Helping traumatised children develop a narrative about 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.
Explaining the concepts of attachment, separation, loss and identity, the authors use these as a context to describe how to use techniques such as family trees, wallpaper work, 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 is an invaluable resource for social workers, child psychotherapists, residential care staff, long-term foster carers and other professionals working with traumatised children.
Richard Rose is the Director of Child Trauma Intervention Services Ltd and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He is also a Fellow of the Berry Street Childhood Institute, part of Berry Street, Australia and Lead Consultant for Clinical Practice at SACCS, UK. He undertakes consultancy and training on Life Story Therapy and working with ‘hard to reach’ children and adolescents, and develops academic training programmes in the UK and internationally.
Terry Philpot is a journalist and writer, and has written and edited several books on subjects including adoption, sex offending and work with children traumatised through abuse. He also works as a volunteer to befriend long-term prisoners.
“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
“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 ‘safe 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