How to Break Generational Trauma – Tips from a Therapist | EU 1275 min read

July 25, 2022

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were so mad at something the kids had done that rage enters your body, and the minute you open your mouth to scold them, you think…Hey, I just sounded like my parents? Did you know that trauma can be inherited? Are there disruptive coping skills […]

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I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were so mad at something the kids had done that rage enters your body, and the minute you open your mouth to scold them, you think…Hey, I just sounded like my parents?

Did you know that trauma can be inherited? Are there disruptive coping skills that you see yourself repeating from your parents?

In this podcast episode, I teach you how to take the first steps to break that harmful cycle and start something new and healthy for your family, your kids, and yourself.

In This Podcast


  • We inherit more than we realize
  • Commit to healing
  • Take the first steps

We inherit more than we realize

You don’t just get your parent’s looks, facial features, and height.

Those are not the only things we inherit. It feels like it’s all we inherit, but we inherit so much more. We inherit trans-generational trauma. (Veronica Cisneros)

You can also inherit your parent’s struggles, behaviors, and patterns.

Trans-generational trauma does not end with the individual who first experienced it. Instead, it lingers from one generation to the next.

Families with a history of unresolved trauma from depression, anxiety, and addiction, may continue to pass maladaptive coping skills and distressful views of life onto future generations. (Veronica Cisneros)

Therefore, you can unintentionally pass on previous attitudes and behaviors of former generations to the new ones, regardless of whether they are healthy or not.

Commit to healing

When you don’t have coping skills, and you have distorted views on life because you were conditioned to believe certain things, then our children pay the price. (Veronica Cisneros)

You can be committed to healing and breaking the cycle of trauma, and dangerous or harmful coping skills, but you may need some education on how to do so.

Think to yourself, and ask:

  • What were some of the survival messages that you received as a kid?
  • How do you see them play out in your life as an adult?
  • Are there ways in which you are recreating your childhood in adulthood?

If it’s possible, speak to your parents. If you’ve identified that you are carrying generational trauma and maladaptive coping skills, speak to your parents as an adult yourself to understand the nuances of their lives and perhaps why they acted that way.

Think about what it would look like if you knew the obstacles your parents faced. I know for me; I personalize so much. I thought I wasn’t enough, and I thought it was my fault that my mom was mad or easily triggered. I had no clue that she had her own past traumas. (Veronica Cisneros)

Take the first steps

  • When your kids are older, talk to them about the family history. Share with them what you went through and what their grandparents went through, and even further if you can.

This may shed healing and helpful light to them about why people act the way that they do within the family, and that maybe the things they thought were normal or traumas that they can see are not theirs to carry.

  • Seek help.

You can either repeat this dysfunctional pattern or you get to create something new, something healthy. But this can only happen if you start to work on yourself. (Veronica Cisneros)

  • You can create something safe and healing for yourself because when you do, the bonus is that you get to model something safe and healthy for your kids.

Talk with your partner about this as well, and share your background. Once you are on the same page, then consider having a family evening and talk openly.

Books mentioned:

Mark Wolynn – It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast

Hello, my name is Veronica Cisneros, I am a licensed marriage and family therapist for over 7 years, a Group Private Practice owner, a Mother of 3, and married for over 20 years. I help housewives transform their marriage, communicate effectively and build confidence. Like you, I also struggled with cutting through the communication barriers. I felt like there was no reason for my husband and me to feel unhappy because we had it all. We just felt disconnected and our conversations were filled with avoidance, kids’ hobbies, and schedules. 

I’ve helped plenty of couples in my private practice who struggled with similar issues. With my proven strategies and step-by-step skills, I’ve helped hundreds of women reignite their marriages. I am known for helping women step outside of their comfort zones, I don’t do bandaids, I only teach life-changing healing methods.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook community, or join our ‘Reconnect with your Husband’ Workshop,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcast {previously iTunes) and subscribe!

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

I've been there.

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