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Senior Clinical or Senior Counselling Psychologist

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
£48,526 to £54,619 a year pro rata
Closing date
28 Mar 2023

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Counsellor / Psychotherapist
Band 8A
Contract Type
Part Time
This is an exciting opportunity to join our highly regarded award-winning Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service (SPMHS) which operates over the whole of Sussex.

The Specialist Perinatal Mental Service (SPMHS) which sits within Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust now requires a Senior Clinical or Senior Counselling Psychologist in Perinatal Mental Health. This is a part-time post; applications are welcome from those wishing to work either 3 days (22.5 hours) or 4 days (30 hours). The post is open to clinical and counselling psychologists. Days of the week are negotiable but are likely to include Tuesdays.

The post holder will be basedin Brighton and will be expected to travel across Sussex. The post holder will report to the Principal Clinical Psychologist within their team.

Main duties of the job

The Senior Clinical or Counselling Psychologist in the specialist community perinatal mental health service will work with the main community service treatment pathway and will contribute to the bereavement pathway (neonatal loss and still birth).

Within the larger community service, the postholder will be responsible for typical and atypical perinatal mental health presentations, alongside formulation of parent-infant mental health. The postholder will need to have an up to date knowledge of adult and infant safeguarding practices and thresholds. The postholder will be responsible for supervising junior psychologists and trainees and as well as for contributing to complex case discussions and staff training.

Within the Bereavement Pathway, the postholder will be responsible for providing a highly responsive individualised therapy and support for women and their families who have experienced the death of a baby from 24 weeks gestation to one month after birth. A knowledge of trauma informed interventions, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, compassion-focussed approaches and psychoanalytic formulation would be helpful. The postholder willbe responsible for supervision and attending complex case formulation of typical and atypical grief reactions, and the design of couples/family interventions where relevant.

The postholder will be given regular supervision and close support from highly skilled professionals within the service as well as opportunities for professional development.

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.

Bereavement Pathway (BP) are one of the key 'flexible deliverables' in the LTP and each iteration is designed to meet local needs and wider maternal health pathways, while at the same time, forming a continuity of care the national design of BP cohorts. Our BP will be focussed on providing high calibre individualised care to women and their families who have experienced neonatal loss or still birth, defined as loss at 24 weeks.

Job description Job responsibilities

Our four multidisciplinary teams include Psychiatrists, Administrators, Nurses, ClinicalPsychologists, 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, CAMHSand 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 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 to provide significant clinical consultation and contribute to the skilful delivery of psychology and psychological therapy (PPT) interventions to the new Bereavement Pathway. These are likely to be individual, couple and family-based therapies for trauma and loss.

Within the main service you will offer the four core PPT offers; birth trauma, maternal OCD, post Mother and Baby Unit interventions and parent infant psychotherapy (PIP). Our PPT group also offers DBT and Circle of Security, and CFT which is under development. You will also join an active perinatal research and audit group who have already had two publications accepted.

Experience of working with trauma will be highly desirable.

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.

Person Specification Qualifications Essential
  • 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, approved by the HPC
  • Professionally registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health Professions Council (HPC)
Knowledge/Experience Essential
  • Experience of specialist psychological assessment and treatment of clients across the full range of care settings, including outpatient, community, primary care and in patient settings
  • Demonstrate specialist experience gained postqualification of working as an applied psychologist with evidence of having received a substantial amount of clinical supervision (normally in the region of approximately 50 hours)
  • Doctoral level knowledge of research methodology, research design and complex, multivariate data analysis as practiced within the clinical fields of psychology
  • 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
  • Experience of the application of applied psychology in different cultural contexts and experience of working within a multicultural framework
  • Knowledge of guidance and legislation in relation to the client group and mental health
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of specialist psychological therapies in specific difficult to treat groups (e.g. personality disorder, dual diagnoses, people with additional disabilities etc).

Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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