Psychologist - Post Traumatic Stress Clinic Team Therapist
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania
Internal Number: 688983800
This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application. Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. Basic Requirements: The basic requirements for employment as a VHA psychologist are prescribed by Public Law 96-151 codified in 38 U.S.C. § 7402. To qualify for appointment, all applicants for the position of psychologist in VHA must meet the following: 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 3.g, this part.) Education. Have a doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) at the time the program was completed. The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, the term "specialty area" refers to the specific specialty areas recognized by the accrediting body and not to specific job duties that might require special skills. Currently, APA accredits doctoral programs in the specialty areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or combinations of two or more of those areas. PCSAS accredits doctoral programs in psychological clinical science. CPA accredits doctoral programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and school psychology. There are no job assignments in VHA that require the skills of a school psychologist; therefore, an applicant with a degree in the specialty area of school psychology is not eligible for appointment. Strictly for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment as a psychologist in VHA, there is no distinction between the specialty areas (with the exception of school psychology). OR Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully complete a re-specialization program (including documentation of an approved internship completed as part of the re-specialization program) meeting both of the following conditions: The re-specialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and the specialty in which the applicant is retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. OR Have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution, with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature. AND Internships: Have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that was accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed and that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. OR New VHA psychology internship programs that are in the process of applying for APA accreditation are acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement, provided that such programs were sanctioned by the VHA Central Office Program Director for Psychology and the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern; OR VHA facilities that offered full-time, one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement; OR Applicants who completed an internship that was not accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed may be considered eligible for hire only if they are currently board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. (NOTE: Once board certified, the employee is required to maintain board certification.) OR Applicants who have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally accredited institution with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature may fulfill this internship Licensure. Hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Board Certification. Persons hired to psychology positions in the VHA who completed an internship that was not accredited at the time the program was completed must be board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. The board certificate must be current and the applicant must abide by the certifying body's requirement for continuing education. English Language Proficiency. Psychologists must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j. Grade Determinations: To be creditable, psychological work experience can be obtained through paid or non-paid employment providing psychological work or through participating in a supervised postdoctoral psychology training program (i.e., fellowship or residency). Psychological work experience must have occurred after the doctoral degree was obtained and must have required the use of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with current professional psychology practice. "Professional psychology practice" includes but is not limited to the following psychology-oriented job duties: providing professional clinical services, conducting research, carrying out education and training activities, carrying out program evaluation activities, clinical consultation, supervision and administration. Staff Psychologist, GS-11 (Entry Level) Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. Staff Psychologist, GS-12 (Developmental Level) Experience. At least one year of experience as a professional psychologist equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-11). Psychologists who are not licensed must practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist but with less intense supervision than at the GS-11 grade level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of and ability to apply a wide range of professional psychological treatments or assessment methods to a variety of patient populations. Ability to design and implement effective treatment strategies. Ability to incorporate new clinical procedures. Ability to conduct research activities, such as designing and implementing clinical research projects (staff psychologists with specified research job duties). Ability to perform basic research tasks of scholarship and research execution within the context of an established research team, including research participant relations, research documentation, data acquisition, maintenance, and collaboration. Staff Psychologist, GS-13 (Full Performance, Level) Experience. At least two years of experience as a professional psychologist, with at least one year equivalent to the GS-12 grade level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of, and ability to apply, professional psychological treatments to the full range of patient populations. Ability to provide professional advice and consultation in areas related to professional psychology and behavioral health. Knowledge of clinical research literature Preferred Experience: Current LCSW and experience providing Evidence Based Therapies References: VHA Handbook 5005 Part II Appendix G18The full performance level of this vacancy is GS13. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS11 to GS13. ["The psychologist will serve as a developmental assignment at the entry level and receives ongoing supervision in order to gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate at the full independent practice level upon licensure. Under supervision, the incumbent applies professional psychological diagnostic methods and evidence-based intervention strategies to a full spectrum/range of patient problems in his/her work setting. He/she has advanced knowledge of psychological diagnostic assessment and behavioral health therapeutic interventions that qualifies him/her to provide advice and consultation to professionals representing a variety of disciplines. Supervision will include education and consultation ongoing, and gradual increase of independence will be based on the mastery of various skills, knowledge, and abilities. The incumbent provides a full range of psychological assessment services and diagnoses of mental disorders, for Veterans referred to or enrolled in the Posttraumatic Stress Disorders Clinical Team (PCT). They provide regular coverage for, and performs screening evaluations, team assignments, and initial treatment planning for Veterans referred to or presenting for care. The incumbent provides education to patients, family members, and significant others. They provide comprehensive, Evidence-Based psychotherapeutic interventions, including individual, family, and group psychotherapy within the PCT. As a member of the PCT, the psychologist is trained or willing to become trained in Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for PTSD, such as Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, Eye-Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, Seeking Safety, and others. The psychologist is able to provide such treatments as episodes of specialty care, and then refer Veterans back to the General Mental Health Clinic as appropriate for longer-term, or non-trauma focused needs. The incumbent provides consultation to professional staff within Altoona VAMC and to community providers, concerning clinical assessment findings and appropriate treatment plans for patients assigned to various Mental Health related programs. He/She develops, implements, and documents psychotherapeutic treatment plan for an assigned caseload of patients within the PCT, including prompt completion of clinical reminders. The incumbent performs measurement-based care screenings when clinically appropriate to the treatment question. They use scores and/or interpretive data in a manner that is clinically and ethically appropriate and provides feedback to the Veteran as part of this process. The incumbent works independently with Veterans and their families who are experiencing a wide range of complicated medical, psychiatric, emotional, behavioral, and psychosocial problems. The incumbent possesses a thorough knowledge in use of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities, and treatment procedures, including acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology. Facilitates discharge planning through collaboration with Veterans and their families as well as interdisciplinary treatment team members to ensure that appropriate discharge plans are executed in a timely manner. Provide case management services to Veterans and their families throughout the continuum of care. The incumbent will be able to appropriately utilize principles of human growth and development over the life span and will be able to assist Veterans in coping with the loss and grief experiences from disability and terminal illness. The incumbent assists the Supervisory Psychologist on the design, development, and implementation of clinical programs within the PTSD Clinical Team. They adhere to operational policies and procedures established by the medical center and his/her assigned service line. The incumbent facilitates liaisons with other health care programs in order to effectively coordinate care. The incumbent assist the Supervisory Psychologist in the execution of ongoing program evaluation and data-driven quality improvement projects to monitor the effectiveness of the clinical program. They comply with national and local performance measures, including timely health care screening and completion of clinical reminders for all patients. The incumbent complies with all CPRS documentation procedures, including timeliness standards for documentation and proper patient check out procedures (e.g., entering diagnostic and procedure codes) and attends and actively participates in all meetings held by the Facility and Mental Health Leadership teams. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm; alternate and compressed tours available Telework: Yes, some telework negotiable upon hire Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Recruitment and relocation incentives available for highly qualified candidates. EDRP 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.