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General Laws

Section 130. As used in this section and sections one hundred and thirty-one to one hundred and thirty-seven, inclusive, the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:—

“Board”, means the board of registration of social workers.

“Recognized educational institution”, a degree granting college or university recognized as such by the United States Office of Education or the commonwealth.

“Social worker”, an individual who by training and experience meets the requirements for licensing by the board and is duly licensed to engage in the practice of social work in the commonwealth.

“The practice of social work”, rendering or offering to render professional service for any fee, monetary or otherwise, to individuals, families, or groups of individuals, which services involve the application of social work theory and methods in the prevention, treatment, or resolution of mental and emotional disorders or family or social dysfunctioning caused by physical illness, intrapersonal conflict, interpersonal conflict or environmental stress. Such professional services may include, but shall not be limited to, the formulation of a psychosocial evaluation, counseling, psychotherapy of a nonmedical nature, referral to community resources, and the development and provision of educational programs.

“Counseling”, engaging individuals, families, or groups of individuals in conscious, problem solving discussions about psychosocial problems. Such counseling efforts may or may not include facilitating the client’s obtaining financial or other forms of environmental assistance.

“Psychotherapy of a nonmedical nature”, the utilization of psychological and interpersonal theories and related practice methodologies to assess, interpret and modify conscious and unconscious processes of behavior.

“Licensed certified social worker”, an individual who is licensed by the board to practice social work and who meets the qualifications set forth in section one hundred and thirty-one for a certified social worker.

“Licensed social worker”, an individual who is licensed by the board to practice social work and who meets the qualifications set forth in section one hundred and thirty-one for a social worker.

“Licensed social work associate”, an individual who is licensed by the board to practice social work and who meets the qualifications set forth in section one hundred and thirty-one for a social work associate.

“The independent practice of clinical social work”, rendering or offering to render professional services for any fee, monetary or otherwise, to individuals, families, or groups of individuals, which services involve the application of social work theory and methods in the treatment of mental and emotional disorders through the use of psychotherapy of a nonmedical nature by an individual who is not providing such services under the employ of a recognized educational institution, federal, state or municipal institution, or an institution, facility or agency which is licensed to operate under the laws of the commonwealth.

“Licensed independent clinical social worker”, an individual who is licensed by the board to practice independent clinical social work and who meets the qualifications set forth in section one hundred and thirty-one for an independent clinical social worker.

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