Pennsylvania Counseling Services Employee Reviews

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It's meh at best...
MT/BSC (Former Employee) –  PennsylvaniaDecember 24, 2016
When I was hired on as a MT/BSC I was told that they couldn't start me until two months later. Should have ran then. But I was desperate to get into my field.

After four interviews and two months of waiting.. I finally started. The training is not really that adequate and there's no examples. They lecture you, show you only some paperwork and throw you into the field.

Specific offices will vary in culture, the one I was at was alright. The admin was wonderful. She really cared and tried to help everyone to the best of her abilities. Others in the have office didn't want me hired though because I would take incoming clients from them. They voiced their opinions and word got back to me. That made it a very awkward work environment. Also, the lack of a caseload was a pretty big deal since you are FFS..

Being FFS means that you only get paid a minimal base salary and then you have to work billable hours to make up the rest of your wages. Sounds doable, right? Well, only if they give you clients. I was there two months with only four clients. That means I was only getting, AT BEST, 12 billable hours a week. 28 of those hours I was being paid a measly 8 dollars an hour. There were TSS staff that had bigger paychecks than me, at a masters level employee. That's not right! The turnover for TSS is unbelievable because they are expected to do so much and get so little in return. It's prodominantly females in the work place so that can be a turn off due to cattiness or gossiping.

If you are just out of college and need experience before you can land a better job, this may
  more... be okay. If you are trying to live on your own and start a career, run.


Breakdown of pay..
Base salary: 16,664 ($320/week or $8 an hour)
FFS: $14 for every billable hour
PTO: $11
"Bonus": $10 for every hour over 25 billable hours
  less
Pros
The job can give you experience, paid health benefits, and you can create your own schedule
Cons
Lack of clients, turnover, payscale, attitudes, training or lack of
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Great place to work!
Multi Systemic Therapist (Former Employee) –  Harrisburg, PADecember 9, 2016
This was a great place to work. The environment was great, they really believe in their mission! I would recommend this organization to anyone who is passionate about counseling others.
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Support Staff
Therapeutic Support Staff (Former Employee) –  Lancaster, PAJune 17, 2016
I agree with the statement "What began as a good job quickly disintegrated to an incredibly stressful work environment that included management that openly derides employees when they are not within earshot, to obvious overloading of employees so they could not reach management goals which resulted in employee layoff or resignation." I really enjoyed this job until they made changes in Support Staff. Admin quickly became micromanaging and started piling on work that I could barely keep up with. I was overloaded and stressed but there was no help. In the end I was fired and not given any reason other than 'it's not a good fit.' Also, during this time the Admin denied me time off for an appointment that was for mental health. Isn't that their whole schtick? Clearly they care about their employees and their overall well-being. Slow clap.
Pros
Casual attire, Casual Atmosphere, lots of work parties
Cons
Low pay, Lack of professionalism, Lack of Integrity, Do not value employees
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Great place to land after college
Therapeutic Support Staff (Current Employee) –  Carlisle, PAJanuary 6, 2016
Working at PCS has been such a joy. It's such a supportive environment between the staff. Everyone really wants the best for each other and the clients and are very helpful about tricky situations with clients. It's a great first job for someone who just graduated college and helps to get your feet wet and gain some experience working with children. This job has been everything I expected and also been very unexpected as well. Every day is different so you will definitely never be bored.
Pros
Great experience with children on spectrum
Cons
Getting paid only minimum wage for any time you aren't with children
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Supportive work environment
Family Based Mental Health Worker (Current Employee) –  Lebanon, PANovember 30, 2015
PA Counseling Services provides a friendly and supportive work environment that has allowed me to grow as a professional and individual.
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A good job to start out in after graduating with a BA in Social Work
Therapeutic Support Staff (Current Employee) –  Lancaster, PAOctober 24, 2015
There is quite a bit of traveling during the week between schools and homes of our clients. We implement interventions for behaviors, social skills, and safety skills per each child's individualized treatment plan. We transfer skills to school staff, parents, and caregivers. Written and oral communication is important for a TSS role. Data is collected to help monitor child's progress. The hardest part of the job is remaining objective. The best part of the job is the direct care with the children. I learned a lot about children who are on the spectrum.
Pros
Great health benefits which are free with 30+ hours a week of work.
Cons
Travel and paperwork is $7.25/hour.
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Productive and exciting
Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) (Current Employee) –  Lancaster, PAAugust 19, 2015
As a TSS you're always on your toes. You work with children who can have extreme behaviors and others that are very minimal. As a TSS I built very close relationships with coworkers. We're a team and support each other and always have an open line of communication with one another. The hardest part of the position of TSS is letting the job go at the end of the day. You have clients that you push you to your breaking point and to walk away everyday saying " this is work" and leave it at that is extremely difficult.
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Great place to Make a Difference with Others
Outpatient Therapist (Current Employee) –  Lebanon, PAAugust 17, 2015
My experience at PA Counseling has been overwhelmingly positive! I'm surprised by some of the negative reviews, because I have felt very cared about by administration and appreciate the payment and fee structure, which allows me to increase my income when needed. We often have lunches available, have monthly potlucks, and great interactions in staff meetings.

