Since it is National Professional Social Work month, I thought I would share some of my journey to become a social worker…..and eventually a clinical social worker (therapist) as I am now.
I have vague memories of looking into being a social worker when I was exploring careers….maybe about high school. I barely gave it a second thought because I didn’t quite understand what it was, plus I had some misconceptions about it.
In college, I volunteered at a crime victim center and felt like I had found my place working in victim services. I wanted to do this for a career, instead of volunteering. I asked one of the full-time professionals at the center what her degree was in, and she said social work. I wanted to know more, so I made an appointment with the social work advisor at my college. From that day forward, I was smitten with social work.
Social work is a broad discipline that helps people obtain services, offers counseling or psychotherapy, or helps communities or groups improve social and health services. It is really quite daunting to list the many things any given social worker does and can do. If you know a social worker, this is the month we celebrate this profession, so I encourage you to thank them or hug them even (with permission, of course).
I have always found myself working with crime victims in one form or another throughout my professional career, even in the clinical social work arena. Doing trauma therapy is definitely a specialty. I am also an eating disorder therapist. Sometimes…maybe even quite often, the two overlap.
As a clinical social worker, I currently do counseling/therapy in my private practice. Becoming confident in this role helped me determine that I wanted to help others also become confident in the role of therapist. We need more clinical social workers, I think. I love all my LMFT, LPC, and PhD or PsyD colleagues, but social workers have a slightly different slant in their practice—and there is a benefit to each of the disciplines. We need good LCSWs, and I am committed to helping those interested in that licensure become a great LCSW, growing and highlighting the core of who they are as an individual and owning their role as a clinician.. I absolutely love teaching, challenging, and coaching my supervisees. I am almost a proud mama when they complete the program to upgrade to the LCSW.
To all the social workers out there, I salute you. Take care of yourselves. We need you to take care of you, so you are on your game doing the work you do best!