Psychiatrists in Alexandria City County, VA

Photo of Dr. Andreia Florina Sabau - MindLink Psychiatry LLC, DNP, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
MindLink Psychiatry LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314
I recognize that each person's experience is unique, and their mental health care should reflect that individuality. I provide personalized assessments and treatment plans, tailoring my services to meet the specific needs and goals of each individual. Through thorough evaluations and collaborative discussions, I work closely with you to develop a deep understanding of your concerns, symptoms, and life circumstances.
I recognize that each person's experience is unique, and their mental health care should reflect that individuality. I provide personalized assessments and treatment plans, tailoring my services to meet the specific needs and goals of each individual. Through thorough evaluations and collaborative discussions, I work closely with you to develop a deep understanding of your concerns, symptoms, and life circumstances.
(571) 200-4598 View (571) 200-4598
Photo of Ramia Gupta - Ramia Gupta, MD PC, MD, FAPA, Psychiatrist
Ramia Gupta, MD PC
Psychiatrist, MD, FAPA
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314
An increasing number of people suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Having a mental health disorder can be frightening and overwhelming especially when one doesn’t know where to go to for help. My practice offers that place where I attempt to answer your questions and allay your fears. My work with my patients emphasizes compassion, empathy and support. During the initial assessment, I conduct a detailed Diagnostic evaluation in order to devise an Individualized and Comprehensive Treatment plan unique to the needs of each patient. I am Board Certified in both General and Forensic Psychiatry.
An increasing number of people suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Having a mental health disorder can be frightening and overwhelming especially when one doesn’t know where to go to for help. My practice offers that place where I attempt to answer your questions and allay your fears. My work with my patients emphasizes compassion, empathy and support. During the initial assessment, I conduct a detailed Diagnostic evaluation in order to devise an Individualized and Comprehensive Treatment plan unique to the needs of each patient. I am Board Certified in both General and Forensic Psychiatry.
(571) 536-7421 View (571) 536-7421
Photo of Michael Murphy, MD, Psychiatrist
Michael Murphy
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314
Dr. Michael A. Murphy is Board-certified in General Psychiatry as well as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has over 20 years of experience practicing medicine in outpatient, acute, and residential settings. Dr. Murphy provides psychiatric assessments and medication management along with brief supportive psychotherapy. He is a strong advocate of collaboration between psychiatric care and psychotherapeutic interventions and encourages the utilization of therapists and counselors.
Dr. Michael A. Murphy is Board-certified in General Psychiatry as well as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has over 20 years of experience practicing medicine in outpatient, acute, and residential settings. Dr. Murphy provides psychiatric assessments and medication management along with brief supportive psychotherapy. He is a strong advocate of collaboration between psychiatric care and psychotherapeutic interventions and encourages the utilization of therapists and counselors.
(703) 775-4958 View (703) 775-4958
Photo of LaToya D Mullen - LaToya Mullen, Psychiatric Medication Management, PMHNP-B, MS, BN, FNP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
LaToya Mullen, Psychiatric Medication Management
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP-B, MS, BN, FNP-BC
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314
Do you need a prescription for psychiatric medication, or help balancing your medications? Has your therapist recommended medication? Do you struggle with ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, insomnia or disordered sleep, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), mood disorders, or psychosis? Often, medication can help you achieve calm, focus, and balance. Working together, we will find and fine-tune the medications that address your needs. Medication, or medication combined with therapy, supports significant improvement for many clients. Reach out today for board-certified psychiatric support.
Do you need a prescription for psychiatric medication, or help balancing your medications? Has your therapist recommended medication? Do you struggle with ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, insomnia or disordered sleep, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), mood disorders, or psychosis? Often, medication can help you achieve calm, focus, and balance. Working together, we will find and fine-tune the medications that address your needs. Medication, or medication combined with therapy, supports significant improvement for many clients. Reach out today for board-certified psychiatric support.
(703) 687-0224 View (703) 687-0224
Photo of Dr. Yeganeh Jalaeian, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Yeganeh Jalaeian
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314  (Online Only)
Dr. Yeganeh “Anna” Jalaeian is a psychiatric and family nurse practitioner. She has 17 years of experience in the healthcare field, including over 8 years as a nurse practitioner in both family medicine and psychiatry. She specializes in treating mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, postpartum mood disorder, prolonged grief, and anger management. She works with clients from diverse backgrounds, including the LGBTQIA+ community and those with autism spectrum traits.
Dr. Yeganeh “Anna” Jalaeian is a psychiatric and family nurse practitioner. She has 17 years of experience in the healthcare field, including over 8 years as a nurse practitioner in both family medicine and psychiatry. She specializes in treating mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, postpartum mood disorder, prolonged grief, and anger management. She works with clients from diverse backgrounds, including the LGBTQIA+ community and those with autism spectrum traits.
