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Status of LPC/LCSW in Different States


TheWesternNewt
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(I originally posted this to the Questions & Answers forum but I thought it might go better here). 

Hi all,

I've been doing some reading on this topic, and I keep seeing that some states give LCSWs more "power," while others give more power to LPCs, and in other states there's minimal difference, etc..  My question is how do I find this information for the states I am interested in? If it helps, I'm looking at schools in Texas, New York, Colorado, and Massachusetts. I'm just not sure where to look.

Thanks for any help. 

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I think the best way to see that is looking at the licensure website for each state and seeing what is detailed there. I doubt there is one central place to compare both so you may just have to look at each individual licensure website to view responsibilities, requirements, expectations, etc. To my knowledge, each state will have their own website detailing this information. I found the one for NY, for example, http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/sw/lcsw.htm and they provide a lot of information. I only know social work so I am assuming LPC is a licensed professional counselor? My experience is that LCSWs typically have "more power" and are preferred in places of employment but I'm sure that may vary by region. 

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Colorado LCSW here who worked at a community mental health agency that primarily employed LPCs.
LCSWs are rarer in Colorado and highly-coveted due to Medicare reimbursing for their services. LPCs probably have superior training to be therapists, but social workers have advantages looking for jobs. Many LPCs I know wish they had went for the MSW instead. LCSWs I know that went to expensive private MSW programs generally regret it and counsel prospective MSWs to go to a cheaper state program. I generally agree with that.

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  • 11 months later...

I can say for Massachusetts that LMHC's and LICSW's are treated fairly equally (I personally chose to become an LMHC), but it can depend on the institution. You can't really go wrong with either in MA in my opinion, which is definitely not the case for some other states. One thing that helped me decide was that I looked up what degree/license the majority of the staff had at a setting that I could see myself working in within a specific state. I found that in MA the settings I was most wanting to work in were a good mix of social workers, mental health counselors, and PhD level clinicians - so give that a try! Good luck!

Edited by Vincefan
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