The Child's Own Story
160 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Oct 2004

The Child's Own Story

Life Story Work with Traumatized Children

Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Helping traumatized children develop the story of their life and the lives of people closest to them is key to their understanding and acceptance of who they are and their past experiences. The Child's Own Story is an introduction to life story work and how this effective tool can be used to help children and young people recover from abuse and make sense of a disrupted upbringing in multiple homes or families.The authors explain the concepts of attachment, separation, loss and identity, using these contexts to describe how to use techniques such as family trees, wallpaper work, and eco- and geno-scaling. They offer guidance on interviewing relatives and carers, and how to gain access to key documentation, including social workers' case files, legal papers, and health, registrar and police records.This sensitive, practice-focused guide to life story work includes case examples and exercises, and is an invaluable resource for social workers, child psychotherapists, residential care staff, long-term foster carers and other professionals working with traumatized children.
'A fluent and engaging narrative.'- Children & Society'I found the book both clear and well written with a sound and thorough explanation of methods to carry out this work. There are really useful exercises that foster carers (or anyone else carrying out this work) can use.'- Foster Care'This is an excellent guide for professionals undertaking life story work with children or practitioners working with traumatised children. It has useful sections on general work with children. For example, it briefly outlines attachment theory and breaks down the process of interviewing, offering advice about each stage. It is easy to read and the format makes it simple to find or recap particular sections. The authors offer examples from practice and also suggest a series of exercises which prompt and provoke the reader to empathise with the child involved in this process. The worker is encouraged to move away from viewing the process as the production of a book but rather to see it as an effective therapeutic tool.'- Community Care'It's easy to read and a good reference for multi disciplinary teams of staff and foster carers alike'-`This is a valuable and must have resource for all those who work with and alongside traumatized children and young people. Work with traumatized children and young people requires a creative and supportive worker who is able to provide a 'afe place' to explore, discover, and ultimately piece together the perceptions that have developed through those experiences. This book gives a framework to go on the journey of discovery and face the known and unknown. It is a book that has case vignettes, creative exercises, and some reference to theory of attachment and identity. Its main focus though is the child and how to develop a coherent and understandable narrative, with the therapist being a guide who supports the journey of discovery.'- British Psychodrama Journal'his book gives us solid reasons why abused children usually need therapeutic work, without which there is a great risk of the abuse continuing to the next generation. The authors feel that traumatised children, who may have had several foster-parents or institutional placements in their lives, need to be offered a special kind of life story work. This is much more than a simple explanation of their placements or basic information about their birth parents as is used in adoption. It includes full explanations about race, culture and religion which may even extend to children being given tapes of their parents' voices to demonstrate their accents. The authors begin with a very full explanation of attachment including the latest information about how the brain is affected by abuse... Condensed case histories are highlighted throughout the book and this adds clarity and interest to what is undoubtedly a good idea that will benefit children.'- Young Minds Magazine
Richard Rose is Deputy Director of Practice Development in SACCS and is responsible for life story work. During his seven years as a senior child protection worker he achieved the Practice Teacher award and a PGCE in social work education. He also has experience in residential care work, and has a PQSW child care award and a BPhil in child care. Terry Philpot is author and editor of several books, including (with Anthony Douglas) Adoption: Changing Families, Changing Times. He writes regularly for The Times Higher Education Supplement, The Tablet and other publications, and has won several awards for his journalism. He was formerly the editor of Community Care.
Foreword, Mary Walsh, Co-founder and Chief Executive of SACCS. 1. Who am I? The Importance of Identity and Meaning. 2. A Tale of Two Children. 3. The Truth and Something Other Than the Truth. 4. Interviewing: Art not Science. 5. Safe at Last: Providing a Safe and Stable Environment. 6. Internalization. 7. Making the Book. 8. But Does it Really Work Like This? 9. Life After Life Story. Appendix: The Story of SACCS. References.
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