Psychology vs Social Work (Pt 2) – Which Degree is Better?

Thanks! Share it with your friends!

Close

With a video title like “Psychology vs Social Work,” I of course would get to talking about which degree has more opportunities and more prestige, which varies depending on the level (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate) of the degree.

Comments

Stuyvesant Peabody IV says:

social work is a great basic masters that can apply too many fields.

Well INDEED Carmela Martin says:

So I’d like to correct you on your comment about master’s level
psychotherapists. You can start a private practice upon completion of your
degree – as I am in private practice currently. I am also a doctoral
student in clinical psychology. Additionally, in many clinical psychology
programs, it is MANDATORY to complete an internship (as I have). We also
have to ability to specialize, if that is something that you are interested
in (which in some cases is more limiting than in social work). 

yeedoh says:

There is no such thing as a “doctorate in psychiatry”.
Psychiatrists have medical degrees (MD or DO), they are physicians. 

mindy reed says:

Do you know much about mental health counselors? I believe sometimes they
are called Licensed Professional Counselors. I am so back and forth
between MSW and LPC. Thanks!!!

Kalia Miller says:

This was very, very good. Thank you!

David Kwon says:

Psychology vs Social Work (Pt 2) – Which Degree is Better?

David Kwon says:

Yeah, I guess I could agree to see counseling as a subfield of psychology.
And I do feel like five or ten years from now, it may be just as
established as psychology/social work. There’s just a odd sort of turf war
and territorialism going on among the old geezers of the professions, but
that’ll probably wind down. It’s good that Master’s in Psych/Counseling now
have option to start a private practice without having to get a doctorate.

David Kwon says:

whereas an LCSWer choose to work in other non-profit realms such as the
medical field, children’s services, adoption, non-profit administration,
etc. I’d also argue that LMHC is not necessarily a psychology thing because
someone with a Master’s in Counseling – which is not at all the same thing
as Master’s in Psychology – can be licensed into. In that case, this
discussion becomes counseling vs psychology vs social work.

todayandtomorrow321 says:

Well counseling is a type of psychology master’s degree. You can also get a
PhD in counseling psychology. I guess you could say its kind of a subfield.

David Kwon says:

LMFT is more of a psychology thing but I donno, from what I’ve read about
it so far, it’s a very recently developed licensure and it seems majority
of the states in the country don’t really recognize it at this point. I
believe California and New York are currently like the two states where
LMFT has real meaning. and maybe you’re right that it can be applied to all
sorts of private therapy, but from everything I read about LMFT, it doesn’t
seem as inclusive as a LCSW.

David Kwon says:

I’d still think that if you’re a psychology major and you want to start a
private practice, getting a doctorate in psychology would still be your
best bet.

todayandtomorrow321 says:

Yes they actually can. an LMHC or LMFT can do the same therapy work as a
social worker.The challenge is really finding a job because the licenses
are not widely recognized yet as well as looked down upon by psychologists.
While this degree is a possibility, I would recommend social work to anyone
who wants to do therapy with a masters degree because it will be much
easier to find employment.

todayandtomorrow321 says:

Also, while LMHC is more established, LMFT is also a desirable career path
because there is such a demand for family therapy these days and it is a
good specialty to have. Having this license also does not mean you cannot
see clients with other issues as well.

todayandtomorrow321 says:

You can also have a private practice with one of these licenses. The only
problem there is getting in network with insurance companies. LMHC and LMFT
are fairly new licenses and are not well recognized by insurance companies
yet, espeically in New York. In other states where there are less mental
health professionals fighting to get in network with these insurance
companies, people with these licenses have a much better shot at having a
successful private practice.

David Kwon says:

Hmm, so I just read a bit about LMHC, which actually seems (to me) to be
more established than LMFT and generally more well-rounded. From what I’ve
read, it does seem that LCSW or LICSW have more prestige than LMHC because
SW degrees are accredited from Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and
can only be attained from colleges and curriculum that are approved by
CSWE. Thus, LCSWer can be funded from Medicare, etc whereas LMHCer cannot.
LMHC also seems to be limited to counseling

David Kwon says:

I do see a good future for the counseling licenses, but right now, the
reality is that those licenses are very limited compared to a MSW or a
doctorate in psych. If that’s the specialty you want to focus on, that’s
great, that’s what those fields are for. But the lack of flexibility makes
sense why psych majors have such high unemployment rates (up to 17%)
whereas social work majors or doctorates have relatively low unemployment
rates, at about 2-3%.

David Kwon says:

Ah okay, I didn’t know that, though even with that, they sound like very
limited licenses. For example, could someone with a Master’s in psych and
LMHC provide private therapy to domestic abuser/victim or to a lesbian
teenager who’s on the brink of suicide due to school bullying? Social work
is an accredited field so an LCSWer could open a private practice that
handles almost every case except for ones requiring a psychiatrist. I don’t
think that’d be the case for LMHC or LMFT…

David Kwon says:

I personally don’t really think we need to discuss much on counseling
degree/career path because compared to psychology and social work, no
matter what degree level, it’s a much less prestigious field. I feel the
same with public administration career track.

David Kwon says:

or… switch to a social work track and try to get a LCSW, like a great
majority of my colleagues.

todayandtomorrow321 says:

I do office work at a counseling center and am currently going for my
bachelors degree in psychology. I personally know an LMHC who works at the
counseling center. He works there and has a private practice as well and he
does pretty well for himself. All the other therapists there are LCSWs and
LMSWs.

David Kwon says:

Thx for the comment btw! It’s always great to hear from a Psychologist’s
perspective on this. 🙂

todayandtomorrow321 says:

You actually can be a therapist with a masters degree in psychology. Once
you get a masters, you can take the licensing exam to become a licensed
mental heath counselor (LMHC) or licensed marriage and family therapist
(LMFT). The big problem with these licenses is finding employment because
not only is social work against them as a competing field, but they they
have their own field against them because psychologists do not want people
with masters degrees doing the same work they got a PhD for.

Write a comment

*

CommentLuv badge