Who Ya Gonna Call? Part Two
In Part One, I discussed the various facilities that operate within the mental health system. In Part Two, I have outlined the professionals found within these settings, listing their minimum degree requirements and including a brief description of their roles.
I hope you find this blog post helpful. If you need further clarification, please click on my contact info below.
Psychiatrists: Trained and educated as a Medical Doctor (MD).
A psychiatrist can diagnose mental illnesses and prescribe medications. These experts are found in a variety of settings, but very few exist in private practices. They provide ongoing therapy.
Psychologists: PhD, PsyD. Doctoral. Psychologists can provide diagnostic and educational testing, as well as ongoing therapy. They can be found in a variety of settings including schools and private practices.
- LCSW Licensed Clinical Social Worker: Masters degree plus further graduate clinical training. Social workers provide therapy to individuals and families. They are employed in both large hospital settings as well as outpatient clinics and private practices.
- LSW: Licensed Social Worker: Masters. Assists families and individuals navigate the mental health and medical system.
Found in larger hospitals and mental health clinics. Licensed Social Workers are also employed in educational settings.
- LPC: Licensed Professional Counselor. Masters. Can be employed in a variety of mental health settings. This is an umbrella license in the state of PA operating as Social Workers, Art Therapists and Marriage and Family Therapists.
Art, Play, Music, Dance Therapy. Masters. These are called the expressive therapies. They function within a larger setting or in a private practice. (My specialty is ATR: Art Therapy Registered)
Behavioral Specialists: Bachelor’s in Human Services. Work within the home of the client. Is hired by a large agency.
Mental Health Caseworkers: Bachelor’s degree. They usually function within a larger setting. Mental Health Caseworkers work with connecting the client to social services and basic needs.
Psychiatric Aide/Mental Health Tech: Bachelor’s degree. Seen within inpatient psychiatric settings. They have the most contact with their clients since they help with day-to-day issues.
Substance Abuse Counselors: Certified Addictions Counselor or
CAC: Masters. Specialized training in substance abuse issues. Employed within inpatient settings to deal with substance abuse.
Marriage and Family Counselors, MFT: Masters. Trained to work with couples and families. Seen in private practices and inpatient settings.
Guidance Counselors: Masters. School Counselors employed within the school system to help children and adolescents navigate the educational and emotional landscape of school.
Therapeutic Staff Support, TSS: Bachelor’s. Work within the classroom and are usually assigned to an individual student to monitor and support behavior. Hired by a larger mental health agency. Free for parents and available in many public schools.
This is a brief outline of the professional therapists available in most areas. I hope to have offered some insight into the often intimidating and confusing world of mental health. It may seem daunting at first, but there is help available. Often the scariest moment is the first step – Reaching out.
Please feel free to call my office or send me an email if you have any questions or concerns. I’m always here to help.
Karen Stabley, Art Therapy (ATR)
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