Psychiatrists in Washington

View cities and counties in Washington
Photo of Elizabeth Vidas, DNP, PMHNP, ARNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Elizabeth Vidas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, ARNP
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98107
I am currently accepting new clients for medication management and holistic treatment planning. I’m a psychiatric nurse practitioner with experience working with folks struggling with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, and substance use disorders. If you have found yourself wondering if feelings of depression, anxiety, or just feeling stuck are getting in the way of connecting with loved ones, accomplishing goals, or pursuing what you want out of life, you may benefit from psychiatric help. Please note, I do not offer formal talk therapy at this time, but can provide referrals.
I am currently accepting new clients for medication management and holistic treatment planning. I’m a psychiatric nurse practitioner with experience working with folks struggling with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, and substance use disorders. If you have found yourself wondering if feelings of depression, anxiety, or just feeling stuck are getting in the way of connecting with loved ones, accomplishing goals, or pursuing what you want out of life, you may benefit from psychiatric help. Please note, I do not offer formal talk therapy at this time, but can provide referrals.
(206) 338-4215 View (206) 338-4215
Photo of undefined - Perspectives Psychiatry , Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Perspectives Psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Tacoma, WA 98402
Weekend, early morning and evening appointments available! Welcome to the practice! We are a diverse group of Nurse Practitioners here to support you along your mental health wellness journey. Our practice is free from judgement and a safe space to discuss the ways we can provide an empathetic and caring experience. We are LGBTQ Friendly!
Weekend, early morning and evening appointments available! Welcome to the practice! We are a diverse group of Nurse Practitioners here to support you along your mental health wellness journey. Our practice is free from judgement and a safe space to discuss the ways we can provide an empathetic and caring experience. We are LGBTQ Friendly!
(253) 793-7013 View (253) 793-7013
Photo of Dale Burton Mortimer, MD, Psychiatrist
Dale Burton Mortimer
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Vancouver, WA 98685
Is your child not working up his/her academic ability? Weary of hearing teachers or pediatricians say: "No need for treatment – he/she will grow out of it. Your child just needs to try harder.” Or maybe your child's response to current treatment is disappointing? Dr. Mortimer enjoys the distinction of maintaining the longest–lasting independent, solo, out–patient, for–profit, high–value, patient–centered, pro–child, pro–family values, solutions–based, strength– & future– focused, private psychiatric practice in Clark County, Washington. Save time and money by getting it right the first time! Phone Dr. Mortimer's office today!
Is your child not working up his/her academic ability? Weary of hearing teachers or pediatricians say: "No need for treatment – he/she will grow out of it. Your child just needs to try harder.” Or maybe your child's response to current treatment is disappointing? Dr. Mortimer enjoys the distinction of maintaining the longest–lasting independent, solo, out–patient, for–profit, high–value, patient–centered, pro–child, pro–family values, solutions–based, strength– & future– focused, private psychiatric practice in Clark County, Washington. Save time and money by getting it right the first time! Phone Dr. Mortimer's office today!
(360) 516-1948 View (360) 516-1948
Photo of undefined - Julie Lesko, ARNP, ARNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Julie Lesko, ARNP
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Issaquah, WA 98029
My treatment focus is for those age 17 and older, seeking assessments and treatment for mood, thought and cognitive processing issues. My patients come from many backgrounds and stages of life, but they have in common a desire to experience life with a sense of well-being and balance, without excess frustration, discouragement and anxiety. They seek ethical clinical care that is empathetic and personalized. I provide this in the treatment setting with evaluations, care planning, therapy and medications. Call for a complimentary 15-minute consultation.
My treatment focus is for those age 17 and older, seeking assessments and treatment for mood, thought and cognitive processing issues. My patients come from many backgrounds and stages of life, but they have in common a desire to experience life with a sense of well-being and balance, without excess frustration, discouragement and anxiety. They seek ethical clinical care that is empathetic and personalized. I provide this in the treatment setting with evaluations, care planning, therapy and medications. Call for a complimentary 15-minute consultation.
(425) 276-7265 View (425) 276-7265
Photo of Donna Elam, MPA-C, Physician Assistant
Donna Elam
Physician Assistant, MPA-C
Verified Verified
Olympia, WA 98502
Seeking services for mental health support is an important decision. My purpose in doing this work of psychiatry is to provide clarity and understanding of symptoms that interrupt function and compromise quality of life. It is with this purpose that we, together, devise strategies for raising stress tolerance, setting attainable goals and reaching them. Since 1990 I have been working in health care, from holistic beginnings in massage therapy and nutrition, to addiction medicine, family medicine and migrant health, and now psychiatry and behavioral medicine. I am a Psychiatric Physician Associate.
