Monthly Archives: August 2015

Who Ya Gonna Call? Part Two

Who Ya Gonna Call? Part Two

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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.

Social Workers:

  • 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.

Thank you,

Karen Stabley, Art Therapy (ATR)

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Who You Gonna Call?

Who You Gonna Call? Part 1


When I receive phone calls from strangers or potential clients asking if I can fill a medical prescription, it only confirms my suspicions –  the general public is quite confused by the world of mental health practitioners. The capital letters following a professional’s name can also add to this state of confusion and frustration. Navigating the system isn’t always easy due to the different branches and subdivisions of services available, but here’s the good news: It’s not as confusing at it all sounds.

In Part 1 of “Who You Gonna Call?” I will list a few of the most popular services in the industry, and in Part 2, I will address the variety of professionals and explain where they can be found within the mental health system.

There are several types of treatments available, a few include:

  • Behavioral Health Treatment
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)

People are sometimes overwhelmed by all the options and usually aren’t sure where to turn for help. To make it easier, I’ve created a simple list explaining the variety of local and national services available. This is just a general overview, and you should always consult your regular doctor before seeking additional services and before taking any medications.

Let’s examine the variety of treatment settings.

Crisis Intervention: Normally exists within an emergency room setting. In some communities it is free standing, or mobile.

Inpatient Treatment: Provides a safe therapeutic setting for those that could be a harm to themselves or to others. Usually within a hospital, initially for 72 hours during a period of crisis. If a patient needs long-term treatment, there are also a variety of 28 day facilities available. They include treatment for substance abuse, eating disorders and trauma.

Long-Term Residential Treatment: For individuals who have severe difficulty functioning at home or in the community. Individuals with severe mental health issues or cognitive disabilities are served in these settings. Usually owned by a larger organization. In the substance abuse realm these are privately owned as well.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP): Usually seen as a follow-up to inpatient treatment. This setting provides daily (usually about 10 to 12 hours per week) of group and individual therapy while the patient lives at home and functions within the community. These settings vary in terms of what disorder is treated. Some specialize is substance abuse, eating disorders and trauma, while others treat more general issues. These settings help provide coping skills, and help patients function within the community.

Outpatient Clinics: These offices are usually within a larger clinical setting. The clinicians  see a large number of clients per day. Often a psychiatrist oversees the medications of the clients. Owned by larger hospitals or businesses. Usually accept all insurances.

Private Practices: These are smaller clinical settings, usually privately owned. Operate with a smaller caseload per clinician, and often accept only a limited number of insurances. Smaller practices usually specialize in specific treatment options or diagnoses.

In Part 2 of my next blog, I will discuss the differences between the various professionals who are employed within these settings.

Here are some local numbers to call if you need immediate help or assistance:

To contact crisis intervention, please call (800) 673-2496 or (717)-851-5320.

Crisis centers are located in WellSpan York Hospital’s Emergency Department and 

WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital’s Emergency Department.

Both facilities are open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

Crisis Walk-in Services:

Edgar Square Walk in Crisis Unit                                                                                                                1101 S. Edgar St., Suite C, York, Pa.

Hours of Operation: Monday thru Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.     No appointments are necessary.

Mobile Crisis Unit:

True North Wellness                                                                                                                                              Call: 1-800-315-0951                                                                                                                                          Seven offices located across South Central PA (click link below for address and directions) Open: 24 hours, 365 days per year

The following list include a sample of Inpatient treatment, long-term residential and Intensive outpatient – all require a referral from a Mental Health Professional, a therapist or a psychiatrist.

Outpatient Treatment Options:

Wellspan Behavioral Health: (717)-851-6340

PA Counseling Services: 855-272-1653

Rost and Associates, Family Counselors                                                                                                       807 S George St #1, York, PA 17403  Phone: (717)-843-6561

Please remember, I am always a call or click away!

Karen Stabley, ATR BC Registered Art Therapist

262 E. Market St                                                                                                                                                       York, PA 17403                                                                                                                                                                               (717)- 852-9037

To Learn More About My Art Therapy Practice, Please Visit My Website

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Thank you!

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