Psychiatrists in Pierce County, WA

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Photo of Christy Webster Legler, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Christy Webster Legler
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Tacoma, WA 98405
Not accepting new clients
I am a Board Certified, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, working with clients, ages 11 years and beyond. My background includes twenty four years of experience as a Registered Nurse during which time I worked with both adults and adolescents in the inpatient psychiatric setting. I have found that one thing we have in common is the human experience and I'd love to have the opportunity to help you live your best life. After completing a thorough psychiatric assessment, we can work together to find the best combination of care for you, which may include medications.
I am a Board Certified, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, working with clients, ages 11 years and beyond. My background includes twenty four years of experience as a Registered Nurse during which time I worked with both adults and adolescents in the inpatient psychiatric setting. I have found that one thing we have in common is the human experience and I'd love to have the opportunity to help you live your best life. After completing a thorough psychiatric assessment, we can work together to find the best combination of care for you, which may include medications.
(253) 338-5255 x100 View (253) 338-5255 x100
Photo of Saje Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Saje Psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98409  (Online Only)
Adrian Davis is a national board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner with training and experience treating patients with psychiatric disorders across the lifespan. She has a strong belief in holistic care utilizing a variety of treatment modalities, including psychotropic medications, TMS therapy, and evidence-based alternative treatments such as nutritional supplementation as well as lifestyle/diet modifications.
Adrian Davis is a national board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner with training and experience treating patients with psychiatric disorders across the lifespan. She has a strong belief in holistic care utilizing a variety of treatment modalities, including psychotropic medications, TMS therapy, and evidence-based alternative treatments such as nutritional supplementation as well as lifestyle/diet modifications.
(253) 780-0770 View (253) 780-0770
Photo of Olivia Uhart, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Olivia Uhart
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
5 Endorsed
Tacoma, WA 98406  (Online Only)
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), have a certification in perinatal mental health, and am licensed as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP). I provide psychiatric assessments for the purpose of treatment, medication management, psychoeducation for patients and families, and supportive counseling.
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), have a certification in perinatal mental health, and am licensed as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP). I provide psychiatric assessments for the purpose of treatment, medication management, psychoeducation for patients and families, and supportive counseling.
(206) 258-7702 View (206) 258-7702
Photo of Sunshield Mental Wellness, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Sunshield Mental Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98402  (Online Only)
Now accepting NEW Patients from age 6 and up. Are you or a family member concerned about how you have been feeling lately? We can help you! We will provide a thorough initial psychiatric evaluation. We take time to hear you out and come up with a treatment plan that you are comfortable with. We provide a positive atmosphere that is open and non-judgmental. Beatrice is a caring and compassionate about mental health. She believes in a holistic approach and will educated you about your condition, provide treatment options, and lifestyle changes to achieve your recovery goals.
Now accepting NEW Patients from age 6 and up. Are you or a family member concerned about how you have been feeling lately? We can help you! We will provide a thorough initial psychiatric evaluation. We take time to hear you out and come up with a treatment plan that you are comfortable with. We provide a positive atmosphere that is open and non-judgmental. Beatrice is a caring and compassionate about mental health. She believes in a holistic approach and will educated you about your condition, provide treatment options, and lifestyle changes to achieve your recovery goals.
(425) 470-6566 View (425) 470-6566
Photo of Susan King, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Susan King
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARPN
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98467
Susan King is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Washington who has been practicing since 2014. She has a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master's in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Susan provides appropriate medication and education to help manage the symptoms of mental health issues and therapeutic support. Outside of work, Susan enjoys working with animals and loves gardening.
Susan King is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Washington who has been practicing since 2014. She has a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master's in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Susan provides appropriate medication and education to help manage the symptoms of mental health issues and therapeutic support. Outside of work, Susan enjoys working with animals and loves gardening.
(253) 201-0022 View (253) 201-0022
Photo of Caroline N Nduati, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Caroline N Nduati
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98402
I am a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) licensed in the state of Washington. My philosophy of care centers on the patient, valuing their perspectives, preferences, and values. Throughout our collaborative journey, I am committed to ensuring that you feel not only heard, but also understood and empowered. Recognizing the distinctive nature of each person's mental health journey, we will work together to craft a personalized treatment plan, aimed at promoting your well-being and achieving positive clinical outcomes.
