What’s the Difference?

At Family Counseling Services of Northern Illinois, our clinical staff is composed of master’s degreed therapists who have degrees in social work, counseling or marriage & family therapy. Restrictions imposed by licensing laws require one to have a certain education and license to be called by a certain title. All our clinical staff is licensed. Many of our clinicians are eligible providers for insurance plans; however some providers do require clients to be seen only by those with specific titles. All of our therapists work with children and adults, though some have more experience or expertise in certain areas.

So, what’s the difference?

In brief:

Social Workers: Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) have at least two years of supervised experience after receiving an MSW degree and have passed an exam. Licensed Social Workers (LSW) have received an MSW degree and passed the initial licensing exam but do not have enough supervised experience to take the LCSW exam yet.

Counselors: Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPC) have at least two years of supervised experience after receiving a masters degree in counseling and have passed an exam. Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) have received a masters degree in counseling and passed the initial licensing exam. They do not have enough supervised experience to take the LCPC exam yet.

Marriage and Family Therapists: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) have at least two years of supervised experience after receiving a masters degree in marriage and family therapy and have passed the licensing exam.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors (Md.) who specialize in psychiatry. They can prescribe medication but generally do little counseling/therapy.

Psychologists have doctorate (PhD or EdD) degrees. They frequently do counseling/therapy and also can do psychological testing, but cannot prescribe medication.

FCS has no psychiatrists or psychologists on staff.

Someone doing an internship to complete a master’s degree is referred to as a masters intern.

An ACSW has at least two years of supervised experience after receiving the MSW degree and has passed an exam given by the National Association of Social Worker’s Academy of Certified Social Workers.

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