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MSW programs with strong clinical focus (a better choice than PhD in this case)?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by stilllooking, May 25, 2007.

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  1. stilllooking

    stilllooking

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    Hi,
    What MSW programs have a strong clinical focus that would best prepare someone to become a LCSW? I've looked at sites for a few programs, but I'm having a hard time finding a way to tell which ones will better suit a prospective LCSW and which won't. Any tips? My goal is work in Alaska, and I don't really have the financial resources for a PhD/PsyD, so if I end up persuing a clinical focus an MSW seems like it would be the best fit. Plus, I figured given the demographics in AK (excluding big cities), an MSW might give me a wider variety of opprotunities for other work outside of therapy. Is this incorrect?

    My preferred geographic area is the Western US (excluding CA), but I'm open to pretty much anywhere if the training and finances look good. Also, to be licensed as an LCSW in AK, you must have an MSW from an "approved program." Does this just refer to an accredited MSW program, or are there specific programs designed to train LCSWs?

    Thanks for your time!
  2. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    ALL accredited MSW programs will prepare you for a LCSW, it's just a matter of what focus (or foci) the school may have. I have no knowledge of what programs are good on the West Coast. If you're equating clinical social work = therapy when you're asking who will better prepare you, remember that most LCSWs are not actually therapists, so careful of how you define it! I'd suggest you go to the CSWE website and search for accredited programs in the areas in which you want to live/train. I would pull up Masters programs and compare curricula and see what schools offer by way of practice theory-oriented courses. See what concentrations the schools offer. As an example, if they offer only health or administration, it doesn't sound like it would meet your interests. The first year will be a generalist SW background, the second year will be where you can tailor it a little more to meet your interests with electives and such. There will be a practicum in both years. Given your interest in working in rural AK, you might want to look at schools which offer coursework (above and beyond the minimum) that focuses on working in diverse settings with native and/or rural populations.

    An "approved program" is likely defined as one which is accredited by the CSWE. Check with the AK licensing board to make sure of that.

    Interesting that you bring this up, as one of my LCSW colleagues at a hospital is flying to AK this week for a job interview. The rural areas are in dire need of SWs and I believe they do pay fairly well in order to attract people up there. Apparently there are no roads in/out of the town where they would live, and their main mode of transportation would be by snowmobile. Not sure exactly what the job is, but I do know that 1) she'd be closer to Russia than the mainland US and 2) she's gonna have to learn another language to work with her clients. Sounds like quite the adventure!
  3. stilllooking

    stilllooking

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    Thank you so much for the amazing reply! Seriously, that helped a lot. If I can ask a peripheral question, I was looking through your previous posts and saw that you are in the process of applying to med. school. Why did you decide to leave the social work field? Would you reccommend it to someone or not?

    Thanks.
  4. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I love social work and will be sad to leave the field. There are a lot of skills I've learned that I hope to bring with me to med school (fingers crossed). I'm not bailing because I don't like social work, I'm bailing because I need/want something more than it can give me. It's been a great ride with lots of valuable experiences, and although others have said "Wow.. too bad you didn't go to med school right out of college", I have no regrets.

    I do recommend the field for those who can't imagine doing anything else. If you can, you might want to consider that other thing.
  5. acidicspecies08

    acidicspecies08

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    I'm confused by the statement you made about LCSW's not acutally being therapists. I thought that was exactly what they were and that that was what the license stood for? Did I misunderstand your post or am I just misinformed?
  6. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    What I was trying to say is that just because someone is a LCSW, they are not necessarily a therapist or trained for psychotherapy.

    Case in point: I work at 2 hospitals on medical floors. The majority of my colleagues, all LCSWs, did a health concentration during their second year of their MSW. They did not learn about psychopathology, and would not feel comfortable doing ongoing therapy. They absolutely do supportive counseling for their patients and families, but willingly and openly admit that they could not and would not open a private practice because that is not the focus of their degree.

    OTOH, my MSW was super therapy-oriented, and all of my courses and electives had a degree of psychopathology training woven into them. My field placement while in school was working as a therapist. All of my subsequent work experience has been in mental health- until I got the 2 hospital jobs. (And even now- one of them is fairly psych-related, but it's only because of the service I work with and is an exception to the rule.)

