Healing from childhood trauma starts NOW!

Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. Much of the foundational research in this area has been referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs can be prevented. Research shows childhood trauma can greatly impact a child’s ability to learn, form relationships, and function appropriately in a traditional classroom environment. Children who are not helped may choose to act out with violence, or turn to substance abuse, thus impacting their ability to become successful adults and contributing members of society.

"Understand. Heal. Grow. We Can Do This Together"


Trauma is defined as a “deeply distressing or disturbing experience.” Trauma and toxic stress—including but not limited to severe physical or emotional abuse— can have adverse effects on a child’s brain development and function. In turn, these experiences make it difficult for a child to learn—and heal—in a traditional classroom setting.

Children affected by trauma can have an array of behavioral problems including difficulties understanding and following directions, overreaction to comments, failure to connect cause and effect, and misreading the context of situations.


We are in a public health crisis, our children are in trouble and we need to help them. This is why I, Nova Simister-Irving, created Zions Place, a non-profit organization to identify and help children who have experienced trauma. I work with the school systems, public health officials, and families to help stop the cycle and help these children before it is too late.

In my time as a therapist, I have heard many things from children affected by trauma. It is heart-breaking, and difficult to process that children could be going through such events. These words are just more proof that we need to BE THE VOICE. Here are just a few of the comments I hear from children suffering from Adverse Childhood Experiences:

  • No one would believe me if I tell
  • I am ashamed about what is happening to me
  • It feels uncomfortable
  • It hurts
  • It feels unfriendly
  • It hurts me
  • But I was told to respect my elders
  • I can’t say anything to protect mommy or daddy
  • It makes me feel helpless
  • It changes and lies
  • It defeats me
  • It tricks me
  • It pretends to be my friend, my safe place, then it attacks
  • It takes over
  • It only hurts when Mama is not watching me

If you’re interested in becoming a better, happier, more fulfilled you, I’d love to work with you every step of the way. Please contact me today!

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Places to Get Started

Meet Nova       

Zions Place is Nova’s vision and something she has always been passionate about creating. A previous foster parent herself through the Administration for Children’s Services, Nova would ideally like to end childhood trauma but since that is out of her control she aims to create a safe place for victims to share their emotions and their stories. She wants to help them heal so they can have the best chance at life.

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