Episode 30-When Trauma Is All In The Family (Part 1)

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What in the world is “intergenerational trauma” (or just “generational trauma”)? How do you know if you have it? What can you do with it if it has been a part of your life?

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

In this first of a two-part episode, Nathan and Aaron answer all these questions and more as they share their observations and experiences as therapists.

In This Episode


  • Why are we talking about this subject?
  • How can understanding it can help you?
  • What is generational trauma?

Why are we talking about this subject?

  1. It’s a “silent ninja” that can be difficult to see or pinpoint
  2. It’s prevalent (widespread) and carries a stronger force than you might realize
  3. It affects many people, even people who might not realize they’ve been impacted

How can understanding it help you?

  1. Identifying your own trauma or trauma within your family system can help you get unstuck
  2. It can also help explain behaviors you’ve seen in yourself that you haven’t understood
  3. You can begin to change your patterns of behaving and relating to others so they’re healthier

What is generational trauma?

  • Nature: it can be transmitted from person to person through direct DNA changes (epigenetics)
  • Nurture: it can also be transmitted through caregiving, such as a fearful mother transmitting anxiety symptoms into the body of her nursing infant
  • Case study in what it might look like, so you can see it more practically

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Meet Nathan & Aaron

Nathan Hawkins and Aaron Potratz are both licensed therapists and clinical supervisors in the state of Oregon. They each own their own private group counseling practices and co-own a third group practice together. Nathan and Aaron have been in the field since 2004 and 2007, respectively, and have over 100,000 hours of therapy experience each. On their show, they discuss facing fears and common challenges from a therapist’s point of view, imparting wisdom and humanity to their viewers. Along the way, they hope to not only share their insights but bring some light-hearted entertainment to make the journey easier.

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Episode 30