In order to help prevent adverse experiences for the children in our lives, it’s important that we address and heal from any trauma we, ourselves, may have experienced. This is true for all adults caring for children – parents, mentors, CASA volunteers, etc. After all, it’s difficult to offer safety and security when we, ourselves, may still be operating in a place of emotional instability.

“The best thing we can do for the children we care for is to manage our own stuff. Adults who’ve resolved their own trauma help kids feel safe.”

– Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s research on the topic of ACEs shows that there are many paths to healing. A list of approaches is below to get you started:

  1. Meditation, hypnosis, and guided imagery
  2. Nutrition, exercise, and sleep
  3. Safety and self care
  4. Understanding ACEs
  5. EMDR Therapy
  6. Neurofeedback (brain-based)
  7. Somatic processing (body-based)
  8. Talk/cognitive behavioral therapy
  9. Draw and write to heal
  10. Relationships and community

For more ideas on how to care for children with ACES, and care for yourself, check out Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s book, Childhood Disrupted. She will inspire you in your journey to heal from ACEs and break cycles for the children in your life.  



April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the Virginia Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline at (800) 552-7096. The hotline is staffed 24/7. You may make a call anonymously, but if you provide your name it will allow local authorities to follow-up with you.