The use of therapeutic stories for children and young people facing emotional and developmental challenges

Story telling is such a natural part of our culture and school activity that stories can be used in a very natural way, helping the child feel less pathologised. This workshop will cover the theoretical basis of the use of the therapeutic story approach, including the relevant neuroscience, relationship with other therapies, case studies, examples and evidence base. 

Provisional timetable
09:30 Registration/tea and coffee
10:00 Workshop starts
12:30-13:00 Lunch
16:30 Workshop ends


In this approach, the stories are always about a third person and tend to lead to lower levels of stress and defensiveness than found in more direct, confrontational approaches. The approach provides a highly accessible but low risk alternative to other counselling and debriefing methods not only to the psychologist but to the children, teachers and parents they work with following traumatic events.

Theory and examples will be provided and there will be opportunity for delegates to bring cases they are working on and to write their own therapeutic stories. 

Pre-course work

Delegates will be asked to identify a current case where they would like to start using a therapeutic story and to bring any notes that may be helpful with them to the workshop.

Delegates will also find the following (not essential) reading helpful:

  • Using Story Telling as a Therapeutic Tool with Children Margot Sunderland, Speechmark Publications (2000, reprinted 2004)
  • The Therapeutic use of stories Ed Kedar Nath Dwivedi Routledge (1997)
  • Helping children explore their emotional and social worlds through therapeutic stories Kathryn Anne Pomerantz, Educational and Child Psychology Vol 24, No 1 (2007).

Target audience

Educational and child psychologists, Counselling psychologists and Clinical psychologists who work with children and young people.

Learning outcomes and objectives 

  • To understand the theoretical basis of the therapeutic story approach and use of metaphor
  • To be able to identify cases that would benefit from this approach and apply the use of stories
  • To be able to start to write stories for children and young people
  • To know how to encourage children/young people to write their own stories
  • To know how to evaluate the results of the use of this approach and develop one’s own evidence-based practice.

Facilitator: Michelle Mohammed CPsychol

Michelle has many years of experience as a psychologist, teacher and trainer. She specialises in the use of therapeutic stories and in thinking skills and cognitive development. She is the co-author of the Cognitive Abilities Profile and is currently writing a book about the use of therapeutic stories. Michelle is a highly experienced trainer, regularly providing courses for psychologists, teachers and teaching assistants.

Michelle has worked in various local authorities and charity settings with children over the last 20 years and uses the approaches she teaches in her own case-work. She also has evaluated approaches through action research in schools.  Michelle also contributes to the doctoral training course for Educational Psychologists at the Institute of Education, London University.

Booking information


  • Non-Society members: £138 (£115 + VAT)
  • Society members: £104 (£86.67 + VAT)
  • DECP members: £78 (£65 +VAT)
  • Concessions: £54 (£45 + VAT)

Persons eligible for concessionary rates are student members of the Society, graduate members registered under Rule 15.ii (studying in the UK and not subject to income tax), Rule 21 (retired) members, and members who are unemployed. For evidence of unemployment, we will require a copy of your job seekers allowance book.

How to book

Please note: online bookings will close 24 hours prior to the event. Please call +44 (0)116 2529512 for availability after this point.

To pay by cheque or request an invoice complete and return the registration form.

Please note that we are only able to accept invoice requests at least 6 weeks before the event date.

Wed, 09/01/2013 (All day)
Contact Information: 

BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 9925
Fax: +44 (0)116 227 1314

Division of Educational and Child Psychology & BPS Learning Centre