top of page

Healing Generational Trauma

Generational trauma, also known as intergenerational trauma, is a concept that has gained significant attention in both psychological circles and mainstream discourse. This type of trauma isn't just about the emotional and psychological effects of traumatic experiences that a person directly encounters. Instead, it involves the transmission of these impacts from one generation to the next, affecting individuals who were not themselves direct witnesses or victims of the original traumatic events.

What is Generational Trauma?

Generational trauma can originate from a variety of sources: severe economic hardship, war, displacement, domestic violence, and systematic oppression are just a few examples. These experiences don't simply vanish with those who first endured them. Instead, the consequences can ripple through families, affecting how parents interact with their children, influencing coping mechanisms, and even altering individual’s stress responses genetically.

One of the most studied instances of generational trauma involves the descendants of the survivors of the Holocaust. Research shows that many carry profound psychological scars, manifesting in anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, stemming from the traumas their ancestors endured. Children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors often report heightened anxiety levels, despite never having experienced the horrors themselves.

Healing Generational Trauma

Healing from generational trauma is complex and requires a multi-faceted approach.

  1. Becoming Aware of It: The first step in healing is recognising the presence of generational trauma. This involves understanding family history and acknowledging the patterns that may have been passed down. Awareness can come from personal reflection, conversations with family members, or even professional genealogical research.

  2. Practice Self-Acceptance and Self-Compassion: Healing is an inward journey that requires patience and kindness towards oneself. Mindfulness practices and meditation can help with this. Self-compassion involves forgiving ourselves for not being perfect and understanding that it's okay to struggle or feel overwhelmed.

  3. Connecting with People who you Trust: Trauma often isolates those who carry its burden, but healing often happens in the context of relationships. Building connections with people who are supportive and understanding can provide a safe space to express feelings and experiences. These relationships, whether they are familial, friendships, or community connections, are fundamental in providing the emotional security needed for healing.

  4. Seek Therapy from a Trauma-Informed Therapist: Trauma-informed therapists are specially trained to understand the wide-reaching effects of trauma and can guide you to come into a different relationship with trauma. A therapist can help you to become aware of embedded patterns, cycles, and narratives that you continue to carry. Therapy can then help you to transform your relationship with trauma and guide you to connect to narratives you want to now carry forward to your family and future generations.


Generational trauma is a profound force that can shape lives and communities across multiple generations. This healing not only benefits the individual but can also profoundly impact future generations, offering them a healthier, more stable foundation. The journey of healing is challenging but deeply worthwhile if we are to lead more conscious and fulfilled lives.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page