Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), traumatic experiences during childhood, are correlated to posttraumatic stress, behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The purpose of this session is to inform play therapists about the role and effects of ACEs, the relationship between ACEs and trauma and how play therapists can respond most effectively to children who have experienced multiple ACEs.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences that occur in a child’s life prior to the age of 18, such as abuse or negative environmental conditions. ACEs may include neglect, abuse, poverty, domestic violence, and parental disruption, among other environmental traumas. Research indicates that when children experience multiple ACEs, there is a higher likelihood of mental health disorders, substance abuse, and physical ailments. ACEs have been linked to adult illness and mental health concerns with increased risk associated with an increase of ACEs (Felitti et al., 1988). Agarwal (2015) found that ACEs increased the risks of emotional challenges and disruptive behaviors in children, with the number of ACEs correlated with severity of various psychiatric and physical disorders. The effects ACEs have on children increase if the experiences are reoccurring, chronic, or there are multiple experiences (Agarwal, 2015). Grasso et al. (2016) found that the earlier events occur, the more likely children are to present with post-traumatic stress symptoms. Multiple and chronic ACEs have also been linked to juvenile crime (Baglivio and Epps, 2016; Hahn Fox et al., 2015). The purpose of this workshop is to inform play therapists about the role and effects of ACEs, the relationship between ACEs and trauma, and how play therapists can respond most effectively to children who have experienced multiple ACEs. The presenter has engaged in an ongoing research agenda related to the effects of ACEs on child behavioral problems and development, as well as the impact of child-centered play therapy for children who have experienced multiple ACEs.
Participants will be able to define adverse childhood experiences and list 4 possible ACEs.
Participants will be able to list 3 CCPT skills that positively impact children with ACEs.
Participants will be able to identify 3 modifications to CCPT to uniquely treat children with ACEs.