Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration LICENSED PROFESSIONAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR (Vet Center) in McAllen, Texas

  • Duties

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Duties
Summary

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Please note: This vacancy may be filled by either a Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, or Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor.

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Responsibilities

The Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (LPMHC) provides readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans and family members in the Vet Center Program. Readjustment Counseling includes individual and group counseling to Veterans and family members related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related psychological difficulties, marital and family issues, substance abuse, employment, military sexual trauma, homelessness, bereavement, and other issues impacting a Veteran's ability to successfully re-enter civilian society. This task is accomplished in collaboration with other members of the Vet Center or other interdisciplinary treatment teams within the Department of Veteran Affairs or community/government social services agencies. Specific clinical tasks of the RCS MFT include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide clinical counseling to Veterans and significant others with highly complex and diversified psychological/sociological problems to include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Conduct outreach to identify program eligible Veterans and their family members, promote the use of the Vet Center services, and present educational programs about combat Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Readjustment Counseling Service.

  • Provide crisis intervention, stabilization and follow-up for Veterans and significant others.

  • Perform administrative tasks assigned by the Team Leader or appropriate program official.

  • Provide instruction/training and consultation in assessing and counseling combat Veterans with PTSD to VA Medical Centers, private sector mental health agency professionals, and others on Combat Veterans and PTSD.

Work Schedule: Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. Some nights and weekends will be required.

Functional Statement Title/#: Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (LPMHC) / 000000

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Some travel required to meet mission requirements.

Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential

11

Who May Apply
This job is open to…

1st Area of Consideration (AOC) - Current, permanent VCBHCS employees; 2nd AOC - Current, permanent VA employees [Nationwide]; 3rd AOC – Current, permanent Federal Employees [Nationwide].

Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.

  • #### Job family (Series)

0101 Social Science

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  • Requirements

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Requirements
Conditions of Employment
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.

Physical Requirements: Light Lifting (under 15 pounds); Light Carrying (under 15 pounds); Straight pulling (.5 hour), Pushing (.5 hours), Reaching above shoulder; Use of fingers; Both hands required; Walking (up to 1 hour); Standing (up to 2 hours); Repeated bending (up to .5 hour); Climbing, use of legs and arms; Hearing (aid permitted).

Current state driver's license is required, must be willing to operate government vehicle.

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. IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.

Qualifications

*Basic Requirements: *

  • U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

  • Education. Must 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.

  • Licensure. Must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to independently practice mental health counseling, which includes diagnosis and treatment.

  • 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.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

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

Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor*GS-9*

Experience, Education and Licensure.The entry level is used for LPMHCs with less than one year of post-master's degree experience or for LPMHCs who are graduates, not yet licensed at the independent practice level.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  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.

Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor* GS-11*

Experience, Education and Licensure.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.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  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.

References: VHA Handbook 5005, part II, Appendix G43,**LICENSED PROFESSIONAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

Education

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. 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.

Additional information

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.

Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

NOTE:The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-9 to GS-11. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will recommend the grade and salary for new appointments. For internal selectees being promoted, the board will determine grade and HR will determine step in accordance with policy.**

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

  • Required Documents

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Required Documents

All applicants are required to submit the following supporting document type(s):

  • Other (VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations)

  • Resume

  • SF-50

Applicants may also submit the following supporting document type(s),which may not be required for all applicants:

  • Cover Letter

  • DD-214

  • Other Veterans Document

  • SF-15

  • Transcript

VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (required). Available at the VA Forms website: http://www.va.gov/vaforms/searchaction.asp?FormNo=10-2850&tkey;=&Action;=Search

Please use this checklistto make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, etc. You will not be contacted for additional information.

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), or 10pt (CP/CPS, XPP, XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP), on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section(s) provided. A legible copy of your DD214(s) indicating character of service, disability certification, SF-15 (if claiming 10 pt. preference) or if you are currently serving on active duty and expected to be released or discharged within 120 days; documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), or dates of impending separation. Documentation is required for eligibility verification.

Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application. If you are unable to apply online or unable to upload your supporting documents to your online application, follow the directions located at the following site: Fax Options. The Vacancy ID of the job opportunity announcement is 2013736.

NOTE: If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203-FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

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. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits

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Benefits

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

  • Benefits for federal employees
  • Healthcare insurance
  • Pay and leave

VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered: http://www.vacareers.va.gov/why-choose-va/benefits/index.asp.

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply

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How to Apply

All applicants are encouraged to apply online.

To apply for this position, you must complete the View Occupational Questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 to receive consideration.

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.

  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.

NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.

To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

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Agency contact information
Valerie Torres
Phone

(956)430-9315

Email

VALERIE.TORRES@VA.GOV

Address

VHA Valley Coastal Bend HCS 2701 S 77 Sunshine Strip Harlingen, TX

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Next steps

After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your résumé and application package do not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email (if provided); otherwise, applicants will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking on "Application Status." For a more detailed update of your status, click on "more information." Information regarding applicant notification points can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office at OPM
  • Office of Equal Opportunity

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/481657300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 10/11/2017 to 10/24/2017

Salary: $49,765 to $78,270 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 00

Work schedule: Full-Time - Full Time

Appointment type: Agency Employees Only