Trauma survivors have literally experienced first hand what many could not even comprehend. A past filled with abusive parents and caregivers, toxic family members and friends, and a childhood full of secrets that, when told, can make your hair on the back of you neck stand up on end! It’s a past that none would wish for, yet is more common than we realize. Chances are if are reading this or listening to the podcast, you know someone who is a survivor, or perhaps you are one yourself.
What about a different type of trauma though, one where you don’t need to experience first-hand, in order to feel its effects. I’m talking about intergenerational trauma, and I’m honored to be talking with expert, author, and coach, Emily Wanderer Cohen about this very subject.
Over the 2 years or so that I have been recording this podcast, I’ve covered many different types of trauma, modalities of treatment and healing, and talked with incredible survivors who have overcome tremendous odds and now share their story to help inspire others. This is the first time I’ve covered intergenerational trauma, and I learned quite a bit from talking with Emily.
Emily Wanderer Cohen is a two-time international bestselling author, speaker, coach, and intergenerational trauma expert.
A second-generation (2G) Holocaust survivor, she knows what it feels like to live with transmitted trauma and helps her clients, including second- and third-generation Holocaust survivors; sexual, spousal, and child abuse survivors; and other genocide, natural disaster, and other severe trauma survivors heal from the trauma, move forward with their lives, and stop the cycle of intergenerational trauma.
So what exactly is intergenerational trauma is (also referred to as inherited trauma or transgenerational trauma)? As Emily explains, it’s described as effects of trauma that the sufferer did not experience first hand. She dives deeper into that explanation during our chat, as well as:
- Does it only affect descendants of Holocaust survivors or others as well?
- What are some of the common signs of intergenerational trauma?
- How can someone stop the cycle of transmission?
- How do we know it’s real? Are there any scientific studies that you can point to?
Emily shares more about some of the case studies and information on how those who have experienced this type of trauma often have lower cortisol levels, and therefore can be less equipped to handle this or any other type of trauma than someone who has normal cortisol levels. Intergenerational trauma survivors also have an increased likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and trauma based chronic illnesses such as Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and more.
We cover these topics and more as Emily Wanderer Cohen gives us insight into a type of trauma that can begin to manifest itself without the survivor ever even considering the possibility of its existence in their life.
I encourage you to listen to the podcast and do some additional research, including checking out both of Emily’s international best selling books: From Generation to Generation, and The Daughter’s Dilemma.
I hope you’ll consider sharing this podcast on your social media, and maybe even subscribing and leaving a review on your favorite podcasting app! I would definitely appreciate it.
-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP
If you’d like to be a guest on a future episode, just contact me anytime to share your story.