Highly Specialist Systemic Psychotherapist (Preceptorship Opportunity)

South West London & St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust
£27,951 to £36,319 a year per annum inc
Closing date
31 Mar 2023

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Counsellor / Psychotherapist
Band 8A
Contract Type
Part Time
The Adult Eating Disorders Service is seeking an experienced Systemic Psychotherapist (registered with UKCP via the College of Family Couple and Systemic Therapy) to join our experienced and friendly teams based at Springfield Hospital. The postholder will work across 1 or 2 parts of the service (either the inpatient, day service and/or outpatient pathway). Ideally the postholder will have experience of working within a specialist eating disorders service.

8a to 8b opportunity: This is an 8b role but if you meet the essential criteria except for completion of the one-year supervisors training, then we can recruit you initially at a Band 8a role. The Band 8a postholder would need to be eligible for entry into the postgraduate systemic psychotherapy supervisors training (either at the Institute of Family therapy or the Tavistock). The Trust would pay for your training while you are in post, offer up to 5 study days in the year (but you would also need to do some of the study days in your own time) and support you to complete the one-year course. Upon successful completion of this systemic therapy supervision training, the postholder can progress to the 8b post provided they meet the rest of the essential criteria outlined in the Band 8b Person Specification.

Main duties of the job

The postholder would offer highly specialist systemic assessment and psychotherapy to service users and their family system. They would 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 these online and in-person workshops and groups. There is lots of opportunity to develop this program and bring in new ideas (e.g., a sibling workshop).

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

We are looking for someone who can bring compassion and tenacity to the task of helping clients across the 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

The post is part-time at 2.5 days a week (0.5 wte) but we are also keen to hear expressions of interest from anyone who would like to work different hours

About us

The outpatient service works with a caseload of approximately 260 clients with severe eating disorders referred from the five local boroughs served by the Trust. People from these areas can also access our day unit, which supports admissions for up to eight people needing intense treatment including supervised meals, occupational therapy and psychological input. Avalon is an eighteen-bedded National Inpatient Eating Disorder ward, which aims to offer brief admissions for medical stabilization, including therapeutic support alongside this process to facilitate re-integration in local services.

Psychological therapists are well regarded across the service. There is a lot of day-to-day contact with colleagues and opportunity for joint working with other professionals in the team. We can offer flexibility of working hours and have monthly in-house CPD meetings.

About our location:

Tooting (Wandsworth)

Our Trust headquarters is located within the impressive grounds of Springfield University Hospital in Tooting, and we also operate in nearly 100 other locations throughout the UK. This is easily accessible via the Northern Line (Tooting Bec Station) and via private transport. The Trust provides subsidised parking fares for all our substantive staff. Our main site is located immediately next to Tooting High Street where staff can easily access a range of shops, cafs and restaurants.

Job description Job responsibilities

  • To provide highly specialist systemic and psychological assessments of patients and their families referred to the Service based upon the appropriate use, interpretation and integration of complex data from a variety of sources including psychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct and indirect structured observations and semi-structured interviews with service users, family members and others involved in the clients care.
  • To formulate and implement plans for the formal systemic / psychological treatment and/or management of a clients mental health problems, based upon an appropriate conceptual framework of the clients problems, and employing methods of proven efficacy, across the full range of care settings.
  • To be responsible for implementing a range of systemic / psychological interventions for individual adult clients, 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 patients whose problems are managed by psychologically based standard care plans.
  • To provide specialist systemic advice, guidance and consultation to other professionals contributing directly to the patients formulation, diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • To ensure that all members of the treating team have access to a systemically based framework for understanding and care of service-users, through the provision of advice and consultation and the dissemination of systemic research and theory.
  • To undertake risk assessment and risk management for individual patients and to provide general advice to other professionals on psychological aspects of risk assessment and management.
  • To coordinate care, ensuring the provision of a care package appropriate for the patients needs, coordinating the work of others involved with care, tasking responsibility for arranging reviews as required and communicating effectively with the individual service-user, his/her family and all others involved in the network of care, and to monitor progress during the course of multi-disciplinary interventions.
  • To communicate in a skilled and sensitive manner, information concerning the assessment, formulation and treatment plans of individuals under their care and to monitor and evaluate progress during the course of both uni- and multi-disciplinary care.
  • To provide expertise, advice and support to facilitate the effective and appropriate provision of psychological care by all members of the treatment team.

