Meet Our Staff
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers
- Licensed Professional Counselors
Licensed Clinical Social Workers
Licensed clinical social workers help individuals with mental health, domestic, child protective and social service issues. Their focus is on improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable portions of the population. The services these social workers provide include psychotherapy, counseling and assistance with housing and employment.
A licensed social worker, or LSW, and a licensed clinical social worker, or LCSW, both have a master's degree in social work or MSW as well as supervised experience and having successfully passed an examination. However an LCSW receives additional certification after completing a much more extensive course of supervised field experience. Social workers may, through training and experience, specialize in a particular area in which they have developed expertise, such as working adolescents or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Services Provided by Licensed Clinical Social Workers
Licensed clinical social workers may provide direct therapy, case management or administration in areas that include the following:
Individual and Group Therapy Sessions
Licensed social workers provide treatment, both inpatient and outpatient, for individuals struggling with mental health issues, substance abuse and physical infirmities or disabilities. Often such individuals are burdened by financial difficulties as well. The job of the social worker is to help clients become, or become once again, integrated comfortably into the social network, receiving the assistance they need to live productive lives.
Navigating Government Agencies to Receive Necessary Assistance
Government bureaucracy can be difficult to navigate under the best of circumstances. For individuals struggling with one or more of the above mentioned problems, such navigation can present insurmountable obstacles. The social worker is trained to help clients arrange for inexpensive and/or supportive living accommodations, including long-term facilities for people with disabling chronic illnesses, and to find appropriate treatment programs for clients requiring clinical settings for mental health or substance abuse issues.
Evaluation of Living Situations
Social workers are employed by government or nonprofit agencies to investigate claims or suspicions of spousal, child or elder abuse.
Social workers are called upon to evaluate whether individuals require continuing, additional or different treatment programs or are ready for discharge from various programs and institutions.
Requirements for Certification of Licensed Clinical Social Workers
While licensed clinical social workers are certified by each state, most states require the following:
- Adherence to a high ethical standard
- Age of 21 years
- At least three years of post MSW supervised experience
- Demonstrable skills for clinical intervention
- Specialized knowledge of mental health care/substance abuse care
- Meet clinical examination requirements
- Complete coursework or training in identifying child abuse
- Understanding of diverse and at risk populations
- Ability to make appropriate referrals as necessary
- Accessibility to clients during emergency and non emergency situations
- Safeguards to client privacy and confidentiality
- Maintenance of professional offices and procedures
- Ongoing documentation of treatment
Licensed Professional Counselors
Licensed professional counselors are providers of mental health care. They are qualified to perform their duties in various settings. Licensed professional counselors may specialize, through training and/or experience, in a particular aspect of the field, such as substance abuse or suicide prevention.
Services Provided by Licensed Professional Counselors
Licensed professional counselors work with individuals in need of therapeutic assistance to move forward in their lives, which have often become difficult or impossible to manage. The causes of stress may involve physical or psychiatric illness, pressing financial concerns, substance abuse, domestic violence, child or elder abuse or post-traumatic stress disorder. In such circumstances, licensed counselors provide services that may include the following:
Diagnosis and Treatment
Licensed professional counselors are trained to diagnose and treat various psychological, psychiatric and addictive disorders, including, but not limited to, domestic issues, cases involving child or elder abuse, eating disorders and substance abuse. Their treatment methods may involve:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Interpersonal or group therapy
Professional counselors are often involved with programs aimed at preventing abusive or self-injurious behavior. Such services may be provided as individual therapy or to groups of various sizes, including couples, families, groups of psychiatric patients, senior citizens, adolescents or recovering addicts.
Requirements for Certification of Licensed Professional Counselors
In order to become a licensed professional counselor in the United States, an individual must be licensed at the state level. In New Jersey, the state requirements include a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours in a planned education program from an accredited institution. To obtain licensing, the state of New Jersey further requires the following:
- Master's or doctoral degrees in counseling or related fields
- Academic course work in specific designated subject
- Supervised clinical experience
- Successful completion of a state licensing exam
- Adherence to the ethical standards spelled out in the state's licensing exam
In addition, the state of New Jersey requires that the individual pass the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). While a licensed professional counselor must meet standard requirements of thousands of hours of supervised experience, the state of New Jersey also offers certification as a licensed associate counselor, for whom no supervised experience is necessary.