Dr. Vincent Felitti

Dr. Felitti’s work has changed the way we look at childhood trauma, chronic stress, and trauma in general. The ACE study showed how we as humans “convert childhood traumatic emotional experiences into organic disease later in life” (APB Speakers, Aug 28, 2018). In the video Dr. Felitti speaks specifically about obesity, though these correlations can also be seen within substance use disorder and many other forms of addictive behavior.

Trigger Warning for the video. He does speak about incest, sexual abuse, assault, and other traumatic events. None of these are discussed in detail.

A renowned physician and researcher, Dr. Vincent J. Felitti is one of the world's foremost experts on childhood trauma. Leading the charge in research into how adverse childhood experiences affect adults, he is co-principal investigator of the internationally recognized Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, a long-term, in-depth, analysis of over 17,000 adults.

Give An Hour

I am now participating in the Give An Hour program and am very excited about it! Give An Hour is an organization that aims to provide free therapy services “to those who serve, veterans, and their families.” Since inception, Give An Hour has expanded the population served to “survivors and families of mass shootings,” “victims of 2019 Georgia and Alabama tornado,” and “victims of the flooding in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.”

If you’re looking for services, please click HERE to access Give An Hour’s provider search.

For more information on this great program and their awesome initiatives (such as the Campaign to Change Direction) please visit GiveAnHour.org

3 Positives for Today

A great way to increase your optimism and sense of hope is to regularly look back at your day and note three positive experiences you had. This exercise can help begin to decrease broad generalizations when we look at our days while also redirecting our tendency to focus on the negatives (a cognitive distortion). Give it a try! Here are mine for today.

1) My hoodie, it’s keeping me warm through this cold stint.

2) Pizza. It’s Digiorno and I love it.

3) Completed some errands that I have been putting off.

What is epigenetics?

Epigenetics is a newer area of study that looks at how the traumas we face may change the way our genes are expressed. This is a good article written by the BBC that explores this area of study. It’s somewhat long, and definitely worth the read.

BBC Article: Can the legacy of trauma be passed down the generations?

The take away that I’d like to highlight is that it’s not hopeless. Though some individuals may be at increased risk for certain issues; these can be addressed and “undone” through use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Mindfulness.