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DTC Head of Psychotherapy

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Location : Woking
Salary : £ 53,267 - £ 63,920
Type : Permanent
Closing Date : 2020-08-10
Date Posted : 2020-07-19
Reference : 35619  

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity

Overview of the job

This is a non-operational, prisoner facing job with cluster and functional management, strategic and clinical responsibilities.


The post holder will be an established and respected specialist in their field.

The post holder will be the senior clinician in the establishment for Psychotherapy services, responsible for all Psychotherapists in the local cluster and supervising the clinical practice of Therapy Managers and their functions. This is a specialist clinical job with responsibility for the output and activity for a large team of operational and specialist team members.  

As a member of the Senior Management Team, they will contribute and implement their objectives of their functions and cluster of specialists as defined in the establishment's business plan.

The focus of the work is based on therapeutic community principles, where a dedicated multidisciplinary team are clinically led by the post holder to develop a treatment environment where attitudes and expressions, which would not normally be tolerated in prison, are accepted and used to give feedback to prisoners. This therapeutic dialogue leads to prisoner's greater understanding of their usual behaviour and is based on psychotherapeutic principles. The post holder will also provide oversight of other professionals delivering this functional role.

The job holder will largely excel in the area of psychodynamic and psychotherapeutic models of treatment, risk assessment or be a specialist in a specific area such as working with sex offenders, learning disability or personality disorder. At this level the jobholder has the responsibility for the key specialist tasks involved in the delivery of a therapeutic community intervention which includes overseeing the quality of delivery and supervision. They will also provide direction and support for other supervisors.

The job holder will provide clinical leadership in the provision of Psychotherapy within their work area by offering group and individual supervision in the support of Psychotherapists and other clinicians.

The job holder will be working with complex prisoners and prison staff and applying their experience and competence in the area of psychotherapy to reduce the risk of harm and re-offending by undertaking complex treatment intervention with prisoners, conducting or contributing to research, providing consultancy and delivering training for staff and group interventions for prisoners.

This is a prisoner facing role with line management responsibilities

Responsibilities,Activities and Duties

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties:

  • Provide leadership and clinical oversight to a cluster of senior qualified clinicians working across a range of functions
  • Accountable for the oversight of professional conduct and coordination of the development of practice within the Psychotherapy Discipline
  • Accountable for ensuring Psychotherapy services are delivered in an ethical and professional manner in line with the HPS Standards of Performance and Ethics and the ethics of a range of accrediting or professional bodies, such as UKCP, BACP, IGA etc
  • Accountable for supporting development and enhancement of Psychotherapy services through supervising senior and development practitioners
  • Accountable for ensuring appropriate representation and understanding within a local and occasionally national research picture. To advise the national TC lead on Psychotherapeutic approaches.
  • Accountable for undertaking strategic and developmental work in conjunction with the other Cluster Leads and director of therapy
  • Accountable for the provision of specialist discipline advice to the Director of TCs in writing and reviewing clinical policies
  • Responsible for trouble shooting Psychotherapy related issues within other functions within the department, to ensure professional conduct is adhered to and provide advice to directly the Governor and Director of TCs.
  • Specialise in the clinical delivery and management of an accredited intervention (Democratic Therapeutic Community) ensuring that clinical and operational requirements are in place and fit for purpose.
  • Accountable for monitoring changes to prisoner populations and subsequent demand for psychotherapy intervention, and its applicability
  • Accountable for providing a specialist contribution to MAPPA processes.
  • Represents the Psychotherapeutic discipline for NOMS at external events and meetings.
  • Support and supervise others in the team delivering supervisory processes.
  • Accountable for the range of psychotherapeutic provision available within the establishment, ensuring a range of practitioners are working in a collaborative and complementary manner
  • Manage the tensions between therapeutic and operational imperatives are properly balanced, having oversight of this tension across the establishment
  • Manage and chair governance processes for psychotherapy professionals within the cluster, ensuring establishment priorities are considered and attended to
  • Lead on the provision of specialist clinical advice to strategic policy developments for therapeutic communities
  • Lead of the education of psychotherapy principles to other professions and trainees of other professions within the NHS and other professions engaged in mental health work.
  • Line Management responsibility for up to 8 staff.

In addition to the establishment-wide Head of Psychotherapy role, to provide a direct therapeutic management role for one TC within the establishment:

