What is a Clinical Social Worker?
Clinical Social Work is a specialization within the social work profession that prepares its practitioners to provide psychotherapy and counseling. It is a unique discipline, not a variant of any other field. Clinical Social Workers provide the majority of psychotherapy/counseling/mental health services in the United States.
The knowledge base of Clinical Social Work is broad and integrative. It includes theories of psychological and social development, interpersonal relationships, and family and group dynamics; an understanding of the role diversity (i.e. race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, spirituality, age, and disability) plays in one’s personhood, and an appreciation of the ways people are impacted by their social and cultural environment. In addition, Clinical Social Workers possess knowledge about emotional/psychological/relational difficulties, addictions, the impact trauma, illness or injury; and various models/theories of intervention.
What is an LCSW?
LCSW stands for Licensed Clinical Social Worker, one of the professional disciplines that can provide psychotherapy and counseling.
In order to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in California one must:
- Possess a Masters or Doctorate degree from an accredited graduate school for social work
- Have worked at least 3,200 hours (after completing graduate school) as a social worker under the direct supervision of another qualified, licensed mental health professional
- Pass two state licensure exams