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Senior Psychosocial Practitioner - Iris Therapeutic Community

Devon Partnership NHS Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 a year pro rata
Closing date
4 May 2024

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Other Health Profession
Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
We are pleased to announce an array of roles that will help Devon Partnership Trust to meet its aspirations to improve the Complex Emotional Needs Pathway. This pathway includes the county wide Iris Therapeutic Community located in Exeter and we are excited to be recruiting to1.6 WTE Band 6 Psychosocial Practitioner Roles for the Iris Therapeutic Community.

Therapeutic Communities (TCs) are structured, psychologically informed environments they are places where social relationships, the structure of the day and different activities together are all deliberately designed to help peoples health and well-being. The Iris TC staff team have professional backgrounds in nursing, social work, occupational therapy, psychotherapy and psychiatry. All staff are part of the Iris TC community, taking up different roles and responsibilities that each day brings. The whole community has a part in the day-to-day running of the Iris TC . Iris TC offers the community member (clients) an opportunity to participate in a combination of small and large group psychosocial experiences and contribute to being part of a living and learning environment.

Applications are welcome from experienced mental health professionals who are interested in full or part time roles (minimum of 3 days).You will have a keen interest in working relationally with people who attract a diagnosis of Complex Emotional Needs and a strong commitment to working collaboratively in a therapeutic community setting.

Main duties of the job

The Iris TC involves attending three days a week over the course of a year, to join community meetings, psychosocial activities and psychotherapeutic groups. All of these activities and spaces are geared towards learning from and with each other. Both staff and service users work towards sharing responsibilities that the work of the day brings. The ethos that every person within the TC is an important member is central to working at Iris TC. Community members are encouraged to participate in the running of all aspects of the Iris TC.

Staff work with members to set collaborative goals, concentrating on the recovery of a sense of self, improving relationships, developing independence, and meaning and purpose in life. One aim is to foster compassionate curiosity to talk and think about each others experiences, events and relationships over the course of each day and the programme as a whole.

The Iris TC team works alongside individuals who may present with risks to themselves :

1) Working in partnership with other professionals/families and carers involved in a persons care.

2) Setting boundaries and expectations of behaviour: the Iris TC does not offer an out of hours or crisis service, and community members may require support from existing teams or other services at these times.

3) Promoting a culture of enquiry in staff and people using the service, where behaviour can be thought about, understood, challenged and changed where needed.

About us

About Devon Partnership Trust

We provide mental health, learning disability and neurodiversity services, as well as a range of specialist & secure services for the wider south west region & nationally. We are passionate about promoting good mental health & wellbeing. We strive to use the expertise & resources within our organisation, and through our partnerships, to deliver high quality services that are safe & focused on people's recovery.

We are committed to developing a culture of coproduction, involving patients, families & carers in everything we do

Our values

We not only recruit based on qualifications & experience - we recruit individuals who possess & demonstrate the behaviours which underpin our Trusts core values. These include such attributes as showing a commitment to quality of care, improving lives of others, giving respect, dignity & compassion. We can bring those values to life in our everyday tasks by giving a smile making time for people challenging ourselves & others, & being open to new ideas.

We are committed to being an inclusive employer & applications are encouraged & welcomed from all sections of the community, regardless of any protected characteristics as governed by the Equality Act 2010. Part time & flexible working applications will be considered & supported, where possible. We particularly encourage applicants with lived experience of mental health conditions, neurodiversity or learning disabilities. We are a Disability Confident Leader.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Key Qualities/Skills required
  • Openness to both conscious and unconscious communication and recognises behaviours and affects are communication
  • Communicates in a clear direct manner and actively listens and engages with others to further their understanding
  • Can adapt the mode of communication appropriate to the audience
  • Avoids telling others what to think but provides/creates opportunities for understanding to grow / develop / emerge.
  • Can think about ones own capacities and deficits in relation to the work.
  • Can work by continually being aware of ones responses to others and ones self
  • Self-reflection / awareness - desire to know why one is drawn to this work
  • Has self-knowledge - able to self-talk - adopt a third position

Duties and Responsibilities

Communication and Working Relationship Skills
  • Collaborate closely with the staff team offering the treatment programme in the other parts of the Personality Disorder & Complex Emotional Needs Pathway.
  • Be committed to developing thoughtful and reflective relationships with other team members and service users.
  • Contribute to the teams engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including staff, service users, their carers and other statutory and voluntary sector agencies.
  • Impart complex and sensitive information to:

ü Patients and families/carers re assessment, care planning, treatment and review.

ü Multi-disciplinary teams to ensure the provision of consistent well coordinated care.

ü Primary care teams regarding client care.

ü External agencies also involved in the provision of care e.g.: voluntary and private sector, police, social services, housing, employment etc.

