6 Tips for Searching for a Psychiatrist
Particularly if you’re seeing a psychiatrist for the first time, you may not be sure how to look for your new doctor. These six simple tips will guide you through your search so that you’re able to pick the best professional for your needs.
1. Think about your priorities
Not everyone looking for a psychiatrist is searching for the same things. Consider the following as you begin your search:
- Do you want to see someone specializing in treating a specific mental health condition?
- Would you be more comfortable opening up to a potential psychiatrist of the same gender or identity?
- Is proximity a concern?
- Are you looking for a certain type of psychiatrist or treatment
If you’re getting hung up on how to find a psychiatrist, you might try just thinking about what kind of care provider would be best for you. Trust is essential in mental health care, and you’ll have a much more powerful (and effective) experience if you focus on finding someone you feel comfortable with.
2. Look at your insurance coverage
If you’re planning on using your insurance to cover the psychiatrist cost, you should talk with your provider about your health insurance coverage. They can help you find a psychiatrist in the network, substantially reducing your appointment cost. You should also ask questions about your coverage to find out what, if anything, you might be paying out of pocket.
3. Consider credentials and experience
Part of figuring out how to find a good psychiatrist is looking for someone qualified to offer you the right type of care and support. You can narrow down your choices by:
- Finding out how long they’ve been practicing
- Learning more about the treatment options they offer
- Asking what they specialize in
- Determining if they’ve previously treated others with your condition or concern
- Looking at their background
- Seeing where they attended medical school
- Make sure they don’t have a history of disciplinary claims or any malpractice suits
Finding a dependable, trustworthy care provider who can help you take charge of your mental health is essential to your healing and progress.
4. Ask the right questions
Once you’ve found a few suitable options, reach out to each care provider directly so you can ask questions and get the information you need.
Important things to note or ask might include:
- Find out if they’re currently accepting new patients
- Check to see if there’s a waiting list for appointments
- Learn how long the wait would be
- See what their payment policy is
- Make sure their hours work with your schedule
Asking questions and gathering information can help you make an informed decision about your future care.
“Having a trustful therapeutic relationship is key to the success of a working relationship between you and your psychiatrist. It’s important to screen for qualifications as well as experience. The ability to relate and feel comfortable sharing your personal details is needed during the course of treatment.”
5. Explore telemedicine options
Telemedicine has greatly improved and enhanced access to mental health care in recent years, making it possible for people to obtain treatment even when they have limited options in their area.
Even if you plan on seeing a local psychiatrist, online services can make treatment more convenient, accessible, and affordable. Check if psychiatrists in your area offer telehealth services, and look at online psychiatry providers.
6. Make sure you’re comfortable with your choice
When you’re looking for a mental health care provider, you can’t just think about how to find a psychiatrist. You need to make sure that whomever you decide to see will be able to give you the help you need once you’re actually working together.
Look closely at your options to find the best psychiatrist for your mental health. Whether you decide on online psychiatry services or in-person private practice visits, the most important thing is to make sure you feel comfortable and confident about the choice that you ultimately wind up making. If the psychiatrist isn’t a good fit for you after a few sessions, you can always switch to another.