What Should I Look For In A Local Psychiatrist Near Me?

By Stephanie Kirby

Updated February 09, 2020

Reviewer Lauren Guilbeault

If you have been considering going to counseling or therapy, you may be confused as to all the options that are out there. There are psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and therapists, among others. Do they all do the same thing? No. It's important that you understand the roles of each of these and how they can help you. Right now, we're going to dive into psychiatry. We'll cover what a psychiatrist does and how to find a local psychiatrist in your area, as well as other choices that you have.

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What Is A Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor. Many people think that you can interchange the titles of psychiatrists and psychologists, but you can't. They are two separate professions. A psychiatrist has attended medical school.

A psychiatrist approaches mental health challenges from the physical aspect of how the brain and the body work. They have thoroughly studied the chemicals of the brain, and they look for how mental health challenges can be treated from this perspective. While some psychiatrists offer additional forms of therapy, such as psychotherapy, a psychiatrist generally aren't focused on the feelings and emotions involved with mental health. Instead, they are focused on the physical aspect of it.

One of the biggest differences between psychiatrist and psychologist is that a psychiatrist can write a prescription. Many forms of mental health challenges require medication as a form of treatment for long-term or short-term health. If you are only seeing a psychologist, they will not be able to prescribe for you if you need it. Psychologists have not attended medical school and are unable to write prescriptions. That means, if you are seeing a psychologist, they will need to work with a psychiatrist or doctor, or you will, to get your prescriptions filled.

For this very reason, psychiatrist often works in collaboration with the psychologist in treating a patient. Many people's path for treatment includes working with both of these professionals.

What To Look For In A Psychiatrist

You may have a lot of questions on what to look for when choosing a psychiatrist. The first thing that you want to start with is their credentials. First off, make sure that you have found an actual psychiatrist and not a psychologist. As mentioned above, they can do different things. Along with their education, you will also want to find out what type of experience they have. You want to make sure that they have experience with treating the type of symptoms that you are dealing with. Even though all psychiatrists have been to medical school, they might specialize in different areas. You want to find someone that will understand what you're going through because they've treated other people in similar situations.

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You will also want to find a psychiatrist that you are comfortable working with. Anytime you are talking about health issues, whether it's mental health or physical health, it's important that you're comfortable with the professional that you're working with. If you aren't, you may have a hard time being honest about symptoms that you're experiencing. It's important for a psychiatrist to know what it is that's going on, so you need to be able to be open with them. This advice will mean different things to different people. For example, some people might be more comfortable with a female psychiatrist, where others might be more comfortable with a male, and others don't care at all. You may also want to look for someone that has beliefs that line up with your spiritual beliefs. It's all about what makes you comfortable.

How Much Does A Psychiatrist Cost?

When it comes to how much a psychiatrist cost, there are a lot of things that come into play. The average range can be anywhere from $100 to over $500 for an appointment. The initial appointment is often charged at a higher price than subsequent appointments. But the price is going to vary based on the psychiatrist that you see and where you're located.

However, there are some ways that you can reduce the cost of seeing a psychiatrist. The first is to check with your health insurance carrier. Some health insurances will cover mental health services such as those that are offered by a psychiatrist. In fact, many health insurance providers are required to cover Mental Health Services. So, contact your insurance company and ask what type of coverage they have. You will want to find out what psychiatrist you can work with as well as how many appointments they will cover. If your psychiatrist wants to run additional tasks such as brain scans or blood work, you will want to find out from your health insurance company, what their coverage options are on those services as well.

You can also reduce your costs by comparing one office to another. Not all psychiatrists are going to charge the same amount of money. You may be able to find that you get a better deal at one office than you would with another.

You can also reduce your costs by using your psychiatrist only for the things that they are needed for. Many people can save money on therapy and Mental Health Services by seeing a psychiatrist for their prescription and then seeing a psychologist for additional therapy. This will allow you to see a psychiatrist for the things that you need but pay less money for the ongoing part of your therapy.

How To Find A Local Psychiatrist Near Me?

When looking for a local psychiatrist, there are a few ways that you can get started. The first is by asking for a referral from your general physician. They may have a certain psychiatrist that they like to recommend their patients to and may be able to help you with determining if your insurance covers them.

You can also ask the people that you know personally for a recommendation. Word of mouth is the best advertising for a reason. If you know someone personally that has seen a psychiatrist, and they recommend their psychiatrist, it's a good starting place. However, remember that everyone has different opinions and just because a friend or family member was happy it doesn't automatically mean that you are going to have a great experience. It's important that you do your research.

Do an online search. This will help you to see all the psychiatrist that is in your local area. Sometimes, what it's going to come down to is seeing who is nearest to your home or work. If you're going to more than one appointment, you may not want to pick a psychiatrist that is out of the way because it will require you to spend more time traveling to and from your appointment.

What If I Can't Find A Psychiatrist In My Area?

Depending on where you live, you could run into a struggle with finding a psychiatrist in your area. There are lots of ways that you can get mental health services online, but seeing a psychiatrist is not one of them.

Companies and websites such as BetterHelp, make it easy for you to get therapy from the comfort of your own home. But, when it comes to medical testing and getting a prescription, you will need to see someone in person. However, as mentioned above this doesn't mean that you need to continue to see that person for all of your treatment options. If you don't have many mental health professionals in your area, or you just don't want to go physically to appointments regularly, a combination of treatments could be your best option.

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You may need to find a psychiatrist that you can drive to get your treatment underway, and then, work with teletherapy for the remainder of your treatment. Before you make an appointment with a psychiatrist, make sure you ask questions about how the process will work over the phone, so you don't get to your appointment and then have a different experience than what you were expecting.

Don't Stop Until You Get The Help That You Need

If you find that you work with one psychiatrist and things aren't improving the way that you had hoped for, don't give up. You may not see progress right away, but it's important that you stick with the treatment for you. If you need to change what psychiatrist you are meeting with, don't be afraid to do that. However, if you are on medication for your mental health, make sure that you do not stop taking that medication without talking to your psychiatrist or family physician before doing so. Sometimes the side effects when you stop taking medication can be just as serious as any that you experience when taking it. It's very important to talk to your mental health professional about the situation before acting.

So, if you're interested in seeing a psychiatrist for your mental health challenges, use the advice you find in this article to find one that you're comfortable with.

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