Drama Therapist

West London NHS Trust
£41,659 to £47,672 a year pa plus HCAS
Closing date
10 Feb 2023

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CBT Therapist / Other
Band 7
Contract Type
Part Time
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We are looking for a highly motivated drama-therapist who is interested in developing effective, innovative, recovery orientated arts therapies approaches. This post will mostly provide interventions to the community Integrated Care System, with one session in Acute inpatient care.

The arts therapies are an established part of provision in West London Mental Health Trust, working across the three boroughs of Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith and Fulham. The service is part of the Trust's psychological therapies provision and is managed by a Head of Arts Therapies. There are also strong links to arts therapies across the wider trust. The post-holder will be supported by these links and by those to local multi-disciplinary teams.

Tuesdays are a core team day so the post-holder will be expected to work Tuesdays.

Main duties of the job

The post-holder will offer interventions within defined timescales, encompassing both brief, low intensity and longer, high intensity interventions. A keen interest in trauma informed practice is essential and the post-holder will be implementing trauma informed approaches for a range of presentations. Most interventions will be groups but there will also be scope for some individual work. In addition to direct clinical work you will support the wider team to work with service users e.g. through formulation.

You will need to be able to work independently to develop your part of the service in liaison with inpatient and community teams and to supervise trainees on placement.

You will be line managed by the head of arts therapies and supported by a structure of meetings with arts therapies colleagues and clinical supervision.

All arts therapists are active in developing the evidence base for their work through the use of outcome measures, clinical audit and research.

About us

West London NHS Trust is one of the most diverse providers of mental health, community and social care in the UK.

Our 3,982 staff care for people in hospital and in the community, helping them to recover and go on to lead full and productive lives. We aim to be the best organisation of our kind in the country.

We provide care and treatment for more than 800,000 people living in the London boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow, delivering services in the community (at home, in GP surgeries and care homes), hospital, specialist clinics and forensic (secure) units.

We're rated good overall by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Together, we're committed to promoting hope and wellbeing, working with patients, service users, carers, families and partners across the communities we serve.

We are keen to ensure that our workforce reflects the community it serves, particularly in terms of ethnicity, gender, disability, LGBTQ+ and experience of mental illness.

Job description Job responsibilities

The post-holder will work within community acute mental health and acute services for Hounslow, providing group and individual dramatherapy interventions. In the community, they will provide both low and high intensity interventions according to patient and service need. In acute services they will provide interventions appropriate to that setting and to individuals in acute mental states.

They will keep appropriate clinical records in accordance with trust policy, completing discharge reports at end of therapy, summarising process, outcomes and any recommendations. They will work collaboratively with other members of the multi disciplinary team to support safety, autonomy and recovery for service users. They will also participate in evaluation, audit and research.

The post-holder will provide clinical supervision for trainees on placement and for less experienced staff. They be available for consultation and will act as a source of information about the arts therapies and about the psychological therapies, informing other staff, service users and carers about the arts therapies, giving presentations to teams, devising written information and offering specialist advice to other staff on complex cases.

They will participate in clinical and managerial meetings and will assist in management and service development and in liaison with external agencies such as universities and the third sector.

Person Specification Qualifications and Training Essential
  • MA in arts therapies
  • Health and Care Professions Council registrant
  • Training in another psychological therapies modality e.g. Mentalization Based Therapy.
Experience Essential
  • Individual & group clinical arts therapies work post qualification
  • Experience of working in a multi-cultural service
  • Experience of work in MDT setting and communicating complex information therein
  • Experience of personal therapy
  • Experience and understanding of a wide range of art processes and equipment
  • Experience of assessing and formulating risk and supporting a reduction in risk
  • Experience of work in an acute mental health setting
  • Experience of work with interpreters
  • Lived experience of mental health difficulties.
  • Experience of providing arts therapies in an acute setting
  • Experience of participating in reflective practice, case formulation meetings or team debriefs.
Knowledge and Skills Essential
  • Specialist professional knowledge acquired through MA/MSc or equivalent level plus specialist short courses, CPD, clinical supervision of practice.
  • Ability to organise and prioritise caseload and other responsibilities
  • Ability to explain arts therapies practice to a wide range of professionals, service users and other stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of other modalities (e.g. medical model, systemic, behavioural) sufficient to contribute to multi-disciplinary planning and service provision.
  • To understand psychiatric diagnosis and the requirement to communicate about diagnoses, whilst also acknowledging the alternative in the form of a formulation.
  • Able to make judgements based on psychological knowledge, clinical information and environmental events within a session and make decisions on this basis e.g. with regard to feedback to nursing or other staff.
  • To judge when a service user or colleague might need emotional support and to show interest in understanding how they are feeling and help them think through ways of coping that are known to help reduce distress safely.
  • Ability to communicate complex, sensitive and potentially contentious information to service users in a way that addresses psychological resistance and the propensity of the service users towards hostile reactions.
  • To know when to raise a safeguarding concern and when it is necessary to seek immediate clinical supervision.
  • Understanding of the how the dynamics of teams and between professionals in general can be influenced by the psychological impact of work in a mental health environment.
  • Able to respond adaptably to rapidly changing service demands
  • An ability to document clinical information in the care record in an accurate, concise and non-judgemental manner which supports a psychological understanding.
  • Use IT packages - word processing, e-mail and internet, SPSS, Excel and Access
  • Able to function in potentially traumatic circumstances and in highly emotionally distressing circumstances on a frequent basis (e.g. in dealing with service users with serious mental illness, histories of homicide and serious violence, self-harm, sexual abuse).
  • Awareness of diversity of cultural norms and being able to respond to this appropriately
  • To have an understanding of trauma-informed care and to understand the concept of stabilisation, psychological containment and validation and the rational for these in an acute ward.
  • To understand the 5Ps formulation model and have the ability to describe this to patients.
  • IT skills: e.g. Word; Excel, Photoshop.
Personal Qualities Essential
  • Ability to discuss personal reactions (thoughts, feelings, behaviours) in clinical supervision, reflective practice, formulation meetings to plan safer therapeutic care.
  • To be courageous and interested in developing confidence in expressing an opinion which is different from the dominant view, but might be more helpful in supporting a service user.
  • A desire to motivate, encourage, support others, and contribute to a collective care offer from the inpatient MDT that results in a positive experience for staff and service users.
  • A desire to learn and use non-pathological language and terms which imply chronic disability and negatively impact of self-esteem and undermine recovery.
  • To be able to tolerate witnessing extreme behaviour and listening to life histories which might contain disturbing facts (sexual trauma, physical abuse, neglect, violence, political and civil wars which deviate from the dominant accepted norm in the UK).
  • To be interested in a wide range of psychological concepts and show enthusiasm and interest in learning about a range of approaches (Systemic, behavioural, Trauma-informed, CBT, DBT, ACT, CAT, Schema).
OTHER Essential
  • Knowledge of Standards of practice of the Health Care Professionals Council.
  • To be capable of being guided by precedent, clearly defined policies, procedures and codes of conduct.
  • To adhere to the security procedures on the ward.
  • Membership of a relevant professional special interest group
  • Membership of relevant practice research network

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