I am a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) licensed in the state of Washington. My philosophy of care centers on the patient, valuing their perspectives, preferences, and values. Throughout our collaborative journey, I am committed to ensuring that you feel not only heard, but also understood and empowered. Recognizing the distinctive nature of each person's mental health journey, we will work together to craft a personalized treatment plan, aimed at promoting your well-being and achieving positive clinical outcomes.
(253) 400-1906 View (253) 400-1906
Photo of Diana L Liebner, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Diana L Liebner
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
In-office or tele-psych appointments. I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), educated and trained at the University of Washington in Seattle. I assess, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions with therapy and targeted medications. The path to mental wellness may involve multiple therapies and medication strategies. I am experienced in a range of therapeutic approaches and safe, targeted medication management, thus able to provide a tailored plan of care for individual needs and support each client in achieving better mental health.
In-office or tele-psych appointments. I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), educated and trained at the University of Washington in Seattle. I assess, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions with therapy and targeted medications. The path to mental wellness may involve multiple therapies and medication strategies. I am experienced in a range of therapeutic approaches and safe, targeted medication management, thus able to provide a tailored plan of care for individual needs and support each client in achieving better mental health.
(253) 313-0267 View (253) 313-0267
Photo of Leah Haddad, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Leah Haddad
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98402
Are you struggling to balance your mental and physical health and in need of a more comprehensive approach? No problem! I provide Telemedicine (Online Psychiatry) Services, so that you can conveniently be seen from your home for psychiatry appointments and medication management without the need to travel! I provide the same psychiatry services as an in-person office visit and I can also address other aspects that encompass your complete wellness. My aim is to help you to thrive at your best! You can easily self-schedule a Telepsychiatry video appointment now at: www.pwpsychiatry.com/WA
Are you struggling to balance your mental and physical health and in need of a more comprehensive approach? No problem! I provide Telemedicine (Online Psychiatry) Services, so that you can conveniently be seen from your home for psychiatry appointments and medication management without the need to travel! I provide the same psychiatry services as an in-person office visit and I can also address other aspects that encompass your complete wellness. My aim is to help you to thrive at your best! You can easily self-schedule a Telepsychiatry video appointment now at: www.pwpsychiatry.com/WA
(253) 553-3385 View (253) 553-3385
Photo of Kate Donahue, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Kate Donahue
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Kate is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and a licensed Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner (ARNP). She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Xavier University and a Master of Science in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University. Kate believes in individualized and evidenced based care. She provides psychiatric evaluations and medication management services for both children and adults and treats a wide spectrum of psychiatric diagnoses. Her main areas of focus include depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
Kate is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and a licensed Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner (ARNP). She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Xavier University and a Master of Science in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University. Kate believes in individualized and evidenced based care. She provides psychiatric evaluations and medication management services for both children and adults and treats a wide spectrum of psychiatric diagnoses. Her main areas of focus include depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
(253) 400-3215 View (253) 400-3215
Photo of Alesia Black, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Alesia Black
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
This practice is closed at this time. I am a certified Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Prac titioner (PMHNP). To me the most important factor in therapy is creating a safe, supportive environment as well as a connection to each client and they're individual needs. For that purpose, I utilize several approaches for working with clients, including talk therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), hypnosis, meditation and imagery. I also prescribe psychiatric medication as an aid in calming distressing symptoms, supporting greater functioning and growth.
This practice is closed at this time. I am a certified Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Prac titioner (PMHNP). To me the most important factor in therapy is creating a safe, supportive environment as well as a connection to each client and they're individual needs. For that purpose, I utilize several approaches for working with clients, including talk therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), hypnosis, meditation and imagery. I also prescribe psychiatric medication as an aid in calming distressing symptoms, supporting greater functioning and growth.
(253) 265-5357 View (253) 265-5357
Photo of Dr. Robert Garrard, Psychiatrist in Pierce County, WA
Dr. Robert Garrard
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98402  (Online Only)