    Therefore, if the goal is to focus on mental health and do therapy, you need to seek out a program which will provide you with the tools that you need. For example, at the time I was looking at schools, my work supervisor wanted me to apply at Hunter College in NYC. Great school, great program, his alma mater.. but at the time (and this could have changed) they pretty much only had an administrative SW focus. I knew that I wanted to focus more clinically, therefore Hunter didn't interest me. Given the new tiers of licensure many states are establishing, this could have much more of an impact on practice opportunities than in the past. For example, in my state we used to just have the LCSW, and if you had a MSW and wanted a license- that's what you got. Administrative, clinical, community.. didn't matter- you got the LCSW. They revised things and we now have a LMSW and a LCSW, and you can't get the LCSW unless you actually do clinical (individual, group, family) work and have the education to back it up (ie, clinical electives and field placement). The LMSW is for macro workers.

    Again, "clinical" is pretty broadly defined in SW, it does not equal "psychotherapy" (unless you're at my alma mater, but that's another story :rolleyes: ). Clinical could be health, mental health, domestic violence, child/family services, school, child protection, senior services, etc etc etc.
  7. brusselsprout

    brusselsprout

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    This is a very helpful discussion. It kind of concerns me, though, because I want to be a private practice therapist and I was under the impression that with a LCSW license you are ready to hang up a shingle as a private practitioner. I completely understand what you're saying, but in my case I have limited geographical mobility because I'm married with a child, and while the New York programs sound wonderful and like an absolute match, they won't work for my family situation. So I have to look at local schools. I have found a few local schools that have clinical concentrations, but they don't offer nearly as many clinically-focused electives as does NYU or Smith for example.

    From what you're saying it sounds like doing a clinical concentration at a social work school and getting the LCSW isn't enough to be qualified to be a therapist. My goal is to be a private practice therapist. Since I don't have the luxury of going anywhere for my MSW, and so can't apply to the schools that have that super clinical focus, what should I do? How can I prepare myself to be a therapist beyond doing the clinical track at my school and getting my LCSW?

    I have been strongly considering MA in community counseling programs as well--would that be a better fit for those who want to be private practice therapists? I just want the best training I can get to prepare me to be a psychotherapist.

    My thought was that the MSW would be better than the MA in community counseling because I don't want to go for a doctorate and wanted a strong, stand alone master's degree, as well as the possibility to have a breadth of career options should the private practice therapy career end up not being the right fit. Additionally, when I look at the list of therapists on the Psychology Today database, most of the master's level providers are LCSWs.
  8. biogirl215

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    pingouin is more than free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think she is saying that LCSW's can;t be good private practice therapists (in fact, she WAS a private practice therapist), but that many LCSW's do direct service work that isn't therapy. In terms of preparing yourself, you could look at the opportunities to take electives in other departments (psych, for example), and of course, make sure you get strongly clinical/therapy-orientated practica and pre-license supervision. What programs are you considering?
  9. alissawk

    alissawk

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    Hi I am also looking for a MSW program with a strong clinical focus. I have been browsing social work websites and having a hard time finding any programs with a strong clinical focus except NYU and Smith. There must be others! A previous poster was talking about her program which prepared her well. Would people mind throwing out some names?
    Thanks!!
  10. thepsychgeek

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    NYU, Smith, and Hunter are pretty well known for their clinical focus. There was also a post a few back that lists several the poster had applied to, specifically with a clinical focus, you should go take a look. Boston College and Boston University have good clinical foci, as well as USC (I think- I'm not as definite on that one).

    Best of luck!
  11. ericschechter

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    hey friends-
    this is my first post, and i've done (hopefully) a thorough search of other threads. my question has been asked and answered but i'm looking for further clarification. my situation... researching MSW programs.. i'm looking for a clinically-oriented program to allow me to practice therapy (perhaps amongst other things in the social work field). my second requirement is that the university offers me significant financial aid, ideally in form of research assistantship or teaching assistant in exchange for tuition.

    as to my first question, it was answered by Pingouin...
    "I'd suggest you go to the CSWE website and search for accredited programs in the areas in which you want to live/train. I would pull up Masters programs and compare curricula and see what schools offer by way of practice theory-oriented courses."

    problem for me is that there are hundreds of programs and for someone like me- just breaking into it- it's not productive to go through every one and determine its clinical focus as well as financial aid offerings. I have no geographic area that i want to live/train, so narrowing it down on that line doesn't help. don't get me wrong, if i have to, so be it.. i'm willing to do the work. but i suspect it's already been done. i'll boil it down: is there any website that lists all the clinical MSW programs and has info on financial aid? perhaps it's a pipedream.. but maybe not?

