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When Trauma is Passed Down Over Generations

by Adam R Glendye

Inherited trauma refers to the emotional and psychological scars passed down through generations, impacting individuals and families in profound ways. These experiences can manifest in various forms, including anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties. Recognizing and coping with inherited trauma is essential for breaking the cycle and fostering healing and resilience within ourselves and future generations.

Approach To Healing

In her book “Trauma and Recovery,” Judith Herman emphasizes the importance of understanding trauma as a complex and multifaceted experience that affects individuals on physical, emotional, and psychological levels. She proposes a comprehensive approach to healing from trauma that involves several key components:

  1. Safety and Stability: Herman emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and stable environment for survivors of trauma. This may involve establishing physical safety, such as removing oneself from dangerous situations, as well as emotional safety, through supportive relationships and a sense of security.
  2. Remembering and Mourning: Herman acknowledges the significance of remembering and mourning traumatic experiences as part of the healing process. She emphasizes the importance of validating survivors’ experiences and allowing them to express their emotions in a supportive and nonjudgmental environment.
  3. Reconnecting with Others: Herman underscores the importance of reconnecting with others and rebuilding trusting relationships as a crucial aspect of healing from trauma. This may involve seeking support from friends, family members, or support groups, and gradually learning to trust others again.
  4. Empowerment and Advocacy: Herman emphasizes the importance of empowering survivors of trauma to reclaim their sense of agency and advocate for themselves. This may involve participating in advocacy efforts to raise awareness about trauma and its impact, as well as seeking justice and accountability for perpetrators of abuse.
  5. Integration and Transformation: Herman recognizes that healing from trauma is a nonlinear process that involves integrating the traumatic experience into one’s life story and finding meaning and purpose in the aftermath of trauma. This may involve finding ways to incorporate the experience into one’s identity in a way that acknowledges the pain and suffering while also recognizing the resilience and strength that can emerge from adversity.

Herman’s approach to dealing with trauma emphasizes the importance of understanding trauma as a complex and multifaceted experience that requires a comprehensive and holistic approach to healing. By addressing the physical, emotional, and psychological dimensions of trauma and providing support, validation, and empowerment to survivors, Herman’s approach seeks to facilitate healing and recovery in a compassionate and empowering manner.

  1. Acknowledge the Impact: The first step in coping with inherited trauma is acknowledging its presence and understanding how it has shaped your life. This may involve exploring your family history, learning about past traumas, and recognizing how they have influenced your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By shining a light on the legacy of trauma, you can begin to reclaim your story and take steps toward healing.
  2. Practice Self-Compassion: Inherited trauma can often lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and self-blame. It’s essential to practice self-compassion and recognize that these feelings are not your fault. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you are carrying a heavy burden that requires care and understanding. Treat yourself with the same compassion and empathy you would offer to a loved one facing similar challenges.
  3. Seek Support: Coping with inherited trauma can be overwhelming, and it’s crucial to seek support from trusted friends, family members, or mental health professionals. Joining a support group or therapy program specifically focused on inherited trauma can provide a safe space to share experiences, gain insights, and receive validation from others who understand what you’re going through. Remember, you don’t have to face this journey alone.
  4. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, and body scans, can help you stay grounded and present in the moment, reducing the impact of intrusive thoughts and overwhelming emotions associated with inherited trauma. By cultivating mindfulness, you can develop greater awareness of your internal experiences and cultivate a sense of calm and balance amidst the storm.
  5. Engage in Healing Activities: Engaging in healing activities such as creative expression, journaling, or spending time in nature can provide a sense of relief and catharsis, allowing you to process and release pent-up emotions associated with inherited trauma. Find activities that bring you joy, comfort, and a sense of connection to yourself and others, and make time for them regularly as part of your healing journey.

Recognize and Break Free

By recognizing and coping with inherited trauma, you can break free from the cycle of pain and suffering and create a brighter future for yourself and future generations. Remember that healing is a journey, and it’s okay to take things one step at a time. With patience, self-compassion, and support, you can overcome the legacy of trauma and embrace a life filled with healing, resilience, and hope.

At The Pursuit, a group of experienced therapists have come together to offer best-in-class counseling services. We prioritize clinical theory, non-judgmental approaches, and effective interventions, treatment plans, and coping skills. We have therapists who specialize in different areas and we strive to find the best match for your unique needs. Our services cater to individuals, families, and organizations, including adolescents in high school. We aim to connect you with the specialist who can best address your concerns. Our specialized counseling services aim to address the underlying emotional wounds that contribute to behaviors. We offer evidence-based counseling that is effective in working with many presenting problems. We provide a holistic approach to recovery, focusing on healing the past to create a healthier future. Are you ready to take the first step in your Pursuit towards a happier, healthier you? We invite you to book your free 20-minute consultation with one of our skilled therapists. Don’t wait; it’s time to invest in your well-being. Simply Book Now to start your Pursuit toward personal growth and positive change today or learn more about how trauma therapy can help you!

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