Like general social workers, clinical social workers can provide patients and clients resources and connect them with valuable clients. They can also offer advice and guidance. However, only clinical social workers can provide therapy counseling.

Clinic social workers have master’s degrees and typically need licensing from the state where they work. They work in a wide range of settings, including public and private schools, rehabilitation facilities, and hospitals. Clinical social workers may have a particular focus, such as families, geriatrics, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

Clinical Social Worker: Big-Picture Therapy and Resources

Social workers consider their clients’ environment, community, and other surrounding aspects rather than just the person’s mental wellbeing. Often a clinical social worker will speak to or offer therapy sessions to family members of their clients. 

Other tasks licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) may complete on a daily basis include the following:

  • Conducting individual, family, or group therapy sessions
  • Online counseling
  • Preparing paperwork, like court reports
  • Attending and testifying in court or at hearings
  • Creating treatment plans
  • Coordinating members and facilities in a care plan
  • Medication reviews

Counselors and LCSWs have similar roles when it comes to therapy counseling, but LCSWs also provide additional resources. LCSWs have contacts and resources for individuals and families in crisis.

For example, an LCSW working with a depressed client in an abusive relationship would be able to provide counseling and resources for domestic abuse.

While a therapist may encourage a patient to find information, an LCSW does the hands-on work on behalf of their client.  

Are you confused about the difference between counselors and therapists?