Electroencephalography (EEG) is a non-invasive investigation that can aid the diagnosis of psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders. A good predictor of an abnormal EEG recording is the presence of an organic factor identified during the clinical assessment. The non-invasiveness and low cost of the procedure and its ability to measure spontaneous brain activity appear to attract clinicians to utilise this investigative tool. However, studies have reported that EEGs arising from psychiatric referrals have the lowest abnormality detection rate. The focus of this article is to improve this by highlighting the current pitfalls and providing recommendations for appropriate utilisation of EEG. We describe specific EEG changes associated with major psychiatric disorders. We conclude by offering pragmatic considerations when referring a patient for EEG, emphasising the fact that the information provided to the neurophysiologist plays a crucial role in interpreting the EEG recording in a diagnostically meaningful way.