Saturday, 5 February 2011

Social Worker Courses

The Social Worker's Path to Private Practice - How You Can Get From Here to There
When Cheryl Dolinger Brown, CSW, headed off to social work school, she took with her a mental model formed while growing up with her social work administrator father. "In social work school it was highly recommended that students engage in their own therapy," says Brown. The work resonated with why she had gone to social work school in the first place, which was "to help people make changes in their lives."
Several years ago she went back for more training in Imago Relationship Therapy, a therapeutic approach used to work with couples. Clearly, she has not regretted for a moment her decision to pursue a career as a social worker doing private therapy.

Lynn Grodzki, MSW, has had a successful career as a private therapist since 1988, and since 1966 has also been a business coach for therapists. Like Brown, being in therapy was a catalyst to becoming a therapist herself. Ruth Dean, Ph.D, social work professor at Simmons School of Social Work and chairperson of the clinical practice sequence, has been practicing social work since she was graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1961. Like Brown and Grodzki, Dean accumulated many hours of postgraduate training, for the most part through the training opportunities at the teaching hospital where she was working.
Training Social Worker as Therapists
Looking back over their extensive careers as social workers in private practice, each practitioner agrees that postgraduate training is absolutely essential. Brown suggests that getting a "smattering" of techniques in the beginning helps novices in the field of therapy learn what works for them. Dean reinforces the importance of postgraduate training. She says, "Most social work schools, including the program at Simmons School of Social Work, are training people for agency practice rather than private practice. They are preparing students for work with vulnerable populations, which is not necessarily the typical private therapy practice client." She advises that a social work student who is preparing for a career in private practice should be sure to take the classes offered in social work programs concerning trauma, issues of family violence and addiction. In her view, these courses provide an important foundation for all forms of practice, including a private practice. In addition, there are many practice-focused courses in clinical work that are relevant. Simmons School of Social Work, for example, offers courses in couples therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and brief therapy.
The Role of Supervision
Supervision is a critical element for any successful private therapy practitioner and usually a requirement for licensure. I believe you should not be in any kind of private practice unless you are in supervision and that it is unethical to be in private practice unsupervised." Grozki had ongoing weekly supervision for the first ten years she was in private practice. According to Grodzki, "Building a successful private practice depends on doing the best work that you can." Because the work never gets easier, she believes that supervision also helps protect against burnout.
Ruth Dean, Ph.D., advises students who are planning to develop a private therapy practice to join a peer supervision group when they graduate as part of their ongoing education and support network. because "people tend to refer to people whose work they know very well and not to others."
Building a Private Practice
Brown who has written about how to market a private practice believes that marketing yourself is the best way to build a private practice. Grodzki echoes Brown's advise when she coaches therapists in the development of their practice. Circumstance determined her initial path, but eventually she shifted her own practice from learning disabled children and their families to adults.
Other strategies that Brown has used to market herself include public speaking and marketing letters. In the beginning, Brown spent much of her time marketing, but now her practice is for the most part self-sustaining. Grodzki agrees. She also suggests setting aside time every week for building up your practice -- what she calls "CEO time." She estimates that 50% of the new private practice therapist's time needs to be devoted to building the new business. Grodzki also cautions new therapists that building a business for the long term is slow. Her experience is that many therapists, because they are starting small, don't think about their practice from a business perspective. Grodzki advises new therapists to "double the number of people that you know in a year." You don't have to know people well. Introverts should not be discouraged about their potential to develop a successful private practice. New therapists need more in the engine. Through coaching, Grodzki helps therapists to look at what is most comfortable for them. The path to becoming a successful social worker in private practice requires hard work, business acumen, training and supervision. It takes time to build a practice and to get the required training and supervision for licensure. According to the US Department of Labor, job opportunities for social workers in private practice are expanding, in large part because of the growing popularity of employee assistance programs. The challenges for social workers who are pursuing a career in private practice include the fluctuation of the popularity of employee assistance programs as a consequence of business cycles and the managed care organizations who restrict mental health services. But once established, the social worker in private practice has the potential for a stable, lucrative career. A career in social work is one that you find yourself daydreaming about in your cubicle. You can obtain a degree in social work through distance learning. Let's first take a look at what being a social worker entails.
A social worker takes on the responsibility of helping those in need get the basics they need to survive. There are many areas of social work. Some work with helping people find better housing, better jobs, and assist a person in creating a brighter future for themselves. Others work with people facing life threatening situations like criminal activity or substance abuse. There are three broad categories for social workers. These include child, family, and school social workers. Medical and public health social workers offer assistance to people with cancer, Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, mental health, and substance abuse issues. Finally, there are the people that deal with public planning and the intricacies of social policy.
Earning a degree in social work through distance learning can be way easier than you imagine.
A Social worker in America needs to have a license that permits him to work for the society and people. Social work is basically termed as organized work that is done to advance and enhance the social conditions of a community or a society. The social workers have to be trained properly by a university or a community college through a diploma program.
The family and child school social workers deliver help and services to enhance the psychological and social functioning of children and their families and to improvise the academic functioning and health of children. They may help arrange adoptions, single parents and assist locate foster homes for the elderly people. These workers may also run support campaigns for aging parents, assist elderly people, and monitor and coordinate these services.
The social workers working in schools often provide a bridge between the family of the student and school, teachers, guardians, and other school officials that make sure that students reach their personal and academic potential.
In order to perform any kind of social work an individual needs a social working license. Apart from completing a diploma from a college or university, an individual will have to earn a license to practice as a social worker. The basic requirements for a social worker to earn the title of licensed master social worker are:
Complete the training and course work in the reporting and identification of child abuse
The license requirements to become a clinical social worker are:
A masters degree in social work with minimum 12 years of clinical course work
Fulfill examination requirement.


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