Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

As part of my trauma informed therapy approach, I routinely gather information to identify your past hurts and pains called adverse childhood experiences. I also take an inventory of many other types of upsetting, stressful or traumatic experiences from childhood through the present. These types of experiences are often the root cause of present day sports or health performance problems and inform the therapy approach used to obtain your optimal performance.

Understanding how your adverse childhood experiences, chronic stress, and dysfunctional family dynamics contribute to problematic coping mechanisms, relationships, mood symptoms, and physical illness, can help you be more understanding and less hard on yourself for the symptoms and problems which are creating performance blocks.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) refers to 10 categories of emotional or physical neglect, abuse, trauma or household dysfunction that a person may experience prior to the age of 18.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study showed that the greater the number of adverse childhood experiences, referred to as your ACE Score, the greater the potential risk for developing major medical health issues, addiction, anxiety, depression, and other emotional and social problems.

What is your ACES score?

Below is the ACE Questionnaire, from Francine Shapiro’s latest text book.

WHAT’S MY ACE SCORE? – ACE Questionnaire

Answer, Yes or No to each question. Add up the number of “Yes” answers.

Prior to your 18th birthday:

  1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often . . .
    Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you?
    Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
  2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often . . .
    Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you?
    Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
  3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever . . .
    Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way?
    Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
  4. Did you often or very often feel that . . .
    No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special?
    Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
  5. Did you often or very often feel that . . .
    You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to
    protect you?
    Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?
  6. Was a biological parent ever lost to you through divorce, abandonment, or other reason?
  7. Was your mother or stepmother:
    Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her?
    Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard?
    Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
  8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?
  9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?
  10. Did a household member go to prison

Add up your “Yes” answers. This is your ACE Score.

What does your ACE Score Mean?

Generally the higher your score, the greater your risk of various health issues or performance block potential. However, it is important to keep in mind that your score does not mean you will definitely develop physical, mental or behavioral health issues. It is just one measure and is a guide. It doesn’t take into account factors that can offset the risk. For example, positive relationship experiences in childhood can build resilience and offset the impact of adverse childhood experiences and reduce the risk of physical and emotional health issues. The ACE score also doesn’t take into account other types of chronic childhood stress or environmental factors that could increase your risk of an increased trauma memory network/reservoir of emotional, behavioral, or physical health issues.

The amazing thing is neurogenesis is possible at ANY age so the brain-body can change. Brainspotting and other therapies, healthy lifestyle habits and positive relationships can heal and offset the risks associated with adverse childhood experiences.

How I Can Help You – Unfortunately time, talk, hard work, willpower, achievements and positive attitude alone may not be enough to resolve/rewrite the mentally and physically painful effects of upsetting experiences from our past. I specialize in helping you heal from the impact of adverse childhood experiences, chronic childhood stress, as well as upsetting experiences, hurts pains and trauma as an adult.

Reach out to start your healing, growth and performance optimization journey!



I use Brainspotting to assist the brain and body in releasing past traumatic experiences to reset the nervous system to allow full mental and physical recovery and expansion.

  • Decondition traumatic neuro mal-adaptive patterns perpetuating negative unwanted behaviors
  • Resolve the past traumatic experiences causing or exacerbating current mental illness symptoms
  • Allows the brain and body to release the past traumas to decrease current triggers in everyday life.
  • Be less triggered or activated by daily life stressors or mishaps
  • Remain calm and centered when life issues arise


Individual Session

  • I start by looking over your “laundry list” of traumas, injuries, failures, hurts and pains (ACES) to decide where we will start.
  • Then we get right to work with De-conditioning Brainspotting.
  • If in office session we end with 20min of Photbiomodulation Light Therapy to fully rush your body with positive endorphins.
neurology clinic in seattle washington and colorado using light therapy, photobiomodulation, and sports medicine for all injuries

When it comes to our approach, we’re proud to say we’re different. We offer something a little more special. We use the below techniques in each of our areas of expertise to offer you a new way to approach your mental game.


Brainspotting allows the brain and body to de-condition the mal-adaptive neuro pathways the brain and body creates-conditions when it endures injuries-trauma-surgeries.

Learn More


We use Photobiomodulation pulsed lasers to assist an athlete’s brain in healing from Concussion(s)-Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and or preventing the development of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Learn More


  • Break a Sports Performance Slump
  • Surpass a Sports Performance Plateau
  • Control Sports Performance Anxiety
  • Heal Faster from Sports Injuries Including Head Injuries-Concussions-Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Treat Past Sports Injuries Including Head Injuries-Concussions-Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Decompress & Transition From the High Physical & Mental Demands of a Professional Sports Career
  • Beat Eating Disorder Symptoms and Behaviors
  • Address and Resolve Past Diet and Weight Loss Issues
  • Decrease Overall Cortisol Levels to Ensure you can achieve and maintain Weight Loss
  • Cease Unconscious and Uncontrolled Eating
  • Heal the Core Issues Inhibiting the Acquisition of Fitness Goals
  • Clear and heal your brain and body from past mental and physical injuries
  • Decondition mal-adaptive psychological and physiological neuro-pathways
  • Address, Treat and Resolve Past Concussions-Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Realign and balance the musculoskeletal system to release and resolve persistent pain
  • Assess personal strengths, passions & desires to formulate an action plan to move forward into a new career