- What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)?
4996.9. CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK AND PSYCHOTHERAPY DEFINED (see page 90)
The practice of clinical social work is defined as a service in which a special knowledge of social resources, human capabilities, and the part that unconscious motivation plays in determining behavior, is directed at helping people to achieve more adequate, satisfying, and productive social adjustments. The application of social work principles and methods includes, but is not restricted to, counseling and using applied psychotherapy of a nonmedical nature with individuals, families, or groups; providing information and referral services; providing or arranging for the provision of social services; explaining or interpreting the psychosocial aspects in the situations of individuals, families, or groups; helping communities to organize, to provide, or to improve social or health services; or doing research related to social work.
Psychotherapy, within the meaning of this chapter, is the use of psychosocial methods within a professional relationship, to assist the person or persons to achieve a better psychosocial adaptation, to acquire greater human realization of psychosocial potential and adaptation, to modify internal and external conditions which affect individuals, groups, or communities in respect to behavior, emotions, and thinking, in respect to their intrapersonal and interpersonal processes.
California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS): www.bbs.ca.gov
The BBS is the licensing body for California LCSW licenses. The following are the required steps and information you will need to obtain the LCSW. Please review all BBS website pages/links that specifically explain the LCSW license requirements.
- What are the steps to becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in California?
- Obtain a master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from an accredited school of social work
- Register with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) as an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW)
- Video Guide on applying for an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW) Registration in California
- Registration Packet – review and complete
- Take and Pass the California Law and Ethics Exam
- Complete any additional coursework required (if applicable)
- Accrue Supervised Experience
- All hours in California must be gained while registered
- 3,000 total supervised hours, over 104 weeks (minimum)
- Take and Pass the ASWB Clinical Exam
- Request/ Obtain official license after passing Clinical Exam
BBS Additional Information
- Information for Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Applicants
- Information for LCSW Licensing Examinations
- LCSW Breakdown of Required Experience
- ASW Supervisor Information & Qualifications
- Additional Information and Resources
*Please note that the School of Social Work at San Diego State University is not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided above, and applicants are themselves responsible for verifying all information related to the licensing process with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).