In this event, Therapeutic Social Worker, Lesley Bell, will take us through her work developing strategies and techniques to help children and young people build coherent narratives about themselves through Therapeutic Life Story Work.
“Through my work with children and young people living in different care settings, I have developed strategies and techniques to help them build a coherent narrative about themselves through Therapeutic Life Story Work.
Children and young people living with their family of origin constantly have access to information about themselves and their families. Events are kept alive through conversations, looking at photographs and reminiscing with family members and as such memories are enhanced and consolidated.
Many children and young people don’t have access to this because they have been living apart from their family of origin, in foster care, adopted or in residential care. Looked after children and young people can experience a range of care settings and multiple moves, as such they struggle to keep memories alive and they can be become blurred or lost.
A child or young person who has experienced developmental trauma will also struggle to lay down accurate memories due to the affects of stress and the impact of this on brain development, more specifically their ability to store memories. Some will have unconscious memories of trauma which can be elicited through their senses and result in confusing responses to their environment, confusing for themselves and to those caring for them. “
It is important to help a child or young person to develop a coherent narrative, a story that makes sense which shifts any feelings of self blame or of shame associated with this. An honest account gently developed over time and with the support of those caring for him or her can help to dispel any misconceptions and magical thinking, can help build a stronger senses of identity and attachments and most importantly can allow them to move forward.”
Therapeutic Social Worker