  • Lead and oversee the effective implementation of the Democratic Therapeutic Communities accredited core model in the prison setting.
  • Manage the function of the multi-disciplinary clinical team, comprising of operational and non-operational staff, ensuring staff are competent and equipped to deliver the therapeutic intervention.
  • Lead and deliver individual and group clinical supervision to all members of the staff team and develop the clinical abilities of staff who deliver group therapy. Contribute to the overall appraisal and performance management of staff on the TC.
  • Provide a specialist group analytic contribution to the adult male treatment service in the prison setting, working men with significant offending behaviour and Personality Disorder referred to the Therapeutic Community, utilising information from a broad base group theory and methodology and integrating it into a psychological formulation of the client in the context of their family and wider social context.
  • Ensure that the staff group put these principles into practice in the way they communicate with and work with one another, the Therapy Manager should model TC values and culture for staff
  • Oversee all clinical written documentation (sentence plans, recording of groups, parole reports, etc. ) and ensure this accurately reflects the work being done and progress being made by individual prisoners
  • Ensure creative psychotherapy or complementary work undertaken with prisoners (e.g. education, offending behaviour programmes, complementary therapies) is properly integrated into the prisoner’s Individual Treatment Plan
  • Conduct full case reviews on difficult cases and offer authoritative advice on next steps relating to sentence plan
  • Offer professional opinion to multi functional teams conducting offender reports e.g. risk reports, parole reports on high risk or vulnerable prisoners
  • Act as a “professional witness” in parole board hearings, multi-agency meetings, and other formal settings where psychology input is required. May also act as expert witness in respect of court proceedings for Ministry of Justice
  • Lead on the formulation and implementation of plans for psychotherapeutic treatment or management of resident’s mental health problems based on current evidence-based best practice within the Therapeutic Community.
  • Lead on risk assessment and resulting risk management of complex, vulnerable or high risk prisoners, reporting on treatment and therapeutic progress in relation to criminogenic factors.
  • Lead on decisions relating to progress in treatment for residents on the TC, continuation or termination of therapy and therapeutic dosage.
  • Contribute to other offender management processes (usually with more complex cases in work such as Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) assessments and self harm or personality disorder assessments)
  • Attend weekly clinical, community, staff team meetings, including administrative, assessment and academic meetings, and other service meetings as necessary for effective team working and service development needs.
  • Integrate into the Therapeutic Community, engaging in all aspects of its community life, abiding by the rules of the constitution in line with other members, staff and residents. Ensure all members of the team adopt this approach.
  • Monitor therapy practice through direct observation, feedback etc. to ensure that it meets the required standards
  • Lead on the management of referrals received, ensuring these are appropriately managed and apply appropriate criteria in assessing suitability. Provide ultimate clinical judgement and override for cases outside of the criteria where appropriate.
  • Provide supervision, training, mentoring and support to trainee psychotherapists and those undertaking psychotherapeutic qualifications (e.g. Group Analysis training) where required.
  • Provide consultancy support to colleagues such as an establishment SMT in relation to psychology services and outcomes
  • Assist in national specialist tasks such as training on courses related to their specialist discipline
  • Provide professional supervision to support a trainee in developing through the key steps towards chartered and registered status. This may be as a coordinating or designated supervisor.
  • Work with colleagues to develop service priorities through the design, development and evaluation of clinical audit tools and participation in appropriate clinical audit projects.
  • Provide consultancy role to wider team on their specialist activity. Visit a range of sites to advise on complex cases
  • Responsible for the management of relevant research including data gathering and analysis
  • Ensure the clinical effectiveness of own practice and of service functioning by undertaking audit and development activities relevant to the service area.
  • Remain informed of and critically evaluate current research to support evidence-based practice in own professional work and to contribute this perspective in the multi-disciplinary team.
  • Participate in the evaluation of the Service by working with colleagues in the design and development of service-related research and evaluation projects, as agreed with the Head of Department.
  • Responsible for relevant accreditation audit baselines as detailed in the audit document
  • Lead on the preparation for clinical external audit of the therapeutic community, including preparation of case studies, detailed self reviews and liaison with external agencies such as the community of communities. Act as a peer-reviewer consultant to other Therapeutic Communities outside of the prison service.
  • Ensure that the function produces and analyses audit and establishment performance management information identifying variances and areas requiring improvements
  • Provide specialist reports when requested for prisoners and to submit within the appropriate time framework
  • Engage with wing managers and Offender Management Unit (OMU) ensuring that regular and thorough assessments are completed on community members’ progress and therapy
  • Maintain professional networks with other TCs sharing best practice

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The Job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the Job Holder


All of the competencies in the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Competency and Qualities Framework are relevant to this group profile. For the purpose of selection the following competencies will be measured:

  • 3. Making Effective Decisions
  • 4. Leading and Communicating
  • 5. Collaborating and Partnering
  • 6. Building Capability for All
  • 9. Managing a Quality Service
  • 12. Showing Drive and Resilience

Essential Skills/Qualifications/Accreditation/Registration

Qualified and registered clinician with an associated and relevant professional body e.g. BACP, BPS, BABCP, and UKCP.

At least 5 years experience of working in a Senior Therapeutic Community role or equivalent

Possess a professional background in one of the following disciplines: Psychotherapy, Psychology, Psychiatry, Nursing Have undertaken psychotherapy training, including knowledge of psychotherapeutic models and effective models for treatment delivery and adherence to best practice models.

Qualification and experience in providing clinical supervision (preferably both group and individual)

An ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence through the medium of English or (where specified in Wales) Welsh

Hours of Work

37 hour working week

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