Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (LPMHC) (RCS VET CENTER) in San Antonio, Texas

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
3 vacancies in the following location:
  • San Antonio, TX
Work Schedule is Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent

Opened Tuesday 10/18/2016 (5 day(s) ago)

** Closes Tuesday 11/1/2016 (9 day(s) away)

Job Overview

About the Agency

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1810517

This announcement is open to all U.S. Citizens and Current, Permanent Federal Employees. If you are an internal (VA) applicant, please apply under announcement VHA-671-17-JG-1810077.

This position may be filled by a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist or a Social Worker. The announcement for the Marriage and Family Therapist are VHA-671-17-JG-1810518 (Internal) and VHA-671-17-JG-1810520 External, and for the Social Worker are VHA-671-17-JG-1810522 (Internal) and VHA-671-17-JG-1810528 (External).

Note: The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review newly selected candidate's qualifications and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate. For internal selectees eligible for promotion or reassignment, the board will determine grade and HR will determine step in accordance with established pay-setting policy.

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?

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.

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.

You must submit all required documents as noted in the REQUIRED DOCUMENTS section below. Failure to do so will result in your application not being considered.

Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselors (LPMHCs) provide readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans and family members in the Vet Center Program. Readjustment counseling includes individual and group counseling 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 Veteran's ability to successfully re-enter civilian society.


The incumbent will serve as LPMHC on a multidisciplinary team located in a community-based Vet Center providing Veterans with community outreach, counseling, therapy, treatment and direct services and referral to VA and community resources. Incumbent will work in cooperative collaboration with other team members and with professionals, volunteers and others in VA facilities and community agencies to help Veterans recognize and resolve their problems and needs. The counseling and therapeutic services provided by the Vet Center range from routine to complex and include suicide prevention, crisis intervention, short and long-term treatment with clients exhibiting post-traumatic stress disorder, other psychiatric disorders and/or readjustment problems. Clients encountered and problems exhibited necessitates a variety of psychological, rehabilitation, marriage and family counseling and mental health techniques including, but not limited to, individual, group, conjoint, vocational, educational, substance abuse and readjustment counseling. Incumbent must possess a high degree of clinical skills, including the unique skills needed to work with Veterans and the significant others and to supervise and to provide consultation to professionals providing clinical services. Incumbent must possess the capability to perform administrative tasks required in the community-based office of a program with a unique administrative structure and a variety of formal and informal working relationships with a wide range of VA facilities and community organizations.

Duties include but not limited to:

  • Screening/Assessing (Veterans and significant others)

  • Treatment Planning/Goal Setting (developing comprehensive/unique goal-directed treatment plans, to include treating PTSD)

  • Clinical Counseling (individual, conjoint, family, and group therapy)

  • Outreach (program-eligible Veterans and their family members)

  • Crisis Intervention (stabilization and follow-up)

  • Administrative responsibilities (maintaining clinical records and performing administrative tasks)

  • Professional Competency/Education (staying abreast of current procedures, providing instruction/training)

  • Referrals (VA and private sector)

Work Schedule: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM – Primarily Monday to Friday; however, some evenings and weekend hours will be required, to include working a minimum of one (1) Saturday per month and working one (1) evening tour per week. (Please note: Alternate schedules may be necessary to meet the needs of the organization).

Functional Statement Title/#: Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor/00000

Bargaining Unit Position: No

Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel away from duty station in support of direct care, outreach events and/or training.
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • US Citizenship
  • Pre-employment examination
  • Drug Testing
  • Background/Security Investigation
  • Selective Service Registration for males born after 12/31/1959
  • Proficient in written and spoken English
  • Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling
  • Full, current, and unrestricted Mental Health counseling license
  • Class C State Driver’s License


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

  • *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.

  • *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.

  • 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 and far sighted vision; Hearing (Aid permitted).**

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.

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.

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.

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


To Qualify for GS-11 Grade-Level: (Full Performance Level)- At the full performance level, LPMHCs 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.**

Experience, Education, and Licensure*.* GS-11 candidates must have at least 1 year of post-master's degree mental health counseling experience; or 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, GS-11 candidates must demonstrate below 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 Experience:Individual & group counseling to patients & family members over issues of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder & related psychological difficulties, marital & family issues, substance abuse, employment, military sexual trauma, homelessness, bereavement, & other issues impacting upon a patient's ability to successfully re-enter civilian society experience is preferred.

Driver's License: Must possess and maintain a current Class C State Driver's License and be willing and able to operate a Government Vehicle.

Reference:VA Handbook 5005/42, Part II, Appendix G43, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, dated September 28, 2010, at* . *This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

Security Clearance

Not Applicable

Additional Information
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, "How does the Application Process Work" can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package that may include, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, 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.

Other Information

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.

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.

Salary Range: $59,246.00 to $77,019.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0101-11/11

Promotion Potential: 11

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: US Citizens and Current, Permanent Federal Employees

Control Number: 451566100

Job Announcement Number: VHA-671-17-JG-1810517