Tag: Trauma

Breaking the Cycle of Generational Trauma Through Therapy

Sometimes, the legacy of trauma is unintentionally passed down from generation to generation through unconsciously given cues or the many mechanisms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Although this type of generational trauma can occur on a societal scale, it typically presents itself first and foremost in the family dynamic, as adults pass trauma on to their children. With the help of a licensed professional counselor like Renee Lederman, however, you may be able to break the family trauma cycle with therapy.

What Is Generational Trauma?

One of the most commonly seen forms of generational trauma is survivor syndrome, a term which describes the behavior of people who have lived through adverse situations, such as domestic and family violence. Those afflicted with survivor syndrome typically isolate themselves from society due to a perceived guilt of having survived a traumatic experience while many people, such as friends and family, did not. If you are suffering from symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, nightmares, or mood swings, you may be experiencing survivor syndrome. Although this is one of the most common factors leading to generational trauma, it is by no means the only way trauma can be passed on.

How Is Generational Trauma Handed Down?

Generational trauma can loosely be defined as an event that occurred years prior to the current generation, yet still impacts the ways in which families understand, cope with, and heal from trauma. In a family dynamic, generational trauma can be handed down through harmful behaviors such as psychological or physical abuse or dysfunctional coping mechanisms and can negatively impact every member of a household through:

  • Unresolved thoughts or emotions
  • Negative behavior patterns
  • Substance abuse
  • Disassociation / poor family relationships

How Can I Identify The Trauma Cycle?

Although it is anything but simple, working through generational trauma begins with three major steps.

  • Identify the Source. Generational trauma almost always begins with a loss of safety, whether it be physically, emotionally, or financially. It’s important to trace the generational trauma back to where it stems from, as this information can help your therapist–and you–better understand where the symptoms are coming from.
  • Analyze the loss. By understanding why you feel that sense of loss, you can better define your emotions and figure out why you feel them. This can help identify potential changes you can make in the final step.
  • Focus on creating a future. This should involve far-reaching changes and be far removed from the way the passed down trauma makes you feel. Understand that the chaos can end with you, if you are willing to take risks and make the needed changes to your life.

Of course, you don’t have to go through this process alone. Opening up about these issues and talking through them with a therapist or professional counselor is an important first step toward breaking the cycle of generational trauma instead of handing it down to future generations.

How Can Therapy Help End The Cycle Of Trauma?

Once you are ready to work through your generational trauma with a therapist or professional counselor, they can help you identify the trauma’s source, as well as analyze it for a way to begin breaking the cycle. Some of the things you can expect to learn from therapy include:

  • Empowering yourself to release shame, fear, and guilt from your life
  • Fostering positive traits like courage, confidence, and self-love
  • Promoting healthy relationships and connections with friends and family

Ready To Break The Cycle Of Generational Trauma?

If you’re ready to begin the process toward breaking free from generational trauma, a licensed professional counselor can help. With over 20 years of experience, Renee Lederman has been helping individuals overcome trauma so that they can be their best self. Call 832-969-3885 to schedule your appointment, or visit her website for more information about how she can help you overcome your generational trauma.

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Childhood Trauma & Neglect Affect On Adult Relationships

How Childhood Trauma & Neglect Go On To Affect Adult Relationships

Childhood is the time in our lives when we learn the most about interacting with other people, and how to navigate the complex world of social relationships. The lessons that we learn as children from our caregivers, often have lasting effects that continue to shape the relationships and bonds that we form as adults with our friends, family, and loved ones. As a licensed professional counselor in Houston, TX, Renee Lederman can teach you how to overcome the negative childhood patterns of behavior that are affecting your relationships in adulthood. 

These lessons are not always formal or intentional. During early childhood through adolescence, children develop neural pathways that influence how they form emotional attachments. Traumatic experiences in childhood can change how those neural pathways develop. Children who receive support and validation from caregivers learn how to build solid attachments based on trust and mutual support. Conversely, abuse, neglect, and trauma can make it harder to build lasting relationships as adults.

The exact connection between childhood trauma and adult relationships is not entirely known, and not every person is affected in exactly the same way. However, we can identify certain patterns of behavior in adult relationships, that often have an origin in childhood trauma and neglect.

Children with Healthy Attachments in Childhood 

Adults who experienced mostly positive, healthy attachments during childhood have a solid foundation to build secure attachments as they get older. 

Adults with secure attachment are not afraid of healthy commitment, or of being open emotionally with friends and partners. They usually involve their partner in important life decisions, and are able to communicate their desires, expectations, and fears without difficulty. 

Negative Childhood Patterns Of Behavior

Adults who have formed negative childhood patterns of behavior suffer varying effects in their adult lives and relationships. It varies by personality, severity of neglect or trauma, and most of all by the type of trauma or neglect they suffered in their youth. 

Children who Experience Prolonged Abuse or Neglect 

Children who suffer prolonged abuse or neglect cannot rely on the people that they love most for healthy affection and support. In adulthood, they may fear intimacy and find it difficult to trust the people that they love. Conversely, they often recognize the value of positive relationships and crave the stability that they did not have as a child, but find it difficult to overcome longstanding fears.

Children who Are Ignored 

Children whose needs and wishes are ignored by their parents often react by becoming increasingly independent, and learning to rely on their own skills in order to take care of themselves at an early age. 

As adults, they may continue to prefer independence over commitment, and may struggle to form lasting attachments or to rely on other people for comfort and support. They may avoid saying “I love you,” or end relationships before things become too serious.

Children who Have Inconsistent or Situational Affection

Sometimes caregivers are hot one day and cold the next. Children who experience unreliable or inconsistent affection from the people they rely on may grow up to exhibit anxious-preoccupied attachment.These children are never sure what to expect from their caregivers, and cannot rely on consistent support and affection.

As adults, they often seek out strong connections. They might exhibit “clingy” behavior, or become hyper-vigilant to any slight changes in a relationship that could signal instability. These adults may need more reassurance that they are loved and wanted, in order to feel secure.

Although trauma can make it more difficult to form positive attachments and relationships, we can also work on changing our patterns of behavior. By understanding common factors that impact our relationships, we can identify areas to work on, and overcome any obstacles that might be holding us back. 

Ready Break Negative Patterns From Your Past?

If you’re in Houston and are ready to start your journey to success with an experienced, compassionate therapist and life coach, contact Renee Lederman today or call 832-969-3885 to schedule your first appointment.

 

Unshakable Resilience Workbook Visual Download now

Download my Unshakable Resilience Workbook. You’ll learn how to transform your life and your relationships and live a more balanced life.