Trauma Transmissions Affect Many Generations

by Jill Salberg, Ph.D., ABPP

Psychotherapy and psychoanalytic studies have found that traumatic experiences of physical and sexual abuse in the history of parents become trans-generationally transmitted to the next generation as fear, anxiety and sometimes actualising abuse behaviour. There is great need for intervention and psychotherapy treatment to help people heal from trauma and prevent further transmissions of traumatic states and experiences.

There have been important shifts in psychoanalysis moving away from how we think that the immediate family is the only relevant influence on someone’s development and being solely focused on internal conflicts of the person. This shift now expands to multiple generations as affecting family members and the effects of external trauma on the mind. In this way relational trauma is understood to