Book of the month covers

Our life story work reading list

A round-up of our book of the month choices so far

Every month we share our book of the month – books picked out by our team which we think will be of interest to social work professionals, carers, social work students and tutors, independent therapeutic social workers, and anyone who supports care-experienced children and young people.

Here’s a round-up of every book we’ve picked out so far.

We love to know if there are any other books you’d recommend. Let us know on X or on LinkedIn!

Books about life story work: our recommendations

It Didn’t Start With You
How inherited family trauma shapes who we are and how to end the cycle
Mark Wolynn
Find out how inherited trauma shapes who we are, and how to break the cycle.
Find out more.

The Invisible String
Patrice Karst
The Invisible String offers a very simple approach to overcoming loneliness, separation, or loss with an imaginative twist that children easily understand and embrace.
Find out more.

Born for Love
Why empathy is essential – and endangered
Bruce D Perry and Maia Szalavitz
Learn how empathy develops, why it is essential for our development into healthy adults, and how it is threatened in the modern world.
Find out more.

John Bowlby and Attachment Theory
Jeremy Holmes
John Bowlby is one of the outstanding psychological theorists of the twentieth century. This is both a biographical account of Bowlby and his ideas, and an up-to-date introduction to contemporary attachment theory and research.
Find out more.

Life Story Books for Adopted and Fostered Children
A family friendly approach
Joy Rees
Through words, pictures, photographs, certificates and other ‘little treasures’, a Life Story Book provides a detailed account of the child’s early history and a chronology of their life.
Find out more.

Treating Traumatized Children
New insights and creative interventions
Beverly James
Treating Traumatized Children is the first handbook to provide specific guidance and tools for treating children who have been traumatised by physical and sexual abuse, disaster, divorce, or witnessing violent events.
Find out more.

What Happened to You?
Conversations on trauma, resilience and healing
Bruce D Perry and Oprah Winfrey
This book challenges us to shift from focusing on ‘What’s wrong with you?’ to asking ‘What happened to you?’
Find out more.

A Secure Base
Parent-child attachment and healthy human development
John Bowlby
The world-famous psychiatrist and author of the classic works Attachment, Separation, and Loss offers important guidelines for child rearing based on the crucial role of early intimate relationships.
Find out more.

A Therapeutic Treasure Box
For working with children and adolescents with developmental trauma
Dr Karen Treisman
The perfect tool to add to any ‘therapeutic treasure box’, this set of 68 cards provide a way to help open conversations and structure discussions with children and adolescents aged 6+ years.
Find out more.

Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes
Awakening the ordinary miracle of healing – infancy through adolescence
Peter A Levine and Maggie Kline
An essential guide for recognising, preventing, and healing childhood trauma, from infancy through adolescence.
Find out more.

Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People
Relationship-focused practice from the front line
Lisa Cherry
International trainer and consultant Lisa Cherry invites professionals from education, social work and healthcare to engage in conversations on a range of issues affecting children and young people today.
Find out more.

The Secure Base Model
Promoting attachment and resilience in foster care and adoption
Gillian Schofield and Mary Beek
A practical guide to the secure base model, which is based on attachment and resilience. Learn how it can inform recruitment, assessment and preparation for matching, and long-term support for placements through to adulthood.
Find out more.

A Child’s Journey Through Placement
Vera I Fahlberg
This classic text offers information and advice for professionals and carers on how to help children who are in need of support and stability.
Find out more.

The Whole-Brain Child
12 proven strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind
Daniel J Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
In The Whole-Brain Child, neuroscientist Daniel J. Siegel and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson explain the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures.
Find out more.

Life Story Books for Adopted and Fostered Children
A family friendly approach
Joy Rees
This clear and concise book shows a unique family-friendly way to compile a Life Story Book which promotes a sense of permanency for the child, and encourages attachments within new families.
Find out more.

The Child’s Own Story
Life story work with traumatized children
Richard Rose and Terry Philpot
An introduction to life story work and how this effective tool can be used to help children and young people recover from abuse and make sense of a disrupted upbringing in multiple homes or families.
Find out more.

Get more book recommendations from the Creative Life Story Work team

If you’d like to receive our book of the month recommendation every month, sign up for the Creative Life Story Work newsletter here.