Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor - Post Traumatic Stress Clinic Team Therapist
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania
Internal Number: 688983200
The incumbent is assigned the PCT Program, a specialty service within Mental Health Service at the James E. Van Zandt Medical Center and surrounding VA locations. Services included are clinical assessment and treatment including individual, group or family psychotherapy, crisis intervention, advocacy, and coordination of linkages to other VA or community service providers/agencies as needed by the Veteran. BASIC 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: 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.) 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. 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. 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. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. 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. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. GS-9 Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (Entry Level) 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. In addition to the basic requirements, the candidates must demonstrate the 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 Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (Full Performance Level) 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. In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-9 level, the candidate must demonstrate the KSAs below: 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. Reference: VA Handbook 5005/42 Part II Appendix G43 ["The incumbent is part of a team-based approach to treating PTSD that includes working closely with Psychologists, Peer Support Specialists and Psychiatrists to provide the best possible services for Veterans. The incumbent completes thorough psychosocial assessments to include the PCL-5 and pertinent information in all the required areas of functioning in order to determine appropriate diagnoses and other treatment-related conclusions. They ensure that clinical assessments are found to be appropriate to the referral question and conclusions are found to be reasonably substantiated by interviews, observations, historical data, collateral data (i.e. from outsides sources such as other treatment providers, family members, etc.) and other data when indicated. The incumbent provides a DSM diagnosis to determine the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and/or their families. They must be able to utilize this assessment in facilitating the Veteran's maximum use of treatment for attainment of the highest level of independence that is possible and practicable. The incumbent serves as a subject matter expert on VA and community resources, with an emphasis on PTSD resources for treatment within the VA. It is expected that the incumbent will collaborate with internal and external services providers to meet the needs of the Veteran. The incumbent coordinates community-based services, including information and referral for services from other VA programs, other government programs, and community agency programs. The incumbent facilitates referrals based upon Veteran need and eligibility. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 430pm **Compressed and alternate tours are available** Telework: yes, some telework negotiable upon hire Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.