ACEs-Informed Schools: Take-Aways from Classroom Case Studies

Learning Objectives

• Gain a working knowledge of ACEs based on a brief overview including history, application and current trends

• Understand the need and importance of early intervention using a model that highlights the need for connection, skills and how to connect students to additional resources

• Become fully aware of the importance of building resiliency; get specific protective factors that can be utilized and amplified by participants.


The data is clear. More than 2 out of 3 students have had to deal with at least one Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) – such as the death of a parent, living with addiction or suffering abuse. Research shows that students who have endured two or more ACEs are far more likely to experience academic and behavioral issues.

In this program, Kim Johancen, LPC – a licensed professional counselor – helps educators identify and understand students who are struggling with traumatic events that have occurred in their young lives. She also provides practical tools to help teachers, counselors, social workers, student services personnel and administrators address the needs of these students more effectively based on presenting symptoms. The ACEs-Informed Schools program examines the three primary trauma response states and shares numerous skills and strategies educators can use with students deepening on their specific trauma responses. Kim describes specific as examples in order to explore specific approaches to use with students based on the five primary stages of trauma recovery.

About the Presenter

Kim Johancen, M.A., LPC is a Denver-based author and therapist who has developed specialties that include working with people at risk of suicide, survivors of suicide loss, and individuals struggling with self-injury. She has worked extensively with both adolescent and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Her ability to work with people who have experienced grief and loss extends throughout her career and she remains committed to helping people resolve their post trauma symptoms along with the events that fuel them. Over the last several years she has developed a passion for working with families through divorce. She utilizes a variety of approaches including Internal Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

Kim is at heart a strengths-based therapist. She has presented her work on self-injury at Harvard University and her work with suicidal patients at Stony Brook University in New York. She recently co-authored a book for educators entitled Traumatized Students: School-Based Interventions for Reaching Under the Surface.

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