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10 Tips for Choosing a Psychiatrist

News ,Mental Health

Successful psychologist talking to her patient

Choosing to seek out professional help for your mental and emotional health can seem like a big decision. The first step is to find a psychiatrist that can provide the care you need, but where should you start your search?

Learn how to find and choose a good psychiatrist and the best tips for picking the right one for you. 

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The Challenge of Finding the Right Psychiatrist

Finding the right psychiatrist requires thought and consideration. Variables like insurance, communication style, patient reviews and areas of specialty are all potential aspects of selecting your new psychiatrist.

You can find a well-accredited psychiatrist with years of experience and still lack the connection you’re looking for with a mental health professional. You want to find the right fit in your search for a psychiatrist — whether this means you’re around the same age, have similar backgrounds or have complementary communication styles.

People can also have a hard time talking about their mental health. While the topic of mental health is becoming more mainstream, opening up about something personal may be a challenge, and some people are unsure of the best way to reach out for help. Elaborating on how you feel and your current emotions is also a challenge — finding the right words to express yourself may take some time.

Talking about your mental health might be new, but the benefits that trickle in after finding the right psychiatrist will all be worth it.

10 Tips for Picking the Right Psychiatrist

Knowing what to look for in a psychiatrist can help make the process easier. These 10 tips can lead you to some quality psychiatrists and mental health professionals that will help make a difference in your well-being. 

1. Ask for a Referral List

Your primary care provider (PCP) is an excellent resource for finding specialty health care professionals. Your PCP can provide you with a referral list of psychiatrists and clinics. Asking your PCP can give you a list of psychiatrists within your insurance network, making your search easier.

You can also add additional psychiatrists to your list with recommendations from friends, family and other individuals you trust.

Research the psychiatrists on your list and narrow down your top choices. Call each office, clinic or personal practice to schedule an interview with the psychiatrist before establishing yourself as a patient.

2. Search for Professionals Through Your Insurance

Knowing that your psychiatrist accepts your insurance will help provide peace of mind regarding finances. Your insurance provider’s website is a great resource for finding psychiatrists and other health care professionals that accept your insurance. Some insurances offer filtering options for health care providers, including language, location and gender.

After you narrow down your list of psychiatrists who accept your insurance, refine your selection by other aspects like experience, communication style and reviews. 

3. Consider Communication Styles

Building a relationship with your psychiatrist can take time, so feeling comfortable communicating with them is essential in your initial meetups. Be attentive to the psychiatrist’s communication style during your first appointment — are their responses to your questions easy to understand? Do they understand you and your concerns?

It’s normal to not feel 100% comfortable in the beginning, but you can rely on your instincts on whether the psychiatrist’s communication style is a good match for you. You can find a psychiatrist that shows you respect and has your best interests in mind.

4. Review Patient Reviews

Reviews are a helpful resource for many areas, especially when you’re finding a new health care provider. While you shouldn’t take every review to heart, skimming through reliable evaluations of potential psychiatrists can paint a picture of how they practice. View how happy patients are with certain providers and the environment of their office or place of practice.

5. Look Into Psychiatrist Specialties

Psychiatrists can focus their studies on specific areas to provide quality service for their patients. Some subspecialties you can look into include adolescent, adult and geriatric psychiatry. Psychiatrists may also have more experience in treating certain conditions, including:

  • Substance use and addiction
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Insomnia

Do a deep-dive into psychiatrist specialties or try out psychiatrists with an array of experience to expand your list of potential providers. Think about what you’re hoping to seek treatment for when narrowing your search this way.

6. Ask for Telemedicine Options

Telemedicine has quickly become a popular appointment option for people who want to stay home or are too busy for an in-person visit. Telemedicine allows your health care provider to meet with you online via phone call, messages or video conference. You can receive various types of care through telemedicine — virtual mental health treatment is a common one.

Make sure to ask the psychiatrist if they offer telemedicine appointments when you inquire about an appointment if you’re interested. Telemedicine appointments are a helpful addition to in-person appointments and provide a convenient way to access mental health care. 

7. Think About Gender

Finding a psychiatrist who you feel comfortable meeting can rely on numerous factors — gender being one of them. This can mean you prefer meeting with a psychiatrist of a certain gender, or you want a psychiatrist who is experienced in caring for individuals and considering their gender. Your new psychiatrist may have experience or training in caring for women, men, nonbinary or transgender individuals. 

8. Consider Experience

Reviewing your psychiatrists’ credentials is an essential part of your search. Look into a provider’s education, certification and areas of specialty to understand their expertise.

If you’re searching for treatment for a specific condition like depression, addiction or general anxiety, finding a doctor who understands these conditions and various treatments can be reassuring.  

9. Utilize Local Resources

Organizations and institutions will often provide resources for mental health services. Places like your university, place of work and local support groups may all offer resources and assistance for finding mental health care near you. These organizations can provide lists of local clinics, counseling centers or recommended psychiatrists in your area.

10. Create a List of Must-Ask Questions

Compile a list of priority questions before establishing yourself as a patient. Your question list can include:

  • How many years have you been practicing?
  • What would you consider your area of expertise?
  • Have you treated people with my condition successfully?
  • What types of treatments do you use for people with my condition?
  • Will you be able to prescribe medication if I need it?
  • Do you offer telemedicine services?
  • Will you bill my insurance company, or will I pay you and be reimbursed by my insurance?

Learn More About Our Providers

Knowing how to find the best mental health provider is simple with the right tools. You can search for board-certified psychiatrists, doctors and therapists online with My Psychiatrist. Filter through any of our South Florida locations, find doctors based on their specialties and see if they offer telemedicine instantly through the Find a Provider tool on our website.

Book an Appointment With My Psychiatrist Today

Ready to take the next step to better your well-being? Book an appointment with one of our doctors today, or reach out to us at (877) 548-8089 to learn more about our services. 

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