Historical/ Intergenerational Trauma

Historical trauma, or intergenerational trauma, refers to the cumulative emotional and psychological wounding of a person or generation caused by traumatic experiences or events. Historical trauma can be experienced by any group of people that experience a trauma. Examples include genocide, enslavement, or ethnic cleansing. It can affect many generations of a family or an entire community. Historical trauma can lead to substance abuse, depression, anxiety, anger, violence, suicide, and alcoholism within the afflicted communities. If you are feeling the effects of historical or intergenerational trauma, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today. 

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More new information is emerging about the effects of trauma on health & wellbeing. PTSD and CPTSD (complex - PTSD due to years of abuse/neglect) is when we feel hi-jacked by our senses/body connecting us back to past events that were (or seemed) life threatening. These experiences can be from Domestic abuse, events/accidents related to the lifestyle of substance abuse, and from chronic traumatic/neglectful childhood experiences. There is hope for recovery. It is time for you to heal.

— Kathleen Thompson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

For many of us, particularly those of us who are members of oppressed groups, the trauma we have experienced in this lifetime is only a piece of the puzzle. Our ancestors and the pain and unhealed wounds of their suffering can also be in our nervous systems, minds, bodies, and spirits affecting our psychological and physical health. I will always hold this truth in our work together and if you are interested we can explore those historical elements together.

— Megan Satterfield, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX
 

When I work with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) with a history of oppressive and traumatic experiences, it is essential that a component of exploring "family of origin" issues include an examination of historical and intergenerational trauma. I utilize a depth-oriented therapy process that explores historical harms and intergenerational wounds through the examination of family narrative, patterns, history and relationship to privilege and oppression.

— Camara Meri Rajabari, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

Complex trauma and PTSD can make daily life challenging and confusing. Relief can come from developing coherency around traumas, and understanding how your nervous system is reacting and why. An empathic therapist, like myself, can help alter perceptions and create an understanding of difficult emotional reactions that are influencing problematic behaviors.

— Tera Buerkle, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Lexington, KY
 

For many of us, particularly those of us who are members of oppressed groups, the trauma we have experienced in this lifetime is only a piece of the puzzle. Our ancestors and the pain and unhealed wounds of their suffering can also be in our nervous systems, minds, bodies, and spirits affecting our psychological and physical health. I will always hold this truth in our work together and if you are interested we can explore those historical elements together.

— Megan Satterfield, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX

I'm Irish-American, and over time I came to realize that the abuse in my family of origin was linked to the colonization of Ireland. Living in the U.S., I can see similar (and sometimes different) patterns among indigenous people impacted by colonization here. I have also heard from African-Americans about the historical traumatic impact of slavery on people descended from slaves. These issues are real, and I support our work toward healing and liberation.

— Caera Gramore, Mental Health Practitioner in Arlington, WA
 

I am systemically trained, and I often work with adult clients who experienced child abuse, divorce, family conflict, cutoffs/estrangement, etc. I am experienced with exploring how intergenerational patterns are impacting my clients in the present. I use ACEs to screen for childhood trauma.

— Easin Beck, Marriage & Family Therapist in Phoenixville, PA

In my work with racial trauma, I have seen firsthand how the trauma of parents are passed down to the children. Often, the mental illness or behavioral patterns of adults were formed when they were being raised in their homes of origin. Parents with mental illnesses are often demonized for lacking the tools that they were never given. I would like to help parents re-parent themselves; therefore stopping the cycle of trauma.

— Brittney George, Licensed Professional Counselor in , VA
 

I have utilized CBT, DBT and Trauma Focused CBT approach in working with patients experiencing trauma. My family ancestry was shaped by WWII and the Holocaust. Being personally aware of the negative impact of intergenerational cycle of global trauma, has provided me with a unique insight into such trauma and its devastating effects.

— Sandra Nunez, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in san diego, CA

Some of my clients have a family legacy of trauma, and are on a healing path to protect their children and future generations. Others have single-event or complex trauma that wreaks havoc in their lives. Trauma is stored in the brain-body and cannot truly heal through talk therapy or Hakomi. Methods like EMDR, SE, and Lifespan Integration (LI) are needed. I am LI- and EMDR-trained, and have helped clients finally leave traumatic events behind.

— Greta Reitinger, Psychotherapist in Portland, OR
 

If you have historical trauma/ intergenerational trauma that continues to haunt you and you would like to work through it. Art therapy and energy medicine can be very helpful in addressing and releasing historical trauma. I work with my clients to create a safe space and give them tools so that we can address old traumas in a kind and gentle way that respects your body, mind and spirit.

— Celine Redfield, Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

I utilize a blend of boundary setting techniques and EMDR therapy to address historical and intergenerational trauma. Survival instincts and ways of coping are often passed down in a family system, even if they don't always serve the present moment. Understanding why we react to certain situations, and why others may react, can increase compassion. Once we have cultivated that compassion we can articulate and implement boundaries from a place of acceptance and respect.

— Lauren Viemann, Counselor in Seattle, WA
 

I'm Irish-American, and over time I came to realize that the abuse in my family of origin was linked to the colonization of Ireland. Living in the U.S., I can see similar (and sometimes different) patterns among indigenous people impacted by colonization here. I have also heard from African-Americans about the historical traumatic impact of slavery on people descended from slaves. These issues are real, and I support those working toward healing and liberation.

— Caera Gramore, Mental Health Practitioner in Arlington, WA

Through the use of the CRM, I have seen remarkable outcomes in one's ability to access different levels of consciousness and from this realm, be able to access and heal generational material one holds in their subconscious. I have witnessed issues such as trauma symptoms, chronic relapse, unexplainable physical symptoms just to name a few, really benefit from doing this deep level of work. We hold the experiences of our ancestors, and I am grateful to be able to offer such a powerful modality.

— Morgan Grace, Psychotherapist in Austin, TX
 

Generational trauma can impact how we relate to one another, because it impacts the way that we see ourselves, the view of the world, and how we interact with the world. It is a trauma that happened to someone before you on your generational line and then is passed on through behaviors. This could impact the way that this parent views love, relationships, money, and so much more.

— Elisa Blair, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA