User:Mjmannmsw/Clinical social work

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In the United States, Clinical Social Work is a specialty within the practice of master's level social work that requires the application of advanced social work theory, knowledge, methods, and ethics; the purpose is typically to restore or enhance the bio-psychosocial functioning of individuals, couples, families, or groups. Clinical social work practice involves using specialized clinical knowledge and skills to assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders and addictions, in adults, adolescents and children. Treatment methods may include, but are not limited to, providing individual, marital, couple, family, and group psychotherapy. Clinical social workers are qualified and authorized to use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), or the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) to diagnose psychiatric disorders. They are also authorized to use Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes to bill clients and/or insurance companies for their services.[1] In most states, the practice of Clinical Social Work is requires a license regulated by state licensing boards, or a certification by national certifying boards.

While other mental health disciplines may also diagnose mental disorders and provide psychotherapy, the philosophy of the social work discipline sets it apart from other professions. Social workers understand their clients from a person-in-environment perspective; they understand that not only can the family, community or society in which a client lives have an impact on the individual person, but social workers also recognize the impact an individual person can have on their environment. They bring an awareness of the impact of stigma, sexism, racism, poverty, culture, and discrimination on an individual or community, to their work with individual clients. They help their clients navigate complicated service delivery systems, and believe that people should have the freedom to make their own choices (and be accountable for their consequences). [2]


  1. ^ Texas Administrative Code RULE §781.102
  2. ^ [Hepworth, D. H., Rooney, R. H., Rooney, G.D., Strom-Gottfried, K. & Larsen, J. H. (2006). Direct social work practice: Theory and skills, 7th ed. CA: Brooks Cole ISBN 0-534-64458-9]

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