Margaret's Take On Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences

adverse childhood experiences map method

Have you heard about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)? ACEs are potentially traumatic events in childhood (0–17 years) such as abuse, neglect, and household dysfunctions. In the mid-1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente did a foundational study on ACEs to explore how traumatic childhood events may negatively affect adult health.

Findings showed that people who experienced four or more adverse childhood events can experience poor health outcomes as adults.

Advanced certified MAP practitioner and supervisor Margaret Allan developed a safe, gentle, and effective program to reduce the risks associated with a high ACE score. This program is called Beautiful Beginnings.

On behalf of the MAP Coaching Institute, I’m delighted to interview Margaret to share more about the benefits of this program. Here are some key highlights of my interview with Margaret, with my questions as the header and her answers under each question (edited for conciseness).

How would you describe this program and its intentions?

This program is a gentle and safe way to release anything from childhood that is still blocking you from living a full, happy, and healthy life as an adult. It covers the time from the point of conception till the age of eighteen.

The purpose of this program is threefold:

  1. To release negative memories and emotions from your childhood.
  2. To write a more positive story about your childhood.
  3. To fulfill the six core needs that may not have been fulfilled when you were a child: feeling safe, loved, wanted, valued, accepted, and respected.

 

What motivates people to join this program?

Most people in the program joined because they felt stuck or were experiencing emotional distress. They don’t necessarily need to know what it is.

Traumas can come in many different forms.

When we think about trauma, we often connect it to big traumas, where something significant happened through a specific event or situation. But there can be lots of little traumas that we experience as children, which seem like relatively insignificant events to the adults around us at that time. Still, they could be overwhelming, scary, or uncomfortable at that young, tender age.

 

You can still benefit from this program even when you have a normal childhood.

Some people taking this program had what most people consider a normal childhood upbringing. Regardless, they joined because they weren’t reaching their dreams and desires in adulthood and didn’t know why.

Your parents can be very loving, and you might think of your childhood environment as very loving and stable, but there might have been instances that felt scary or uncomfortable at that time. Everyone might have been doing the best they could. But your parents could have been absent or distracted when you needed support or advice as a child or teenager.

So, these experiences can have the added meaning of not feeling supported or not feeling worthy. A young child could have created a bigger story out of these experiences than they were at that time, and these can lead to unhelpful beliefs that get ingrained right into adulthood.

 

How does this program work when we don’t even need to be consciously aware of our childhood traumas?

The wonderful thing about MAP is that you can use it to release emotional and mental pain from both our conscious and unconscious memories.

We don’t need to know or consciously focus on the details of our trauma. We don’t usually remember anything before the age of three anyway. Going through the program, we simply allow ourselves to listen to the recorded MAP session, and the Superconscious finds and gently releases the traumatic memories related to the age period we focus on.

 

How safe is this program for handling big traumatic events?

This program is very gentle, even for people handling emotionally intense memories, because it includes both conscious and subliminal MAP recordings, which are a lovely, gentle way to release strong emotions.

Many people have gone through the program just by listening to the subliminal recordings alone and skipping the conscious audio sessions initially. Listening to the subliminal sessions daily, or even multiple times a day helps put people in a much calmer state so they can work through releasing more layers of emotions.

They can listen to the conscious MAP sessions when they feel more comfortable navigating their memories.

 

How soon do people start noticing a shift through the program?

Good question. It’s different for everybody. There are people in the program who have experienced a shift right from the very first session exploring the time in the womb, which we usually have no conscious memory of. So, for some people, it can be right from the start.

Others have found the sessions focused on the toddler years, when they were one to two, to be a time of great release. That’s when they noticed a lot of physical sensations and emotions during the session. And when you think about it, a lot is happening at that time, such as learning to walk, talk, and feed ourselves, and becoming a little bit more independent. So, there was a lot of growth during that time.

After completing the program, people have reported feeling calmer, happier, more positive about themselves, more hopeful, less frazzled, and more centered.

 

Some feedback from program participants

General feedback:

  • I feel a new sense of ease and fun. I feel lighter.
  • I feel like I’m returning to who I was and am meant to be.
  • I cannot believe the changes that are happening. I’m not completely sure how to explain it.
  • Amazing, a new life story.

Improved self-esteem

  • I have had so many personal insights. This has been a really powerful and healing process.
  • I released “there’s not enough” and “I can’t have what I want”.
  • I had the feeling of defeat lift as I had to wear leg braces as a one-year-old.

Positive behavioral changes

  • I’m starting to feel more positive, and my alcohol consumption is lessening without consciously trying.
  • I’m more able to take action without resistance, more open, more able to hear feedback without getting triggered. 

 

As a parent, can I also use this program with my children?

Make sure that there’s a level of agreement with your children

I know some parents play subliminal recordings while being around their children. The children seem to benefit. We don’t have enough data yet to be certain.

Do explain to your children that there is a MAP clearing session underneath the music in the subliminal sessions. It is essential for them to listen to the recordings with some level of consent. For children aged eight and below, you can consent on behalf of the child because that is usually what you do for them at such a young age.

Ensure you create a safe and comfortable space for them to participate in the healing process instead of thinking you can "fix" your children using the program’s subliminal recordings.

An interesting expansion on the use of the program is that many people who have gone through the program have said that even though they were focusing on their childhood while listening to the sessions, they felt that they were processing many experiences as parents. They felt they were simultaneously exploring themselves in the parental role. This can also be very helpful in terms of family relationships and dynamics.

 

How did you develop this program to its current version?

Margaret’s personal healing journey through MAP

My childhood wasn’t normal. I experienced a lot of childhood trauma as I lost my parents before the age of ten. I am grateful that a family friend became my caregiver, but I didn’t feel settled or that the situation was stable during those years. I even developed Crohn’s disease—an inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The disease was aggressive and even life-threatening at times.

As an adult, I struggled mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. I was always waiting for bad things to happen, constantly vigilant, and not feeling safe. I was always stressed. I was constantly living in my head and trying to figure things out, troubleshoot, and problem-solve before I’d even got into a situation because of anxiety.

In 2016, I met Colette (founder of the Make Anything Possible™ coaching process). Using MAP and the core elements of this program, I’ve shifted from all of that to feeling positive, optimistic, worthy, deserving, successful, healthier, more energetic, experiencing more love and more support than ever. My health has improved magnificently. I am now in the strongest financial position I’ve ever had. All of my relationships have improved. I feel fulfilled by all that I am doing in my career, and my outlook for the future is extremely positive.

This program has been developed with the knowledge of what it takes to truly release the past and live fully and freely in the present with a positive sense of self. It focuses on fulfilling the six different core needs—feeling safe, loved, wanted, valued, accepted, and respected. These core needs are fundamental to living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life as an adult.

The sessions in the program are general enough to cater to a variety of childhood backgrounds and stories yet specific enough to allow for a release of blocks and barriers around these core needs. It is suitable for anyone who doesn’t feel fulfilled in any of these fundamental core areas.

Would you like to find out more about the Beautiful Beginnings program?

If you want to check out this program for yourself or your loved ones, you can visit the Beautiful Beginnings page here.

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