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Clinical Psychologist

Fredericksburg, Virginia
Closing date
Oct 1, 2023

Clinical Responsibilities (80%):
  • Conducts initial screening and intakes of Veterans referred for Substance Use Disorder Treatment.
  • Within the scope of privileges granted, incumbent provides a full range of comprehensive psychotherapeutic interventions, including crisis intervention and outpatient individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapies for Substance Use Disorders and co-morbid conditions and diagnoses, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and PTSD, with an emphasis on time-limited evidence-based and evidence-informed approaches. Clinical services provided include such evidence-based practices as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Seeking Safety, Motivational Interviewing, Behavioral Couples Therapy for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Transcending Self Therapy, harm reduction strategies, and relapse prevention.
  • Incorporates new evidence-based and recovery-oriented clinical theories and procedures (including psychoeducational and rehabilitation interventions) into clinical services for patients with psychological and substance use problems and dual or multiple diagnoses.
  • Develops specialized behavior plans as appropriate and consults with staff on how to implement them.
  • Administers, scores, interprets, and writes psychological evaluations, including evaluations for malingering and for co-morbid disorders, and the use of the Brief Addiction Monitor (BAM). The goal of the assessment is to highlight the Veteran's strengths, limitations, and internal/external supports and service needs to optimize the Veteran's functional status, formulate a diagnosis, and lay the foundation for the treatment plan.
  • Develops safety plans for patients with suicidal and/or homicidal ideation and intent.
  • Provides substance abuse and co-occurring diagnosis screening, evaluation, and treatment services via telemental health.
  • Facilitates referrals to the Intensive Outpatient Program and SARRTP in Richmond, as well as to substance abuse treatment domiciliaries in VISN 6.
  • Provides relapse prevention services to Veterans referred back from IOP, SARRTP, and domiciliary treatment programs. Maintains frequent communication with the SATP program at the Richmond VAMC to facilitate referrals in both directions.
  • Provides consultation to primary care physicians and members of the Mental Health Specialty Care treatment team regarding the treatment of Veterans with Substance Use Disorders, including those who have co-occurring mental health problems.

  • Program Development/Program Evaluation/Research (5% time)
  • Participates in the development of policies, standard operating procedures, goal setting, and treatment planning processes for the Substance Abuse Treatment Program.
  • May assist in the development and implementation of a battery of pre- and post- intervention psychological assessment measures to evaluate the effectiveness of units to which the incumbent is assigned.
  • Participates in ongoing quality improvement processes involving the Substance Use Disorder Treatment program, including keeping current on the literature on outpatient assessment and treatment of Substance Use and co-occurring disorders, and using current knowledge to adjust/improve programs and service delivery.
  • Administrative responsibilities (5%):
  • Is responsible for timely completion of all clinical charting and documentation required by the Medical Center or healthcare system, as appropriate.
  • Attends regular meetings of CBOC staff, local and regional psychologists, and local treatment teams.
  • Adheres to operational policies and procedures for the treatment teams to which the incumbent is assigned.
  • Facilitates liaisons with other mental health and health care programs in order to effectively coordinate services.
  • Complies with national and local performance measures, including timely health care screening and completion of clinical reminders for all patients.
  • Other significant responsibilities (5%):
  • Assures the needs and rights of patients and other customers are met while also supporting VA missions. Consistently communicates with customers (Veterans, active duty service members, their representatives, DoD, community providers, visitors, and all VA staff) in a courteous, tactful, and respectful manner, and handles conflicts and problems with patients and staff constructively and appropriately.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Work Schedule: 7:45 - 4:30; Monday - Friday
    Telework: Available
    Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
    Functional Statement #: 000000
    Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized for eligible applicants
    EDRP Authorized: Contact, the EDRP Coordinator for questions/assistance. Learn more
    Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
    PCS Appraised Value Offer (AVO): Not Authorized
    Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


    Conditions of Employment

    • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
    • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
    • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
    • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
    • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
    • Subject to background/security investigation.
    • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
    • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
    • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
    • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


    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
      • 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. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, the term "specialty area" refers to the specific specialty areas recognized by the accrediting body and not to specific job duties that might require special skills. Currently, APA accredits doctoral programs in the specialty areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or combinations of two or more of those areas. PCSAS accredits doctoral programs in psychological clinical science. CPA accredits doctoral programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and school psychology. There are no job assignments in VHA that require the skills of a school psychologist; therefore, an applicant with a degree in the specialty area of school psychology is not eligible for appointment. Strictly for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment as a psychologist in VHA, there is no distinction between the specialty areas (with the exception of school psychology).
      • 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.
    • AND Internships
      • (a) 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
      • (b) 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
      • (c) 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
      • (d) 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. (NOTE: Once board certified, the employee is required to maintain board certification.) OR
      • (e) 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
    • 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 under the authority of 38 U.S.C. ? 7405 [(c)(2)(B)] 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: In addition to meeting the basic requirements, you must meet the following grade requirements.

    GRADE REQUIREMENTS GS-13, Full Performance Level: Must have At least two years of experience as a professional psychologist, with at least one-year equivalent to the GS-12 grade level. Experience is only creditable if it is post-doctoral experience as a professional psychologist directly related to the duties to be performed. Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to or exceeding professional psychology experience at the next lower level. Postdoctoral fellowships or residencies are training programs in an advanced area of clinical practice. Training as a fellow or resident is considered to be creditable experience on a year-for-year basis.

    Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSA's:
  • 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.

  • References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/103, PART II, APPENDIX G18, Psychologist Qualification Standard, GS-0180.The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-13.


    IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

    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: .

    Additional information

    Receiving Service Credit or 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. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

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

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

    If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .

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