Psychiatrists in Arlington, VA

Photo of Natalie Brooks, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Natalie Brooks
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, DNP, APRN
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Arlington, VA 22203  (Online Only)
I am a doctorally prepared psychiatric nurse practitioner. I completed my education and training at George Mason University. I have training and experience treating psychiatric disorders across the lifespan in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I have a sub-specialty in forensic nursing, and my work in the field has been presented internationally.
I am a doctorally prepared psychiatric nurse practitioner. I completed my education and training at George Mason University. I have training and experience treating psychiatric disorders across the lifespan in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I have a sub-specialty in forensic nursing, and my work in the field has been presented internationally.
(571) 901-1438 View (571) 901-1438
Photo of Debra S Trasati, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Debra S Trasati
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22203
I embrace an integrated, strength-based approach to promoting wellness. I work with adolescents, young adults, and families affected by a variety of behavioral health symptoms. I have worked extensively with children and adolescents struggling with significant mood and behavioral dysregulation related to Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety and ADHD. My experience extends to college age and young adults who struggle with attention, depression, and generalized and social anxiety symptoms. I have a particular practice interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially those referred to as "High Functioning Autism" or "Asperger's."
I embrace an integrated, strength-based approach to promoting wellness. I work with adolescents, young adults, and families affected by a variety of behavioral health symptoms. I have worked extensively with children and adolescents struggling with significant mood and behavioral dysregulation related to Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety and ADHD. My experience extends to college age and young adults who struggle with attention, depression, and generalized and social anxiety symptoms. I have a particular practice interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially those referred to as "High Functioning Autism" or "Asperger's."
(703) 489-6700 View (703) 489-6700
Photo of Emily Gitau, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Emily Gitau
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22206
My name is Emily Gitau, and I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC), working with adult patients across the state of Virginia. My expertise is in depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and ADHD, using a combination of both medications and therapy when needed. My therapeutic approach is tailored on a patient’s needs. In addition to medication, I most frequently use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Problem-Solving Therapy.
My name is Emily Gitau, and I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC), working with adult patients across the state of Virginia. My expertise is in depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and ADHD, using a combination of both medications and therapy when needed. My therapeutic approach is tailored on a patient’s needs. In addition to medication, I most frequently use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Problem-Solving Therapy.
(571) 701-2411 View (571) 701-2411
Photo of Shahzad Rahman, Psychiatrist in Arlington, VA
Shahzad Rahman
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22204
.I am a board certified adult and adolescent psychiatrist with over twenty years experience in treating a variety of psychiatric conditions. I work closely with therapists to provide the best care for my clients. After medical school, I did my residency at Brown University Medical School, where I was then on the faculty for fifteen years. I am in practice at The Renascence Center, Arlington & Villagecounselors, Gaithersburg. I also participate in research developing new medications. Unfortunately, I am not available by email, so please call the respective office, where you want to make an appointment.
.I am a board certified adult and adolescent psychiatrist with over twenty years experience in treating a variety of psychiatric conditions. I work closely with therapists to provide the best care for my clients. After medical school, I did my residency at Brown University Medical School, where I was then on the faculty for fifteen years. I am in practice at The Renascence Center, Arlington & Villagecounselors, Gaithersburg. I also participate in research developing new medications. Unfortunately, I am not available by email, so please call the respective office, where you want to make an appointment.
(540) 986-4817 View (540) 986-4817
Photo of Alexander Kanaan, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Alexander Kanaan
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22201
Alexander Kanaan is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Virginia who has been practicing since 2017. His graduate studies were done at the University of Tampa where he trained to become a family nurse practitioner, and at Johns Hopkins University where he trained to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Alexander has experience in family medicine, internal medicine, urgent care, addiction medicine, and psychiatry. He is also experienced in inpatient psychiatry, psychiatric emergency fast track, consult liaison services, and pediatric intensive outpatient services.
Alexander Kanaan is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Virginia who has been practicing since 2017. His graduate studies were done at the University of Tampa where he trained to become a family nurse practitioner, and at Johns Hopkins University where he trained to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Alexander has experience in family medicine, internal medicine, urgent care, addiction medicine, and psychiatry. He is also experienced in inpatient psychiatry, psychiatric emergency fast track, consult liaison services, and pediatric intensive outpatient services.
(571) 526-0491 View (571) 526-0491
Photo of VirtualPsychiatricCare.com, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
