Southwest Counselling: Psychology Assistants x 2

Southwest Counselling & HSE

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

Two Psychology Assistant Posts - One year fixed term contracts


  1. South West Counselling Lewis Road Killarney Co Kerry
  2. HSE, Heron House, Blackpool, Cork.

Reports to: The post holders will report to Jimmy Mulligan, CEO South West Counselling and to Dr. Jennifer Hayes, Principal Psychology Manager, HSE Social Inclusion.

Hours of Work: 35 hours per week

Closing Date: Friday 3rd February 2023

Details of Service

These are new posts hosted by South West Counselling and supported by HSE 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.

HSE 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 (IPA’S) (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 to significant numbers of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani families residing here under the resettlement project. This is a rapidly changing picture in response to changing global events.

The post holders will become an important part of the existing psychological team responding to the needs of IPAs in Cork and Kerry. 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 the delivery of 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 holders 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. One post holder will be based in Killarney / Tralee and the second post holder will be based in Cork City. The overall goal of the project is to improve psychological outcomes for clients. The post holders will directly support the psychologists in their work to achieve this. Current services provided as part of this initiative by the broader psychology team include direct services to clients of all ages (screening, assessment, supported onward referral and intervention) and services to other professional / agencies (training, psychoeducation, consultation).

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

This is an opportunity to develop a strong and varied skill set encompassing: brief assessments and referrals; group work; delivery of psychoeducational presentations; online work and research. Regular liaison with wider health services or other services involved in supporting IPA’s.

The role of AP offers wide ranging experience relevant to those interested in pursuing a career in clinical or counselling psychology. This post offers the opportunity to work as part of a highly skilled team within an innovative service which is to the fore of service provision to IPA’s in Ireland. Weekly supervision is provided by an experienced psychologist, full supports and training will be provided and the post holders will have daily access to the members of the broader psychology team.

Given the nature of the role, these posts are also open to people who speak Russian / Ukrainian who meet the criteria. Fluency in English is essential.

The successful applicants will have strong clinical assessment skills, be highly motivated, enthusiastic, flexible in their approach to the work, and be open and willing to contribute to the wider objectives of the psychological response.

Further Information

Informal enquiries about this post should be made to Dr. Jennifer Hayes, Principal Psychology Manager, HSE Social Inclusion OR to Jimmy Mulligan, CEO South West Counselling

Standard Duties and Responsibilities of the Post

The Assistant Psychologists report to and assist the psychologists in the provision and development of the services / emergency response being delivered by the HSE social inclusion psychology team.

The duties of the Assistant Psychologist include:

  • Attending weekly clinical team meetings.
  • Maintain accurate, confidential records of practice using our data management systems, and collaborate with requirements for data collection, outcome measurement and statistical returns.
  • Attend weekly supervision.
  • Participate in team meetings and any other meetings deemed necessary
  • Participating in opportunities for continuing professional development such as in-service trainings.
  • Small scale service-based research may be possible.
  • Any other duties as may be requested by the Principal Psychology Manager or their nominees as may be required, depending on successful applicant’s experience and service needs.

The Psychology Assistant will assist with a range fo clinical duties, as appropriate, uner supervision and in keeping with their skills and competencies as deemed appropriate by the Principal Psychology manager or their nominee.

Duties may include:

Assisting in the preparation, delivery, evaluation and development of the following services currently being provided by the team

  • Psychological consultation services to IPA’s remotely or in person (in the clinic, direct in reach services into congregated settings, other locations as appropriate).
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Given the access barriers faced by IPA’s due to the circumstances that they find themselves in, the psychology assistants will play an important role in assisting with the management of logistical issues to support the delivery of services and input which results in more seamless engagement between clients and services in general.

Interagency work will be an important feature of the role and staff will 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 and Non- Statutory services

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-holders 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 holders will received training, support and clinical supervision to assist them in their work

The above Job Description is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all duties involved and consequently, the post-holders 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

  • Masters level qualification in relevant areas of applied psychology, mental health practice and/or research design and analysis (Essential).
  • Eligibility for graduate membership of the PSI (Psychological Society of Ireland) or equivalent (essential).
Knowledge & Experience
  • Fluent English (essential)
  • Fluent Ukrainian / Russian (desirable)
  • Relevant work/placement/volunteer experience in counselling and or in a mental health setting.
  • Ability and experience in group facilitation and/or training (e.g. groups/workshop experience) (essential).
  • Knowledge of psychological processes/mental health (essential).
  • Experience of engaging with clients and in particular forced migrants or other marginalised group (desirable).
  • Experience of active listening in order to establish needs and problem solve.
  • Previous experience in team work, training and individual / group work interventions (desirable).
  • Interest in, and experience of, online mental health programmes would be an advantage (desirable).
Skills & Competencies
  • A team player (essential)
  • Excellent communication, written and interpersonal skills (essential).
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills – ability to work under pressure to complete tasks, meet deadlines and multi-task (essential).
  • Ability to work independently with initiative and to participate well as a member of a busy and vibrant team (essential).
  • Ability to be flexible, cope with change and adapt to changing circumstances by changing work approach (essential)
  • Excellent IT skills (Essential).
  • Flexibility and a commitment to professional development and research (Essential).
  • 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: €27,635.00

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 & Cork City
Expiry Date
3rd Feb, 2023