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Clinical/ Counselling Psychologist - Specialist Post

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Harrow / Harrow & Wealdstone
£49,178 to £55,492 a year pa inc HCAS
Closing date
3 Jul 2024

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Harrow Psychology is expanding and excited to offer a new specialist post working across the community Complex Emotional Needs Pathway (CEN, Bentley House) and acute Mental Health Emergency Assessment Centre (MHEAC, Northwick Park Hospital).

Harrow is pioneering in its innovative CEN Pathway, which provides a holistic package of evidence-based therapeutic interventions for individuals with emotion dysregulation and impulsivity. This includes both 1:1 and group therapies as well as the provision of a full DBT program.

Harrow is also leading in its Trauma-Informed Approach and integrated model of psychological care for adults presenting to our MHEAC in acute and crisis states. Psychology plays an integral role in assessment and formulation-driven care planning for the MHEAC, to facilitate psychologically-informed alternatives to admission.

Harrow is committed to research, development and clinical excellence. Our Trauma-Informed Approach is published (Nikopaschos et al. 2023) and influencing national policy (see NHSE Guidelines, 2023). We are equally committed to the further development and progression of our staff and this post is offered with funding to be trained in DBT (PGDip).

If you are passionate about delivering innovative psychologically-informed care, come and join our established team of psychologists with a diverse range of expertise. We especially welcome applications from people of BME backgrounds unrepresented within the profession of Psychology.

Main duties of the job

This speciality post will be split across Harrow's CEN Pathway and MHEAC. The post-holder will play a key role in psychological assessment, the development of formulation driven, creative and multi-disciplinary care plans, and the provision of evidence-based psychological intervention (including the DBT program) that follows service users across the whole system.

The post-holder will be expected to work as a senior member of the multi-professional team, including the provision of consultation, co-working, teaching, supervision and research. They will make a leading contribution to the learning culture of the service, and play an integral role in the ongoing development of Trauma-Informed Approaches.

The Harrow Community Mental Health Hub, adult inpatient wards and Home Treatment Team work closely together as an integrated system, which provides holistic intervention to adults with mental health difficulties living in Harrow. The post holder will join an expanding therapies team, committed to providing highly specialist and trauma-informed psychological care, across the system.

Psychology is well integrated and highly valued, with excellent MDT relationships. Specialist supervision is available from senior clinicians in a variety of modalities (including CAT, NET, EMDR, DBT and systemic). You must have a strong commitment to teamwork, an ability to facilitate ongoing development of the psychology service and to work sensitively within a culturally diverse environment.

About us

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) is one of the largest Trusts in the UK, caring for people with a wide range of physical and mental health needs. We have approximately 7,000 staff that provide healthcare to a third of London's population and across wider geographical areas, including Milton Keynes, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire.

As a Foundation Trust we involve service users, carers, the public, staff and partner organisations in the way that we are run and our future development. If you are interested in becoming a member of our Foundation Trust please visit our website.

Our catchment area spans diverse communities, with over 100 first languages spoken. It contains areas of great affluence as well as areas of much deprivation. We are committed to providing services that meet the needs of the people who use them, and we actively encourage involvement from local people who can help make a difference. We are constantly developing and working in innovative ways to provide modern, dependable services in physical and mental health sectors primary, secondary and community services and in health and social care settings for all ages.

Job description

Job responsibilities


1. To provide specialist psychological assessment and formulation for service users of the Harrow Adult Mental Health Services, interpretation and integration of complex data from a variety of sources including psychological and neuropsychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct and indirect structured observations and semi-structured interviews with clients, family members and others involved in the clients care.

2. To formulate and implement plans for the formal psychological treatment and/or management of a service users mental health difficulties, based upon an appropriate conceptual framework of the service users difficulties, and employing methods based upon evidence of efficacy, across the full range of care settings.

3. To be responsible for implementing a range of psychological interventions for individuals, carers, families and groups, within and across teams employed individually and in synthesis, adjusting and refining psychological formulations drawing upon different explanatory models and maintaining a number of provisional hypotheses.

4. 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.

5. To exercise autonomous professional responsibility for the assessment, treatment and discharge of service users whose problems are managed by psychologically based standard care plans.

6. To integrate with the psychological formulation specialist knowledge of complex mental health presentations.

7. To understand the impact of acute mental health presentations, and to offer appropriate advice to the patient, carers and clinicians in the light of such understanding.

8. To provide specialist psychological advice, guidance and consultation to Harrow Mental Health staff contributing directly to service users formulations and treatment plans.

9. To contribute directly and indirectly to a psychologically based framework of understanding and care to the benefit of all service users, across all settings and agencies serving the client group.

10. To undertake risk assessment and risk management for individual service users and to provide advice to other professions on psychological aspects of risk assessment and risk management.