VirtualPsychiatricCare.com
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, NP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22207  (Online Only)
Accepting new patients in Virginia for telehealth visits and medication management. I am board-certified treat Children and Adults. Our clients are looking to be properly diagnosed and treated using the safest prescribing principles. Make your appointment on our website today. Evening and weekend hours are available. Offering affordable rates-Initial Psychiatric Eval $199, Follow-ups $99. Accepting some insurances.
Accepting new patients in Virginia for telehealth visits and medication management. I am board-certified treat Children and Adults. Our clients are looking to be properly diagnosed and treated using the safest prescribing principles. Make your appointment on our website today. Evening and weekend hours are available. Offering affordable rates-Initial Psychiatric Eval $199, Follow-ups $99. Accepting some insurances.
(802) 210-1802 View (802) 210-1802
Photo of Bhagwan A Bahroo, Psychiatrist in Arlington, VA
Bhagwan A Bahroo
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Arlington, VA 22207  (Online Only)
I work with adults with a wide range of Psychiatric Conditions. If you feel you are ready to change, but not sure how, please schedule an initial consult with me. We can make a plan for healing. We will work together to decide the best medicines and the best course of treatment.
I work with adults with a wide range of Psychiatric Conditions. If you feel you are ready to change, but not sure how, please schedule an initial consult with me. We can make a plan for healing. We will work together to decide the best medicines and the best course of treatment.
(571) 517-1672 View (571) 517-1672
Photo of Lawrence Ballon, Psychiatrist in Arlington, VA
Lawrence Ballon
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22205  (Online Only)
As a Board Certified psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst, I am a medical doctor with specialized experience in understanding the brain and its psychological counterpart, the mind. With more than 30 years of experience treating thousands of patients, I am in a unique position to understand and help both the chemical imbalances which afflict some patients, as well as the troubling feelings, conflicts, and losses which burden others.
As a Board Certified psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst, I am a medical doctor with specialized experience in understanding the brain and its psychological counterpart, the mind. With more than 30 years of experience treating thousands of patients, I am in a unique position to understand and help both the chemical imbalances which afflict some patients, as well as the troubling feelings, conflicts, and losses which burden others.
(703) 291-1489 View (703) 291-1489
Photo of Columbia Associates Arlington, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Columbia Associates Arlington
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, NP-BC
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22207
Columbia Associates is an outpatient mental health care provider dedicated to serving the Arlington community. We are local to the DMV region and provide psychiatry and therapy services for adults, adolescents and children. We also provide group therapy, first-episode psychosis treatment, medication management, and TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) therapy. TMS is a non-drug, non-invasive depression treatment for adult patients who have not experienced satisfactory improvement from prior medications. 83% of people treated with TMS experience significant improvement in their symptoms!
Columbia Associates is an outpatient mental health care provider dedicated to serving the Arlington community. We are local to the DMV region and provide psychiatry and therapy services for adults, adolescents and children. We also provide group therapy, first-episode psychosis treatment, medication management, and TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) therapy. TMS is a non-drug, non-invasive depression treatment for adult patients who have not experienced satisfactory improvement from prior medications. 83% of people treated with TMS experience significant improvement in their symptoms!
(571) 200-3688 View (571) 200-3688
Photo of Dr. Chenhang Zou, Psychiatrist in Arlington, VA
Dr. Chenhang Zou
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22203
Dr. Zou is welcoming new patients seeking specialized treatment for anxiety, depression, trauma, OCD, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric concerns. As a holistic psychiatrist, Dr. Zou draws from a wide-ranging toolbox of treatment options - including psychotherapy, psycho-education and lifestyle adaptations in addition to medication where appropriate. Consequently, patients benefit from a well-integrated approach to care that is both systematic and thorough.
Dr. Zou is welcoming new patients seeking specialized treatment for anxiety, depression, trauma, OCD, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric concerns. As a holistic psychiatrist, Dr. Zou draws from a wide-ranging toolbox of treatment options - including psychotherapy, psycho-education and lifestyle adaptations in addition to medication where appropriate. Consequently, patients benefit from a well-integrated approach to care that is both systematic and thorough.
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Photo of Mekedes Mekonnen, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Mekedes Mekonnen
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Arlington, VA 22204  (Online Only)
We are accepting NEW clients, Telehealth! Do you suffer from chronic low mood? Worry excessively about everything? Have difficulty concentrating and accomplishing everyday tasks? Experience flashbacks from trauma? Suffer from panic attacks? You are not alone, as 1 in 5 adults in America has some mental illness. I work with individuals and families dealing with depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and Bipolar disorder. Book your appointment today. My treatment approach varies and includes lifestyle changes, medication, and supportive therapy. Our time together will be spent exploring evidence-based treatment options that work best for yo
We are accepting NEW clients, Telehealth! Do you suffer from chronic low mood? Worry excessively about everything? Have difficulty concentrating and accomplishing everyday tasks? Experience flashbacks from trauma? Suffer from panic attacks? You are not alone, as 1 in 5 adults in America has some mental illness. I work with individuals and families dealing with depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and Bipolar disorder. Book your appointment today. My treatment approach varies and includes lifestyle changes, medication, and supportive therapy. Our time together will be spent exploring evidence-based treatment options that work best for yo
(571) 378-5916 View (571) 378-5916
Photo of Jane Sullivan, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Jane Sullivan
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22201
Jane Sullivan is a Nurse Practitioner in Washington, DC who has been practicing since 1997. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and a Master's Degree from Rivier University. Jane thoroughly assesses clients for individualized treatment to include medication management to be monitored and continually assessed together with client input to attain stabilization and ability to live their fullest potential. Jane is originally from Boston but has lived throughout the US. She enjoys spending time with family, friends, and neighbors, as well as her son's dog FEN (short for Fenway Park).
Jane Sullivan is a Nurse Practitioner in Washington, DC who has been practicing since 1997. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and a Master's Degree from Rivier University. Jane thoroughly assesses clients for individualized treatment to include medication management to be monitored and continually assessed together with client input to attain stabilization and ability to live their fullest potential. Jane is originally from Boston but has lived throughout the US. She enjoys spending time with family, friends, and neighbors, as well as her son's dog FEN (short for Fenway Park).
(571) 497-5030 View (571) 497-5030
Photo of Augustine Ahenkorah, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Augustine Ahenkorah
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22207
Augustine is devoted to offering mental health services of the highest caliber, caring, and comprehensive to children, adolescents, and adults. Augustine has excellent clinical abilities complemented by a natural ability to connect with patients and their families. He adheres to recommendations based on evidence-based guidelines, clinical knowledge, and individual observation. He plays various roles as a PMHNP, including that of an educator and a mental health advocate. His training experiences in densely populated cities and remote, underserved places have stoked a commitment to provide quality mental health care services to all.
Augustine is devoted to offering mental health services of the highest caliber, caring, and comprehensive to children, adolescents, and adults. Augustine has excellent clinical abilities complemented by a natural ability to connect with patients and their families. He adheres to recommendations based on evidence-based guidelines, clinical knowledge, and individual observation. He plays various roles as a PMHNP, including that of an educator and a mental health advocate. His training experiences in densely populated cities and remote, underserved places have stoked a commitment to provide quality mental health care services to all.
(703) 782-4407 View (703) 782-4407
Photo of Moronke Aboyewa, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Moronke Aboyewa
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22206
My name is Moronke Aboyewa, and I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) since 2016. I am based in Maryland but work with clients across multiple states, including Virginia via a HIPAA-protected telehealth platform. If you seek a mental health provider who puts you first, and who would not judge you but would provide a non-threatening environment for self-expression, self-reflection, and self-acceptance, then look no further for you are in the right place.
My name is Moronke Aboyewa, and I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) since 2016. I am based in Maryland but work with clients across multiple states, including Virginia via a HIPAA-protected telehealth platform. If you seek a mental health provider who puts you first, and who would not judge you but would provide a non-threatening environment for self-expression, self-reflection, and self-acceptance, then look no further for you are in the right place.
(571) 596-6071 View (571) 596-6071
Photo of Mariah Eze, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Mariah Eze
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22209  (Online Only)
Hi there, I'm Mariah. Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, mood swings or labile moods? I am a very compassionate board-certified mental health provider that utilizes holistic and psychopharmacological evidence-based approaches in diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and various other psychiatric disorders.
Hi there, I'm Mariah. Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, mood swings or labile moods? I am a very compassionate board-certified mental health provider that utilizes holistic and psychopharmacological evidence-based approaches in diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and various other psychiatric disorders.
(571) 368-6828 View (571) 368-6828
Photo of Kevin Conley, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Kevin Conley
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22201  (Online Only)
My treatment philosophy is centered on caring for my clients as a whole person with the goal of helping the mind, the body, and the spirit, rather than just treating a condition. Delivering compassionate and evidence based care to help improve the lives of others is my passion and something I hope I can provide for you. My health care career started almost twenty years ago in EMS where I was a critical care paramedic. After a career ending injury I felt a call to continue serving my community by becoming a registered nurse, and eventually a PMHNP.
My treatment philosophy is centered on caring for my clients as a whole person with the goal of helping the mind, the body, and the spirit, rather than just treating a condition. Delivering compassionate and evidence based care to help improve the lives of others is my passion and something I hope I can provide for you. My health care career started almost twenty years ago in EMS where I was a critical care paramedic. After a career ending injury I felt a call to continue serving my community by becoming a registered nurse, and eventually a PMHNP.
(703) 687-0136 View (703) 687-0136
Photo of Seeta Patel, Psychiatrist in Arlington, VA
Seeta Patel
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22203  (Online Only)
Dr. Seeta Patel is a Harvard-trained, board-certified adult psychiatrist. She provides evidence-based medication management for adults (18 years and older). She specializes in treating anxiety, depression, and trauma related concerns. She works with clients from a variety of cultural backgrounds and have seen how trauma can cause lifelong suffering. We often do not reach out until aspects of our life have already been affected in a negative way - for instance, when relationships have fallen apart, or when we have lost a job. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather it is a sign of strength.
Dr. Seeta Patel is a Harvard-trained, board-certified adult psychiatrist. She provides evidence-based medication management for adults (18 years and older). She specializes in treating anxiety, depression, and trauma related concerns. She works with clients from a variety of cultural backgrounds and have seen how trauma can cause lifelong suffering. We often do not reach out until aspects of our life have already been affected in a negative way - for instance, when relationships have fallen apart, or when we have lost a job. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather it is a sign of strength.
(252) 644-6264 View (252) 644-6264
Photo of Umu Benjamin-Integrative Nutritional Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Umu Benjamin-Integrative Nutritional Psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Arlington, VA 22209  (Online Only)
I understand that you may be tired of countless doctor's visits and ongoing symptoms that drain you mentally and physically. You may have felt confused, concerned, and unsafe about considering treatment or about your treatments, unsure of the possibility of overcoming these challenges. Let me assure you that there is hope for your health. Your brain and body can heal within the right environment, and I am here to help you embark on that journey, especially with a provider that understands the biochemical and cellular adaptations that can occur during times of high stress and the impact it has on producing symptoms of mental health.
I understand that you may be tired of countless doctor's visits and ongoing symptoms that drain you mentally and physically. You may have felt confused, concerned, and unsafe about considering treatment or about your treatments, unsure of the possibility of overcoming these challenges. Let me assure you that there is hope for your health. Your brain and body can heal within the right environment, and I am here to help you embark on that journey, especially with a provider that understands the biochemical and cellular adaptations that can occur during times of high stress and the impact it has on producing symptoms of mental health.
(323) 621-3090 View (323) 621-3090
Photo of Cristina Secarea, Psychiatrist in Arlington, VA
Cristina Secarea
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22201
I am a Board Certified Adult and Forensic Psychiatrist and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. I have experience in the treatment of all mental health conditions including psychotic disorders (schizophrenia and delusional disorder), mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, addiction disorders, ADHD, OCD, PTSD and personality disorders and a particular expertise in performing forensic evaluations (e. g. , conservatorship, guardianship, testamentary capacity, fitness for duty, worker's compensation, sexual harassment, medical malpractice).
I am a Board Certified Adult and Forensic Psychiatrist and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. I have experience in the treatment of all mental health conditions including psychotic disorders (schizophrenia and delusional disorder), mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, addiction disorders, ADHD, OCD, PTSD and personality disorders and a particular expertise in performing forensic evaluations (e. g. , conservatorship, guardianship, testamentary capacity, fitness for duty, worker's compensation, sexual harassment, medical malpractice).
(571) 999-6994 View (571) 999-6994
Photo of Emlyne St. Helen, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Arlington, VA
Emlyne St. Helen
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Arlington, VA 22209  (Online Only)
I have experience treating patients in acute care setting, outpatient practice and long-term care setting. I have experience working with a diverse group of patients living with mental health diagnosis for the past Six and half years I Practice psychiatry mostly in the adult and geriatric population in long-term care, assisted living independent living facilities and the geriatric assessment clinic. I have extensive experience working with persons living with dementia and equip to educate caregivers if indicated.
I have experience treating patients in acute care setting, outpatient practice and long-term care setting. I have experience working with a diverse group of patients living with mental health diagnosis for the past Six and half years I Practice psychiatry mostly in the adult and geriatric population in long-term care, assisted living independent living facilities and the geriatric assessment clinic. I have extensive experience working with persons living with dementia and equip to educate caregivers if indicated.
(571) 462-2628 View (571) 462-2628

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Arlington, VA

100+

Average cost per session

$225

Psychiatrists in Arlington, VA who prioritize treating:

97% Anxiety
96% Depression
79% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
78% Trauma and PTSD
74% Bipolar Disorder
71% Medication Management
70% ADHD

Average years in practice

11 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

91% Cigna and Evernorth
77% BlueCross and BlueShield
76% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Arlington, VA see their clients

52% In Person and Online
48% Online Only

Gender breakdown

65% Female
35% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Arlington?

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.