Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Professional Diploma: Therapeutic Life Story Work | Berry Street Skip to main content

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 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.

Learning outcomes

  • 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 empathetic understanding
  • create Life Story Books which are useful, valuable and represent the child.

Students of the course will be required to complete assessments outside of classroom time and demonstrate their competency to deliver the intervention.

The Professional Diploma is ideal for practitioners who want to be supported through their learning journey receiving feedback on their theoretical knowledge, application, practical tools, and assessment models of the work they conduct with their chosen child, young person or adult.

Course dates

Block 1 delivered online:

26-28 July 2024

Block 2 delivered online:

18-20 October 2024

Block 3 delivered online:

21-23 February 2025

Block 4 delivered face-to-face:

Melbourne: 23-25 May 2025

Cost & times

All virtual sessions run from 9am - 4pm AEST and the in person session runs from 9.30am - 4.30pm AEST

Total course fee: $4,400 (inc. GST)


Venue for Melbourne course: TBC

Who should attend?

Therapeutic Life Story Work will greatly benefit those working with traumatised children and young people including:

  • child protection workers
  • case workers/case managers in out of home care and youth justice
  • family support workers
  • behaviour support workers
  • counsellors and therapists
  • teachers and early childhood educators
  • social workers and psychologists.

Course admission criteria

  • it is the responsibility of the student to secure a child or young person up the age of 25 to work with during the period of the course and necessary permission to do so
  • students will need some (direct or indirect) experience of the Child Protection System
  • it is expected that students will have a minimum qualification and be able to demonstrate proficiency in counselling / therapeutic skills. If it becomes apparent that a student does not have the sufficient knowledge and skills in this area, the Course Director will recommend completing a short course in counselling skills
  • you intend using Therapeutic Life Story Work in a professional capacity and not with any personal relationships you have with children and young people in foster, kinship or permanent care
  • you attend more than 80% of the 12 teaching days to achieve an attendance pass
  • it is expected that you will have read Richard Rose's Life Story Therapy with Traumatised Children and the pre-reading that will sent upon registration.

Payment terms & conditions

Payment can be made at the time of registration by credit card (VISA or Mastercard) or by Direct Deposit (see below).

A confirmation/tax invoice will be issued upon registration to your nominated email address.

Direct Deposit payments can be sent to Berry Street:

BSB: 083170, Account: 134585438

Please ensure your confirmation number is included on your remittance and a copy of your remittance is emailed to:

A full refund will be issued for cancellations up until 14 business days prior to the first day of the course. No refunds will be issued after this date.

Enrolment is not guaranteed until full payment of course fees are made.

Please note there are no shared registrations available. Progressive payments may be made but full payment of Course Fees must be finalised by July 1, 2024.

I am a Social Worker, working as a Counsellor in a specialist Family Violence Agency. Every day in this role I use the skills and techniques I developed through the course whether that is during assessment phase, a full TLSW process, a More About Me model or even in a brief intervention. I would encourage anyone to think widely about TLSW and its application. This model of intervention is not just for children and young people with a history of out of home care, it can benefit anyone who has experience of complex trauma and has a story to bring into the open and make sense of.

Student 2022/23
richard rose

Richard Rose

MBA | Post Graduate Social Work Education | Advanced Child Care Award | BPhil Child Care | CQSW | DSW

View Richard's profile

This training is led by Richard Rose with guest presenters throughout the course including:

Elise Saunders, TSLW Australia

Robert Tucker, RGT Consulting UK

This training is delivered in partnership with TSLWi