The Tree of Life is a narrative therapy project, designed by Ncazelo Ncube of REPSSI and David Denborough (Dulwich Centre Foundation) for young people. I have adapted it for an adult eating disorders group and also a 6 week 1:1 programme for children. It provides a useful structure and mix of discussion and creative work. At the end of the course, the clients also have a piece of work that they can take away with them. It can also be a good home project.
I have designed a worksheet to guide you through the stages (see below) and recorded a video to explain how I tend to run my sessions (see end).
Final letters: Once you have finished your tree and added your animals, take the time to write some letters to the important people you have thought about when creating your tree. You can write to thank them or express something that you always wanted to tell them. You don’t necessarily need to give them the letter, but it may help to share your thoughts with them. You could also write to people who have passed on, if there’s something you wish you could have told them.