LPC vs. LMFT vs. LCSW – What Kind of Mental Health Professional Should You Become?

LPC vs. LMFT vs. LCSW – What Kind of Mental Health Professional Should You Become?

LPC vs. LMFT vs. LCSW:

Here are the main differences between an LPC, an LMFT, and an LCSW. If you aren’t sure what kind of mental health professional you should become, here is some information that can help you decide. Mental health counselors focus more on intrinsic challenges or the individual themselves. Marriage and family therapists focus on family, couples, and other extrinsic factors. Social workers focus on community and systemic issues. That is the difference between the three professions.

Side note, but some states call mental health counselors LPC’s or LPCC’s. Some states call social workers LSW’s or LCSW’s. Some states call marriage and family therapists MFT’s or LMFT’s. There are a lot of acronyms in psychology, but realistically, you can become a counselor and therapist with any of these three licenses.

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  1. LPC vs. LMFT vs. LCSW – What Kind of Mental Health Professional Should You Become?
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  2. Social Workers are pretty much case managers. If you work in the medical field, you’re job is a glorified Administrative Assistant. It’s rare that you get to practice therapy. That’s why there is a high demand for MSW vs MFT or other behavioral/psychological Master’s degrees. Someone probably thought, “hey, let’s make the counselors our assistants!” That’s how it feels anyways. 🤷🏽‍♂️

  3. I’m still in the process of completing my BA in psychology but I’m currently still trying to figure out which path to take. I’m stuck in between LCSW and LMFT. Most people say LCSW would provide more opportunities and my license would be able to be transferred if I ever decided to move. But my heart tends to always lean more towards LMFT. I want to help couples and families. Due to this, I’ve also taken a lot of family-based electives… Decisions, decisions….

  4. This was SO helpful! Thank you for explaining all this clearly and in detail. Do you know if there is a difference between LPC and LMFT about if they can bill insurance and/or Medicare?

  5. Doubt you’ll see this, but I think you should review what you said about CACREP accreditation and LPCC’s. I’m almost certain that just because a school doesn’t have that particular type of accreditation that doesn’t mean you can’t test for licensure. I believe CACREP is one particular type of accreditation, among other types. I don’t think it’s that cut and dry. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for your video! I’m trying to decide right now which graduate program to do after I finish my bachelors . I think I’m leaning more towards LPC because I like the idea of helping and analyzing someone intrinsically.

  7. Hmmm. My state board recognizes a school thats regionally accredited but not CACREP accredited. My concern is will it be recognized by NBBC?

  8. How about choosing between a Psyd and LPC? Will Psyd give me more well-rounded training if I’m really committed to mental health area?

  9. Thank you so much! You explained this in so much depth! Yes, examining articles on Google helped, but not so much in depth on what these careers do individually. They were all lukewarm, while your video was in depth analysis and compared the differences!

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