LIFE STORY WORK
It has long been my belief that there is a need to provide adopted, Special Guardianship and looked after children and young people with a good quality, accurate and meaningful understanding of their life and experience through life story work/books.
My counselling background enables me to provide specialist therapeutic input to all parties concerned. This has helped considerably when trying to engage birth families and working with children and young people who have experienced extremes of trauma and neglect. For more information on my model of delivering life story work please follow this link
From many years of experience of working with looked after children, young people and carers I have explored in detail what should be required as a baseline in this work by researching what adopters, birth families, carers and the children and young people themselves think should be included in life story work. The outcomes from this have led me to design a template for a detailed and full as possible life story, which every looked after child has the right to. I have also presented my model of life story work to social workers at a training event for Kensington and Chelsea Adoption Service.
There is no size that fits all and obviously, every life story will be unique not only in content but with regard as to how much/what information can be gathered from birth families, past carers and files. The chronological and developmental age of the child/young person will also affect the end result.
I have on other occasions where appropriate been asked to write the book only. This is especially true for very young children. This involves working more closely with the adoptive family to help them present the book over time as the child matures. I usually aim for the book to be read to a five year old, with a simplified version to be used as an initial introduction. The child is still involved in the ‘all about me’ section which depending on the circumstances will either be completed with me or with the adopter/carer as the child matures.
Life Story Work has featured high in the work I have undertaken and an observation I hold dear is that if children had a life story book that ‘grew’ with them throughout life their sense of self would be stronger and their sense of belonging in their family would be affirmed.
Click here for detailed information on my Present → Past → Present → Future model of working.
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.