Difference Between LPC’s and LCSW’s

As the world shrinks and technology creeps in, many are going through stress and emotional disorders. Many are not prepared to face these adverse situations without guidance and counseling.


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Without timely interventions, the condition would worsen. Counselors and social workers get trained to guide individuals or groups to face diverse situations.

LPC’s vs LCSW’s

The difference between LPC’s and LCSW’s is that LPC’s is a counseling career and helps individuals with issues related to mental health. A counselor works on the theory and techniques to guide. The LPC is clinical social work, and counseling is only part of their job profile. They help individuals to improve their quality of life through guidance and support.


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The LPC is a licensed professional counselor who works towards mental health.

They provide counseling for learning disabilities, behavioral issues, or substance abuse, and their primary focus is on counseling and customizing the therapy based on the individual needs.

The LPC’s is crucial in community health care centers and could be considered a core providing services to millions.

The LCSW’s are crucial in providing social work by diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental health issues. Along with counseling, they find resources for the individuals to guide them.

They take initiatives in creating awareness of mental health. Educating the public removes the stigma related to it and encourages the people to take treatment without having any trauma.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLPCLCSW
AbbreviationLicensed Professional Counselor.Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
PurposeOvercome specific behavioral or mental health issues.They work towards social development.
Education qualificationA master’s degree in counseling is required.A master’s degree in social work is required.
WorkThey work with individuals or groups to goal specifications.They work with welfare agencies or communities.
SpecificationThey only work towards counseling.They counsel but social work is their main focus.

What is LPC?

LPC’s is a license for mental health professionals in many countries. They are caregivers to mental health and substance abuse personals and a considerable task force in the health sector.

They are professionals with doctoral or master-level qualifications, trained to work with individuals, families, or groups. The training deals with mental, social, or emotional health and disorders. 

They are part of community health services, universities, hospitals, and organizations consulting the issues. They actively participate with military professionals, their families, and even veterans. 

LPC’s must obtain supervised clinical experience with the exam to obtain the license. There are specific exams related to the area to secure the LPC license.

The LPC must be associated with the professional group and follow the guidelines prescribed in the group. They must ensure to enhance their knowledge and skillsets.

LPC Qualifications:

  • Professional Degree from a recognized institution, the coursework must include human behavior, strategies of counseling, tackling tricky situations, and ethics play a crucial role in the coursework.
  • A minimum of a few thousand hours of clinical experience acquired within two years. There must be periodic updates even after getting the license, and it is mandatory.
  • Compulsory passing of the National Counselor Exam recognized by the State.
  • To adhere to the ethics as prescribed by the license board.

As per estimates, nearly one in four-person is suffering from mental disorders. The LPC’s play a crucial role in consulting individuals or families and helping them understand their importance.

What is LCSW?

The Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is a counselor helping those suffering from behavioral or emotional issues.

They are master-level social workers with professional training and have in-depth knowledge of mental health. The lcsw get to practice independently. They counsel, provide psychotherapy and talk therapy to individuals. 

The Licensed Clinical Worker specializes in mental health services. They pursue assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The qualified LCSW are permitted to work independently. 

LCSW Education and Certification:

  • Masters Social works degree from an approved Council of Social Work Education.
  • Minimum two years work experience after the master’s degree.
  • In addition, clinical experience under supervision.
  • To ensure to pass the clinical level exams.

An LCSW could be part of an office setting, community setup, or school. They work on a recovery program or a rehabilitation program based on the dynamics of the place. They actively participate in health care, jails, and hospitals.

LCSW provides therapy to individuals, groups, or families. They might specialize in working with a specific group of individuals. They work with behavioral disorders, personality disorders, or even trauma management. 

Areas of specialization:

LCSW’s get trained and have in-depth knowledge about social, emotional, and behavior issues. They excel dealing with the following:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Substance-related disorder
  • Domestic violence
  • Eating disorder

Am LCSW is a licensed profile guiding individuals to assess, diagnose, and treat emotional conditions. But they are not qualified to prescribe drugs.

Main Differences Between LPC’s and LCSW’s

  1. LPC is an acronym for Licenced Professional Counselor. The LCSW is an acronym for Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
  2. The LPC requires a minimum qualification in counseling. The LCSW requires a minimum qualification in social work.
  3. The crucial function of LPC is to provide counseling. The LCSW do provide counseling and work for the upliftment of society.
  4. Licencing in counseling is a must for the LPC. A licensing in social work is compulsory for LCSW.
  5. Counseling is a tailor-made approach to suit individual or group requirements. The LCSW works with society as a unit providing a range of support-based programs for the benefit of the community.
  1. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/783089/summary
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/25f7f4fbabffc9be7b51f9d4660051db/1.pdf?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=22327
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