Veteran Health Administration Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor in Laredo, Texas

Announcement Number: VCB-16-ER-1573410

Department: Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency: Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Position Info: Full Time

Location(s): Laredo, TX

Open Period: 2015-12-10 to 2016-12-10

OverviewWho May Apply

Open to employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs and other Federal Agencies

Appointment Duration

Multiple Appointment Types

Job Status

Full Time

Agency Marketing Statement

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1573410

OUR MISSION: 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?

Job Summary

The VATVCBHCS is comprised of the Corpus Christi Outpatient Clinic (CCOPC), Corpus Christi Specialty Clinic (CCSC), Harlingen Outpatient Clinic (HOPC), Health-Care Center at Harlingen (HCC), Laredo Outpatient Clinic (LOPC), and McAllen

Outpatient Clinic (MCOPC). The VATVCBHCS is an ambulatory health care system providing health care in medicine, surgery, psychiatry, and rehabilitation medicine. The VATVCBHCS also operates a 100-patient Home Based Primary Care program and a 200-patient Care Coordination Home Tele-Health Program. Through the utilization of inpatient/emergency department contracts, approximately 2600 inpatient admission and 5800 ER visits are managed by VATVCBHCS. Affiliated with the University of Texas Regional Academic Health Campus, the system has an active ambulatory care program and serves as a teaching and training site for medical residents. The VATVCBHCS is responsible for an enrollee population of over 30,000 veterans and 350,000 outpatient visits annually.

For more information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to"

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 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor or a Social Worker. If you are applying for the Social Worker see vacancy VCB-16-ER-1572993; if

applying for the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist see vacancy VCB-16-ER-1573420.


Key Requirements

  • 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.

DutiesMajor Duties

This position is located at the Laredo Vet Center

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.

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. Nights, weekends, and non-traditional hours will be required.

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

Fair Labor Standards Act: Exempt

Bargaining Unit Status Code: 8888 (Non-Bargaining)

Background Information: NACI

This IS NOT a supervisory position

This position is subject to completion of 1-year probationary period, if not already completed.

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

Qualifications And EvaluationQualifications

Basic Requirements:

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

English language proficiency (written and spoken); Bilingual (English/Spanish) Preferred

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.

Licensure: Must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to independently practice in a State.

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.

Failure to Obtain License -In all cases, LPMHCs must actively pursue meeting state prerequisites for licensure starting from the date of their appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the unlicensed LPMHC with the written requirement to obtain licensure, the date by which the license must be acquired, and the consequences for not becoming licensed by the deadline. Failure to become licensed within 2 years from date of appointment will result in removal from the GS-101 LPMHC series and may result in termination of employment.

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.

Preferred Experience: GS-101-9-LPMHC

Experience, Education, and Licensure: Less than one year of post-master's degree experience or LPMHC's who are graduates, but not licensed at the independent practice level.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the basic requirements, the candidates must demonstrate the KSAs below:

Grade Determination:In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least 1 year of post-master's degree mental health counseling experience.


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.

In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS9 level, the candidate must demonstrate the KSAs below:

  • Ability to make professional evaluations, decisions, and recommendation for treatment planning and implementation.

  • Advanced knowledge and mastery of the fundamentals of the counseling process which includes defining patient/family problems and maintaining an effective counseling relationship.

  • 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.

  • Ability to provide complex crisis intervention and stabilization to patients who are in psychological distress.

  • Ability to establish goals/treatment through a collaborative process with the patient utilizing advanced counseling skills, including evidenced-based practices and screening/assessment.

  • Ability to use a wide variety of individual, group, or familial counseling interventions; demonstrates sensitivity to diversity and possesses multicultural counseling skills.

  • 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.

  • Ability to develop and deliver psycho-education groups that include life skills, family support, and community integration.

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.

References: VA Handbook 5005/42 Part II Appendix G43, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor Qualification Standard


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: 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.


Physical Requirements:The work is primarily sedentary. It may require some lifting (10-20 lbs) occasionally. Reaching above shoulder; frequent keyboarding (4-7 hours per day); sitting (4-7 hours per day); walking (up to 6 hours per day); standing (up to 8 hours per day); infrequent climbing/descending of stairs; some bending; ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; correctable near sighted vision; hearing (aid permitted).



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 Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will recommend the grade and salary for new appointments.

How To Apply InformationHow 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 Saturday, December 10, 2016 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,, 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.

Required Documents

All applicants are required to submit the following supporting document type(s): ·Other (VA-10-2850C) ·ResumeApplicants 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 ·SF-50 ·Transcript

VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (required). (Available at the VA Forms Website:

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 1573410.

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.

What To Expect Next

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 pointscan be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.

Benefits And Other InformationBenefits

VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:

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.

Other 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.