Highly Specialist Systemic Psychotherapist

South West London & St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust
£54,223 to £60,316 a year per annum inclusive of HCAs
Closing date
16 Aug 2022

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Counsellor / Psychotherapist
Band 8A
Contract Type
Full Time
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We are seeking an experienced Systemic Psychotherapist (registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) via the College of Family Couple and Systemic Therapy) to work in our friendly service based at Springfield Hospital. Ideally the postholder will have experience of working within a specialist eating disorders service. However, this is not a prerequisite and we will offer in-house training, regular supervision and a thorough induction to all new staff in order to develop knowledge and skills of working with eating disorders. The post is currently established as a full-time post but we are also keen to hear from people who would prefer to work part-time hours. If you are newly qualified and working at Band 7 level please get in touch too.

Career Progression pathways and development opportunities:

We are committed to get the very best out of our staff and support staff in their career aspirations. We have career pathways available, where you will be able to develop your skills and build on your experience to progress into other roles across different specialties. For this role, we offer ongoing training and development in supervision of trainees and newly qualified systemic therapists and we have close links with the Prudence Skynner Family Clinic. We also have many opportunities to develop specialist knowledge and skills in working within the field of adult eating disorders.

Main duties of the job

The postholder would offer highly specialist systemic assessment and psychotherapy to service users and their family system. They would also provide specialist advice and consultation from a systemic perspective to colleagues, external agencies and carers, and be able to work with an appropriate level of professional autonomy within professional guidelines and the overall framework of the Trust's policies and procedures.

In addition, the postholder would deliver evidence-based knowledge and practice and participate in audit, research and service development.

We offer a regular programme of workshops for Family & Friends of our service users and the postholder would join colleagues from other disciplines in delivering some of these online and in-person workshops and groups. There is also plenty of opportunity to develop this program and bring in new ideas.

The provision of systemic psychotherapy trainee placements and supervision of the trainee is highly encouraged.

We are looking for someone who can bring compassion and tenacity to the task of helping clients across three rather different parts of our service. Good communication is key, both in the direct clinical work and in liaising with other team members involved in the patient's care. Being organised and good with time management would be also very beneficial in this post.

About us


We offer a number of excellent staff benefits and understand the importance of a healthy work life balance. Some of our benefits are highlighted here:
  • Generous pay, pensions and leave, we offer a comprehensive pay, pensions and leave package which is dependent on the role and length of service.
  • Work life balance, we support a range of flexible options, such as: part-time working, job sharing, term-time working, compressed hours and working from home.
  • Career development, There are plenty of opportunities to progress your career and we support your development through a number of programmes such as mentoring, coaching, positive people management, collective leadership and other talent programmes
  • Subsidised car parking - You can park at any of our sites at a reduced rate of £20/month.
  • NHS discounts, with discounts up to 10% from a variety of well-known retail brands though Health Service Discounts website.

Other benefits include:
  • Eye examinations
  • Looking after your health
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Car lease scheme
  • Season ticket loan
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Staff restaurants
  • Free gym membership

Job description Job responsibilities

  • To provide a specialist systemic assessment of referrals in order to formulate and implement plans for the treatment and/or management of a patients mental health problems based upon an appropriate conceptual framework and employing evidence-based methods.
  • To work in ways which are sensitive to the needs of families from a wide range of racial, cultural and religious backgrounds. This includes an ability to understand and offer therapeutic interventions to a variety of family forms including single parents, same sex couples and their families, extended families and patients with mental health difficulties.
  • To provide systemic psychotherapy with clinical autonomy drawing on a range of models and wherever possible brief interventions. To practice in a way which is inclusive and considerate of the needs of each individual in the system including family members and their varying developmental stages and current emotional stage.
  • To be responsible for implementing a range of systemic interventions for patients and their families, including families with eating disorders, adjusting and refining systemic formulations drawing upon different explanatory models and maintaining a number of provisional hypotheses.
  • To evaluate and make decisions about treatment options taking into account highly complex factors concerning historical and developmental processes that have shaped the individual, family or group.
  • To exercise appropriate autonomous professional responsibility for the assessment, treatment and discharge of clients whose problems are managed by care plans.
  • To organise and provide systemic psychotherapy clinics in line with service and training needs. To provide live supervision of other professionals and non-systemic clinicians in the service who are members of the clinic.
  • To communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
  • To maintain current knowledge of the operation of recording equipment and promote ethical and effective use in line with Trust policy. To introduce this practice to families in a sensitive way and to advise and instruct clinicians in other disciplines and systemic psychotherapy trainees on the fitting and appropriate use of this intervention.
  • To convene case conferences and professional network meetings in order to clarify what might be the best possible care for the client and family system.
  • To communicate in a skilled and sensitive manner information including assessment, formulation and treatment plans of patients and to monitor progress during the course of uni and multi-disciplinary treatment.
  • To work in accordance with team objectives by adhering to Trust policies, including risk assessment in all work, ensuring care plans are in place, recording of notes up to date, attending and contributing a systemic view in case discussion and team meetings.

