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Berry Street and Child Trauma Intervention Services are excited to be launching the Professional Diploma in Therapeutic Life Story Work 2019/20.

Developed and delivered by international expert Richard Rose, we are planning to run the course in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. 

Each course commences in July 2019 and runs over 12 months. Participants will be required to attend 12 days of compulsory classroom training; conduct practical therapeutic life story work with an identified client; complete two written assignments; and give an oral presentation. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a formal qualification through the Institute for Arts & Therapy in Education (IATE), a higher educational provider in the U.K.

To find out how to submit an application visit the Course Application Process page on this website and follow the instructions.

What is Therapeutic Life Story Work?
Therapeutic Life Story Work enables children and young people who have experienced the trauma of child abuse and neglect and who are struggling with the pain of their past to reflect, develop compassion for themselves and move on. It is a defined approach, designed to introduce the past as markers for the present. Once these are understood, the child is supported in considering how to move on to make significant changes, as a result of a far deeper understanding and awareness of how their history has been negatively impacting on their present. In essence, Therapeutic Life Story Work is not just about the who, what, where, when, why and how, but how a painful past, if not reflected on and worked through, can go on to blight the present and future. Instead, if we can help children to think about their history of trauma and loss, to understand its origins and effects, we can identify and understand the ‘ghosts of the past’ so children are no longer haunted by them.

The Benefits of Completing this Course
This is a comprehensive 12 day course based on Richard Rose's 'Life Story Therapy with Traumatised Children - A Model for Practice' (2012). It is designed to equip participants with the skills, knowledge and experience to undertake Therapeutic Life Story Work with children and young people during the course of their work.

Course participants will learn how to help children and young people to understand their behaviours, feelings and thoughts in light of their past. Participants will be empowered to enable children and teenagers to reflect on what has happened to them instead of moving into destructive repetitions of past pain and/or re-victimisation (e.g. bullying). The course will focus in particular on interventions such as family trees, wallpaper work, and eco- and geno-scaling. It covers the concepts of attachment, trauma, loss, relevant brain science, magical thinking, identity and meaning.

Participants will learn to:
• Understand the value and components of Therapeutic Life Story Work
• Understand the various models of information collation
• Communicate with children and understand their emotions
• Interpret and make best use of opportunities in the process
• Improve their skills in working directly with children in terms of life narratives
• Address sensitive and painful issues and turn these into acceptance
• Address trauma and loss with empathic understanding
• Create Life Story Books which are useful, valuable and represent the child


"Completing the Therapeutic Life Story Work course has given me the confidence, skills and knowledge to undertake this valuable work with children and young people. The processes, tools and resources that are made available by Richard are ‘gold’. Being trained by Richard who has been a practitioner for a long period of time also provides an amazing opportunity to be mentored by an expert in TLSW; Richard is incredibly generous, ensuring each trainee has the opportunity to discuss with him any issues about the course and their subsequent work with children and young people. He inspired and encouraged us to practice using the tools available and to reflect on the impact on our practice." (Anita, Student of 2016 Therapeutic Life Story Work Course)


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