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Trauma-informed early years practice: what does it look like?

20th June 2018


There is a growing interest across Scotland in the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACES).  Science has discovered that childhood stress can cause biological change.  The consequences are surprising: from heart disease, diabetes, liver disease to mental health problems to addictive behaviour.  What’s the key factor protecting against such outcomes? The field of attachment gives us the answer:  a reliably available adult.  Science is teaching us what we instinctively know: relationships are key to human health and happiness.  This is especially true during childhood.

This workshop will:

  • Review the findings of key on trauma and ACES
  • Link these findings to research on attachment
  • Reflect on ways to put these findings into practice in professional settings
  • Compare these insights to the ways in which professional services for children are currently conceived, designed and delivered.

Attendees will leave the session feeling confident they understand the key insights of research on trauma and ACES.  This will enable them to discuss these insights with others in their work settings.  By the end of the session, participants will have identified specific practice changes that could be made to improve the relational care their service is able to offer to children.

Facilitator bio

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk is a research scientist fascinated by babies’ innate capacity to connect. Since 1993, she has been based at the University of Dundee (Scotland), within the School of Psychology.

Her academic career began in the USA, where she completed her PhD at Yale University.

In 2011, Suzanne stepped away from a full-time academic post in order to establish an independent training enterprise. Its aim is to help the public understand all that science has discovered about the importance of emotional connection for human health and happiness. Approximately 40,000 people have now attended her speaking events, and she reaches over 50,000 people a week on social media.

Suzanne works internationally with organisations who are keen to think more deeply about fostering connection, compassion and resilience. In 2014, Suzanne broadened her public reach even further by founding the organization connected baby. She and her team work to help parents and professionals make practical use of the science of connection.

Suzanne’s core aspiration continues to be strengthening awareness of the decisions we take about caring for our children — because those choices are integrally connected to our vision for the kind of society we wish to build.