Confer - continuing professional development, seminars and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists
Intergenerational Trauma
How can we intervene psychotherapeutically and socially to break the cycles of parent-to-child trauma and maximise healing for the future?
10.00 Situating Intergenerational Trauma: Identity and the Construction of Descendent Lifeworlds
Dr Aaron Denham
Through applying the integrative approaches of sociocultural and psychological anthropology, this presentation emphasizes the culturally diverse ways descendents experience, embody, transform, and transmit intergenerational trauma and identity. The presentation will broaden our understanding of intergenerational trauma by examining its resilient outcomes, narrative construction, and its relationship with the existential imperatives and lifeworlds of descendents.

11.15 Coffee
11.45 The conspiracy of silence and the transmission of Trauma
Dr Yael Danieli
The conspiracy of silence that far too often follows trauma is the most prevalent and effective mechanism for the transmission of trauma on all dimensions. Both intrapsychically and interpersonally protective, silence is profoundly destructive, for it attests to the person's, family's, society's, community's, and nation's inability to integrate the trauma. They can find no words to narrate the trauma story and create a meaningful dialogue around it. This prevalence of a conspiracy of silence stands in sharp contrast to the widespread research findings that social support is perhaps the most important factor in coping with traumatic stress.

13.00 Lunch break
14.00 Recognizing Ancestral Baggage
Dr Isha Mckenzie-Mavinga
Eurocentric theory and attitude are challenged when we work with family origins, cultural context and intergenerational trauma of the Afro-Caribbean population, and such approaches can cause a further trauma - that of non-recognition. This presentation considers how we can recognize and witness the inherited effects of slavery and colonialism in the narratives of Afro-Caribbean psychotherapy clients to acknowledge the impact of trauma on those gone before so we can work towards integration in the present.

15.00 Tea
15.30 Revealing is healing? Truth, Reconciliation, and Mental Health in South Africa and Northern Ireland
Brandon Hamber, Ph.D.
Using personal experience from engagement with victims and survivors during the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, and peacebuilding work in Northern Ireland, the paper will delve into the complex interplay between individual psychological processes and macro-political interventions such as truth commissions. Specifically the paper will outline how transitional justice processes such as truth commissions can be used to maximize healing.

17.00 Panel Discussion: How can psychological insights support peace processes in intergenerationally traumatised communities
18.00 END OF DAY and de-briefing process group
10.00 Horrors revived are the key to healing in intergenerational trauma: working with the "horrified other" in the transference.
Jean-Max Gaudillière
Transference is the heart of what happens not only with traumatized patients but also in cases of madness. Through clinical examples of intergenerationally traumatised patients, I will emphasise the role of what Hannah Arendt (1951) calls a "horrified other". This not a 'fault' affecting the objectivity of the observer - the analyst - but a threshold that must be crossed in order to make contact with a world that is otherwise unreachable. It is also a tool that can change the course of a destiny. The analyst must not rest content with registering the transference 'interference' but must find a way to express it in the session, for this impression does not belong to him; it is a co-creation.

11.15 Coffee
11.30 Casus Belli - the intrusion of historical truth in the therapeutic dynamic
Françoise Davoine
The psychoanalysis of the intergenerational transmission of trauma opens a field of discovery between two researchers - the patient and analyst, in the frame of the transference or what Lacan calls the 'real' and Sullivan calls 'the dreadful not me'. Through clinical vignettes, we will address critical turning moments in the therapeutic work - Casus Belli - when the story of a family, crossed by events in history, begins to intrude. At that precise moment, the psychoanalyst's story and history is triggered on particular points as a tool of resonance with erased historical truth. The analysis of this interference is what matters.

12.30 Engaging Our Dead: Intergenerational Trauma in the Therapeutic Relationship
Dr Doris Brothers
Although silent and invisible, the traumatized ancestors of both patients and therapists figure importantly in the therapeutic encounter. The resulting traumatic attachments, which involve dissociative processes that reduce the complexity of lived experience and produce rigid and constricting modes of relating, are transmitted from generation to generation. A clinical example illustrates how intergenerational traumas in the histories of both patient and therapist made it impossible for either to fully mourn her dead. Instead, both felt compelled to join them by dissociating aspects of their aliveness. A therapeutic crisis could not be resolved without the recognition of these trauma-generated attachment patterns.

13.30 Lunch break
14.30 The symbiotic entanglement - how trauma gets transferred from one generation to the other
Professor Franz Ruppert
Evidence from psychotherapy shows that trauma gets transferred mainly via the bonding process between mother and child. A mother suffering from trauma causes a bonding trauma for her child in one way or another - of course mothers don't want to do, but the unconscious mechanisms to cope with a traumatic experience involuntarily lead to great difficulties in the mother-child-interaction. Many types of mental illnesses can be explained by the symbiotic entanglement between mother and child on the base of trauma.

15.45 Tea
16.15 - 17.45 The transgenerational effects of trauma - how constellation work can help to understand and to step forward
Professor Franz Ruppert
The constellation method can help to make transgenerational psychological effects visible. It clearly shows how in bonding processes the feelings of one person become the feelings of another. If you don't know and understand that many problematic feelings that are inside you in the end not really are your own feelings than maybe you are struggling all your lifetime to copy with them with no success. One very important challenge for psychotherapy is how to find ways out from the symbiotic entanglement with the trauma feelings of our ancestors. This presentation will demonstrate a method for doing so.

