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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor
Department:  Department Of Veterans Affairs
Agency:  Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Job Announcement Number:  YD-13-SMM-843253-MHC

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$61,245.00 to $79,615.00 / Per Year
Friday, February 15, 2013 to Monday, March 18, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
2 vacancies in the following location:
Coatesville, PA United StatesView Map
United States Citizens


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 843253 (Include on all documents)

To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to veterans?

Coatesville is located in beautiful, historic Chester County, close to Philadelphia, Valley Forge, Lancaster and Wilmington.   This geographically diverse and scenic area of southeastern Pennsylvania is home to many famous historic sites and museums.   The nearby City of Philadelphia (30 miles) has Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and many other national treasures within its Independence National Historical Park.   Valley Forge and the Brandywine Battlefield are only 20 minutes from Coatesville.   Plentiful sporting, recreational, and leisure time opportunities exist in the local area.   Golf, fishing, boating, camping, running, biking, baseball, basketball, ice-skating, swimming, tennis, hiking, canoeing, skiing, and all major league professional sports can be found within easy driving distances.   Numerous high quality visitor attractions such as, the Philadelphia Zoo, Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum, The Franklin Mint, and Philadelphia Museum of Art can also be enjoyed.


For more information on Coatesville VA please visit


Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more .


  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job.
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Random drug testing may be required.
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation.


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The Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor is assigned to the Substance Use Disorder, Intensive Substance Use Disorder  Outpatient Program, or to a Women's Program within the Mental Health Psychology Services at the VA Medical Center, Coatesville, PA.  Services include SUD and/or trauma specific clinical assessment and treatment including individual, group and/or family psychotherapy, crisis intervention, advocacy, coordination of linkages to other VA or community service providers/agencies as needed by the Veteran, interviewing Veterans, conducting Drug/Alcohol/Mental Health intakes, performing behavioral assessments as assigned, preparing written assessments, making appropriate referrals to community or other professional resources, teaching classes on topics relevant to recovery, developing curriculum and handouts, writing reports, composing correspondence and making certain all required clinical assessments, treatment notes and clinical notes are recorded in the patients chart, participating in the substance abuse interdisciplinary treatment team contributing to team decisions concerning adjustments to treatment and in the development of comprehensive individual treatment plans.  Duties also include case management, community case management, and discharge planning as assigned.  This is accomplished with other interdisciplinary treatment teams as appropriate. Applicants will be required to complete electronic credentialing through Vet Pro.


GRADE DETERMINATIONS:Grade is GS-11. Candidate step to be determined by a Professional Standards Board.


TOUR OF DUTY:  8A-4:30P Monday through Friday (May include evening and weekend coverage as assigned)


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BASIC QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: The basic requirements for employment as a VHA LPMHC are prescribed by statute in 38 U.S.C. §7402(b)(11).  To qualify for appointment as a LPMHC 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 VA Handbook 5005, part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g.)

b.   Education.   Hold a master's degree in mental health counseling, or a 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.

c.   Licensure.  Persons hired or reassigned to LPMHC positions in the GS-101 series in VHA must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to independently practice mental health counseling, which includes diagnosis and treatment.  

(3)   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.

d.   Physical Requirements.  See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.

e.   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.

Creditable Experience

Knowledge of Current LPMHC Practices.  To be creditable, the experience must have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with current mental health counseling practice.  Experience satisfying this requirement must be active professional practice at the post-master's degree level, which is paid/non-paid employment as a professional mental health counselor.

Quality of Experience.  Experience is only creditable if it is post-master's degree experience as a mental health counselor directly related to the position to be filled.  Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to LPMHC experience at the next lower grade level.   For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.

Part-Time Experience.  Part-time experience as a LPMHC is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek.  For example, a LPMHC employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.

Fellowships or Post-Graduate Training.  Fellowship and post-graduate training programs are typically in a specialized area of clinical practice, i.e., mental health counseling.  Training as a fellow or post-graduate may be substituted for creditable experience on a year-for-year basis.

