Psychiatrists in Seattle, WA

Photo of Marisa Bell, ARNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Marisa Bell
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98102  (Online Only)
I believe people in early adulthood deserve high-quality and compassionate care tailored for this challenging phase of every person’s life. Your twenties (and thirties) can be awesome. Let’s make it happen for you! I am straightforward in my approach, listen carefully and work at your pace. In treatment I attempt to balance my expertise– the science supporting medication decisions– with your own expertise– your body and mind. At the core, I work with people who are struggling and want to reclaim their lives. If you don’t know what’s going on or how to get better, I’m happy to guide you on your path to finding out.
I believe people in early adulthood deserve high-quality and compassionate care tailored for this challenging phase of every person’s life. Your twenties (and thirties) can be awesome. Let’s make it happen for you! I am straightforward in my approach, listen carefully and work at your pace. In treatment I attempt to balance my expertise– the science supporting medication decisions– with your own expertise– your body and mind. At the core, I work with people who are struggling and want to reclaim their lives. If you don’t know what’s going on or how to get better, I’m happy to guide you on your path to finding out.
(206) 639-2454 View (206) 639-2454
Photo of Dr. Ronil Shah, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Ronil Shah
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98101
Dr. Shah is welcoming new patients for video appointments. As a Board-certified M.D. psychiatrist, he specializes in assessing and treating anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD and other psychiatric issues. A holistic provider, he combines non-pharmacologic approaches - including psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy - in addition to medication. He utilizes such therapeutic modalities in medication management appointments as well as dedicated therapy sessions. Consequently, patients benefit from well-integrated treatment that is both systematic and thorough.
Dr. Shah is welcoming new patients for video appointments. As a Board-certified M.D. psychiatrist, he specializes in assessing and treating anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD and other psychiatric issues. A holistic provider, he combines non-pharmacologic approaches - including psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy - in addition to medication. He utilizes such therapeutic modalities in medication management appointments as well as dedicated therapy sessions. Consequently, patients benefit from well-integrated treatment that is both systematic and thorough.
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Photo of undefined - A Clear Me Suboxone Klinic (Cris Miranda), ARNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
A Clear Me Suboxone Klinic (Cris Miranda)
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98188
Trying to feel better? Trying to feel good? Unstable home, family, or job? You don't have to stay dependent on self-medicating yourself with opioids, stimulants, or other substances. If you need help with getting your life back on track, please schedule an appointment or a free, no obligation consultation through my Suboxone service with "Klinic" at aclearme.com. If you need help with other mental health services, please contact Mindful Therapy Group at (206) 708-7274 x 1 and ask for Cris Miranda.
Trying to feel better? Trying to feel good? Unstable home, family, or job? You don't have to stay dependent on self-medicating yourself with opioids, stimulants, or other substances. If you need help with getting your life back on track, please schedule an appointment or a free, no obligation consultation through my Suboxone service with "Klinic" at aclearme.com. If you need help with other mental health services, please contact Mindful Therapy Group at (206) 708-7274 x 1 and ask for Cris Miranda.
(206) 495-0724 View (206) 495-0724
Photo of Paul Okoronkwo, PMHNP -, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Paul Okoronkwo
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP -, BC
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98136
Are you feeling down or hopeless about your future? Do you always feeling anxious or have panic attacks that you are scared to go out in public? Are you struggling to concentrate better on tasks either at work or in school? You are not alone. We are here to help you balance your physical and mental health and improve your performance. We treat clients with ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, and many more. We are currently ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS. CHECK OUT WHAT OTHER CLIENTS ARE SAYING ABOUT US AT: https://provider.kareo.com/paul-okoronkwo
Are you feeling down or hopeless about your future? Do you always feeling anxious or have panic attacks that you are scared to go out in public? Are you struggling to concentrate better on tasks either at work or in school? You are not alone. We are here to help you balance your physical and mental health and improve your performance. We treat clients with ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, and many more. We are currently ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS. CHECK OUT WHAT OTHER CLIENTS ARE SAYING ABOUT US AT: https://provider.kareo.com/paul-okoronkwo
(206) 457-1033 View (206) 457-1033
Photo of Mary Shickich, MD, Psychiatrist
Mary Shickich
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98119
I am a board-certified psychiatrist (MD) specializing in psychotherapy. I offer depth-focused therapy with the thoughtful integration of medication into our work together when needed. In addition to general psychiatry, I have specialty training and expertise in women's mental health and perinatal psychiatry.
I am a board-certified psychiatrist (MD) specializing in psychotherapy. I offer depth-focused therapy with the thoughtful integration of medication into our work together when needed. In addition to general psychiatry, I have specialty training and expertise in women's mental health and perinatal psychiatry.