(703) 691-5132 View (703) 691-5132
Photo of Mariah Eze, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Mariah Eze
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Alexandria, VA 22314
As a psychiatric nurse practitioner specializing in psychopharmacology, I am committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for my patients. Through telehealth sessions, I offer a confidential space where individuals can freely express their struggles and concerns related to their mental health. I prioritize privacy and peace of mind for my patients, ensuring that they feel heard, understood, and valued throughout our interactions. My goal is to empower individuals to navigate their mental health journey with confidence and compassion, guiding them towards holistic well-being and improved quality of life.
As a psychiatric nurse practitioner specializing in psychopharmacology, I am committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for my patients. Through telehealth sessions, I offer a confidential space where individuals can freely express their struggles and concerns related to their mental health. I prioritize privacy and peace of mind for my patients, ensuring that they feel heard, understood, and valued throughout our interactions. My goal is to empower individuals to navigate their mental health journey with confidence and compassion, guiding them towards holistic well-being and improved quality of life.
(703) 912-0479 x1 View (703) 912-0479 x1
Photo of Arnold Kaplin, MD, Psychiatrist
Arnold Kaplin
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22311
I offer evaluation & treatment of emotional difficulties (depression, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive issues,attention-deficit disorder, bipolar disorder)-----problems establishing & maintaining long-term relationships-----difficulties achieving a healthy balance among work, love. & play. In an atmosphere of trust & confidentiality, I help patients enhance self esteem, coping skills, self confidence & assist in removing the obstacles that interfere with reaching one's full potential.
I offer evaluation & treatment of emotional difficulties (depression, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive issues,attention-deficit disorder, bipolar disorder)-----problems establishing & maintaining long-term relationships-----difficulties achieving a healthy balance among work, love. & play. In an atmosphere of trust & confidentiality, I help patients enhance self esteem, coping skills, self confidence & assist in removing the obstacles that interfere with reaching one's full potential.
(703) 931-5050 View (703) 931-5050
Photo of Peter McGowan, MD, Psychiatrist
Peter McGowan
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314  (Online Only)
Dr. McGowan is a board-certified adult psychiatrist with over 14 years of experience during which he has primarily treated active duty US Navy sailors, their family members, and military retirees in the outpatient setting. Dr. McGowan’s practice focuses on medication management in addition to supportive and cognitive-behavioral therapy in 30-minute follow-up visits. He is a strong advocate of multiple treatment modalities and, in certain situations, may suggest that therapy and/or regular physical exercise be included in your treatment plan in order to provide the best outcome.
Dr. McGowan is a board-certified adult psychiatrist with over 14 years of experience during which he has primarily treated active duty US Navy sailors, their family members, and military retirees in the outpatient setting. Dr. McGowan’s practice focuses on medication management in addition to supportive and cognitive-behavioral therapy in 30-minute follow-up visits. He is a strong advocate of multiple treatment modalities and, in certain situations, may suggest that therapy and/or regular physical exercise be included in your treatment plan in order to provide the best outcome.
(703) 457-8783 View (703) 457-8783
Photo of Misty Embrey, MD, Psychiatrist
Misty Embrey
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Alexandria, VA 22314
Dr. Embrey is an integrative and holistic child and adult psychiatrist in Washington DC. She is also seeing patients in Virginia, Maryland, and Wisconsin (virtually). Having trained at Johns Hopkins, she treats psychiatric illnesses with an approach that involves evaluation and treatment via traditional psychiatric methods, medications, and therapy. She also includes an assessment of how complementary interventions may be helpful toward finding mental, emotional, and spiritual balance and vitality.
Dr. Embrey is an integrative and holistic child and adult psychiatrist in Washington DC. She is also seeing patients in Virginia, Maryland, and Wisconsin (virtually). Having trained at Johns Hopkins, she treats psychiatric illnesses with an approach that involves evaluation and treatment via traditional psychiatric methods, medications, and therapy. She also includes an assessment of how complementary interventions may be helpful toward finding mental, emotional, and spiritual balance and vitality.
(240) 600-1943 View (240) 600-1943
Photo of Seth Eiland, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ-Psy, Physician Assistant
Seth Eiland
Physician Assistant, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ-Psy
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314
I am a board-certified Physician Assistant specializing in adult Psychiatry.
I am a board-certified Physician Assistant specializing in adult Psychiatry.
(703) 215-9140 View (703) 215-9140
Photo of Christiane G Davenport - Affinity Health & Wellness, PLLC, FNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Affinity Health & Wellness, PLLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, FNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314
If you are struggling with insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, concentration difficulties, sadness, fatigue, or depression, I would love to help you. I have found that working with clients with these symptoms are often the most thoughtful and empathetic people I have encountered during my career in healthcare. Please know, these conditions are common, and are very treatable. I offer thorough diagnostic evaluations and medication management.
