LPC’s vs LCSW’s: Difference and Comparison

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 counselling.

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

Key Takeaways

  1. LPCs (Licensed Professional Counselors) focus on mental health counseling and therapy, while LCSWs (Licensed Clinical Social Workers) work within social work and address broader social issues.
  2. LCSWs can provide case management and connect clients with resources, whereas LPCs primarily offer individual, group, or family therapy.
  3. Educational requirements differ: LPCs need a master’s degree in counseling, while LCSWs need a master’s degree in social work.

LPC’s vs LCSW’s

LPCs, or licensed professional counsellors, work with individuals and couples, LPCs may use a variety of evidence-based treatment approaches. LCSWs, or licensed clinical social workers, work with individuals, families, and groups, they often have training in social work.


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


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

The LPC’s is crucial in community health care centres 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 counselling, they find resources for the individuals to guide them.

They take the initiative in creating awareness of mental health. Educating the public removes the stigma related to it and encourages 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 licenses for mental health professionals in many countries. They are caregivers to mental health and substance abuse personnel 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 behaviour, strategies of counselling, tackling tricky situations, and ethics play a crucial role in the coursework.
  • A minimum of a few thousand hours of clinical experience was 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 counsellor helping those suffering from behavioural or emotional issues.

They are master-level social workers with professional training and in-depth mental health knowledge. The LCSW gets to practice independently. They counsel and 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 of 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, community, or school setting. They work on a recovery or 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 behavioural disorders, personality disorders, or even trauma management. 

Areas of specialization:

LCSW’s get trained and have in-depth knowledge about social, emotional, and behaviour issues. They excel in 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.

licensed clinical social worker

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 counselling. The LCSW requires a minimum qualification in social work.
  3. The crucial function of LPC is to provide counselling. The LCSW do provide counselling and works for the upliftment of society.
  4. Licencing in counselling is a must for the LPC. Licensing in social work is compulsory for LCSW.
  5. Counselling 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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