• Trauma and Joy Through The Generations

    Posted on October 20, 2014 by in Anxiety, Depression, grief and loss

    Twenty one years ago I witnessed my four year old daughter extend her arms into the air, curl her fingers a particular way and twirl around in an elegantly fluid dance move characteristic of dancers in Southeast Asia. The beauty and grace of her move took my breath away and I thought where did she learn to do that? (Although of Asian ancestry she was born in the US.) As quickly as that thought entered my mind, I knew where she learned it. That dance was encoded in her genes, along with her shiny black hair and almond eyes. Some biological ancestor danced that dance and my daughter knew it in her memory from the inside out!

    Since that moment of dance, I have believed that we carry our family histories in our genes. Recently I came upon an article that supports this theory via studies that indicate trauma and stress may be passed down through the generations in our DNA. Here’s a link to a short article about this:


    Here is why as a psychotherapist I think the information is this article is useful: First, we may surmise that trauma continues to have an impact beyond the generation that experienced the trauma. Fears, phobias, and worries may be based less on your life experiences and more on your grandparents experiences! Second, if trauma can be passed down through epigenetics, it would make sense that joy can be as well! What a terrific motivation for us to be our best, truest, highest vibrating selves, so that joy is the inheritance we pass on to those generations that follow us!

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