Upon reflecting on the needs and goals of the diverse and dedicated population Eyas Landing has the opportunity to serve, we realized that adding a Clinical Social Worker to our passionate team of clinicians would support our goal of caring for the whole child, their family, and the systems in which they thrive.
In December 2019, we hired our first clinical social worker, Annie M (LCSW). Annie graduated with her Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
In April 2020, we hired our second social worker, Ashley B (MSW, LSW). Ashley graduated with her Master of Social Work from the University of Washington and specializes in attachment-based therapies, the impact of trauma on development and relationships, infant mental health, and play therapy.
Social Work at Eyas Landing
Clinical social work focuses on supporting children and their families in a variety of areas and needs. Clinical social work is a specialty practice area of social work which focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness, emotional, and other behavioral disturbances. Individual, group and family therapy are common treatment modalities (NASW, 2019).
At Eyas Landing, social work will focus on supporting children identify and understand their emotions and tackle barriers to success within the realms of their emotional and social experiences as well as supporting success within other areas of treatment a child may be receiving from our multidisciplinary team at Eyas Landing.
Clinical social work has a primary focus on the mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being the children and families Eyas Landing serves. It centers on a holistic approach to psychotherapy and the client’s relationship to his or her environment. Clinical social work views the child’s relationship with his or her environment as essential to treatment planning and understanding (NASW, 2019).
Clinical social workers perform services in a variety of settings including private practice, hospitals, community mental health, primary care, and agencies. Clinical social workers are mandated to practice under standards set by the National Association of Social Workers as well as a code of ethics.
Who benefits from Clinical Social Work?
Children and families with a variety of needs and challenges can benefit from social work services. These challenges include discussing and identifying feelings, social interaction with others, providing therapeutic listening, engaging in creative play, engaging in age-appropriate group activities, etc. Counseling can be done on both one to one ratio, as well as group ratio to facilitate appropriate social, communication, and leisure skills. Children with the following symptoms or diagnoses may benefit from social work services:
Clinical social work will look different for each child depending on the child’s needs and the focus of services. The goal is to build coping skills and resilience for a child and family in effort to increase success for increased functioning.
Strategies used by social workers:
Assessing the biological, psychological, and sociological factors in a child’s life to better understand their potential impact on treatment goals
Identifying cognitive distortions and supporting children in reframing distorted cognitions
Motivational interviewing to support child in reflecting on their identity and ability
Support children in recognizing rational and irrational thoughts
Modeling and guiding children in emotional validation and regulation
Introducing mindfulness and grounding techniques to support
Creating and exploring helpful coping skills
Eyas Landing utilizes the latest evidence-based practice to provide the best treatment for your child. A common modality in clinical social work is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is psychotherapy that has been shown to be effective in over 2,000 research studies. It is a structured, present-oriented psychotherapy that helps individuals identify goals that are most important to them and overcome obstacles that get in the way (Beck Institute, 2019). CBT focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems.
Social work treatment at Eyas Landing is a collaborative effort between the therapist(s), family, child, and other caregivers (e.g., teachers, grandparents, medical team, etc.). During the initial social work evaluation, social work will meet with both the primary caregiver(s) and the identified child.
This initial evaluation will last one hour and will aim to understand reasons for referral as well as gather a history and review all relevant psychological and sociological information related to treatment. Following the evaluation, recommendations for continued treatment are made based on results of the evaluation, and a plan of care is established by the therapist & family.
Goal of Clinical Social Work
The goal for social work services at Eyas Landing is to provide client-centered therapy to address the child’s individual objectives for treatment. Each social work session and treatment plan is catered to the child and family, coupled with the insight and support of the other disciplines at Eyas Landing that are dedicated to our client’s care, treatment, and success.