It’s been a month since the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) published an article that I co-wrote with Dr Peter Cairns – Addressing adverse childhood experiences: implications for professional practice.
In the editorial we explored just some of the enablers and barriers related to implementing ACE enquiry in a UK primary care context. It was great to see such a positive reaction on social media to the BJGP piece, and my subsequent blog on the same topic, with peers and colleagues highlighting that ACE enquiry is a critical component in supporting people, and helping us shift from asking “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?”.
Such a supportive reaction is heartening.
While writing articles is important to help your own thinking, and to perhaps support others’, it is the reaction and feedback – whether on social media, at events, meetings or over coffee (lock down pending) – when we can often learn the most, consider another perspective, or perhaps have our own thoughts validated.
ACE enquiry has been the subject of many articles and blogs – supporting it, questioning it, indifferent to it. This type of conversation is important. It helps us to analyse, question and crucially, learn from one another. This is one of the reasons why I decided the topic of the BJGP piece should focus on ACE enquiry.
To add my own perspective, after twenty plus years of asking people about their lives in the hope that together we can achieve some improvement in their situation or complaint. Every day I am reminded that my own views and knowledge are just one perspective.
Probably biased, certainly incomplete, idiosyncratic and of course influenced by my life experiences. Every day I am also influenced and educated by people who are interested in the same things I am and sometimes think about those subjects from a different angle.
So, in the spirit of collaboration, learning, and finding better solutions, I hope we can carry on this conversation.
ACE enquiry is a critical component in supporting people, and helping us shift from asking “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?”