Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? You might find the answer below. We’ve compiled the answers to some of our patients’ most common questions.

PCSD is here to help you through our highly trained professionals


Are Saturday appointments available?

Yes, various offices throughout the county have Saturday appointments available.

When is your first appointment available?

Actual emergencies can be accommodated the same day.  For non-emergency care, it is usually possible to obtain an appointment within 10 days.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, and nurse practitioner?

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.   All psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation and in psychopharmacological treatment.  As part of their evaluation of the patient, psychiatrists are one of only a few mental health professionals who may conduct physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests and EEG’s, and may order brain imaging scans such as CT or CAT, MRI, and PET scanning.  Clinical psychologists who focus on treating mental health, specialize in evaluating patients and providing psychotherapy, and may be trained to administer and interpret psychological testing.  They do not prescribe medication in the state of California.   Therapists (LCSW/MFT) provide psycho-therapeutic  and counseling services of a non-medical nature to individuals, families, and groups.  Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners provide a full range of primary mental health care services including assessment and diagnosis of patients with mental illness.  Treatment modalities include both medication and psycho-therapeutic management.

What experience do our clinicians have?

Each clinician is licensed by the State of California to provide treatment to you in their specialty.  For specific information on the educational background and experience of each clinician, visit our directory.

Is a self payment option available?

Please call PCSD’s Billing Department at 619-528-4600 to discuss potential options.