Clinical/ Counselling/ Forensic Psychologist

Job Title: Clinical/ Counselling/ Forensic Psychologist
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Cork
Salary: See job description
Job Published: September 13, 2017 09:55

Job Description

Job type: Full-time (12 Month Contract (Renewable))

Working pattern:  39 hours per week typically from 9am-5pm on Monday to Friday. 

Salary: Negotiable depending on experience.

Specialism: Infants, children, young people and families.

Reporting to: Head/Clinical Lead of Family Assessment and Treatment Services

Location: The Bessborough Centre, Blackrock, Cork City

The Bessborough Centre are recruiting a qualified psychologist to join its multidisciplinary clinical team within family assessment and treatment services. A long-standing charity organisation, The Bessborough Centre’s aim is to promote and provide family support, assessment and development services for those in need in Cork City and beyond through multidisciplinary early intervention, residential based therapeutic assessment, community based family support and infant mental health promotion and practice. Given the broad and varied nature of the services delivered at The Bessborough Centre, this post could be suitable to with a clinical, forensic or counselling psychologist depending on level of experience and goodness-of-fit to service.

The successful candidate will be a member of the Bessborough Centre staff providing high quality psychological support services to families and individual clients. Working in a multidisciplinary team she/he will provide psychological assessments, formulations and identify appropriate interventions. The psychologist will also deliver individualised or group based therapy and as well as promote a psychologically-informed service delivery model within in Bessborough Centre through staff training and consultation. He/She will manage assessments and interventions in a compassionate manner in line with the mission of Bessborough Centre and have a strong commitment to holistic family support and child protection. The post-holder will utilise their skills for policy and service development and evaluation. The Bessborough Centre has a combination of site based and home based services and the may involve travel and unsociable hours.

Specific Duties

  • To work flexibly within a multidisciplinary team to manage a caseload of clients with complex needs including clients presenting with high levels of emotional distress, behavioural problems, mental health issues, personality related difficulties, and difficult social circumstances.
  • To provide high quality appropriate assessments, formulations and interventions, communicating in a skilled and sensitive manner with the clients, clinical team and family support/residential workers at Bessborough Centre and referring agents.
  • To deliver a psychologically-informed service model to children and families with complex emotional, social and psychological problems and managing these within the context of multidisciplinary working.
  • To carry out assessments and risk management of clients presenting with a behavioural profile which may include substance abuse, personality disorder, mental health related issues, self-harm and/or risk of harm to others.
  • To provide general advice and assist the management team in identifying, developing and delivering training for the staff and other professionals on psychological aspects of risk assessment, management and care.
  • To provide highly specialist advice, consultation, supervision and training to staff working with the client group across a range of agencies and settings, where appropriate and contribute towards The Bessborough Centre’s eighteen month staff training programme.
  • To manage exposure to distressing and emotionally charged circumstances for self and for staff. This may necessitate managing sessions/meetings in which there is high expressed emotion, between family members; managing systemic rapport as well as the delivery of psychological interventions and team supervisory interventions, to maximise the relationship between team and family.
  • In common with all applied psychologists receive regular clinical supervision in accordance with good practice guidelines from the PSI and in line with the Bessborough Centre’s reflective Supervision Policy.
  • To participate in multidisciplinary meetings, child protection case conferences and reviews, etc. providing professional advice on clinical decision made in relation to families, individual care programme planning and other clinical matters as necessary.
  • 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 ensure the development and articulation of best practice 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 applied psychology and related disciplines.
  • To maintain up to date knowledge of legislation, national and local policies and issues in relation to both the specific client group and mental health.
  • To negotiate appropriate professional relationships with stakeholders and referrers in both statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure that casework is appropriate to the child and family’s needs
  • To communicate, in a highly skilled and sensitive manner, to clients, family carers and others as appropriate, information that may be contentious or highly distressing concerning the assessment, formulation and treatment plans of clients under their care
  • To maintain the records of service in line with the agreed policies of The Bessborough Centre
  • To work in ways which are sensitive to and appropriate for the needs of families from a wide range of racial, cultural and religious backgrounds and be sensitive towards differences in sexual orientation. To take a proactive stance in challenging racism and discrimination and support the development of a culturally competent service.
  • To write quality multi-disciplinary assessment reports, and be available to present at professional meetings when appropriate.
  • To build and promote specialist psychologically-informed support service for families and children.
  • To maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job, work within the code of professional ethics of the Psychological Society of Ireland and participate in appropriate professional supervision and training activities.

To represent Bessborough Centre in a professional manner and to maintain constructive relationships. 

Role Requirements

Communication and Relationships  

  • Provides and receives highly complex, sensitive or contentious information in possible contexts of significant barriers to acceptance. 
  • Highly emotive atmospheres may be encountered.
  • Communicates highly complex assessment related information to clients, who may be hostile or limited in their abilities to grasp such concepts.
  • Good English language skills both written and verbal.

Knowledge, Training and Experience

  • Post graduate professional qualification in Psychology recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland, or British Psychological Society.
  • Has a high level of theoretical & practical knowledge.
  • Acquires a high level of professional knowledge through academic studies to postgraduate doctoral degree, supplemented by specialist courses.
  • Undertakes regular clinical supervision and further specialist training and experience.

Analytical and Judgemental Skills    

  • Able to operate in an environment of complex facts or situations.
  • Able to interpret complex situations and compare / choose from a range of options
  • High level of skills for assessing clients, relatives / carers
  • Interprets client, family situation & develops appropriate formulation
  • Considers alternative expert opinions and research materials that may differ or present alternative approaches

Planning and Organisational Skills   

  • Plans and organises activities, potentially covering a range of complex requirements 
  • Formulates, adjusts plans or strategies
  • Plans & prioritise own job / case workload, co-ordinates with other services as required 
  • Day to day supervision/ professional/ clinical supervision of other less experienced psychologists, assistant(s), trainees etc as required

Responsibility for Information Resources   

  • Responsibility to update and maintain records of personally generated information
  • Updates and maintains client records to the required standards
  • Maintains data protection and confidentiality

Research & Development     

  • Responsibility to undertake R&D activities as required
  • Undertakes personal R&D programmes
  • Develops new or modifies resources, training materials, tip sheets, forms, records, policies, procedures etc.

Emotional Resilience

  • Able to cope with frequent highly distressing or emotional circumstances
  • Deals with family breakdown, serious mental illness, etc.
  • Working conditions may comprise occasional unpleasant conditions, some exposure to hazards such as verbal aggression, some risk of physical aggression
  • Able to cope with stressful situations e.g. as an expert witness in a Court environment or meeting stringent timing

Reporting Relationships

The Clinical/Counselling/ Forensic Psychologist will work in close cooperation with the various teams in Bessborough Centre. Reporting is directly to the Senior Psychologist/Clinical Lead while maintain a professional relationship with the Service Managers and CEO..

This job description indicates the main functions and responsibilities of the post and is subject to review and amendment in the light of service developments and changing circumstances and may include other duties and responsibilities as may be determined from time to time by Bessborough Centre Management in discussion with the post holder.

To apply please submit two copies of your CV and covering letter to:

HR Department, Bessborough Centre, Blackrock, Cork. Or email

For further information or to discuss post contact Dr Calem De Búrca on +35321 4357730

Closing date is: 5pm Tuesday 10th October, 2017.