Adverse Childhood Experiences (A.C.E.) Test and Resiliency. The power of connection when we didn’t have it as children.

Having working in the field of psychotherapy for 25 years, I am well aware of how early childhood adversity, abuse and neglect can affect our health and success later in life. Taking the A.C.E. Test can help you understand your score, but pay attention to the Resiliency Test that follows in this article linked here. Most traumatic events happen when we are alone in our pain or there is no one to protect us during or after the trauma, but at the end of this article you can read how, in the Resiliency Test, trauma can be ameliorated by connection with significant another who cares, protects or provides a safe place for the person who has been hurt. Remember, it’s all about creating healthy, loving connections. Here is another link on the A.C.E. provided by NPR with a recording to learn more. If your score is higher than 4, don’t fret when you listen or take the test, there is good news too. Read on.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris presents an informative video of the effects of A.C.E. on health as it relates to adrenal system and health. This is not just an economic issue, it affects people of all stratums and is not only treatable, but as she says, beatable.

One of the primary reasons and drivers for becoming an Certified Emotionally Focused therapist working with partners and parents who may have experienced adverse childhood events, was because I realized through the seminal work of Dr. Susan Johnson whose work is based Dr. John Bowlby, how powerful and healing EFT can be for survivors. Lovingly treated through Emotionally Focused Therapy with the significant other present during the process, healing can be transformative. The researchers of this early article found that ‘Half of the couples in this study reported clinically significant increases in mean relationship satisfaction and clinically significant decreases in trauma symptoms, and thematic analyses identified numerous areas where trauma survivors were challenged in fully engaging in the therapy process.’ WOW!!! So the good news here is nothing is more powerful, from my vantage point, and from what couples in healing and connection report to me, then helping partners deeply and lovingly connect, especially if one or both partners were exposed to early adverse childhood experiences. Help and healing comes in the form of Emotionally Focused Therapy for partners in distress which is a game changer.

The Costs of Divorce vs. the best Couple Therapy

Awhile back, you discussed couple therapy with your partner, but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen then.  Turns out most couples come to therapy a good 6 years later then when it would have been ideal to start. But, because the negative cycles between you were so bad, you couldn’t even decide on someone together, and now ‘it is crunch time’.  No pressure here, but it is important to know how divorce can affect your relationship and your future compared to effective, and by that I am referring to, Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples as one of the best, and well researched, couple therapy currently.

Nancy Michaels has written an eye-opening article entitled ‘Divorce = $1000,000 Love is Grand, but When It’s Gone, Divorce Can Cost More Than Twenty Grand’,  In this article Nancy paints the picture for the average couple regarding the average costs of divorce, depending on your situation.

In another article by Frank Ginzburg, there are other financial costs to consider when comparing divorce to couple therapy:

  • Splitting property, investments and income.
  • Retirement accounts will need to be separated, which will likely incur fees.
  • After divorce, you will probably need to obtain two separate medical benefits packages.
  • child custody and visitation, as well as babysitting, may have financial implications.
  • Legal fees can become a major factor in divorce. Legal fees can range in the tens of thousands or more.
  • Compared to extensive EFT couple therapy with a certified EFT therapist, which can cost as little as a few thousand dollars.
  • The same income you and your spouse receive now will need to support two separate households – making it unlikely that you and your spouse will be able to continue on in the level you have been accustomed to.
  • Disagreements, complicated settlements and/or complicated custody decisions can cause legal fees to be become exorbitant.
  • At times, one person, either by intention or obstinacy or even misunderstanding, can drive up the legal expenses for both partners considerably.

You do the math, because at the end of the day there is no comparison.  Besides, returning to a loving, healed relationship with your partner and creating a space for your child or children to witness parents who can work through struggles and stay connected is worth it on so many levels.