Inherited family trauma

Unresolved grief and trauma can be passed from one generation to another, with symptoms such as anger, self-destructive behaviour, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem being part of that equation.

So, trauma travels through family lines until someone is ready to heal it. Being able to identify symptoms of trauma and treatment offered, will differ based on those affected and how each individual presents.

Trends in psychotherapy are beginning to look beyond the trauma of an individual to include traumatic events in families and social history, as part of the whole picture. Legacies are passed on through unconscious conditioning, or messages that pass between an adult and child.

Where parents fail to deal with their issues, their issues will become part of their children’s lives and their future relationships. Any issues passed down will always form part of the bigger picture, whilst those issues are not being addressed.

Instead, when we consciously deal with our issues, we make new choices to change how we see the world and each other. It is important we come to understand the patterns of trauma and how trauma works.


18 Apr, 2019

2 thoughts on “Inherited family trauma

  1. I can testify to this. I have no relationship with cousins now because of unresolved issues my parents had with their own siblings. This is a shame as it is completely unnecessary but not at all uncommon.

    I would always try and address these family complications before they get to grow into issues which can become irreconcilable.

    1. Thanks. Yes, and as you say it is completely unnecessary. ‘We’re a long time dead’ as they say. What’s the point?

      When we get to close the coffin lid on a loved one, it’s easy for us to ask the question, why? But it’s completely futile when families fall out and simply choose not to do something about it out of pride.

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