Psychiatrists in Portsmouth City County, VA

Photo of Dr. Maria Alavanja - Alavanja Tele-Psychiatry, MD, ABPN, Psychiatrist
Alavanja Tele-Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, MD, ABPN
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23704
I believe that everyone deserves to pursue good mental health. Mental health is about more than just "being happy." It is about being the best student, worker, parent, and person you can be. That is why I strive to make it as convenient as possible for patients to get care. Whether you have three small kids at home, can only take 20 minutes on your lunch break to see your doctor, or spend half the year away at college, I want to help you be the best you possible.
I believe that everyone deserves to pursue good mental health. Mental health is about more than just "being happy." It is about being the best student, worker, parent, and person you can be. That is why I strive to make it as convenient as possible for patients to get care. Whether you have three small kids at home, can only take 20 minutes on your lunch break to see your doctor, or spend half the year away at college, I want to help you be the best you possible.
(757) 210-5502 View (757) 210-5502
Photo of LaToya Kearney, FNP-C, PMHNP-B, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
LaToya Kearney
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, FNP-C, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23704
LaToya Kearney is a nationally certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who is passionate about raising awareness about mental health conditions.
LaToya Kearney is a nationally certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who is passionate about raising awareness about mental health conditions.
(757) 859-8248 View (757) 859-8248
Photo of Elizabeth Onyejekwe - Godaelli Psychiatric and Mental Health Center , PMHNP-B, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Godaelli Psychiatric and Mental Health Center
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23704  (Online Only)
Godaelli Healthcare Services is transforming lives through holistic medication management and supportive therapy. Our team of experienced Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioners is dedicated to providing mental health treatment to children, teens, adults, and families. Whether your goal is to attain mental stability or you want to maintain stable mental health, our providers are equipped and ready to help. They treat our patients with empathy, compassion, and a deep understanding of both the biological and psychological details of psychiatric disorders and their associated symptoms.
Godaelli Healthcare Services is transforming lives through holistic medication management and supportive therapy. Our team of experienced Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioners is dedicated to providing mental health treatment to children, teens, adults, and families. Whether your goal is to attain mental stability or you want to maintain stable mental health, our providers are equipped and ready to help. They treat our patients with empathy, compassion, and a deep understanding of both the biological and psychological details of psychiatric disorders and their associated symptoms.
(757) 568-7333 View (757) 568-7333
Photo of Tiffany L Davis, PMHNP, FNP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Tiffany L Davis
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP-BC
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23704
Accepting New Patients (Ages 4-elderly). Tiffany Davis has served in the psychiatric mental health community since 2005, working in a variety of settings providing assessments, diagnosis, and medication management of mental health disorders across the lifespan. She has worked with individuals and families, providing a therapeutic yet effective structure for producing positive outcomes.
Accepting New Patients (Ages 4-elderly). Tiffany Davis has served in the psychiatric mental health community since 2005, working in a variety of settings providing assessments, diagnosis, and medication management of mental health disorders across the lifespan. She has worked with individuals and families, providing a therapeutic yet effective structure for producing positive outcomes.
(757) 702-5115 View (757) 702-5115
Photo of Arnella M Edwards - Sobriety & Suboxone Holistic Services, MSN-Ed, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sobriety & Suboxone Holistic Services
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN-Ed, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Portsmouth, VA 23707
Sobriety and Suboxone Providers offer services to: Stay Substance/Alcohol Free by Tapering from Opioids/Ethanol using Prescription and Psychosocial Services. Come see us for Access to induction and Care to End suffering mentally and physically. Your mental health is also our priority, anxious, depressed, unable to concentrate and focus, hallucinating, mood elevation. We can help, call 757 606 1213. We now offer Sublocade, Vivitrol injections for decreasing substance use. Spravata for treatment resistant depression. Nutritional and wellness consult with medication option for binge eating disorder leading to obesity.
Sobriety and Suboxone Providers offer services to: Stay Substance/Alcohol Free by Tapering from Opioids/Ethanol using Prescription and Psychosocial Services. Come see us for Access to induction and Care to End suffering mentally and physically. Your mental health is also our priority, anxious, depressed, unable to concentrate and focus, hallucinating, mood elevation. We can help, call 757 606 1213. We now offer Sublocade, Vivitrol injections for decreasing substance use. Spravata for treatment resistant depression. Nutritional and wellness consult with medication option for binge eating disorder leading to obesity.
(757) 606-1213 View (757) 606-1213
Photo of Therese Morin, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Therese Morin
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23704
Therese Morin is a certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who is focused on providing compassionate, high-quality mental health care. She obtained her associate of science degree in Nursing from Tidewater Community College. She continued on to earn her bachelor's and master's degrees from Old Dominion University. Therese is a fierce advocate for women, children, and those suffering from mental health conditions. Her clinical experience includes providing care to children and adolescents in acute stabilization and inpatient settings, working with adults in partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs,
