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What is Generational Trauma?

Many things, such as physical and personality traits, genetic diseases, and heirlooms, get passed down from one generation to the next. Surprisingly, trauma is one of those things that can pass on to you from your parents and to your children from you . Generational trauma extends from one generation to the next. It is a traumatic event that goes beyond the person who experiences it and could have started decades before the current generation. It negatively influences how we comprehend, cope with, and recover from trauma.

Many of us, the descendants of ancestors who’ve been traumatized can show symptoms of generational trauma such as anger with triggering incidents, depression, low self-esteem, self-harming behavior, survivor guilt, internalized oppression, obesity, and much more.

You may have dealt with mental health issues throughout childhood and feel like you have always been anxious irritable, or critical, etc. Generational trauma is a field of study where neuroscientists and researchers are currently discovering the impact of this trauma and how it affects all the people who experience it.

Everyone is prone to generational trauma, but certain groups of people are even more susceptible due to their histories.

Is Generational Trauma Real?

A growing body of research shows that generational trauma is very real and leaves a chemical mark on an individual’s genes, which extends to future generations. This particularly happens due to changes in the mechanism of genes not just because of the different DNA sequence.

Everyone is prone to generational trauma, but certain groups of people are even more susceptible due to their histories. People who are methodically abused, and struggle with domestic violence, sexual violation, hate crime, parental incarceration, divorce, substance abuse, poverty, or racism, are high on the list of candidates for genetic pain to be passed to them.

Studies show that generational trauma can have biological consequences on people that also besides affecting our behavior and psychology. It can influence how we react to anxiety and stress and how we try to control our moods.

Who is affected by Generational Trauma?

No one needs to experience trauma first-hand to be influenced by it generationally. Anybody related to someone who has gone through a distressful experience – whether in the immediate family, same generation, or past generations – can experience any of the symptoms of generational trauma. If future generations do not educate themselves on these discoveries, and break its cycle, the chain of trauma could potentially prolong for many generations to come, without an end in sight.

Generational Trauma vs. Intergenerational Trauma

Generational trauma is also referred to as intergenerational trauma and transgenerational trauma. These terms are used interchangeably to explain the transmission of trauma due to a lack of awareness of the impact and the stigma attached to getting mental health treatment.

Myths related to intergenerational trauma can prevent people from seeking the care they need to minimize its impact. The most effective way to emerge and begin a healing journey from the stigmas related to generational trauma, is through awareness and knowledge. Knowing how this kind of trauma emerges in families is essential to discover the measures to heal.

Here are some of the ways generational trauma can manifest in relationships:

  • Individuals and families may seem devoid of emotions or hesitate to discuss their feelings with each other.
  • Sharing feelings and talking about emotions might be perceived as a sign of weakness.
  • Being overly protective of their family members or children
  • Having extreme trust issues and seeing other people as “outsiders.”
  • Refusing to recognize or acknowledge the trauma and getting into arguments with family members
  • If a family member was overly critical, this causes a loss of trust with oneself – and possibly becoming more critical of others
  • Delays/negligence in meeting the needs of family or spouse

Keep in mind racial trauma in any form is one of the ways that can develop intergenerational trauma in people.

Intergenerational trauma has been shown to affect masses for generations after a traumatic event, as seen by its impacts on the descendants of refugees, school survivors, and Holocaust survivors.

Although estimates vary and a precise figure is not yet known, it is believed that humans have over 25,000 to 30,000 genes in their DNA. This is when the role of your epigenome comes into play. It studies genetic makeup and how it manifests in the bodies or how the genes affect everything from how we look to the diseases and conditions we are predisposed to.

When we are born, some genes are dormant; nonetheless, they become active based on our surroundings. This is one method that we as humans have learned to survive and adapt to our surroundings.

When a person encounters trauma, their DNA reacts by turning on genes that will assist them in getting through the challenging moment. The response will be activated to assist us in potentially dangerous situations, genes prepare us for responses like a flight, fight, fawn, or freeze. Then, to prepare your offspring for potential stressful occurrences, these genes are passed on to them. The genes helps make the hormonal system that causes your children’s sympathetic nervous system to stimulate the adrenal glands and pituitary gland. These glands play an important role in triggering flight and fight response.

Your genes and hormones are there to keep you safe. The persistent expectation of danger is stressful. The genetic hormones help deal with traumatic or stressful situations as they contribute to react with higher resilience to such occurrences.

The cost of your body being in high alert raises your stress levels, which eventually harms your physical and emotional health.

The Relationship between Generational Trauma and Historical Trauma

When thinking about generational trauma, it is essential to shed light on historical incidents that may have resulted in collective trauma. Historical trauma is psychological distress that a large group undergoes in response to a mutually-experienced racial, ethnic, or cultural oppression. Examples of collective trauma include genocides, such as the Holocaust, slavery, refugee displacement, mass shootings, and large-scale deaths caused by natural disasters. This is a form of cumulative intergenerational trauma that spreads across generations.

Clinical social workers initially defined historical trauma among descendants of Holocaust survivors and the offspring of Japanese Americans interned during the Second World War. Children and grandchildren of veterans and survivors often experience isolation and intimacy issues throughout life.

As per the Administration for Children and Families, historical trauma caused by slavery and the Holocaust has the potential to inflict emotional, psychological, and physical trauma. This is consistent with findings in African-American societies. Police brutality and systematic racism can compel many in the Black community to have symptoms that result from the fear and trauma that transferred from one generation to the other.

Examples of Generational Trauma

Understanding generational trauma is not as simple, but some crimes and tragedies that generally trigger it include:

  • Violent crimes include target killings, sexual assault, gang rape, etc.
  • Terrorism or acts of war
  • Genocide, or apartheid
  • Extreme poverty, economic instability, sudden loss of income
  • Natural and manmade disasters, such as earthquakes and war, respectively
  • Childhood or domestic abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual)
  • Slavery
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Divorce
  • The tragic or premature death of a loved one

A good example that could explain intergenerational trauma is a woman who was raped as a teenager and gave birth to a child as a result. The pain and anger of raising a child born from a violent act could be so difficult emotionally that the mother resorts to drinking and taking drugs to ease her pain.

Because of the mother’s substance abuse, the child could suffer from neglect, lack of sympathy, poverty, and physical abuse. In this case, although the mother was the primary trauma victim, the children in next-generation also suffers the consequences.

