Master Trainer Program

Catherine Gutfreund posted:

We utilized ACEs interface organization taught by Dr Robert Anda and others 

35 of us were trained in Santa Rosa Ca - 

it was fabulous   

look at:

Hi, Catherine. I have a question for you. With the 35 people you trained with, were they all from your agency or agencies in your community? Did Dr. Anda come to your area? I am looking into becoming a trainer and this sounds perfect but I'm not sure if this is an option for one individual verses a larger group. Does that make sense?  ~Dawn

Dr Anda did come with 2 other trainers.  The 35 people comprised of many different  practitioners and agencies throughout Sonoma County.    It was a very diverse group ranging from physicians, nurses,  social workers,  therapists, agency leads etc.    Sonoma county public health department put out a notice  about the training and we all had to apply for the program. --hundreds of people applied and only 35 were able to be chosen.   I do not believe this would be a program for just one or a couple people to take. - that would probably be cost prohibitive.  

 Please let me know if you have any other questions   

Kathy Hentcy posted:


In Vermont, we are about to have the Master Train the Trainer program. I would greatly appreciate talking with you about how you are implementing the Self-Healing Communities Model. Could we connect by phone?

Kathy Hentcy


I'd be happy to chat with you, Kathy. Perhaps one day next week? Send me an email with a few alternative days/times and we'll make it happen!


I'm from Sonoma County and was part of a second cohort of persons trained to talk about ACEs. Our group did not directly attend Dr. Anda's ACEs Interface training, but received his slides and materials and some instruction from the persons who did attend his training. After having seen his presentation and the materials, I think you should think carefully about whether the ACEs Interface training is what you want/need.

On the positive side, he has prepared a large assortment of professionally produced slides, with well researched and vetted text to accompany them. If you're starting from scratch, it is certainly helpful to start with a proven program. He is an authoritative figure in the field of ACEs, which adds credibility to the presentation.

However, while the talk works well for him, I feel there are several reasons why it may not work as well for others. First, it is the kind of presentation I expect to see (and have personally delivered) at conferences, hospital grand rounds, and to professional health or human service groups. it has the good and bad points of such presentations: dry, professional, impersonal, logical, comprehensive.

However, these are not necessarily the characteristics that make presentations memorable to a general audience. Personal stories and emotional connection matter. If you could simply add your own material, it would be fine, but if you want to deliver an ACEs Interface presentation, it must be his material. You can rearrange the slides, but not add new content. I think his presentation succeeds in spite of the material, not necessarily because of it.  Compare the Interface materials with the TED Talk of Nadine Burke-Harris and you'll see the difference.

Second, it is fine for an outside expert to fly in and deliver this material, but a local person speaking to local people needs to be knowledgeable about local issues. How does your city or locale compare to the national averages? What are some good local trauma-informed service providers? Where do we stand on local legislation? What can we do locally? If you aren't prepared to answer the obvious questions, it's not a very good presentation. All this needs to be added in at the local level.

Third and most importantly, I believe we need to talk about both ACEs and resilience. There is science behind resilience, but the ACEs Interface materials are very limited in this area. People need a sense that there is hope, and it needs to be more than two slides in your presentation.

I could go on about the need for each presenter to develop good presentation skills, but that's enough for now. Attending the Interface training is a very tempting option for an individual, but it may not be the real solution. 



I am happy to see the discussion about the ACE Interface Master Trainer Program.  With Dr. Rob Anda, I am a founder of ACE Interface, and would like to clarify a couple of things about our Master Trainer Program. 

Rob Anda and I always deliver the training together with a third person.  We train groups of 25 people (sometimes a few more per group) who are hosted by an organization that agrees to support the trainers and maintain fidelity to the science and presentation quality.  Individuals can become trained if they are selected by a host entity to become a Master Trainer. 

The materials are designed to be flexible - not only can the order of slides and information be shaped by the presenter, but we also encourage people to put the presentation into their own voice, add stories that provide illustration and emotion, and deliver the talk everywhere from living rooms to board rooms.

We offer a set of principles and values as guideposts for what can be added or changed.  When the trainer and host organization believe that a proposed addition to the presentation may push the limits set through the principles and values, the host organization contacts me so that Rob and I can discuss and approve.  Only once were we unable to approve a request of this sort. 

We have trainers and speakers in over a dozen states, and a growing number of counties and regions within states are now training people.  It is exciting to see common language develop, speakers become proficient not only in delivering information, but also in facilitating important dialogue.  We have consistently heard from trainers that audiences leave with hope and excitement for resilience promotion and ACE prevention. 

Congratulations to all of you who are doing this work - you are amazing!  I hope you are not having trouble reaching us through our website.  If so, I apologize.  We'll redouble our efforts to keep up with communication that comes to us through ACE

Laura, thank you for posting.  I am really having a difficult time communicating with you through ACE    I am really interested  in bringing this training to Northwest Indiana (very near Chicago).  Gary, Indiana where I live and practice is an urban area, with lots of poverty and crime and families who are living lives often filled with trauma.  I will be anxious to hear from you.  I will try to contact you through ACE again.

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