Transgenerational Trauma Therapy

Learn How to Recognize and Heal from Trauma That’s Been Passed Down to You Through Generations

If you’re like a lot of the clients I help every day, then the chances are good you’re trying to work through and overcome some sort of trauma.

But trauma has many causes, from single “catastrophic” incidents – such as being a victim of a criminal assault, accident, or some sort of disaster – to the longer-term, developmental trauma many of us experience due to some sort of emotional neglect or abuse during our childhoods.

One type of trauma that can be especially pernicious, yet has gone largely unaddressed until the past decade or so, is transgenerational trauma.

What Is Transgenerational Trauma?

Transgenerational trauma occurs when the traumatic experiences of parents are handed down to, and affect the development of, their children, and even their grandchildren.

While you may be aware that how your parents raised you has a large impact on how you view, think about, and interact with the world around you, it turns out that nature and nurture can play an equal role when passing down traumatic experiences to future generations and there are both biological and psychological components to how this happens.

For example, if a parent or grandparent was harassed, assaulted, abused, or experienced violent crime, severe poverty, war, slavery, or genocide, then they likely developed some sort of defense mechanisms to cope with those experiences that they then passed on to their children, such as not trusting people of different social, cultural, or ethnic groups, or a familial mission to “never forget.”

What we’re learning is that these defense mechanisms aren’t just mental, emotional, and psychological, but can be physical and even biological.

Epigenetics is showing us that traumatic experience can affect the very structure of our genes, leading to the intergenerational transfer of trauma on a genetic level.

What does all of this mean for you?

It means that the anxiety, stress, depression, relationship issues, or other symptoms of trauma you’re struggling with may be due to some form of trauma that you never experienced personally.

What can you do?

Transgenerational Trauma Therapy: The Healing You Need and Deserve

While family dynamics, behavior patterns, cultural beliefs, and even genetics may have left you struggling with the effects of a traumatic experience that you’ve never had, this doesn’t mean you can’t heal and recover from it.

Fortunately, while intergenerational trauma treatment is a relatively new field, most trauma therapy treatments and techniques have been shown to work equally well regardless of the type of trauma you’re trying to overcome.

There’s also an even newer field of healing known as ancestral healing, which involves acknowledging and honoring the experiences and wisdom of our ancestors, and how those experiences, both positive and negative, influence our lives and can affect our emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. By exploring and acknowledging our ancestral heritage, we can gain deeper insights into ourselves, find resolution, and create positive changes in our lives. It’s a fascinating and powerful approach to healing that honors the interconnectedness of generations.

So, whether you believe you’re suffering from the effects of intergenerational trauma, or would just like to better understand yourself and explore how your social, religious, cultural, or family heritage shapes your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and beliefs, I can help you:

  • Create a safe, nonjudgmental environment in which you can explore and process your experiences related to transgenerational trauma and ancestral healing;
  • Learn the skills and tools you need to better cope with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and other symptoms of trauma that you’re experiencing;
  • Identify patterns and behaviors that may be rooted in transgenerational trauma or ancestral influences, so you can understand and address them;
  • Facilitate an intergenerational dialogue to better understand your family history, gain insights into your ancestors’ experiences, and foster healing connections between generations;
  • Work through and resolve transgenerational trauma using a variety of healing techniques, including Somatic Experiencing, mindfulness practices, family systems therapy, and psychoeducation;
  • Heal and transform inherited patterns, unresolved issues, and ancestral wounds;
  • Practice self-compassion and learn to become more resilient; as well as
  • Feel validated and supported throughout your healing journey.

Without treatment, transgenerational trauma will continue to affect your relationships and life, as well as those of your children.

So, for your own sake and theirs, be sure to get the help and support you need and deserve!

I encourage you to contact me today, schedule an initial consultation, ask any questions you have, and learn more about how I can help guide and support you as you learn the skills and tools to navigate your own healing path and create the relationships and life you truly love.

Schedule a Consultation   Book a Session, Now!

Sherry Gaba, LCSW – Transgenerational Trauma Counseling and Therapy provided by a Transgenerational Trauma Therapist in Westlake Village, California