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  • Odette Ojeda Rivera

Intergenerational Trauma in Latino Communities

What is it and how counseling can help.

What is Intergenerational Trauma? Intergenerational trauma is a phenomenon that has had a devastating, long-term effect on many Latino communities. It is a form of emotional and psychological distress passed down through generations of people who have experienced traumatic events or situations. This type of trauma has been linked to a wide range of emotional difficulties, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Fortunately, counseling can help those affected by intergenerational trauma heal from their experiences and the experiences of their ancestors. Let’s take a look at how counseling can help those affected by intergenerational trauma.

Intergenerational Trauma in the Latino Community Intergenerational trauma affects not only the individuals who experienced it directly but also their children and grandchildren. When someone experiences traumatic events or circumstances, they may find themselves feeling overwhelmed or scared. These feelings can be passed down through generations and manifest in subtle ways such as changes in behavior or mood swings. For example, within the Latino community, immigration is often a traumatic experience. Immigrants often risk their lives to come to a new country and leave behind their home, country, culture, family, traditions, and even language. They often have to start new lives from scratch, in a new country, with no support system. This can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety which can be difficult to manage without proper support. As a clinician, I see not only immigrants, but children and grandchildren of immigrants who are still experiencing symptoms tied to the traumas tied to their ancestors’ immigration experience.

The Role of Counseling in Healing from Intergenerational Trauma Counseling offers an effective way for those affected by intergenerational trauma to heal from their experiences. Through counseling sessions, individuals can explore the impact that intergenerational trauma has had on their lives and identify any negative thought patterns that are being perpetuated from generation to generation.

This helps individuals gain insight into how these patterns are affecting them so that they can make conscious decisions about how to break free from them.

Additionally, counseling provides individuals with the opportunity to develop healthier coping mechanisms which allow them to better manage their emotions and move forward in life with more confidence. Finding a culturally sensitive, trauma informed therapist is essential to affective assist in the healing of our immigrant and Latino(x) communities. You can find that therapist with us.

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