The population that PA Counseling works with, tends to be lower income and often time lacking in resources, this can be daunting and frustration, but overall, I think it has been very rewarding work.

It's a great team of clinicians and office staff, and it feels like people who are in charge care about our success and the success of our clients!
Pros
Free lunches, great working environment, easy to make extra money when needed
Cons
Difficult client base at times, lack of resources for needy clients
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Good
Human Resources Support Staff (Current Employee) –  Lebanon, PAMarch 27, 2015
I've been working with Pennsylvania Counseling for a little over 2 years now. It's been an experience that has definitely helped me to grow and further myself as an individual.
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I can make a difference
administrative support (Current Employee) –  Lebanon, PAMarch 2, 2015
The values of this company fit me. If you care about making a difference in this world and want to use your skills, choose a company that has the right focus. This one does. Make every day matter. I see my work as not about myself - it's about others. The paycheck and benefits are fine. My job feels secure. There are internal job postings for other positions. It's a good place to be.
Pros
not boring
Cons
fast paced sometimes
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Horrible place to work for!
Patient Registration (Former Employee) –  Lebanon, PaMarch 1, 2015
So I barely made it working there a month and a half. I was given a three day training and left to be on my own. If I asked questions about a certain topic I was unsure about I was looked down upon because I was "expected" to know everything. Funny thing is that with a job like this where the expectation and the very delicate privacy policies, you would expect more on the job training. I started as a part time employee and within 3 days was promoted to full time because they felt I was picking up on things rather quickly. When I started to ask for clarification about certain things it was taken as me being unsure about my job. You aren't allowed to speak to your coworkers while on the job. If there are no calls coming in, the only thing you are allowed to do is listen to music on your phone. They do give you side work but the majority of the time I was done with it early so had nothing to do. You get a 20 min paid break. There are cameras everywhere. I felt like I was in High School again. And even in High School, I felt like the teachers had a little more confidence in me.
Pros
Casual work attire (you could pretty much come to work in your PJ's
Cons
Felt like I was working for Fidel Castro
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It's a Treadmill
Outpatient Therapist (Former Employee) –  Lancaster, PADecember 16, 2014
This is a good place to work if you don't need to work or it's a second family income. If you're single, forget it. You won't be able to make enough money unless you want to take on two roommates or live with your parents.

Therapist contracts are Base Pay + FFS. You'll get a small base salary that changes quarterly, based on your previous quarter's productivity level. In order to make their "estimated income" for a liveable wage, you will have to see 30-35 clients per week. That means scheduling upwards of 45 clients per week (to account for cancellations/no-shows). It's exhausting and you won't have a life outside of the office.

Management is corporate, cut-throat and ultra-conservative. It's a privately-owned, for-profit organization. You'll definitely feel replaceable. Lots of focus on productivity, oversight, compliance and legal liability. (More than other organizations.) Your productivity is measured in "units", not clients, consumers or people. The general atmosphere is dehumanizing.

