Code Section

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 14. Social Workers [4991 - 4998.5]

  ( Chapter 14 added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 820, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 4. Licensure [4996 - 4997.1]
  ( Heading of Article 4 amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 659, Sec. 26. )


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; doing research related to social work; and the use, application, and integration of the coursework and experience required by Sections 4996.2 and 4996.23.

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, and 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.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 473, Sec. 48. (SB 821) Effective January 1, 2014.)