18.00 The Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma: Exploring Prenatal Attachment (videolink)
Dr Briana S. Nelson Goff and Dr Kami L. Schwerdtfeger
Exploring mother-infant prenatal attachment is an important focus in understanding the intergenerational consequences of trauma. Recent research investigating the impact of past attachment and trauma on expectant mothers' attachment to their unborn child suggests that although trauma history, in general, does not appear to negatively impact expectant mothers' current prenatal attachment with the unborn child, the nature of interpersonal trauma experiences do have a significant relationship to prenatal attachment. Current findings have important implications for researchers and clinicians interested in better understanding the systemic impact of trauma across generations.

18.00 De-briefing process group
19.00 END
10.00 The impact of intergenerational trauma on families and paediatric survivors of sexual abuse
Professor Kimberly Frazier
Intergenerational influences that impact the presence and etiology of CSA among young children. The impact of CSA on primary caregivers will also be discussed and specific interventions that aid in ameliorating the affects of transgenerational trauma with young children and their families. A case illustration will also be provided to highlight population symptomology and possible interventions.

11.15 Coffee
11.45 Interventions in Intergenerational Child Maltreatment
Professor Ann Buchanan
In advanced economies experiencing neither war nor calamity, large numbers of children continue to experience trauma and death often through the hands of their parents. This talk will demonstrate how cycles from within and outside the family result in child abuse, and how an understanding of these cycles helps in organising effective interventions. Examining the facts and fallacies, Ann Buchanan will suggest that in intergenerational child maltreatment, there may not be just one cycle, but four separate cycles: socio-political factors; recurring cultural patterns; psychological factors; and biological factors. Interventions need to be focused on each cycle independently to attempt to break the cycle of child maltreatment.

13.00 Lunch
14.00 The non-genetic transmission of trauma-induced violence down the generations.
Dr Felicity de Zulueta
Dr Felicity de Zulueta will present attachment research relating to the transmission of the vulnerability to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) down the generations through the sensitisation of the next generation's hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Through historical and current examples, she will focus on the socio-cultural implications of these findings in terms of the affected individual and his or her community's propensity to violence. The latter is often bolstered by an underlying conceptual belief system developed to ensure both their psychological and physical survival.

15.00 From Fixity to Continuity of the Self
Dr Yael Danieli
An individual's identity involves a complex interplay of multiple spheres or systems from the biological and intrapsychic to the environmental and international. These systems dynamically coexist along the time dimension to create a continuous conception of life from past through present to the future. Ideally, the individual should simultaneously have free psychological access to and movement within all these identity dimensions. Exposure to trauma causes a rupture, a possible regression, and a state of being "stuck" in this free flow, which I have called fixity. The characteristics of the fixity will determine both life-long effects and multigenerational legacies of trauma. This presentation will consider how fixity can be shifted to restore a continuity of self. Routes to integration may include re-establishing, relieving and repairing the ruptured systems of the survivor and his or her community and nation, and their place in the international community.

16.15 Tea
16.45 The forgotten and unforgotten victims: transgenerational trauma in the families of the perpetrators
Professor Gertrud Hardtmann
National Socialism, and especially the Holocaust, left traces in the children of the victims and the perpetrators. Denial, splitting, projection and projective identification are characteristics of the perpetrators. The second generation were infected by their parents' resistance to remembering and to taking responsibility; they lived in a split, quasi-psychotic world of victims without perpetrators. Sometimes they became, projectively, the paranoid, feared persecutors of their parents. They needed positive and realistic objects out of the family with whom they could identify in order to work through shame and guilt and restore the reality and dignity of the victims.

18.00 END OF DAY and de-briefing process group
10.00 Intersubjectivity and analytic generosity in the treatment of intergenerational trauma
Elizabeth Corpt
Analytic generosity, the analyst's use of the whole of her experience for the benefit of her patient, is of particular importance in work with intergenerational trauma. In the case presented, American philosopher Fingarette's concept of spelling-out, or the conscious action of turning oneself toward the knowing of something, is an important aspect of this inter-subjectively informed therapeutic work.

11.15 Coffee
11.45 Understanding perversions as the outcome of intergenerational traumas
Dr Estela Welldon
It is impossible to gain a complete understanding of psychopathological behaviour originating in the mother-baby unit without a knowledge of traumatic events in the mother's and maternal grandmother's early lives. In other words, in order to understand perversion as a clinical entity we must apply at least a three-generational approach which includes the importance on motherhood as the main source of power and control available to women. This intergenerational insight applies to both male and female perversions.

13.00 Lunch
14.00 From Intergenerational Trauma to Intergenerational Healing
Dr Aileen Alleyne
The systematic dehumanization of African slaves was the initial trauma, and since that time, generations of their descendents have borne the scars. Black people of all cultural and ethnic persuasions have not been spared the effects of this collective malady. British African Caribbeans as a member of this collective, have now to face the ever important challenge of knowing that real recovery from this ongoing trauma and its present day forms of racism, is to start from within. The nature of the work of intergenerational trauma is such that each group must first see to their own healing, because no group can do another's work. This session examines this challenge from a psychotherapeutic perspective.

15.15 Tea
Facilitators: Jane Ryan and Richard Hawkes
How can we take the lessons from this conference to make a difference to people and communities suffering from intergenerational trauma? We will work together as a large group to explore where we are stuck, where we see possibility, and what actions we want to take as a result of being part of this event.

Our brochure contains information about the full Intergenerational Trauma event.. NB this file is large and may take time to download.
PDF 951Kb
To book a place, either book online or print the booking form and return it to Confer by post.
Please note - this link takes you to a secure partner website where your booking will be processed.