However, if you want to jump head first into the fire and be exposed to every conceivable type of client and diagnosis, this is the place to do it. Your clinical skills will be honed. Just don't plan on operating at that pace for long. You'll burn out. Use it as a stepping stone in your career.
Pros
You'll get a variety of clinical experiences.
Cons
The pace is unsustainable.
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good people
Family Based Mental Health Worker (Former Employee) –  carlisle paNovember 10, 2014
I did not feel supported by management.
Most of the hours are evening hours.
Pros
nice co-workers
Cons
have to drive your own vehicle, a lot.
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Enjoyed the experience
Family Based Therapist (Former Employee) –  Lancaster, PAApril 22, 2014
I enjoyed my time at this company but felt that the expected 65 hour work week was too much for my well rounded life style. I also saw that there was no room for advancement without obtaining a masters degree. I learned a lot about clinical counseling during my time but due to my life outside work I felt a 40 hour per week job would better fit my needs. Everyone I worked with was very nice and I enjoyed the population of people on my case load.
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Discover Your Greatness
Clinical Consultant (Current Employee) –  Harrisburg, PAFebruary 1, 2014
There is never a dull moment at PCS. In my current position every day is similar in process but the content of the day is varied. My supervisors are very supportive and provide an atmosphere that you are not on your own with difficult situations. Currently the hardest part of my job is continual on-call support with crisis situations. The most enjoyable part of my job is to help the therapists help the families they work with and see progress happen in very stressful and difficult situations.
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Exhausting but, rewarding job
Therapeutic Staff Support (Former Employee) –  Lebanon, PAOctober 22, 2013
The kids were great to work with but, the schedule was crazy without much room for flexibility or advancement
Pros
Wasn't sitting behind a desk all day
Cons
very little advancement potential
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For a counseling service, very little regard for employees.
Staff Support (Former Employee) –  Lebanon, PAOctober 19, 2013
What began as a very good job quickly disintegrated to an incredibly stressful work environment that included management that openly derides employees when they are not within earshot, to obvious overloading of some employees so they could not reach management goals which resulted in employee layoff or resignation. Employees are encouraged to have no one-on-one contact while "on the clock". This was the most stressful job I have ever had. I eventually left on doctor's orders, due to stress related issues that never existed before taking this job.
Pros
Flexible hours
Cons
Very little regard for employees. Numbers driven.
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would not reccommend unless you are desperate
Psychiatric Support Secretary (Former Employee) –  Gettysburg, PAMay 23, 2013
Therapist are friendly and easy to work with and do act as a team.

Administrator is insecure and unsure of herself. She is non supportive and only covers her own butt -- meaning she will throw you under the buss to save herself. She will not go to bat for you at all. The environment is not a team as they promote -- but rather everyman for himself. the administrator is the issue in this situation and sets the tone.

there is a small training period -- training is minimal at best. after that when you make a mistake .....there is 0 tolerance and you get wrote up. Administrator just got that job ---so she is learning herself and overwhelmed. during training - she doesn't tell you items that you need to know ( and then acts as if she did) (or doesn't share info as a result of her power trip-)

I have gone to college (on deans list) - so I am educated ---this is not supported in anyway by the administrator -- rather taken as a threat to her and her unsecurity.

the company is super ridiculous about everything --they make rules up as they go along and then constantly change things. an example would be if you get sick at work --its OFF THE CLOCK -- on your own time -- not theirs. you do not get a lunch break ...except a 20 minute paid break. I had gotten an emergency call from my sons school and was told that call would be my lunch. No tolerance for having any kind of personal life.

there is a constant turn over in employees due to the strict rules and un-cohesive environment. They have an extreme mis-trust of employees. Cameras
  more... everywhere (3 in a small office alone) -- every move you make is watched and critiqued.

They are looking for perfection and believe everyone is replaceable. For a 10 dollar an hour they are unreasonable with their expectations -- which explains the constant turn over in employees.

overall this rates as one of the WORST jobs I have ever had. I do not recommend to anyone unless you are in desperate need.

  less
Pros
casual work attire (jeans)
Cons
low wages --your lunch is a 20 min paid break -lack of trust in employees - no support by management
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learned what I don not think works.
Therapist (Former Employee) –  Lebanon, PAJanuary 26, 2013
PCS was an counseling service that began to meet the needs of people. The insurance constraint made doing the work more about paper then people. It was draining to think that advancement was doing more...getting more volume, not creating strong community in which people heal and thrive. However...I love people and get juiced to see movement and people become alive from the inside out.
Just do not think the traditional 45 minutes in the seat creates enough heat for the changes to happen.
Pros
skill development
Cons
system broken
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Great place to work!
Multisystemic Therapist (MST) (Current Employee) –  Harrisburg, PAJanuary 18, 2013
A typical day at work is working with families, schools, and the community to help change the behavior of a troubled youth. Management and co-workers make it a comfortable and rewarding place to work. My job offers flexible hours which I enjoy. I have learned about different cultures and backgrounds of individuals and families. The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing positive change in people. The hardest part is getting them to try to do things differently.
Pros
helping families
Cons
length of time we have to work with a family is limited
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3.5
Based on 23 reviews
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