Seeking services for mental health support is an important decision. My purpose in doing this work of psychiatry is to provide clarity and understanding of symptoms that interrupt function and compromise quality of life. It is with this purpose that we, together, devise strategies for raising stress tolerance, setting attainable goals and reaching them. Since 1990 I have been working in health care, from holistic beginnings in massage therapy and nutrition, to addiction medicine, family medicine and migrant health, and now psychiatry and behavioral medicine. I am a Psychiatric Physician Associate.
(360) 523-7792 View (360) 523-7792
Photo of Amy Skordal, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Amy Skordal
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Arlington, WA 98223
Are you struggling with depression, irritability, anxiety, focus problems or mood swings that get in the way with living your best life? Is it effecting your relationships? Career? Ability to truly enjoy life? Have you wondered if psychiatric medications might help? Or wondered if the psychiatric medications that you are currently on are the right ones for you? Consider coming in for a full Psychiatric Evaluation and learning what your options are.
Are you struggling with depression, irritability, anxiety, focus problems or mood swings that get in the way with living your best life? Is it effecting your relationships? Career? Ability to truly enjoy life? Have you wondered if psychiatric medications might help? Or wondered if the psychiatric medications that you are currently on are the right ones for you? Consider coming in for a full Psychiatric Evaluation and learning what your options are.
(360) 386-5082 View (360) 386-5082
Photo of Ryan Thebo, DNP, PMHNP, FNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Ryan Thebo
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
3 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) 265-9205 View (253) 265-9205
Photo of Jack Mkroyan, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jack Mkroyan
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Olympia, WA 98501
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
(360) 997-5552 View (360) 997-5552
Photo of April Urquidez, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
April Urquidez
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Vancouver, WA 98686  (Online Only)
I see patients via video visit across OR and WA. I practice a patient centered approach and listen to my patients' needs. I am Board Certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) across the lifespan. I have over 20 years of healthcare experience working in inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. I have extensive training in conducting psychiatric evaluations, diagnoses, and prescribing medications, and supplements. I have experience in providing nutritional and wellness counseling.
I see patients via video visit across OR and WA. I practice a patient centered approach and listen to my patients' needs. I am Board Certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) across the lifespan. I have over 20 years of healthcare experience working in inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. I have extensive training in conducting psychiatric evaluations, diagnoses, and prescribing medications, and supplements. I have experience in providing nutritional and wellness counseling.
(360) 382-2860 View (360) 382-2860
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 Iman M Yunis, DNP, ARNP, PMHNP, -BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Iman M Yunis
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, ARNP, PMHNP, -BC
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98101
Dr. Yunis is a board-certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with a doctorate degree, practicing in Washington State. Her professional degrees were awarded from Seattle University. She is deeply committed to supporting clients and families in improving their mental health using their strengths and goals. Dr. Yunis believes that you are the expert in your life, and that collaborating with you to create a realistic and individualized treatment plan is essential to meeting your unique needs and reaching your goals. The foundation of her practice is a mindful, holistic and patient-centered approach to wellness.
Dr. Yunis is a board-certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with a doctorate degree, practicing in Washington State. Her professional degrees were awarded from Seattle University. She is deeply committed to supporting clients and families in improving their mental health using their strengths and goals. Dr. Yunis believes that you are the expert in your life, and that collaborating with you to create a realistic and individualized treatment plan is essential to meeting your unique needs and reaching your goals. The foundation of her practice is a mindful, holistic and patient-centered approach to wellness.
(206) 483-0730 View (206) 483-0730
Photo of Prisca Nwizugbo, MN, ARNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse
Prisca Nwizugbo
Psychiatric Nurse, MN, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Renton, WA 98057
My goal for every client that I encounter is to have them walk out of their session feeling better than they did when they arrived. This is true even when a client's needs are best served elsewhere. Through the utilization of a teamwork approach, I believe that you are the authority of your own mind. I emphasize the prevention of new issues, relapses, and symptom reduction, whilst achieving the highest level of wellness possible. I look forward to being with you every step of the way, on your journey to good health.
