Intergenerational Trauma


Intergenerational trauma is a phenomenon that has affected many indigenous populations across the world, including in Australia. Intergenerational trauma refers to the transmission of the effects of trauma from one generation to the next, often resulting in a range of psychological and behavioural problems. This type of trauma can result from a wide range of events, including war, genocide, forced removal, and cultural genocide. In Australia, trauma-informed care, including psychological and counselling interventions, plays a crucial role in supporting those who are experiencing the effects of intergenerational trauma. Trauma-informed care is an approach that recognizes the prevalence and impact of trauma and seeks to provide care that is sensitive to the needs of trauma survivors. It involves creating safe and supportive environments, building trust, and empowering individuals to have a sense of control and autonomy in their healing journey. Trauma-informed care also emphasizes the importance of cultural sensitivity and understanding the historical and social context in which trauma has occurred.

Psychological interventions can support individuals who are experiencing intergenerational trauma in the following ways:

Enhancing resilience
Psychologists and counsellors can work with individuals to build resilience, which is the ability to bounce back from adversity. This can involve identifying and utilizing personal strengths, developing positive coping strategies, and fostering social support networks.

Building healthy relationships
Intergenerational trauma can impact an individual’s ability to form healthy relationships. Psychological interventions can help individuals develop healthy attachment styles, improve communication skills, and establish supportive relationships with others.

Addressing cultural and identity issues
Cultural revitalization programs, which are often integrated into trauma-informed care, can help individuals reconnect with their cultural heritage and build a positive sense of identity. Psychologists and counsellors can assist individuals in exploring their cultural identity and addressing any cultural and identity-related issues that may arise from intergenerational trauma.

Providing psychoeducation 
Educating individuals about the nature of trauma, its effects, and the healing process can empower them with knowledge and understanding. Psychologists and counsellors can provide psychoeducation to help individuals make sense of their experiences and develop a sense of control and agency in their healing journey.

How can we help?

Our Indigenous counsellor uses evidence-based therapeutic techniques and approaches that are tailored to the needs of the individual and the community, considering the cultural and historical context of the trauma.