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Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (PCMHI)

Company: Department of Veterans Affairs
Location: Mcallen
Posted on: June 6, 2021

Job Description:

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This vacancy will remain open until filled. The first cut-off date is 2/22/2021. Additional applications will be referred as needed.

The Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (LPMHC) serves as a member of the Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) program, located within primary care.

Learn more about this agency


  • NOTE: This position is also being recruited for as a Clinical Psychologist and Senior Social Worker. See How You Will Be Evaluated for details.
  • NOTE: Applicant Expiration: Applicants will remain active for 3 months after their initial application is received and/or updated. After that time you must update your application through your USAJobs account if you would like to be made active again for possible consideration during the open period.

Clinical Responsibilities:

  1. Provides a full range of psycho-diagnostic services including the use of psychological testing for patients within VATVCBHCS in areas of special interest and within scope of expertise, referring to the PCMHI psychologist for guidance and interpretation as appropriate.

  2. Performs psychological evaluations for individuals with mental health and medical disorders for purposes of diagnostic clarification and treatment planning recommendations within scope of expertise, referring to the PCMHI psychologist for guidance and interpretation as appropriate. These evaluations employ a comprehensive diagnostic interview, review of available records, collateral contact when available, as well as objective, and cognitive tests when indicated.

  3. Provides a range of psychological therapeutic interventions, including group and individual formats, with individuals with mental health and medical disorders utilizing empirically supported modalities when indicated, within scope of expertise, referring to the PCMHI psychologist for guidance and interpretation as appropriate. Services may be delivered in a face-to-face and/or telehealth format.

  4. Consults with and serves as a resource for other professional personnel concerning the need for, evaluation of, and development of psychological services in VATVCBHCS, within scope of expertise, referring to the PCMHI psychologist for guidance and interpretation as appropriate.

  5. May be asked to assist in the selection, training, and supervision staff at lower grade within assigned program area, Psychology Service, or VATVCBHCS.

  6. Completes additional duties as assigned.


  1. May be asked to serve as clinical supervisor for unlicensed LPMHC.

  2. May be asked to prepare and teach seminars/workshops for VATVCBHCS trainees/staff on topics within interest/competency areas.

  3. May choose to conduct approved research that supports the mission of VATVCBHCS alone or in collaboration with other professionals in VATVCBHCS or affiliated academic institutions.

Administrative Responsibilities:

  1. May be selected by the ACOS for Mental Health to serve as the psychology service representative on various Psychology Service, Mental Health Service Line, System, or VISN administrative committees or work groups.

  2. May coordinate programming within both various mental health and primary care programs in coordination with managers of such programs as well as with discipline supervisors of affected staff assigned to these programs.

  3. May be involved in research activities, especially as related to program evaluation responsibilities.

  4. May serve as clinical supervisor for employees in lower grades.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


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0101 Social Science

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  • Requirements



Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


Basic Requirements:

  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • Education. Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation 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. CACREP defines the date when graduates are considered to have graduated from a CACREP accredited program. Additional information may be obtained from NOTE: Traditional Rehabilitation counseling programs that are accredited by CACREP do not meet the LPMHC qualification standards as Traditional Rehabilitation counseling differs from Clinical Rehabilitation counseling.
  • Licensure. Persons hired or reassigned to LPMHC positions in the GS-0101series in VHA must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to independently practice as a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, which includes diagnosis and treatment. Exception. VHA may waive the licensure requirement for persons who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure. This exception only applies up to the full performance level. For grade levels at or above the full performance level, the candidate must be licensed.

May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation).

Preferred Experience:

  • Licensed within discipline.
  • Experience providing individual and group psychotherapy for a wide array ofdiagnoses
  • Experience as a therapist in the VA
  • Experience in PCMHI and/or primary care setting

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

Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, GS-9 (Entry Level) - The GS-9 grade level is the entry grade level for LPMHCs with less than one year of experience (post-master's degree or doctoral level) who are graduates not yet licensed at the independent practice level. Unlicensed LPMHCs at the GS-9 grade level have completed the required education and are working toward completion of prerequisites for licensure.

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

  1. Ability to engage in intake and assessment, problem identification, diagnosis, treatment planning and implementation, continuum of care, 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. Ability to learn and utilize software programs in use by VHA.

  8. Knowledge and understanding of existing relevant statutes, case laws, ethical codes, and regulations affecting professional practice of counseling.

  9. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people from varied backgrounds.

Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, GS-11 (Full Performance Level) In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one year of post-masters or post- doctoral degree mental health counseling experience (VA or non-VA experience) and must be licensed to practice at the independent practice level and demonstrate the KSAs in subparagraph (c) below. LPMHCs may provide clinical supervision over the clinical practice of an unlicensed LPMHC or LPMHC trainee. Some state licenses do not license an individual to provide clinical supervision to trainees or unlicensed LPMHCs. Please refer to specific state licensing laws regarding the requirements for providing clinical supervision.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-9 grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all of 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 trainees 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. Requires independent judgment and skill.

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

  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 facilitate psychotherapy and psychoeducation groups that include life skills, family support, and community integration. This may include evidence based psychotherapy.

References: VA Handbook 5005/106 Part II Appendix G43

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-09 to GS-11.

Physical Requirements: Light Lifting/Carrying (up to 15 pounds); reaching above shoulder; use of fingers; both hands required; walking/standing (up to 1 hour); operation of crane, truck, tractor, or motor vehicle; ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and 20/40 in the other; both eyes required; depth perception; ability to distinguish basic colors; hearing (aid permitted); mental and emotional stability; cognitive stability.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Failure to provide transcripts may result in non-referral of your application if education cannot be verified.

The master's or doctoral degree must be fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Verification of accreditation may be made obtained from

NOTE: If your school has changed names, or is no longer in existence, you must provide this information in your application.

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. For further information, visit:

Keywords: Department of Veterans Affairs, McAllen , Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (PCMHI), Other , Mcallen, Texas

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