My goal for every client that I encounter is to have them walk out of their session feeling better than they did when they arrived. This is true even when a client's needs are best served elsewhere. Through the utilization of a teamwork approach, I believe that you are the authority of your own mind. I emphasize the prevention of new issues, relapses, and symptom reduction, whilst achieving the highest level of wellness possible. I look forward to being with you every step of the way, on your journey to good health.
(425) 405-6476 View (425) 405-6476
Photo of Joanne Gartenberg, MD, Psychiatrist
Joanne Gartenberg
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Duvall, WA 98019
I am an experienced board-certified psychiatrist who enjoys working with adults and older adolescents who want to reduce their suffering. I provide psychiatric evaluation and treatment, psychotherapy, and individual and group mindfulness instruction. I have a holistic, welcoming approach. I offer in-person appointments and telehealth appointments are available after the first in-person session. I am not in network with insurance, but will happily provide you a statement that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
I am an experienced board-certified psychiatrist who enjoys working with adults and older adolescents who want to reduce their suffering. I provide psychiatric evaluation and treatment, psychotherapy, and individual and group mindfulness instruction. I have a holistic, welcoming approach. I offer in-person appointments and telehealth appointments are available after the first in-person session. I am not in network with insurance, but will happily provide you a statement that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
(425) 584-6032 View (425) 584-6032
Photo of Marvin W Williams, ARNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Marvin W Williams
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Covington, WA 98042
Immediate Appointments Available! Are you ready to embark on a journey towards better mental health? I am a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, dedicated to providing evidence based compassionate care that supports individuals like you who are seeking relief from mental illness. With over a decade of experience in psychiatric medication management, I have been serving adults (18-65) in the greater Puget Sound area. My practice specializes in depression, anxiety, mood disorders, adjustment issues, personality disorders, and other common psychiatric conditions.
Immediate Appointments Available! Are you ready to embark on a journey towards better mental health? I am a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, dedicated to providing evidence based compassionate care that supports individuals like you who are seeking relief from mental illness. With over a decade of experience in psychiatric medication management, I have been serving adults (18-65) in the greater Puget Sound area. My practice specializes in depression, anxiety, mood disorders, adjustment issues, personality disorders, and other common psychiatric conditions.
(253) 352-4472 View (253) 352-4472
Photo of Kimberly Collison-Ris, ARNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Kimberly Collison-Ris
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98107
I am a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with Prescriptive Authority. I have over 16 years of experience providing healthcare services, combining medication management and whole-person centered health care.
I am a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with Prescriptive Authority. I have over 16 years of experience providing healthcare services, combining medication management and whole-person centered health care.
(206) 565-0212 View (206) 565-0212
Photo of Michelle Lea Bajema, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-C, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Michelle Lea Bajema
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-C
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Olympia, WA 98501
Accepting new patients! Are you ready to see a professional who will actively listen? Are you considering medications to ease your symptoms? I am a person-centered psychiatric nurse practitioner. I specialize in diagnosing mental health disorders & prescribing psychiatric medications. Sometimes, physical disorders cause mental suffering; I am medically trained to identify and differentiate between medical and psychological underlying factors. I respect your thoughts, feelings, beliefs & philosophy. I will treat you as a unique & deserving person.
Accepting new patients! Are you ready to see a professional who will actively listen? Are you considering medications to ease your symptoms? I am a person-centered psychiatric nurse practitioner. I specialize in diagnosing mental health disorders & prescribing psychiatric medications. Sometimes, physical disorders cause mental suffering; I am medically trained to identify and differentiate between medical and psychological underlying factors. I respect your thoughts, feelings, beliefs & philosophy. I will treat you as a unique & deserving person.
(360) 230-6660 View (360) 230-6660
Photo of Elizabeth Bielstein, ARNP, PMHNP, BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Elizabeth Bielstein
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, ARNP, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Everett, WA 98208
