Psychologist - Readjustment Counselor

Veterans Health Administration | Temecula, CA

Posted Date 11/21/2022
Description This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application.


NOTE: Readjustment Counselors are multi-disciplinary and can be filled by: Social Worker, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, and Marriage & Family Therapist. Each discipline is announced separately and applicants must apply to the announcement for which they are qualified.

RECRUITMENT INCENTIVIES HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED (Sign-on Bonus) Recruitment may be authorized for highly qualified applicants.

The incumbent will be responsible for providing services to eligible individuals who are experiencing a variety of military related psychological and psychosocial problems. Incumbents must possess the knowledge and experience to independently implement psychotherapeutic modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups to enhance the readjustment of Veterans, active duty Service members, and their families. Functions and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Intake screening and assessment: Complete all readjustment counseling intake procedures, including an assessment of risk for self-harm, military history and military related psychosocial stressors, and assess family readjustment stressors and document identified behaviors or symptoms.
  • Readjustment counseling goal setting and service planning: Develop and periodically update an individualized readjustment counseling service plan that reflects a course of therapeutic and psychosocial interventions, including identification of achievable goals and measurable outcomes.
  • Direct readjustment counseling service provision: Incorporate complex multiple causation in differential psychosocial assessment and direct service delivery to eligible Veterans, including making psychosocial and psychiatric diagnostic inferences within the clinical scope of practice.
  • Risk assessment and crisis intervention: Conduct timely assessment of Veterans in crisis to identify immediate needs, evaluate risk, and initiate safety planning as appropriate.
  • Care coordination: Links the Veteran with other community services, resources, and opportunities to maximize the Veteran's independence, health, and well-being.
  • Coordinating readjustment counseling and outreach: Maintain active coordination with Vet Center outreach workers to ensure seamless referral to Vet Center services for those individuals engaged in the community at outreach events that may require follow-up readjustment counseling.
  • Team cohesion and coordination: Actively participate in staff meetings designed to promote team building and staff development.
  • Documentation/administrative responsibilities/consultation: Document all clinical interactions with eligible individuals and episodes of care coordination on their behalf as required by policy.


Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm; to include two-night shifts 12:00pm- 8:30 pm or 11:00 am- 8:30pm per week
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: Psychologist/ FS #00000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: May be Authorized
EDRP Authorized: Contact Annalyn Mears, Annalyn.Mears@va.gov, the EDRP Coordinator for questions/assistance. Learn more
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
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.Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. NOTE: This applies to the past, current, and upcoming VA Health Professional Trainees (HPT) only. HPT is an individual appointed to temporary positions in one or more VHA medical facilities performing clinical or research training experiences to satisfy program or degree requirements or receiving VA Health Professional Scholarship Program. HPTs can be either VA-paid or Without Compensation (WOC).

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: In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), no person shall serve in direct patient care positions unless they are proficient in basic written and spoken English. You must be proficient in basic written and spoken English to perform the duties of this position.
  • Education: Candidates must meet one of the following:
    • Have a doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) at the time the program was completed. The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed, OR
    • Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully complete a re-specialization program (including documentation of an approved internship completed as part of the re-specialization program) meeting both of the following conditions: a.) the re-specialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and b.) the specialty in which the applicant is retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed, OR
    • Have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally accredited institution, with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature.
  • Internships: Candidates must meet one of the following:
    • Have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that was accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed and that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed OR
    • New VHA psychology internship programs that are in the process of applying for APA accreditation are acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement, provided that such programs were sanctioned by the VHA Central Office Program Director for Psychology and the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern OR
    • VHA facilities that offered full-time, one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre-1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement OR
    • Applicants who completed an internship that was not accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed may be considered eligible for hire only if they are currently board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed OR
    • Applicants who have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally accredited institution with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature may fulfill this internship requirement by having the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience in a site specifically acceptable to the candidate's doctoral program. If the internship experience is not noted on the applicant's official transcript, the applicant must provide a statement from the doctoral program verifying that the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience was completed in a site acceptable to the doctoral program.
  • Licensure: Hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia.
    • Exception. Non-licensed applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may be given a temporary appointment as a "graduate psychologist" at the GS-11 or GS-12 grade for a period not to exceed two years from the date of employment on the condition that such a psychologist provide care only under the supervision of a psychologist who is licensed. Failure to obtain licensure during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment.
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 and meet the criteria).

Grade Determinations:

GS-11: None beyond the basic requirements.

GS-12 Experience: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one year of experience as a professional psychologist equivalent to the next lower grade to include experience diagnosing mental disorders, conducting psychological or neuropsychological assessments, treating mental disorders through a variety of modalities, providing adjunctive interventions for treatment of medical disorders, and may also include research.

In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs):
  • Knowledge of and ability to apply a wide range of professional psychological treatments or assessment methods to a variety of patient populations.
  • Ability to design and implement effective treatment strategies.
  • Ability to incorporate new clinical procedures.
  • Ability to conduct research activities, such as designing and implementing clinical research projects (staff psychologists with specified research job duties).
  • Ability to perform basic research tasks of scholarship and research execution within the context of an established research team, including research participant relations, research documentation, data acquisition, maintenance, and collaboration.
GS-13 Experience. In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least two years of experience as a professional psychologist, with at least one year equivalent to the GS-12 grade level to include experience diagnosing mental disorders, conducting psychological or neuropsychological assessments, treating mental disorders through a variety of modalities, providing adjunctive interventions for treatment of medical disorders, and may also include research. A two-year post-doctoral fellowship or residency may substitute two years of specialize experience.

In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs):
  • Knowledge of, and ability to apply, professional psychological treatments to the full range of patient populations.
  • Ability to provide professional advice and consultation in areas related to professional psychology and behavioral health.
  • Knowledge of clinical research literature.

Preferred Experience: Working with combat veterans in providing family counseling services; working with veterans who were sexually traumatized/harassed while in the military; conducting psycho-social assessments and the provision of processing psychotherapy for trauma related conditions; and implementing treatment plans for combat Veterans/and their families.

References: VA Handbook 5005/103, Part II, Appendix G18, dated February 7, 2018.

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-11 to GS-13.

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