Licensed Clinical Social Worker?
Social workers have diverse training in human services. During graduate school, this training can be generic or specialized. Some schools offer the opportunities in concentration in areas of Mental Health, Child and Families, Health, and Community to name a few. A major focus of social workers is to view the persons or group within a context of a complex social and physical environment. This perspective may provide the clinical social worker with a wide range of possible interventions with this, "psychosocial" matrix.
In California, License for Clinical Social Workers is a recognition of training and demonstrated competence through written and oral examinations. Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Licensed Marriage and Family Child Counselors are able to provide psychotherapy for children, adults, individuals, and groups. In searching for a therapist, it is advisable to ask about their training and style of dealing with your particular situation. Since styles and theoretical orientations can vary widely, it is good to learn more to determine if that provider is one who can work effectively with you.
In other states, there may be other forms of licensure of formal recognition or attainment of training such as the, A.C.S.W. Academy of Certified Socials Workers), D.S.W. (Doctorate of Social Work), and C.S.W. (Certified Social Worker)
There are several other types of licensed psychotherapists. Marriage, Family, and Child Counselors (M.F.C.C.) may have a level of training and licensure that is equivalent to Clinical Social Workers. Clinical Social Workers and M.F.C.C.'s are usually not able to perform intelligence and personality testing without special training and supervision.
Psychologists have additional years of education and training. In addition to providing psychotherapy, they are trained to administer psychometric tests which measure various things such as personality traits, intelligence, and some neurological problems. Psychologists can be especially helpful in doing detailed diagnostic work-ups. Generally, their fees are higher than a Clinical Social Worker or Marriage Family Child Counselor Psychologists are not able to administer medications despite their title of, "Doctor." While it is not always true, psychologists may have the letters, "Ph.D./PsyD./Ed. after their names. The "E.d." may refer to an educational psychologist. However, it is a good idea to inquire as to their discipline and training.
Psychiatrists are also licensed psychotherapists. They are usually not trained to administer psychometric tests that are the distinctive domains of the psychologist. Psychiatrists are medical physicians who are able to evaluate the biological causes of various symptoms and disorders and treat with them with medications. Only psychiatrists and physicians are able to prescribe medications.
Clinical Social Workers are trained as psychotherapists and can provide a wide variety of cost-effective services.