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. 

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists

 

There are things that are yours, and things passed down, but sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference. Epigenetics show that trauma can be passed down as many as 7 generations. From generation to generation, traditions, beliefs, fears, values, traumas, are often so interwoven in the fabric of one's family, it is as if they are transmitted through osmosis. Somatic therapy can help you decide what you want to keep, and what you want to pass back.

— Kim Torrence, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Rockville, MD

I have many years working with adult protective and child services. These clients suffered from abuse, and inter-generational trauma which impacted every area of their lives. I will use therapeutic techniques to address childhood trauma.

— Becca Foshee, Clinical Social Worker in Springfield, MO
 

Trauma physically changes our brains. Trauma-Focused therapy is a specific approach that identifies and takes into consideration how the traumatic experience effects an individual’s mental, behavioral, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. I’m a certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is a therapeutic approach that is interactive and designed to alleviate psychological stress associated with traumatic memories. It’s an effective way to treat trauma.

— TaMara Gray-Phillips, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Chester Springs, PA

Years of grappling with trauma has shown me something beautiful. Yes, we inherit post-traumatic stress. But we inherit post-traumatic growth too! We can rewire the ways our wise adaptive minds read information. Soothe the fear. Reeducate the vigilance. Keep potential trauma from becoming embedded. Trauma comes to our bodies through relationship, but healing does too. When we reshape how we safely show up in world, we heal & reveal our full Selves & pave the way for healthy whole-hearted children

— Sarah Kendrick, Mental Health Counselor in Portland, OR
 

That weight on your shoulder will go away. We will talk about some new ways to think and look at this painful story. We will give you skills to manage your thoughts and feelings. You will build confidence as this process unfolds. And then one day you will be on the other side of this life experience. You will be able to talk about it with out crying. You will feel strong again. Your dreams will stop. You can then exhale and feel calm again. You can look forward without these painful experiences

— Julie Williams, Counselor

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
 

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 , CA

When I am working with Black, Indigenous and other People of Color with a history of trauma and oppression, it is important, to me, to address the historical context of the family through trace and culture. I explore the harm and trauma from a historical lens to understand the family dynamics. The abuse of our ancestors and their pain is within our bodies, our minds and our spirits. We can explore this together, if you are willing.

— Chioko Grevious, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Sacramento, CA
 

We do not get to choose the trauma we inherit, but we can choose to work towards healing it so that we do not continue to project that trauma onto ourselves and others. This is some of the most important work we can do. Working through family of origin and generational trauma supports us in understanding ourselves more fully, break out of toxic patterns, living more fully, and make a positive impact on ourselves and this world.

— Erika Nelson (Accepting New Clients), Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

Family should be a place where we feel loved and safe. But for many of us, that isn't the case. On top of that, we learn lessons about life and relationships that aren't really very healthy. Healing from intergenerational trauma means bravely stepping forward to break cycles in your family. It means finding your own peace and then giving it to your children as their inheritance.

— Ashley Holcomb, Clinical Psychologist
 

I've had training and experience working with passed-down family of origin trauma that can create chronic anxiety, depression, anger, and in some cases C-PTSD (Complex post-traumatic stress disorder). By identifying the traumas and using somatic healing, you can be the one to break the cycle and live a better life.

— Lindsay Perry, Licensed Professional Counselor in Bellaire, TX

Childhood trauma is the worst inheritance many of us can come to own. For many it is truly a generational issue, passed down from parent to child dating back for many generations. We work to heal the child you were and address the patterns that tie into your adult life that once offered safety but now offer roadblocks and barriers to living the life you want and deserve. There are multiple paths, but each person’s journey is unique and centered on their experiences alone.

— David Cogdell, Licensed Professional Counselor
 

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

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
 

I completed my clinical internship at the Rape Crisis Center, where many of the clients I saw came from backgrounds of intergenerational abuse and trauma. Though the grips of intergenerational abuse and trauma can be strong, I have seen that it is a cycle that can be broken, and it is one of the great privileges of a therapist to be able to be part of a client's journey to break this.

— Tomoko Iimura, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

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