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

As an EMDR trained clinician, 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

Sexual trauma can really shake us to our core. Living in a sexist world after a trauma can be overwhelming as a woman. Toxic masculinity is prevalent in both work and home life – creating complex triggers in unlikely places. As our awareness of these intersections between trauma and sexism increase, we may feel up in arms, ready to start a revolution! But we need to take exquisite care of ourselves first or else we are left feeling overwhelmed, drained and hopeless. After a sexual trauma we often wonder – can we ever feel beautiful, sexual, and/or feminine again and still feel safe? Can we trust others – or even ourselves – again? The answer is a resounding yes. Through a multi-modal approach that infuses relational, experiential and body-oriented approaches I help clients overcome trauma, create healthy boundaries, increase resilience, reclaim their sense of self and create the lives they wish to lead.

— Natalia Amari, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX

Much of the work I do with clients centers around "carried over" trauma and "limiting beliefs". We talk a lot of breaking cycles and saying "it ends with me", while also honoring their ancestors and elders struggles and triumphs. I believe that just as there is "intergenerational trauma" there is also "intergenerational wisdom".

— Leah Constantz, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Somerville, MA

I have extensive training in treating trauma including individuals suffering with symptoms of PTSD. I am trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy which is a trauma informed practice that integrates the full experience of body and mind into the processing and integration of traumatic experiences and memory. In addition to my training in SPI I have training in EMDR and Hakomi which also support the processing of trauma and allow for integration so experiences from the past don't continue to impact your life in the present.

— Heather Bradley, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

I have extensive training and experience in working with historic, intergenerational, and complex trauma through my time providing mental health services for NARA, NW and Wolf Pack Consulting and Therapeutic Services (where I continue to work). As a relationship therapist, I understand how impactful historical/intergenterational trauma can be on a relationship system and focus much of the work on helping the couple/family identify this trauma and create strategies to minimize it's impact.

— Alexa Adams, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist 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 am most effective with people that really want to explore their past, and how it got them to where they are now. People that have found healing coming to me are usually people that have experienced trauma or difficulties growing up.

— Natalia El-Sheikh, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Castro Valley, CA

Life experiences impact all aspects of our being, including our psychology, physiology and how we interact with others and ourselves. Because life experiences can affect us in such layered ways, the impacts of such life experiences can also be passed down in an intergenerational manner through interpersonal learning and biology. At times this may be obvious - like seeing a particular challenge, like violence, running through a family. Other times it’s more subtle, like realizing the different attachment styles that shape the way we react to the world. Sometimes we may even find ourselves afraid of something yet we don’t know why. Or we keep resulting to a coping strategy that does not serve us, yet we feel unable to do otherwise. Through a multi-modal approach that infuses relational, experiential and body-oriented approaches I help clients overcome intergenerational trauma, create healthy boundaries, increase resilience, reclaim their sense of self and create the lives they wish to lead.

— Natalia Amari, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX

I listen empathically and reflectively and then collaboratively help the client transform his or her story. I am nurturing, compassionate and non-judgmental. I use a number of therapeutic techniques to help clients tell their story at their own pace, relate what happened and why.

— Melissa Higgins, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in East Brunswick, NJ

All staff are people of color that participate and have completed training in this area as well.

— NYC AFFIRMATIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY, Clinical Social Worker in New York, NY

Trauma - Single event or childhood trauma. Including victims of war, domestic violence, assault, and intergenerational trauma past down from the generations before you.

— Holly Pearlman, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in SHERMAN OAKS, CA

Are you having conflict with your parents? Or your partner? Find yourself afraid you might repeat patterns from your parents? Or feeling like you are holding pain in you that isn't about your life in the here and now? Historical and intergenerational trauma shows up in many ways that go beyond words. It might be lack of trust, safety in the body, or unexplained moods. However, change can happen in the here and now. My approach supports you to access and transform emotions in mind and body.

— Eveline Wu, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

There is so much new information coming at us about the effects of trauma on health & wellbeing. PTSD 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

I help clients heal from adverse past emotional, physical, and sexual experiences using trauma resourcing and mindfulness-based, somatic counseling. Working slowly to create collaboration, safety, and resiliency, past traumatic events are processed in mindfulness, reworking the past experience in safety.

— Stuart Malkin, Counselor in Portland, OR