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Parent Infant Psychotherapist

South West London & St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust
£54,223 to £60,316 a year per annum inc
Closing date
27 Jun 2022

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Counsellor / Psychotherapist
Band 8A
Contract Type
Full Time
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We are seeking an experienced parent-infant psychotherapist with a passion for perinatal care to join our specialist multidisciplinary community perinatal mental health service. The post holder will offer specialist psychodynamically informed assessment and treatment to parents and infants who are experiencing complex emotionally difficulties. They will join a supportive group of psychological therapists dedicated to high quality, effective evidence-based practice and will be supported with specialist clinical and professional supervision. They will offer supervision to more junior psychotherapists within the service. Opportunities for training and development will be made available.

The postholder will enhance the work of the multi-disciplinary team by providing specialist advice, consultation, training and supervision on service users' psychological care. The emphasis of our service is that of close liaison with midwifery and obstetric teams during the antenatal period and with General Practitioners, Health Visitors and community agencies during the postnatal period.

The postholder will take a flexible approach utilising a range of applied psychotherapeutic techniques, given the variety and time specific nature of treatment during the perinatal period. An ability to assess and manage risk in adult mental health and the impact on the infant is crucial.

The postholder will also utilise research skills for audit, policy and service development.

Main duties of the job

  • To deliver, or support the delivery of, highly specialist evidence-based psychological assessment, care planning and treatment for service users seeking help within the perinatal period.
  • To work collaboratively and flexibly as a member of the multi-disciplinary team and contribute to a psychologically informed framework of working across the service.
  • To exercise autonomous professional responsibility for managing an identified caseload of parents with complex psychological problems, including assessment of risk and safeguarding adults and babies.
  • To actively contribute to perinatal care plans, providing a psychological perspective, which may require attendance at pre-birth and post-birth planning meetings.
  • To provide supervision to more junior staff and consultation and supervision where appropriate to other members of the MDT. To ensure effective use of their own supervision to maintain high standards of care.
  • To be mindful of the needs of women, babies, children, young people, families and individuals from a wide range of racial, cultural, sexual, religious and social backgrounds

Flexible working:

As one of the few Trusts in London we are proud to offer flexible working as part of our new ways of working, and we are happy to talk flexible working at the interview stage. In this role you will be able to work Monday to Friday in the time frames from 9am to 6pm, giving you the very best of good work life balance.

About us

The perinatal community mental health service is a specialist secondary care multidisciplinary team comprising psychiatry, psychological therapies, OT, specialist nursing and nursery nursing, social work and peer support. We are a diverse and experienced group of mental health professionals with a passion for delivering excellence in perinatal care.

The service operates across 3 sub teams, (Wandsworth, Kingston & Richmond, Sutton & Merton) who come together weekly for meetings and case discussions. We offer reflective practice and complex case discussions and hold a regular team business meeting to ensure smooth operation and involvement from all disciplines in developing our vision and strategy for service development.

About our location:

The service operates from a base at Springfield Hospital, but all clinical work is conducted from a variety of community sites, GP surgeries and children's centres.

Tooting (Wandsworth)

Our Trust headquarters is located within the impressive grounds of Springfield University Hospital in Tooting and we also operate in nearly 100 other locations throughout the UK. This is easily accessible via the Northern Line (Tooting Bec Station) and via private transport. The Trust provides subsidised parking fares for all our substantive staff. Our main site is located immediately next to Tooting High Street where staff can easily access a range of shops, cafs and restaurants.

