How To Find the Best Psychiatrist in Los Angeles or New York

Finding the best psychiatrist in Los Angeles, New York, or any city for that matter, involves a combination of careful research, recommendations, and personal preference.

How To Find the Best Psychiatrist in Los Angeles or New York

With over 55,000 psychiatrists practicing in the United States, choosing a good psychiatrist can sometimes be an overwhelming task. Useful resources like BetterHelp, Hims & Hers, and Talkiatry are making it easier than ever to connect with a good psychiatrist. But what if you’re looking for more than ‘good?’ Don’t worry, we can help. Keep reading to learn how to find the best psychiatrist in New York or Los Angeles for you.

Here at The Happiness Psychiatrist®, we help you reclaim your happiness with our holistic psychiatry services. By offering integrative psychiatry, holistic psychotherapy, and online personal coaching, we treat mind, body, and soul for a whole-person therapeutic experience. 
We also pride ourselves on going the extra mile, providing resources to our patients and their families that enhance the therapy process. These include:

Discover how The Happiness Psychiatrist® can help you begin your journey to more fulfillment and join us as we share how to find the best psychiatrist in New York or Los Angeles for you 👇

Seven Steps for Finding the Best Psychiatrist in New York and Los Angeles

Finding the best psychiatrist in Los Angeles, New York, or any city for that matter, involves a combination of careful research, recommendations, and personal preference. Here are 7 steps you can take to find a great psychiatrist who is an excellent fit for your needs:

  1. Referrals/Word of Mouth 🌟
  2. Online Resources 🛜
  3. Reviews and Testimonials 🗣️
  4. Training, specialties, and expertise 🏅
  5. Consultation ☎️
  6. Location and availability 🌎
  7. Your intuition! 🦄

Will following all these steps be necessary to find the best psychiatrist for you? Maybe, maybe not. But putting these tips to use when searching for the right psychiatrist is a surefire way to know you made the best decision

Let’s take a closer look at how to find the best psychiatrist in New York, Los Angeles, or wherever you may be. 

Referrals/Word of Mouth 🌟

Referrals can be invaluable when searching for a psychiatrist. Mental health is a deeply personal and sensitive matter and finding the right psychiatrist can be the difference between a transformative psychiatric experience or a setback in your mental health journey. 

Ask for recommendations from: 

  1. Friends: Reaching out to your closest friends about finding a psychiatrist that is right for you can not only help you find a great psychiatrist, but it can also promote mental health awareness within your friend group.
  2. Family: Similar to your friends, few people may know you better than your family. This can translate to getting both the specific care you need and a psychiatric experience that suits your personal life issues. 
  3. Your primary care physician (PCP): Trusting referrals from someone outside your innermost circle can sometimes be uncomfortable, especially when it comes to mental health. However, your primary care physician likely has a roster of referrals they trust. She or he can recommend psychiatrists based on knowledge of your medical conditions and can help you find the perfect fit for your mental health needs.

Those closest to you may be able to suggest a trusted psychiatrist they've had a positive experience with or know of. These firsthand referrals offer a level of confidence and comfort that can positively impact your results from the therapeutic process.

Referrals can help streamline the often overwhelming process of selecting a psychiatrist. While there are a plethora of mental health options available, just starting the daunting search process can be a roadblock to getting the help you need. Referrals can narrow down options and help you focus on psychiatrists that fit your mental health criteria, as well as already come with a proven track record of successful therapeutic results. 

Lastly, referrals can get all the logistics of beginning therapy out of the way. Your friends, family, and/or PCP can provide insightful background information on their referred specialists, such as:

  • Office proximity to your work or home 
  • Hourly and daily availability
  • Insurance acceptance or out-of-network fees 
  • Style of psychiatry (e.g., telehealth, concierge, in-office)   

Of course the primary consideration when searching for the best psychiatrist in New York, Los Angeles, or anywhere in between is ensuring that they meet your mental health needs. Still, practical considerations can significantly affect one's ability to access and continue mental health care. Referrals serve as a trusted compass, helping guide you toward the right psychiatrist for your unique mental health journey.

Online Resources 🛜

Online psychiatrist directories have become go-to resources for those seeking to begin therapy. The internet offers a wealth of information and there are many platforms that simplify the search process, such as Psychology Today, Healthgrades, and Zocdoc. These sites allow users to filter search results based on location, specialty, insurance, and patient reviews. Finding great psychiatrists who meet your exact mental health needs and preferences has never been easier. 

Just as invaluable as directories are educational and informational sites dedicated to mental health awareness. Helpful websites that we recommend to patients and their families include: 

Additionally, many mental health professionals and clinics now maintain online profiles and websites, offering detailed information about their practice, treatment approaches, and areas of expertise. As a supplement to referrals, you can research and learn more about any potential psychiatrist before making your decision.

Once again, don't hesitate to utilize online databases and directories, such as Psychology Today's online directory. These resources can provide you with pertinent information about a psychiatrist's education, treatment specialties, and telehealth availability.

Reviews and Testimonials 🗣️

Look for reviews or testimonials online from previous patients. Keep in mind that experiences can be subjective, but a pattern of positive or negative feedback can give you some idea of what to expect.

While keeping in mind that testimonials can’t tell the whole story, reading reviews and testimonials can give you a glimpse into whether a psychiatrist has a track record of success in treating conditions similar to your own. Positive testimonials often highlight qualities such as empathy, listening ability, and communication skills. Conversely, negative reviews can serve as warning signs, alerting you to potential issues such as long wait times, poor bedside manner, or ineffective treatment approaches. 

Of course what might be a deal-breaker for some may be a non-issue for others. Additionally, both positive and negative reviews may be misleading. Long wait times might not fit into your hectic schedule, but they may also indicate a physician who takes extra time and care with their patients. Quick resolutions to mental health disorders may sound great on Yelp, but could be indicative of a psychiatrist treating less severe cases. Reviews and testimonials should be considered as a supplement to your search process, rather than the deciding factor. 

Still, reviews and testimonials can be very valuable as you search for the best psychiatrist for you. Many reviews can offer a sense of reassurance and comfort during what can be a challenging and vulnerable process. Knowing that others have had positive experiences with a particular psychiatrist can reduce anxiety and apprehension about seeking mental health help. Hearing from those that have already consulted with the psychiatrist can motivate you to take the next step towards scheduling an initial consultation.

Overall, reviews and testimonials can serve as a valuable resource in the search for a psychiatrist, providing a wealth of information that can guide you toward making the right choice for your mental health journey.

Training, Specialties, and Expertise 🏅

It's important to ascertain if the psychiatrist is a psychiatric physician (a medical doctor with an M.D.) and has experience with your specific concerns or mental health conditions. If you have a specific issue, it can be beneficial to find a highly-trained psychiatrist and psychotherapist who specializes in that area.

While diagnoses can be uniform across psychiatry, no two mental health concerns are exactly the same. For example, those suffering from Complex PTSD may have developed the disorder due to years of narcissistic parental abuse or from later relationship trauma. The root cause of the disorder does not diminish anyone’s need for treatment, but it does require specialists who can tailor therapeutic care to identify, hone in on, and help heal the reason for the trauma.

When searching for care, many health professionals/therapists can refer you to a psychiatrist trained in handling your specific issues. Psychiatric specialties include: 

  1. Addiction Psychiatry: specializes in treating substance abuse, compulsive habits, cycles of addiction, and focuses on everything from alcohol to eating disorders
  2. Geriatric Psychiatry: assists patients 65 years and older with mental health or cognitive disorders such as dementia, chronic depression, and anxiety
  3. Neuropsychiatry: specializes in mental health or cognitive disorders arising from brain development and physical trauma, ranging from autism and ADHD to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) 
  4. Occupational Psychiatry: deals with workplace or organizational mental health, identifying stressors within specific occupations, especially in high-stress work environments
  5. Psychodynamic Therapy: focuses on the unconscious and how it manifests in current behavior and actions, seeking to equip the patient with inner resources for healing past issues and handling current and future ones

At our office, we offer various forms of holistic psychotherapy: 
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Solution-focused therapy 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Inner Child Work
  • Journal Therapy and Art Therapy

Consultations ☎️

Many psychiatrists offer an initial consultation, either free or for a nominal fee. This can be a valuable opportunity to discuss your concerns, ask questions, and get a feel for whether the psychiatrist is a good fit for your needs.

These consultations offer an entry point into psychiatric care, particularly for those who may be hesitant about committing to a psychiatrist or mental health regimen. Consultations help open the door by:

  1. Providing an opportunity for you to discuss your concerns with a mental health professional without committing extensive time or money. 
  2. Enabling you to explore whether professional psychiatric treatment is the right next step for you. 
  3. Allowing you to get a feel for the psychiatrist and their approach to treatment in order to determine if they are the best fit for your mental health needs.

Still deciding if mental health treatment is right for you? You aren’t alone. Nearly 50% of adults experiencing some form of mental health disorder are hesitant to seek treatment. Many people struggle with uncertainty around psychiatry, unsure if they require the expertise of a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Consultations can be a vital step in not only determining if a psychiatrist is the best fit for your needs, but if psychiatric care is the right option for you. 

Additionally, consultations often come with valuable insights, similar to referrals. Even if you ultimately decide not to pursue ongoing treatment with a specific psychiatrist, you can still obtain guidance or referrals to other mental health resources that can put you on the right track to finding the best psychiatrist for you. These consultations can serve as educational opportunities, empowering you to better understand your mental health condition and make informed choices.

Lastly, free psychiatric consultations play a critical role in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. Through free access to mental health resources, more individuals can discover that seeking help for mental health concerns is not only acceptable but encouraged. Improving our mental health should be viewed less as a medical endeavour and more as a social norm. After all, we’re all just trying to live our best lives. 

Best Psychiatrist Near Me

Location and Availability 🌎

Location and availability may seem like secondary considerations, but they can make or break your decision to see a particular psychiatrist. Your life is busy enough and adding a lengthy commute or out-of-the-way destination to your schedule can influence whether you stick with treatment.

Consider both the psychiatrist's location and their hours of operation. Finding a psychiatrist who is conveniently located (or offers online appointments) and has appointment times that work with your schedule, makes it so much easier to stick to regular sessions.

Mental health issues often require consistent and ongoing care and if the psychiatrist's office is too far away, you may be less likely to follow through with your treatment plan. This can result in missed appointments, delayed progress, and added stress. On the other hand, a conveniently located psychiatrist's office (or telepsychiatry) makes it easier to prioritize and integrate mental health into your daily life, increasing the likelihood of sticking to your treatment plan and ultimately achieving better outcomes.

Availability is equally important because mental health crises and urgent concerns can arise unexpectedly. A good psychiatrist should have reasonable appointment availability. (At The Happiness Psychiatrist®, we strive to schedule all new patients within 1-2 weeks). In a consultation, determine the psychiatrist’s ability to flexibly schedule appointments when needed. Prompt access to care during times of stress can be a lifesaver, providing support and intervention when needed. Additionally, flexible appointment hours, including on evenings or weekends, can accommodate your busy work or family life.

Just as everyone’s mental health needs are different, every psychiatrist’s treatment style, methods, and accommodations will differ. Going the extra mile (pun slightly intended) to determine how a psychiatrist’s location and availability will fit within and around your schedule is a key facet in finding the best psychiatrist for you.

Trust Your Intuition! 🦋

After gathering all the necessary information, trust your intuition and choose a psychiatrist with whom you feel comfortable, respected, and cared for. Even if you’ve completed steps one through six, double- and triple-checked your referral sources, and mapped out a route to and from the psychiatrist’s office, if something feels off, it’s best to go with your intuition. 

On the other hand, if you’ve only completed a few steps of this guide but had an exceptional consultation and are ready to commit, go for it! Often, the best guide to locating the best psychiatrist for you is you

Remember: finding the right psychiatrist or psychotherapist may take some time and effort, but investing in your mental health is always worth it in the long run!

You Deserve To Feel Happier

Ready to begin your own therapeutic journey towards personal growth and self-realization? Contact The Happiness Psychiatrist® today and discover how award-winning concierge psychiatrist Dr. Sheenie Ambardar can help put you on the path to your best, happiest self. 

Want to learn more about integrative concierge psychiatry? Read these pieces next from The Happiness Psychiatrist® blog:

  1. What to Expect from a Concierge Psychiatrist: A Guide to Personalized Mental Health Care
  2. The Advantages of Seeing an Online Psychiatrist
  3. What is Psychodynamic Therapy?
  4. Carl Jung’s Contribution to Psychology: Jung and Hinduism