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Old 02-13-2012, 11:31 PM
 
1 posts, read 11,182 times
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Default The age old question of PsyD vs. LCSW

I have just been accepted to both PsyD and MSW programs and am having trouble deciding which would be best.
I am obviously considering both of these degrees because I am interested in doing psychotherapy. I do have some inclination toward research and some inclination toward social justice issues.
I want to work with adults but not sure if I would like to work with clinically mentally ill or clinically healthy populations.
I have noticed that the training of PsyD programs is much more aligned with my interests but I simply don't want to graduate with $100k in loans and be competing for the same jobs as an LCSW who only paid $20k for his or her education.
I have been told that the main difference between PsyD and LCSW is the fact that PsyDs can do assessment, research and teach. None of these is particularly important to me but what is important is graduating from a program and feeling competent and well trained as a psychotherapist.
Any advice is greatly appreciated! I have read through previous threads and know the subject has been thrown around a lot but I haven't found anything particularly conclusive so figured I would post again...Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:43 AM
 
4,864 posts, read 4,027,120 times
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The person with the PsyD will be a psychologist while the LCSW can only be a psychotherapist. You have to calculate the return on investment based on how much more you would be paid as a psychologist. While those with social work degrees have more opportunities than those with master's degrees in counseling or psychology, when you're focusing on just being a psychotherapist, you are directly competing with those two majors that are practicing as licensed professional counselors or licensed mental health counselors. You also have to compete with licensed marriage and family therapists.

The average salary for counselors, therapists, and social workers ranges from $15,000 to $30,000 less than that of a psychologist. You could cover the difference in tuition in just a few years of work, but it would be ideal for you to find a school that will pay you to earn a PhD in psychology.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:30 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,925 times
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I really feel I need to pipe in and offer clarification as an MSW, P-LCSW (provisional). I completed an MSW graduate program with a BSW in an advanced standing status (roughly over 1/2 the required work for the full program) and the cost was over 30k. Since graduating I have not earned less than $40,000 for full time 8-4 work in my field. Also, if you research the federal postings, the LCSW is a requirement not substituteable that for positions that pay upwards of 60k. Not sure who is earning 15-30k but none of my colleagues and with a military life I have had the opportunity to practice in 4 different states. Good luck...
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLCSW View Post
I really feel I need to pipe in and offer clarification as an MSW, P-LCSW (provisional). I completed an MSW graduate program with a BSW in an advanced standing status (roughly over 1/2 the required work for the full program) and the cost was over 30k. Since graduating I have not earned less than $40,000 for full time 8-4 work in my field. Also, if you research the federal postings, the LCSW is a requirement not substituteable that for positions that pay upwards of 60k. Not sure who is earning 15-30k but none of my colleagues and with a military life I have had the opportunity to practice in 4 different states. Good luck...
I said that the pay ranges from $15 -30k less than that of a psychologist.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:41 PM
 
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Not sure how much this changes things for you YTsirk05 but LCSW's can do assessments, diagnose, provide psychotherapy and teach. I am a LCSW, licensed in 2 states and have found much versatility in this career choice. I have worked in schools, hospitals, the community, non-profit wraparound services and DHS. I have 2 colleagues who are licensed psychologists and they both tend to perform more evaluations than provide direct psychotherapy but that may be by choice.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:39 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,834 times
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I am currently receiving my MSW with the intention of getting my LCSW, unfortunately my program is $80,000 for 2 years so it is completely possible to exit an MSW with over $100k in debt. That said, I have one friend with an LCSW who currently makes $84,000 and see job postings offering anywhere between $60k-$75k (however typically government or medical positions). I'm not sure which is the better degree to get necessarily though, but I wanted to give my two-cents on the income levels of MSW/LCSW and the potentials for high debt in these same fields.

Good luck deciding!
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:09 AM
 
1,533 posts, read 1,131,509 times
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I would stay away from the PsyD unless it is funded or you are independently wealthy.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Memphis, TN
255 posts, read 217,612 times
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I would say another major difference is the type of clinical therapy training you will receive. An LCSW will not have the extensive therapy training that a PsyD will.

And, yes, most doctoral program tuition should be paid by the university and a stipend should be offered. If you have to pay for your doctorate, I would not go. (The exception is private doctoral programs.)
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:55 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,385 times
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You are absolutely incorrect Ckdub. As an LCSW, I can attest to the fact that we do have extensive clinical experience like that of a PsyD.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:02 PM
Status: "Remember surprises can be blessings in disguise!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Dallas, TX
398 posts, read 847,459 times
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I am getting my MSW and will be pursuing my LCSW in the future. Unless you want to be a Psychiatrist I would go the LCSW route. You can do all the above that you mentioned in social work. I feel the degree is more versatile. Social workers are becoming more respected because we focus on evidence based practice and this fact is becoming well known. You can specialize in whatever you would like as many social workers do by training and pursuing employment of interest.
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