Differences in counsellors

Posted by lsittll @lsittll, Dec 15, 2021

I have names of social workers whom I want to see. After I see one online I must call Cigna to find out if the social worker will accept my specific insurance plan. Representatives have been giving me the runaround. I have been calling for 2 weeks and not gotten the info. It is either I do not have access to that info or you plan does not cover care received from a clinical social worker.

I need a counselor NOW. I only have the choice of going back to the clinic I went to and getting a different social worker or seeing a psychologist because I know one group locally who accepts my insurance. Ever since I have seen a social worker who has been so good I have seen asocial worker. What is the real difference therapy wise in a social worker and a psychologist?

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Hello, @lsittll You really are getting the run-around with Cigna. That must be so very frustrating. After all, you are trying to get help with your mental health and Cigna is not helping.

Social workers have a master's degree in social work which requires two years in graduate school. In the states I'm familiar with (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan) social workers are licensed through the state and then have LMSW after their name which means licensed master's degree in social work. Their training is different than a psychologist. If you are referring to a psychologist with a doctoral degree who has a Ph.D. or PsyD (clinical doctorate in psychology) then they will have at least 3-5 years of training beyond the master's degree that also includes a year long clinical internship program. They are also licensed through the state where they practice and the requirements. There are certain assessments (IQ testing, neuropsychological, personality) that only a licensed psychologist can provide that the LMSW or other master's level clinicians cannot provide with their license. Since you seem to be referring to therapy or counseling I would say you should go with the clinician you feel most comfortable with and connect with. Both social workers and psychologists have training in and are qualified to do counseling.
Your individual connection with the licensed therapist (social worker or psychologist) who shows you compassion and empathy will be a good predictor of someone who will be most helpful for you.

Will you come back here and let me know when you've found someone you can work with?

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