What is toxic stress, and how does it differ from tolerable and positive stress experienced in childhood? This workshop will define toxic stress resulting from childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences and how it impacts a person not only in childhood but also in the long-term consequences described in the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. Psychologists, licensed mental health professionals, and medical professionals will be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of adverse childhood experiences that contribute to toxic stress. The presenter will review the research on the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual functioning of such stress on children and adults. This workshop will also examine how secure attachment experiences and resilience can act as buffers to toxic stress and their influence on long-term psychopathology. Furthermore, diagnostic and treatment strategies for those working with individuals suffering from toxic stress’s long-term consequences will be examined.
1. Compare and contrast stressful experiences in childhood that are tolerable versus toxic as identified as adverse childhood experiences in the ACES study.
2. Describe the long-term biological, psychological, social, and spiritual effects of childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences that contribute to toxic stress.
3. Apply treatment strategies through case studies to help those who have experienced childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences.