What are ACEs ?

ACEs are stressful or traumatic experiences that occur before the age of 18 and are remembered throughout adulthood.  These experiences may include abuse or neglect, which maybe directly experienced or witnessed by the individual, growing up with alcohol or drug abuse, mental illness, parental conflict or divorce or loss of a parent or having a parent in prison.

How do ACEs affect individuals?

Evidence suggests that those who experience stressful and traumatic experiences in their childhood are likely to affect:

  • how a person perceives themselves (self-esteem, self-image)
  • how they interact with others (passively or angrily)
  • how they cope with emotional pain (depression, anxiety, alcohol or drug use)
  • how they develop their parenting skills.  They can leave those affected with confusion and issues around trust, boundaries and respectful relationships.

The more ACES someone has the more they are likely they are to feel the impact.  However, there is hope. Understanding about ACEs and learning what you can do can help you to overcome the impact.

About the Training

The ACEs Recovery Toolkit – Adults

The Adult ACEs Recovery Toolkit, a 10 week programme devised by Sue Penna and her team at Rockpool.  It aims to educate and inform individuals about the impact of ACEs on them and their children if they have any.  The programme is designed to recognise strengths and understand Emotional Resilience.

The topics covered include

  • Understanding and living with ACE’s
  • Understanding toxic stress and strategies to manage it
  • Developing parental resilience
  • Understanding attachment
  • Nurturing parenting styles
  • Managing emotions
  • Developing strategies to reduce the potential impact of ACE’s on children

The ACEs Recovery Toolkit – Children & Young People

The Children and young People ACEs Recovery Toolkit is an 8 week programme that uses a combination of creative activities and group work to develop children and young people’s resilience and understanding of healthy relationships.  It provides information and education that enables children and young people to cope with the adversity they have experienced.

The Children and Young peoples ACEs Recovery Toolkit is written as a complement to the Adult ACEs Recovery Toolkit.  It is informed by many of the same therapeutic models and, where possible, is to be run at the same time as the Adult ACEs Recovery Toolkit.  The topics covered include:

  • When we get upset
  • Managing how we feel
  • Staying safe
  • Coping when we feel upset
  • Being positive
  • Looking after ourselves


If you would like to find out more please contact Rebecca Lewis:

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 07983 838342/01267 238410 Option 3

If you are working with a family who wants to find out more.  Please click here to download a referral form