Marriage and Family Therapist

Richmond, Virginia
Sep 13, 2021
Sep 16, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in the Mental Health Service at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, VA. Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) provides couples and family therapy to the Veteran population to enhance relationships, improve interactions between Veterans, their spouses, and families.
Learn more about this agency


Major functions and responsibilities include but not limited to:
  • Conduct clinical assessments focusing on identifying risk factors and the psychosocial needs of Veterans and their identified significant others
  • Work collaboratively and cooperatively with an interdisciplinary treatment team to provide services to Veterans with marital and family problems
  • Develop, implement, and document the psychotherapeutic treatment plan for Veterans with marital and family problems in collaboration with the treatment team
  • Provide evidence-based, evidence-informed, and promising psychotherapeutic interventions, including marital, couples, family, individual, and group psychotherapies
  • Lead workshops and/or psychoeducational series on marriage and family issues
  • Treat patients with a wide variety of problems, including PTSD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders, among others
  • Provide crisis intervention services, including stabilization and follow-up, for addressing medical and/ or psychiatric emergencies of Veterans and their family members
  • Provide psychoeducation to patients, family members, and significant others
  • Provide consultation to professional staff and to community providers concerning evaluation and appropriate treatment planning for patients with marital and family problems
  • Assist Veterans and families in connecting with appropriate and needed resources and services, both within McGuire VAMC and in the surrounding communities in its catchment area
  • Complete all clinical charting and documentation required by the Medical Center or healthcare system, as appropriate
  • Provide clinical supervision to assigned Mental Health trainees in couples and family therapy
  • Serves as a consultant to other medical center staff and trainees and assist in their formulation of the psychological characteristics and appropriate treatment expectations regarding their patients
  • Participate in program monitors and outcome measurements within programs assigned using a data-driven quality assurance process
  • Protect printed and electronic files and data from unauthorized release, loss, alteration, or unauthorized deletion, and follow applicable regulations and instructions regarding access to computerized files, release of access codes, etc., as set out in the computer access agreement
  • Perform other duties as assigned
Work Schedule: Monday to Friday; 08:00 a.m. to 04:30 p.m.
Telework: Adhoc Telework Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: PD000000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


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
  • 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
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination programs are requirements for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)


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. (This only applies to VA HPTs. See 'Additional Information' below.)

Basic Requirements
    United States Citizenship: Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy) Education. Candidates must meet one of the following.
  • Hold a master's degree or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from a program approved by COAMFTE,
  • Hold a master's degree or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from a MFT program from a regionally accredited institution, OR,
  • Hold a master's degree or doctoral degree in a comparable mental health degree (Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, and Psychiatry) that meets the current VA qualification standard of that profession.
  • Licensure. Persons hired or reassigned to MFT positions in the GS-0101 series in VHA must hold a full, current, and unrestricted MFT license to independently practice marriage and family therapy in a State. Exception (Entry Grade Level, GS-09 only): See 'Additional Information' below. English Language Proficiency. MFTs must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Policy.

