Joy Rees is an Adoption Adviser and Independent Trainer with over 30 years’ experience of working for London Boroughs and a county council.
She says about her book ‘Life Story Books for Adopted Children’ Instead of starting with the child’s birth and early history, my model begins in the present and playfully engages the child before moving gently into the past. My life story books aim to reinforce the child’s sense of belonging and security within the adoptive family before addressing their history and early trauma. The book brings the child back to a secure present and leaves them with a sense of a positive future. This approach stresses the child’s need to be claimed and to belong, it raises the profile of adoptive parents and emphasises the importance of their involvement in contributing to the book.
Joy has a particular interest in promoting and prioritising permanency and strong family attachments through her sensitive construction of ‘family friendly’ life storybooks. Her knowledge of attunement and attachment theory and understanding of the ‘inner-world of the child is reflected in her innovative approach to this work. Joy will discuss elements of life work and ways to compile and use Life Storybooks:
- to help children feel grounded and to gain a sense of security
- to encourage them to develop secure attachments
- to raise children’s self-esteem and sense of worth
- to help children to understand and to accept their history, and not to feel overwhelmed by it
- to give them positive messages about themselves and to ensure that you do not inadvertently feed into their sense of shame and self-blame.