Practicum in a VA Setting.  A VHA practicum experience may not be substituted for experience, as the practicum (field placement) is completed prior to graduation with a master's degree in mental health counseling or related field.

Grade Determinations.  In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.


Read the requirements listed at the GS-11 level defined below. You must meet the basic requirements, KSAs at the 9 and 11 level, and one year experience or a doctoral degree in a related field.


GS-11 Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (Full Performance Level)

Experience or Education. In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must meet one of the following:

1. 1 year of post-master's degree mental health counseling experience; OR

2. 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. 


Assignment.  This is the full performance level for LPMHCs.   At this level they are licensed to independently practice professional counseling and to provide mental health services within the knowledge, theory, and training foundations of professional counseling.   They may be assigned to any mental health VHA area, consulting with peers and supervisors as appropriate.   LPMHCs may be involved in program evaluation and/or research activities.


Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities.   In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-9 level, the candidate must demonstrate the GS-11 KSAs below.


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.

GS-11 KSAs 

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.


Preferred Qualifications: Advance certifcation(s) in evidence-based psychotherapy and/or addictions.

References: VA Handbook 5005/42, Part II, Appendix G43 QUALIFICATION STANDARD,
dated September 28, 2010. 


For more information on these qualification standards, please visit OPM's web site at

In describing your experience please be clear and specific. We will not make assumptions regarding your experience.

Education.  Hold a master’s degree in mental health counseling, or a 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.


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. *** If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. ***

REQUIREMENTS (Failure to comply may be grounds for withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after appointment): 

  • Applicants must meet any physical, language, license or degree requirements.
  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States.
  • 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.
  • New Appointees may be subject to a probationary period.
  • New Appointees will be subject to a background investigation to determine suitability.

An OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment (version dated January 2001), must be submitted prior to appointment.   This form is available at


Please ensure you answer all questions and follow all instructions carefully.  Errors or omissions may affect your evaluation.  When answering the questionnaire, remember that your experience and education are subject to verification by investigation.  You may be asked to provide specific examples or documentation of experience or education as proof to support your answers, or you may be required to verify a response by a practical demonstration of your claimed ability to perform a task.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life.  For more information please visit us at


The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 90 or more before any veterans preference points) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at


Special Employment Consideration: Individuals eligible for the following appointments are encouraged to apply: 5 CFR 213.3102 "u", Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities ; mental retardation, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities; and Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more.


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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. Your Résumé
  2. Copy of current Licensure
  3. VA Form 10-2850c
  4. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
  5. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below)

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Monday, March 18, 2013.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application you may use the following link: After applying, return to Application Manager or your member account in USAJOBS to see the status of your application, including any messages that may have been sent to you.

If you cannot apply online:

  1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire,
  2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire, and
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to (478)757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

  1. Complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID 843253.
  2. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144.


The following documents are required:

  1. Résumé
  2. VA Form 10-2850c
  3. Copy of current Licensure.
  4. Unofficial college transcript if substituting college education for the experience requirement. (An official college transcript will be required before being hired.) 
  5. Responses to the questionnaire.
  6. Veterans' documentation (DD-214 or equivalent, SF-15 and VA Letter, as applicable)
  7. A copy of your most recent SF-50. (Only required by current or previous federal applicants who do not currently work at the Coatesville VAMC)
  8. A copy of your most recent performance appraisal. (Only required by current or previous federal applicants who do not currently work at the Coatesville VAMC)
  9. For more information on Veterans' eligibility, please visit

Use this checklist to make sure you've submitted everything!


Scott Means
Phone: (610)384-7711
Agency Information:
VHA Coatesville VAMC
Department of Veterans Affairs
1400 Black Horse Hill Road
Coatesville, PA


Once your complete application is received we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. You will be notified of the outcome.

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