The Tree of Life is an approach that enables people to speak about their lives in ways that make them stronger.
This narrative therapy approach enables people to talk about their lives in ways that do not re-traumatise them, but instead, strengthen their connection with their history, culture, and the significant people in their lives.
This involves encouraging people to draw their own Tree of Life, where they get to talk about their roots (where they come from), their skills and knowledge, their hopes and dreams, and the special people in their lives. Participants then join their trees into a ‘forest of life’.
You'll gain an understanding of the Tree of Life methodology and how to:
- encourage vulnerable clients to draw their own Tree of Life
- discuss some of the challenges that affect people’s lives and ways to respond to these
- help clients strengthen their relationships with their history, culture and significant people in their lives.
Counsellors, clinicians, social workers, community workers and health practitioners who work with vulnerable clients.
Nellie Flagg is a respected member of the Aboriginal community and has worked in a range of organisations to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with service providers, including time as a Community Liaison Officer at Relationships Australia Victoria. She has completed a two-year Diploma in Narrative Therapy. The Tree of Life was developed through working and counselling with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and individuals with Nunkuwarrin Yunti between 2008 and 2010. Nellie has used this activity with a number of groups including the Stolen Generation and Aboriginal girls and women experiencing issues in their lives or community.
The Tree of Life methodology was developed through a partnership between REPSSI (Psychosocial Wellbeing for All Children) and the Dulwich Centre Foundation.