Unresolved trauma, however, can leave parents emotionally unavailable or even unsafe, and their children may experience chronic and repeated abuse or neglect. This is sometimes referred to as complex trauma, which can result in a wide range of impairments, including emotional problems, substance use disorders or low self-worth characterized by shame and guilt.
As a trauma-informed therapist, I often see the same, recurring issues in some of my clients who are dealing with intergenerational trauma. While there is no substitute for working with a trauma-informed therapist experienced in trauma-specific therapies, I hope my insights can be of help to anyone trying to end the legacy of trauma in their families.
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Photo Credit: Celia Jacobs for The Washington Post