    Thanks so much folks!
    eric:love:
  12. 2BeAProfessor

    2BeAProfessor AttemptedAdmission to PhD

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    You might want to try UGA as financially they are a great fit if you have a graduate assistantship...
    and if your specialty needs to be rural areas - try valdosta state university....
  13. psychometric

    psychometric

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    What can LCSW's with a clinical therapy focus actually do in a hospital?

    I heard from a student peer, that they are always marginalized against psychologists, and then mainly do case management instead of psychotherapy work.

    Is that generally true , or just one person's experience?

    Thanks for the input:)
  14. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    There are generally two types of LCSWs in hospitals: the medical social workers, and the mental health social workers.

    The medical social workers, also technically considered "clinical", do supportive therapy, needs assessments, some psychosocial assessment (specifically thinking of transplant services here, among others I'm sure), resource-locating, collaboration with outside services/providers, referral, discharge planning, and a whole host of other things I'm leaving out. They are on the medical floors, or assigned to specific medical services (departments). I believe that it's JCAHO that dictates they must be MSWs, although you may find a few people still around who were grandfathered in. In cities, these social workers have likely done a Health Concentration during their MSW. In more rural areas, where there are not many social workers, this may or may not be true.

    The mental health social workers work almost exclusively with the behavioral health services that a hospital has. (If there's no behavioral health dept, then there probably aren't any MH social workers around.) Their roles might include intake assessment, referral, group therapy, individual therapy, program management, insurance case management, conducting family meetings, collaboration with outside resources, discharge planning, and again, a whole host of other things I'm leaving off. These social workers have likely done a Mental Health Concentration during their MSW.

    It is sad that non-professionals are perpetuating the idea of marginalization between the fields of SW and psychology, when in my experience they have worked together quite collaboratively. Any instance I can think of when that was not the case would be directly related to some sort of personality conflict, rather than any sort of "us vs them" mentality. And btw, in real life we all seem to get along quite well with the psychiatrists, too. Funny how that gets distorted....
  15. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    eric-
    sorry, not meaning to ignore. I have to tell you- you'll probably be best off getting a little more focus about where you want to go- northeast? northwest? south? large city? small city? that'll help you narrow things down a bit.

    of course there are good clinical programs in other areas of the country than the East Coast. unfortunately for you, I have no clue what all of them are because I'm so far removed from admissions... if I'm remembering correctly, University of Chicago is excellent, U of Wisconsin-Madison.. Wash U in St Louis.. U of Michigan is well-known for their cognitive-behavioral program.. I'm sure the list goes on, but I have no knowledge of any West Coast or southern programs.

    again, to reiterate- my OPINION is that the most important thing is to find a program that offers a "mental health" concentration, or a "clinical" being used as a synonym for "mental health", to make sure that you get the most appropriate theoretical coursework as well as field placements.
  16. ericschechter

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    hi friends..
    thanks for your previous response, i found it helpful. a little shift of topics here (hope that's okay)... i originally and still want to practice therapy. one-on-one and maybe group therapy. classic psychoanalysis. after much research, i changed my focus from a masters in clinical psychology to social work. it will provide me with more credibility and recognition on a national level, as well as allow me to practice therapy.

    my concern is that i really want to learn about therapy.. this means having a thorough understanding of Rogerian/Humanistic/Client Centered approaches; Gestalt; Rational-Emotive; cognitive-behavioral therapy; Existential, etc. I'm looking at MSW programs and their descriptions, and i'm not seeing it. the focus is on under-privileged populations, and mental health seems not to translate into therapy in the sense i am hoping to practice (typically functioning patients with emotional/psychological complexes, and perhaps in a college counseling center); rather mental health in social work has a heavy mental illness connotation. as important as this work is, it's not really what I'm after. There's a difference.

    can someone shed light on my doubt? is the MSW indeed an appropriate program for me? it seems the best, and I do like a lot of the social work world, but i want to cover all bases. perhaps i should re-visit clinical psychology?
    :confused:
  17. xenobart

    xenobart MSW 2010

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    Hospitals are actually great places to work as a mental health LCSW ifyou work in the psychiatry or substance abuse departments.