Job description Job responsibilities
  • To provide a highly specialist psycho-dynamically informed assessment, intervention and integrative approach for perinatal patients, to improve the mental health of parents, attachment relationships and longer-term outcomes for parents and their babies. This will be based upon the appropriate use, interpretation and integration of complex data from a variety of sources including psychological tests, self-report measures and rating scales, direct and indirect structured observations and semi-structured interviews with clients, family members and others involved in the clients care.
  • To formulate and implement plans for the formal psychotherapeutic treatment and/or management of a clients mental health problems, based upon an appropriate conceptual framework of the clients problems, and employing methods based upon evidence of efficacy, across the full range of care settings.
  • To be responsible for implementing a range of psychotherapeutic interventions for individuals, carers, families and groups, within and across teams employed individually and in synthesis, adjusting and refining psychotherapeutic formulations drawing upon different explanatory models and maintaining a number of provisional hypotheses.
  • To evaluate and make decisions about treatment options taking into account both theoretical and therapeutic models and highly complex factors concerning historical and developmental processes that have shaped the individual, family or group.
  • To exercise autonomous professional responsibility for the assessment, treatment and discharge of clients whose problems are managed by psychotherapeutic care plans.
  • To provide specialist psychotherapeutic advice, guidance, consultation and training to other professionals contributing directly to clients formulation, diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • To contribute directly and indirectly to a psychotherapy-based framework of understanding and care to the benefit of all service users under the care of the team.
  • To undertake risk assessment and risk management for individual clients and to provide advice to other professions on psychotherapeutic aspects of risk assessment and risk management.
  • To communicate in a skilled and sensitive manner, information concerning the assessment, formulation and treatment plans of clients under their care and to monitor progress during the course of both uni- and multi-disciplinary care, integrating the contribution of other professionals on the basis of client need.
  • To work jointly with psychologists & psychotherapists based in community teams, to plan and hand over the psychotherapy assessment and treatment of patients that may continue after discharge from the Perinatal Team.
  • In keeping with all practitioners of psychological therapies to receive regular clinical & professional supervision from a senior clinician specialising in psychotherapy and, where appropriate, from other senior professional colleagues.
  • To develop skills in the area of professional post-graduate teaching, training and supervision and to provide supervision for other MDT staffs psychological work, as appropriate.
  • To provide training and supervision for members of the team in the delivery of psychologically informed care and treatment.
  • To provide clinical professional supervision to other clinicians working in the area of parent-infant and perinatal psychotherapy.
  • To contribute to pre- and post-qualification teaching, as appropriate.
  • To provide advice, consultation and training to staff working with the client group across a range of agencies and settings, including facilitating or supervising the facilitation of reflective practice groups.
  • To receive regular clinical consultation within the service and where appropriate case management supervision from a team leader or senior professional colleague as agreed with the professional line manager and team leader.
  • To contribute to perinatal mental health service development, evaluation and monitoring of the teams operational policies and services, through the deployment of professional skills in research, service evaluation and audit.
  • To advise both service and professional management on those aspects of the service where psychological and/or organisational matters need addressing in line with service excellence and service objectives.
  • To contribute to the development and articulation of best practice within perinatal and parent-infant mental health and psychological/psychotherapeutic interventions, by exercising the skills of a reflexive and reflective practitioner, taking part in regular professional supervision and appraisal and maintaining an active engagement with current developments.
  • To support, as appropriate, in the shortlisting and interviewing of assistant/graduate psychologists and psychotherapists.
  • To contribute to the development of user and carer involvement within the service.
  • To manage own workload effectively and efficiently, taking into account the needs of the team and the flexibility required to sustain service user engagement.
  • To utilise theory, evidence-based literature and research to support evidence-based practice in individual work and work with other team members.
  • To undertake appropriate research and provide research advice to other staff undertaking research in relation to people with severe and enduring mental health problems in line with Trust policies and procedures and with the agreement of the Professional Head of Service and Service Manager.
  • To undertake project management, including complex audit and service evaluation, with colleagues within the service to help develop service provision.
  • To contribute to the maintenance and development of specialist educational and assessment resources to be used with this client group.
  • To contribute to the development and maintenance of the highest professional standards of practice, through active participation in internal and external CPD training and development programmes, in consultation with the postholders professional and team managers.
  • To contribute to the development and articulation of best practice in parent-infant psychotherapy across the service, by continuing to develop the skills of a reflexive and reflective scientist practitioner, taking part in regular specialist professional supervision and appraisal and maintaining an active engagement with current developments in the field of Parent-Infant Psychotherapy and related disciplines.
  • To maintain the highest standards of clinical record keeping including electronic data entry and recording, report writing and the responsible exercise of professional self-governance in accordance with professional codes of the post holders professional registration body and Trust policies and procedures.
  • To maintain up to date knowledge of legislation, national and local policies and issues in relation to both the rehabilitation client group and mental health in general.
  • To work between community settings as required.

Person Specification Training and Qualifications Essential
  • oDoctoral level training or equivalent in oClinical or Counselling Psychology or oAdult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy or oChild Psychotherapy or oSystemic Family Therapy AND
  • oProfessional registration with -HCPC (Clinical or Counselling Psychologist) or -UKCP (under the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis section) or -BPC (Jungian Analyst; Psychoanalyst; Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist) or -ACP (Child Psychotherapist) -UKCP (Systemic Family Therapist via the College of Family & Systemic Psychotherapists) AND
  • oSuccessful completion of Parent- Infant Psychotherapy Training (including completion of an infant observation personal psychoanalysis)
  • oFurther training / qualifications in Perinatal Mental Health
  • oPost qualification training in applied research methods, staff training & other methods of applied psychotherapeutic work
Experience Essential
  • oExperience of specialist parent-infant psychotherapy l assessment and treatment of clients across the full range of care settings, including outpatient, community, primary care and in patient settings
  • oExperience of working with a wide variety of client groups, across the whole life course with presenting problems that reflect the full range of clinical severity including maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threat of physical abuse
  • oExperience of working with people in the perinatal period who experience severe, complex and long-term mental health problems
  • oExperience of working as a Parent-Infant Psychotherapist through havi

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