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7 Tips on What to Expect at Your First Psychiatrist Appointment

You’ve made your first appointment with a psychiatrist.

That’s a big step in the recovery process, no matter what the issue. But what can you expect at your first psychiatrist appointment? Do psychiatrists prescribe first visit? What is the cost of a psychiatrist appointment?

There are many questions that come into play and many can actually cause anxiety.

Fear not! In this post, we’ll look at the most common questions and tips for your first psychiatrist appointment & what to expect.

So here are the . . . 

7 Tips on What to Expect at Your First Psychiatrist Appointment

1. MAKE A LIST (and check it twice)

Take the time before your appointment and create a list of what you’re feeling, what triggers you and what the root causes are (if you can pinpoint them).

2. BE 100% HONEST

It will delay your recovery process if you can’t be 100% honest with your therapist. As hard as it may be to admit painful truths, painting a complete picture for your psychiatrist is crucial in letting them know how to best help you.


4. In your first psychiatrist appointment, don’t expect miracles.  After all, they need to get to know you and your issues before they can even begin to think of a proper course of treatment.

4. RESEARCH IF YOU MUST (but don’t label yourself)

Your doctor will clinically diagnose you and determine the condition or issues that are challenging you.

While it is good to be informed and great to research what you are feeling, don’t label yourself before meeting with your doctor.


There can sometimes be shame or guilt associated with conditions and mental illness.

But just by acknowledging that you need help and seeking it out, you are showing incredible strength. Just like someone with an injured back feels no shame in seeking back treatment, you should feel no shame in seeking treatment for what ails you.


One important thing about developing a relationship with a psychiatrist is ensuring they are listening to you.

As a patient, you need to need to feel heard and understood. It’s also vital that you clearly express yourself so your psychiatrist understands the situation. Your doctor is there to offer diagnoses and possibly prescribe medicine. The best way for them to do that is by really listening to you.


Remember that unlike therapists, psychiatrists are doctors and can prescribe medication.

They may also employ psychotherapy techniques in conjunction with medication, but ultimately you can and should expect them to prescribe medication. While this can (and does) happen in some cases at your first visit, it’s probably more likely to happen 2 or more visits in once they have a crystal clear understanding of your situation and challenges.

How to Find a Psychiatrist Without Tanking Your Budget

Psychiatrists treat mental and medical illnesses. As such the costs can vary and just like other doctors you will want to see if they are in-network and covered by your insurance.

It’s also important to understand the difference between psychiatrists and psychologists.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors with the ability to prescribe medications and schedule medical procedures. Psychologists, however, offer therapy and support but do not have the ability to prescribe medication. If your condition requires medical treatment they will have to refer you to a specialist. While both deal with mental disorders, the differences between the 2 can be confusing.

As a general rule, the costs a psychiatrist are higher than from a psychotherapist.

You can expect to pay up to $500 for the initial visit, and at least $100 per hour for ongoing treatment. While these are common prices in the industry, also remember that psychiatrists can charge whatever the going rate is in your city, so you may want to check with several providers and your insurance company first before making an appointment.

Did we cover everything you wanted to know about your first psychiatrist appointment & what to expect?

In this post, we took a look at what to expect from your first psychiatrist appointment.

We looked at the most common questions, concerns as well as the costs. Then we also answered the question do psychiatrists prescribe first visit?

If you can’t find a good psychiatrist near you or prefer the convenience of the online world, check out all the Reasons to Use an Online Psychiatrist!

Any tips, suggestions or questions about your first psychiatrist appointment what to expect?

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Middle Class Dad Jeff Campbell bio first psychiatrist appointment what to expect

I am not a doctor, a psychiatrist or a mental health professional. This post, like all my posts, is based on my research, opinions, and observations. If you need medical or professional advice you should seek out a qualified professional in your area.


Jeff Campbell