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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Trauma physically changes our brains. Trauma-Focused therapy is a specific approach that identifies and takes into consideration how the traumatic experience effects an individual’s mental, behavioral, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. I’m a certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is a therapeutic approach that is interactive and designed to alleviate psychological stress associated with traumatic memories. It’s an effective way to treat trauma.

— TaMara Gray-Phillips, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Chester Springs, PA

Some of my clients have a family legacy of trauma, and are on a healing path to protect their children and future generations. Others have single-event or complex trauma that wreaks havoc in their lives. Trauma is stored in the brain-body and cannot truly heal through talk therapy or Hakomi. Methods like EMDR, SE, and Lifespan Integration (LI) are needed. I am LI- and EMDR-trained, and have helped clients finally leave traumatic events behind.

— Greta Reitinger, Psychotherapist in Portland, OR
 

I have extensive experience working with C-PTSD as a result of intergenerational trauma. I have been privileged to watch many of my clients be the first in their families to break cycles of abuse and find new, healthier ways of relating to themselves and others. I've seen the positive impact it has had on their friendships, intimate relationships, parenting, and especially their relationship with themselves.

— Nichole Spjut, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Fort Mitchell, KY

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
 

To a greater or lesser degree, the struggles and challenges we experience in our lives are not only our individual issues. We inherit and our bodies and nervous systems retain the history of what might be called “legacy burdens” from the suffering experienced by previous generations in our families and communities. We all have the burden, but also the privilege, of healing, in our own bodies, the wounds of our own lives as well as those who have come before.

— Christo Brehm, Psychotherapist in Eugene, OR

Intergenerational trauma feels like a big, scary term, I know. It basically defines the experiences that have traveled through your family like a pattern, or the issues that might have gone unresolved and affected everyone in your family, through the generations. I approach trauma work with special attention to attachment, somatic work and dual awareness. We can walk through the past while staying firmly rooted in the present and planning for how you want the future to look.

— Hailey Hughes, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX
 

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

Family should be a place where we feel loved and safe. But for many of us, that isn't the case. On top of that, we learn lessons about life and relationships that aren't really very healthy. Healing from intergenerational trauma means bravely stepping forward to break cycles in your family. It means finding your own peace and then giving it to your children as their inheritance.

— Ashley Holcomb, Clinical Psychologist in Glendale, CA
 

Life begins in your grandmother's womb. You carry with you the past experiences both good and bad of both your mother and grandmother. You cannot address your current issues without examining the past. By tracing our roots and past traumas we gain a deeper sense of why we are who we are today. I invite my clients to explore what feels uncomfortable so that you have the power to pause the effects of intergenerational trauma from moving forward.

— Agata Kubinska, Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

Many times our own individual issues are rooted from many generations of trauma that are passed on to our present reality. I work with individuals and families to dive into the trauma that has been passed down from generation to generation. I address the issues pertaining to historical trauma that has impacted our racial/ethnic group and work on connecting to how it impacts our current mental health. My main goal is to help you break those cycles that have carried on for generations.

— Julio Garibay, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Gardena, CA
 

I am deeply committed to helping people break cycles of intergenerational trauma and have utmost respect for those taking on this endeavor. Historical and intergenerational trauma is multifaceted. It runs not just through individual families, but through society. To truly begin this work I believe that we need to take an approach that not only looks at the lines of trauma within your own family of origin, but also historical and ongoing racial, gender, and cultural trauma.

— Maria Canyon, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist in Denver, CO

Historical and Intergenerational trauma can have a life-long effect on our lives. Why? Because you have lived your life based on the negative perceptions of your past. People who have experienced family and relationship trauma, regardless of how much they desire to avoid living out those experiences, most times come into contact with the same type of experiences. SoulPath assists client's in creating new narratives and dispelling the negative core beliefs of the past.

— TAMI ROBINSON, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Tampa, FL
 

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 help clients map their family history and notice patterns of trauma, addiction, and disconnection. Using techniques such as NET and Internal Family Systems work, clients are guided to process past traumas and unload family burdens.

— Ky Ngo Dennis, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

I'm a survivor of intergenerational trauma and am experienced in supporting others in recovering from theirs. I incorporate several approaches including somatic, reparenting, 12-step, and person centered counseling.

— Heather Lenox, Clinical Social Worker in Charlotte, NC
 

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

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
 

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