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Specialist Personality Disorders Practitioner

Livewell Southwest CIC
£43,742 to £50,056 a year pro rata
Closing date
26 Sep 2023

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Other Health Profession
Band 7
Contract Type
Full Time
37.5 hours per week. Livewell Southwest (CIC) serves a population of approximately 250,000. The current post is set within the Personality Disorders and Complex Emotional Needs Service offering treatments to adults, families and carers. The ideal candidate for this vacancy will be qualified as a DBT therapist and professionally registered as a: Clinical, Health or Counselling Psychologist, Adult Mental Health Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse, Occupational Therapist or Social Worker. Non registered professionals will be considered if they have the appropriate training and have previously delivered therapy as part of a DBT or MBT team.

You will have the opportunity to join an established multi-disciplinary team delivering a full DBT programme (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) to people likely to receive a diagnosis of personality disorder or those with complex emotional needs/dysregulation. There is usually a history of self harming behaviours and/or suicidal ideation. We may consider a qualified MBT practitioner as we are establishing our MBT pathway.

We offer 6 and 12 month programmes and support primary care as well as having innovative peer support pathways in our service.

This service will provide you with the support and structure to practice within a friendly and fully recruited to team in the beautiful Plymouth area of the South West.

Interviews to be held on the 9th October 2023

Main duties of the job

You will work with the team to provide a structured DBT therapy programme approach, helping clients to use the therapeutic programme to make positive changes. You will offer one-to-one sessions as well as weekly group skills programmes. Telephone consultation/coaching is also offered. DBT team consult is held weekly for the therapists currently on a Thursday morning.

The team also provide consultancy services to other teams, helping them to manage this patient population on their own caseloads.

You may be offering virtual or in person sessions and working from home virtually and or, in person at a space in Livewell Southwest Plymouth.

The Personality Disorders & Complex Emotional Needs Service aims to provide assessment, consultation, treatment (core model DBT), staff supervision and training, audit and research. Specifically for clients who are likely to receive a diagnosis of EUPD those with significant difficulties due to complex emotional needs/dysregulation staff who work or have contact with them and to the organisation as local provider of services.

All Livewell Southwest staff are expected to able and willing to work across a 7 day service.

Job Share(s) Considered

please note that this role may not be eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route, please refer to the Direct Gov website for more information with regards to eligibility

About us

Livewell Southwest is an independent, award-winning social enterprise providing integrated health & social care services for people across Plymouth, South Hams & West Devon, as well as some specialist services for people living in parts of Devon & Cornwall. With teams in community hospitals, GP practices, sports centres, health & wellbeing hubs.

As an organisation with a strong social conscience, we always value being kind, respectful, inclusive, ambitious, responsible and collaborative. Transforming services to make them sustainable, ensuring that we value, support & empower each other.

We are committed to involving the people we care for, families & carers in everything that we do, working towards co-production where we can. Helping us to deliver the right care for people, in the right place & at the right time. By putting people at the centre of what we do, we ensure to support people to lead, healthy independent lives & be the very best at helping people to live well.

Valuing our employees making an investment in their development a priority. We offer:

Protected CPD time for registered staff

Various development pathways and ongoing regular training packages for all staff

Leadership & mentoring programmes

Access & funding for training including Care Certificate, Assistant Practitioners Course & Scholarship Into Nurse Training

A Robust Preceptorship

A bespoke induction programme

Existing members of the NHS Pension Scheme can continue their membership when they join the organisation.

Job description

Job responsibilities


The Personality Disorders Service is a small secondary care level, multi-disciplinary team delivering a full DBT programme (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) to patients presenting with a diagnosis of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD).

In general, they present with a history of self harming behaviours and/or suicidal ideation. These clients are often considered heavy users of services with regular attendances to GP practices and ED.

We provide a structured approach, helping them to analyse their behaviour and impact, and make changes. They receive weekly one-to-one sessions as well as a weekly group skills programme. Telephone consultation is also available on an ad hoc basis. DBT team consult is held weekly.

The team also provide consultancy services to other teams, helping them to manage this patient population on their own caseloads.

The Personality Disorders Service (PDS) has been established to provide five key aspects of services including assessment, consultation, treatment, staff supervision and training, audit and research. These services are specifically for clients with a diagnosis of EUPD staff who work or have contact with them and to the organisation as local provider of services.


Clinical Skills:
  • To have undertaken training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). MBT trained may be considered for the right candidate instead of DBT*.
  • To deliver DBT in both group and individual formats to patients who have a diagnosis of Personality Disorder.
  • To maintain clinical skills in the practice of DBT as required by undertaking follow-up training or attending additional training and/or workshops as appropriate to the delivery of DBT treatment.
  • To work as part of a team in the delivery of specialist psychotherapy for the treatment of Personality Disorder and to participate in the service in such a way as to complement team working.
  • To possess and practice good communication and relationship skills in situations where emotional distress, and risk of self-harm and of life-threatening behaviour can be expected.
  • To be able to engage clients in a therapeutic alliance and maintain this through periods of doubt and relapse.
  • To be able to identify and manage the need for formulation of the clients difficulties and to promote a realistic treatment plan.
  • To identify and be able to complete formal psychometric assessments with ones own clients and those of other team members, where this is appropriate or to pass this on to other qualified professionals where necessary.
  • To be able to communicate, by talking and by writing, DBT-based formulations and treatment plans to the client and to appropriate professional colleagues and to family members or carers, as appropriate.
  • To be able to add an understanding of psychosocial factors and appropriate interventions to the planning of treatment for clients referred to the services but not on psychologists caseload.
  • To maintain systems for referrals to the PD service with professional colleagues working in adult mental health services. Within these systems to be able to manage an appropriate individual caseload whilst also being able to negotiate and manage the need for waiting lists for assessment and treatment so that there is steady movement of clients through the stages of referral, assessment, treatment and discharge.
  • To be able to manage the emotional impact of working, often one-to-one, with people who can be in crisis and who can show high levels of arousal and can be actively self-harming or suicidal.
  • To be able to analyse complex situations and think through an appropriate pattern or sequence of strategies to respond therapeutically.
  • To ensure receipt of clinical and personal supervision in accordance with good practice guidelines for psychotherapists.
  • To be able to provide appropriate risk assessment and management plans for those within the specialist service.
  • To undertake the required and agreed paperwork and to be familiar with and able to use LWSW IT systems and those of external agencies where appropriate.

  • Policy and Service Development:
  • To contribute to the planning, development and promotion of the specialist Personality Disorders Service
  • To regularly attend the appropriate departmental meetings and other operational services and relevant meetings.
  • To take responsibility for representation of the service at appropriate service development and governance meetings as agreed with your Line Manager and in line with Personal and Professional Development Plans (PDPs).

  • Human Resources:
  • To be responsible for providing clinical supervision and professional support and guidance as required to qualified and unqualified staff within the services who are less experienced (i.e. trainees, assistants, undergraduates, those on lower bandings). Engagement in this activity would be contingent on post qualification experience and responsibility should be expected to increase over time.
  • To be responsible for providing clinical supervision to non-clinical members of the services.
  • To be responsible for supervising qualified professionals from other specialties, as required, in relation to their work with clients who may have mental health problems.
  • To be responsible for planning and supervising the work of undergraduate university students on year long and short term placements.
  • To be responsible for contributing to the planning and providing a clinical training placement to trainees on undergraduate and postgraduate placements. These clinical placements can require liaison with Human Resources to arrange appropriate DBS checks, honorary contracts and IT access as well as completion of Livewell Southwest service inductions. It also requires a sensitive awareness of the impact on trainees of induction to being members of a large and complex organisation as the context for learning and practising their professional skills. Engagement in this activity would start one year post qualification in a limited way with increasing responsibility for trainees as experience is gained.
  • To contribute to the teaching and training activities relating to the DBT approach for the staff working within mental health services and when appropriate in other services within Livewell Southwest.
  • To ensure the development, maintenance and dissemination of the highest professional standards of practice, through active participation in internal and external Continuing Professional Development - CPD training and development programmes and courses.

  • Research and Development:
  • To participate in research, audit and evaluation relevant to the provision of specialist Personality Disorder services and the provision of a good mental health service.
  • To use IT packages in the analysis of data and to write up the information in a meaningful format that is accessible and understood by the target audience.
  • To prepare and present information from audits, evaluations and research to professional audiences within and outside LWSW.
  • To participate in the preparation of papers for publication based on audit, evaluation, research and development work.
  • To utilise theory, evidence based literature and research to support evidence based practice in individual work and work with team members in the services.

  • Information Technology:
  • To contribute to the maintenance and development of office systems and procedures within the specialist service.
  • To be able to use a range of software packages including Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams and others.
  • To be responsible for maintaining appropriate service statistics and records of work within the requirement of national and LWSW policies.
  • To ensure that electronic CPA and EPEX and other relevant computer data bases are kept up-to-date.
  • To provide information on services delivered at least bi-monthly to your Line Manager and the Operational Manager of the services.


    6.1 To demonstrate excellent communication skills with clients, staff, family members/carers and wider health network.

    6.2 To ensure information about clients assessment/treatment is accurately recorded using the clinical record system.

    6.3 Is able to impart complex and sensitive information to patients and families/carers and related health care professionals.

    6.4 To ensure good working relationships with all other health professionals across the health network.


    The role will involve a lot of sitting with clients in therapy rooms or sitting at a desk providing therapy virtually or by telephone. It may require some standing for up to 2 hours at a time whilst delivering groups. There will also be frequent use of a computer.

    Person Specification


    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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