6.3. The Deepest Well

Book – The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity Hardcover – January 23, 2018

by Nadine Burke Harris M.D. 


Invisible Child Abuse by Robert Firestone

Invisible Child Abuse Video (psychotherapy.net)


When you are a psychiatric mental health provider, you will encounter difficult and uncomfortable situations where individuals have experienced different traumas. Experiences of childhood abuse and neglect are known antecedents to developing many mental health and substance use disorders. There is no real way to prepare or plan for exposure to these circumstances. This assignment will help you begin to understand the emotional impact of secondary trauma and how to create a self-care plan to avoid caregiver burnout.

After you review all of the learning materials and watch the Week 6 child abuse video, answer the following questions:

  • What is the definition of an adverse childhood event (ACE)? Are there different types of abuse? How many types of abuse did Dr. Harris encounter?
  • Discuss mental instability, substance use, and generational transmission. How is Dr. Harris coping with patients in these situations, and what skills will you incorporate into your practice? Explain your reasoning.
  • Discuss survival and resiliency theory. Relate two surprising facts that Dr. Harris points out about the ACE study.
  • What physical, psychiatric, and substance use disorders are associated with adverse childhood events? Give three examples from Dr. Harris’s patients.
  • Explain how the “dysregulated stress response” and Dr. Harris’s depiction of “BEARS” are related.
  • How is DNA modified by traumatic experiences, and what are the sequelae?

You will need to cite at least six research-based resources for this assignment.