Similarly, a man who has experienced the tragic death of his father could become withdrawn from his other relationships and violent with his wife. His youngest child, who quietly observes the abuse, is indirectly affected by the trauma experienced by his father. While this helps to explains how trauma can impact one generation to the next, it’s mental and emotional pain can cause damaging effects into the future.

What Else?

Let’s go through some real-life examples of generational trauma that have affected the generations.
For instance, genocide is another example of generational trauma that led generations to develop anxiety and depression. Offspring of Holocaust survivors had a higher incidence of mental health issues compared to children of non-survivors, as per studies.

Furthermore, they may undergo bodily modifications like elevated or lowered cortisol levels. Children of survivors may be more or less susceptible to stress depending on these changes. Similarly, people who survived the Holodomor genocide in Ukraine developed anxiety and tendencies like hoarding food. Their children and grandkids later acquired some of these harmful coping mechanisms and anxieties.

In addition to genocide, Post-traumatic stress disorder can be brought on by incidents like vehicle accidents (PTSD). According to studies, traumatized parents may find it more difficult to relate to their kids. As a result, kids may end up using potentially harmful coping mechanisms like self-soothing.

According to a 2018 study, the offspring of American Civil War prisoners experienced more excellent rates of early death than non-prisoners sons, and they were more likely to pass away from conditions like cancer and cerebral haemorrhages.

Researchers concluded that this difference in mortality was caused by epigenetic modifications brought on by the stress of POW camps, which were handed down to inmates’ sons after accounting for cultural and socioeconomic factors.

It is still unclear how long intergenerational trauma can affect a person’s genes. Epigenetic modifications due to environmental changes may last for up to 10 generations, according to certain animal studies.

However, research generally suggests that intergenerational trauma can be carried down for centuries, spanning many generations, as in the instance of intergenerational trauma caused by slavery.

How is Generational Trauma Inherited? The Role of Epigenetic

Family history picture album
So far, we have learned how trauma can be passed down through genetics. However, not all scientific communities agree, and this question is debated heavily among researchers and scientists. Plus, there is growing interest in the science domains regarding the impact of trauma experienced by ancestors on the mental health of a subsequent generation.

Precisely, scientists are studying the psychological and biological impact on the generations. Let’s also dig deeper to explore the connection between trauma and genetics.

Trauma and Genetics

Although “genetic trauma” is a phrase that individuals use in everyday speech, many specialists try to avoid it. As per many neuroscientists, there is a bulk of evidence that trauma is genetic or epigenetically, to be more precise — inherited.

Epigenetics explains how things that happen to you and how you behave, like traumatic experiences and reactions, can alter how your genes function. Your DNA sequence is unaffected by these alterations, but your body’s ability to interpret that DNA may be affected.

However, even without genetic evidence, the impacts of trauma on future generations “may be crucial without being passed down or inherited.”

How does Trauma Pass Down

Trauma can change us. Less is known about how it affects the following generation. Although conditions like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) are typically associated with one’s trauma, some studies have suggested that PTSD may also be inherited up to 70% of the time. This implies that people can inherit some trauma-related characteristics.

A 2018 study found that stress might be transmitted through epigenetic pathways, potentially affecting DNA and gene activity. However, more research is needed to explain how transmitted stress impacts gene activity.

While scientists are still studying the biochemical causes of hereditary stress, research has shown how past trauma can affect the present and future generations.

Here are a few ways that trauma might affect subsequent generations:

Stress during pregnancy has been linked to intergenerational trauma, according to 2019 research. Children who suffer parental stress during their mother’s pregnancy are more likely to:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Trauma is handed down through generations in a variety of non-biological ways, including:

  • Family recollections of traumatic occurrences
  • Memories and images
  • Letters or heirlooms
  • Dysfunctional family dynamics that stem from trauma, like co-dependency, inappropriate attachment patterns, or parental separation

The History of Genetic Trauma Research

The generational effects of stress on children of those who experienced the Dutch hunger (the “Hunger Winter”) during WWII were the first event that researchers identified.

The findings of several studies undertaken in the 1970s, which laid the groundwork for future research on intergenerational or transgenerational trauma, revealed that the offspring of females during the famine were more likely to have higher-than-average body mass and diabetes.

In a 2013 study, Columbia University researchers discovered a correlation between prenatal famine and lower mortality after examining the high death record of Dutch famine children.

How Genetic Trauma Can Impact Our Health

When researchers examined the descendants of survivors of the Holocaust, as in one 2015 study, they discovered that trauma could have an effect through generations. According to the study, there is a link between prenatal trauma and childhood anxiety and PTSD.

According to a 2018 review, depression may also be related to intergenerational trauma. They discovered proof that trauma can be transmitted epigenetically, meaning that trauma suffered by an ancestor may impact how the genes express themselves.

Extensive work of Bale, a renowned scientist, shows that parental stress impacts the given factors in the young generation:

  • Obesity risk
  • Brain development
  • Diabetes risk

Depending on the baby’s sex, these impacts may change. Boys appear to be more affected by prenatal stress than girls are by postnatal stress. The protective qualities of the female placenta during pregnancy may be why it happens.

Parenting vs. Epigenetics

The nature vs. nurture argument is no longer considered important regarding children’s development. The interaction between a child’s genetic heritage and the environmental circumstances that influence their growth and development is now widely accepted. However, the fascinating field of Epigenetics has the potential to elevate the topic of child development.
We now understand that environmental influences can alter how our genes work. And that the subsequent generation may inherit the alterations in gene expression. The “epi” in Epigenetics—a Latin root term that suggests that something is “added to” a gene or is “on top of” or “beside” the gene—is crucial to how this process works.

And that “something” is a separate molecular group known as a methyl group. Methyl groups function as switches that can turn on and off genes. Various environmental circumstances, including stress, food, and parenting, can influence the creation of methyl group “switches” in your genes.
In well-known epigenetic research on parenting in rats, it was shown that high-nurtured rats whose mothers lick them frequently as pups have calmer offspring, whereas low-nurtured rats which create more anxious children have more nervous offspring.

The study also involves giving the less stressed pups to the high-nurturing mother rats while “fostering out” the more tense pups to the low-nurturing moms. The stress levels of the young rats shifted, resembling those of their foster parents more than those of their biological parents.

Can Epigenetics Affect Child Development?

Experts in child development are particularly interested in Epigenetics because it highlights the significance of nurture, particularly in the early years of life. Any environmental stimulus that the body can detect can alter the markers, which in turn may impact behavior, development, and physical and mental health.
The Harvard University Center on Developing Child researchers uses Epigenetic studies to help guide their recommendations for the best possible child development. Let’s examine a few ways Epigenetics may impact a child’s development.

Home Life

The concept that a child’s upbringing influences them has been around for years. However, the idea of how early experiences affect a child’s brain’s epigenetic makeup is a discovery. Young people who grow up in encouraging, cozy homes with plenty of pleasant stimulation perform better in all facets of life than children who experience stress, abuse, and neglect. The influence of parents and other primary caregivers on a child’s brain development is crucial.

Chemical Exposure

A study concluded that some chemicals, such as phthalates, commonly found in personal care and cleaning goods, and bisphenol A, or BPA, present in some plastics, are “genetically dangerous.” It mainly happens during fetal and infant development. This is the reason why many businesses have been eliminated from many products by businesses.

Moreover, alcohol, drugs, and some prescription medications, in addition to heavy metals like nickel, lead, and cadmium, have the potential to change gene markers, particularly during the crucial fetal/infant timeframe.


Insufficient calorie intake during pregnancy can change a baby’s genetic makeup and predispose them to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Furthermore, these modifications often transmit to succeeding generations.

Vitamins like choline, folic acid, and B12 can affect epigenetic patterns in ways that impact our health. This emphasizes the significance of using supplements properly, especially for youngsters, pregnant women, and those who breastfeed.

Although more research is required to fully comprehend the connection between diet and gene activity, preliminary evidence points to a possible epigenetic function for food. Therefore, it’s vital to improve your child’s diet.


As mentioned earlier, childhood stress caused by abuse or neglect can have epigenetic effects on metabolic and immunological function in addition to having an impact on brain development, putting children at a higher risk for developing chronic illnesses, mental health issues, and behavioral issues.

It has been discovered that children whose parents endured trauma had genetic markers that predispose them to develop PTSD themselves.


Exercise can also alter or change the gene makeup of the epigenome in adipose and muscular tissue, which in turn affects metabolism. That’s a compelling reason parents should focus on developing the motor abilities associated with higher rates of lifetime activity in children.

According to studies, some DNA methylation marks can endure genome-wide reprogramming and pass from parent to child. For instance, exposure to phthalates by a father may change the epigenetic markings on sperm DNA and affect a couple’s capacity to conceive. The father’s diet and supplement use may also impact his child’s mental health.

Mothers can alter epigenetic imprints on their children’s DNA, affecting a baby’s response to stress, their health as children, and their capacity for adult learning, memory, and adaptation. It has been demonstrated that eating a Mediterranean diet when the mother is pregnant lowers a child’s risk of disease epigenetically.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Generational Trauma

Generational Trauma Patterns – Historical Background

In 1966, a Canadian psychiatrist and his colleagues published one of the earliest studies to describe the existence of intergenerational trauma, revealing significant psychiatric anguish among the offspring of people who survived the Holocaust.

Since then, researchers have evaluated PTSD, anxiety, and depression among trauma survivors and their offspring, with survivors receiving the most attention and being the subject of the most extensive research.

In the majority of these studies, an abnormally high prevalence of these illnesses was discovered. They do, however, occasionally find little or no effect.

For instance, Cindy C. Sangalang, a doctor and researcher from Los Angeles and California State University, reviewed 20 studies of children of cultural and war trauma survivors in 2017. Of those studies, eight showed adverse psychiatric, psychosocial, and behavioral effects on survivors’ offspring, three had mixed findings, and two showed no differences between survivors’ offspring and controls.

Other academics are looking more broadly at the potential effects on survivors and their descendants. Danieli started documenting four adaptive coping mechanisms among Holocaust survivors in the early 1980s.

Examples include “victims,” who have trouble getting over the initial shock and are emotionally unstable and overprotective, and “numbs,” who are emotionally distant, intolerant of others’ vulnerability, and who uphold a “conspiracy of silence” within the family. (“Fighter” and “those who made it” are other styles.)

Danieli also noticed particular behavior patterns in the family of Holocaust survivors in her clinical, group, and community work, such as an excessively protective attitude toward their parents, a strong need for control, a fixation with the Holocaust, and immature reliance.
She referred to these responses as “reparative adaptation impacts” to emphasize the idea that survivors’ offspring primarily unknowingly use them to try to fix this world for them and their parents and grandparents.

Her related idea suggests a relationship between the initial trauma, the family’s past and post-trauma sociocultural setting, the adaptability of war survivors, and the power of the children’s and grandchildren’s reparative responses to them.

Through the development of the three-part Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma, a questionnaire specifically designed for adult offspring of Holocaust survivors, Danieli and colleagues began laying an empirical foundation for her hypothesis in 2015.

The children are questioned about their family background, demography, upbringing, parenting methods, and the influences this has on their lives. A subsample of 191 of those children underwent additional clinical interviews with the researchers.

In total, 26 percent of the smaller sample had a major depressive episode, 14 percent had PTSD, and 35 percent had a generalized anxiety disorder. However, when they compared those numbers to the inventory data, they discovered that 46 percent of those with high reparative effect scores and just 8 percent with poor scores had received a psychiatric diagnosis.

The researchers also discovered that children who reported having more intense reparative impacts were those whose parents scored higher in “victim” and “numb” parenting styles.

Signs and Symptoms of Generational Trauma

Research has shown that intergenerational or generational trauma can last for decades in families, passed down from parent to kid, grandparent to grandchild, and so on.

Initial studies have revealed severe harmful impacts on the offspring of trauma survivors, even if they have never personally experienced trauma. We are still learning more about the significance of generational trauma, though.

The good news is that it is possible to recover from generational trauma, and several therapeutic strategies can assist you in permanently ending the pattern. But it is only possible if you watch for the warning signs of generational trauma.

Here are some examples of other generational trauma symptoms:

  • Depersonalization and emotional numbing
  • Complicated and unresolved grief
  • Withdrawal and isolation
  • Complicated and long-stayed grief
  • Fearfulness
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Irritability and mood issues
  • Memory loss
  • Inability to make connections with others
  • Nightmares
  • Trust issues
  • Recurring suicidal thoughts, dying thoughts
  • Substance abuse
  • Sense of a shortened future
  • Sensitive fight or flight response

The symptoms may be more noticeable for school-going children or teenagers in a classroom setting. For instance:

  • Poor grades
  • Disciplinary issues
  • Dropping out
  • Cutting classes

Some patterns deserve more consideration when looking at a family as a whole, such as:

  • Any discussion of feelings is discounted and seen as a “weakness.”
  • Acute over-protectiveness toward youngsters and elderly family members, even when there is no risk,
  • Very tepid emotional reactions to dramatic events
  • Strong skepticism about “outsiders,”
  • The propensity for readily getting into arguments with one another and outsiders

Researchers are discovering more about the impact of trauma on the immune system. According to experts, this could result in an immune system that is either inactive or overly active. This may lead to an increase in autoimmune illnesses or an increased risk of illness.

The brain’s immune system, the microglia, is also affected by trauma. In a high trauma-reactive condition, the microglia affect nerve terminals instead of promoting growth and removing harm.

The brain’s malfunctioning microglia bring on dementia, anxiety, and depression. This may result in genetic modifications that are passed on to succeeding generations.

How to Diagnose Generational Symptoms

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Diseases, the common classification of disorders many mental health specialists use doesn’t have a formal diagnosis for generational trauma. However, intergenerational trauma is a well-known phenomenon.

Doctors claimed that families that experienced repeated trauma frequently observe the effects of it. For example, incest is frequently a horrific experience passed down from generation to generation. The family grows desensitized and feels helpless and defenseless about the trauma recurrence, which unintentionally makes it hard to endure. As a result, it becomes an awful experience that the family strangely accepts.

People experiencing generational trauma aren’t often aware of it or speak about it. That is why understanding the signs and symptoms of generational trauma are crucial.

Keep in mind that generational trauma is one of the widespread problems. This indicates that the traumatized individual learned to control their emotions and thoughts in a particular way and had a trauma response emerge that assisted them in managing their lives as they dealt with the trauma.

Because the coping mechanisms that help us survive a circumstance are frequently not the same ones to help cope with it for a long time, it’s possible that they did not receive the support they needed to deal with oppression, aggression, or abuse in a healthy way.

Thus, behavior that evolved in response to the initial shock is passed down through the generations. This is sometimes called “survival mode.”

There may be more generational trauma symptoms you’re exhibiting, such as behavior patterns or responses that don’t make sense, given the circumstances. You can process them and begin treatment by discussing them with a therapist.

What Therapists Should Know

Many adults who have experienced interpersonal trauma in the past are drawn to partners who have grown up in a similar environment. Early childhood trauma can impact your ability to control your emotions, develop healthy relationships, and think of yourselves positively. If you have complex trauma, you may have to deal with these challenges and PTSD symptoms.

Therapists should be aware of the long-term effects of intergenerational childhood trauma. A greater spectrum of symptoms, with attachment trauma at their core, is likely to be experienced by people with a history of neglect or abuse.

Therapists need to understand the whole background of the symptoms that underlie many of the difficulties their clients experienced as children.

Healing Intergenerational Trauma- Is It Possible?


When you consider how you may begin healing generational trauma, the solution consists of two parts: first, you need to address and assist people already experiencing the catastrophic impacts of generational trauma using trauma-specific and culturally appropriate mental health care.

However, you should also consider the communities that have experienced oppression and collective trauma like enslavement. Stopping communal trauma, such as institutional racism, is one of the most crucial ways to heal intergenerational trauma.

You should receive proper care if you are already suffering from the psychological impacts of generational trauma. PTSD and generational trauma are both traumas that can be treated.

Families can recover from generational trauma as well; however, it is more difficult because more people are likely experiencing the impacts than just you.

When considering how to repair generational trauma, perhaps the most essential thing you can do is heal yourselves so that you cease unintentionally perpetuating the suffering for generations to come.
Although it isn’t your fault that you have inherited trauma, you can ensure that future generations do not carry on this awful legacy by seeking the proper treatment, learning more about our past, and communicating with our relatives.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), trauma-focused CBT, Narrative Therapy, and the SOS method are a few examples of trauma healing treatments supported by research. Interventions from the family and parents may also aid in ending the cycle and creating wholesome ties.

Generational Trauma: Examples, Causes, and Risk Factors

DNA city view
Any tragic event can lead to generational trauma. It is worth mentioning that epigenetic modifications can impact how your body reads or translates DNA reading. However, unlike gene mutations, they are reversible and do not alter DNA sequences.

Researchers have also looked into several different generational trauma sources in addition to Holocaust survivors, including:

  • The Armenian and Rwandan genocides
  • Black Americans’ enslavement and widespread incarceration
  • the Rwandan Genocide and the Armenian Genocide
  • Domestic violence
  • Incest
  • Natural disasters

Any scenario that makes you feel anxious or stressed out can alter your behavior, beliefs, or routines for good. People’s perspectives on the world may alter due to these circumstances. These traits and patterns are passed down to the offspring by their parents.

Who is most affected by Generational Trauma?

Although generational trauma can affect anyone, some groups are more susceptible than others because of their histories. However, most research on intergenerational trauma has been on the children of victims of terrible historical events.

Included in this are:

  • Holocaust survivors who escaped from concentration camps
  • African Americans who endured decades of slavery, segregation, and systemic racism
  • Native Americans who suffered destruction, massacres, or deprivation of their as a result of federal regulations
  • Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II, and Vietnam War veterans

According to some mental health professionals, further study is required on the transgenerational trauma family members of individuals with disabilities have to undergo. Some groups of disabled individuals have experienced trauma throughout history due to unfounded prejudices, discrimination, forced sterilization, or mental treatment, among other things.

Also, it is believed that relatives and descendants of people who have experienced tragedies are more vulnerable to developing intergenerational trauma.

  • Natural disasters
  • Rape or massacre
  • Sexual, mental, or physical abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Neglect or Abandonment
  • Illness, injury, or untreated mental problem
  • Food insecurity, socioeconomic differences, and poverty

Some Real Examples of Intergenerational Trauma

There are numerous incidents that demonstrate how generational trauma affects us. Here are just a few:

  • The untimely loss of a man’s parents traumatizes him in his childhood. The trauma and sadness remained with him and affected his marriage and children as he distanced himself from close family members; particularly his kids. He felt the same fear for his children that he went through as a child.
  • A lady was sexually molested by her uncle as a child. She permits her daughter to interact with this man as she has emotionally shut down and possibly her mind has shut off her memories of what happened as she is not ready to manage it. As a result of these interactions, there is sexual abuse, and a subsequent generation suffers the same trauma.
  • A family suffered a childhood abuse during their stay in the refugee camp and it causes a cycle of anxiety in future generations.

Risk Factors Related to Generational Trauma

Typically, generational trauma is a phenomenon that has a long-term impact on families. Trauma that parents personally experience can have a variety of negative effects on later generations. The main ways that generational trauma can affect families are:

Learned Behaviors

People’s perspectives of the world can shift due to traumatic experiences. Parents may become less trusting of other systems or individuals, trap them in survival mode, and mold their beliefs to fit their experiences.

The Tuskegee Experiment is a disturbing illustration of how traumatic experiences can alter habits passed down through generations. The American Public Health Service started a racial, exploitative, and abusive experiment in the 1930s to study the record of “syphilis”( a sexually transmitted infection) and its natural history in black people.

Researchers looked into how the Tuskegee experiments ‘increased the distrust in African American for medical establishment. They also studied how this legacy continues to impact Black communities.
People whose ancestors suffered because of the Tuskegee experimentations discuss how they continue to doubt doctors, even going so far as to refuse emergency surgery if there isn’t a Black physician available to perform the treatment.

Racial inequities and implicit bias in healthcare services reinforce this worldview. If nothing is done to break these cycles, these symptoms, emotional behaviour, attitudes and actions will likely continue to be passed down through future generations.

Higher Risk of Addiction and Mental Problems

An additional risk of mental disease can result from intergenerational trauma. The data gathered by Canadian researchers after the Holocaust showed that children and descendants of survivors are significantly overrepresented in psychiatric care.

They discovered that even generations after the traumatic occurrence, members of these families had higher rates of addiction and mental health disorders, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

There are numerous reasons a patient’s mental health challenges may manifest or worsen. However, the higher prevalence of these disorders in Holocaust survivors’ families reveals a dismal trend: stress can impact individuals even after decades.

There is no doubt that parents’ viewpoints can significantly impact their kids’ perspectives, and trauma survivors can establish or even change their kids’ perspectives. For instance, someone who has experienced violence might be overly alert and constantly looking for danger.

Epigenetic Changes

According to CDC, epigenetic changes affect gene expression to turn genes “on” and “off. They can alter how your body reads those genes.

Epigenetic changes can occur in people who go through acute stress or suffering, such as hunger. These epigenetic alterations could have a long-term impact on future generations.

One study discovered that the offspring of Dutch famine-exposed parents had family who was more prone to metabolic and cardiovascular disease and diabetes as adults.

Both parents’ epigenetic modifications, encoded in the DNA transferred to the children before conception, play a part. In this way, newer generations inherit the physical effects of trauma.

Long-Term Effects of Generational Trauma

Your health may suffer from intergenerational trauma in a variety of ways. Each generation’s reactions may vary, but they could include the following:

  • Shame
  • Guilt and anxiety
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Feeling vulnerable
  • Higher risk of suicide
  • Depression
  • Relationship troubles
  • High rate of cardiovascular diseases
  • Aggressive feelings
  • Substance abuse
  • Damaged identity

Nevertheless, some people appear to be unaffected by ancestral trauma.

How does Generational Trauma Affect Children and Teens?

Generational Trauma in Teens
Intergenerational trauma can have a negative psychological, emotional, and even financial impact on your teens and children. Its adverse effects are widespread. It may lead to:

Younger Generations Adopting a “Content” Mentality about the Life and Family Affairs

Older generations typically set how issues are handled within a family. Younger generations may imitate these actions throughout generations if not realizing how their parents ignored or minimized behavioral trauma, considered “normal” for the family.

Younger family members suffer more due to parents who minimize, dismiss, or reject familial pain. Today, we have learned a lot about coping with traumatic events. Older generations often reject these studies as they don’t seek out therapeutic support.

Unresolved Psychiatric Issues Causing Conflict in Relationships

Often younger people feel that older generations are against counseling. This is a common belief. Often older generations were taught to believe that “I can heal myself.”

Members of the family who experience mental health issues or the effects of a traumatic event need assistance and awareness of holistic techniques designed to get to the core of the problem within the body. Ignoring and normalizing situations simply serves to exacerbate trauma. Family trauma and emotional upheaval can also result from untreated mental health issues in young children and teens.

Generations Battle their Emotions

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, older generations frequently set the tone for how emotions are handled within the family. Do you keep your feelings to yourself with a blank face? Do you keep your feelings to yourself until something makes them erupt? Does your family use drugs or alcohol to reduce their pain?

According to genetic theory, trauma can leave several biological traces in the parent, such as altered stress-related hormones and neural circuits, which may impact the child’s biology.

A publication in Scientific American highlighted that, babies of traumatized parents show biological patterns before any traumatic experience in their surroundings, decreased cortisol levels, and changes in their grey matter.

Elder generations frequently set the standard for how traumatic experiences should be handled (and frequently are). Sadly, because people who need assistance never get it, the family trauma persists and causes mental stress in children and teens. They develop depression and anxiety and find communicating their emotions extremely hard.

Parents need to be aware of how intergenerational trauma affects the younger generations. Someone inside the family can break the cycle of generational trauma by beginning a healing journey. One can start their healing process by first becoming aware of negative thoughts or behavior patterns that may have been ingrained. Building self-awareness and resilience can make the future seem more promising.

Ways Generational Trauma Impacts Families and Relationships

Intergenerational trauma can limit or impact the parent-child relationship.

Unhealthy connections between parents and their children can result from parents not recognizing their need of support or assistance for their trauma. Abuse in these relationships can take the form of verbal, psychological, or emotional abuse.

Sexual or physical abuse may also occur in severe circumstances. Abuse of this kind harms parent-child relationships and connections with other family members. Traumatized parents may also project their feelings onto the defenseless child.

Additionally, parents with unresolved trauma may grow emotionally distant from their kids, which harms the parent-child bond.

An example of this is, a great-grandmother interned in Germany’s concentration camp might have discovered how to cope by “shutting off” her emotions. As a result, this grandma might have emotionally distanced her interactions with her family. That relationship with her children can be, to put it mildly, turbulent.
The transmission of the trauma caused by past events may negatively impact her grandchildren, her grandchildren’s children, and so forth, resulting in generations of emotional detachment, protective behaviors around emotional expression, and denial.

Families who have experienced extreme trauma frequently go through intergenerational issues, such as discrimination, rape, sexual abuse, murder, etc. The effects of intergenerational trauma on families and younger generations are often hard to diagnose for families and mental health specialists.

They must understand and recognize generational trauma symptoms and patterns before suggesting treatments that can work to break these cycles.
Unless mental health practitioners bring up the subject, it is very unusual that the effects of intergenerational trauma are acknowledged. Although it is a crucial subject, you may find many mental health doctors and psychiatrists either ignorant or uninterested to research it.

