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ACEs: Best Practices


Machelle D. Madsen Thompson, PhD

Machelle D. Madsen Thompson, PhD

Machelle Madsen Thompson received her PhD from Florida State University, MSW at University of Utah, and B.S. in Social Psychology minoring in Music Therapy at Brigham Young University. She has been advocating for children who have experienced ACEs most of her life. At the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, she worked in family preservation. She created a preschool group intervention model incorporating cognitive-behavioral therapy coupled with play and music therapy models. At Primary Children’s Medical Center, Center for Safe and Healthy Families and The Children’s Justice Center of Utah County, she worked as a Clinical Social Worker with children who had experienced non-accidental traumas, primarily young children who had experienced abuse. She supervised implementation of the preschool programs she created. She began Kids Connect, an urban prevention program in the most impoverished neighborhood schools of Utah. Using an empirically and ecologically based model, she brought together teachers, parents, young students and counselors to promote early detection and prevention of ACEs.

At FSU, she obtained a doctoral certification in Statistics and Measurement helping her to co-author the Trauma Resilience Scale for adults (Madsen & Abell, 2010). Using the information from this work, she created the Trauma Resilience Scale for Children which earned her the Harrison Award. Both have been used nationally and internationally with those experiencing ACEs. Although she primarily focuses on courses relating to children and adolescents, she has taught most Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) required graduate and undergraduate practice and field courses for which she has earned Teaching Awards. She has served on several teaching and syllabus development committees.

She remains involved in the community working and volunteering at the individual, family, school, and community levels. She has served on the Safe and Nurturing Environment action team for children in her county. She serves as a committeewoman for the local Democratic Executive Committee. She served on the board of directors and currently works as supervisor of the social service team for Love at Work Missions, a faith-based, rural outreach and empowerment organization for families living in extreme poverty. She is the mother of three biological children and three long-term foster children. She enjoys music, dance and mountain biking.

Machelle D. Madsen Thompson, PhD, LCSW
Adjunct Professor, Florida State University College of Social Work
Social Service Coordinator, Love At Work Missions, 850-509-8950