1. U.S. citizenship.
2. Educational Requirement: Must have a master's degree in mental health counseling, or related field from a program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Examples of related mental health counseling fields include, but are not limited to, Addiction Counseling; Community Counseling; Gerontology Counseling; Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling; and Marriage and Family Therapy. A doctoral degree in mental health counseling may not be substituted for the master's degree in mental health counseling.
3. Licensure: Individuals must hold a full, current and unrestricted license to independently practice mental health counseling, which includes diagnosis and treatment. Exception. Non-licensed LPMHCs who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate LPMHC under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(c)(2)(B). The appointing official may waive the requirement of licensure for a period not to exceed 2 years for a LPMHC that provides care under the supervision of a licensed LPMHC at or above the full performance
level. This exception only applies at the entry level (GS-9). For grade levels at or above the full
performance level, the candidate must be licensed. Failure to Obtain License. In all cases, LPMHCs must actively pursue meeting state prerequisites for licensure starting from the date of their appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the unlicensed LPMHC with the written requirement to obtain licensure, the date by which the license must be acquired, and the consequences for not becoming licensed by the deadline.
Failure to become licensed within 2 years from date of appointment will result in removal from the GS-
101 LPMHC series and may result in termination of employment. Loss of Licensure. Once licensed, LPMHCs must maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted license to independently practice mental health counseling, which includes diagnosis and treatment. Loss of licensure will result in removal from the GS-101 LPMHC occupation and may result in termination of employment.
4. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.
5. English Language Proficiency: LPMHCs must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j.
GRADE DETERMINATIONS: Grades and salaries will be determined by the Professional Standards Board (PSB).
IN ADDITION TO MEETING THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS :
For the GS-9 In addition to the basic requirement, the candidate must demonstrate the following professional KSAs. For the GS-11 In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least 1 year of post-master's degree mental health counseling experience; OR In addition to the basic requirements, a doctoral degree in mental health counseling, or a related field may be substituted for the required 1 year of professional mental health counseling experience, and the candidate must demonstrate the following professional KSAs :
1. Ability to engage in information gathering, problem identification, diagnosis, treatment planning, implementation, evaluation and follow-up.
2. Knowledge of current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders in formulation of treatment goals and application of appropriate clinical interventions using professional counseling practices.
3. Basic knowledge of professional counseling practice with emphasis on human development principles through cognitive, affective, behavioral or systemic interventions, and strategies that address high risk behaviors, wellness, personal growth, and career development across the life span.
4. Ability to use a wide variety of individual, group, or family counseling interventions; demonstrates sensitivity to diversity and possesses multicultural counseling skills.
5. Ability to serve on an interdisciplinary team with focus on the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and relational functioning of individuals, groups and families and on the counseling approaches, strategies, and techniques that will best help patients function effectively.
6. Basic skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, maintaining accurate, timely and thorough clinical documentation and delivery of services, such as Telehealth.
7. Knowledge and understanding of existing relevant statutes, case laws, ethical codes, and regulations affecting professional practice of counseling.
8. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people from varied backgrounds.
1. Ability to make professional evaluations, decisions, and recommendation for treatment planning and implementation.
2. Advanced knowledge and mastery of the fundamentals of the counseling process which includes defining patient/family problems and maintaining an effective counseling relationship.
3. Ability to provide subject matter consultation to colleagues and students on the counseling process within various specialty areas, build on the foundation of competence through regular meetings and discussions to explain assignments, review progress of cases and confer about the counseling perspectives and orientation.
4. Ability to provide complex crisis intervention and stabilization to patients who are in psychological distress.
5. Ability to establish goals/treatment through a collaborative process with the patient utilizing advanced counseling skills, including evidenced-based practices and screening/assessment.
6. Ability to use a wide variety of individual, group, or familial counseling interventions; demonstrates sensitivity to diversity and possesses multicultural counseling skills.
7. Ability to fully utilize the current DSM in making diagnoses and formulation of treatment goals and application of appropriate clinical intervention using professional counseling practices.
8. Ability to develop and deliver psycho-education groups that include life skills, family support, and community integration.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
References: VA Handbook 5005/42, Part II, Appendix G43, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor QUALIFICATION STANDARD, dated September 28, 2010.
APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.) Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html
FOREIGN EDUCATION: To receive credit for education completed outside the United States, you must show proof that the education has been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and such education has been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.
Applicants tentatively selected for certain designated positions may be subject to a random drug screening for illegal drug use. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment.
Public Law 95-201 requires that persons appointed to direct patient-care positions must possess the required basic proficiency in spoken and written English.
Veterans' preference does apply to Title 38 Hybrid positions; therefore, if you are a Veteran applying for veterans preference, you must submit evidence of eligibility, such as: a copy of your DD-214(s) (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty); Standard Form 15 (Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference version dated December 2004), if applicable; and the proof requested on the form, such as a Civil Service Preference letter stating your percentage of disability, if applicable.
DD Form 214: Veterans can now request a copy of their DD-214 online at the following National Personnel Records Center website, http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html. This site also provides instructions and addresses for requesting service records, medical records, proof of military service, correcting records, and replacing medals or awards. Veterans may also request a copy of their DD-214 by calling 800-827-1000 or TDD# 800-829-4833.
For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetsinfo.asp.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Once the application process is complete, a review of your application will be made to determine if you are qualified for this job.
INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS will receive a rating of IFM (ineligible due to missing forms). Requests for reconsideration of ratings will not be considered for applicants who fail to submit a complete application package. We cannot be held responsible for incompatible software, fax transmissions, delays in mail service, etc.
Only send documentation as requested/required by this announcement and that directly supports your qualifications for this position.