However, trauma therapists must consider how traumatic events have impacted past generations and family members. Tragically, two harmful strategies are frequently used by families to “cope” with intergenerational trauma:

  • Denial – denying that the traumatic event occurred
  • Minimization –minimizing the effects of the traumatic event and pretending that it is less severe than it is

As mentioned above, how a family handles intergenerational trauma influences the response mechanism of younger generations. For instance, a parent who doesn’t consider the effects of her trauma may have mistakenly or consciously taught her children to ignore the effects of the trauma. There is a good chance that something will sooner or later trigger the trauma. No matter how hard you try, trauma isn’t an everyday event you can avoid or hide from.

Intergenerational Trauma-Impact and Effect on Families

Intergenerational trauma can have severe emotional effects on families as well as individuals.

Some families may become emotionally distant. Generally, families impacted by intergenerational trauma respond in a variety of ways, including:

  • Denial
  • Disconnection
  • Distancing
  • Detachment
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trauma bonding
  • Emotional link between the abuser and the victim
  • Neglect
  • Estrangement
  • Violence
  • Abuse

How does Trauma Impacts Individuals (Nathan Gerson’s Example)

The Holocaust resulted in the deaths of Merissa Nathan Gerson’s (the author) great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, and other family members.
Her family used to discuss or talk about the horrors of gas chambers at the dinner table during her childhood. She heard many stories when she was living on the East Coast, the US. To avoid experiencing the same thing, she deliberately stopped going to saunas.

In her 20s, Gerson took a dancing class at a graduate school where the instructor encouraged students to dance freely. She, however, was unable to and found herself curled up on the ground. Gerson was traumatized and agonized. Scientists believe this story demonstrates the impact of generational trauma on the emotional health of families, particularly children.

Nathan went through significant mental trauma due to the narrations of horrific war times her family used to recollect in front of her. She developed fear and anxiety that negatively impacted her ability to function well in life as well as the effect it had on her mind and body.

To confirm this, a 2019 study that examined the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), potentially traumatic connected events that happen before a kid turns 18 years old, and unfavorable health and behavioral consequences later in life, confirmed this.

The study also found a greater risk of death from five of the top ten major causes of death for people who experienced ACEs. Over 144,000 people from 25 different states participated in the poll, which yielded the following results:

  • About 60 percent of Americans reported having at least one adverse childhood experience.
  • More than 15% of respondents reported having four or more ACES
  • There is a larger likelihood that a kid may experience four or more different types of childhood trauma if she is an American Indian, African American, or Alaska Native woman.

Does Intergenerational Trauma Impact Physical Health

Did you know your physical health may be impacted by generational stress in ways other than illness vulnerability?

The mortality rate of Civil War veteran soldiers’ children was recently investigated. The life expectancy of males who were war prisoners was lower than that of non-soldiers.

Additionally, the offspring of POW troops in less harsh POW camps outlived people whose blood relations were in the challenging POW camps. Researchers concluded that a traumatic incident’s severity might also influence physical health results.

Many people can develop chronic conditions like fibromyalgia which is a long-lasting disorder. It causes pain throughout various parts of the body. It can also lead to developing sleep issues and fatigue. While researchers are still looking for the underlying causes of fibromyalgia, the disorder has increased sensitivity and intensity to pain in people with intergenerational trauma.

Is Breaking the Cycle of Generational Trauma Cycle in Families Possible?

Although recovering from symptoms of generational trauma in families is difficult, it is achievable with a proven holistic approach and the support of mental health experts.

It is also important to learn how to prevent new trauma and not add to new cycles of genetic pain. For instance, people who have experienced physical abuse from their parents must become aware of how this trauma has affected them and working to heal it to prevent the trauma from passing on to their kids.

To address your current traumas, including personal and intergenerational trauma, it is helpful to seek proven holistic approach and professional assistance. Counselors and other mental health professionals who are aware of the impact of these traumas, and the need to not only process their trauma, but work with holistic treatments to get to the root cause, is essential to avoid it continuing.

Becoming aware of the negative habits and behaviors present today can show you how these past traumas can affect your present behavior and how your children may inherit those behaviors. As well Family systems therapy can help certain families resolve maladaptive behaviors both as a group and as individuals.

Generational Trauma and its Relationship with Mental Health

Generational Trauma and Mental Health

How Does Generational Trauma Affect the Brain?

In families that experienced great poverty or are descended from genocide survivors, generational trauma is a shared experience. And, of course, there are even people who haven’t seemed to endure much hardship who are also suffering from the underlying generational trauma.

People who experience generational trauma frequently are unaware of its ominous nature. Some people have encountered situations where their reactions shifted into survival mode because of the triggers they have buried in their subconscious.

Melanie English, a registered parenting evaluator and psychologist, says, “generational trauma is often silent, subtle, and ambiguous, surfacing through nuances. It is accidentally taught or suggested throughout someone’s life from an early age. In fact, intergenerational trauma affects the ability of the brain to process and react to things.

Generational Trauma Tapping Into Your Brain Chemistry

 Trauma would affect the victim even if they were not present when it first occurred. This is frequently observed among immigrant parents, who frequently relocated from the scene of the initial tragedy but carried it with them.

A renowned clinical researcher Dr. Hendrix and her team recorded chronicles of the biological impact and the young brain’s innate reaction to intergenerational trauma before a kid is old enough to comprehend that something is wrong about their family.

It is worth mentioning that young brains are already programmed to respond to elevated risk. The study examined what occurs in kids’ brains even when they are still in the womb.

Starting with the second trimester of pregnancy, the researchers examined 48 African Americans mother-infant couples. A questionnaire was distributed to mothers to gauge childhood trauma that, includes any experiences of neglect, violence, or abuse.

The mothers’ levels of present and prenatal stress, as well as their degrees of anxiety and depression, were also assessed. Infants were subjected to a “resting-state magnetic functional resonance brain scan” a month after birth. Applying a non-intrusive device when the infants are naturally napping.

The researchers’ aim was to find the connection between the brain parts that regulate emotions. The amygdala, which is crucial for processing fear or ‘scared’ emotions, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the prefrontal cortex were the focus of the researchers’ attention.

Both regions are crucial for controlling emotions. For this reason, these regions were used in a different study that used technology to activate a severely depressed brain (during this experiment, a 36-year-old woman discovers that her incurable depression is completely gone).

However, it appeared that these infants’ story was more depressing. The babies’ functional linkages between the cortical regions and the amygdala were stronger when their mothers had experienced emotional neglect as children.

