Seven Tips for Finding a Psychiatrist

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If you’re reading this article, chances are you are looking for a psychiatrist. It’s not always easy to find the right one, and there’s no way of knowing how good they’ll be until after the first visit. So what can be done? Here are some things you might find helpful in your search for a psychiatrist.

1. Have Realistic Expectations

You may not find the perfect psychiatrist instantly. Try to keep your expectations realistic and give it time. You might need to make multiple visits before you develop a good rapport with the doctor. It’s worth working through this process to check if you and your psychiatrist are the right fit.

2. Consider Your Needs

How can you expect to find a good psychiatrist if you don’t know what kind of psychiatric services you need? For example, is the cost of treatment vital to you? How much experience does the doctor have treating patients with extreme mental health conditions, for example? These are valid considerations for finding a psychiatrist with whom you’re comfortable.

3. Ask the Right Questions

It’s a good idea to make a list of questions before your first appointment. Here are some examples: How long does psychotherapy take? Are there any extra fees for missed appointments?  Will it cost extra to see a therapist (if they recommend it)?

Questions like these can help you get more clarity on what services you’ll receive from your psychiatrist.

4. Seek Advice

Even though it might be helpful to get feedback from people you trust, they might not always have an objective perspective. It can be helpful to ask friends who’ve seen psychiatrists in the past, but it’s also worth checking out online reviews. Anything extreme (like lots of one-star reviews saying the psychiatrist is terrible) should be taken seriously.

5. Don’t Rule Out Online Providers

It’s not always possible to find a good psychiatrist near you or if they’re taking new patients. Some online providers are more reputable than others. Check out some online forums to get a sense of which providers people use and trust.

6. Be Open-Minded

You may meet with more than one psychiatrist before finding the right match for you. Be open to trying someone new, even if you had a good experience with your previous psychiatrist. You can ask your primary care doctor for recommendations. No one knows your mental health challenges better than you do, so it’s ok to make decisions that are right for you.

7. Make Sure the Relationship Feels Right for You

Just like finding any new doctor or dating a new person, it can take some time before you feel like you’ve found “the one.” Even if someone seems like a great fit on paper, this may not be true in practice. So trust your gut and don’t settle for less than you deserve. If something feels off, listen to that intuition.

You deserve a good psychiatrist who is the ideal fit for you and will help you manage your mental health concerns. Take the time to locate the doctor who can best meet your requirements.  Your health needs to be a top priority, so the time you put into your search will pay dividends down the road.