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).
Grandfathering Provision. All persons employed in VHA as a MFT on the effective date of this qualification standard (April 18, 20218) are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the grade held, including positive education that is part of the basic requirements of the occupation.
Preferred Experience: Licensed Marriage Family Therapist
Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.
    Creditable Experience: To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with current professional marriage and family therapy practice. The experience must be post-master's degree or above. The experience should include working with couples, families, individuals and/or groups utilizing family systems theory/therapy. The experience also includes the ability to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. Experience satisfying this requirement must be active professional practice, which is paid/non-paid employment as a MFT, as defined by the appropriate State licensing board. Experience is only creditable if it is obtained following graduation with a master's or higher degree in marriage and family therapy or comparable degree in mental health (Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor and Psychiatry) and includes work as an MFT directly related to the position to be filled. Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to marriage and family therapy experience at the next lower grade level. Part-time experience as an MFT is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. Fellowship and post-graduate training programs are typically in a specialized area of clinical practice, e.g., group or family practice. Training as a fellow or post-graduate may be substituted for creditable experience on a year-for-year basis. A practicum experience may not be substituted for experience, as the practicum (field placement) is completed prior to graduation with a master's degree in marriage and family therapy or comparable mental health degree.
    Marriage and Family Therapist, GS-9 (Entry Level)
      Experience, Education and Licensure. The entry level grade is used for non-licensed MFTs or for MFTs who are graduates not yet licensed at the independent practice (Journey) level. Unlicensed MFTs at the GS-9 grade level have completed the required education listed in basic requirement, and are working toward completion of prerequisites for licensure. Demonstrated KSAs. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate all of the KSAs below: Knowledge of human development throughout the lifespan, interventions based on research and family systems theory and therapy, formal diagnostic criteria, risk assessment, evidence-based practice and assessment tools; Ability to assess, with supervision, the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members; Knowledge to formulate, implement, and re-evaluate a treatment plan through continuous assessment identifying the Veteran's challenges, strengths, readiness to change, external influences and current events surrounding the origins and maintenance of the presenting issue, and interactional patterns within the client system; Ability to provide counseling and/or psychotherapy services, under supervision, to individuals, groups, couples and families in a culturally competent manner that facilitates change through restructuring and reorganizing of the client system; Basic knowledge and understanding of existing relevant statutes, case law, ethical codes, and regulations affecting professional practice of marriage and family therapy; Ability to draft documents, manage data, maintain accurate, timely and thorough clinical documentation, and track quality improvements
    Marriage and Family Therapist, GS-11 (Full Performance Level)
      Experience, Education and Licensure. In addition to the basic requirements, the GS-11 requires completion of a minimum of one year of post-master's degree experience in the field of marriage and family therapy work (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure in a State at the independent practice level. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the KSAs below. OR, In addition to the basic requirements, a doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or comparable degree in mental health that meets the current VA qualification standard of that profession (Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, and Psychiatry) may be substituted for the required one year of marriage and family therapy experience in a clinical setting. AND the candidate must be licensed to practice at the independent practice level and they must demonstrate the following KSA. Demonstrated KSAs. Skill to independently assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members; Ability to provide counseling and/or psychotherapy services to individuals, groups, couples and families in a culturally competent manner that facilitates change through restructuring and reorganizing the client system; Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with Veterans and their families, colleagues, and other professionals in collaboration throughout treatment regarding clinical, ethical and legal issues and concerns; Knowledge and understanding of existing relevant statutes, case law, ethical codes, regulations and VA policies affecting the practice of marriage and family therapy. This includes the ability to assist Veterans and their families in making informed decisions relevant to treatment to include limits of confidentiality; Ability to provide orientation, training and consultation to new MFTs including clinical oversight of MFT graduate students, and/or provide clinical supervision to pre-licensure MFTs; Skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, maintaining accurate, timely and thorough clinical documentation, and tracking quality improvements

References: VA Handbook 5005/101 Part II Appendix G44. Marriage and Family Therapist Qualification Standard GS-0101


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

Licensure Exception: The Secretary, or his/her designee, may waive the licensure requirement for persons who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of State prerequisites for licensure examinations for a period not to exceed three years from the date of employment on the condition that MFTs appointed on this basis provide care only under the supervision of a fully licensed MFT with an AAMFT approved license . This exception only applies at the entry grade level (i.e., GS-09).

VA Health Professional Trainees: 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).

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: Physical Requirements: Incumbent needs to be mobile in that the job requires: sitting, walking, standing, and bending. Selected applicant will be required to complete an online on -boarding process.

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

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

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.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

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 .

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

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.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action

VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: .

The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.

  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (Schedule A)
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • OF-306
  • VA Form 10-2850c. Application for Associated Health Occupations
  • Proof of VHA Health Professional Trainee (HPT) e.g., SF-50, WOC Letter, HPSP Letter, TQCVL, etc. (If you do not submit HPT supporting document, your application may NOT be reviewed.)
  • Resume
  • SF-15
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit Feds Hire Vets - Veterans - Job Seekers - Veterans' Preference .

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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