Accepting new patients. Evening appointments available! Dr. Garrard is passionate about helping patients and their families living with mental illness. He takes a flexible, thoughtful, and pragmatic approach to patient care and recovery. Dr. Garrard strives to create a supportive, non-judgmental environment. He provides patients with medical and therapeutic treatment options so they can make informed decisions about their own care.
Accepting new patients. Evening appointments available! Dr. Garrard is passionate about helping patients and their families living with mental illness. He takes a flexible, thoughtful, and pragmatic approach to patient care and recovery. Dr. Garrard strives to create a supportive, non-judgmental environment. He provides patients with medical and therapeutic treatment options so they can make informed decisions about their own care.
(253) 993-4415 View (253) 993-4415
Robert E Sands
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98409
I am a 70 year old developmental Psychiatrist who practices evaluation, psychotherapy and medication management in a private pay outpatient office. I see child, adolescent and adult patients with AD/HD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and complex psychiatric cases.I do not bill insurance but instead, I provide you a "super bill" that shows payment and enables you to recoup your costs out of network. Nothing is better than an individualized interactive assessment (with all due respect for checklists). I am trained in a wide variety of psychotherapy approaches and try and find the ones that apply to each patient.
I am a 70 year old developmental Psychiatrist who practices evaluation, psychotherapy and medication management in a private pay outpatient office. I see child, adolescent and adult patients with AD/HD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and complex psychiatric cases.I do not bill insurance but instead, I provide you a "super bill" that shows payment and enables you to recoup your costs out of network. Nothing is better than an individualized interactive assessment (with all due respect for checklists). I am trained in a wide variety of psychotherapy approaches and try and find the ones that apply to each patient.
(253) 248-7288 View (253) 248-7288
Photo of Ryan Thebo, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Ryan Thebo
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Tacoma, WA 98402
Are you struggling to balance your mental and physical health and in need of a more comprehensive approach? No problem! I provide holistic online psychiatry services (telemedicine), so that you can conveniently be seen in the comfort of your home for appointments and medication management without the need to travel! I provide the same psychiatry services as in-person visits and I will address other aspects that encompass your complete wellness beyond a standard psychiatry visit. My aim is for you to truly thrive at your best! You can conveniently self-schedule a holistic psychiatry video appointment right now at: pwpsychiatry.com/WA
Are you struggling to balance your mental and physical health and in need of a more comprehensive approach? No problem! I provide holistic online psychiatry services (telemedicine), so that you can conveniently be seen in the comfort of your home for appointments and medication management without the need to travel! I provide the same psychiatry services as in-person visits and I will address other aspects that encompass your complete wellness beyond a standard psychiatry visit. My aim is for you to truly thrive at your best! You can conveniently self-schedule a holistic psychiatry video appointment right now at: pwpsychiatry.com/WA
(253) 242-2648 View (253) 242-2648
Photo of Barbara Rix, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Barbara Rix
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC, PMHNP
Verified Verified
University Place, WA 98467  (Online Only)
I am a Nurse Practitioner (Family & PMHNP) that provides holistic care focusing on weight loss coaching, medical weight loss, and medication management in depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
I am a Nurse Practitioner (Family & PMHNP) that provides holistic care focusing on weight loss coaching, medical weight loss, and medication management in depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
(253) 242-8137 View (253) 242-8137
Photo of Taqialdeen Zamil, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Taqialdeen Zamil
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98408  (Online Only)
Welcome to my practice. With over a decade of diverse clinical experience, I've had the privilege of guiding clients through the intricate landscape of mental health. From adolescents struggling with identity issues, adults combating anxiety, to those deciphering the layers of substance use, depressive or bipolar disorders, PTSD, or OCD, I've witnessed the resilience of the human spirit. I'm passionate about providing evidence-based, compassionate care to empower individuals to reclaim control and joy in their lives. If you seek a deeper understanding and the tools to flourish, I'm here to support you on this transformative journey.
Welcome to my practice. With over a decade of diverse clinical experience, I've had the privilege of guiding clients through the intricate landscape of mental health. From adolescents struggling with identity issues, adults combating anxiety, to those deciphering the layers of substance use, depressive or bipolar disorders, PTSD, or OCD, I've witnessed the resilience of the human spirit. I'm passionate about providing evidence-based, compassionate care to empower individuals to reclaim control and joy in their lives. If you seek a deeper understanding and the tools to flourish, I'm here to support you on this transformative journey.
(206) 672-7730 View (206) 672-7730
Photo of Logical Mental Health Services, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Logical Mental Health Services
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, FNP-C, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98409  (Online Only)
Hi, thanks for stopping by I'm Fatima, I'm a dual board-certified Family and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, in past 15 years I have served patients in medical and mental health facilities both inpatient and outpatient. I have in the past and currently am comfortable with treating patients that are struggling with complex medical and mental health conditions. I enjoy working with patients utilizing a collaborative approach in finding solutions for various mental health challenges/conditions. I am currently accepting new patients.
