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WHAT IS A LCSW OR LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER?

Per Section: 4996.9. 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.
http://www.bbs.ca.gov/consumer/what_is.shtml

WHAT IS A REGISTERED PLAY THERAPIST? 

According to the Association for Play Therapy, Registered Play Therapists (RPT) and Registered Play Therapists-Supervisors (RPT-S) are licensed or certified practitioners who have earned a Master's or higher mental health degree, 150 or more hours of specialized play therapy training, substantial clinical and play therapy experience and supervision, and at least 36 hours of continuing education during subsequent three-year renewal cycles.    http://www.a4pt.org/ps.credentials.cfm?ID=1637

HOW DO I EXPLAIN THERAPY TO MY CHILD?

I explain my role in whatever way is most comfortable to the family. Some families don't like the stigma associated with "therapist". They refer to me as a coach or helper.

Generally I explain that I'm someone who helps kids that may be having trouble at home/school, who have worries, or get angry a lot, etc. I then ask the child if any of those things sound like something he/she would like help with.

I explain that I don't give shots like a doctor, but I do take your feeling temperature. When you come to see me we get to talk and play. Sometimes I meet with just you, just mom/dad, or everyone. 

I encourage parents to explain what they are comfortable with and I will help facilitate the rest!