Specialist Clinical/Counselling Psychologist Complex Emotional Needs

West London NHS Trust
£50,952 to £57,349 a year plus HCAS
Closing date
12 Jun 2023

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Highly Specialist Clinical/Counselling Psychologist in Complex Emotional Needs (CEN) - Band 8a

We have an exciting opportunity for an 8a Clinical or Counselling Psychologist in our Tier 3 specialist pathway for adults with Complex Emotional Needs. This new pathway is based in our Multi-Integrated Network Teams which provide specialist interventions in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and a range of therapeutic treatments.

The post holder will contribute directly and indirectly to a psychologically based service framework of understanding and treatment for service users who frequently use unplanned and emergency care. The successful candidate will offer clinical interventions to service users of the pathway as well as develop formulations with clinicians in various settings, disseminating these across teams and making recommendations regarding interventions which promote better engagement with existing interventions.

The role involves working in a small team comprised of Psychologists, Peer Support Worker, Clinical Practioners and a Consultant Psychiatrist who will work closely with clinicians of other services including Crisis Teams, Liaison Psychiatry and Acute Inpatient Wards to provide support for individuals with Complex Emotional Needs. This involves a particular focus on understanding the needs of those who are high intensity users of the service.

Main duties of the job

You will be part of a supportive and welcoming psychology leadership team.

The successful candidate will have experience of delivering specialist evidence-based therapy, of providing supervision, and of service development relating to psychological therapies.

In addition, the post-holder will support the pathway work around professional liaison and decision making, case consultation, teaching, and supervision of trainee and qualified staff as appropriate.

You will be offered excellent opportunities to develop your skills in working with mental health with particular opportunities to train and receive ongoing development opportunities in specialist models such as DBT and MBT. This sits in the context of a wider psychology team who have a wide range of specialist treatment and consultation skills.

The Trust is committed to developing excellent services and the post holder will be part of a team excited by, and striving for, optimal recovery outcomes for each individual who uses our services. We are looking for someone to develop and deliver comprehensive packages of care which are both psychologically and trauma informed.

About us

West London NHS Trust is one of the most diverse providers of mental health, community and social care in the UK.

Our 3,982 staff care for people in hospital and in the community, helping them to recover and go on to lead full and productive lives. We aim to be the best organisation of our kind in the country.

We provide care and treatment for more than 800,000 people living in the London boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow, delivering services in the community (at home, in GP surgeries and care homes), hospital, specialist clinics and forensic (secure) units.

We'rerated good overall by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Together, we're committed to promoting hope and wellbeing, working with patients, service users, carers, families and partners across the communities we serve.

We are keen to ensure that our workforce reflects the community it serves, particularly in terms of ethnicity, gender, disability, LGBTQ+ and experience of mental illness.

Job description

Job responsibilities

The post-holder will be responsible for improving the understanding and provision for service users who frequently use unplanned and emergency care and who find it difficult to sustain engagement in Tier 2 adult mental health service provision.

The post-holder will provide advice, consultation and support the development of a care pathway to this culturally diverse client group with severe and enduring mental health disorders who use acute mental health services and crisis support (including Liaison Services, London Ambulance Services and the crisis teams).

The post-holder will work with other members of the wider psychology team and MDT to develop a strategic plan to improve to improve service delivery for adult service users with complex emotional needs who are high intensity users of our services.

Person Specification



  • Good honours degree (2:1 minimum) in Psychology
  • Eligibility for graduate membership of BPS
  • Post-graduate doctorate in clinical or counselling psychology (or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996 or those in lateral transfer) as accredited by the BPS.
  • Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.
  • Training in clinical supervision for doctoral, and equivalent, trainees


  • Other related academic and post-graduate qualifications
  • Evidence of post-doctoral training in psychological therapy in systemic therapy/ DBT/ CAT/ Schema Therapy



  • Significant experience working as a qualified (specialist) psychologist, including post qualification experience as a qualified psychologist within a mental health setting with those who present with complex difficulties


  • Experience of teaching, training and/or supervision.
  • Experience of having facilitated/co-facilitated psychological therapy groups
  • Experience of the application of clinical psychology in different cultural contexts.
  • Experience of administration, scoring and written interpretation of psychometric / neuropsychological tests
  • Experience of having facilitated/co-facilitated psychological therapy with families.



  • Advanced specialist knowledge, both theoretical and practical, of psychology applied to clinical practice
  • Completion of at least 1 year's supervised practice in specialist clinical practice
  • Specialist theoretical and practical knowledge of the assessment and treatment of complex mental health problems


  • Knowledge of relevant legislation and its implications for work in relevant setting



  • Able to provide and receive highly complex, highly sensitive or highly contentious information, where there are significant barriers to acceptance which need to be overcome using the highest level of interpersonal and communication skills such as would be required when communicating in a hostile, antagonistic or highly emotive atmosphere.
  • Able to make judgements involving highly complex facts or situations, which require the evaluation of a range of options (e.g. the assessment of specialist clinical conditions and the determination of treatment options), Where expert opinions may differ
  • Able to plan, prioritise and organise own service user caseload, treatment programmes (individual or group) involving other staff, and other aspects of the work such as research activity
  • Able to use database, word processing and test administration/scoring software
  • Able to sit for lengthy periods of time while demonstrating active listening skills
  • Able to maintain intense concentration frequently and for prolonged periods
  • Able to function in highly emotionally distressing circumstances on a frequent basis (e.g. in dealing with service users with serious mental illness, histories of homicide and serious violence, self-harm, sexual abuse)


  • Working knowledge of SPSS

Other Requirements


  • Knowledge of the professional code of conduct of the BPS
  • Must be capable of being guided by precedent, clearly defined policies, procedures and codes of conduct
  • Able to reflect on own professional practice
  • Willing to participate actively in CPD in line with BPS guidelines
  • Ability to identify and employ mechanisms of clinical governance as appropriate, to support and maintain clinical practice in the face of regular exposure to highly emotive material and challenging behaviour.
  • Ability to teach and train others, using a variety of complex multi-media materials suitable for presentations within public, professional and academic settings.


  • Experience of working within a multicultural framework
  • Record of having published in either peer reviewed or academic or professional journals and/or books

Disclosure and Barring Service Check

This post is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions Order) 1975 and as such it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as CRB) to check for any previous criminal convictions.

Certificate of Sponsorship

Applications from job seekers who require current Skilled worker sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. For further information visit the UK Visas and Immigration website (Opens in a new tab) .

From 6 April 2017, skilled worker applicants, applying for entry clearance into the UK, have had to present a criminal record certificate from each country they have resided continuously or cumulatively for 12 months or more in the past 10 years. Adult dependants (over 18 years old) are also subject to this requirement. Guidance can be found here Criminal records checks for overseas applicants (Opens in a new tab) .

UK Registration

Applicants must have current UK professional registration. For further information please see NHS Careers website (opens in a new window).

Employer details

Employer name

West London NHS Trust





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