Therese Morin is a certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who is focused on providing compassionate, high-quality mental health care. She obtained her associate of science degree in Nursing from Tidewater Community College. She continued on to earn her bachelor's and master's degrees from Old Dominion University. Therese is a fierce advocate for women, children, and those suffering from mental health conditions. Her clinical experience includes providing care to children and adolescents in acute stabilization and inpatient settings, working with adults in partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs,
(757) 996-5928 View (757) 996-5928
Photo of Keymal Williams, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Keymal Williams
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23704
No wait time! Accepting New Patients for Medication Management. Keymal Williams is a passionate healthcare professional. He completed his associate degree in nursing at Bryant and Stratton College, after which he completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at Western Governors University. He has a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) focused on leadership and management from Western Governors University and another MSN in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from Wilkes University.
No wait time! Accepting New Patients for Medication Management. Keymal Williams is a passionate healthcare professional. He completed his associate degree in nursing at Bryant and Stratton College, after which he completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at Western Governors University. He has a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) focused on leadership and management from Western Governors University and another MSN in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from Wilkes University.
(757) 997-1022 View (757) 997-1022
Photo of Tiffany Davis - Peace of Mind Therapeutic Solutions (Hampton Ofc), PMHNP, LCSW, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Peace of Mind Therapeutic Solutions (Hampton Ofc)
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, LCSW
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23704
Accepting New Patients NO WAIT time. We provide psychiatric evaluations and therapy to individuals who are seeking alleviation and control of symptoms associated with common mental health disorders such as Major Depressive disorder, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, ADHD, Anxiety disorders, Insomnia, Obsessive Compulsive disorders, Eating disorders, Dementia/Alzheimer's, Autism, Substance abuse disorders, and more. We also offer substance abuse treatment, medical cannibis certifications and weight loss solutions.
Accepting New Patients NO WAIT time. We provide psychiatric evaluations and therapy to individuals who are seeking alleviation and control of symptoms associated with common mental health disorders such as Major Depressive disorder, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, ADHD, Anxiety disorders, Insomnia, Obsessive Compulsive disorders, Eating disorders, Dementia/Alzheimer's, Autism, Substance abuse disorders, and more. We also offer substance abuse treatment, medical cannibis certifications and weight loss solutions.
(757) 267-6754 View (757) 267-6754
Photo of Brence Brooks, APRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Brence Brooks
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Portsmouth, VA 23704  (Online Only)
Brence Brooks is a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner, board-certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2020. He received his bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Louisville and his master’s degree in Nursing from Walden University. Specialty areas include medication management for major depressive disorder, bipolar I and II disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, childhood behavioral disorders, psychotic disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Brence Brooks is a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner, board-certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2020. He received his bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Louisville and his master’s degree in Nursing from Walden University. Specialty areas include medication management for major depressive disorder, bipolar I and II disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, childhood behavioral disorders, psychotic disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
(757) 895-7788 View (757) 895-7788
Photo of Ijaz Rasul - Telepsychiatrist_Piedmont Behavioral Services, MD, Psychiatrist
Telepsychiatrist_Piedmont Behavioral Services
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23708
We provide Child and Adult Psychiatry, Therapy and Substance abuse including Suboxone Treatment via video for clients across Virginia. Our Board Certified Psychiatrists and Therapists are available to help everyday and we can offer same day appointments. Telepsychiatry or Telemedicine uses video link (via computer or smartphone) to offer appointments from home or outside clinic. It offers the option to see a psychiatrist any time as long as you have access to your smart phone or computer. Please use our website or below link to make an appointment. https://piedmontbs.com/telepsychiatry/
We provide Child and Adult Psychiatry, Therapy and Substance abuse including Suboxone Treatment via video for clients across Virginia. Our Board Certified Psychiatrists and Therapists are available to help everyday and we can offer same day appointments. Telepsychiatry or Telemedicine uses video link (via computer or smartphone) to offer appointments from home or outside clinic. It offers the option to see a psychiatrist any time as long as you have access to your smart phone or computer. Please use our website or below link to make an appointment. https://piedmontbs.com/telepsychiatry/
(804) 409-4163 View (804) 409-4163
Photo of Dr. Kiniya Church, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-B, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Kiniya Church
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Portsmouth, VA 23701
At Release it Counseling, we understand the profound challenges that can hinder the journey to true peace, freedom, and joy. The weight of past pain and current obstacles can leave you feeling stuck, hopeless, and broken. That's why we specialize in Christian Professional counseling and life coaching, offering a pathway to healing and freedom. Having experienced the feeling of being bound and discovering the freedom in Christ through good health, I like to promote that same freedom to others.
