LCSW-R(Licensed Clinical Social Worker )

LCSW-R(Licensed Clinical Social Worker )

In this guide, we will present to you the role of an LCSW-R (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), by explaining the specialization of clinical social work and the areas of competence of the LCSW-R. 

What is an LCSW-R?

LCSW stands for Licensed Clinical Social Worker, while the R is a requirement for insurance carriers to arrange payment for psychotherapy services. An LCSW-R has a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work. 

Clinical Social Work is defended as a specialization of Social Work. There is no doubt that what enables each one to exercise a profession is the title that is legally established, but it is also true that afterwards, each one acquires the qualification that they like the most; which provides the appropriate skills to help people who require their services, in the exercise of their profession. 

LCSW-R(Licensed Clinical Social Worker )

The LCSW-R is a professional who intervenes in social contexts through generating strategies and alternative solutions to national and international needs and problems, taking into account social, political, legal, administrative, organizational, and economic scenarios. and educational with a view to transforming social realities.

It is prepared to deal with multidimensional problems that require an approach from various disciplinary perspectives since it seeks to contribute to improving the living conditions of the population and strengthening the social fabric.

Due to his training, he has the knowledge, skills and attitudes to investigate, diagnose and intervene in issues such as social and economic inequality, discrimination and exclusion, violence and insecurity, lags in human rights, access to basic services, quality of life and attention to priority groups.

The LCSW-R applicant must have knowledge, skills and attitudes corresponding to preparatory high school education, preferably in the area of Social Sciences, in addition to the following:

Basic knowledge in:

• Economy.

• Politics.

• Right.

• Anthropology.

• Sociology.

Abilities:

• Ease of establishing social relationships.

• Reading comprehension.

• Abstract and analytical thinking.

• Synthesis capacity.

• Observation of the social environment.

And with the following attitudes:

• Community service.

• Sense of solidarity

• Interest in fieldwork and with social subjects.

The LCSW-R works in the planning, management, promotion, implementation and evaluation of social processes, plans, programs and projects with a view to contributing to the design and development of public policies in the different areas in which he/she works, such as health, social assistance, education, law enforcement, and the environment, gender, and human rights.

The organizations in which it collaborates are, among others: health institutes, hospitals, clinics, health centres, institutions of upper secondary and higher basic education, in the Justice System, courts, courts, penitentiaries, federal and local government secretariats, community development centres, civil society organizations.

LCSW-R(Licensed Clinical Social Worker )

Clinical Social Work

Clinical Social Work is a branch specialized Social Work that is in charge of research, development and application of treatments for psychosocial problems affecting the people’s mental health. 

In this sense, the LCSW-R performs intervention strategies aimed at people, couples, families, groups and community. Through a therapeutic link between the worker

clinical social and user (s) in a mental health institution; through the administration of psychotherapy and applying the methods of the Social Work adapted to the psychopathology, seeks to solve the problems that affect the psychosocial functioning of persons. 

Clinical Social Work as a speciality is characterized operationally by the following  three features:

  1. By the nature of the institution: Depending on the scope of the social worker (Centers Community Mental Health, Psychiatric Services, Therapeutic Communities, Centers of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Integrals, protected homes, etc).
  2. For the problems of the Users: When problems are linked to emotional care, relational care, health and family organization social dysfunctionality and mental pathologies.
  3. By the type of consultation, help and/or service: When the demand of the Users is oriented to request support, management, therapy, guidance and repair the links of the person both at the family level and social level.

Areas of competence of the LCSW-R

Areas of competence of the social worker and the purposes of the clinical social worker according to Martha Chescheir:

  1. Work with people in the context of their social situation

The clinical social worker is interested in striking a balance between personal needs and the opportunities life offers. The goal is to achieve an adjustment between what suits the individual with what it suits the social system. 

One of the main objectives is to match people to resources and start anywhere at the end of the psychosocial continuum, either with the person or with the social system. 

External changes are essential when resources are not available to provide the necessary food to live. Internal changes are indicated when people are emotionally exhausted or physically traumatized. An LCSW-R should know how to help people of all

classes and conditions to suit realistic situations, and how to change these social conditions to adapt them to the needs of people.

