A common question I am asked as a counselor is about my qualifications and training.
People often assume that I am a psychologist as opposed to a clinical social worker or accredited mental health social worker. So what's the difference?
Social Workers are not psychologists, we share some similarities and common training in providing care and treatment in mental health care and counselling but there are also differences.
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) provides further details regarding psychology. The social work profession provides seeing and understanding the person(s) in context to their circumstances. The focus is not on pathologising problems.
The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) describes social work as: Social Workers assess the social needs of individuals, families and groups, assist and empower people to develop and use the skills and resources needed to resolve social and other problems, and further human well being and human rights, social justice and social development.
Some social work facts, social workers skill level requires a Bachelor degree or higher. Accredited mental health social workers are required to follow the AASW code of ethics, meet the AASSW practice standards and have significant work experience in mental health or related field and maintain continuing professional development. Continuing Professional Development is how AASW members maintain, improve, broaden and develop their skills, knowledge and expertise. CPD is an ongoing process throughout a social worker’s career, informed by changing practice environment, professional domains, new evidence and community need.
Specific training in mental health and focused psychological strategies are a requirement for Accredited Mental Health Social Workers. Each individual counselor or therapist uses their experience and training in their area of interest that may vary from working with families, couples, individuals, communities, government or non-government and not for profit organisations and many other opportunities.
To learn more about the services provided by Orana Health Services, visit the website for further information, www.oranahealth.com.au.
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