The decision to ask for help with your mental well-being can be difficult, but it may be the best choice that you could make for yourself and your loved ones. If you haven’t ever worked with a psychiatrist, you may not know where to start. Keep in mind, psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors, so they differ slightly from therapists in that they can prescribe medication. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment, here are six tips to help you narrow down your search to find the provider who is the right fit for you.
Ask For Psychiatrist Referrals
A good starting point is to ask people you know for recommendations for psychiatrists who they have been to. Family members or close friends may have a doctor that they really trust and have worked with closely. In addition, you can ask your health care provider for his or her recommendations. Many medical practices have mental health professionals in-house that your doctor can refer you to. If you have a community mental health facility in your area, you can get in touch with their patient care coordinator for a list of providers.
If you have the name of a psychiatrist, you can do an online search to read reviews and check his or her credentials. Sites such as are a great place to research different health care professionals. You can look up education, experience, training, and certification as well as any disciplinary actions or malpractice issues. Another good resource is patient reviews. Former and current patients often rate their experience with the providers and the offices, so you can get a feel for what to expect at a visit.
Consider Psychiatrist Specialties
While some psychiatrists provide general therapy for patients of varying ages or conditions, you may want to consider a doctor who specializes in a specific age group or mental illness. It may be beneficial to work with someone who has an extensive background in your particular issues if you have already been diagnosed. If you are still awaiting diagnosis, a general psychiatrist may be a good place to start.
Every medical provider has to start somewhere, but you may feel more comfortable getting care from a psychiatrist with more experience. You can find out if a candidate has experience in a certain type of therapy that you’re interested in trying, or you can ask about how many years a psychiatrist has been practicing.
When you visit a psychiatrist, you can expect to spend the majority of your visits talking and discussing with him or her. That means you’ll need to feel comfortable with his or her communication style. You can determine if you like how a potential psychiatrist communicates with you by scheduling an initial visit and treating it as an interview of sorts. If you feel like you’d be able to build trust and positive communication with that provider, it is a good sign.
Think About Gender
Some patients may feel more comfortable visiting a psychiatrist of their same gender. If that is the case for you, you can narrow down your search quickly. However, most psychiatrists are trained to treat both men and women, and an increasing number work closely with patients of varying gender identities. Feel free to ask a potential provider about his or her experience if you have concerns.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Davis Behavioral Health has numerous that work with children, adolescents, and adults. Finding the right psychiatrist for your needs is possible! Contact us today to schedule an appointment so that you can start feeling better.