Teaching, Training and Supervision:
  • To receive clinical supervision in accordance with Trust clinical governance standards and the codes of practice and ethical guidelines of Association for Family Therapy (AFT) and United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
  • To gain additional highly specialist experience within the service area in which the post holder is employed (up to two sessions per week pro rata) relevant to the work of systemic family psychotherapy.
  • To maintain and develop skills within the areas of professional post-graduate teaching, training and supervision and to provide supervision to the multi-disciplinary team work.
  • To provide professional and clinical supervision and training placements, across professional groups, where appropriate.
  • To act as a specialist systemic psychotherapy resource by provision of systemic supervision and consultation to the teams within non-forensic Specialist Services.

Research and Service Evaluation:
  • To use theory and research, eg NICE guidelines, to inform evidence-based practice in work with individuals, families and their networks.
  • To contribute to the development, evaluation and monitoring of the teams operational policies and services, through the development of professional skills in research, service evaluation and audit.

Continuing Professional Development:
  • 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 post holders professional and service manager(s).
  • To contribute to the development of best practice in systemic psychotherapy by taking part in regular supervision and appraisal and maintaining awareness of current developments in the field.
  • To maintain high standards of clinical record keeping, including electronic data entry and recording, report writing the professional ethical standards and a continuing adherence to the professional codes of practice of the AFT and UKCP.
  • 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.
  • To maintain UKCP registration.

  • 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 postholder.
  • The postholder is expected to comply with all relevant Trust policies, procedures and guidelines, including those relating to Equal Opportunities and Confidentiality of Information.
  • The postholder is responsible for ensuring that the work that they undertake is conducted in a manner which is safe to themselves and others, and for adhering to the advice and instructions on Health and Safety matters given by Manager(s). If postholders consider that a hazard to Health and Safety exists, it is their responsibility to report this to their manager(s).
  • The postholder is expected to comply with the appropriate Code(s) of Conduct associated with this post.
  • South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust operates a no smoking policy. The Trust has been smoke free since 01 January 2006.

Person Specification Qualifications Essential
  • Postgraduate qualification in relevant mental health/social care profession
  • Masters/Doctoral level qualification in Systemic Psychotherapy
  • Qualified Systemic Family Psychotherapist registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) via the College of Family Couple and Systemic Therapy
  • Clinical Systemic Supervision Training
  • Registration as Clinical Supervisor by Association for Family Therapy (AFT)
Experience Essential
  • Substantial experience in relevant first profession
  • 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 a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threat of physical abuse
  • Experience of risk assessment and intervention with individuals their families and/or social networks
  • Experience of working with eating disorders
Knowledge and Skills Essential
  • Skills in the use of complex methods of systemic assessment and treatment of individuals, couples family systems, groups and organisations, frequently requiring sustained and intense concentration
  • Knowledge of and skill in using a wide variety of systemic theories and interventions and the ability to use these appropriately in relation to client need and work setting
  • Sufficient knowledge of other modalities to engage appropriately with colleagues and their work with clients Ability to multi-task while leading a systemic psychotherapy workshop requiring intense concentration and skills for using a one-way screen, recording equipment and involving members from different professional backgrounds in service delivery simultaneously
  • Well developed skills to communicate effectively, orally and in writing at an age appropriate level (including use of play, drawing, role play, metaphor and stories) complex, highly technical and/or clinical sensitive information to individuals, the

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