Qualification Requirements: VA Handbook 5005/41, Part II, Appendix G44, dated September 28, 2012.
Basic Requirements: The basic requirements for employment as a VHA MFT are prescribed by statute in 38 U.S.C. § 7402(b)(10), as amended by section 201 of Public Law 109-461, enacted December 22, 2006. To qualify for appointment as an MFT in VHA, all applicants must:
a. Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part.)
b. Education. Hold a masters degree in marriage and family therapy from a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or have graduated from a nationally accredited program conferring a comparable mental health degree as specified in the qualification standards of those disciplines (Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, and Psychiatry). All additional course work taken to be accepted for MFT licensure must come from a nationally accredited program in one of the above areas.
c. Licensure. Persons hired or reassigned to MFT positions in the GS-101 series in VHA must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to independently practice marriage and family therapy in a State.
GS-11 Marriage and Family Therapist
(a) Experience, Education and Licensure. In addition to the basic requirements, the GS-11 full performance level requires completion of a minimum of 1 year of post-masters degree experience in the field of health care marriage and family therapy work (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure in a state at the independent practice level. In addition, the candidate must be licensed to practice at the independent practice level and must demonstrate the KSAs in subparagraph (b) below.
A doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or comparable degree in mental health from an accredited training program (see note in paragraph 2b) may be substituted for the required 1 year of professional marriage and family therapy experience in a clinical setting. In addition, the candidate must be licensed to practice at the independent practice level and must demonstrate the KSAs in subparagraph (b) below.
(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
1. Knowledge of human development throughout the lifespan, interventions based on research and theory, family and system interaction, formal diagnostic criteria, risk assessment, evidence-based practice and assessment tools.
2. Ability to independently assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of patients and their family members, and the knowledge to formulate, implement, and re-evaluate a treatment plan through continuous assessment identifying the patient's problems, strengths, readiness to change, external influences and current events surrounding the origins and maintenance of the presenting issue, and interactional patterns within the client system. This includes the utilization of testing measures where appropriate.
3. Ability to provide counseling and/or psychotherapy services to individuals, groups, couples and families in a culturally competent manner that facilitates change through restructuring and reorganizing of the client system.
4. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, colleagues, and other professionals in collaboration throughout treatment regarding clinical, ethical and legal issues and concerns. This includes the ability to represent and educate others regarding the MFT perspective in interdisciplinary staff meetings while respecting the roles and responsibilities of other professionals working with the client.
5. Knowledge and understanding of existing relevant statutes, case law, ethical codes, and regulations affecting professional practice of marriage and family therapy. This includes the ability to assist clients in making informed decisions relevant to treatment to include limits of confidentiality.
6. Ability to provide orientation, training and consultation to new MFTs including clinical oversight of MFT graduate students, and/or provide supervision to pre-licensure MFTs.
7. Skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, maintaining accurate, timely and thorough clinical documentation, and tracking quality improvements.
Education: Hold a masters degree in marriage and family therapy from a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or have graduated from a nationally accredited program conferring a comparable mental health degree as specified in the qualification standards of those disciplines (Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, and Psychiatry). All additional course work taken to be accepted for MFT licensure must come from a nationally accredited program in one of the above areas.
Applicant's 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: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Pre-employment Physical Required.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: Proficiency in the English language is required for direct patient care positions. (P.L. 95-201).
PROBATIONARY PERIOD: This position requires completion of a 1-year Probationary Period, if not already completed.
DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE: The VA has established a Drug-Free Federal Workplace Policy. All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with the VA for a period of six months. This policy extends to random testing for the use of illegal drugs by employees who occupy testing designated positions defined as sensitive in Section 7(d) of Executive Order 12564.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
You will be evaluated on the detailed information submitted in your resume that reflects your knowledge, skills, and ability neccessary to meet the qualification of this position.