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Clinical/Counselling Psychologist - Perinatal Mental Health Service

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
£40,057 to £45,839 a year per annum
Closing date
10 Aug 2022

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Counsellor / Psychotherapist
Perinatal Care
Band 7
Contract Type
Full Time
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This is an exciting opportunity to join our highly regarded award-winning Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service (SPMHS) which operates across Sussex.

The Specialist Perinatal Mental Service (SPMHS) in Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust now has two psychologist vacancies available, and we can be flexible about the hours. We welcome applications for both part-time and full-time roles. Days of the week are negotiable but are likely to include Wednesdays and Thursdays.

We welcome applications from qualified clinical or counselling psychologists, and those in their final year of training.

The post holder will be based in East Sussex and will be expected to travel across East Sussex. They will report to the Principal Psychologist in Perinatal Mental Health.

To protect the health and safety of our staff/workers, patients, and those attending our sites, we encourage our workforce to get fully vaccinated against COVID.

Main duties of the job

The post holder will have a training in Clinical or Counselling Psychology and will be responsible for delivering NICE concordant perinatal psychological therapies to women, their babies and their families.

This will lead to the co-formulation of typical and atypical adult mental health presentations,alongside formulation of infant mental health presentations, including single and multi-domain affect dysregulation problems (gaze aversion, problems with sleep, feeding and crying). The post holder will need up to date knowledge of adult and infant safeguarding practices and thresholds. It is desirable that the post holder also has knowledge about infant development and the perinatal period, and some clinical experience working psychodynamically or in mentalisation-based approaches and/or DBT.

Duties will also include working within our maternal mental health service pathway, which provides support to women and their families who have experienced a stillbirth from 24 weeks gestation, or a neonatal loss up to 28 days after birth. Interventions will include bereavement and trauma-informed approaches for individuals, couples and family groups, e.g. compassion-focussed/mindfulness interventions.

About us

The Long Term Plan for Mental Health sets out national and local ambitions to improve care for people in pregnancy through the first stages of the babies life who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, mental health difficulties.

One in five women experience post or ante natal depression, anxiety or in some cases psychosis, during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth.

Perinatal community mental health services provide specialist care for women (and their babies) with moderate to severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or severe depression. The long-term benefits of this kind of specialist care offers early help and support to parents and babies to help with a range of perinatal issues including parent infant bonding.

Sussex Partnership have a Perinatal Mental Health Service that covers Sussex.

Job description Job responsibilities

Our four multidisciplinary teams include Psychiatrists, Administrators, Nurses, Clinical Psychologists, Early Years Workers, and some specialist Midwives and Health Visitors who are all trained in adult and infant mental health. The Service has extremely good working partnerships with a wide range of primary and secondary care professionals, including Midwives, Health Visitors, Social Care, CAMHS and Adult Mental Health Services across Sussex and is a key member of the South East Coast Strategic Network.

You will join a multi-disciplinary service, comprising of four separate teams, providing specialist care for women with moderate to serious mental health crisis such as perinatal psychosis, bipolar disorder or severe uni-polar depression whilst they are pregnant or in the first 12 months after birth. This is a rare opportunity contribute to the skilful delivery of psychology and psychological therapy (PPT) interventions within the five teams to both women and their babies. You will embed the four core PPT offers; birth trauma, perinatal OCD, post MBU interventions and parent infant psychotherapy (PIP), and our group offers of DBT. You will also join an active perinatal research and audit group who have already had two publications accepted.

The post holder will have a training in Clinical Psychology, and will have experience of working individually with adults with Axis 1 diagnoses (including puerperal psychosis), OR in-patient or crisis/high risk work with children/young people and ideally some experience of working within the early years or perinatal period.

It is desirable that the post holder is able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of current policy regarding Perinatal Mental Health, and some ideas for how the PPT offer might meet the flexible deliverables set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Please see job description for outlines of the main duties and responsibilities of this post, and the person specification which lists the requirements necessary to perform the job. Candidates will be assessed according to the extent to which they meet the specification.

We are very happy for people to contact us if interested in the post to discuss the role and come and visit us and meet the team.

Person Specification Qualifications Essential
  • Post-graduate doctoral level training in applied psychology [or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996 or outside the UK], including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology as approved by the HPC.
  • Professionally registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health Professions Council (HPC)
Knowledge & Experience Essential
  • Experience of specialist psychological working (assessment, formulation and treatment) with a wide variety of client groups, across the whole life course and presenting with the full range of clinical severity across the full range of care settings including outpatient, community, primary care, inpatient and residential care settings, maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threat of physical abuse.
  • Doctoral level knowledge of research design and methodology, including complex multivariate data analysis as practiced within the field of applied psychology.
  • High level of knowledge and skills in neuropsychology and evidence of further practice and/or training since qualification.

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