As a seasoned nurse practitioner with 30 years of nursing experience in multiple specialties, I have focused my professional attention on the evaluation and integrative treatment of mild to severe mental health disorders since 2011. I have a special interest in mood & trauma related disorders, existential / life transitions and health care professionals. I incorporate a creative approach to mental health care. While medication management is often what initially draws patients to my practice, they often stay for the support which has been tailored to their unique health and wellness goals.
As a seasoned nurse practitioner with 30 years of nursing experience in multiple specialties, I have focused my professional attention on the evaluation and integrative treatment of mild to severe mental health disorders since 2011. I have a special interest in mood & trauma related disorders, existential / life transitions and health care professionals. I incorporate a creative approach to mental health care. While medication management is often what initially draws patients to my practice, they often stay for the support which has been tailored to their unique health and wellness goals.
(425) 320-5077 View (425) 320-5077
Photo of undefined - MindsMatter LLC, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
MindsMatter LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Seattle, WA 98104  (Online Only)
At MindsMatter, prescribing medication is not the main focus. We believe in patient-centered care tailored to your needs! Not all clients seek mental wellness treatment for the same reasons, and that's why individualized care is so important in our treatment plans. We also offer brief therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for those seeking personal counseling. I provided educational videos about mental wellness on social media via TikTok and YouTube. You can find me on TikTok (raypsychnp) or YouTube (mrraypsychnp) if you would like to subscribe to either channel or be informed when a new video is posted!
At MindsMatter, prescribing medication is not the main focus. We believe in patient-centered care tailored to your needs! Not all clients seek mental wellness treatment for the same reasons, and that's why individualized care is so important in our treatment plans. We also offer brief therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for those seeking personal counseling. I provided educational videos about mental wellness on social media via TikTok and YouTube. You can find me on TikTok (raypsychnp) or YouTube (mrraypsychnp) if you would like to subscribe to either channel or be informed when a new video is posted!
(206) 210-5478 View (206) 210-5478
Photo of undefined - Safe Space psychiatry group, PMHNP, Freddy, Akoko, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Safe Space psychiatry group
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, Freddy, Akoko
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98104  (Online Only)
Welcome to Safe Space Clinic, where compassionate care meets expertise in psychiatric and family medicine. As co-owners, Ferdinand Akoko (Freddy) PMHNP-BC and Nadege Akoko (Nadi) FNP-BC are committed to providing a holistic approach to healthcare. Freddy specializes in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, bringing years of experience and dedication to helping patients achieve mental wellness. Nadi specializes in family practice, offering comprehensive care for patients of all ages
Welcome to Safe Space Clinic, where compassionate care meets expertise in psychiatric and family medicine. As co-owners, Ferdinand Akoko (Freddy) PMHNP-BC and Nadege Akoko (Nadi) FNP-BC are committed to providing a holistic approach to healthcare. Freddy specializes in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, bringing years of experience and dedication to helping patients achieve mental wellness. Nadi specializes in family practice, offering comprehensive care for patients of all ages
(206) 759-5507 View (206) 759-5507
Photo of Joshua Bess, MD, Psychiatrist
Joshua Bess
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98104
Dr. Bess graduated from Swarthmore College and University of Michigan Medical School, completed residency at UM, including a year as a chief resident, then joined the psychiatry faculty at UM, working on the Inpatient, Consultation-Liaison and ECT teams. Interests include brain stimulation, pharmacology for treatment-resistant mood disorders and psychiatric illness complicated by medical problems.
Dr. Bess graduated from Swarthmore College and University of Michigan Medical School, completed residency at UM, including a year as a chief resident, then joined the psychiatry faculty at UM, working on the Inpatient, Consultation-Liaison and ECT teams. Interests include brain stimulation, pharmacology for treatment-resistant mood disorders and psychiatric illness complicated by medical problems.
(206) 966-6968 View (206) 966-6968

See more therapy options for Washington

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Average cost per session

$226

Psychiatrists in Washington who prioritize treating:

94% Anxiety
93% Depression
83% Medication Management
80% Bipolar Disorder
75% ADHD
74% Trauma and PTSD
68% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

8 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

81% Aetna
75% Cigna and Evernorth
67% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Washington see their clients

61% In Person and Online
39% Online Only

Gender breakdown

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

How can I find a psychiatrist in Washington?

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.