While Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can arise spontaneously from any number of sources, one of the frequent causes of trauma exposure occurs when parents unconsciously re-enact their own trauma exposure(s) with their children. Sadly, most exposures to ACEs do not result in the affected individual (or their parent) receiving optimal psychological support and therapeutic intervention, with the consequence that the trauma may often be repeated from one generation to the next.
Recent attention to ACEs screenings for children is an important step in identifying families at risk and presents an opportunity for providers to initiate discussion with parents as to their own past trauma exposure— this potentially an opportunity to recommend referral of the parent for either a psychotherapy intervention and/or to offer them an opportunity to learn about resilience interventions that may help reframe the parent-child interaction in a more positive manner.
SmartCare can be a referral resource that primary care providers can offer to parents who wish to obtain support for themselves and for their children.
The links below provide discussion about the psychodynamic understanding of how childhood trauma can impact parenting behaviors.
This first YouTube is a brief discussion of the topic “Ghosts in the Nursery”:
A more detailed and lengthy discussion of the topic “Ghosts & Angels in the Nursery” is presented at the following link: