What is an LCSW?

BSW, MSW, LCSW? What’s the difference, and how can a social worker help with mental health? 

A BSW is a Bachelor’s in Social Work; MSW is a Master’s in Social Work; LMSW is a licensed master social worker, and LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker. Social work may include working with vulnerable populations,  including neurodivergent or developmentally challenged individuals, as well as victims of abuse, addiction, trauma, mass casualties, and violence. A community social worker typically helps vulnerable children, adults and families find assistance through social services and community resources. A clinical social worker is trained to diagnose and treat mental and behavioral disorders. 

To practice in a clinical setting, therapists must complete a Master’s degree, train in a supervised clinical setting for about 3,000 hours, and pass a state licensure exam. 

Licensed social workers at Lifeologie Counseling specialize in a vast array of mental health areas, including anxiety, abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, discrimination and systematic oppression, complex trauma recovery, military/veteran/first responder issues, and PTSD. 

Building upon a tradition steeped in empathy and community, LCSWs who work in individual or group therapy settings often have expertise working with nonprofit organizations, health care treatment facilities, and community agencies. They are trained to evaluate the social, cultural, familial and environmental influences that can impact a client’s physical and mental wellbeing, and to come up with a treatment plan that helps clients overcome past experiences or current behaviors that are inhibiting their ability to reach their goals or build healthy relationships. 

Treatment options may include talk therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), coping skills, crisis intervention, meditation and mindfulness techniques, and other evidence-based approaches.


Licensed social workers, licensed family therapists (LMFT) and licensed professional counselors (LPC) can all provide compassionate, nonjudgmental counseling services. LPCs may focus on individual issues, LMFTs specialize in working with family dynamics, and LCSWs are trained to consider social aspects that can affect mental health and wellbeing. Social workers may also function as liaisons or advocates for their clients when collaborating with their larger health care team or network of services to ensure treatments, resources, and care plans are being used optimally toward a common goal. 

Find The Right Fit

Lifeologie Counseling therapists come from all walks of life and have a variety of educational, cultural, and life experiences. Search our specialties and explore our clinician’s bios and blogs to learn more about our individual therapists, their areas of expertise, and how Lifeologie’s creative, collaborative approach can help you find the right therapist for your individual needs. You can also call a Lifeologie Counseling location near you to chat with someone from our client care team who can help you find an affordable, available specialist. Whether you’re looking for a family therapist to navigate life transitions, a social worker trained in trauma recovery, or a counselor who can help you get unstuck, we want your therapy experience to be exceptional.

About Lifeologie

Lifeologie Counseling was founded in 2000 with one goal in mind — to bring a fresh, innovative approach to the everyday problems of life. Creative solutions to stuck problems®. With our unique multi-specialty, collaborative approach, Lifeologie Counseling helps individuals and families heal their wounds and break out of old, unhealthy patterns.