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Arina Ellis

I am a passionate, dedicated, creative, innovative, child-centred Independent Therapeutic Social Worker-Therapeutic Life Story Work Practitioner . My practice underpinned by attachment, trauma. polyvagal, neurobiology, strength-based, resilience-based relationship-based, and non-discriminative practice. I am a Social Work England registered, fully insured and DBS checked. I have over 30 years of combined experience as a Psychologist, Social Worker & Therapeutic Life Story Practitioner with children and families, including working at a senior level. I am experienced in Fostering and Adoption, providing professional training, including training on attachment, resilience, therapeutic parenting and reparative care, supervising, and assessing Foster Carers. Through delivering Therapeutic Life Story Work I am privileged to offer children a new way of making meaningful sense of their lives, to reorganise and strengthen their attachment and help them to recover from their trauma and loss.

arina CROP.jpg

I am passionate about working with children and families. I have over 30 years of combined experience as a Psychologist, Social Care worker and Therapeutic Life Story Work practitioner. 

I highly value Continued Professional Development (CPD), reflective practice and supervision. I invest in my professional development , training and therapeutic resources I use within therapeutic sessions.

E.g. I use an ample amount of art and craft materials such as coloured pencils,  sand, glitter, coloured houses, people’s figures/dolls, visual materials , miniature court room with the judge, games, playdoh, Lego, fidgets, emotion cards, strengths and self-esteem cards, grounding cards  etc to help children and young people to understand and process their life story  via the children’s first language-‘Play’.


In 2023 I have attended a Therapeutic Social Work training delivered by Dr Karen Treisman a Clinical Psychologist, MBE at AdoptionPlus


Obtained knowledge and skills:


  • Working creatively and more therapeutically with families

  • Supporting children and teenagers who have experienced developmental and relational trauma and attachment difficulties

  • Relational and developmental trauma

  • Emotional regulation (with a focus on co-regulation)

  • Sensory integration

  • Rejecting/ pushing away behaviours

  • Adolescence

  • Outbursts and anger

  • Behaviour of a sexual nature

  • Stretching the truth and taking items

  • Life story work and conversations

  • Wellbeing and wellness, own regulation, and care

  • Wellbeing Plans

  • Strengths and hope

Specialist Training :

* Therapeutic Social Work * Therapeutic Life Story Work* Creating Therapeutic stories* Attachment and Loss *Polyvagal theory* Somatic therapy approach*  Working with relational and developmental trauma* Emotional resilience * Trauma informed approaches * Separation and Loss * Loss, Grief, Death and Dying *  Attachment, Neurodevelopment and Psychopathology * Child Sexual abuse *  Parental Mental Health * Motivation Interviews * Solution focused approach *  Systemic approach  *Somatic Experiencing * Developmental Trauma* Therapeutic Parenting * Domestic abuse and Safer Relationship * Parental Drug and Alcohol misuse and impact on their children  * Working together to safeguard children * Relationship based practice * Reflective practice *

Effective Supervision * Equality and inclusiveness * Anti-racist, anti-oppressive and anti-discriminative practice *


*Therapeutic Life Story Work, Life Story work, Direct/ Narrative work with Children, Later Life Letters, Life Story books, Delivering TLSW online

*Support to children and carers including adopted children and children living in foster placements

*Assessments including Section 17, Section 47, Core Assessments, Court Parenting assessments, Form F assessment, Initial Viability assessments

*Care Planning, Reviews and Case Conferences, Court Work

*Providing bespoke consultations/advice and training to carers

*Excellent communication, counselling, and observation skills

*The ability to work alone and as part of a team

*The ability to build effective relationships with service users, colleagues, and other professionals within the multi-agency

*The ability to adapt effectively to challenging and emergency situations

*Attention to detail and the ability to analyse situations accurately and effectively

*The ability to reflect on own practice


2018- 2019

Professional Diploma in Therapeutic Life Story Work (TLSW) University of East London


MSc Social Work (Merit)


MSc Psychology (Merit)

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