Completion stage

Preparing to end

3 weeks before end start the ‘count down’ for number of sessions left. This contributes to the emotional containment provided by the group. Some children find endings difficult and this is an opportunity for a more mindful ‘completion’. The final session does not involve story writing but making of the final individual published books that the pupils will take away.

NB The books are personal to each child, we do not make a book of group stories.

Choosing the stories for the final book

Teacher makes a professional judgement on which stories to include. Examples of a stories that may not be appropriate to might include a negative parental character, ‘toilet’ stories etc.

Example of a story not included in a final book:

The short story below was written by a 10 yr old girl who was a carer at home for her mother who had mental health issues.

The Princess stormed out of the room. She was furious because of her father. He said she couldn’t go to her friend’s sleepover because of her mum. Her Mum was very sick. Her sickness was called Mad Cow Disease. 

Outline of the final session

  • Take in typed copies of stories + colour photocopies of pupils’ original drawings.
  • Pupils stick these into their individual final books.
  • Children read through their stories and choose one to illustrate further on their cover- add name etc.
  • When complete pupils choose one story to read from their book to the group.
  • Small celebration to mark end of sessions e.g. drink, piece of fruit.
  • Teacher keeps the books to finish e.g. laminate cover etc.
  • Finished published books  given to each child at their individual post evaluation interview.

Post evaluation

Meet with children individually after the final session to do post evaluation.

Children take away book at post evaluation meeting and choose what to do with published books e.g. put in book corner; take home.

What happens to the draft book?

The TSW teacher keeps the draft books. These should be kept safely for 12 months and then destroyed – don’t leave around school in a cupboard or with another member of staff who will not appreciate the significance of the book and might hand to the child.

If you would like to use any of the stories as Case Studies check that the parent and pupil are happy with this. You will then need to ask the parent to sign a simple statement of agreement that also says that names will be changes, the case study will be written up with sensitivity and only used for research or training purposes.

Read more …

Therapeutic Story Writing book coverTherapeutic Storywriting – A Practical Guide to Developing Emotional Literacy.

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