  • Teaching, Training and Supervision
  • To provide clinical placements for trainee systemic family therapists, ensuring that trainees acquire the necessary skills, competencies and experience to contribute effectively to good mental health care and to contribute to the assessment and evaluation of such competencies. To receive regular clinical professional supervision from an appropriate senior clinical professional and appropriate management supervision from other senior colleagues.
  • To provide post-qualification training (CPD) and clinical professional supervision to other qualified systemic family therapists attached to the team.
  • To provide post-qualification training (CPD) and clinical professional supervision to other qualified psychologists/psychotherapists/ systemic family therapists attached to the team.
  • To provide advice, consultation and training and clinical supervision to other members of the team for their provision of systemically based interventions to clients referred to the service.
  • To provide pre- and post-qualification teaching of psychologists / psychotherapists / systemic family therapists as appropriate.
  • To continue to gain wider in-depth knowledge of mental health and eating disorders.
  • To maintain and develop skills in the area of professional pre- and post-graduate training and clinical supervision.
  • To provide advice, consultation and training to staff working with the client group across a range of agencies and settings, where appropriate.
  • To undertake personal development to complete mandatory training.

  • Management, Recruitment, Policy and Service Development
  • To participate as a senior clinician in the development of a high quality, responsive and accessible service including advising both service and professional management on those aspects of the service where systemic / psychological and/or organisational matters need addressing.
  • To exercise delegated responsibility for managing the systemic resources available to teams, whether in the form of additional qualified and unqualified psychology / psychotherapy staff, or in the form of systemic materials employed in the assessment and treatment of service users and their families.
  • In conjunction with the Adult Eating Disorders Psychology and Psychotherapies Lead, to exercise responsibility for the systematic governance of systemic practice within a service area.
  • In conjunction with the Adult Eating Disorders Psychology and Psychotherapies Lead, to oversee and manage the workloads of systemic family psychotherapy staff within the service area and within the framework of the service policy and procedures.
  • To contribute to the development, evaluation and monitoring of the team's operational policies and services, through the development of professional skills in research, service evaluation and audit.
  • To participate as appropriate in staff recruitment, both in the short-listing process and as a member of interview panels for assistant, trainees and qualified systemic family therapists.

  • Research and Service Evaluation
  • To take the lead, as a senior clinician, in the evaluation, monitoring and development of the teams operational policies, through the deployment of professional skills in research, service evaluation and audit and ensuring incorporation of psychological frameworks for understanding and provision of high quality care.
  • To utilise theory, evidence-based literature and research to support evidence-based practice in individual work and work with other team members.
  • To undertake supervision of appropriate research by trainees and provide advice to other staff undertaking research with specific reference to eating disorders.
  • To initiate project management, including complex audit and service evaluation, with colleagues within and across the service to help develop and improve service provision.

  • Other
  • In common with all Systemic Family Therapists, to receive regular supervision in accordance with good practice guidelines.
  • To ensure the development maintenance and dissemination of the highest professional standards of practice, through active participation in internal and external CPD training and development programmes
  • To continue to develop systemic / psychological expertise and knowledge in the field of systemic family therapy, and systemic family therapy with young people and adults who have eating disorders.
  • To ensure the development and articulation of best practice in systemic family therapy within the service area and contribute across the service by exercising 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 systemic family therapy and related disciplines.
  • To maintain and promulgate 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 and Trust policies and procedures.
  • To maintain up to date knowledge of legislation, national and local policies and issues in relation to both eating disorders and the health and welfare of adult mental health.

  • Person Specification Training and Qualifications Essential
    • oQualified Systemic Family Psychotherapist - successful completion of a postgraduate course which must be accredited by the Association for Family Therapy
    • oAn appropriate professional registration (e.g. as a Practitioner Psychologist under the Health Care Professions Council, or with UKCP via the College of Family Couple and Systemic Therapy).
    • oas a UKCP registered practitioner the applicant must have been employed as a clinically qualified health or social care practitioner in a relevant mental health or social work profession prior to their systemic psychotherapy training
    • oFormal training in supervision of systemic family psychotherapists.
    • oPost-doctoral/graduate training in one or more additional specialised areas of psychological practice with children and young people.

    • Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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