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What is Multi Generational Trauma?

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Multi-generational trauma might be something that you have heard of before or seen mentioned in an article, but what does it mean and how can therapy help?


If you have ever wondered why there are certain beliefs that you have or repeating behaviours, it can be down to multi-generational trauma. If you were to look back further into our upbringing and then even past that, to our parents and grandparents, we can often see why. Multi-generational trauma can stem from grandparents but it can go much further back than that.



multi-generational trauma


Multi-Generational Trauma and You


As an example, you might know that one of your great-grandparents had a difficult relationship. There could have been affairs and alcohol misuse involved. The child in this relationship, your grandparent, will have been witness to this and seen and felt it. They will also see the impact that this can have between their parents, as well as their own relationship with their parents. Growing up, this could have then impacted them in a negative way, affecting their relationships as they grew up, as well as how they get on with family and siblings; that is just the start.


The child, your grandparent, then went on to get married, and it happened to be to someone who had also grown up with a similar situation. Subconsciously, this could mean that they replay their experiences as it has been a learned behaviour. Then any children born to this couple, one of your parents, will have a similar experience, or perhaps a slightly different one. Your grandparents could have been feeling insecure about each other, one may be more controlling than the other, and one might belittle the other in front of other people.


If your grandparents then went through a tricky divorce, then this is all something that your now teenage parent would have witnessed. They might get into a relationship that isn’t a good fit but they feel that is just what relationships are like as that is what they have witnessed. If your parent then felt that there was too much anxiety to high expectations placed on them to be perfect or for the other person to be, it has a knock-on impact for future relationships.



Surrey face to face therapy


Surrey Therapy to help


When this happens, the person might decide to go to therapy as it is more available and less stigmatised compared to what it once was. It then becomes not just one story but can be so many more. It is then about breaking down the expectations and barriers in order to get to the true you. To then look at how it's affecting you in your everyday life; how to go through what serves you and doesn't. Learning to let go of what doesn't work for you and then keeping what does.


Multi-generational trauma doesn’t have to define you. You can make changes and adjust what you want to do with your life. You just need to make the first step into making a change, which could start by getting in touch with us here. You can book with us online and start your healing journey. Whether you want to have therapy face to face or online or on the phone, we can help.

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