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

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
 

The effects of trauma are vast, affecting every individual in their own unique way. For children and adults alike, it is helpful to take a close look at how the brain and body are affected by trauma, to learn together to notice when a trauma response takes over our actions and decisions, to practice coping skills that help regulate the mind and body, and to learn and integrate self-compassion into daily life.

— Miriam Porat, Counselor in Madison, WI

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
 

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

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 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 provide therapy services to adults who are looking to break old family patterns that are no longer serving them. Through collaborative work, we will identify wounds that occurred in the formative years or passed down from previous generations and heal those hurt younger parts that impede you from living the life you desire. The goal is to discover, reconnect, and strengthen the person you were always meant to be.

— Wendy Llamas, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Fullerton, CA
 

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.

— Christie Bates, Licensed Professional Counselor in Oxford, MS

More new information is emerging about the effects of trauma on health & wellbeing. PTSD and CPTSD (complex - PTSD due to years of abuse/neglect) 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
 

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