Therapeutic Life Story Work

Therapeutic Life Story Work is a process where a child is guided therapeutically through their family history, experiences and helped to understand their circumstances. The process will focus on how experiences have shaped who the child is today.

Laura’s approach to this work has an attachment focus, helping the child repair damaged relationships and form balanced views of people in their lives. It is important for children to know of their parents’ strengths as well as the reasons decisions were made in care planning.

Children can often have a strongly negative view, are burdened by their loss, or blame themselves, making them unable to form future relationships effectively. It is often helpful for parents to be involved in collecting information for the life story book, to give the child emotional permission to enter into these discussions. It can also be effective to include the current caregiver in the sessions to help facilitate an understanding between the caregiver and child that is based on fact and appropriate acknowledgement of feelings. Where the family dynamics are more difficult, or the child has complex needs, it can be helpful to hold additional caregiver consultation sessions to discuss approaches, techniques and the child’s needs.

An attachment focus also helps children to understand child development in the context of caregiving relationships, and future coping strategies and behavioural adaptations. The child is given the opportunity to look closely at their own behaviour and strategies, and to work through regulatory exercises which may help with managing these behaviours. The sessions are concluded with a focus on the positives for the future, with or without significant family members.

The information required for Therapeutic Life Story Work includes:

  • Birth Certificate (a copy will suffice);
  • LAC health nurse contact details (or details about birth);
  • Chronology (preferably birth to current, or birth to current placement);
  • List of addresses with dates and names of caregivers;
  • Dates of court orders made;
  • Later life letter provided by social worker;
  • Core Assessment (preferably at time child was Accommodated, or soon after);
  • Details of any ‘goodbye contacts’, such as where the session took place and what happened;
  • Any other relevant assessments undertaken. – Any photographs of the child and family members.

For further information or a discussion about this referral, please email laura@lmhchildtherapy.co.uk or call 07715 673 109.