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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Experienced in working with individuals with unresolved historical and intergenerational trauma. I am Certified Clinical Trauma Professional specializing in TF-CBT & EMDR , CBT, DBT, & and more.

— Jennifer Hillier, Licensed Professional Counselor in San Antonio, TX

Symptoms of historical trauma include denial, depersonalization, isolation, memory loss, nightmares, psychic numbing, hypervigilance, substance abuse, identification with death, and unresolved grief.

— Jon Soileau, Licensed Professional Counselor in Kansas City, MO

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

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

Trauma is what happens to us that overwhelms our ability to cope for an extended period of time. Trauma is different and personal to each individual. I believe in the resilience of the human spirit, and that we are not the things that happen to us. I begin where the client is, focusing at first on building the skills needed to begin to thrive. When my clients are ready we focus on processing the trauma identified.

— Irene Nessium, Mental Health Counselor in Brooklyn, NY

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

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

Trauma doesn't come from nowhere. It is tied to family, community, and national history. It is connected to the long and many faceted systemic oppression that causes so much trauma. For me, most trauma is connected to the intergenerational. This is why in my work with clients I connect present experiences of symptoms related to trauma to past relationships, family history, community history, and more.

— Renya NeoNorton, Marriage & Family Therapist

Historical/Intergeneration Trauma is a specialty that is near and dear to my heart! Specifically I am trained in many Trauma focused therapies and utilize a variety of approaches to collaborate with you to recognize triggers, work together to have deep self compassion for your experience, and create intentions and intuitions that support you in healing and being a well ancestor. This is a brave and courageous endeavor and I have dedicated my personal and professional life to the cause.

— Amy Lynch, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Centenntial, CO

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

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

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

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

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

As a Certified EMDR Therapist, I support individuals who have experienced various types of traumatic events and who are dealing with strong and distressing memories that have an impact on their lives.

— Greg Bodin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

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

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 ,