LIFE STORY WORK - MODEL OF WORKING
My model of working with a child/young person on their life story is consistent with the Joy Rees and Richard Rose models of dealing with the Present → Past → Present → Future
Building a trusting relationship with the child. Getting to know each other. Explore what it is like for the child in their life in the present
Sharing the life story and encouraging the child to communicate their story – exploring their feelings, thoughts and behaviour
Enabling the child to explore their story from other people’s perspectives – for example their birth mother’s. What was it like for her? This helps to dispel fantasies and to build on the reality
Encouraging the child to consider how they feel today about their part in their story
Revisit the child’s life in the present and then continue with further stages such as empowering the child to enable them to make choices and set goals for the future
Re-establishing the present safe and secure environment for the child
Reassure that we can’t change the past but we can learn how it can help to shape a positive future
Life story work and working with abused and neglected children and young people in care has often led me to realise that they can have years of ongoing therapy and yet still have not got to the bottom of discussing actual abuse. I often sense a relief in them when life story work is taking place that they can at last offload. However, I always check throughout what a child/young person is happy to include being written in their book.
For me this has reinforced the importance of not being afraid that a child/young person is too fragile to explore issues of abuse. I often feel that to have survived their ordeals proves their strength. They need to know they can be free to be open about what happened to them, to explore feelings of guilt, shame, and trust amongst other issues. They need to reflect, make some sense of it and accept that while they can’t change what happened to them in the past they can look at what they can learn about it for their present and future. Maybe most of all they can be kind to themselves by thinking about looking for love in the right places.
Location & Fees
I can offer either short or long term therapy dependent on need. Our sessions would normally be weekly and would last for 50mins. I can provide daytime and evening appointments.
My practice is in Staplehurst, which is located midway between Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells in Kent. I am situated 10 to 15 minutes-walk from Staplehurst Station. There is adequate on road parking outside my practice if needed.
Please contact me for my fees. I offer a reduced fee to trainee counsellors.