    I'm a first year MSW student concentrating in mental health, and my internship is at a hospital at the department of psychiatry. The clients all have severe and persistent mental illness. My supervisor is an LCSW and works as a therapist alongside MFTs. I do no case management at my internship. (Most of the clients have case managers outside of the program.) My main duties are leading group therapy sessions, doing individual therapy with my caseload, and doing psychosocial assessments with new clients. The MFTs, LCSWs, psychiatrists, and RNs all work together harmoniously at my program. I've really enjoyed my time at this placement and could see myself in a similar working environment after graduation.
  18. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I'm so confused. If I'm reading this right, your perception is that social workers work with only the severely and persistently mentally ill, so you're looking at clinical psychology with a goal of working with a less-severely ill population? :confused:

    If you want to practice, find the field whose philosophy suits you best. Get a degree in that. Doctoral or masters will depend on the field you choose. If and when you ever get to the point of being licensed and having an established private practice, THEN you have the luxury of choosing exactly which types of patients you will see.

    And for the record, although college counseling sounds relatively benign as compared to a severely and persistently mentally ill population, campuses have plenty of students who have severe depression, eating disorders, drug and alcohol problems, generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive traits.. and let's not forget that the traditional college age is also the traditional age for things like first psychotic breaks and personality disorders to start manifesting themselves. The college population is not for the faint of heart.
  19. mrsglasgow

    mrsglasgow

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    does anyone know of any clinically focused msw programs in canada? (preferrably ontario)?

    many thanks
  20. psychometric

    psychometric

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    never mind.......
  21. brainquest

    brainquest

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    Why do you recommend considering the other thing?

  22. allygory

    allygory

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    :) Everything about your placement sounds great to me

  23. brightsideup

    brightsideup

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  24. brightsideup

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    By virtue of the social work profession, you work with the most vulnerable populations. Their stories and situations can be depressing or disturbing and can weigh heavily on your mind. Also, in a lot of agencies social workers have large case loads and the pay isn't all that spectacular. It's pretty easy to feel beat down and burnt out pretty quickly.

    I don't mean to turn you away from the profession. I'm just trying to paint a realistic picture. Social work isn't for the faint of heart as pingouin said. It really isn't a profession you go into as a pathway to do counseling or psychotherapy.Your client population are not likely to be normal functioning individuals who are just hitting rough spots, or to do life coaching. Theoritically you could, but thats not the mission of the profession.
  25. psychology24

    psychology24

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    Hi there, I too am very interested in individual therapy, psychoanalysis, critical approaches including postmodern therapy, and existential-humanistic. I am wondering how your search/career path has been with these interests and lookign for a MSW?

    As a side note, University of Pittsburgh's MSW program has a clinical focus concentration, and has qualitative research courses as well as a psychodynamic course as well with the commuity here you can find areas to support a psychodynamic and critical focus.
  26. Schooled

    Schooled

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    I also want to say that often times LCSWs move into administration positions VERY quickly, much fasters (in my experience) than other masters professionals. It wouldn't surprise me to know that you were promoted to Director of Admissions or Treatment Services in a few years.

    Social Work education is broad. It's both a gift and a curse. Even something as specialized as the LCSW, the positions they fill will seem varied.
  27. DaveInSeattle

    DaveInSeattle

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  28. 6sf5

    6sf5

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    I am looking into MSW programs in Canada too. Have you any luck?

