Social work defines a broad spectrum of professional services. Typically when we think of social workers, we think of people who work in adoption, help families find housing, or who feed the homeless. While social workers perform each of those tasks, they’re not all-inclusive. One area of social work that’s often forgotten is clinical and mental health. Social workers specializing in clinical practice provide psychotherapy, counseling, and other interventions to help individuals cope with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other mental health issues. If you’re looking for a social worker to help you through mental health challenges, how do you find the right one? Here are a few tips to help you out:
To be a social worker, one needs a degree in social work. Specifically, when providing clinical services, social workers require a master’s degree in social and must earn a license. Social workers who have obtained their license will LCSW after their name which stands for licensed clinical social worker. Look for social workers who are LCSWs to ensure that they’re licensed to provide services.
Look at Practice Areas
Social workers, even clinical ones, are educated and trained to provide a wide variety of treatments and interventions. In practice, many LCSWs specialize in providing treatments and interventions for specific challenges like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or schizophrenia. Likewise, social workers often have a preference for or work better with either children or adults and men or women. Selecting a social worker who specializes in your needs will make the experience far more pleasant and productive.
Consider Their Characteristics
In the field of social work, the term transference describes an event in which a service provider triggers a negative or positive reaction in their client. Typically, the response is caused because of a social worker’s characteristics such as age, gender, or ethnicity, or by their mannerisms. The reaction is triggered because the social worker reminds the client of a specific person or people who have significantly impacted the client’s life. When selecting a social worker, be certain that you feel comfortable and safe working with them.
Schedule a Consultation
Mental health challenges aren’t easy, neither is discussing them. The only way to get professional help is to schedule a consultation with a social worker or service provider and to show up. Know that it may take several meetings before you and your social worker build rapport and fully develop your working relationship.