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GWSCSW is a community of highly trained clinicians committed to maintaining standards of professional education and practice in clinical social work
Greater Washington Society for Clinical Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in is DC, Maryland and Virginia to sponsor social work educational events and offer continuing education credit.
Welcome, students and new professionals, and retirees! GWSCSW offers professional development programs for all our members.
GWSCSW is not just here to help you navigate your career, we are a community supporting one another grow, connect, and encourage self-care.
GWSCSW works with state lobbyists to keep you updated on all state level issues. GWSCSW also advocates on the national level through our affiliation with the CSWA.


I want to wish everyone a Happy Spring and Welcome to the Summer of 2023!

It has been a busy year for the Society. I want to thank everyone for their continued support of the Society and participation in the workshops, seminars, and the Members Town Hall held April 22, 2023. The Education Committee is in the process of planning interesting workshops for the upcoming fall, including an Anti-Racism workshop tentatively titled Anti-Racism for Social Workers: Healing Racial Trauma. Planning is also underway for the Members Cocktail Party to be held in early fall, so please watch your email for its announcement.

The Members Town Hall was successful in that it provided a forum for open and honest dialogue between the members and the Board. This was the first of what I hope are one Members Town Hall to be held at least once per quarter, so if you missed the first, there will be others. I would like to extend a thank you to Melanie Hood-Wilson, our DEI consultant for her skillful facilitation of our Town Hall, which enabled and maintained a safe space for an open and honest conversation. Melanie is completing the first phase of the Society Needs Assessment, with members speaking with her individually and answering a survey. Once compiled, the next steps are for dissemination and discussion of next steps with members. Please look for this in the next quarter. Melanie will continue working with the Society on the needs assessment and creating a strategic plan for the Society.

As always, the Society continues our mission to advance the field of social work, including:

  • Access to our vibrant listserv
  • Sponsoring continuing education events
  • Continuing our legislation and advocacy work
  • Coordinating with our lobbyists on legislative issues of concern to social work
  • Offering our mentorship program
  • Providing low-cost therapy for MSW students.

I continue to welcome and encourage your feedback. What would make the Society more inviting and appealing to you? Of course, not every suggestion can be enacted, but I believe helpful information will emerge from your feedback.

As I end this note, I want us all to remember our mission as Social Workers, and the benefits we provide to our clients and others with our knowledge and humanity. I would also ask that we remember this in responding to our colleagues and their inquiries and comments.

As always I want to continue to foster a feeling of connection and the sense that this is a Society for everyone.

Thank you for your support of me and the Society!
Karla Abney, GWSCSW President

Steve Szopa, LCSW is Karla's Abney's Co-President and can be contacted as well. Steve has served in a variety of Society roles including Vice-President (2014-2016), President (2016-2018) and is currently the Communications Branch Director. Steve is pleased to support Karla in the busy position of presiding over our large and active Society.

Low Cost Therapy for MSW Students

GWSCSW's low-cost therapy program to help MSW students who cannot afford therapy at usual rates to get therapy while they are still in school. 

Social Justice Branch

How has systemic racism impacted your clinical practice? How do you measure up as an anti-racist clinician? How often do you consider the effect of systemic racism on the issues bringing your clients to therapy?  Racism is but one important force that has shaped all of our lives, whether we realize it or not. Thus, in order to cultivate emotional intimacy with our clients, we must, as clinicians, first be willing to engage with the insidious nature of racism and sit with a great deal of discomfort. We must be willing to enter a brave space within ourselves before we can foster one with our clients. 

Social Justice Announcements

mentoring program

The purpose of the Mentor Program is to provide a link between a Mentor, who is an established member of the profession, with a graduating social work student, a recent graduate, a social worker re-entering the field or one new to the area. The program is open to all GWSCSW Members no matter what area of concentration or special interest he or she has in the field of social work.

Click here to learn about GWSCSW's Mentorship Program  

Study Groups for Members

Study Groups promote ongoing social work education, collaboration, peer leadership, and the exploration of a wide range of clinical interests. The GWSCSW Continuing Education Committee has developed procedures to make it possible for GWSCSW members in Study Groups to be granted Continuing Education Units (CEUs).


Episode 6: Welcome to Our Wisdom -- Robert Taibbi: How Clinicians Evolve Over Time - As we change and develop as clinicians, our practices often mirror our shifting directions. Meet Bob Taibbi--clinician, professor, author of 11 books (!), workshop presenter and respected thought leader. During his 46 years in practice, he has shifted his methods to reflect a changing client caseload and meet the needs of who his clients are today. In this episode, Bob explores the flexibility and fluidity of our profession as he traces his experience from community mental health to teaching, writing and working in private practice. He is a popular CE presenter at GWSCSW and shares his innovations in working with individuals, couples and families.


News & Updates

Upcoming events

GWSCSW Committees

The Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work is run by committees of volunteers who offer their time and professional expertise. In return they receive opportunities to develop professional connections and visibility and to have interesting and fun interactions with colleagues. We all receive the many benefits that the society provides through their generosity. The following offers brief descriptions of the committees. Please think about volunteering!


Benefits of Membership

GWSCSW . . . Advocates for YOU - Provides educational events for licensure renewal - Connects you with peers - Provides professional support for your career

GWSCSW is a very active organization. As a member, you have the opportunity to:
  • Exchange views and obtain information through our interactive listserv
  • Promote your practice through our Therapist Finder - an online listing of fully licensed members searchable by the public
  • Receive our lively and informative quarterly newsletter, (News & Views) and even become a published author by contributing an article
  • Be informed about the current legislative issues affecting the mental health field through our Legislative Program
  • Attend (or host) Wine & Cheese networking events
  • Access the members-only sections of the website - including the member directory, professional resources 
  • Participate in the Mentoring Program
  • Join a committee that fulfills your interests (a great way to meet fellow professionals and to quickly feel connected)
  • Attend Continuing Education events at discounted member rates, present continuing education workshops; and track your CEU attendance through the website
Best of all, you will network with a region-wide community of social workers who demonstrate professionalism and expertise in a wide range of practice areas.



GWSCSW advocates for the profession in all three jurisdictions and is part of the national efforts with the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA).



Join this active community and 

meet and engage with peers and colleagues.



GWSCSW offers professional education to help clinicians meet their continuing education requirements.



Stay up to date on everything GWSCSW and learn about everything available to you with our outreach team.

PO Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA  22463 | 202-478-7638 | admin@gwscsw.org

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