(206) 586-8390 View (206) 586-8390
Photo of Robyn Bennetts, MN, ARNP, Psychiatric Nurse
Robyn Bennetts
Psychiatric Nurse, MN, ARNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98168  (Online Only)
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with prescriptive authority for individuals of all ages. I have 18 years of experience in a variety of settings. I provide medication management with brief supportive therapy. My goal is to help people at all stages of development achieve their greatest potential. It is my strong belief that biology, psychology, and social circumstances shape our experiences and how we react to our environment.
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with prescriptive authority for individuals of all ages. I have 18 years of experience in a variety of settings. I provide medication management with brief supportive therapy. My goal is to help people at all stages of development achieve their greatest potential. It is my strong belief that biology, psychology, and social circumstances shape our experiences and how we react to our environment.
(425) 728-8214 View (425) 728-8214
Photo of Erin Frame, ARNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Erin Frame
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98188  (Online Only)
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and am licensed as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) in Washington State.I have a passion to work with children, teenagers, and their families in order to support and provide guidance to those who are challenged by a mental illness.
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and am licensed as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) in Washington State.I have a passion to work with children, teenagers, and their families in order to support and provide guidance to those who are challenged by a mental illness.
(425) 529-5090 x191 View (425) 529-5090 x191
Photo of Raquel M Bolender, ARNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Raquel M Bolender
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98188
I am currently only taking child and adolescent medication-management patients. I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in treating children and adolescents. I practice a family systems approach and understand the child’s/adolescent’s functioning within the unit of their family system. I think of the family system as its own unique biome with established patterns of behaviors, values, and ideas, and each of these themes are explored in our sessions.
I am currently only taking child and adolescent medication-management patients. I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in treating children and adolescents. I practice a family systems approach and understand the child’s/adolescent’s functioning within the unit of their family system. I think of the family system as its own unique biome with established patterns of behaviors, values, and ideas, and each of these themes are explored in our sessions.
(206) 639-2408 View (206) 639-2408
Photo of Dr. Lisa Nawei Chen, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Lisa Nawei Chen
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98109
Waitlist for new clients
I believe change is always possible, but is often difficult, and my role is helping you figure out what is illness, what is behavior, and what are the things most important to you. I offer both medication management and therapy appointments—depending on your diagnosis and needs. Please visit my website at www.lisanaweichen.com where I discuss my treatment philosophy and services in more detail. You can schedule an appointment or a 15 minute video screening with me directly through the website.
I believe change is always possible, but is often difficult, and my role is helping you figure out what is illness, what is behavior, and what are the things most important to you. I offer both medication management and therapy appointments—depending on your diagnosis and needs. Please visit my website at www.lisanaweichen.com where I discuss my treatment philosophy and services in more detail. You can schedule an appointment or a 15 minute video screening with me directly through the website.
(410) 881-3012 View (410) 881-3012
Photo of Nikki Gaines, MBA, APRN, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Nikki Gaines
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MBA, APRN, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98195  (Online Only)
I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with more than ten years of experience in various facets of mental health. My philosophy includes a focus on whole mind and body wellness. I strive to deliver excellent, compassionate care through active listening and thoughtful collaboration with my patients – with a splash of humor. You will feel heard and validated, never rushed or ignored. My interest is in the person with a symptom rather than the symptom of a person.
I am a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with more than ten years of experience in various facets of mental health. My philosophy includes a focus on whole mind and body wellness. I strive to deliver excellent, compassionate care through active listening and thoughtful collaboration with my patients – with a splash of humor. You will feel heard and validated, never rushed or ignored. My interest is in the person with a symptom rather than the symptom of a person.
(206) 589-1405 View (206) 589-1405
Photo of Ashley Bouzis, MD, Psychiatrist
Ashley Bouzis
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98109  (Online Only)
Hello and welcome! I'm guessing you're here because the road of life is feeling pretty bumpy these days and it's left you feeling uncertain, anxious or sad. Maybe you're trying to figure out answers to questions like "Why aren't my relationships/goals/jobs working out the way I'd hoped?", "What do I really want out of life or relationships?" or maybe it's something more along the lines of "Why do I feel so damn stressed, sad, disorganized and untethered all the time, and more importantly....how can I feel less of that and get back to feeling like myself?"
