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Psychology vs Social Work

Updated on July 14, 2013

Psychology is a better profession, overall

Psychology is so much better than Social Work

Psychology has been around for many, many years. Wilhelm Wundt began the first psychological lab in 1879. Social Work didn't begin until the first World War. Psychology is the basis for all Mental Health Programs! As far as I'm concerned, Social Work is just an add-on of an already effective Social Science. Psychology has many areas of expertise; for example, Industrial/Organizational, Clinical, School Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Behavioral, Experimental, Applied Psychology, and so on. Social Workers can have the same opportunities in some instances, with limitations, it all depends on their credentials.

Great link for a list of credentials and licenses for Psychologists and Social Workers.


I have nothing against Social Workers

My husband happens to be one!

What my Husband and I Debate

. . . among a few other things

The biggest debate that my husband and I have is the amount of schooling and supervision required for licensure. To become an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) you need to have a graduate degree, supervised clinical experience, and pass a state-certified license exam. For an LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) you need to have a graduate degree, 3 years with a minimum of 3000 hours of supervised clinical experience, and pass a state-certified license exam. These two licensures have basically the same job opportunities and pay the same. So why do psychology? Because, for 1) if it comes between your application and that of an LCSW, the higher education has a better chance, for 2) there are more credentialing opportunities with psychology, not just LCPC, and for 3) the more education you can get in this field the better!

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise

- Sigmund Freud

You've heard what I have to say, now what do you think?

Psychology is so much better than Social Work


How I decided on Psychology

Simple Inspiration

Right out of high school and starting a new adventure in college, I didn't have a clue in the world. I played a lot in college and wasn't too serious about anything. I dated around, but somehow ended up back with my boyfriend from high school. We got married, had a baby, got a divorce. I ended up being a single mom of a two month old boy before the age of 21. I had given up on the idea of college, I had other responsibilities to think about. But late one night while thinking about my future and the future of my child, I felt inspired. Inspired to go and pursue a degree. One that was completely different than what I originally planned.


I immediately followed the inspiration and logged into my old college website, and got enrolled for a night class, PSYCH 100. Every day that I went to school was a new inspiration. I KNEW I was doing the right thing. I wanted to help people. To help children. I wanted to be able to understand human nature and why people do the things they do. My child was an inspiration, and continues to this day.


I later remarried the most wonderful man. Who just so happened to be a Social Worker. I forgive him, though. ;)

We have struggles, just like anyone else, but the education that we have definitely helps us to make wiser decisions in raising our combined family and in our marriage. So, despite the debate of what degree is better, it all turns out in the end.

Poll: Did you pass? - Number of answers correct

How did you do?

See results

Poll: Final Decision

Which is better, Psychology or Social Work?

See results

..."and how do you feel about that?" - leave your comments, opinions, random thoughts, questions, anything!

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    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Enjoyed your lens. My undergrad major is psychology.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm a social work major and I absolutely love it! I was thinking about going into psychology, but to be able to do ANY counseling you have to get your PHD, whereas I only need my masters to begin doing the work I want, and will eventually worked towards licensing. Also, social workers have the chance to do a multitude of jobs, such as case management, lobbying, counseling, working on social policies, and more! Social workers are often overlooked and underappreciated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @sousababy: Social work is the place for more serious problems. Because you actually go into the home and work with the whole family unlike psychologist that sit in a chair and say how do you feel about that okay lets take a pill and tell me how you feel about that next week so hard. The only thing good about psychologist they studie the brain and social workers still their information to work with clients. But there is a lot of social workers that do research just psychologist started it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Interesting discussion! Psychology is one of my favorite subjects.

    • tiff0315 profile image

      tiff0315 7 years ago

      @Geekgurl: He thinks it's rigged LOL. Thanks for visiting and participating!

    • Geekgurl profile image

      Kimberly Hiller 7 years ago from Chicago

      Nice information! What did your husband say about the poll?

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      great lens, really interesting - you made me think about topics I love to think about :)

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 7 years ago from Central Florida

      This is a topic I've not thought about before. Being an accountant, we don't get out a lot :-). But for the two of you I can see how it inspires healthy debates. I learned something today, so thanks for your insight.

    • tiff0315 profile image

      tiff0315 7 years ago

      @Missmerfaery444: Let me know what she thinks!

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 7 years ago

      I feel social work has it's place, for less serious problems. However, whenever addictions, children or dangerous behaviors are involved, I'd recommend seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist. Sometimes, medication IS required to (re: in Canada, MDs/psychiatrists only can prescribe them). That's my bottom line (though not practical in some communities).

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 7 years ago

      Very interesting! My future sister-in-law is studying to be a social worker and has also done psychology so I will have to see what she thinks too! :)

    • Glenn619 profile image

      Glenn619 7 years ago

      Good job with the lens did justice to it and was very nicely set up. :)

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      Wow, its great to find out how much you don't know!

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      I did very poorly on this quiz.

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      I did very poorly on this quiz.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Human psychology is a vast and complicated subject, and I understand why some people prefer it compared to social work. Social work is all about being on higher planes - compassion, good will and benevolence. Needless to say, it depends on how an individual applies his mind. A spiritual person can benefit from either of these fields.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      I am so glad that you took that first night class. Isn't it wonderful when our own children can inspire us to make a better life.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 7 years ago

      Weird - it said I got 3 answers wrong, but when I looked at the answers, I had clicked the correct answers but it recorded different ones than I actually clicked!

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image

      JeremiahStanghini 7 years ago

      Even though I've studied Psychology (at the undergraduate and graduate level), I have a hard time saying it is "better" than Social Work. They're interested in different aspects of (similar) experiences, but study it in different ways. They each have their pros and cons.

      With Love and Gratitude,


    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Fun lens! Thank you for writing it!

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 7 years ago

      Very nice lens! Well thought out and I love how you have personal details mixed with facts about psychology. Great job! OK now it's my turn!

    • profile image

      moonlitta 7 years ago

      No offense meant but I'd choose social work-at least in my country it means more job perspectives, while psychologists are a bit down in want (hopefully this tendency will reverse as I also happen to be one...:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very interesting...both are needed for society I believe.

    • tiff0315 profile image

      tiff0315 7 years ago

      @ChemKnitsBlog2: Why not? Looks like we need another debate going. LOL

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 7 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      LOL I had only 3 out of 10, but then half the time I didn't really know what you were talking about, as English is not my native language. Great lens and very interesting.

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

      ChemKnitsBlog2 7 years ago

      This is something I hadn't really thought about before. Hopefully your debates with your husband over this matter are fun (not stressful.) Don't even get me started on the physics vs. chemistry debating.... ;)


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