The Neurobiology of ACEs and Trauma on the Brain and Body

Dr. Carlian Dawson 

Trauma starts when an event or experience overwhelms the body’s ability and normal capacity to respond. All trauma creates a disruption in the limbic system of the brain where it stores emotional responses to experiences. This is the primary reason individuals have a lot of emotions when they recall their traumatic experiences. While there is no right or wrong way to respond to trauma, reactions may include diseases like diabetes, chronic heart conditions, anxiety, fear, depression, physical pain, chronic pain, disorientation and difficulty concentrating, self-blame, guilt, shame, “shutting down”, dissociation, avoidance, or emotional numbing. Getting out of trauma is done the same way getting into trauma is caused, through relationships. This begins through concepts developed over 30 years by Dr. Bruce Perry, a world renowned neuroscientist. It’s through these concepts of regulation, relate and reason we will discover and understand protective factors that lead us to success.

Dr. Carlian Dawson is the Director of Education for the AZ Center for African American Children (AZCAAC), a non-profit organization.  Dr. Dawson is a trained and certified Nurturing Parenting, Triple P, PAX, Protective Factors and Flourishing Families facilitator. She is a co-developer of the Master Trainer of Trainers for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) for the Arizona PACES Consortium and co-developer and Master Trainer of Trainers for Neurosequential Model for Caregivers for the Arizona.

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