If you are struggling with insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, concentration difficulties, sadness, fatigue, or depression, I would love to help you. I have found that working with clients with these symptoms are often the most thoughtful and empathetic people I have encountered during my career in healthcare. Please know, these conditions are common, and are very treatable. I offer thorough diagnostic evaluations and medication management.
(703) 520-5215 View (703) 520-5215
Photo of Mimi Khine, MD, Psychiatrist
Mimi Khine
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22311
I am a psychiatrist with a background in family practice medicine. I treat Major Depression, PMDD, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive disorders, Bipolar Disorders, Schizophrenia, Schizo affective Disorders, Menopausal Depression, ADD, ADHD, PTSD, TBI and Dementia. I treat my patients with understanding and empathy. I have experience in multicultural psychiatry. I have been a psychiatrist since 1989 to present and I have been in Family practice medicine sine 1974.
I am a psychiatrist with a background in family practice medicine. I treat Major Depression, PMDD, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive disorders, Bipolar Disorders, Schizophrenia, Schizo affective Disorders, Menopausal Depression, ADD, ADHD, PTSD, TBI and Dementia. I treat my patients with understanding and empathy. I have experience in multicultural psychiatry. I have been a psychiatrist since 1989 to present and I have been in Family practice medicine sine 1974.
(703) 372-9622 View (703) 372-9622
Photo of Riddhi Kothari, DO, Psychiatrist
Riddhi Kothari
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314
Dr. Riddhi Kothari is a board-certified general psychiatrist. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Psychology. She completed her medical school education at Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic medicine in 2013. She completed her residency training in adult psychiatry at University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry residency program in Baltimore, Maryland. During residency, she served as Chief Resident for Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) and Consult-Liaison Services, and was a recipient of Excellence in Community Psychiatry award.
Dr. Riddhi Kothari is a board-certified general psychiatrist. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Psychology. She completed her medical school education at Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic medicine in 2013. She completed her residency training in adult psychiatry at University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry residency program in Baltimore, Maryland. During residency, she served as Chief Resident for Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) and Consult-Liaison Services, and was a recipient of Excellence in Community Psychiatry award.
(703) 783-3717 View (703) 783-3717
Photo of Snezana Sonje Psychiatrist, MD, Psychiatrist
Snezana Sonje Psychiatrist
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22304  (Online Only)
I am Certified Psychiatrist. Licensed in DC, MD, VA . I have years of experinece in psychiatry and use tools of psychodynamic psychotherapy or sometimes add medication if needed. I worked with all kinds of patients in different settings. I worked in several hospitals, clinics, community centers, goverment military clinics, universities etc.
I am Certified Psychiatrist. Licensed in DC, MD, VA . I have years of experinece in psychiatry and use tools of psychodynamic psychotherapy or sometimes add medication if needed. I worked with all kinds of patients in different settings. I worked in several hospitals, clinics, community centers, goverment military clinics, universities etc.
(571) 999-6864 View (571) 999-6864
Photo of Megan Marumoto, MD, Psychiatrist
Megan Marumoto
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314  (Online Only)
Dr Megan Marumoto is an integrative psychiatrist board-certified in General Psychiatry, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Integrative Medicine, and Lifestyle Medicine with over 20 years of experience. She is also a certified practitioner in Functional Medicine. Dr Marumoto received her medical degree from the John A Burns School of Medicine and completed her Psychiatry Residency and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Hawaii. Wishing to provide comprehensive care beyond medication management and therapy, Dr Marumoto completed a second fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.
Dr Megan Marumoto is an integrative psychiatrist board-certified in General Psychiatry, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Integrative Medicine, and Lifestyle Medicine with over 20 years of experience. She is also a certified practitioner in Functional Medicine. Dr Marumoto received her medical degree from the John A Burns School of Medicine and completed her Psychiatry Residency and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Hawaii. Wishing to provide comprehensive care beyond medication management and therapy, Dr Marumoto completed a second fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.
(571) 470-6269 View (571) 470-6269
Photo of Cory Alfers, DO, Psychiatrist
Cory Alfers
Psychiatrist, DO
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314  (Online Only)
Dr. Alfers is a board-certified psychiatrist specializing in adult psychiatry. He has been practicing for over 11 years. Dr. Alfers takes a comprehensive approach to patient care. He integrates biological, psychological, and environmental factors into treatment planning. He focuses on developing a meaningful therapeutic relationship and providing medication interventions for specific treatment goals. Dr. Alfers provides interpersonal psychotherapy in conjunction with medication management services. A typical follow-up visit averages 20 minutes.
