Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (SUDS)
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Location: Big Spring, Texas
Internal Number: 626126700
The Substance Use Disorder Specialist (SUDS) position is located within the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program. The SUDS reports to the HCHV Program Manager/Coordinator and provides addiction education and relapse prevention to Veterans participating in the HCHV programs; HUD-VASH, Emergency Contract Beds, Veterans Justice Outreach, and Community Employment. 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. English Language Proficiency Requirement - Per VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, Paragraph 3j: No person will be appointed under authority of 38 U.S.C., chapter 73 or 74, to serve in a direct patient-care capacity in VHA who is not proficient in written and spoken English. 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 http://www.cacrep.org/directory/. 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. Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. Preferred Experience: Experience in crisis intervention, case management, resources, community referrals and discharge planning regarding substance use disorders. Experience working with a multidisciplinary team to address co-occurring diagnosis. Experience with working in high stress atmosphere with the ability to adapt and adjust to daily schedule changes with a positive professional attitude. Knowledge of addressing and assessing complicated psychosocial problems with those experiencing crisis to include provision of short-term, solution-focused counseling. 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 psycho social 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 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: Moderate Lifting/Carrying (15-44 pounds); Reaching above shoulder; Use of fingers; Walking/Standing (up to 4 hours); Repeated bending (15 mins); Climbing (half hour); Operation of crane, truck, tractor, or motor vehicle; Near vision correctable at 13" to 16" to Jaeger 1 to 4; Far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other; Hearing (aid permitted); Mental and Emotional Stability. ["The Substance Use Disorder Specialist (SUDS) participates in the service, training, consultative and other professional activities of the substance abuse treatment and functions as a full member of the multidisciplinary team. Provides services across the catchment area of the facility to support program. Performs the initial intake interview with new patients; obtaining a thorough history of substance use, legal and job-related consequences of such use, and previous treatments. Conducts the initial Intake Assessment for prospective patients, during which, treatment protocol, resources and mutual responsibilities of patients and program staff are explained in detail. Manages the execution of the treatment plan, PHQ9, and C-SSRS (as applicable by license) making timely reports of progress and new problems to the treatment team. Completes applicable measurement based instruments as allowed by licensure to meet the requirements of accreditation and national VA initiatives. Handles crisis-intervention or address other emergency situations without benefit of specific instructions. Such extraordinary interventions will be carefully documented and communicated to the team in a timely manner. Maintains knowledge of Suicide Prevention policy and procedure, recognizes warning signs for suicide ideation or recent self-directed violence, and utilizes the identified screening tools to assess suicide risk. Provisionally admits a new patient to the appropriate treatment, arranges for the other elements of the assessment protocol, identifies and arranges attention to any special psychiatric needs the new patient may have notifies the appropriate PACT, Mental Health, HCHV team members of the interventions, and identifies and obtains signed Release of Information (ROI) for individuals or entities whose knowledge of the outcome of engagement in treatment is relevant. Develops and maintains appropriate communications, rapport and positive working relationships with a variety of institutions, organizations and service providers (such as halfway houses, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, probation officers, court officers, lawyers, churches). Develops a treatment plan with patients and contributes to team decisions concerning formulation of the problem list and identification of goal-directed interventions for all HCHV patients, including all resources and/or any restrictions necessary for therapeutic progress. Responsible for formulating an effective discharge plan for each patient managed by the SUDS and for reporting to the team progress in implementing the plan. Assimilates the assessment diagnostic information discussed at clinical case conferencing, then prepares and documents the information for their assigned case load patients in the electronic health record. Participates in the planning and design of services as requested. Conducts group sessions for all patients and weekly therapeutic, short-term, in-depth counseling sessions for those patients assigned to their caseload. When assigned, the incumbent revises and implements contents/structural changes to existing groups and collaborates in program development as service need/expansion dictates. Observes for patient behaviors possibly indicating difficulty adapting or responding to treatment (such as missed assessment appointments, failure to attend or maintain abstinence, risk to self or others, disruptive behavior), completes appropriate documentation and reports concerns to the HCHV team in a timely manner. Documents all relevant encounters, visits, telephone calls, case management services, consults and referrals in the electronic health record with appropriate coding according to licensure. Trains other professionals in the use of information systems, patient management techniques, crisis-oriented counseling, discharge-planning, liaison with community resources, and other topics germane to the position. Assists in training student interns, providing education regarding clinical standards and procedures stipulated by the HCHV Program Manager/Coordinator and Chief of Social Work Service. Responsible for communicating with any agency, whether within or without the VA, regarding the progress and outcome of engagement in treatment, when that communication is identified in the treatment plan and appropriate ROI is obtained and documented. Responsible for maintaining confidentiality of all patients and both computer and information security as updated and detailed in facility policy. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 0800 - 1630\nCompressed/Flexible: Not Available\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nPosition Title/Functional Statement #:Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (SUDS)/PD000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\nFinancial 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.