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. 

Meet the specialists

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
 

Systems theory demonstrates that none of us are separate from the family, social or global environments we grow up in. If we want to feel better now, we do well to explore all of the systems that have impacted us. As a psychodynamic social worker, I do not see people as separate from any of their intersecting identities or relationships. It's crucial that you have a place where all of the things and people that have influenced you, for good and ill, can be brought into the light of day.

— Tracy Bryce Farmer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

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
 

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 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
 

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

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

Intergenerational Trauma is the kind that transcends your current generation. You might be a victim of your own family's legacy and might be perpetuating certain behaviors and beliefs that no longer fit with your understanding of the world. With the help of IFS and EMDR, I can help you find your own voice so you can live your own life.

— Anna Schäfer Edwards, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Cooper City, FL

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
 

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

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
 

Even before I became a therapist, my personal family recovery taught me the power of intervening on cycles of abuse/neglect and misinformation. Brainspotting and Internal Family Systems therapy are powerful healing modalities to address childhood trauma, even if it goes back many generations.

— Christine Bates, Licensed Professional Counselor in Oxford, MS

Through my work at an LGBTQ-focused community center, I offered therapy to community members, many of whom were dealing with complex trauma and a history of dysfunctional family relationships.

— Leticia Berg, Psychotherapist in Ann Arbor, MI
 

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

Together we will identify how historical/intergenerational trauma currently impacts you today. We will identify specific survival mechanism that are no longer helpful and learn more healthy adaptive mechanisms.

— Blanca Estela Amaya, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pasadena, CA