Dr. Alfers is a board-certified psychiatrist specializing in adult psychiatry. He has been practicing for over 11 years. Dr. Alfers takes a comprehensive approach to patient care. He integrates biological, psychological, and environmental factors into treatment planning. He focuses on developing a meaningful therapeutic relationship and providing medication interventions for specific treatment goals. Dr. Alfers provides interpersonal psychotherapy in conjunction with medication management services. A typical follow-up visit averages 20 minutes.
(703) 783-7980 View (703) 783-7980
Photo of Dr. Morgan Alexander, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Morgan Alexander
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22301  (Online Only)
Meet Dr. Alexander: a psychiatrist with a distinctive blend of empathy and expertise. Trained at Wright State University with a focus on integrating psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, Dr. Alexander excels in delivering personalized treatment plans with proven effectiveness. She actively engages with the narratives that shape patients' lives, forging therapeutic alliances as unique as the individuals she serves. This patient-first approach, combined with a rich background in community engagement, positions Dr. Alexander as a psychiatrist who understands the complexities of the complete human experience - mind, body and spirit.
Meet Dr. Alexander: a psychiatrist with a distinctive blend of empathy and expertise. Trained at Wright State University with a focus on integrating psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, Dr. Alexander excels in delivering personalized treatment plans with proven effectiveness. She actively engages with the narratives that shape patients' lives, forging therapeutic alliances as unique as the individuals she serves. This patient-first approach, combined with a rich background in community engagement, positions Dr. Alexander as a psychiatrist who understands the complexities of the complete human experience - mind, body and spirit.
View
Photo of David L. Charney, MD, Psychiatrist
David L. Charney
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22314
You're a successful, accomplished, busy person encountering more stresses lately. Now you're feeling strained, anxious, distracted, angry or moody. While normally you push through your difficulties all by yourself, this time it's different. You realize you could actually benefit from some professional help but your personal pride and self-reliance make this a big step to take. You also wonder: "How could anyone possibly understand everything that's on my plate?" I'm an experienced psychiatrist from the so-called Golden Age of Psychiatry, where we learned to bridge two seemingly different approaches, the psychological and biological.
You're a successful, accomplished, busy person encountering more stresses lately. Now you're feeling strained, anxious, distracted, angry or moody. While normally you push through your difficulties all by yourself, this time it's different. You realize you could actually benefit from some professional help but your personal pride and self-reliance make this a big step to take. You also wonder: "How could anyone possibly understand everything that's on my plate?" I'm an experienced psychiatrist from the so-called Golden Age of Psychiatry, where we learned to bridge two seemingly different approaches, the psychological and biological.
(703) 836-7130 View (703) 836-7130
Dennis Thomas Cozzens
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Alexandria, VA 22302
I am a board certified psychiatrist who has been in private practice for 25 years. I earned my medical degree at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine after which I completed an Adult Psychiatry residency at St. Vincent Medical Center in New York City and a Child Psychiatry Fellowship at Georgetown University. I also completed an Addiction Medicine Fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic. I opened my private practice in 1993. My expertise lies in treating complex presentations in a thoughtful but comprehensive manner. As emails are not Hippa Compliant please do not write. Please call the office.
I am a board certified psychiatrist who has been in private practice for 25 years. I earned my medical degree at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine after which I completed an Adult Psychiatry residency at St. Vincent Medical Center in New York City and a Child Psychiatry Fellowship at Georgetown University. I also completed an Addiction Medicine Fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic. I opened my private practice in 1993. My expertise lies in treating complex presentations in a thoughtful but comprehensive manner. As emails are not Hippa Compliant please do not write. Please call the office.
(571) 200-5042 View (571) 200-5042
Photo of Khursheed Khine, MD, Psychiatrist
Khursheed Khine
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Alexandria, VA 22311
Not accepting new clients
***Please note that Dr. Khine is currently not accepting new patients in order to serve her existing patients better*** My goal is to combine empathy with excellent clinical skills and up-to-date knowledge of current medical practice. Your privacy is highly valued, thus treatment is provided in a safe and confidential manner.
***Please note that Dr. Khine is currently not accepting new patients in order to serve her existing patients better*** My goal is to combine empathy with excellent clinical skills and up-to-date knowledge of current medical practice. Your privacy is highly valued, thus treatment is provided in a safe and confidential manner.
(703) 646-8098 View (703) 646-8098

See more therapy options for Alexandria City County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Alexandria City County, VA

100+

Average cost per session

$205

Psychiatrists in Alexandria City County, VA who prioritize treating:

100% Anxiety
98% Depression
81% Medication Management
79% Trauma and PTSD
79% Bipolar Disorder
78% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
74% ADHD

Average years in practice

9 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

93% Cigna and Evernorth
83% BlueCross and BlueShield
81% Aetna

How Psychiatrists in Alexandria City County, VA see their clients

55% In Person and Online
45% Online Only

Gender breakdown

71% Female
29% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Alexandria City 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.