The rise of psychology in social work

According to a recent infographic, social work is one of the fastest growing professions, with the amount of practising social workers expected to rise by 25% between 2010 and 2020. What's more, in addition to possessing academic certifications in social care, many of these individuals have also earned bachelor's degrees and similar academic accreditation within the field of psychology.

This is due to the fact that many social work jobs now involve the administration of psychological counselling of some kind. For instance, as About Education reports, specialist staff such as "Medical and public health social workers offer psychosocial services to individuals, families and groups who are affected by acute, chronic, and terminal illnesses. These services might involve providing psychological counselling". 

In fact, due to this ongoing integration of psychological disciplines within social work jobs, many educational institutions now offer combined degrees in psychology, counselling and social work. As the Columbia University Center for Career Education states: "Psychology, Counselling, and Social Work are fields grounded in empathy, care, and transformation on individual, organisational, and/or structural levels. Deemed ‘helping professions,’ these fields are populated with individuals who desire to work for the betterment of others". More and more social workers are beginning to consolidate a fundamental understanding of basic psychological disciplines so that they can provide individually tailored support to the people who are placed within their care.

Both clinical psychology and social work are professions which focus upon helping individuals to resolve issues that are adversely impacting their daily life. Although social work jobs primarily deal with problems related to poverty, legal dilemmas and human rights issues, these problems are often directly related to deeper mental, behavioural and emotional health issues that are pertinent to the field of psychology. From assigning children to foster care centres with special needs facilities, to advising that impoverished adults are scheduled to have consultations with pharmacologists or clinical psychologists, by using psychological disciplines within their daily social work jobs, carers and counsellors can start to identify the root cause of a person's legal or socio-economic issues. By doing this, social workers can arrange for these people to receive the appropriate psychological support that will be most beneficial to their individual circumstances.

After all, as a USC social work study recently revealed, approximately 70 - 90% of people who receive pharmacological and psychosocial treatment have a significant reduction of symptoms and an improved quality of life. So by continuing to integrate the field of psychology within social work jobs, social workers can accurately identify whether individuals need further psychiatric support and refer them to specialist practitioners who will efficiently help them to resolve their physical, mental and social dilemmas.

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1 Response to "The rise of psychology in social work"

  1. I worked in social work before I had my children. It was the most difficult and challenging jobs at times but it was also amazing and so rewarding xx

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