What Is the Difference Between LICSW and LP? Research Proposal

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¶ … LICSW and LP?

Both Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker deal with the field of the study of human mind and behavior. There are laws in every state that regulate the definitions and the terms for the practice of psychology, by a licensed psychologist (LP), respectively that of Clinical Social Work by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). The similarities in both fields of work are obvious because both professionals use as a basis for their work the theories developed by the sciences that study human behavior.

The laws regulating the practice of these professionals in every state are basically enumerating many similar principles, conditions and legal frame a LCSW and respectively a LP are allowed to get their licenses and practice these professions with one major difference regarding the conditions to get a license that refers to the level of school diploma and a median difference that refers to the part of work these professionals focus on. For the purpose of naming the common features and the specific difference in the two analyzed field of work, the two laws regulating the obtaining of a license and practicing the two professions in the State of New York have been taken into account, as an example.

According to Art 153, the practice of psychology is defined as follows:Download full
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TOPIC: Research Proposal on What Is the Difference Between LICSW and LP? Assignment

The practice of psychology is the observation, description, evaluation, interpretation, and modification of behavior for the purpose of preventing or eliminating symptomatic, maladaptive or undesired behavior; enhancing interpersonal relationships, personal, group or organizational effectiveness and work and/or life adjustment; and improving behavioral health and/or mental health. The practice includes, but is not limited to psychological (including neuropsychological) testing and counseling; psychoanalysis; psychotherapy; the diagnosis and treatment of mental, nervous, emotional, cognitive or behavioral disorders, disabilities, ailments or illnesses, alcoholism, substance abuse, disorders of habit or conduct, the psychological aspects of physical illness, accident, injury or disability, psychological aspects of learning (including learning disorders); and the use of accepted classification systems. (New York State, Education Law, Art. 153).

The definition for a psychologist places the weight on the research, the study, thus on the development of research design, methods and tests and then their application for the purpose of diagnosing and treating.

According to Art. 154, §7701, in the State of New York, the definition of the practice of clinical social work is based on the practice of licensed master social work plus diagnosis of mental, emotional, behavioral, addictive and developmental disorders and disabilities and of the psychosocial aspects of illness, injury, disability and impairment undertaken within a psychosocial framework; administration and interpretation of tests and measures of psychosocial functioning; development and implementation of appropriate assessment-based treatment plans; and the provision of crisis oriented psychotherapy and brief, short-term and long-term psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic treatment to individuals, couples, families and groups, habilitation, psychoanalysis and behavior therapy; all undertaken for the purpose of preventing, assessing, treating, ameliorating and resolving psychosocial dysfunction with the goal of maintaining and enhancing the mental, emotional, behavioral, and social functioning and well-being of individuals, couples, families, small groups, organizations, communities and society. (New York State Education Law, Art. 154, 2004).

Although this definition involves the part for diagnosis and treatment, it is based on the theories of social work, and it clearly shifts the focus from research to practice and toward integration.

The LCSW and the LP have many similarities in the filed of practice, but they also have two major differences. First, the requirements to qualify for being examined for a license for a LCSW include "a master's or equivalent degree of social work"( New York State Education Law, Art 154, Social Work, §7704, 2) and have two to three years (depending on the state) of post-graduate clinical work experience in the field under the supervision of a professional in the filed of social work or psychology, whereas the requirements for becoming a licensed psychologist require a PhD or a PsyD in Psychology and engagement in psychology related activities under the supervision of a professional, in most states. Furthermore, "PhD psychology programs begin with several years of academic study before moving students into clinical internship" (New York State Education Law, Art 154, Social Work, §7704, 2).

Social work requires the LCSW to work with the psychosocial aspects that affect the client, considering the "environmental systems that impact clients, and on issues of social justice" (New York State Education Law, Art 154, Social Work, §7704, 2). Rachelle a. Dorfman pins the essence of this type of profession to the chore by underlining the central perspective of the practice: that of "person-in-situation"(Dorfman, 1996, p. 2, Goldstein, 2001, p.3).

According to the United States Department of Labor, in the field of social work, "about 5 out of 10 jobs were in health care and social assistance industries and 3 in 10 work for State and local government agencies" (United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics), while in the field of psychology, "about 34% of psychologists are self-employed, compared with only 8% of all workers" (United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics).The U.S. Department of Labor classify Psychologists under the filed of "Social scientists and related occupations," whereas the same organism places the social workers under the field of "Community and social services occupations" (United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Since the filed of social work is more focused on the macro level, that is an individuals' environment, the society that'd (he) will fit in, as opposed to psychology, where the LP is focused on applying tests and the treatment of the individual, the LCSW is more likely to work in "health care and social assistance industries and local government agencies" (McKay. About.com).

The role of the LCSW has gained in importance during the last decades in the U.S. because of various reasons. Jeffrey a Cohen writes an article about the growing importance of the LCSW under the circumstances of the growing filed of managed care that is credited with more attention during the last years. First, Cohen uses Shapiro's definition of "managed care" in order to set the environment a LCSW is usually working in: "any kind of health care services which are paid for, all or in part, by a third party, including any government entity, and for which the locus of any part of clinical decision-making is other than between the practitioner and the client or patient'" ( Shapiro (1995), p. 441, cited by Cohen, J.A). One of the reasons that encouraged the employment of more LCSW in the managed care field during the last decade in the U.S. is based on financial considerations. LCSW cost less than psychiatrists and LP partly because they are more short/medium term therapy oriented professionals.

A modern capitalist state needs a health care system that includes social workers who are involved in providing low-cost and third-party funded social assistance. "Since the 1960s, social work services have become incorporated in and integral to inpatient medical and psychiatric services, hospital-based primary care and specialty care, community health and mental health clinics, alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs, school health clinics, home care agencies, nursing homes and hospice (Garner, 1995; Richman, 1995)" ( NASW, p148).

Health and mental health care facilities, patients' families and their communities are special environments for the patients and their special needs in coping with their disease and the response they get from those they interact with are considered a social problem and as such, their care has come to include a LCSW. The complex web that usually forms a patient's environment is set into motion towards dealing with him or her the best way possible. "Mobilizing the resources of family and friends as well as economic and community support prevents deterioration, making it possible for patients or family to achieve the best level of health" (Garner, 1995; Richman, 1995)" ( NASW, p 149).

Although a Licensed Psychologist and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker are different in their practice goals, they are both concerned with setting a diagnosis, "of mental, emotional, behavioral, addictive and developmental disorders and disabilities and of the psychosocial aspects of illness, injury, disability and impairment undertaken within a psychosocial framework; administration and interpretation of tests and measures of psychosocial functioning; development and implementation of appropriate assessment-based treatment plans"( OP New York State Education Department. Education Law. Art. 154). The LP and the LCSW's practice goals overlap in terms of assessment and treatment methods, but they generally differ in their focus. The ethics and regulations are also overlapping in the two professions. While psychologists are more inclined to use research and test results to reach a conclusion in the benefit of their patients, the sociologists are more prone to asses, diagnose and choose a treatment that is also concerned with "the effects of social change on their practice" ( Rebach, Bruhn, 2001, p. 2).

At a first glance, some could argue that psychology tends to be more scientifically accurate since it is based on research, testing and test interpretation, while clinical… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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