The Addiction Therapist serves as a primary case manager within a multidisciplinary mental health treatment team with the St. Cloud VAMC. As a primary case manager, she/he takes the initiative in assisting the Veteran in establishing the most therapeutic course of treatment in an effort to overcome problems related to both chemical dependency and mental health concerns. 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. 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: Addiction Therapist AT/LMAT must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38. U.S.C. 7403(f) Education Requirement: Hold a master's degree or higher in drug and alcohol studies or related behavioral health field from an accredited college or university. Foreign Education. There is no substitution for foreign education for this occupation; therefore, foreign education evaluation is not applicable. Licensure Requirement: Individuals appointed or reassigned to an LMAT position must possess a full, current, and unrestricted license in a jurisdiction for independent practice in the field of Alcohol and Drug Treatment. Exception. The Secretary or designee may waive the licensure requirement for selectees who are otherwise qualified, pending state acceptance of completion of state prerequisites at the master's level. Licensures can be waived for three years from the date of employment for the GS-9 level only. Grandfathering Provision: All persons employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including positive education and licensure or certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. GS-9-Addiction Therapist (Licensed Masters) -Entry level Education, License and Experience. (a) Less than one year of experience post licensure. OR, (b) LMATs at the master's level who are graduates not yet licensed at the independent practice (Journey) level. Unlicensed LMATs at the GS-09 grade level must have completed the required education and are working toward obtaining a full, current, and unrestricted license in a jurisdiction for independent practice in the field of Alcohol and Drug Treatment. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of coexisting medical or other mental health disorders and the interrelationship of SUDs. (b) Knowledge of basic recovery programs and resources. (c) Skill in providing individual and group therapy, including using certain SUD Evidenced-Based Therapy (EBTs). (d) Skill in developing and maintaining effective working or therapeutic relationships with multidisciplinary staff, Veterans and their families, and community resources to ensure appropriate referrals. (e) Ability to complete the assessment of substance use disorders, treatment/recovery planning and continuing care planning. (f) Ability to identify patients who are in psychological distress consistent with VA national policy and within scope of certification and secure appropriate interventions. GS-11 Addiction Therapist (Licensed Master's) (1) Experience. One year of creditable experience comparable to the next lower grade. (2) Licensure. Candidates must possess a full, current and unrestricted license in a State for independent practice in the field of Alcohol and Drug Treatment. (3) NOTE: Applicants who meet the qualifications requirements for an AT at the full performance level, who have a minimum of one year experience at that level and who have obtained the master's degree and license will be qualified at the GS-11 level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Skill to independently complete assessments of substance use disorders, treatment planning and continued care planning. (b) Skill to apply the principles, concepts and methods of counseling and therapies used in the treatment of individuals with SUDs. (c) Skill to collaborate and consult on medical or other psychiatric disorders as interrelated to SUDs. (d) Ability to apply various community-based recovery programs and resources in a treatment plan. Physical Standards. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service for requirements. References: VA Handbook 5005/155 Part II Appendix G76 The full performance level of this vacancy is 11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-09 to GS-11. ["FUNCTIONS OR SCOPE OF ASSIGNED DUTIES: A. Provide primary case management responsibilities for the chemical dependency and mental health treatment for a panel of veterans. In this capacity, he/she must be capable of applying concepts, theories and techniques to both individuals and groups of people learning to cope with mental health and/or addiction concerns. The incumbent must be able to facilitate daily educational group sessions with the veterans and/or their family members. As part of this responsibility, he/she observes and documents patient behaviors and patterns of veterans assigned to their care to allow other treatment team members and professionals to diagnose and treat any complicating adverse reactions. B. Attempts to involve the family, significant others, and community resource agents (county case workers, community providers, veteran service officers, parole officers, mental health centers, attorneys and courts) in the treatment of the veteran assigned to his/her care. This may involve conducting regular ongoing sessions with the family members. C. As a treatment team member, he/she initiates the patient treatment planning process and collaborates regularly with other disciplines regarding his/her evaluation of the veteran assigned for mental health and addiction treatment. Documents assessments based on the background and medical history that reflects the veteran's strengths, needs, abilities and preferences. Assigns appropriate therapeutic interventions to meet the individual needs of the veteran. Reviews and incorporates assessments, including psychological testing, from other services in assigning therapeutic interventions on the treatment plan. D. As part of their ongoing and discharge planning responsibilities, provide supportive care, resource specific assistance and, when necessary, crisis intervention assistance to veterans, their families and referring agencies. This is accomplished with little supervision. E. Responsibility for assisting in the community placement of the veteran after completion of the treatment program. The Addiction Therapist assists the Veteran in initiating contact with community or VA resources who will be providing follow-up and aftercare services on program completion. Provides resources to veterans about benefits and services available in the VA, community, and other self-help resources. F. Orient the veteran to the treatment program. This includes philosophy, objectives, and approaches used in the treatment process. Similar presentation may be made to visitors, community groups, and student trainees assigned to the medical center. Provides appropriate referral to available specialty groups. Assists in the patient therapeutic community groups and provides guidance when necessary. G. Facilitate daily psychoeducation and discussion groups designed to educate veterans on various aspects of chemical dependency. At times this may include sessions with the Veteran's significant other and/or family members. The incumbent is knowledgeable in the psychological principles, methods, and theories used in treating chemical dependency and other mental health disorders. This includes awareness of personality theories, behavior therapy theories, behavior therapy techniques and procedures to effectively deal with crisis intervention situations. This includes assigning appropriate videotapes, books and other written material to the veterans to assist in understanding the nature of chemicals. H. Work with the other mental health disciplines in reviewing and improving the treatment services offered. This requires keeping abreast of current literature in the field of chemical dependency and conducting periodic patient monitoring and case reviews of their peers. I. Keep appropriate statistics as to the level and type of treatment provided as required. In addition, he/she assists researchers in gathering data for their approved research studies. Work Schedule: Monday- Friday 0800-1630 or 0730-1600 evenings and weekends maybe required Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial 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.