Psychiatrists in Hays County, TX

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Photo of Paul R. Whitelock - Paul R. Whitelock, M.D. & Associates, MD, Psychiatrist
Paul R. Whitelock, M.D. & Associates
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666  (Online Only)
With over 4 decades of psychiatric experience, we approach each patients’ care with expertise, respect and kindness. From young children to senior citizens, we provide personal and in-depth evaluation and expert medication management in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Offices located in Austin, San Marcos & Temple Texas!
With over 4 decades of psychiatric experience, we approach each patients’ care with expertise, respect and kindness. From young children to senior citizens, we provide personal and in-depth evaluation and expert medication management in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Offices located in Austin, San Marcos & Temple Texas!
(512) 572-4037 View (512) 572-4037
Photo of Lindsay Bisby, PMHNP, BSN, RN, CPN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lindsay Bisby
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BSN, RN, CPN
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666
Lindsay is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) with experience working with patients across the lifespan and a special passion for working with children and adolescents struggling with life changes and mental health challenges. Lindsay has dedicated herself to the field of mental health both professionally and personally as a pediatric nurse working with children, adolescents and their families during difficult circumstances and over a decade of experience working with local agencies focused on supporting caregivers of foster children with complex behavioral needs.
Lindsay is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) with experience working with patients across the lifespan and a special passion for working with children and adolescents struggling with life changes and mental health challenges. Lindsay has dedicated herself to the field of mental health both professionally and personally as a pediatric nurse working with children, adolescents and their families during difficult circumstances and over a decade of experience working with local agencies focused on supporting caregivers of foster children with complex behavioral needs.
(512) 882-0212 View (512) 882-0212
Photo of Mallori Hernandez, NP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Mallori Hernandez
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666
Mallori Hernandez is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Texas who has been practicing since 2021. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas State University and a Master of Science in Nursing from University of Texas at Arlington. Mallori's goal is to approach medication management in a collaborative way, taking patient's past and present experiences, concerns, and preferences into consideration. Mallori acknowledges psychosocial stressors as well as physical health when it comes to treating mental illness and address these when needed.
Mallori Hernandez is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Texas who has been practicing since 2021. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas State University and a Master of Science in Nursing from University of Texas at Arlington. Mallori's goal is to approach medication management in a collaborative way, taking patient's past and present experiences, concerns, and preferences into consideration. Mallori acknowledges psychosocial stressors as well as physical health when it comes to treating mental illness and address these when needed.
(737) 232-5911 View (737) 232-5911
Photo of Honey Covin-Weeks, PMHCNS, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Honey Covin-Weeks
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHCNS
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666
Honey Covin-Weeks is a Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist in Texas who started practicing in 2013. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati. Honey is a specialist in child and adolescent mental health with almost a decade of experience working exclusively with children and their families. She works to improve their functioning within the family, the school setting, and the larger community. Her treatment philosophy is somewhat of a marriage between Ross Green's theory that when a child can do better, he or she will do better, and the principles of behavior modification.
Honey Covin-Weeks is a Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist in Texas who started practicing in 2013. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati. Honey is a specialist in child and adolescent mental health with almost a decade of experience working exclusively with children and their families. She works to improve their functioning within the family, the school setting, and the larger community. Her treatment philosophy is somewhat of a marriage between Ross Green's theory that when a child can do better, he or she will do better, and the principles of behavior modification.
(512) 991-9462 View (512) 991-9462
Photo of Richard Sambrook, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Richard Sambrook
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78737
I am passionate about helping people find that balance in their life between medication, therapy, and maximizing their potential. I enjoy educating my patients and helping them make complex disorders more understandable. I try and empower my patients by collaborating with them to choose the best treatments. I am the guide; you are the decision maker. I have experience with the treatment of depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, substance use, personality disorders and schizophrenia. I stay up to date on the latest treatments options, but my goal is to help people get off of their medications for good or minimize if long-term is needed.