ü Service user/carer groups.
  • Maintain professional working relationships with other members of the multi-disciplinary team and in the support of the treatment of personality disorders in community networks.
  • Contribute to the safe and effective day to day operations of the service including the handling of clinical enquiries.
  • Provide and receive information, some of which may be contentious, sensitive and highly complex, to and from individuals and their families/carers, where there may be barriers to their understanding.
  • Provide a high standard of written and verbal communication, which is clear and in line with professional documentation standards.
  • Participate in and chair clinical meetings, professional meetings and clinical risk meetings.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate in a way that is empathic and reassuring whilst employing negotiating techniques to gain co-operation from highly complex individuals.
  • Communicate information in a way that makes it relevant and understandable for service users and carers, working in line with practice standards and operational policies.
  • Communicating in a hostile, antagonistic or highly emotive atmosphere, including situations where communications which are highly complex, sensitive or contentious and the degree of hostility and antagonism require the use of a high level of interpersonal and communication skills on an on-going basis.

Analytical and Judgemental Skills
  • Can understand and acknowledge issues of authority, power, and leadership.
  • Can understand the varied reasons for organisational anxiety, the defences which operate to avoid this and ones own role in managing this.
  • Work with complex clinical situations requiring thoughtful analysis and interpretation of a range of factors and considerations, such as, safeguarding, risk, challenging behaviours whilst holding in mind unconscious processes and communications.
  • Assessing and managing complex risk presentations within a relational and organisational context.

Planning and Organisational Skills
  • Convene and attend management and professional meetings as required.
  • Actively participate in team and other agency discussions to ensure the identification of need and participate in the development and delivery of integrated local services in line with local need.
  • Responsible for planning and co-ordinating own day to day work load in collaboration with the needs of the community and the wider needs of the service.
  • Ensure that interventions are planned in an integrated and co-ordinated manner particularly where dependent on other external agencies.

Responsibility for Patient/Client Care, Treatment and Therapy
  • Responsible for developing care packages including assessing, planning, intervention and evaluation. Ensuring active involvement of service users and their carers.
  • Undertake psychosocial assessments of referred patients and contribute to the formulation and treatment planning.
  • Provide specialist advice to referrers/other multi-disciplinary staff in relation to the care of the client.
  • Enable communication and engagement of individuals and their carers to ensure that they have a voice about the services they receive and how these are developed. This may include engagement of advocacy services.
  • Document clinical activity in a timely and accurate manner, in line with professional guidance and best practice. .
  • Participate in safeguarding children to level 3 as set out in Safeguarding children and young people: roles and competencies for Health Care staff.
  • Support the care pathway for the treatment of people with a diagnosis of personality disorder.
  • Deliver interventions in one to one and group formats.
  • Support the care and treatment of people with a diagnosis of personality disorder by other clinicians, teams and services.

Responsibility for Policy and Service Development Implementation
  • Participate in programmes of audit and research within the team and implement the findings.
  • Contribute to professional clinical governance arrangements in order to ensure the quality of the service provided.
  • Participate in the development of the Personality Disorder & Complex Needs Pathway.
  • Be involved in the development of local systems and processes that promote the implementation of Trust policies.

Responsibility for Finance, Equipment and Other Resources
  • Responsible for care of own equipment.

Responsibility for Human Resources, e.g. Supervision, Training, HR Advice and Management
  • Provide clinical supervision for a number of qualified staff.
  • In conjunction with Psychotherapists ensure the team makes reflective practice a key aspect of the clinical day.
  • Take a clinical lead in the absence of the team leader.
  • Mentor students allocated to the team.

Responsibility for Information Resources and Administrative Duties
  • maintain records in a timely and accurate manner.

Responsibility for Research and Development
  • Participate in research and development.

Freedom to Act
  • Professional actions, acting within Trust policies and procedures and Professional Practice Guidelines.
  • Interpretation of professional and Trust guidelines, and implementing policies in conjunction with peers, head of Profession and General Manager.
  • Work within the operational and service specifications.
  • Work without direct supervision and take accountability for your own actions.
  • Act autonomously within the health and social care framework to make clinical and non-clinical decisions and consults with senior staff and/or manager in accordance with their professional judgement.

Any Other Specific Tasks Required
  • Participate in own clinical supervision and PDR.
  • Undertake any other reasonable management request.
  • Ensure that statutory training is undertaken.

Professional Duties
  • Communicate information in a way that makes it relevant and understandable for service users and carers, working to the principles of the functions policy implementation guidelines and practice in line with the standards and values set out in them.
  • Ensure a duty of care to your patients and clients, who are entitled to receive safe and competent care. The Service Users wishes, feelings, values and beliefs should be taken into consideration as well as the views of the people close to them.
  • Take personal accountability for your own practice. This means that you are answerable for your actions and omissions, regardless of advice or directions from another professional.
  • Ensure that you remain professionally competent by participating in your own and others clinical supervision.

Person Specification



  • A core mental health qualification (includes HCPC registered qualifications) e.g. RMN, CQSW/ASW, BSc/Diploma in OT, SROT, Chartered Clinical Psychologist.
  • Introductory training in psychotherapy such as psychodynamic approaches, group therapy approaches or demonstrable proven experience of working in a Therapeutic Community, with patients attracting a diagnosis of personality disorder.


  • Postgraduate training, qualification or equivalent experience relevant to the treatment of individuals with a diagnosis of personality disorder.



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