Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (Vet Center) in Caribou, Maine

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
1 vacancy in the following location:
  • Caribou, ME
Work Schedule is Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent

Opened Friday 10/7/2016 (14 day(s) ago)

** Closes Monday 10/31/2016 (10 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): VHA-402-17-SL-1818220-BU

*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.

The Readjustment Counseling Service (RCS), VA Maine Healthcare, is seeking a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor for the Vet Center in Caribou, Maine. We are an employer of choice that is the center of excellence in patient care, education and research. We value Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence. We value you.

"As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. 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 professionals feel good about their careers and their ability to balance work and home life. VA offers generous paid time off and a variety of predictable and flexible scheduling opportunities. 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.

Current VA and/or Federal employees should apply under announcement # VHA-402-17-SL-1818252-BU


**This position provides readjustment counseling to eligible active duty service members, veterans and their families in the Vet Center program. Readjustment counseling includes individual and group counseling over issues of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and related psychological difficulties, marital and family issues, substance abuse, employment military sexual trauma, homelessness, bereavement, and other issues impacting upon a successful readjustment. This task is accomplished in collaboration with other members of the Vet Center or other interdisciplinary treatment teams both within the Department of Veteran Affairs, community agencies, and the Department of Defense as appropriate. The employee may be required to work other than normal duty hours to include evenings, weekends, and/or holidays. The employee will be required to safely operate a government vehicle under a myriad of conditions to support the mission. Other duties include but are not limited to:

  • Completing psycho-social assessments.

  • Developing unique treatment plans that reflect a course of therapeutic intervention that will address needs identified in assessments.

  • Maintaining and exercising an effective resource data base that is used to address the needs of clients, which may be better served by programs external to the Vet Center.

  • Uses the current resource file of the Vet Center and community social service programs and enhancing the content to the benefit of clients.

  • Exercises advocacy with the goal of enabling and educating the client to effectively advocate for him/herself.

  • Exercises a variety of individual and group counseling techniques.

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm; with occasional nights, weekends and holidays

Functional Statement Title/#: Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor

This position is also being announced as a Social Worker, Psychologist, and Readjustment Counseling Therapist. This position may be filled using multiple job series. If you are a Social Worker, please apply to vacancy # VHA-402-17-SL-1528829-BU. If you are a Psychologist, please apply to vacancy # VHA-402-17-SL-1528818-BU. If you are a Readjustment Counseling Therapist, please apply to vacancy # VHA-402-17-SL-1724575-BU.

Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required.
  • Pre-employment physical required
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959

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.

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 Education 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.


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. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.

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 the graduation with a master's degree in mental health counseling or related field.

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

GS-09 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;


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-09 level (listed above), 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.

References: VA Handbook 5005/42, Part II, Appendix G43

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.

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 with some walking, standing, bending and carrying of light items. There are no special demands required to perform this work.

Security Clearance


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 applicant notification points can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.


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

Other Information

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

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

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

Salary Range: $48,968.00 to $77,019.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0101-09/11

Promotion Potential: 11

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: United States Citizens

Control Number: 452881300

Job Announcement Number: VHA-402-17-SL-1818220-BU