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DTC Creative Psychotherapist

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Location : Aylesbury , Buckingham
Salary : £ 38,148 - £ 43,870
Type : Permanent
Closing Date : 2020-10-30
Date Posted : 2020-09-27
Reference : 37464  

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

The role requires a fully qualified, HCPC and BAAT registered Art Psychotherapist to work 8.5 hours per week on Thursdays. The applicant will be based working on a therapeutic community that is solely dedicated to working with  male prisoners  who have committed sexual offences. Specialism and experience  within this area is therefore desirable.

Overview of the job

This is a non-operational, prisoner-facing job within an establishment focusing on the therapeutic needs of prisoners


The job holders covered by this job description are usually categorised as specialists in their field or those whose role requires significant additional experience, training and personal development.

The focus of the work is based on therapeutic community principles, where the post-holder provides specialist input into a dedicated multidisciplinary team to develop and maintain 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 job holder will largely excel in the area of psychodynamic and psychotherapeutic models of treatment, particularly of a creative discipline such as Art Therapy or Psychodrama. At this level the jobholder has the responsibility for the specialist contribution to clinical group processes, and is involved in the delivery of a therapeutic community intervention which includes the provision of a specialist creative psychotherapy service within the therapeutic core model.

The job holder will provide clinical specialist input and advice within the therapeutic community setting supporting operational staff and other clinicians in their approach to TC treatment. The job holder will deliver psychotherapy through a creative psychotherapy medium. This will be delivered in group sessions to prisoners as a primary mode of communication to tackle a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses in a group environment.

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

Delivery of Creative Psychotherapy services by the post holder will aim to address specific offence related issues in more depth, overcome blockages to progressing treatment, consolidate the work of the DTC and promote pro-social creative expressions of emotion.

This is a prisoner facing role with no line management responsibilities

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties

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

  • Specialise in the clinical delivery of an accredited intervention (Democratic Therapeutic Community) ensuring that clinical requirements are adhered to and complement operational practice.
  • Facilitate Creative Psychotherapy group sessions, and facilitate large community meetings, supporting co-facilitators and other staff engaged in these processes
  • Provide a specialist creative psychotherapy 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 of creative and complementary therapy theory and methodology and integrating it into a psychological formulation of the client in the context of their family and wider social context.
  • Ensures the integrity and effectiveness of the group sessions ensuring a range of professional standards are met in relation to the delivery of each session through oversight and supervision of other staff
  • Ensures that the delivery of treatment complies with the requirements of the programme and remains consistent with the underlying theoretical models and prescribed delivery style
  • Contribute to the effective implementation of the Democratic Therapeutic Communities accredited core model in the prison setting.
  • Manage therapy group dynamics and support other staff such as officers to facilitate groups, providing clinical input and knowledge where required
  • Promote clinical principles, supporting staff to these into practice in the way they communicate with and work with one another, modelling TC values and culture for other staff on the unit.
  • Act as a “professional witness” in parole board hearings, multi-agency meetings, and other formal settings where specialist input is required, such as re-categorisation boards. May also act as expert witness in respect of court proceedings for Ministry of Justice
  • Provide clinical assessments of referrals to the creative psychotherapy service, ensuring that this assessment aligns with risk management and treatment plans.
  • Contribute to effective risk assessment and resulting risk management of complex, vulnerable or high risk prisoners, reporting on treatment and therapeutic progress in relation to criminogenic factors.
  • Develop and maintain expertise in the assessment and treatment of offenders and risk areas targeted by the programme
  • Provide specialist advice to 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 & 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.
  • Ensure interactions between prisoners and staff is actively encouraged and constructive within the therapeutic environment
  • Provide supervision, training, mentoring and support to trainee creative psychotherapists and those undertaking psychotherapeutic qualifications where required.
  • Ensure the clinical effectiveness of own practice and of service functioning by participating in 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.
  • Provide a specialist contribution to 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.
  • Provide specialist reports when requested for prisoners and to submit within the appropriate time framework
  • Maintain professional networks with other clinicians and 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
  • 14. Persuading and Influencing

Essential Skills Qualifications, accreditation & Registration

Qualified and registered clinician with an associated and relevant professional body e.g. BAAT, BACP and UKCP. This qualification will usually be a recognised as a post graduate qualification in Art Therapy (or similar) which would facilitate registration with the Health Professions Council (HPC)

Have undertaken further creative psychotherapy or mainstream psychotherapy training, usually at Masters level.

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

8.5 hour working week

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