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Career Story: Counselor And Clinical Social Worker

Counselor And Clinical Social Worker

Job Title: Clinical Social Worker, In Private Practice

Type of Company: Private Practice doing individual, couple and family therapy.

Education: BA, St John's Seminary College •• (Camarillo, CA) •• Simmons College School of Social Work (Boston, MA)

Previous Experience: I worked as a clinical social worker, supervisor and executive director for 26 years before going into private practice.

Job Tasks: I counsel people with emotional, cognitive and relationship problems. Most of my clients are adults; some are adolescents and a few are children. The most common issues people come to me about are anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, gambling and internet addictions, fears, relationship problems and family conflict.

I usually see 7 or 8 clients per day, 4 days per week. Each session lasts for about 50 minutes. Between clients I make phone calls, do paper work, check the records of the next client. If there are cancellations I may read or take a walk. On my off day, I do billing to insurance companies and track payments that come in. Periodically I go to educational seminars, at least 15 hours per year. I am continually reading books in the field.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best aspects of my job? I work for myself at my own pace. I talk with people about some of the most important things in their lives. I meet people from all walks of life and learn a lot about different ways of living.

The worst: Since I work for myself, I don't get paid if I want a vacation or am out sick. Insurance companies can be a pain with their byzantine requirements on how you go about getting authorization to see someone and how you have to bill for your services.

Job Tips:
1. You need at least a masters degree, so be prepared for a lot of schooling.

2. You may be working for relatively little compensation for the first few years.

3. Get experience with a lot of different age groups and types of people and problems.

4. Consider doing volunteer work. This may help you decide if this is a career for you; if nothing else, it will help you to get into a graduate school.

Additional Thoughts: You must like people and be non-judgmental with divergent life styles. You must be able to keep information to yourself as most of what is talked about is confidential.

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Argosy University
Ontario, Orange, San Diego

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Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Human Services (MS), Counseling Psychology (EdD), Counseling Psychology (MA)
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate
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