ACEs: A Great Tool For Clinicians and Clients

ACEs: A Great Tool For Clinicians and Clients

I want introduce another resource for people who may have suffered childhood trauma. It’s called ACEs: Adverse Childhood Experiences.

It is a simple screening tool for those ages eighteen and up, takes about two minutes and is self administered. Scoring is simple, every yes answer is one point. Assuming the person taking the test is untreated, a score of one to three is at “intermediate risk” of toxic stress. A score of four or higher indicates “high risk” of toxic stress. High scores on the aces are associated with increased chances for suicide, substance use disorders, depression and/or anxiety and health issues.

 Being a treatment provider, I see ACEs as very useful in two ways. For people contemplating recovery, it underscores that trauma happens to us and thus the effects are not due to some inherent defectiveness. This can be highly relieving. For clinicians administering ACEs, it can drive treatment, provide talking points and give an objective measurement of trauma issues.

 ACEs wasn’t around when I was contemplating recovery, but I score an eight out of ten. Fortunately, I sought treatment and got into recovery. Treatment and self-help ameliorated my addictions and complex PTSD. I was depressed, anxious and in despair. Today I’m happy. You can be too!

 For a PDF of ACEs click below:

 For information regarding ACEs: