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Healing the Emotional and Physical Scars of Adverse Childhood Experiences: Video Course


Speaker: Christiane Sanderson

Product: Video Course
Price: £135

CPD hours: 5

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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Since the original and highly influential study on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (Felitti et al, 1998), there has been a growing body of evidence that strongly associates ACEs with both physical and psychological manifestations in adulthood – ranging from the inability to trust, poor mentalisation and affect regulation, hypervigilance and hyperactivity, impaired cognition, impulse and conduct disorders, delinquency and crime.

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Full Course Information

As therapists, it’s not just imperative that we comprehend the linkages between ACE factors and clinical manifestations but also understand the cumulative impact of ACE factors. Compared to an ACE score of zero, having four adverse childhood experiences, for example has been shown to have a seven-fold increase in substance abuse; while an ACE score above six can increase attempted suicide rates by 30 times. This workshop will identify and discuss the range of ACEs, including emotional abuse, physical and / or sexual abuse, neglect, living with domestic violence, substance abuse and parental abandonment. In particular we look at the challenges presented by cumulative ACE factors – ranging from attachment disruptions to chronic anxiety states; and examine the therapeutic responses required.

The workshop will specifically look at:

  • The immediate impact of ACEs on children such as their capacity to process threat and fear states, lack of emotional self-regulation, meta and social cognition and memory processing
  • Emphasis will be placed on contextualising the impact of ACEs as necessary adaptations that individuals have to make in order to cope and survive exposure to chaotic, unpredictable and stressful environments from which they cannot escape
  • The risk and vulnerability factors associated with four or more ACEs and physical health problems will be examined, while looking at the increased risk of somatic manifestations including obesity, type II diabetes, autoimmune disorders, respiratory problems and cardiovascular disease
  • In addition, we will discuss the range of mental health challenges associated with four or more ACEs – including depression, anxiety, psychosis, attachment disorders and complex PTSD
  • We will also evaluate the evidence for psychosocial factors such as increased risk of revictimization, violence, crime, imprisonment and homelessness
  • The long-term effects of four or more ACEs on physical health, mental health, psychosocial functioning and early death
  • The workshop will also introduce the range of Protective and Compensatory Experiences (PACE’s) (Morris & Hays-Grudo 2014) which can buffer the immediate and long‐term effects of ACEs and we will consider how these can be facilitated

Participants will have an opportunity to assess the measurement of ACEs through the Adverse Childhood Experience Scale and will learn how to integrate this into their assessment and history intake questions. Alongside this enhanced awareness of ACEs and their impact, delegates will be able to understand and link complex physical and mental client presentations to a history of trauma and work with these using the principles of trauma informed practice.

About the speaker

Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc. is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with 26 years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield.

She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths and Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee.

© nscience UK, 2020 / 21

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