The greater the connection, the more severe emotional neglect there is!

After adjusting for mothers’ present stress levels, the scientist discovered that the stronger the connection between a baby’s amygdala and the frontal cortical areas, the more emotional neglect the mother suffered as a child.

However, the mother’s physical abuse did not result in a greater connection. The results imply that emotional neglect throughout childhood affects the development and operation of the brain across generations.

What does the brain gain from this stronger connection? The results were not evident immediately.

However, the child could experience one of two outcomes.
The neuronal signature researcher discovered in the 1-month-old newborns of emotionally neglected moms might be a mechanism that increases anxiety risk or a compensatory mechanism that boosts resilience if the child didn’t have many supportive caretakers.

In any scenario, a mother’s emotional neglect as a kid could appear to leave her child with a brain signature that may predispose the young to more easily perceive threats in the surroundings from birth.

The research showed that early abuse or trauma in the mother’s life could impact the child’s brain development, and early emotional support is crucially important for future generations.

Intergenerational Trauma and Mental Health

Another recent study found that lifetime susceptibility to mental disorders, particularly depression and other diseases, is increased by intergenerational trauma. It is unknown whether early mother-infant interactions or disrupted neurodevelopment during fetal development cause intergenerational trauma transmission. Mice born after mothers experienced trauma during pregnancy had depressive-like traits and social impairments.

Similar behavioral deficits to those created in pups reared by their artificially traumatized moms were seen in normal puppies brought up by traumatized mothers. A two-hit stress mechanism involving both defects in utero and bad parenting in the early years of life is shown by the fact that good caregiving by normal mothers did not restore any prenatal trauma-induced behaviors.

The brain’s meta transcriptome saw significant modifications that were linked to behavioral abnormalities. The adult’s and neonates’ brains exposed to trauma during pregnancy showed substantial increases in 2-hydroxyglutaric acid, a marker of mitochondrial hypoxia and an epigenetic modifier, indicating mitochondrial malfunction and epigenetic processes.

Furthermore, the biological data identified metabolic pathways in infants that responded to stress and hypoxia. These metabolic pathways led to long-lasting changes in epigenetic processes and mitochondrial energy, including DNA modifications.

The most significant finding was that early pharmacological therapies using acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) supplementation resulted in long-lasting protection against depression that intergenerational trauma can cause.

In conclusion, neuroscientific research has revealed the impact of our parents’ traumatic experiences on our bodies and brains. Despite not having personally experienced the trauma, children of survivors who have been through catastrophic events are more vulnerable to stress and at a higher risk of developing mental diseases like PTSD.

Epigenetics, early experiences, the environment in utero, and the bond between parents and children all impact.

What does this new information mean for individuals and their children?

These discoveries have sparked an intriguing avenue of study into generational trauma, demonstrating the complexity of biological and psychological relationships affecting risk or resilience.

How Generational Trauma Skews Our Confidence and Self-esteem?

One of the fundamental ideas underlying our sense of self-worth, self-perception, and self-understanding is self-esteem. Self-esteem is a topic that people frequently discuss, whether they are mental health professionals, everyday folks, or anybody in between. In most cases, generational trauma can lower the confidence and self-esteem of people, even though they are unaware of it.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end here. Here is a brief on how generational trauma can skew our self-esteem and confidence.

Always Feeling Inadequate

Many people have the belief that they are inadequate or not enough for the people they love. You may grow up thinking that you’re never enough if you have been carrying genetic pain passed down from ancestral emotional burden and trauma. It can make your feel unworthy.

Such a conviction can result in depression, fear, and anxiety you unknowingly developed because of the suffering and distress of past generations.


Many abuse and violence survivors and victims unintentionally put pressure on their kids to look out for others while undermining their wants, needs, feelings, preferences, and ambitions.

Many parents also mistakenly believe that their children should care for most of their needs.

Such an environment teaches the infant and the adult-child to sacrifice themselves. Strong people-pleasing inclinations, aimlessness, emotional muddles, poor self-care, an inability to say no, and detachment from oneself are all consequences.

Lack of self-care and Affection for Oneself

People dealing with intergenerational trauma often fail to express affection to their loved ones. It is most common in parents who suffer violence or physical or emotional abuse.

Because they were not shown affection and care as children, they undervalue themselves and have poor self-care issues. They don’t correctly care for their children as they don’t have positive examples of loving and responsible caregivers.

Their children also become adults who have difficulty caring for themselves. Therefore, these individuals now believe, consciously or unconsciously, that they are undeserving of love and having their needs addressed.

Poor self-care habits may stem from a psychological conviction that you’re not significant enough, not deserving of it, not allowed to have it, or that you don’t matter.

If you act in a self-destructive and sabotaging manner due to feelings or emotions you can’t explain, it may be due to intergenerational trauma.

Psychological Dependency and Social Anxiety

Intergenerational trauma can lead to psychological dependency or social anxiety. Many people grow up being extremely sensitive to other people’s impressions of them, especially when they are emotionally weak. Later in life, this shows up in various worrisome ideas and attitudes.

They believe they are ugly and keep thinking of easy ways to win people’s favor. They rely on the approval and views of other people. Either look for affirmation or strive to avoid rejection and invalidation. Social anxiety is a common side effect of this psychological dependence on others caused by generational trauma. It also leads to maladaptive conduct.

Breaking the Chains of Generational Trauma: Top Ways to Heal

How Do You Know If You Have Generational Trauma?

Any trauma, recent or generational, causes physical and emotional responses. This may manifest as anxiety, insomnia, feelings of disconnection or confusion, intrusive thoughts, or social withdrawal. This might exhibit in children as an effort to avoid school, stomach aches, issues with eating and sleeping, aggression, and attention-seeking behaviors.
Generational trauma is transmitted in a variety of ways. Epigenetics explains it like this.

Trauma can also be “transmitted via closed relationships in which the parents went through relational trauma, and its significant impacts can affect their kids across their lifespan. It can include anything and everything that has gone before.

According to Michelle Erick- an award winning trauma and addiction advocare, understanding trauma is essential as it can alter brain function and DNA by disturbing neuronal pathways. The trauma affects the brain area with executive functioning, sense of self, safety, bodily based aspects, and different self-states while impacting the DNA in the future generations.

It can be challenging to heal emotional damage, especially if you don’t understand how. While you don’t need to know who had the trauma in order to heal, you do need to get the right holistic techniques and experts to guide you through the process.