  1. Work with the family as a means of help

The LCSW-R  is interested in avoiding the disintegration of a family, like reconstituting broken families, this is because not only is an intervention in families of interest in moments of crisis but the countless things that happen to families throughout their lives together, for example, family dynamics,  as they provide a means of support for the healthy growth and development of its members. 

When we work with families, a strategic way of empowering action is working in their own homes when it is necessary to help mobilize internal and external resources to improve and maintain family functioning. Family therapy and marriage counselling is also the responsibility of an LCSW-R, but they are not limited only to these particular models.

LCSW-R(Licensed Clinical Social Worker )
  1. Therapy work with groups in activities whose tasks are related

Clinical social workers have devised and used the dynamics of the group process to conserve and improve social functioning. Knowledge of group dynamics translates into a good understanding of the organizational context and it allows the social worker to seek changes in institutional frameworks.

The clinical social worker captures the value of conflict and cohesion, understanding that members of a group often compete with each other.  The therapy and socialization groups help to rehabilitate people with interpersonal relationship difficulties and lacking social skills. 

  1. Work with social organizations and systems

Clinical professionals understand the importance of natural supports and introduce them to clients as they need. As advocates for the poor and minority groups, clinical professionals often find themselves defending those social situations people who cannot do it by themselves. 

When the organizations and institutions cease to function for the benefit of

people, the clinician feels compelled to fight for change in systems that will make conditions more humane and make the medium more sensitive to people’s needs. 

Therefore, an LCSW-R is interested in creating an environment that safeguards and care, where people can express their concern about others and work together for the common good.

  1. Work with people who are facing a crisis

LCSW-Rs are continually asked for help in all kinds of crises. These can be situations like physical trauma or acute loss. LCSW-Rs help people regain their previous strength, and in some cases even improve their general level of social functioning. 

Therefore, the Clinical social workers are trained to help people to adapt and manage the full range of crises from situations or maturing and know the real expectations, both for themselves and their clients.

LCSW-R(Licensed Clinical Social Worker )

FAQ about LCSW-R

What is the R in Lcsw R?

The R is a requirement for insurance carriers to arrange payment for psychotherapy services. An LCSW-R has a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work. 

Is an LCSW considered a doctor?

An LCSW has a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, thus it is not considered a doctor. Clinical Social Work is defended as a specialization of Social Work. 

What does the title Lcsw stand for?

LCSW stands for – Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The LCSW-R is a professional who intervenes in social contexts through generating strategies and alternative solutions to national and international needs and problems, taking into account social, political, legal, administrative, organizational, and economic scenarios. and educational with a view to transforming social realities.

Can an Lcsw be a therapist?

An LCSW can counsel their patients, especially regarding social skills and family relationships. As a requirement, LCSWs have over 3000 hours of supervised practice.  

Can Lcsw diagnose mental illness?

LCSW can diagnose certain mental illnesses. However, in most cases, they can make a referral to a psychiatrist or physician for a diagnosis and treatment management.

What is the difference between a clinical social worker and a therapist?

The difference between a clinical social worker and a therapist is their pathways to licensure and different job titles. Counsellors are specialized in providing guidance to their clients, while social workers may be specialized in different types of therapeutic interventions. 

Conclusions

In this guide, I presented to you the role of an LCSW-R (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), by explaining the specialization of clinical social work and the areas of competence of the LCSW-R. 

The LCSW-R is a professional who intervenes in social contexts through generating strategies and alternative solutions to national and international needs and problems, taking into account social, political, legal, administrative, organizational, and economic scenarios. and educational with a view to transforming social realities.

It is prepared to deal with multidimensional problems that require an approach from various disciplinary perspectives since it seeks to contribute to improving the living conditions of the population and strengthening the social fabric.

If you have questions or comments, please let us know!

References

Andolfi, Maurizio. “Family Therapy: An Interactional approach ”. (1985). 

Bernier, G & Johnsson, L. “Theory for Psychosocial Work ”. (1997). 

Fombuena, J. & Martí, A. “Social Clinical Work”. 

National Association of Social Workers. NASW Standards for Clinical Social Work in

Social Work Practice ”. (2005). Washington DC. United States

Satir, Virginia. “Family Psychotherapy Joint ”. (1986). Scientific editions. 

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.