Life Story Therapy with Traumatized Children
A Model for Practice
Life Story Therapy is an approach designed to enable children to explore, question and understand the past events of their lives. It aims to secure their future through strengthening attachment with their carers and providing the opportunity to develop a healthy sense of self and a feeling of wellbeing.
This comprehensive overview lays out the theory underlying life story therapy, including an accessible explanation of contemporary research in neurobiology and trauma. Featuring tried and tested ideas, with tools and templates illustrated through instructive case studies, the author identifies how life story therapy can be implemented in practice. Finally, the relationships between life story therapy and traditional 'talking' therapies are explored.
Life Story Therapy with Traumatized Children is essential reading for those working with children and adolescents, including social workers, teachers, child psychotherapists, residential care staff, long-term carers, psychologists and other professionals.
I found it an easy book to read an would recommend it to peole who work with traumatized children, such as social workers, support workers, and arts therapists.
Good practice is promoted throughout this book. Rose's emphasis on careful preparation and information gathering and the use of various techniques, particularly wallpaper work, to help children process and internalise past experiences is inspiring. Involving primary carers in life story sessions to promote attunement and attachment, and highlighting the importance of play in engaging children in this highly sensitive work is an approach others should strive to adopt.
– Joy Rees, Adoption Team Leader, Family Futures Associate and author of Life Story Books for Adopted Children
The value and power of the Life Story approach to reconstructing and reconnecting a child using personal narrative cannot be underestimated, and the way that Richard Rose lays out the core elements of this approach is both practical and elegant. This is a refreshing and renewing clinical approach that is both developmentally sensitive and "trauma-informed."
– From the Foreword by Bruce D. Perry, Senior Fellow, The Child Trauma Academy, Houston, USA
Richard Rose's book will help professionals in many fields (counsellors, social workers, family support workers, teachers and guardians ad litem) to make difference to the psychological lives of children by finding creative and sensitive ways to work with painful parts of children's stories.
– BACP - Children & Young People
This 188 page book presents very clearly the roots and stages of Life Story Therapy, adequately supported by clear diagrams. As the author explains in the preface: he aims to show how life story therapy can be considered a form of therapy in its own right and to understand the potential of the intervention and find the practice, the theory and the activities useful and creative for your own role and professional approach... This reviewer heartedly agrees with the author's view that templates, computer-generated life story work or "All About Me" books off the shelf should not be used... What may be less familiar is the study of how memories are held within the body. This subject is covered in some very informative pages... Each of these chapters contains a wealth of practical techniques including the HIDE principles, movement boxes, ecomaps, interviewing approaches, question types, the use of "Jenga" (tower blocks), charades, "Feelings" theme chart, "All About Me" books, fact - fiction - fantasy heroism template, the behaviour game, the thinking game and the use wallpaper to paint the journey of the child... For any Certified Play Therapist working with traumatised children this is an essential book to enable you to consider adding Life Story Therapy to your tool-kit. It is also recommended for other qualified members who may be encourage to work with this group of children combining this approach with their existing skills.
– Play for Life
Richard Rose makes a solid case for placing life story therapy alongside other important approaches for working with children who have been traumatized. He emphasizes working through care givers and using sensitive interventions to help the child explore and make sense of his or her past in order to improve current functioning. The book is loaded with specific techniques and guidance so that therapists of all levels can begin using life story therapy immediately in their practice.
– Todd Nichols, Executive Director, Family Attachment and Counseling Center, Minnesota, USA, and co-author of Connecting with Kids through Stories, 2nd edition
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