    I am interested in the program at UofT. I really want one with a clinical focus, any suggestions?
  29. summer26

    summer26

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    Hi,

    I'm going to start graduate school at NYU this fall. I'm still a little worried that I won't be making enough money once i get my LCSW. Any advice?
  30. summer26

    summer26

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    Rutgers university and ohio state university has a clinical focus as well
  31. DaveInSeattle

    DaveInSeattle

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    Hi Eric, great question. Please, whatever list you come up with, please add your findings here (link below) for everyone's benefit. Thanks!
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/sho...ight=MSW programs with Clinical Concentration
  32. BSWdavid

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    I believe this is somewhat of a myth. Of course, there are many social workers that work with clients that are under privileged, can be quite vulnerable, etc., but this is the case with psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, etc. as well. It depends what setting you work in. If you are working in a community mental health center, you will see these kinds of clients regardless of your title. Conversely, if you are in private practice, you may work with whatever population you desire. While the social work profession prides itself on working with vulnerable populations, social workers are in no way limited to these kinds of clients.
  33. vslapak79

    vslapak79

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    This is my first time posting here, and what I've been reading in this thread seems very helpful.

    I was wondering if someone with experience in the Social Work field can recommend an MSW with clinical, particularly psychotherapy focus in the NYC area. I know NYU has a great program with that orientation, but I want to apply to several schools, and would like to focus on the ones that cam offer the kind of program I'm looking for.

    Thanks a lot!
  34. BSWdavid

    BSWdavid

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    NYU, Columbia, Rutgers (not sure how close to NYC), Hunter
  35. slinger

    slinger

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    My alma mater, Washburn University. This is located in Topeka, KS. It is extremely clinically focused as a lot of the retired or previously active Menninger Staff stayed in Topeka when Menninger decided to move and join with Baylor. Here are the names of alot of my MSW classes.

    Clinical SW Psychotherapy w/ Families
    Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis - DSM
    Clinical SW Psychotherapy w/ Groups
    Mental Health and the Law
    Clinical SW Psychotherapy w/ Individuals
    Psychopharmacology

    Of course these are not all of the courses, but you get the idea. They have 2 internships they require you to complete. One is generalist, and the other is clinical. I did my clinical (final) 2 semester internship at a VA Hospital, working on an Inpatient Acute Psychiatric Ward. I provided individual and group psychotherapy. I worked on a multi-disciplinary team (psychiatrist, resident, psych nurse, psychologist, and me). We all collaborated and had a part to play regarding psychotherapy.

    Borderline patients split between staff, and picked the "good guy" and made the "bad guy". This is all part of the process. Social Workers are not any less of a profession. The psychologist was primarily used for psych evaluations/testing. The psychiatrist and myself did all of the therapy, and we met on a daily basis to compare notes. Besides the individual therapy I provided, I made sure to ask questions such as, "Do you have transportation? Do you have adequate housing?" Looking at the broader picture of environmental stimuli that could be exacerbating already existing symptoms, or merely creating them.

    Brightsideup, your comments, while understandable I feel are incorrect. Social Work is indeed a profession to go into to practice psychotherapy. You just need to pick the program that suits that need.

    Bottom line is, there are multiple flavors of programs out there. Pick your flavor, and identify your-self clinically in your resume and your desire for experience. You will become what you want with your Social Work degree. Message me if you have any questions.
  36. Lemonly

    Lemonly

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    Hi All,

    I'm trying to decide which clinically-oriented MSW will be best for my desire to eventually go into psychotherapy (private practice). I don't actually want to be a social worker, but doing the doctorate level pre-requesite classes and program seems like an awefully long and expensive 8-year haul.

    I've gotten into the Hunter Accelerated Clinical program, but Smith and NYU's programs look even more clinical (haven't heard from them yet). I am in love with Smith -- it's my top choice-- but I also want to make sure that I am seeing the world as it is. Here are the questions I keep bumping up against:

    1) Smith/NYU's training is undoubtably more clinical than any other MSW. But some have said that ultimately all social work programs are going to train you to become a social worker; that if one's intention is to not do social work but private practice psychotherapy, then the MSW is relevant for the license, but ultimately not the silver bullet for training. My question is: in your opinion out there, is Smith/NYU going to train me that radically differently than other MSWs?

    2) And if that's the case, is that difference worth another $50,000 debt? I know that is not a question anyone but me can answer, but my sense is that starting out a private practice with that kind of debt is not easy. I'm trying to make sure that I am not putting myself into an insane position.

    2) In other words, would starting a private practice with $100,000 debt simply be a risk or would it be an unreasonable thing to do?