Hello and welcome! I'm guessing you're here because the road of life is feeling pretty bumpy these days and it's left you feeling uncertain, anxious or sad. Maybe you're trying to figure out answers to questions like "Why aren't my relationships/goals/jobs working out the way I'd hoped?", "What do I really want out of life or relationships?" or maybe it's something more along the lines of "Why do I feel so damn stressed, sad, disorganized and untethered all the time, and more importantly....how can I feel less of that and get back to feeling like myself?"
(425) 600-7546 View (425) 600-7546
Photo of David G Zacharias, MD, MPH, Psychiatrist
David G Zacharias
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified Verified
5 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98112  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
I am a Mayo Clinic and Harvard-trained psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience working in healthcare. I discovered a love for the humanities—notably literature and philosophy—early in life due to the profound way in which they helped me to understand and appreciate the human condition. This eventually merged with an interest in medicine and a desire to help improve people's lives. My interactions with patients tend to be relational and existentially-oriented, focusing heavily on personal growth and empowerment within a larger context of meaning and values.
I am a Mayo Clinic and Harvard-trained psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience working in healthcare. I discovered a love for the humanities—notably literature and philosophy—early in life due to the profound way in which they helped me to understand and appreciate the human condition. This eventually merged with an interest in medicine and a desire to help improve people's lives. My interactions with patients tend to be relational and existentially-oriented, focusing heavily on personal growth and empowerment within a larger context of meaning and values.
(206) 565-0232 View (206) 565-0232
Photo of Dao Nguyen, DNP, PMHNP, -BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dao Nguyen
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, -BC
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98103  (Online Only)
Hello, I look forward to meeting you! My name is Dao and I'm a Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner In the state of Washington. I specialize in Anxiety, Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I work with an amazing group of colleagues at Lavender, an online psychiatry and therapy office, where we believe psychiatric care shouldn't be expensive nor impossible to access.
Hello, I look forward to meeting you! My name is Dao and I'm a Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner In the state of Washington. I specialize in Anxiety, Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I work with an amazing group of colleagues at Lavender, an online psychiatry and therapy office, where we believe psychiatric care shouldn't be expensive nor impossible to access.
(206) 258-6233 View (206) 258-6233
Photo of Rachel Ann Jimenes, DNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Rachel Ann Jimenes
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98107
As a board-certified as a mental health nurse practitioner, my aim is to care for each patient holistically and with cultural sensitivity. I’m trained to provide comprehensive psychiatric assessments, diagnose, and collaborate with each patient to create individualized treatment plans. My skill set includes prescribing medications, therapeutic interventions, and exploring lifestyle modifications that promote sustainable mental health.
As a board-certified as a mental health nurse practitioner, my aim is to care for each patient holistically and with cultural sensitivity. I’m trained to provide comprehensive psychiatric assessments, diagnose, and collaborate with each patient to create individualized treatment plans. My skill set includes prescribing medications, therapeutic interventions, and exploring lifestyle modifications that promote sustainable mental health.
(206) 895-7781 View (206) 895-7781
Photo of Susan Malatesta, ARNP, PMHNP, ANP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Susan Malatesta
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP, ANP
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98112
My clients tell me that after starting treatment they feel more like themselves, they are brighter and are confident to reach their wellness goals. I specialize in helping patients experience relief from struggles like depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, constant worry and fear, insomnia, and irritability. Clients often need short and long term solutions to problems that are preventing them from performing at work, having fulfilling relationships and feeling their best.
My clients tell me that after starting treatment they feel more like themselves, they are brighter and are confident to reach their wellness goals. I specialize in helping patients experience relief from struggles like depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, constant worry and fear, insomnia, and irritability. Clients often need short and long term solutions to problems that are preventing them from performing at work, having fulfilling relationships and feeling their best.
(425) 842-1450 View (425) 842-1450
Photo of Shannon Eaton, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Shannon Eaton
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98119
Depressed? Did you know that there are new treatment options offering relief from depression in 2 weeks?!?! No, not SSRI's. No, not SNRI's. YES.... covered by insurance and no, not a huge out of pocket spend! Finally, there IS help & hope for YOU! ADHD challenged? ADHD focused care assessed with Neurocognitive Testing & current, once a day treatments! Psychiatric Medication Management offered online throughout WA. Currently accepting new patients
Depressed? Did you know that there are new treatment options offering relief from depression in 2 weeks?!?! No, not SSRI's. No, not SNRI's. YES.... covered by insurance and no, not a huge out of pocket spend! Finally, there IS help & hope for YOU! ADHD challenged? ADHD focused care assessed with Neurocognitive Testing & current, once a day treatments! Psychiatric Medication Management offered online throughout WA. Currently accepting new patients
