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What is the difference between getting a master in counseling psychology and getting a masters in LCSW? What makes the two jobs different?

I am a Psychology major in Queens College. #psychology #social-work #clinical-psychology #psychotherapy #social-services

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Adria’s Answer

Good question, as I see the overlap in these two disciplines. My experience in social work tells me that it is important to see the person in their environment (acronym is PIE). So social workers consider what is happening within one's family and community, as well as what they are thinking and feeling. In health care for example we hear a lot lately about 'social determinants of health'...meaning beyond what a person does they need access to nutritious food options, healthy environments (water, air quality); ones that are safe to walk in, etc. Many times people's psyche need solutions beyond individual counseling. Personally I have used my LCSW to do clinical counseling, administration of programs, teaching, policy advocacy and research.

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Dr. Ray’s Answer

Dear Rachel,

As far as I know the two majors are very similar. Social workers historically did case work and community organizing, but in the 1960's many schools developed clinical social work programs to train students to be counselors and therapists. They receive a master's in social work (MSW) degree and generally work in the same types of positions as people with a master's degree in counseling or psychology. If your school has a social work program I suggest you check with them for more details.

I hope this somewhat sketchy answer is helpful. I wish you the best in your career pursuits.

Ray Finn, Ph.D.

Thank you! Rachel B.

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Professor SIR Lloyd’s Answer

your previous 2 answers are ok but not specific enuff for me. I do hold either degree but I hold a MASTERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH / EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

MY professional field is 25 yrs in human social services clinical case management. Utilizing my experience in counseling/psychology and social work.

A lot of people struggle to make the distinction between a master's in social work and a master's in psychology. This is because they deliver very similar mental health therapy and they work with very similar diagnostics procedures. However, there are some significant difference between the two on various levels. It is very important to understand these differences if you are considering a career in either social work or psychology they are 3 in the same.

Psychology, by contrast, has existed for well over 2,000 years. Since the beginning of times, there have been questions around how the human mind works, why we feel certain things and why we behave in certain ways. Although the first psychological experiment took place around 600 B.C. in Egypt, it did not actually become a discipline until the 19th century. However, much of the knowledge and many of the theories we still use today in psychology had already been developed then. The great Greek thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle and French philosophers such as Rene Descartes had already done much of the work on the nature vs nurture debate and more. However, it wasn't until the 19th century that a distinction was made between philosophy and psychology, which was mainly thanks to German Wilhelm Wundt. He started to use scientific methods to measure human psychology, which culminated in his 1874 Principles of Physiological Psychology book. He also opened the world's first psychology laboratory in Leipzig in 1879. It was at this time that psychology became an accepted science, and the world has grown from there.

In the summer of 1898, the very first social class was offered at Columbia University. Since then, social workers have been at the forefront of helping people in need. They still to this day address the holistic needs of society, and they ensure the world is aware of the social problems that exist in society.

Today, we are able to enjoy a range of privileges that we take for granted, but which we only have thanks to the work of social workers. They have been inspirational to others, taking action against social injustices and speaking out against abuse and neglect. Some of these privileges include:

Civil rights that are universal, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or faith.
Insurance against unemployment, including Social Security.
Humane treatment for people with development disabilities or mental illnesses.
Medicare and Medicaid for the poor, elderly and disabled.
The elimination of the stigma around mental health.

The profession of social work existed for 100 years in 1998. In that same year, a strong emphasis was placed on some of the greatest social workers during that history. These included Jane Addams, one of the first women to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She created immigrant settlement houses and was a famous peace activist. Another was Frances Perkins, who was the secretary of labor under Roosevelt. She was responsible for the 1940s New Deal legislation. Then, there is Whitney M. Young, Jr, who was the ED of the National urban League and who focused strongly on American race relations. He was also the inspiration for the War on Poverty started by President Johnson.

Your academia and extended educational advancements will become a binary effect. you will take the same exact classes with the same course display. There is no major difference between social work and psychology of the duties except for provider services . As a psychologist, you will look into, record and interpret the way people and animals relate to each other, stimuli and their environment. To do this, you may perform interviews, provide psychotherapy and do diagnostic tests. Create plans to improve overall personal well-being. They also refer their clients to programs such as health care and food stamps. You will refer to mental health services and you will also be able to counsel and provide therapy to families.

You will not as a psychologist prescribe medication without further academia PHD POST DOCTORIAL and educational.

On the other hand, Social workers, create plans to improve overall personal well-being. They also refer their clients to programs such as health care and food stamps. , which is where your duties start to more closely resemble those of a psychologist. Here, you will refer to mental health services and you will also be able to counsel and provide therapy to families. However, your focus is on holistic care, which includes physical, emotional and mental well-being. A prospective clinical psychologist social worker must have an LCSW-C as a supervisor. The candidate must get supervised clinical practice; this includes tasks such as forming diagnostic impressions and applying psychotherapy.

these are the same binary IN THE PROFESSION WE CALL IT THE " C "

As a MASTER IN SOCIAL WORK - MSW social worker, you can study on to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW - C).

As a licensed certified social worker / the - C stands for psychologist -clinician (LCSW - C ) you will be able to prescribe medication without further education and financial billing thru via medicare / medicaid.

After graduation, a would-be clinical social worker must practice under board-approved supervision.

The supervision that is required for licensing is different than the standard employer-employee supervision. There is generally a minimum number of direct consultation/ supervision hours that a professional MSW must have (and document). Licensing boards can be very particular about the qualifications of the person who sits down with the supervisee, reviews their treatment plans and diagnoses, and guides their professional development. Many stipulate that the clinical supervisor must be an LCSW-C AND CAN HOLD OTHER DEGREED CERTIFICATIONS.

LCSW-C candidates will also need to document that they have a social work degree from an accredited program. Additionally, they will need to document 12 semester hours of clinical coursework.
LCSW-C earn a median annual salary of $73,090, which is much higher on the metrics scale.

My final thought for you and I am in the business profession now 2017 please complete your LCSW-C programming then begin to go to work after you finished your MASTERS S.W. Degree. you will start off at 50K a year with no work experience but higher academia and educational along with your summer internships and externship. While in university also do assistant teaching assignments.

The government also pays for MSW - LCSW-C graduate school with 4-year commitment of employment.


Professor Lloyd C. Stanton, A.A.,B.S.,MPH
public health specialist
Inter Governmental Human Services Grants Chair.
Vice Chairman / SR. Program Analyst
Inter Governmental Human Services Grants / clinical case management