ACEs/Childhood Trauma

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) = trauma experienced by babies, children and young people under the age of 18.

ACEs include:

  • emotional & physical neglect
  • emotional, physical & sexual abuse
  • domestic violence
  • living in care
  • parental separation
  • parental mental ill health
  • parental substance misuse or imprisonment

Traumatised children do not usually have the language to explain what is happening to them or how they are feeling. They also often find it difficult to ask for help.

Frequently a child’s emotional distress is ‘acted out’ through antisocial behaviour, whether at home or outside the family home, perhaps at nursery or at school. Being ACE aware means acknowledging what might have ‘happened to them’, rather than accusing them of what they might have ‘done wrong’.

Most adults will have experienced one or two ACEs. Research shows that having a score of 4+ ACEs means there may be a greater risk of you experiencing mental and physical ill health in later life however, including the possibility of substance misuse and imprisonment.

At Counselling Connect we are committed to working with you from an ACE aware perspective. This means sharing with you information from scientific studies that is relevant to your circumstances, in terms of how you may be feeling now and links with your own ACEs.

We also recognise that recent trauma may link to ACEs that you are not aware of and be triggering feelings that are making it difficult for you to recover in the present time.

Our aim is to support you to begin to understand how your current issues may be a normal response to what has happened to you in the past and that different choices may be available to you now, in terms of the way you manage your feelings and parent your own children.