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Adverse Childhood Events

Bernadette Hodgins

Psychologist, Gestalt Psychotherapist
Perth, Western Australia

Adverse childhood events (ACEs) can include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, such as parental separation or divorce, substance abuse, or mental illness. Adverse family relationships refer to negative interactions between family members, including verbal, emotional, or physical abuse, neglect, or a lack of emotional support.

ACEs and adverse family relationships can have long-lasting effects on an individual's mental and physical health. Research has shown an increased likelihood of poor health outcomes, such as chronic diseases, depression, anxiety, and a greater risk of experiencing trauma later in life.

While some individuals who experience ACEs or adverse family relationships may develop resilience and coping mechanisms that allow them to manage their symptoms, others may develop complex trauma. ACEs can lead to complex trauma when an individual experiences repeated or prolonged exposure to trauma, particularly during critical periods of development, such as childhood. The effects of ACEs can be cumulative, meaning that each subsequent ACE can increase an individual's risk of experiencing complex trauma.

The ways in which ACEs and adverse family relationships can lead to complex trauma include:

ACEs and adverse family relationships can also lead to the intergenerational transmission of trauma, where trauma is passed down from one generation to the next. Children who experience trauma may struggle to form healthy relationships or struggle to parent their own children well, leading to negative outcomes for the next generation.

Contact Bernadette if you would like further information, assessment or to discuss treatment options.

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Bernadette Hodgins
Psychologist
Gestalt Psychotherapist

Phone: 0417 777 230
Email: hodgins.bernadette@gmail.com

Mount Lawley Counselling Centre
13 Alvan Street
Mt Lawley (Perth), WA 6050

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