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Why Choose a Social Worker To Be Your Therapist?

Apr 26, 2024 | Resource Blog

You might be confused about the credentials your therapist has and wondering what all the different letters mean. Whether your therapist is a LCSW, LPC, LMFT, or licensed psychologist, they have the training required to provide mental health care. However, different education and training impact professional philosophies. Choosing a therapist that matches your values and perspective is important, and can likely be an overwhelming decision. Sixty percent of mental health professionals are social workers. It is likely that your values will align with that of a social worker. 


The biggest difference between a social worker and a counselor or psychologist is the holistic approach that a social worker has. Social workers know that a person’s current circumstances are a product of more than just the inner workings of their mind, and will work to address all aspects of what the client is experiencing. 

Social workers who work as therapists have earned a master’s degree in social work. This education, with courses including diversity and social justice, social welfare policy, and clinical assessment and diagnosis, provides social workers with a broader scope of practice than typical counselors. Once a social worker has completed their MSW, they work roughly two years under supervision and pass a licensure exam before they can become an LCSW. With four years and thousands of hours of training and practice, social workers are prepared to offer quality mental health care. 

Beyond this, each social worker is equipped with a strong professional dedication toward social work values. This alignment ensures that social workers are treating their clients with dignity and respect. Social workers believe in the importance of human relationships and social justice to guide the work that they do. Social workers also value working within their area of competence. These are the values that social workers are professionally, and oftentimes personally, bound to. Each social worker understands the importance of these aspects of practice and includes them in the work they do. 

Also unique to social work is the incredibly broad range of jobs within the field. Many social workers have worked in schools, hospitals, or community mental health centers. They have a broad range of training and experiences that influence their perspectives as a practitioner. Social workers understand how individuals function within systems of society, and the mental health care they offer is realistic about how these forces are acting upon their clients. 

Clinical social workers serve as skillful clinicians and compassionate advocates.  Social workers are dedicated to ensuring the growth and development of their clients. Their holistic perspective, comprehensive training, and unwavering commitment to social work values make them indispensable allies in the journey for mental health and well-being.

Beth Orns, owner and licensed therapist at Better Together Mental Health.
Rachel Sabulsky is a therapist at Better Together Mental Health.
Anna Cox, licensed therapist in Columbia, Missouri.

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