At Release it Counseling, we understand the profound challenges that can hinder the journey to true peace, freedom, and joy. The weight of past pain and current obstacles can leave you feeling stuck, hopeless, and broken. That's why we specialize in Christian Professional counseling and life coaching, offering a pathway to healing and freedom. Having experienced the feeling of being bound and discovering the freedom in Christ through good health, I like to promote that same freedom to others.
(757) 797-9419 View (757) 797-9419
Photo of Omiah Behavioral Health Wellness Llc - Omiah Behavioral Health & Wellness LLC, DNP, CRNP, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Omiah Behavioral Health & Wellness LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, CRNP, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Portsmouth, VA 23704
Accepting New Clients in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Whether online or in-person, we believe the right for every individual is to receive quality mental health services. Understanding each person’s experience is different, we consider all aspects of your life and treat the WHOLE person not just symptoms. Our clinicians are experienced providers who create partnership with each client, actively listen to your personal goals regarding treatment, uphold the dignity and integrity of each client, and are invested in your journey towards mental health wellness.
Accepting New Clients in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Whether online or in-person, we believe the right for every individual is to receive quality mental health services. Understanding each person’s experience is different, we consider all aspects of your life and treat the WHOLE person not just symptoms. Our clinicians are experienced providers who create partnership with each client, actively listen to your personal goals regarding treatment, uphold the dignity and integrity of each client, and are invested in your journey towards mental health wellness.
(540) 472-7728 View (540) 472-7728
Photo of Naomi Myrick - Cardinal Care Psychiatric Service, APRN, MSN, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Cardinal Care Psychiatric Service
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, MSN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Portsmouth, VA 23703
***ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS*** IN PERSON OR TELEHEALTH. My ideal client is every client who is ready to get to work to improve their mental health. Whether you are coping with depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia my goal will be to help you understand your diagnosis and investigate the most effective means to help you reach wellness. My approach is highly collaborative, including patient input as well as input from other members of the patient care team. My focus is in reaching a plan that is most comfortable, safe and effective for the patient.
***ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS*** IN PERSON OR TELEHEALTH. My ideal client is every client who is ready to get to work to improve their mental health. Whether you are coping with depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia my goal will be to help you understand your diagnosis and investigate the most effective means to help you reach wellness. My approach is highly collaborative, including patient input as well as input from other members of the patient care team. My focus is in reaching a plan that is most comfortable, safe and effective for the patient.
(757) 210-5569 View (757) 210-5569
Photo of Dr. Shenell Graham, DNP, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Shenell Graham
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Portsmouth, VA 23708
Take the first step towards enhancing your mental well-being with personalized care from an experienced PMHNP. I am a dedicated Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner committed to providing high-quality, personalized care to individuals seeking support for their mental health and well-being. I hold a Doctorate of Nursing from Old Dominion University and a Master of Science degree from Eastern Kentucky University. My approach to care is holistic, collaborative, and evidence-based, integrating medication management and lifestyle interventions tailored to each individual's unique needs.
Take the first step towards enhancing your mental well-being with personalized care from an experienced PMHNP. I am a dedicated Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner committed to providing high-quality, personalized care to individuals seeking support for their mental health and well-being. I hold a Doctorate of Nursing from Old Dominion University and a Master of Science degree from Eastern Kentucky University. My approach to care is holistic, collaborative, and evidence-based, integrating medication management and lifestyle interventions tailored to each individual's unique needs.
(757) 798-7559 View (757) 798-7559
Photo of Katia Hall - Alpha Psychiatric Services, LLC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Alpha Psychiatric Services, LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23702
Our mission is to provide quality, culturally competent mental health care to those in Chesapeake, Virginia and the surrounding areas that make up Hampton Roads.
Our mission is to provide quality, culturally competent mental health care to those in Chesapeake, Virginia and the surrounding areas that make up Hampton Roads.
(757) 387-6865 View (757) 387-6865
Photo of Shahauna Mallery, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Shahauna Mallery
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Portsmouth, VA 23702
Shahauna is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 12 years of experience in psychiatric and behavioral health settings. She worked as a psychiatric RN for many years prior to becoming a psychiatric NP. This experience has provided her with a unique perspective and a multitude of resources during treatment planning.
Shahauna is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 12 years of experience in psychiatric and behavioral health settings. She worked as a psychiatric RN for many years prior to becoming a psychiatric NP. This experience has provided her with a unique perspective and a multitude of resources during treatment planning.
(757) 330-2439 View (757) 330-2439