Your awareness that you have trauma to heal —is essential to begin a path to mental, emotional and physical wellness.

Here are five steps you can take to start recovering from generational trauma that has been ingrained in your family.

Identifying Your Triggers

Generational trauma may require some digging to unravel. You can become more aware of your current inclinations, the behavioral manifestation of generational trauma, by uncovering the deeply rooted beliefs, habits, and specific patterns inside you and your family. You can relate your previous history to the present by researching your ancestral background and speaking with your relatives.

Keep in mind while you don’t need to know the cause of the trauma or even who had it, to heal –it is interesting to recognize where some of your negative habits might have come from. Developing your compassion is part of the process. Understanding the traumatic events your family has been through will teach you greater empathy. Once you clear some of your genetic junk, you access a new level of consciousness, that will help you to believe, think, and behave differently than you previously did.

Accepting and Recognizing Your Trauma

Recognize that you have been reacting to your ancestor’s traumas rather than embracing some form of anger toward them. Knowing the terrible things your ancestors went through and how they still affect you today may be both perplexing and enlightening.

Being confronted with this awareness may initially feel disconcerting, but once you’ve absorbed it, you will be able to navigate your way out of past patterns much more successfully.

Identify if You’re Carrying the Pain of Others

You can determine whether you’re unwittingly bearing past suffering or trauma by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is it possible that you are experiencing, acting, or carrying the sorrow and suffering of someone closely related to you?
  • Do you occasionally exhibit signs, emotions, or actions that don’t appear to fit with the rest of your life experience?
  • Did a member of the family act in a way that led to their rejection?
  • Did the family experience trauma or an incident that was too embarrassing or painful to discuss? (Suicide, a crime, the early demise of a child, parent, sibling, etc.)

Giving your Relationships Room to Develop

You may find particular patterns related to your closest relationships as you work to unravel the fabric of your negative patterns, addictions, and symptoms. Family members often unintentionally feed into the traumatic and unhealthy pattern, such as via possessiveness or emotional blackmail showing the signs of generational trauma.

Even though it may not be apparent right now, establishing limits and determining ways of interaction with parents could be advantageous for both of you – and your relationship with them.

Typically, doing this is not always easy.

However, you need to take steps toward your healing journey, and allow change when it is time for the relationships to grow and develop differently. The most constraining relationship may be with yourself once you become conscious of old patterns and how they are damaging you.

Exercise of Self-Care

Self-care is more than just using a fresh face mask with a rose aroma. You can find your footing amid a wave of transformation, development, and healing by journaling, practicing breath control and going on walks in nature. Your grasp on life may feel weaker when the pillars on which you built your entire life become unstable.

Spending reflective time with yourself will help you learn to stay calm when at the center of any storm. Finding tools that begin to clear the genetic junk from the source will give you a whole new life you deserve. Your perspective on life will change, it will be more fulfilling and prosperous.

Permit Yourself to Grieve

You could find yourself “grieving the gap” between your past, what you ‘got’ and what you were looking for, when you peel back the layers of trauma.

Recognizing this vacuum may cause you to experience some sadness, or difficult emotions, those that you have been unconsciously repressing. But don’t worry, it passes like a summer storm.

Acknowledge that you’re going through a time of healing and soon you will feel lighter and happier than you knew was possible.

Make up Your Healing Affirmations

Using affirmations may strengthen your intention to let go of any grief or trauma that isn’t your own and to help you consistently walk your journey to heal.

The phrase “I can let go of the past as I embrace a healthy future” is an example of a releasing affirmation. You can also do that to pay tribute to yourself. Say repeatedly, “I’m living my life to the fullest’ rather than reliving or recalling things that happened to you or your parents.”

By activating and envisioning an energetic connection to your highest Self, you can release more of your stress and trauma and use a beautiful visualization to help you feel that connection and relief.

Seek Professional Assistance

Remember that you don’t need to deal with your trauma by yourself. You can bypass the phase where you have to describe various facets of your culture and background by selecting a culturally sensitive therapist.

This will enable you to devote more of your time and effort to using the proven holistic techniques you get so that you can work toward ending the trauma cycle.

Most Effective Coping Treatment- SOS Method Technique

A holistic technique that has been shown to contribute to the healing of intergenerational trauma is SOS Method. This leading method has gained popularity with people of all ages and cultures worldwide experiencing intergenerational trauma.

SOS Method is an evidence-based approach that holistically combines special formula meditations, healthy exploration programs, and mental training tools. Whether practiced by yourself with the assistance of trauma therapists, coaches, and professionals, incorporating the SOS technique into your life empowers you, expands your consciousness, and helps you rewire new positive habits into your life as well as become more open to new information and knowledge.

You can use the special formula meditations to calm your mind and lessen the stress that interferes with decision-making. By clearing generational trauma from the source, the cells in. your body, using the SOS technique, you can develop healthy habits, achieve emotional balance and well-being, and improve your capacity for critical thought and decision-making.

Your dormant potential, Genetic Promise, can be activated through this method. Learning to overcome your generational trauma can help you think clearly and access your potential without dealing with emotional trauma.

So, what is SOS Method?

SOS Method is a holistic comprehensive technique for overcoming trauma. What makes this method so compelling is the 2 decades of evidenced-based research.

It can be practiced with a coach, therapist, or self-applied. It’s complementary to healing modalities like acupuncture, QiGong, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and Inner Child work, as well as traditional Western medicine.

SOS Method activates a dormant potential, named your “Genetic Promise”. This naturally expands energy intelligence, your higher consciousness, to more easily overcome negative cycles, become happier and healthier.

To activate that potential SOS Method uses specific words, tones and language patterns infused with subtle energy frequencies. The resonance in SOS Special Formula Meditations, Programs, Tools & Books work like a tuning fork to bring your frequency into higher vibration.

Before Marlise Karlin became a successful entrepreneur, produced an Independent Spirit Award-winning film in Hollywood, was International Director of an NGO, and served as National Director for Break the Cycle, her life trajectory did not appear it would lead to this level of accomplishment.

Unwilling to allow tragedy of her youth to dictate her entire life, Marlise ventured on a 20 year adventure around the globe, studying alongside meditation masters in India, holistic experts from Japan, and leading Western neuroscientists. 

In the early 2000s, Marlise initiated a research project that set her on a path akin to the legendary Jane Goodall. The results revealed unprecedented, rapid behavior changes, empowering countless thousands from diverse populations to achieve peace of mind, clear past trauma, and cultivate lasting well-being.