What is clinical social work

Clinical social work in Switzerland

When more and more clients of social work become ill healthily and mentally, counseling and support from social workers is required that corresponds to a bio-psycho-social understanding of health, disorder and illness. The consideration of all three factors is based on a systemic approach. With a special focus on the social dimension, clinical social work is life-world-oriented. It offers social support in order to be able to adequately accompany a hard-to-reach clientele due to its low threshold. Clinical social work has a number of characteristics that make it special over social work. We can speak of a "plus" when clinical social workers treat their clientele with their holistic view and additional knowledge from the disciplines of medicine and psychology. Clinical social work has been regarded as specialist social work in Germany since 2003. In this research work, the authors pursue the questions of what the theory of clinical social work is about, on which concepts and models it is based, and with which methods it acts. Using guided interviews, seven social workers from institutions in the addiction area were asked about their working methods. From this it was deduced whether clinical social work is already being done in Switzerland. The research showed that concepts, models and methods of clinical social work can be found to some extent in practice. It was also shown that clinical social work, especially in the addiction area, deserves special attention and dissemination with its attitude, knowledge and ability.