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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I apply the science and intuitive knowledge that we all hold about intergenerational trauma when working with individuals. We all have lineage and ancestors that experienced oppression, war, abuse, displacement, and other traumatic events. We now know that these experiences are coded in our DNA and can effect our nervous systems. I am comfortable with applying this knowledge to therapy sessions and discovering how clients can heal themselves as well as the ancestral trauma they carry.

— Barbara Ferri, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Durango, CO

Most people think about trauma as a war or a near death experience, but in therapy we know that trauma is present when we see some specific symptoms that are usually results of an embodied, neuro-biological experience from a time where our brains and bodies were overwhelmed. In those moments it can seem like we don’t have access to the more philosophical and emotionally intelligent parts of ourselves.

— Sydney Rose, Therapist in New York, NY

Many, if not all of my clients have experienced a history of trauma, including exposure to domestic violence, abuse, neglect, or attachment disruptions.

— Danielle Graddick, Clinical Psychologist in Livingston, NJ

I am an EMDRIA-certified EMDR clinician, and incorporate EMDR techniques in all of my work even if we do not engage in EMDR as a practice. My experience is in working with chronic and intergeneration trauma, and I offer EMDR intensives to combat the recycled problems in your life and in your family systems.

— Cameron Cready-Pyle, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Bryn Mawr, PA

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

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'm a survivor of intergenerational trauma and am experienced in supporting others in recovering from theirs. I incorporate several approaches including somatic work and reparenting. I am also 12-step recovery fluent.

— Heather Lenox, Clinical Social Worker in Charlotte, NC

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

I focus my individual clinical work on treating attachment trauma such as narcissistic abuse, adult survivors of childhood emotional and/or sexual abuse, and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as developmental trauma). I care deeply about supporting clients in understanding and recovering from these types of trauma because of their destructive effects on an individual's ability to enjoy life. Therapy can help you find balance and develop a healthy sense of self.

— Ross Kellogg, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

The majority of my 13 year career has been focused on working with people with trauma. Trauma is perhaps one of the most pervasive events that can affect how someone sees and functions in the world. I am a believer that trauma does not leave our bodies until we are able to talk about and process it, and I focus my practice around being a safe space for you to begin to talk about what has happened to you.

— Sara Busick, Licensed Master of Social Work in Meridian, ID

Generational trauma is traumas we identified and inexperience through how the systems in which we live identify and treat us. It lives on through implicit and/or nonverbal communication but is felt deeply. Once we sought understanding of this trauma, we are empowered to tell our stories, and seek self-compassion, we can start to heal and thrive.

— Trish McKenna, Therapist in St. Louis Park, MN

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 shift perceptions and create an understanding of difficult emotional reactions that are influencing problematic behaviors.

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

I have been trauma in various treatment modalities for trauma and complex trauma.

— Vilmary Lopez, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Franklin, MA

Trauma is often passed down through generations when it is not fully addressed. There is a healing that can be experienced when we acknowledge pain that may not necessarily be our own, or acknowledge that we have inherited dysfunctional behaviors and thinking patterns that do not currently serve us. I use somatic (body-based) approaches as well as mindfulness techniques to make sense of intergenerational trauma so that you may feel more spacious and gain a sense of agency around your life.

— Sandy Huynh, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Exploring one's family of origin often offers people a deeper answer to the question of "Who am I?

— CoTenacious Therapy, Therapist in , MD

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 am a trauma-informed EMDR therapist who also incorporates IFS into sessions.

— Eryn Hicker, Licensed Clinical Social Worker