A clinical social worker is a professional in social work, which provides help to individuals in need of improving their lives and their well-being. Clinical social workers must work with different individuals to help them address difficulties that they are trying to overcome. To perform counseling services, clinical social workers must take and pass the professional licensure examination. They also help disadvantaged individuals connect to resources and services that they may benefit from.

Clinical Social Worker Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real clinical social worker resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Understand manage care, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
  • Screen, identify, diagnose using DSM nomenclature, treat and manage mental health and/or substance abuse problems.
  • Provide clinical services to patients in rehabilitation and oncology including assessment, crisis intervention, grief therapy, and discharge planning.
  • Provide individual, group, family therapy, team coordination, discharge planning, utilization review and MSW student supervision.
  • Participate in weekly interdisciplinary team meetings to determine Medicare length of skil nursing stay.
  • Facilitate therapy, symptom management, and rehabilitation groups for mental health clients in partial hospitalization setting.
  • Provide crisis intervention and stabilization to veterans and dependents; complete follow-up counseling sessions to ensure patients' physical safety.
  • Conduct IOP groups addressing life skills management and psychotherapeutic issues.
  • Form therapeutic alliances through active listening, empathy and compassion.
  • Utilize the current DSM to make diagnoses and formulate treatment goals while applying appropriate clinical interventions.
  • Assist with rental assistance applications; Medicaid, Medicare, veterans assistance, and medicine assistance programs.
  • Develop treatment plans specific to clients' needs and maintain progress notes in compliance with OMH standards.
  • Treat disorders including depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorders, autism spectrum disorders and issues with social skills.
  • Work with billing department of hospital in order to obtain billing information need to complete application process for Medicaid.
  • Help patients with coping skills and teach them DBT sills to enable them to regulate their emotions and control their impulses.

Clinical Social Worker Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 28% of Clinical Social Workers are proficient in Social Work, Patients, and Behavioral Health. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Emotional skills, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Clinical Social Workers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Social Work, 28%

    Maintained and delivered quarterly data to District Lead Social Worker to facilitate program development and funding allocations for the Superintendent.

  • Patients, 17%

    Provide individual psychotherapy for patients enrolled in study protocol utilizing evidence based interventions such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

  • Behavioral Health, 6%

    Provided emergency behavioral health services on an on-call basis to include screening patients for safety and appropriateness of psychiatric inpatient hospitalization.

  • Patient Care, 5%

    Provided clinical assessment, treatment planning, coordinating with treatment team regarding patient care and facilitated individual and group therapy sessions.

  • Community Resources, 4%

    Conduct initial assessments for program appropriateness and provide case management, treatment collaboration, referrals, and linkages to community resources.

  • MSW, 3%

    Trained and supervised a MSW student/active duty officer during his clinical rotation.

"social work," "patients," and "behavioral health" aren't the only skills we found clinical social workers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of clinical social worker responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a clinical social worker to have in this position are communication skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a clinical social worker resume, you'll understand why: "clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives" According to resumes we found, communication skills can be used by a clinical social worker in order to "facilitated communication between patients, staff, treatment team members, families, and hospital administration to improve patient care. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many clinical social worker duties rely on emotional skills. This example from a clinical social worker explains why: "social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations." This resume example is just one of many ways clinical social workers are able to utilize emotional skills: "provide individual therapy for children, utilizing the therapeutic relationship to yield a corrective emotional experience. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among clinical social workers is interpersonal skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a clinical social worker resume: "social workers need to be able to work with different groups of people" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "supervised and mentored msw students utilized the modalities of c.b.t., d.b.t., motivational, and interpersonal treatment. "
  • A clinical social worker responsibilities sometimes require "organizational skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "social workers must help and manage multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment." This resume example shows how this skill is used by clinical social workers: "work efficiently in independent home environment utilizing excellent organizational skills. "
  • Another common skill for a clinical social worker to be able to utilize is "problem-solving skills." Social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems. A clinical social worker demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "provided family and individual therapy based on cognitive behavioral, problem solving, and solution focused oriented model. "
  • See the full list of clinical social worker skills.

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    What Family Therapists Do

    A Family Therapist works with couples and families to help ameliorate marital and family issues. They can work in hospitals, treatment programs, government agencies, health organizations, and private practices.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take family therapist for example. On average, the family therapists annual salary is $12,282 lower than what clinical social workers make on average every year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between clinical social workers and family therapists are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like social work, patients, and community resources.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a clinical social worker responsibility requires skills such as "behavioral health," "patient care," "msw," and "home health." Whereas a family therapist is skilled in "group therapy," "fft," "family systems," and "clinical documentation." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Family therapists tend to make the most money in the health care industry by averaging a salary of $50,267. In contrast, clinical social workers make the biggest average salary of $62,929 in the education industry.

    Family therapists tend to reach lower levels of education than clinical social workers. In fact, family therapists are 7.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.8% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Addictions Counselor?

