Southwest Counselling: Senior Psychologist

Southwest Counselling & HSE

Southwest Counselling, supported by HSE Social Inclusion Psychology Services, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, seek applications for the following position

A Senior Psychologist - One year fixed term contract

South West Counselling are open to a secondment arrangement where appropriate.

Closing Date: Friday 3rd February 2023

Location of Post: South West Counselling are seeking a senior psychologist to join their team and work in close partnership with Social Inclusion, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare. The office base for this post is Southwest Counselling Killarney. However, the candidate will be required to travel to various locations in Kerry (and occasionally Cork) as part of their clinical remit.

Reporting Relationships: The post-holder will report to Mr. Jimmy Mulligan, CEO, South West counselling and will be line managed / clinically supervised by Dr. Jennifer Hayes, Principal Psychology Manager Social Inclusion, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare.

Details of Service

This new post is hosted by South West Counselling and supported by Social Inclusion Psychology Services, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare.

SouthWest Counselling Centre was established in 1994 to provide affordable counselling to the people of County Kerry and surrounding areas. SouthWest Counselling Centre offers a range of therapeutic services: one-to-one counselling for children (Play Therapy), adolescents and adults, parenting support, working in a systemic manner with parents and children.

Our offices are in Killarney and provide outreach services in Kenmare, Tralee, Listowel and Valentia.

Social Inclusion Psychology services provide a range of psychological services as part of the broader HSE Social inclusion team. South West Counselling and Social Inclusion recognise that clients from marginalised communities, such as International Protection Applicants (refugees and those seeking asylum) are more likely to have additional physical and mental health needs and do not always have equity of access to required supports due to the barriers that they face.

The working culture within South West Counselling and Social Inclusion, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare strives to be rooted in inclusivity, equality, social justice and compassion both within the working environment between colleagues, as well as in our service and interactions with clients. There is a theoretical and operational understanding that our clients face additional barriers to service access than the general community and as such a flexible, practical and solution focused approach to the work is to the fore with considered emphasis and advocacy on increasing access and benefit from supports and services.

Due to an increase in war and persecution globally there has been significant forced displacement of people seeking International Protection with unprecedented numbers arriving to Ireland seeking safety and protection. There are currently in excess of 10,000 Ukrainian people living in Cork and Kerry. In addition there are 16 Direct provision / Emergency Direct provision Centres across the CHO accommodating in excess of 2,000 people of all ages. Furthermore, Cork and Kerry is home a a significant number of Syrian families residing here under the resettlement project. This is a rapidly changing picture.

The post holder will become an important part of the existing Psychological team responding to the needs of IPAs in Cork and Kerry, with specific emphasis on the needs of people in the Kerry area. This is an exciting opportunity to join this response project and work with a dynamic team / organisations who are to the fore of advocacy and support for those seeking protection in Ireland. The psychology team currently consists of 1 principal manager, 1 principal specialist, 2 senior psychologists, 2 staff grade psychologists and 2 trainees.

Purpose of the Post

The purpose of this post is to support, drive and deliver the psychological emergency response plan currently being implemented to support IPAs in Cork and Kerry over a 12 month period. This forms part of the broader psychosocial response that is being delivered by Cork Kerry Community Healthcare. The post holder will join existing staff in the HSE and work closely with a robust and experienced psychology team which is already fully operational and driving the response. The post holder will be based in South Kerry in South West Counselling Services and will play a key role in the ongoing development and delivery of the psychological response in Cork and Kerry to assist International protection Applicants. The overall goal is to improve psychological outcomes for clients.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

The post holder will play a key part in the rollout and delivery of the psychological response plan to the current influx in IPA’s residing in the Cork and Kerry region.

This will include the delivery of a range of services to IPA’s and to the services / professionals supporting them. Duties and Responsibilities will include:

Direct Services to International Protection Applicants

  • Provision of psychological consultation services to IPA’s remotely or in person (in the clinic, direct in reach services into congregated settings, other locations as appropriate).
  • Provision of screening services to identify client needs and to provide appropriate referral into mainstream services with bridging supports. This might include a range of issues across the lifespan including psychological wellbeing, mental health, intellectual disability and so forth and involve a range of Statutory and / or non-statutory services.
  • Provision of comprehensive psychological assessments to assess and diagnose a range of psychological, developmental, or other issues and to clarify and recommend appropriate services and supports.
  • Assessment and diagnosis of PTSD in adults and children
  • The provision of a range of PTSD interventions to reduce trauma symptoms, including NET, KidNET, tfCBT or other evidence based approaches.
  • Psychological support to the HSE in reach team where appropriate

Supports for Services / Professionals

  • Provision of the ‘Specialist link service’ which provides psychological consultation, support, signposting and advice to for anyone working with IPAs
  • Training and education services to enhance workforce capacity, improve trauma informed approaches across Statutory and Non Statutory services and contribute to improved outcomes for clients
  • Provision of psychological supports to interpreters impacted by their work
  • Peer support for those delivering NET/tf-CBT interventions
  • Provision of supervision and clinical support to staff grade psychologists, psychologists in clinical training, psychology assistants as required.

