A Presentation for Mental Health Professionals: Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences and Self-Esteem

The purpose of this project and subsequent paper is to educate mental health professionals to have a better understanding of how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) impact individuals later in life. ACEs are common, affecting people from all walks of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26% of the population has one ACE, while 12% has four or more ACEs (2017). Due to the pervasiveness of ACEs, it is important that mental health professionals understand how ACEs affect individuals. This body of work aims to educate mental health professionals on the ACE study and testing, as well as which events constitute an ACE. Additionally, this body of work will focus on how physical and mental health, brain development, and self-esteem are affected. In regards to mental health, the area of self-esteem will be examined specifically, as several research studies have shown that individuals who experience ACEs are more apt to suffer from low self-esteem (Ekinci & Kandemir, 2015; Oates, 1984; Oberst & Stewart, 2003). Based on findings, recommendations will be made for interventions mental health professionals can use with their clients to help increase client self-esteem. These interventions include the Adlerian concept of social interest, as well as journaling, and mindfulness.

Stacie Jo Peckels
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