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MSW Can all Clinical Social Workers diagnose?

Discussion in 'Mental Health and Social Welfare' started by InfoNerd101, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. InfoNerd101

    InfoNerd101 Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

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    I read that clinical social workers being able to diagnose mental illness is a thing unique to the United States, and that in most other places, diagnostics are left to psychologists and psychiatrists. Is this true? They are unable to do so elsewhere?
     
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  3. PsychMajorUndergrad18

    PsychMajorUndergrad18 Future School Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    I haven't heard anything about LCSW being able to diagnose
     
  4. InfoNerd101

    InfoNerd101 Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

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    Are u in the states or Canada?
     
  5. PsychMajorUndergrad18

    PsychMajorUndergrad18 Future School Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    States. Though if they do have privileges to diagnose I don't know if I would want a LCSW to. I'd rather prefer to have a Clinical Psychologist diagnose and maybe a LCSW do therapy
     
  6. biscuitsbiscuits

    biscuitsbiscuits 2+ Year Member

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    I can't speak for any other countries, but an LCSW can diagnose mental illness in the US.
     
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  7. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    It's likely going to depend on individual state law, but as far as I know, in every state in which I've worked, LCSW's can diagnose mental health conditions. It's mostly just a matter of training and level of competence (e.g., even as a psychologist, I'd be hesitant to diagnose something like an autism-spectrum disorder because it's simply not my area of expertise).
     
  8. biscuitsbiscuits

    biscuitsbiscuits 2+ Year Member

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    True, probably varies by state. I also want to point out what might seem obvious to those in the field but maybe not to everyone: not every social worker is an LCSW. You can't diagnose right out of your masters program. You have to have, depending on the state, ~2000 hours of supervised direct clinical work before you can sit for the LCSW exam and become licensed.
     
    jheda, Goobernut and AcronymAllergy like this.
  9. Everyone can diagnose someone else if they want, my mother does it all the time and she has no mental health training whatsoever. In order to provide treatment and bill insurances one must be licensed. Performing a diagnostic assessment using testing materials is also usually considered to be a protected area of practice for psychologists. When it comes to testifying in court as to the existence of a mental illness, each state has it's own laws regarding that and it also depends on being accepted as an expert by the court.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  10. jheda

    jheda

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    California was the first state to permit LCSWs to diagnose and treat mental and nervous disorders without having MDs countersign. In addition, LCSWs in California can also provide inpatient psychiatric treatment.
     
  11. jheda

    jheda

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    I previously served as Vice Chair of The California Board of Behavioral Science which is the board that licenses Clinical Social Workers. I was also Chair of the Examination that wrote the original exam. I can say with certainty that any social who can not demonstrate his or her ability to diagnose mental and nervous disorders will never pass the LCSW exam in California.
     
    submarine1991 likes this.
  12. HooahDOc

    HooahDOc Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I haven't met many who actually could


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    UrbanMidwest likes this.
  13. UrbanMidwest

    UrbanMidwest The heretical social worker.

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    Dang!
     
  14. Goobernut

    Goobernut LMSW 5+ Year Member

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    Yeah, even docs can be trolls :)


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  15. HooahDOc

    HooahDOc Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I really wasn't joking or trolling. I have worked with a lot of LCSWs over the years and have realized there exists great variability in the quality and scope of their educational programs and training experiences. Unfortunately, it seems the majority are subpar. I have, however, met a handful of LCSWs that I had a great deal of respect for and trust in their diagnostic and treatment abilities and enjoyed collaborating with them regularly.
     
  16. Shrink1982

    Shrink1982 2+ Year Member

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    We have pretty extensive training in dx of psych disorders so not sure why you think we aren't good enough. Most states permit LCSW's to diagnose and treat mental disorders, something our psychology colleagues seem to think belong to them.
     

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