    Thank you!
  37. slinger

    slinger

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    In my opinion, even though I know nothing about the NYU program; I do know that they are accredited by the CSWE. So unless you are accepted as advanced standing, they will touch on all of the requirements set forth by the Council on Social Education. I do not think it would be radically different. This will include some law, public policy, diversity, ethics. Programs that tend to lean on more "clinical" classes are considered to be clinically focused.

    One part of your post confuses me. You said that you want to do private practice, but you do not want to be a social worker. May I ask, are you already qualified in another field to practice psychotherapy.

    To clear up a few things.
    1. You cannot practice Psychotherapy in an agency or privately with only a PhD in Social Work.
    2. MSW's are considered the terminal practicing degree for the profession.
    3. A PhD in Social Work is for one thing, being a college professor. Or on some rare occasion, doing research for the government or another agency.
    4. I wouldn't limit your focus to thinking that NYU has the most clinically focused program out there, this may be true for New York. For instance, mine at Washburn University, in Kansas has some of the professors who left when Menninger's moved. As you may know, Menninger was the psychiatric epicenter in the world at one time, they employed some of the best therapists of the time. Our focus was completely clinical.

    Good luck with your decision
  38. Lemonly

    Lemonly

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    Thank you, Slinger.

    Sorry, I did not clarify. I had been trying to decide between a PsyD and an MSW to eventually do theraputic work. I am not so interested in a doctorate in social work, as it seems redundant. I already teach, and I am looking to leave that to do therapy.

    Now, I am confused though. I thought that it was totally possible to set up a private practice with an MSW once you have a license. The training may not be as good as a PsyD obviously, but it would put me into practice. My question is really whether going into heavy debt to do the MORE clinical MSW is a stupid thing to do, especially as there's further training to be done AFTER the MSW or PsyD anyway if one wants.
  39. slinger

    slinger

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    No problem Lemonly.

    The first thing to note is that once you have obtained an MSW, you will (in most states) apply for your LMSW license. This license allows you to practice Psychotherapy under the supervision of an LCSW/LSCSW/ICSW (These are Clinical Social Workers, but vary by acronym by different states). A Licensed Clinical Social Worker can have a private practice on their own. An LMSW cannot, but can work in a private practice under someone else.

    I hope this clears up the muddy water a little for you. You can apply for you LSCSW basically right after you get your LMSW, it takes a certain number of supervised hours and another exam. All in all, an MSW is not a bad route to get your name out there (in a therapeutic sense) to the public.
  40. arielmhod

    arielmhod

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    Hello,

    This is my first time posting, and I just wanted to say, that everything written above has already been so helpful. I am also extremely interested in going to get my masters in clinical social work as well, and plan to work in private practice in the future.

    I know that a huge part of working in private practice is being able to succeed in networking yourself to clients, however I was wondering if anyone can name some specific schools or programs in Colorado, D.C. or maryland which are known to best prepare someone for private practice. I;ve heard that BU, BC, and Simmons are good schools in Boston, and NY school's such as hunter, nyu, and columbia were already listed above.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  41. Jcwavrider

    Jcwavrider

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    I would consider USC on the West Coast. It's an excellent school with a clinical focus. I work for the VA. Social Workers are involved in many different areas and the MSW gives you options. I agree that Smith and NYU have incredidle clinical programs. Additionally, the MSW/LCSW will allow you to work much sooner than Ph.D. programs. At the end of the day, follow your heart. Psychology, MFT, LPC, MSW disciplines all allow you to be in a position to affect change.
  42. xena35o

    xena35o

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    I, too, would be very interested to hear more about therapy-oriented msw programs in the DC/Maryland area. Does anyone know the reputations of schools in these areas (particularly the University of Maryland School of Social Work)?
  43. socwrkr

    socwrkr

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    There is also the DSW (Doctor of Social Work) for social workers, which, unlike the PhD in Social Work, is generally more practice-oriented. It's sort of like the social work equivalent to the PsyD. You will need an MSW in order to get your DSW. The University of Pennsylvania has a DSW program, and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville will offer a low-residency option in 2012. Unfortunately, similar to the PsyD, the DSW water is being muddied by the degree being offered by Capella as an online program. Social work PhD and DSW programs do not have to go through CSWE accreditation because the MSW is the terminal degree for the profession.
  44. wigflip

