Dulin, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Luis Dulin
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Goodlettsville, TN 37072
At Open Minds Mental Health Services we believe in evidence based treatment with a collaborative approach. We practice holistic interventions that incorporate a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes to better your overall mental health.
At Open Minds Mental Health Services we believe in evidence based treatment with a collaborative approach. We practice holistic interventions that incorporate a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes to better your overall mental health.
(615) 433-6334 View (615) 433-6334
Photo of Ilu Amin @ Tennessee Mental Wellness, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Ilu Amin @ Tennessee Mental Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
8 Endorsed
Gallatin, TN 37066
As a mental health nurse practitioner, I connect deeply with people facing anxiety, depression, trauma, other mental health challenges. I offer my deepest support and guidance. Understanding your pain and isolation, I provide validation without judgment, fostering trust and rapport. I do not discriminate your background regarding gender, race, and welcome LGBTQIA+, etc. By recognizing these influences, I tailor treatment to empower you to reclaim agency and pursue your aspirations with confidence. My approach combines medication management and psychotherapy to address your specific mental health needs, holistically.
As a mental health nurse practitioner, I connect deeply with people facing anxiety, depression, trauma, other mental health challenges. I offer my deepest support and guidance. Understanding your pain and isolation, I provide validation without judgment, fostering trust and rapport. I do not discriminate your background regarding gender, race, and welcome LGBTQIA+, etc. By recognizing these influences, I tailor treatment to empower you to reclaim agency and pursue your aspirations with confidence. My approach combines medication management and psychotherapy to address your specific mental health needs, holistically.
(615) 307-9196 View (615) 307-9196

See more therapy options for Columbia

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Columbia, TN

10+

Average cost per session

$250

Psychiatrists in Columbia, TN who prioritize treating:

100% Depression
100% Anxiety
80% ADHD
80% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
80% Trauma and PTSD
80% Bipolar Disorder
60% Sleep or Insomnia

Average years in practice

7 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH
100% Other
100% Optum

How Psychiatrists in Columbia, TN see their clients

50% In Person and Online
50% Online Only

Gender breakdown

57% Male
43% Female
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Columbia?

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.