How therapy and psychiatry work together

How therapy and psychiatry work together

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Talkiatry staff
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May 20, 2024
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Key takeaways

Mental health care should be holistic, and therapy can be a crucial part of that for a lot of patients. It’s why we have therapists on staff to work with patients who are also seeing one of our psychiatrists. (While we don’t offer therapy as a standalone service, we wholly support patients finding care that works for them.)  

Additionally, our psychiatrists can and do provide supportive therapy during visits. Follow-up appointments are typically scheduled for 30 minutes or more to give patients and clinicians time to talk.

If you’re currently seeing one of our psychiatrists and are interested in seeing if we have therapists available in your state, talk to your clinician about your options. If you’re not a patient yet, the first step is taking a short assessment and booking your first appointment with one of our psychiatrists. It just takes 10 minutes.

If you’re curious to learn more about how therapy and psychiatry can work together, read on.  

What is therapy  

Therapy, also called psychotherapy, is a type of treatment provided by a licensed therapist, like a psychologist, social worker, or counselor. Through conversation, a patient and therapist work together to explore the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The goal is to develop coping strategies, work through emotions, and improve emotional well-being. There are also many different types of therapy, some developed to treat specific conditions, so depending on why you’re seeking care. Your clinician can help you understand your options and find the right one for you.

What is psychiatry

Psychiatry is a medical specialty focused on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Psychiatrists are medical doctors (usually a DO or MD) who can prescribe medication and who also do talk therapy. While they can provide other therapeutic interventions as well, they often work in conjunction with therapists to provide holistic care.  

How therapy and psychiatry work together  

Therapy and psychiatry complement each other by addressing both the psychological and biological aspects of mental health. Therapy helps work through underlying issues that can contribute to symptoms, while medication can reduce the symptoms caused by underlying issues. Medication can also improve functional impairment and cognition, which can help patients better practice therapeutic techniques. This integrated approach can lead to more effective treatment.

The benefits of collaboration

When therapists and psychiatrists work together, they can share information, communicate better, and develop a cohesive treatment plan that’s tailored to a patient’s needs. In addition to increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome, seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist can lead to better education and understanding, so a patient feels empowered to make informed choices about their care.

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Frequently asked questions

Does Talkiatry take my insurance?

We're in network with major insurers, including:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Humana
  • Medicare
  • Oscar
  • United Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Compsych

Even if your insurer isn't on the list, we might still accept it. Use the insurance eligibility checker in our online assessment to learn more.

Can I get an estimate of my visit cost?

The best way to get a detailed estimate of your cost is to contact your insurance company directly, since your cost will depend on the details of your insurance.  

For some, it’s just a co-pay. If you have an unmet deductible it could be more.  

Call the number on your insurance card and ask about your plan’s coverage for outpatient psychiatric services.

What kind of treatment does Talkiatry provide?

At Talkiatry, we specialize in psychiatry, meaning the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Your psychiatrist will meet with you virtually on a schedule you set together, devise a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and preferences, and work with you to adjust your plan as you meet your goals.

If your treatment plan includes medication, your psychiatrist will prescribe and manage it. If needed, your psychiatrist can also refer you to a Talkiatry therapist.

What's the difference between a therapist and psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are doctors who have specialized training in diagnosing and treating complex mental health conditions through medication management. If you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or similar, a psychiatrist may be a good place to start.  

Other signs that you should see a psychiatrist include:  

  • Your primary care doctor or another doctor thinks you may benefit from the services of a psychiatrist and provides a referral    
  • You are interested in taking medication to treat a mental health condition  
  • Your symptoms are severe enough to regularly interfere with your everyday life

The term “therapist” can apply to a range of professionals including social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychoanalysts. Working with a therapist generally involves regular talk therapy sessions where you discuss your feelings, problem-solving strategies, and coping mechanisms to help with your condition.

How does Talkiatry compare to face-to-face treatment?

For most patients, Talkiatry treatment is just as effective as in-person psychiatry (American Psychiatric Association, 2021), and much more convenient. That said, we don’t currently provide treatment for schizophrenia, primary eating disorder treatment, or Medication Assisted Treatment for substance use disorders.

Who can prescribe medication?

All our psychiatrists (and all psychiatrists in general) are medical doctors with additional training in mental health. They can prescribe any medication they think can help their patients. In order to find out which medications might be appropriate, they need to conduct a full evaluation. At Talkiatry, first visits are generally scheduled for 60 minutes or more to give your psychiatrist time to learn about you, work on a treatment plan, and discuss any medications that might be included.

Talkiatry staff

Our team of professional healthcare writers work closely with our clinical staff and are trained in scientific research methods. As a medical practice, we adhere to principles of evidence-based medicine and are dedicated to bringing you accurate, accessible, and up-to- date information.

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