Guest Post: Joan Pittman, Clinical Assistant Professor & Director of the MSW Program at USG

Joan Pittman, PhD, MSW, LCSW-C Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the MSW Program at USG

Joan Pittman, PhD, MSW, LCSW-C
Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the MSW Program at USG

Who is the largest provider of mental health services in this country? Social Workers!

Maybe you already knew this but when I was getting my undergraduate degree in Business Administration many years ago I had never heard of the Social Work profession, and I think many people are unaware of the career opportunities for Masters Level Social Workers.

My first career as an Insurance Underwriter I quickly realized was not my life’s passion – nothing against the insurance field. I explored several different “helping fields” and decided on Social Work because of the breadth of opportunities and the ability to earn a professional license upon graduation. What a great decision! As a Masters Level Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-C) over the past 15+ years, I have worked in counseling centers, schools, and businesses helping people overcome depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues and other life challenges. Working with families to rebuild connections, facilitating parenting groups, and helping teenagers develop positive coping strategies are just a few examples of the challenging, exciting, and rewarding work that I have been able to do as a social worker.

Joan with StudentsIf this blog is peaking your interest in the social work field you’re in luck because UMB just started offering the complete MSW degree at USG in the Clinical Behavioral Health Specialization! The demand for MSWs with expertise in Behavioral Health in Montgomery County and nationwide is on the rise. With recent changes in health polices, more individuals have coverage for mental health and substance abuse services, and health systems are offering more preventive and integrated services that are often provided by social workers.

Clinical Behavioral Health encompasses many different career opportunities and focuses on treating the whole person, which is often talked about as the intersection of mental health, substance use, and medical needs. MSW Behavioral Health students are trained to work with children, adolescents, and adults using prevention and intervention skills in individual, family and group formats. One of the exciting components of the MSW program is that a large part of the course work takes place in agencies practicing skills and gaining experience in the field. MSW students at USG are placed in lots of different settings including community mental health centers, primary care clinics, psychiatric hospitals, schools, family service agencies, and government agencies.

If you are interested in learning more about the MSW program at USG please visit us at USG’s Open House on Saturday, November 7th from 9-12 or attend one of our MSW information sessions at USG.

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