Hi, thanks for stopping by I'm Fatima, I'm a dual board-certified Family and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, in past 15 years I have served patients in medical and mental health facilities both inpatient and outpatient. I have in the past and currently am comfortable with treating patients that are struggling with complex medical and mental health conditions. I enjoy working with patients utilizing a collaborative approach in finding solutions for various mental health challenges/conditions. I am currently accepting new patients.
(253) 342-4034 View (253) 342-4034
Photo of Larisa Sopka, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Larisa Sopka
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Tacoma, WA 98402
My primary areas of focus include ADHD, anxiety disorders, PTSD and trauma-related disorders, depression, and more. I heavily lean on mindfulness, spirituality, mind-body connection, creativity, and utilize cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, psycho-education, humanistic approach, and solution-focused therapy. Additionally, I use medication management to help my patients. In deciding the best medications, I utilize psychotropic pharmocogenomic testing, a genetic test that shows how your genes may affect medication outcomes.
My primary areas of focus include ADHD, anxiety disorders, PTSD and trauma-related disorders, depression, and more. I heavily lean on mindfulness, spirituality, mind-body connection, creativity, and utilize cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, psycho-education, humanistic approach, and solution-focused therapy. Additionally, I use medication management to help my patients. In deciding the best medications, I utilize psychotropic pharmocogenomic testing, a genetic test that shows how your genes may affect medication outcomes.
(253) 303-7943 View (253) 303-7943
Photo of Christopher A Schuman, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Christopher A Schuman
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Tacoma, WA 98409  (Online Only)
Over 10+ yrs experience in public service (911 dispatcher) and healthcare (ICU nurse). Are you struggling with a depressed mood, anxiety, insomnia, or nightmares? Has your therapist recommended medication? Are you worried about side effects or being on medications forever? I can help you answer these questions. Call or text today at (425) 999-4233. I provide conservative medication management and supportive psychotherapy. I can also help patients STOP medication.
Over 10+ yrs experience in public service (911 dispatcher) and healthcare (ICU nurse). Are you struggling with a depressed mood, anxiety, insomnia, or nightmares? Has your therapist recommended medication? Are you worried about side effects or being on medications forever? I can help you answer these questions. Call or text today at (425) 999-4233. I provide conservative medication management and supportive psychotherapy. I can also help patients STOP medication.
(509) 233-4528 View (509) 233-4528
Photo of Bradley Brosius, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
Bradley Brosius
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, DNP
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98407
**ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS** I am a board certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I provide a variety of services to include psychiatric assessment, medication management, psychoeducation, and counseling. I received my Doctor of Nursing Practice training from the University of Washington. Originally from Utah, I began my nursing career in the US Army, and then later spent several years working in an adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit developing a wide range of experience.
**ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS** I am a board certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I provide a variety of services to include psychiatric assessment, medication management, psychoeducation, and counseling. I received my Doctor of Nursing Practice training from the University of Washington. Originally from Utah, I began my nursing career in the US Army, and then later spent several years working in an adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit developing a wide range of experience.
(253) 398-7860 View (253) 398-7860
Photo of VirtualPsychiatricCare.com, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Pierce County, WA
VirtualPsychiatricCare.com
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Tacoma, WA 98402  (Online Only)
We are board-certified to treat Children and Adults. Accepting new patients via telehealth visits in Washington state for psychiatric evaluations and medication management. Our clients are looking to be properly diagnosed and treated using the safest prescribing principles. Make your appointment on our website. Evening and weekend hours are available. Affordable rates-Initial Psychiatric Eval $199, Follow-ups $99. Also accepting some insurance plans.
We are board-certified to treat Children and Adults. Accepting new patients via telehealth visits in Washington state for psychiatric evaluations and medication management. Our clients are looking to be properly diagnosed and treated using the safest prescribing principles. Make your appointment on our website. Evening and weekend hours are available. Affordable rates-Initial Psychiatric Eval $199, Follow-ups $99. Also accepting some insurance plans.
(253) 650-0098 View (253) 650-0098

See more therapy options for Pierce County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Pierce County, WA

200+

Average cost per session

$250

Psychiatrists in Pierce County, WA who prioritize treating:

97% Anxiety
93% Depression
86% Medication Management
82% Bipolar Disorder
77% Trauma and PTSD
76% ADHD
73% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

8 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

86% Aetna
76% Cigna and Evernorth
76% Premera

How Psychiatrists in Pierce County, WA see their clients

56% In Person and Online
44% Online Only

Gender breakdown

72% Female
27% Male
1% Non-Binary

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Pierce 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.