Interagency Work

  • Work closely with the broader Social Inclusion team in the HSE staff supporting IPA migrant health, other HSE mainstream services in the community, NGO’s, Statutory services.
  • Liaise, work collaboratively and support existing Cork Kerry Community Healthcare staff and Community / Voluntary sector staff with expertise in this area and are currently providing supports to this group
  • Link with identified Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Heads of Service as required
  • To support the broader South West Counselling team through the provision consultation or other supports with regard to trauma / PTSD with particular emphasis on supporting clinicians working with IPAs.
  • Support the Social Inclusion teams, through the provision of clinical supervision to trainees, assistant psychologists and staff grade psychologists when required.

Review, Evaluation and Sustainability

  • Ensure service-user and front-line staff feedback mechanisms
  • Identify models of good practice in other areas and adapt for use in Cork and Kerry as required / as appropriate
  • Support and supervise PhD programme as developed in conjunction with UCC on this initiative
  • Ensure appropriate monitoring, evaluation and review of the work undertaken and programmes delivered
  • Identify and develop collaborative partnerships and programmes in response to identified needs

Self-Care / Support

  • The Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Social Inclusion Psychology Service recognises the traumatic nature of the experiences of our clients. As such, there is a culture of care, support and compassion within the Psychology service. The post-holder will be encouraged to place a strong personal emphasis on his/her own self-care and to actively nurture the existing culture of care and compassion for clients and between colleagues. The post holder will received training, support and clinical supervision to assist them in this role.


  • Keeping records, statistics, notes and other paperwork and databases up to date is an essential part of the role.

Service Development

  • Continuous input into the psychosocial response through the provision of statistics, feedback, clinical observations and recommendations to the psychology team, the principal manager and others as required.
  • Supporting and facilitating service development and change to respond to emerging and changing needs as part of the psychosocial response.
  • Deputise for the principal specialist / principal manager as required and provide ongoing support to the psychology team and Department in Social inclusion as appropriate.

The above Job Description is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all duties involved and consequently, the post-holder may be required to perform other duties as appropriate to the post which may be assigned to him/her from time-to-time and to contribute to the development of the post while in office.

Eligibility Criteria

Qualifications and/ or experience

Each candidate must, at the closing date for the campaign, hold:


  1. a recognised University degree or diploma (NQAI Level 8 equivalent) obtained with first or second class honours in which psychology was taken as a major subject and honours obtained in that subject
  2. a postgraduate professional psychological qualification recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland in Clinical Psychology, or Counselling Psychology as appropriate to the area of professional psychology in which the position is designated,
    a postgraduate professional psychology qualification validated by the Department of Health and Children in Clinical Psychology, or Counselling Psychology as appropriate to the area of professional psychology in which the position is designated
    have at least five years’ satisfactory postgraduate experience in the area of professional psychology in which the position is designated.

    The five years’ experience must comprise of no more than three years full-time Post Graduate training and no less than two full years’ experience as a Staff Grade Psychologist. Years in excess of the permitted three years for completion of the Post Graduate training or time not worked cannot be taken into consideration when assessing the five years’ experience requirement.


  • possess the requisite knowledge and ability (including a high standard of suitability and management ability) for the proper discharge of the duties of the office.

These qualifications will take effect on the signed date but without prejudice to anyone employed in a post of basic grade psychologist or above in the Irish Public Health Service to whom the qualification requirements for Psychologist – Community Care or Clinical in place at the 22nd January, 2002 shall apply – just double-checking that the year is 2002


  • A candidate for and any person holding the office must be fully competent and capable of undertaking the duties attached to the office and be in a state of health such as would indicate a reasonable prospect of ability to render regular and efficient service.


  • Each candidate for and any person holding the office must be of good character

Salary The Salary scale for the post is
€82,943, €84,851, €86,776, €88,690, €90,589, €91,317, (€94,171, €97,029 LSIs)

Post Specific Requirements

  • Capacity to assess and treat a wide range of clinical presentations in the context of cultural differences, language barriers and other barriers.
  • Have experience in working with ethnic minority communities (Desirable)

Other Requirements specific to the posts

  • Demonstrable understanding of/experience in health and psychological needs of minority/vulnerable groups and the unique barriers faced in access to mainstream services
  • Access to transport is essential

Requirements specific to the posts Must have access to transport

Application Information

Please forward an up to date CV along with a cover letter to Mr. Jimmy Mulligan, CEO South West Counselling,

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 3rd February 2023

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
24th Jan, 2023
Co Kerry
Expiry Date
3rd Feb, 2023