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Cognitive Analytic Therapist or Clinical / Counselling Psychologist

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Kingsbury, London
£49,178 to £55,492 a year pa inc HCAS (pro rata P/T)
Closing date
17 Jul 2024

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We are looking for an innovative, motivated and enthusiastic qualified and experienced clinician (Cognitive Analytic Therapist (CAT) or Clinical or Counselling Psychologist to work with people who have complex needs associated with a diagnosis of personality disorder. The Complex Emotional Needs pathway is part of an integrated multi-disciplinary service which provides mental health services for adults within the community.

Theteamprovides psychological input, including assessment and treatment (group, individual and family), for people aged 18 and over who present with severe mental health problems including psychosis, personality disorder (and associated co-morbidities) and complex mental health difficulties. Our complex emotional needs (Personality Disorder) pathway has an established MBT programme and a newly developed intensive full DBT programme. We also offer psychoanalytic transference focused psychotherapy. There are a range of opportunities for career development at the Brent CMHT, subject to funds.

The successful applicant may have contact with patients or service users. As an NHS Trust we strongly encourage and support vaccination as this remains the best way to protect yourself, your family, your colleagues and of course patients and service users when working on our healthcare settings.

Main duties of the job

This is an exciting new post that will provide the opportunity in delivering psychological services to improve short and long-term outcomes for service users experiencing problems associated with personality disorder and other complex mental health problems.

The post holder will be expected to provide specialist psychological assessment and effective evidence based interventions (including formulation and care planning where appropriate) and advice, consultation and training on aspects of psychological care to colleagues from other disciplines as well as advice, family interventions and consultation to non-professional carers.

This is a developing area of service provision and the post holder will have an opportunity to be involved in shaping and developing the service.

About us

The ideal candidate will demonstrate a real commitment and compassion for working with this client group and across a diverse population. Excellent psychological assessment and intervention skills are required, especially in the delivery of NICE recommended interventions. Experience in delivering evidence-based treatments for people with personality disorder is essential, and the successful applicant will also ideally have experience of working within a secondary care context.

The post holder will have a strong commitment to recovery principles, multi-disciplinary working, service user involvement, and working with people who are cautious about engaging with mental health services. Strong team skills and the ability to work through consultancy with other staff members will be essential.

Joining our service offers the opportunity to utilise and develop skills in psychosocial interventions for personality disorder, and for working with multi-disciplinary teams. The post holder will be part of a supportive team, with good supervision structures and access to opportunities within the borough and wider trust for development of special interests and the sharing of specialist knowledge. The post holder will also work alongside other psychological therapy providers within the psychosis and complex mental health difficulties care pathways.

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • To provide specialist psychological assessments of clients referred to the team, specifically in relation to the personality disorder pathway, based upon the appropriate use, 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.
  • To formulate and implement plans for the formal psychological 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 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.
  • 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 psychologically based standard care plans.
  • To provide specialist psychological advice guidance and consultation to other professionals contributing directly to clients formulation, diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • To contribute directly and indirectly to a psychologically based framework of understanding and care to the benefit of all clients of the service, across all settings and agencies serving the client group.
  • To undertake risk assessment and risk management for individual clients and to provide advice to other professions on psychological aspects of risk assessment and risk management.
  • To act as care coordinator, where appropriate, taking responsibility for initiating planning and review of care plans under enhanced CPA including clients, their carers, referring agents and others involved the network of care.
  • 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.
  • To deliver and co-deliver brief interventions, for people with personality disorder
  • To provide time-limited case management for a caseload of service users
  • To provide liaison to inpatient wards to consult on the management of people with personality disorders, as and when indicate.
  • To provide consultation to GPs in the management of people with personality disorders, as and when indicate.
  • To be involved in co-delivering structured group-based treatments, e.g. MBT or DBT groups, as indicate.
  • To be aware of and to embed principles of the trauma-informed approach within the pathway.

  • Teaching, training, and supervision
  • To receive regular clinical professional supervision from a senior clinical psychologist and, where appropriate, other senior professional colleagues.
  • To gain additional highly specialist experience and skills relevant to clinical psychology and/or the service as agreed with the professional psychology manager.
  • To develop skills in the area of professional post-graduate teaching, training and supervision and to provide supervision to other MDT staffs psychological work as appropriate.
  • To provide professional and clinical supervision of trainee and assistant clinical psychologists.
  • To contribute to the pre- and post-qualification teaching of clinical and/or counselling psychology, as appropriate.
  • To provide advice, consultation and training to staff working with the client group across a range of agencies and settings, where appropriate.

  • Management, recruitment, policy and service development
  • To contribute to the development, evaluation and monitoring of the teams operational policies and services, through the deployment of professional skills in research, service valuation and audit.
  • To advise both service and professional management on those aspects of the service where psychological and/or organisational matters need addressing.
  • To manage the workloads of assistant and trainee clinical psychologists, within the framework of the team/services policies and procedures.
  • To be involved, as appropriate, in the shortlisting and interviewing of assistant / graduate psychologists

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

  • IT responsibilities
  • To maintain professional and personal records on computer, as appropriate
  • To enter data onto local Trust IT systems and databases, as appropriate
  • To utilize IT methodologies, such as e-mail and the internet, to access clinical and professional information and to communicate with colleagues

  • General
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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, The Health Professions Council and Trust policies and procedures.
  • 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.

  • Safeguarding
  • All staff have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk of abuse.
  • Staff should be aware of local safeguarding procedures and how to contact named professionals for advice and support as well as reporting any concerns.
  • Staff are supported with the supervision and training needed to recognise and act on welfare concerns and to respond to the needs of children and adults.
  • Staff have a responsibility to ensure they are up to date with any safeguarding training.

  • Additional notes:
    • 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



    • Qualified in Cognitive Analytic Therapy or Doctorate in Clincial
    • Doctoral level or equivalent training in clinical psychology, including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology, as accredited by the BPS.
    • Further substantial postgraduate training and/or qualifications relevant to complex emotional needs (personality disorders)


    • Specialist training in any other psychological models for personality disorders
    • Mentor/Supervisor qualification relevant to the professional qualification



    • Experience of specialist psychological assessment and treatment of clients across the full range of care settings, including outpatient, community, primary care and secondary care settings.
    • Experience of working with a wide variety of client 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
    • Extensive experience in the NHS.
    • Experience of working therapeutically with people with Personality Disorder or challenging behaviour
    • Experience of using CAT or other psychological interventions with people with Personality disorder
    • Experience of conducting psychologically informed assessments, group work, risk assessment , and crisis intervention
    • Experience of managing co-existing issues (depression, anxiety, substance misuse, trauma, eating disorders, psychosis)
    • Experience of working as part of a multi-disciplinary team
    • Active participation in service planning and delivery


    • Experience of working with people with severe and enduring mental health problems, including psychosis
    • Experience of teaching, training and/or supervision.
    • Experience of the application of clinical psychology in different cultural contexts.



    • Skills in the use of complex methods of psychological assessment and intervention 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 clients, their families, carers and other professional colleagues both within and outside the NHS.
    • Skills in providing consultation to other professional and nonprofessional groups.
    • Doctoral level knowledge of research methodology, research design and complex, multivariate data analysis as practiced within the
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