Are the children in your life (whether in your family or your professional world) seeming to constantly misbehave? Do you know adults who seem to have missed some important steps in growing up? Maybe that adult is you. Have you heard of the ACE studies? ACE is an acronym that stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences and is the title of a growing body of research that is shedding new light on how childhood trauma impact a person’s social, psychological, intellectual, physical, and spiritual well-being.
The first study was published in 1998 following a research project conducted jointly by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control on the role of childhood sexual abuse in adult chronic health issues including addictions. The initial study has spawned over 50 follow up studies in the years since. These studies have led to the enactment of trauma informed initiatives in 36 of the 50 United States thus far. Based on the collected data, these initiatives focus on training service professionals, educators, clergy, and parents to know how to intervene when they suspect a child’s growth—or an adult’s—is being impeded by unresolved traumas.
This expanding body of research and the resultant implementation efforts are changing the landscape of education and community outreach endeavors across the country, including here in Utah. Becoming familiar with the ACE studies can help you interact with the children in your life with more insight, empathy, and stability. The topic can be thoroughly explored through the official ACE website, www.acestoohigh.com. There you will find a more in depth explanation of the studies as well as ways you can utilize the ACE training to help those around you, or even yourself.
If you want to discuss how ACEs impact your world and what to do about it, come see me at Wasatch Family Therapy. I look forward to speaking with you!
To schedule an appointment with Martha, call Wasatch Family Therapy at 801.944.4555