(425) 678-3582 View (425) 678-3582
Photo of Rebecca Mae Allen, MD, MPH, Psychiatrist
Rebecca Mae Allen
Psychiatrist, MD, MPH
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98104
Not accepting new clients
Dr. Allen graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with honors from Stanford University. She attended Oregon Health and Science University for medical school where she also earned a Masters of Public Health in biostatistics and epidemiology. She completed psychiatry residency at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, a joint program between Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Massachusetts Mental Health Center. She served as Chief Resident of the psychiatry consult service at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She then went on to complete a 2-year fellowship in Neuropsychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Dr. Allen graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with honors from Stanford University. She attended Oregon Health and Science University for medical school where she also earned a Masters of Public Health in biostatistics and epidemiology. She completed psychiatry residency at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, a joint program between Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Massachusetts Mental Health Center. She served as Chief Resident of the psychiatry consult service at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She then went on to complete a 2-year fellowship in Neuropsychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
(206) 823-1642 View (206) 823-1642
Photo of Courtney Rawls, ARNP, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Courtney Rawls
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98136  (Online Only)
I am a Black, Non-Binary, Femme-presenting Queer person who centers kindness, mutual respect, transparency, and humility as the cornerstones of how I practice healthcare. I deeply believe that each person has inherent wisdom inside of themselves, and can access that resource when they are given a safe, curious space to process difficult experiences. My practice is especially affirming of Queer, Trans, and BIPOC people.
I am a Black, Non-Binary, Femme-presenting Queer person who centers kindness, mutual respect, transparency, and humility as the cornerstones of how I practice healthcare. I deeply believe that each person has inherent wisdom inside of themselves, and can access that resource when they are given a safe, curious space to process difficult experiences. My practice is especially affirming of Queer, Trans, and BIPOC people.
(206) 495-6143 View (206) 495-6143
Photo of undefined - Holistic Behavioral Health, DNP, ARNP, FNP-C, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Holistic Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, ARNP, FNP-C
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98104
At Holistic Behavioral Health, we embrace an integrated healing approach, respecting and addressing your unique challenges with empathy. Dr. Osakwe, a Doctorate-prepared provider with dual Board-Certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, boasts 15+ years of delivering high-quality care. She focuses on holistic, personalized care, dedicated to easing stressors and fostering enduring improvement. With diverse in-patient and out-patient experiences, Dr. Osakwe tailors treatment plans to your needs.
At Holistic Behavioral Health, we embrace an integrated healing approach, respecting and addressing your unique challenges with empathy. Dr. Osakwe, a Doctorate-prepared provider with dual Board-Certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, boasts 15+ years of delivering high-quality care. She focuses on holistic, personalized care, dedicated to easing stressors and fostering enduring improvement. With diverse in-patient and out-patient experiences, Dr. Osakwe tailors treatment plans to your needs.
(509) 233-4317 View (509) 233-4317
Photo of undefined - Jacqueline Marcell-Koledin | TMS, PMHNP, ARNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jacqueline Marcell-Koledin | TMS
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, ARNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98116
We are a very experienced mental health practice and have an extensive background in working with those with mood challenges, including those seeking help when medication and/or therapy may not be working. TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is FDA-approved and is an effective treatment with a high rate of response and remission. It can be helpful for mood challenges such as: Depression; Anxiety; OCD; Addiction; Bipolar/Depression; ADHD; PTSD; tinnitus; smoking cessation. We look forward to working with you to help you achieve your goals and optimal wellness.
We are a very experienced mental health practice and have an extensive background in working with those with mood challenges, including those seeking help when medication and/or therapy may not be working. TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is FDA-approved and is an effective treatment with a high rate of response and remission. It can be helpful for mood challenges such as: Depression; Anxiety; OCD; Addiction; Bipolar/Depression; ADHD; PTSD; tinnitus; smoking cessation. We look forward to working with you to help you achieve your goals and optimal wellness.
(206) 673-2408 View (206) 673-2408

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Seattle, WA

500+

Average cost per session

$225

Psychiatrists in Seattle, WA who prioritize treating:

96% Anxiety
95% Depression
85% Medication Management
82% Bipolar Disorder
77% Trauma and PTSD
75% ADHD
71% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

8 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

80% Aetna
75% Cigna and Evernorth
65% Premera

How Psychiatrists in Seattle, WA see their clients

54% In Person and Online
46% Online Only

Gender breakdown

71% Female
28% Male
1% Non-Binary
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Seattle?

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.