What does a psychiatrist do?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in mental health. Alongside their medical training, a psychiatrist has also had specialist training to help people who are struggling with psychological issues. This means that – unlike psychologists – they’re able to prescribe medication which some people may need as part of their treatment package.

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Why see a psychiatrist?

If you’re currently on medication, have been on medication in the past or we believe you could benefit from it, we may recommend that you have an initial consultation with one of the psychiatrists at the clinic.


There are a range of medications that can be prescribed to help people with mental health difficulties. The types of issues which can sometimes be helped by medication include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, psychotic disorders including schizophrenia, ADHD and personality disorders.


Just like physical health problems, medication for mental health difficulties needs to be prescribed by a doctor. Following your initial assessment, your psychiatrist will be able to provide these prescriptions or, if you prefer, we can arrange for you to receive them via your GP.

First psychiatrist appointment - what to expect

In your initial consultation, your psychiatrist will aim to get an understanding of the difficulties you’re facing, when they came about and how they’re impacting you today. They will also ask you about any physical health issues you have experienced in the past.


From here, your psychiatrist will draw up a tailor made treatment plan for you which is likely to include a combination of medication (delivered by your psychiatrist) and therapy (delivered by your psychologist). With your approval, they’ll also be in touch with your GP to ensure that both your physical and mental health treatment are aligned.

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Follow up psychiatrist sessions

When you start on psychiatric medication, it’s important to have a follow-up appointment so your psychiatrist can check-in with how you’re feeling and see if you’re experiencing any side-effects.

Very often there will be a period of monitoring and dose adjustment as many of these medications take a while to reach their full effect.

We’re all unique which means we all have different responses to different medications. If you find that a particular medication doesn’t suit you, there are usually a number of alternatives which we will help you consider so that you find the one which works for you.

Frequently asked questions

Ultimately, it comes down to whether you’re likely to need medication or not. If you need medication, then it’s important that you first meet with a psychiatrist. We will usually recommend talking therapy alongside your medication so you may also have sessions with a psychologist alongside seeing your psychiatrist.

Successful treatment will mean that you don’t suffer the symptoms anymore and that you no longer need to take the medication. This is always our goal with everybody that we assess and treat.

If you have received a diagnosis that doesn’t feel right to you, it is always possible to get a second opinion. Our consultant psychiatrists are experts – both when it comes to diagnosis and also prescribing medication. They will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have around your current treatment plan or diagnosis.

Yes, absolutely. There are many instances where we might work with a clinician outside of the clinic. Our team of psychiatrists will work alongside your existing psychiatrist or psychologists to ensure that your treatment plan is aligned and cohesive.

Yes, absolutely. The first step will involve having a full psychiatric consultation where you will be able to discuss your history and current medication. If you want to change or decrease your medication, your psychiatrist will discuss the different options and create a plan for you.

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced consultant psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.

Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.

Dr Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.

She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.