Online Psychiatrists

Photo of LaToya Yvette Bragg - Brighter Days Mental Health Services LLC, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Brighter Days Mental Health Services LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Chester, VA 23836
We are currently accepting clients ages 6 and older. We specialize in treating clients with Depression, ADHD, and Mood disorders across the lifespan. We understand that it can be overwhelming and quite stressful when seeking a provider to assist with your behaviorial health needs. Are goal is to provide a therapeutic and supportive environment so that our clients can feel safe and comfortable. We strive to provide an optimal level of care to help our clients meet their behavioral health needs. We offer Medical Marijuana Evaluations and Spravato Treatment.
We are currently accepting clients ages 6 and older. We specialize in treating clients with Depression, ADHD, and Mood disorders across the lifespan. We understand that it can be overwhelming and quite stressful when seeking a provider to assist with your behaviorial health needs. Are goal is to provide a therapeutic and supportive environment so that our clients can feel safe and comfortable. We strive to provide an optimal level of care to help our clients meet their behavioral health needs. We offer Medical Marijuana Evaluations and Spravato Treatment.
(804) 659-7581 View (804) 659-7581
Photo of Curstina Maria Jennings, PMH-NP, C, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Curstina Maria Jennings
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMH-NP, C
Verified Verified
Norfolk, VA 23504
Curstina Jennings is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). Her initial experience was in an inpatient acute admission ward at Central State Hospital where her experiences include advanced comprehensive psychiatric assessments in forensic and working in outpatient long-term care facilities. She identify any significant adverse reactions or patterns and utilizes psychopharmacology and psychotherapy to treat mental health disorders. Curstina Jennings currently works in outpatient private practice deliver outstanding psychiatric care to her patients and surround communities.
Curstina Jennings is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). Her initial experience was in an inpatient acute admission ward at Central State Hospital where her experiences include advanced comprehensive psychiatric assessments in forensic and working in outpatient long-term care facilities. She identify any significant adverse reactions or patterns and utilizes psychopharmacology and psychotherapy to treat mental health disorders. Curstina Jennings currently works in outpatient private practice deliver outstanding psychiatric care to her patients and surround communities.
(757) 937-8173 View (757) 937-8173
Photo of Afaribea Fosu, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Afaribea Fosu
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Hampton, VA 23666
As a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, I believe in the importance of providing holistic care when managing one’s mental health needs.
As a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, I believe in the importance of providing holistic care when managing one’s mental health needs.
(757) 866-4830 View (757) 866-4830
Photo of Faisal Awadalla Awadelkarim - Radical Recovery Treatment Center , MD, Psychiatrist
Radical Recovery Treatment Center
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Norfolk, VA 23503
Radical Recovery Treatment Center is dedicated to helping you take care of yourself and your love ones in a caring, compassionate, professional evaluation and management of your mental health problems. Radical Recovery is lead by Dr. Awadelkarim and dedicated staff of Nurse Practitioners and therapist to provide you with the best care you need currently and for the future. Expert in mental, physical and addiction treatment for over twenty years. Provide holistic approach in Management of anxiety, depression and trauma related emotional, physical or sexual abuse problems. Especial interest in treatment of dual mental, addiction and
Radical Recovery Treatment Center is dedicated to helping you take care of yourself and your love ones in a caring, compassionate, professional evaluation and management of your mental health problems. Radical Recovery is lead by Dr. Awadelkarim and dedicated staff of Nurse Practitioners and therapist to provide you with the best care you need currently and for the future. Expert in mental, physical and addiction treatment for over twenty years. Provide holistic approach in Management of anxiety, depression and trauma related emotional, physical or sexual abuse problems. Especial interest in treatment of dual mental, addiction and
(757) 801-2094 View (757) 801-2094

See more therapy options for Portsmouth City County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Portsmouth City County, VA

10+

Average cost per session

$155

Psychiatrists in Portsmouth City County, VA who prioritize treating:

100% Depression
100% Anxiety
100% Bipolar Disorder
94% ADHD
81% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
75% Medication Management
69% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

10 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

100% Anthem | Elevance
93% Aetna
93% Cigna and Evernorth

How Psychiatrists in Portsmouth City County, VA see their clients

88% In Person and Online
12% Online Only

Gender breakdown

88% Female
12% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Portsmouth 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.