I am passionate about helping people find that balance in their life between medication, therapy, and maximizing their potential. I enjoy educating my patients and helping them make complex disorders more understandable. I try and empower my patients by collaborating with them to choose the best treatments. I am the guide; you are the decision maker. I have experience with the treatment of depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, substance use, personality disorders and schizophrenia. I stay up to date on the latest treatments options, but my goal is to help people get off of their medications for good or minimize if long-term is needed.
(737) 315-3888 View (737) 315-3888
Photo of Carly Decker, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Carly Decker
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666  (Online Only)
Same day virtual appointments available for medication management with Carly Decker, Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
Same day virtual appointments available for medication management with Carly Decker, Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
(512) 768-2548 View (512) 768-2548
Photo of Lisa D'Amura, APRN, PMHNP, Dr Whit, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lisa D'Amura
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP, Dr Whit
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78737
Lisa D’Amura is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She earned both her Bachelors (2003) and Masters (2017) Degrees of Nursing from The University of Texas at Austin. She has experience working with a wide variety of patients in both in-patient and out-patient mental health. Before her move to psychiatric nursing Lisa was a Registered Nurse, Lactation Consultant and volunteer with a grassroots mental health organization-PSI.
Lisa D’Amura is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She earned both her Bachelors (2003) and Masters (2017) Degrees of Nursing from The University of Texas at Austin. She has experience working with a wide variety of patients in both in-patient and out-patient mental health. Before her move to psychiatric nursing Lisa was a Registered Nurse, Lactation Consultant and volunteer with a grassroots mental health organization-PSI.
(737) 373-2036 View (737) 373-2036
Photo of Shellylice Thomas, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Shellylice Thomas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Buda, TX 78610
I am a board-certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who has more than 25 years of varied experience in healthcare. I provide person-centered care with the client's best interests at the forefront of any treatment decisions. My focus is to provide empathetic and accessible care to the patients with mental health problems. I am aware of the toll of mental health problems on the client's functioning in relationships, work, and study settings.
I am a board-certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who has more than 25 years of varied experience in healthcare. I provide person-centered care with the client's best interests at the forefront of any treatment decisions. My focus is to provide empathetic and accessible care to the patients with mental health problems. I am aware of the toll of mental health problems on the client's functioning in relationships, work, and study settings.
(469) 529-6659 View (469) 529-6659
Photo of David Walsh, MSN, RN, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
David Walsh
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, RN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Dripping Springs, TX 78620  (Online Only)
My primary area of interest is in working with individuals and families struggling with addiction, and supporting those in recovery through smart medication management and ongoing therapy. My belief in the recovery model informs my empathic yet pragmatic approach to behavioral healthcare.
My primary area of interest is in working with individuals and families struggling with addiction, and supporting those in recovery through smart medication management and ongoing therapy. My belief in the recovery model informs my empathic yet pragmatic approach to behavioral healthcare.
(512) 842-4487 View (512) 842-4487
Photo of Joshua Petty - VirtualPsychiatricCare.com, MSN, PMHNP, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
VirtualPsychiatricCare.com
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP, NP
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666  (Online Only)
Accepting new patients via telehealth for psychiatric evaluations, talk therapy, and medication management. Our clients are looking to be properly diagnosed and treated using the safest prescribing principles. Make your appointment on our website today.. We offer affordable out of pocket rates. Accepting some insurances
Accepting new patients via telehealth for psychiatric evaluations, talk therapy, and medication management. Our clients are looking to be properly diagnosed and treated using the safest prescribing principles. Make your appointment on our website today.. We offer affordable out of pocket rates. Accepting some insurances
(737) 530-5855 View (737) 530-5855
Photo of Samantha Brown, MD, Psychiatrist
Samantha Brown
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666
Samantha Brown is a Psychiatrist in Texas who has been practicing since 2017. She earned an MD from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and completed her Psychiatry Internship and Residency at University of Texas Health Science Center. Samantha is easy to talk to, open minded and non-judgmental. She is sensitive to the occupational and relationship impact that mental health issues can have and takes those into account when designing a treatment plan.
