It should come as no surprise that one of the degree requirements for the bachelors in Social Work at Limestone College is a course in Psychology. After all, understanding the sociocultural determinants of behavior, personality development and psychopathology— the scientific study of mental disorders — proves valuable in any career where you help other individuals.
Here’s a quick look at the similarities and differences between the roles of a clinical social worker and a clinical psychologist.
Clinical Social Worker vs. Clinical Psychologist
The study of psychology is especially important for clinical social workers as they diagnose and treat mental, behavioral or emotional health issues. Clinical social workers consider biological, psychological and social factors in diagnosing and treating patients, thus adopting what is known as the “person-in-environment” perspective.
Similarly, clinical psychologist may also diagnose and treat mental health patients. However, unlike clinical social workers, their approach focuses on research and scientific methods. For example, clinical psychologists are trained to administer personality and intelligence tests and their training generally includes doctoral study.
Both clinical social workers and clinical psychologists can work as counselors to help individuals develop coping strategies for a variety of concerns.
Clinical Social Worker Training
Students interested in becoming a clinical social worker or obtaining the Independent Social Worker – Clinical Practice (LISP-CP) license in South Carolina, must have a master’s in social work from a CSWE-accredited program. Other licensure requirements include passing the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) master’s level exam, and completing three thousand hours of social work practice under clinical/advanced supervision.
Career Outlook for Clinical Social Workers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a clinical social worker is $50,820. The states with the highest employment of clinical social workers are California, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts. Overall, the job growth of social workers is expected to grow 19 percent over the next 10 years.