Therapeutic Life Story Work

At The Behaviour Clinic we pride ourselves on being experts in Therapeutic Life Story Work (TLSW). We have delivered this service to more than 100 children who are fostered or adopted. We have extensive clinical experience of providing TLSW to support children to deal with loss, complex early life experiences, sexual or physical abuse and parent/carer bereavement.

We combine the Richard Rose TLSW method with evidence-based practice techniques in order to enhance outcomes for children and their families. Richard Rose is an international expert in TLSW and his model and practices are used worldwide to support children who have been separated from their birth family.

Children living with adoptive parents and foster carers can often display challenging emotions due to their past experiences. The therapy will aim to support these children to understand how their past experiences have moulded their behaviours and feelings, support them to reflect upon them and work through them. The therapy will also work with their main carer to help them understand the child’s past, understand how the child is feeling today, and empower them to support their child into the future. This therapy is not a short-term therapy; it can make real change that can help avoid placement breakdown by supporting carers to understand the children they care for.

Many children who have traumatic backgrounds can have difficulty managing their behaviour and concentrating in school. By finding the root cause of these difficulties, reflecting on them and finding ways to move forward their behaviour and concentration can often improve in all settings.

We offer two packages of TLSW:

  • Full Package for children who have complex early life experiences. This package follows the Rose (2012) model.
  • Focused Package for children who have less complex experiences or require focused therapy for a specific challenge. This package is adapted from the Rose (2012) model.


Full Package

A full course of TLSW will typically take around nine months. It will usually take place in the child’s home. The child and their primary carer will be involved in the therapy so that both gain a good understanding of the child’s life story. This helps the carer reflect on why the child could be experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties. By understanding the child’s history, the carer can gain unique insight into the child’s emotions and behaviours and support them to overcome challenges. This package is suitable for children who are having difficulty accepting their past, have complex needs or have had experiences such as sexual or physical abuse.


Focused Package

Not all children need a full course of TLSW. This package is aimed at children who need to understand their history and are displaying low-level emotional and behavioural challenges, or children who need support to understand specific experiences.

The shortened package can be tailored to address:

  • Loss
  • Bereavement
  • Parental incarceration
  • Sibling separation
  • Foster carer separation.