Samantha Brown is a Psychiatrist in Texas who has been practicing since 2017. She earned an MD from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and completed her Psychiatry Internship and Residency at University of Texas Health Science Center. Samantha is easy to talk to, open minded and non-judgmental. She is sensitive to the occupational and relationship impact that mental health issues can have and takes those into account when designing a treatment plan.
(512) 910-7295 View (512) 910-7295
Photo of Perry Bishop, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Perry Bishop
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Through active listening and compassionate care, Perry Bishop, PMHNP, is dedicated to delivering the highest standard of psychiatric care to his patients. Perry prides himself on being an advocate for his patients. He strives to deliver the highest quality of care to create personalized treatment plans. His goal is to support his patients so they can achieve their goals in life.
Through active listening and compassionate care, Perry Bishop, PMHNP, is dedicated to delivering the highest standard of psychiatric care to his patients. Perry prides himself on being an advocate for his patients. He strives to deliver the highest quality of care to create personalized treatment plans. His goal is to support his patients so they can achieve their goals in life.
(737) 373-4067 View (737) 373-4067
Photo of Stefani Reinold, MD, MPH, Psychiatrist
Stefani Reinold
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified Verified
Has traditional psychiatry failed you? Want a holistic, personalized approach to mental health? I'm accepting new patients- in person or virtual! Schedule at: www.wholeheartedpsychiatry.com I'm a board certified psychiatrist who treats adolescents and adults 10 yo+. We provide a unique integrative, holistic approach to your mental health offering a comprehensive evaluation. We work collaboratively with patients to develop the most personalized treatment plan, including a balanced approach between medication management, supplement protocols, genetic and lab testing, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Has traditional psychiatry failed you? Want a holistic, personalized approach to mental health? I'm accepting new patients- in person or virtual! Schedule at: www.wholeheartedpsychiatry.com I'm a board certified psychiatrist who treats adolescents and adults 10 yo+. We provide a unique integrative, holistic approach to your mental health offering a comprehensive evaluation. We work collaboratively with patients to develop the most personalized treatment plan, including a balanced approach between medication management, supplement protocols, genetic and lab testing, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
(737) 204-3712 View (737) 204-3712
Photo of Shazar Khan, PMHNP, MSN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Shazar Khan
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, MSN
Verified Verified
Dripping Springs, TX 78620  (Online Only)
Are you struggling with anxiety, depression, or navigating a major life change? My ideal client seeks a compassionate and understanding partner in their mental health journey. They desire to regain control, find hope, and achieve a balanced, fulfilling life. They want a personalized approach that respects their unique experiences and goals. At Legion Health, we offer a supportive environment where you can feel truly heard and valued.
Are you struggling with anxiety, depression, or navigating a major life change? My ideal client seeks a compassionate and understanding partner in their mental health journey. They desire to regain control, find hope, and achieve a balanced, fulfilling life. They want a personalized approach that respects their unique experiences and goals. At Legion Health, we offer a supportive environment where you can feel truly heard and valued.
(737) 250-7319 View (737) 250-7319
Photo of Aju Alex, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse
Aju Alex
Psychiatric Nurse, PMHNP
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666
Aju Alex has experience in treating individuals with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, ADHD, alcohol disorder, and sleep disorders. She has her Master of Science in Nursing from Georgia Southern University and is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Prior to working as a PMHNP she worked as an RN at in-patient psychiatric units in Kansas and Georgia, catering to the needs of children, adolescents, and adults. She was motivated to further her career as a PMHNP after seeing the struggles and trauma that caused patients to be hospitalized/homeless.
Aju Alex has experience in treating individuals with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, ADHD, alcohol disorder, and sleep disorders. She has her Master of Science in Nursing from Georgia Southern University and is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Prior to working as a PMHNP she worked as an RN at in-patient psychiatric units in Kansas and Georgia, catering to the needs of children, adolescents, and adults. She was motivated to further her career as a PMHNP after seeing the struggles and trauma that caused patients to be hospitalized/homeless.
(737) 637-5816 View (737) 637-5816
Photo of Yi Zhang, MD, Psychiatrist
Yi Zhang
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666
Yi Zhang is a Psychiatrist in Texas with four years of experience. She earned her MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch and completed her Psychiatry Residency from the Brody School of Medicine. Yi believes in creating individually tailored treatments to bring out the best in her clients. In her spare time, Yi enjoys birding and hiking.
