Day 1 at AFCC – Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Today, Jaycee Dugard of A Stolen Life fame spoke at AFCC. She’s received national media attention for her tremendous and courageous story of when she was captured as an 11-year-old and held in captivity for some 18 years. She spoke about overcoming trauma and dealing with the realities of re-entering society and her foundation, the JAYC Foundation, which supports families and trauma victims dealing with the morass of state agencies, media, and other factors pulling at these traumatized individuals, as they re-enter society.

She spoke about the falsehood of Stockholm Syndrome as well as the lack of a bond with a captor. Which frankly I always thought that Stockholm Syndrome was a real thing, however, apparently it is offensive to most victims. She also spoke about the significance of animals and horse therapy as it relates to trauma.

The second most interesting seminar of the day, was involving ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience), which is a test that you can take to see what your exposure level is to trauma in childhood. By way of example, if you have an ACE score higher than four, you have a greater risk of smoking, divorce, alcoholism, and other detrimental consequences. It’s not that a bad test score guarantees a poor outcome, but having the information helps to understand people’s behavior in core process. The whole crux of the second seminar was engaging in a trauma-informed approach when involving the core process.

In other words, to recognize the signs of trauma in a potential client, adversary or child in the middle of a horrific divorce. All in all a wonderful day at AFCC (Affiliation of Conciliation Courts), looking forward to tomorrow.

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