    An Addictions Counselor helps patients overcome personal addiction problems, such as dependence on drugs, alcohol, and other substances. They evaluate the condition of their client through examining, asking questions, and recommending the proper treatment options.

    Next up, we have the addictions counselor profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a clinical social worker annual salary. In fact, addictions counselors salary difference is $15,830 lower than the salary of clinical social workers per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both clinical social workers and addictions counselors are known to have skills such as "social work," "patients," and "patient care. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that clinical social worker responsibilities requires skills like "behavioral health," "msw," "home health," and "mental illness." But an addictions counselor might use skills, such as, "chemical dependency," "substance abuse treatment," "treatment services," and "relapse prevention."

    On average, addictions counselors earn a lower salary than clinical social workers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, addictions counselors earn the most pay in the non profits industry with an average salary of $47,326. Whereas, clinical social workers have higher paychecks in the education industry where they earn an average of $62,929.

    In general, addictions counselors study at lower levels of education than clinical social workers. They're 26.9% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.8% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Technology Do You Think Will Become More Important And Prevalent For Clinical Psychologists In The Next 3-5 Years?

    Dr. Laurel Camp Ph.D.

    Professor of Psychology, Marian University - Indianapolis

    During the pandemic, technology has served a critical function to keep people connected to their job, friends, and family and provide a way to order food and supplies needed for daily life. From a psychological perspective, while technology allowed people to stay socially connected, many people crave shared experiences and a type of intimacy that only in-person contact can provide. In psychology, teletherapy will continue to be an essential option for people who have barriers that prevent them from getting mental health services and those who prefer the convenience of teletherapy.

    Developers of technology communication will need to be even more creative in the future. Psychologists have noted that people are finding the monotony of interacting in the same remote ways, making them less motivated and socially engaged during video conferencing and chats. Some indicate that they now prefer a phone call or a handwritten letter because it seems more personal and intimate. However, even the best technology cannot provide the in-person contact that people, as social beings, need, so psychologists will need to help people navigate productive use of technology and safe, in-person connections.
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    How a Primary Therapist Compares

    Primary therapists are the main point of contact for patients concerning wellness and overall mental health. Those who choose this career path will be expected to supervise and manage efficient treatment according to plan, and to manage between six and eight patients at a time, keeping in constant communication with these patients and various specialists.

    The primary therapist profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of clinical social workers. The difference in salaries is primary therapists making $3,230 lower than clinical social workers.

    While looking through the resumes of several clinical social workers and primary therapists we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "social work," "patients," and "patient care," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from clinical social workers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "behavioral health," "msw," "psychosocial assessments," and "home health." But a primary therapist might have skills like "treatment plan reviews," "family therapy sessions," "discharge summaries," and "individual therapy sessions."

    Additionally, primary therapists earn a higher salary in the finance industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $61,326. Additionally, clinical social workers earn an average salary of $62,929 in the education industry.

    When it comes to education, primary therapists tend to earn similar education levels than clinical social workers. In fact, they're 4.8% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 1.7% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Marriage And Family Therapist

    Marriage and family therapists are health professionals who are licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders of married couples and families. These therapists are required to treat patients with issues such as child and adolescent behavioral problems, depression and anxiety, and marital conflicts. They must observe the interaction of people within units while evaluating and resolving their issues with relationships. Marriage and family therapists must also guide their clients to go through transitional crises such as divorce or death.

    Now, we'll look at marriage and family therapists, who generally average a lower pay when compared to clinical social workers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $5,200 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, clinical social workers and marriage and family therapists both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "social work," "patients," and "community resources. "

    Each job requires different skills like "behavioral health," "patient care," "msw," and "discharge planning," which might show up on a clinical social worker resume. Whereas marriage and family therapist might include skills like "substance abuse," "mft," "family systems," and "individual psychotherapy."

    Marriage and family therapists earn a higher salary in the government industry with an average of $60,978. Whereas, clinical social workers earn the highest salary in the education industry.

    Marriage and family therapists reach lower levels of education when compared to clinical social workers. The difference is that they're 17.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 1.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Clinical Social Worker Does FAQs

    How Long Does It Take To Become A Clinical Social Worker?

    It can take up to six years to become a clinical social worker. Clinical social workers typically need to complete their master's, along with a couple of additional years of certification training.

    What Is The Difference Between A Clinical Social Worker And A Psychologist?

    The difference between a clinical social worker and a psychologist is that clinical social workers hold a master's degree, while psychologists must obtain a doctorate.

    The human services field is full of overlapping professions that might seem pretty similar at first look. When it comes to psychologists vs. social workers, however, there are some pretty clear differences.

    What Is The Difference Between A Social Worker And A Medical Social Worker?

    The difference between a social worker and a medical social worker is how they help families cope and improve the quality of their lives.

    A medical social worker sometimes referred to as a health care social worker, helps patients and their families cope with illnesses.

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