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About Providers

Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania has many providers in our network. All of the providers have a certain level of education and training. As an organization, Magellan does not reward practitioners or other individuals for issuing denials of coverage or services. Also, there are no financial incentives for decision makers to encourage decisions that result in underutilization.

All of the providers follow general guidelines for treating individuals and families, and their decision making is based only on appropriateness of care and service, and the existence of coverage. They also follow guidelines developed by Magellan that apply to their level of expertise. Some of our providers have training in more than one of these areas. The following is a listing of different types of behavioral health providers:

Licensed Social Worker

A Licensed Social Worker has a master's or doctoral degree in social work (M.S.W., M.S., M.S.S.W., M.A. or A.M. in social work) from an accredited education program, and has taken their state’s licensing exam.

A Clinical Social Worker has an advanced certification. L.C.S.W. (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) after a person's name means that the person is licensed by the state where they offer services.

Clinical social workers may have advanced credentials. The Board Certified Diplomat (B.C.D) or the Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (D.C.S.W.) are the two nationally recognized advance credentials in Clinical Social Work.

Licensed social workers are highly trained therapists who assess, diagnose, and treat mental and emotional conditions and addictions. Treatment methods include individual, marital, couple, family and group counseling and psychotherapy.

Social workers are educated and trained to consider the situation in which their clients live and work. They also pay attention to the ways in which cultural influences affect individuals and families.

A social worker cannot prescribe medicines or admit people to a hospital.

Licensed Professional Counselor (L.P.C.)

A professional counselor has a master's, doctoral, or post-doctoral degree in psychology or counseling.

The letters L.P.C. (Licensed Professional Counselor), L.C.P.C (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor), or L.M.H.C. (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) indicate that a person is licensed to provide professional counseling by the state.

Professional counselors are trained to provide mental health counseling to individuals, couples, families, and children, including diagnosis, testing, and assessment; psychotherapy; group counseling; and lifestyle and career counseling.

Professional counselors consider the situation in which their clients live and work, and view clients through a wellness model.

A professional counselor can not prescribe medicines or admit a person to a hospital.

Marriage and Family Therapy (L.M.F.T)

Marriage and family therapists have graduate training (master's, doctoral, or post-doctoral) in marriage and family therapy with additional clinical experience.

The letters M.F.T. (Marriage and Family Therapist), L.M.F.T. (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), L.C.M.F.T. (Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist), or L.I.M.F.T. (Licensed Independent Marriage and Family Therapist) after a name indicate that the person is licensed to provide marriage and family therapy by the state.

Marriage and family therapists are trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and treat a wide range of problems, including depression, marital problems, anxiety, individual psychological problems, and child-parent problems.

Marriage and family therapists attend to the nature and role of individuals in primary relationship networks, such as marriage and the family, and are concerned with the long-term well-being of individuals and their families.

Marriage and family therapists cannot prescribe medicines or admit people to a hospital.


A psychiatrist is a medical doctor or physician who has completed medical school and a multi-year residency in psychiatry (treatment of mental illness).

Psychiatrists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. As physicians, they are also experts in the use of medications to treat mental disorders as well as treating these conditions with an understanding of the interplay with other medical disorders. As medical experts they also understand how different medications affect each other.

They are able to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological disturbances.

A psychiatrist uses many forms of therapy to help patients change behaviors or thought patterns, explore the effects of past relationships and experiences on present behaviors to treat troubled relationships. Since psychiatrists are medical doctors, they are able to determine the need for medical tests and medication to help adjust imbalances in body chemistry that may be part of the mental illness.

There are several sub-specialties, such as child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry.

A psychiatrist's medical training allows greater ability to talk with other medical specialists.


A psychologist is an individual who has completed a doctoral level degree (about five years of graduate school resulting in the Ph.D. or Psy.D. degrees)

Psychologists will have a doctoral degree from an academic or professional college and generally can not prescribe medication.

The term psychologist is legally protected and only licensed individuals can use the term. Psychology is a very diverse discipline; some psychologists are scientist-researchers, some are therapists and some become administrators. Those that specialize in therapy are called clinical psychologists.

Psychologists are extensively trained therapists. They have received training in the diagnosis treatment and research of human behavior. They are also skilled in testing and other problems in mental functioning.


This is a doctoral level degree generally requiring extended graduate level university training (4-6 years after completing regular college B.A./B.S. programs).

Clinical psychologists will often have this degree, although the Ph.D. can be issued in many different fields and is not limited to psychology (e.g., a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, an Ed.D. in Education).

Ph.D. means, "Doctor of Philosophy."


This is a doctoral level degree generally requiring extended graduate level university training (3-4 years after completing regular college B.A./B.S. programs).

Psy.D. means "Doctor of Psychology." Some clinical psychologists have this degree.