    wigflip

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    I think that's right. I got steered towards the MSW for the license, but found the training (at least in my program) to be subpar. It was reputed to be a very clinical program (I'd rather not say which one), and very well-regarded, but there is no way I could have been a competent clinician without seeking out a lot of supplementary training. Virtually all we'd achieved at the end of the first semester was to talk endlessly about attachment theory, and semester 2 was shaping up to be more of the same. No abnormal psych, no CBT. I asked multiple second-year students about the second year of training--they all said it would be even MORE of the same. I might have stayed in order to qualify for the license, but the tuition was outrageous for the value of the training. I realized I was getting bilked for a hollow pedigree and bailed. My friend, who went to a less costly, but similarly ranked (MSW) school said the same thing about her clinical training--it was somewhere between insufficient and non-existent. Just two people's experiences, but worth considering. Incidentally, we knew what we were missing out on because we both went to a top ranked undergrad institution in psych.

    If I had it to do all over again, I'd go to a well-regarded PsyD program.
  45. skerriesbear

    skerriesbear

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    Hi I wanted to weigh in as I am thinking about either the PsyD. or DSW but already have a MSW. First off, someone suggested that the MSW is somehow subpar for doing clinical therapy work. This is false. It all depends of which school you go to and if there is a clinical emphasis. Mine at Grand Valley State University had a clinical emphasis. As the terminal degree the M.S.W. is the way to go to get both a good and a broad clinical base and the degree with the most flexibility as you can open up shop without needing a person with a doctorate to sign off on your work. Also, just to state I am an American but living overseas in Ireland. In Ireland the social workers are typically not clinically based, although there are exceptions, and here (not in the U.S.) Psychologists are seen as the clinical experts not the MSW's. In the U.S. they are seen as having essentially equal expertise in clinical psychotherapy but the MSW, of course, does not usually include psychological testing.

    I am considering the DSW or Psy.D not because my MSW is somehow subpar but because of the limitations of the degree in Ireland. I found a DSW program in TN which states it is a clinical degree so would be therefore adding on to my already substantial clinical training and experience. I may do that program to either help me more here or to give me more credibility for a program director job.
  46. amsw2014

    amsw2014

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    To answer your inquiry

    The University of Kansas is ranked pretty high (top 5 or 10), they have a clinical track and it will ensure a clinical practicum too.

    I cant speak for schools other than UMKC and KU but I know KU is a great school and will prepare you to easily get a license in other states..in fact KS licensure often transfers to other states with little to no additional testing in other states, according to my friend in the program. Deadline to apply for the 2 year MSW is early Feb, but people are already starting (the references are online and sent out as soon as you start the process). Good Luck in whichever school you choose.
  47. amsw2014

    amsw2014

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    I would love to know more how you seek and secure a job in Ireland as a US Citizen? Ant tips?
  48. mlaumeister

    mlaumeister

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    I have just read this entire thread here which is indeed extremely helpful. It's also nice to know that being mystified and having many questions is natural for one wishing to be a therapist. There are so many avenues and possibilities, how to know which is the way to go? In an ideal world I would opt for the Ph.D in Psychoanalysis with Existential/Humanistic emphasis simply for the enriching experience of it, to your own psyche and self.

    But the Ph.D.is lengthy, expensive (?) and very competitive to get in to. Right?... I am a novice here and in my pursuit of graduate school with the end goal of being a psychotherapist (I know Psychologist and psychoanalysis as a title is for the Ph.D holders in this world).

    After reading this thread here, I have to saythe one time idea of getting a MSW is ringing loud and clear. It is fast and one can get licensed and be in private practice, it sounds simple and straightforward indeed. Yet, I don't want to "miss out" and it is precisely this body of knowledge and philosophy I resonate deeply, in why i wish to pursue it as a career.

    People say in other threads here, had they known they would have done a MSW or Masters in Counseling for example and study the Existential, philosophical stuff on their own.

    Just some thoughts.

    Very helpful every one. Thank you. Any suggestions more than welcome or conversations, etc. feel free to write me.

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