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    Story Stem Assessment Profile Training

    The Story Stem Assessment Profile (SSAP) is a clinical and research assessment tool for use with clinical and maltreatment populations.

    View all our upcoming IPT trainings

    This is a four-day training course teaching the administration, coding and clinical application of the Story Stem Assessment Profile (SSAP) within both clinical and research domains.

    The Story Stem Assessment Profile (SSAP) (Hodges and Hillman, 2004) asks the children to respond to a set of narrative story stems where they are given the beginning of a ‘story’ highlighting everyday scenarios with an inherent dilemma. Children are then asked to "show and tell me what happens next". This allows some assessment of the child’s expectations and perceptions of family roles, attachments and relationships, without asking the child direct questions about their family which might cause them conflict or anxiety. 

    The SSAP is a clinical and research assessment tool which is a technique specifically for use with clinical and maltreatment populations. It has proved a valuable and non-intrusive tool for examining young children’s mental representations of attachment and relationships, both in research and in clinical practice. Normally, it is best used with children aged between about four and nine years. 

    Previous research has shown that children’s response to these story stems reflect both current and past features of their family life and attachment histories. The technique allows the child’s attachment representations to be evidenced in a displaced way which is usually enjoyed by the child and not experienced as unduly threatening.

    Anna Freud brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about Anna Freuds training and events. 


    "I thoroughly enjoyed my training day at Anna Freud's Centre as I usually do. SSAP makes so much sense in relation to assessing children's inner world specifically with regards to LAC and adoptive children. But also working with attachment issues and low self esteem. Many thanks to our presenters for an excellent training day and the Centre staff for making us welcome. Looking forward more training opportunities." - Participant, February 2017

    "I just want to say thank you for providing the opportunity to complete this training. It has been the best and most engaging online training that I have completed since the start of the pandemic. I look forward to undertaking the accreditation process and utilising Story Stems in my everyday practice. Thanks again." - Participant, February 2021

    "I thoroughly enjoyed both training days. The tutors were very clear and knew the material extremely well. I always get a great deal of my CPD at Anna Freud Centre and look forward my 3rd SSAP training day in February." - Participant, January 2017

    Gabrielle Lees

    Art Therapist and Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist

    Courses this tutor is involved in Story Stem Assessment Profile Training Story Stems Assessment Profile (SSAP) Refresher

    Octavia Wilkinson

    Octavia Wilkinson

    Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist

    Octavia Wilkinson is an ACP registered Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist who has been working with children and families with complex needs for 10 years. Octavia has been working in FAS for three years, assessing of the needs of children and the capacity of parents to meet these needs and providing an expert opinion on placement and treatment options. She also works as a Child Psychotherapist for New River College PRU in Islington (as part of Islington Community CAMHS), as a Story Stem Assessment Profile trainer and providing individual child psychotherapy at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, the British Psychotherapy Foundation Adult Psychotherapy training and on the MSc the Psychodynamics of Human Development at Birkbeck College/British Psychotherapy Foundation.

    Saul Hillman

    Saul Hillman

    Story Stem Assessment Profile (SSAP) Coordinator/Trainer.

    Courses this tutor is involved in Story Stem Assessment Profile Training Story Stems Assessment Profile (SSAP) Refresher