Yi Zhang is a Psychiatrist in Texas with four years of experience. She earned her MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch and completed her Psychiatry Residency from the Brody School of Medicine. Yi believes in creating individually tailored treatments to bring out the best in her clients. In her spare time, Yi enjoys birding and hiking.
(512) 855-2445 View (512) 855-2445
Photo of Dr. Nadia Bening-Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Nadia Bening-Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Experience transformational treatment for depression and anxiety. Dripping Springs, Killeen and Burnet. Dr. Nadia Bening specializes in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). TMS is a powerful yet non-invasive procedure, typically covered by insurance, that uses magnetic fields to activate underactive depression circuits in the brain and inhibit overactive anxiety pathways. It can be done as monotherapy or in addition to antidepressant medication. At Texas Hill Country TMS, over 90% of our patients with severe, treatment-resistant clinical depression have experienced a significant clinical response with long-term outcomes.
Experience transformational treatment for depression and anxiety. Dripping Springs, Killeen and Burnet. Dr. Nadia Bening specializes in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). TMS is a powerful yet non-invasive procedure, typically covered by insurance, that uses magnetic fields to activate underactive depression circuits in the brain and inhibit overactive anxiety pathways. It can be done as monotherapy or in addition to antidepressant medication. At Texas Hill Country TMS, over 90% of our patients with severe, treatment-resistant clinical depression have experienced a significant clinical response with long-term outcomes.
(737) 345-4978 View (737) 345-4978
Photo of Sussana Howard, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sussana Howard
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
San Marcos, TX 78666
Sussana Howard is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She started her career as a certified nurse assistant to complete her BSN and MSN and specialized as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She has worked in hospitals and telemedicine settings with diverse populations. Choosing this career path allows her to reach and make an impact on people who need support and care.
Sussana Howard is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She started her career as a certified nurse assistant to complete her BSN and MSN and specialized as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She has worked in hospitals and telemedicine settings with diverse populations. Choosing this career path allows her to reach and make an impact on people who need support and care.
(737) 299-8387 View (737) 299-8387
Photo of Jilji Payikkattu, PMHNPBC, FNP-BC, APRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jilji Payikkattu
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC, FNP-BC, APRN
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78737
Jilji is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, who is qualified and experienced in treating patients with Psychiatric disorders. She graduated from University of Texas at Arlington with a Master of Science in Nursing and became a board-certified family nurse practitioner in 2013. She completed a post-master certificate in 2021 as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She has over 17 years of experience in health care in many practice areas including acute care hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, and outpatient clinics.
Jilji is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, who is qualified and experienced in treating patients with Psychiatric disorders. She graduated from University of Texas at Arlington with a Master of Science in Nursing and became a board-certified family nurse practitioner in 2013. She completed a post-master certificate in 2021 as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She has over 17 years of experience in health care in many practice areas including acute care hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, and outpatient clinics.
(469) 393-7232 View (469) 393-7232
Photo of Domikah Olateru-Olagbegi (Formally Burks), MSN, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Domikah Olateru-Olagbegi (Formally Burks)
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78737
Domikah Burks is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). She combines an evidence-based approach alongside a holistic approach to adult psychiatry and is able to use her experience to better understand each patient's unique dynamic. She received her education (MSN) and training from the University of Texas at Arlington -- where she received training in both inpatient and outpatient settings
Domikah Burks is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). She combines an evidence-based approach alongside a holistic approach to adult psychiatry and is able to use her experience to better understand each patient's unique dynamic. She received her education (MSN) and training from the University of Texas at Arlington -- where she received training in both inpatient and outpatient settings
(512) 855-7319 View (512) 855-7319
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How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Hays County, TX

50+

Average cost per session

$190

Psychiatrists in Hays County, TX who prioritize treating:

98% Depression
98% Anxiety
81% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
81% Trauma and PTSD
79% Bipolar Disorder
77% Medication Management
71% ADHD

Average years in practice

9 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

86% Aetna
86% BlueCross and BlueShield
86% Cigna and Evernorth

How Psychiatrists in Hays County, TX see their clients

75% In Person and Online
25% Online Only

Gender breakdown

72% Female
28% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Hays 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.