5 Questions to Find the Right Psychiatrist

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Online consultation with psychiatrist
Published:  December 16, 2022

If you have never seen a psychiatrist before, or it’s been a long time since you’ve had a psychiatry appointment, you may be wondering how to find the right provider for your needs.

There are many factors to consider when searching for a psychiatrist, such as their specialties or areas of focus, their approach to mental health treatment and medication, and their location and availability.

Thankfully, many psychiatry practices are now offering telehealth psychiatry so that you can find and meet with the perfect new provider from the comfort of your home. At P.S. Psychiatry, our Pennsylvania-based psychiatrists and nurse practitioners offer virtual appointments so that you can be sure that convenience isn’t a concern when choosing a provider. This makes choosing the right psychiatrist even easier.

Convenience isn’t the only element you should look for in a psychiatrist, of course. When scheduling a psychiatric consultation with a new psychiatrist or clinician, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is their approach to mental healthcare?
  2. What mental health services does the psychiatrist offer?
  3. What conditions does the psychiatrist treat?
  4. Do they offer psychiatric care to all ages?
  5. Are they transparent about pricing and payment options?

Once you’ve run through this list, either in your head or directly with the psychiatrist’s office, you’ll feel more confident in deciding to schedule a psychiatric appointment.

Keep reading to learn more about how to choose a good psychiatrist, or find care today by scheduling a virtual appointment with a mental healthcare provider at P.S. Psychiatry.

1. What is their approach to mental healthcare?

You may think that a psychiatrist’s job is only to prescribe medication, but this should not be the case. Your psychiatrist should be a partner in your journey to mental and physical wellness.

When searching for the right provider, ask them about their approach to mental health and how they help patients succeed. You need to feel comfortable with your psychiatrist, so use your initial consultation as a chance to get to know them, including their philosophies on different mental health treatments and their typical appointment style.

For many individuals, it’s important to find a psychiatrist that takes a holistic approach to mental healthcare. That means your psychiatrist would assess how factors such as nutrition, lifestyle, genetics, and environment can all contribute to mental health problems and prescribe treatments accordingly.

You should also ask if your psychiatrist will collaborate with your other healthcare providers. Mental health does not happen in a silo. Depending on your lifestyle and condition, your psychiatrist may work alongside your primary care physician, therapist, nutritionist, and other providers to create the most comprehensive care plan for your needs.

2. What mental health services does the psychiatrist offer?

Some psychiatrists provide a wide range of services, while others focus on just one or two. Make sure to ask your provider what services they offer and how they’ll support you throughout your journey to better mental health.

Usually, a psychiatrist primarily offers medication management services, though some may also offer talk therapy or other forms of mental health treatment. Ask your psychiatrist if they offer additional treatment either in-house or through a network of recommended providers.

You’ll want to know:

  • How the provider assesses and diagnoses patients
  • What treatment options they offer
  • How long it may take to see results from your treatment
  • How often they require follow-up appointments

3. What conditions does the psychiatrist treat?

Mental health conditions are complex and often unique to the individual. When finding the right psychiatrist, you need to trust that they are an expert partner in your mental well-being.

It’s important to know how much experience a psychiatrist has in treating the condition you are seeking help for. Depending on your mental healthcare history, you may already have a diagnosed mental health condition or you may need an assessment from your new psychiatrist.

Unlike psychologists or therapists, psychiatrists are medical doctors, so they are highly qualified to treat a range of mental health conditions. Even so, when searching for the right provider, you’ll feel most confident in your treatment plan when you know your psychiatrist is experienced in treating your particular condition.

4. Do they offer psychiatric care to all ages?

Another factor to consider when choosing a psychiatrist is if they treat patients of all ages. Mental health is important no matter how old you are, and different stages of life will present unique challenges that your psychiatrist can help you face.

Depending on your needs, find out if your psychiatrist provides specialized care for the following age groups:

  • Child psychiatry: A child psychiatrist will evaluate your child’s developmental progress and symptoms of common disorders. In addition to medication or therapy, your psychiatrist can also provide advice and strategies for families of children with mental illness.
  • Adolescent psychiatry: Teens face unique issues that require specialized help from an experienced professional. These conditions might include depression, anxiety, stress-related conditions, ADHD, and oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD).
  • Adult psychiatry: Many adults struggle with mental health conditions, and an experienced psychiatrist can provide much-needed support for a range of issues, from day-to-day challenges to serious psychological distress.
  • Geriatric psychiatry: Older adults often face unique mental health issues that require specialized care from a provider who understands how aging can affect the mind and body.

5. Are they transparent about pricing and payment options?

Finally, make sure the psychiatrist you select is clear about how much their services cost and how payments are accepted. You don’t want to be surprised by hidden fees or payment terms. This might also mean talking to your insurance provider to ensure you understand what types of mental health treatment are covered and what copays or deductibles you are responsible for.

While many people want to find a psychiatrist that is covered by insurance, finding the right in-network mental healthcare provider can be challenging. You may feel frustrated by a lack of coverage or confused about how to find a treatment plan that fits into the parameters of your coverage.

If this sounds familiar, it may be worthwhile to consider an out-of-network psychiatrist. An out-of-network practice often allows for a more straightforward pricing model, fewer hoops to jump through to find a provider, and a more streamlined billing process.

Find convenient holistic mental healthcare through P.S. Psychiatry

Now that you know how to find the right psychiatrist, it’s time to take the next step and schedule an appointment. At P.S. Psychiatry, our experienced, collaborative psychiatrists offer online appointments so you can fit treatment into your busy schedule.

Don’t wait to find help for your mental health condition — get in touch with a psychiatrist today!