55 Tree of life: a creative workshop for young people with health conditions

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BackgroundThe Psychology team have run two creative workshops for young people with health conditions based on the ‘Tree of Life’, a metaphor informed by narrative therapy. Young people are invited to create their own tree, with different parts of their tree representing different areas of their lives, such as skills, hopes and dreams. The day involves activities and talking in the group which aim to support young people to grow in confidence regarding living with their conditions and challenges that they face. The day also aims to support young people with making connexions and sharing experiences and knowledge with each other.ProjectSeven young people attended the first day, aged between 9–16 years with health conditions managed by a number of different GOSH teams including endocrinology, oncology and rheumatology. The presentation will outline the content of the day, describe the role of the facilitators and the approach taken. This will be demonstrated through video and camera footage of the young people engaging in the group activities.ResultsFeedback from the young people and their parents was very positive and indicated that the group enabled young people to:• Feel more connected to other young people facing similar challenges in their life.• Build confidence.• Hear other people’s ideas about how to cope with challenging times.• Be creative in expressing their thoughts and ideas.This presentation will outline our learning from running these first two days and our hopes for future days, including how to involve young people in the development and running of future Tree of Life days.

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