Duration: 12 Day Course - two terms (Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays)

When: Academic Year 2019 / 20 (provisional dates not yet available)

Cost: £2,138


In partnership with Child Trauma Intervention Services. Worth 20 credits at UCAS level 5.

For the University Validated Route there will be an additional charge of £360 which is the University Registration Fee.

Life story work is a NICE requirement (QS31 Quality statement 4) for looked-after children and young people. It is also integral to National minimum standards adoption/children's homes/fostering services 2011 standard 2.


About the Course

This course answers a requirement (NICE guidelines) for far more people to be trained in Therapeutic Life Story Work to enable children and teenagers who are struggling with the pain of their past to be able to reflect, develop compassion for themselves and move on. The training will be based around Richard Rose's publication: Life Story Therapy with Traumatised Children - A Model for Practice (2012)

Therapeutic Life Story Work, a defined approach, is 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 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 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.

On the course, trainees will learn how to help children and teenagers to understand their behaviours, feelings and thoughts in light of their past. Trainees will be empowered to enable children and teenagers to reflect on what has happened to them instead of moving into destructive repetitions or 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.


  • Understand the value of comprehensive Therapeutic Life Story Work
  • Understand the value and various models of information collation
  • Know how to communicate with children and their emotions
  • Know how to interpret and make best use of opportunities in the process
  • Improve your skills in working directly with children in terms of life narratives
  • Address sensitive and painful issues and turn these into acceptance
  • Learn how to address trauma and loss with empathic understanding
  • Create life story books which are useful, valuable and represent the child


"As an experienced Therapeutic Foster carer I have first hand experience of how valuable Life Story work is for young people and children who are fostered or adopted. Having the opportunity to learn directly from Richard Rose, I can now use his model of Therapeutic Life Story work within my new business which this course gave me the opportunity to achieve."

Course Director: Richard Rose

Author of The Child’s Own Story - Life Story Work with Traumatised Children (2004) and Life Story Therapy with Traumatised Children - A Model for Practice (2012) Associate Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia and Fellow of the Berry Street Childhood Institute, Australia. Director of Child Trauma Intervention Services Ltd, Richard undertakes consultancy and training on Life Story Therapy and working with 'hard to reach' children and adolescents, and develops academic training programmes in the UK and internationally. Richard works with children and their carers in home based and family placements to assist understanding and attachment with the aim of enabling placements to become healthy and nurturing for all involved.

Who should attend 

Those in the following professions who are already  working therapeutically with children or teenagers : Social Workers, Counsellors, Foster Carers and Adoptive Parents, Learning Mentors, SENCos, Educational Psychologists, Family Workers, Therapists, Counsellors, Behaviour Support Workers,  School-Home Support, Care Workers. They would also need to evidence counselling skills or therapeutic skills training.


Admissions criteria

Child Protection Training Day: Where a student has no training in child protection, they will be required to attend an additional day of child protection. This day can be attended with an outside agency or with The Centre for Child Mental Health (sister organisation of IATE) these are run once a year on a Saturday at the end of the summer term. The Child Protection Day is an additional payment made directly to the Centre for Child Mental Health

All students who are offered a place on the course must identify a child, young person or adult that they can work with, prior to the start of the first weekend.

Supervision is an expected discipline for all attendees and these are to be arranged and paid for by the student. Each student should have at least 6 one-hour supervision sessions over the period of the course. If the student has supervision as part of their existing employment then this may be acceptable.

Applicants must also provide evidence of counselling skills or therapeutic skills training or they will need to attend additional training at IATE to address this.

If English is not your first language your place on this course is conditional on the basis that you provide us with an IELTS certificate of 6.5 or over.


Newsletter Signup