12. To communicate in a skilled and sensitive manner, information concerning the assessment, formulation and treatment of service users under their care and to monitor progress during the course of both uni- and multi-disciplinary care.

13. To provide expertise, advice and support to facilitate the effective and appropriate provision of psychological care by all members of the treatment team, where appropriate.

Teaching, training, and supervision:

1. To receive regular clinical professional supervision from the Senior Clinical Psychologists and, where appropriate, other senior professional colleagues.

2. To gain additional highly specialist experience and skills relevant to clinical psychology in acute settings, as agreed.

3. To develop skills in the area of professional post-graduate teaching, training and supervision.

4. To provide supervision to other multi-disciplinary staffs psychological work, as appropriate.

5. To provide clinical placements for trainee clinical psychologists, ensuring that trainees acquire the necessary skills, competencies and experience to contribute effectively to good mental health care and to contribute to the assessment and evaluation of such competencies.

6. To provide professional and clinical supervision of trainee and assistant clinical psychologists.

7. To contribute to the pre- and post-qualification teaching of clinical psychology as well as other disciplines, as appropriate.

8. To provide advice, consultation and training to staff working with the service user group across a range of agencies and settings, where appropriate.

Management, recruitment, policy and service development:

1. To contribute to the development, evaluation and monitoring of the Psychology service operational policies and services, through the deployment of professional skills in research, service evaluation and audit.

2. To advise both service and professional management on those aspects of the service where psychological and/or organisational matters need addressing.

3. To facilitate and assist in Psychology service development and provision e.g. information systems.

4. To manage the workloads of assistant and trainee clinical psychologists as well as more junior qualified psychologists (for Band 8a posts) within the framework of the team/services policies and procedures.

5. To be involved, as appropriate, in the shortlisting and interviewing of assistant/graduate psychologists.

6. The post holder will be required to attend and contribute to the regular professional meetings.

Research and service evaluation:

1. To utilise theory, evidence-based literature and research to support evidence-based practice in individual work and work with other team members.

2. To undertake appropriate research and provide research advice to other staff undertaking research.

3. To undertake project management, including complex audit and service evaluation, with colleagues within the service to help develop service provision.

IT responsibilities (other than those used for research):

1. The post holder will input and maintain appropriate computer and manual clinical records and statistical data and provide this to the Senior Managers when necessary.

2. The postholder will engage in relevant computer and IT training as required.


1. 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 service manager(s).

2. To contribute to the development and articulation of best practice in psychology across the service, by continuing to develop the skills of a reflexive and reflective scientist practitioner, taking part in regular professional supervision and appraisal and maintaining an active engagement with current developments in the field of clinical psychology and related disciplines.

3. 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 practice of the British Psychological Society and Trust policies and procedures.

4. To maintain up to date knowledge of legislation, national and local policies and issues in relation to both the specific client group and mental health.

5. To work flexibly and respond to service needs accordingly e.g. with regard to cover Service Level Agreement arrangements

To be noted:

This is not an exhaustive list of duties and responsibilities, and the postholder may be required to undertake other duties which fall within the grade of the job, in discussion with the manager.

This job description will be reviewed regularly in the light of changing service requirements and any such changes will be discussed with the post holder

The post holder is expected to comply with all relevant Trust policies, procedures and guidelines, including those relating to Equal Opportunities, Health and Safety and Confidentiality of Information, clinical governance including research governance.

Person Specification



  • Doctoral level training in clinical or counselling psychology or its equivalent, including specifically models of mental health, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology as accredited by the BPS.


  • Pre-qualification training and qualifications in research methodology, staff training and/or other fields of applied psychology.
  • Experience of using family/systemic interventions.



  • Experience of specialist psychological assessment and treatment of service users across the full range of care settings, including community, primary care and in service user settings
  • Experience of working with a wide variety of service user groups, across the whole life course, 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.


  • Experience of teaching, training and/or supervision.
  • Experience of the application of clinical or counselling psychology in different cultural contexts.
  • Experience working as a clinical psychologist under supervision.

Knowledge and skills


  • Skills in the use of complex methods of psychological assessment, intervention and management frequently requiring sustained and intense concentration.
  • Well-developed skills in the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, complex, highly technical and/or clinically sensitive information to service users, their families, carers and other professional colleagues both within and outside the NHS.
  • Skills in providing consultation to other professional and non-professional groups.
  • Doctoral level knowledge of research methodology, research design and complex, multivariate data analysis as practiced within the clinical fields of psychology
  • Evidence of continuing professional development as recommended by the BPS


  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult to treat groups (e.g. complex emotional needs, dual diagnoses, people with additional disabilities etc).
  • High level knowledge of the theory and practice of at least two specialised psychological therapies.
  • Knowledge of leg
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