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

by: Mark Wolynn (0)

“This groundbreaking book offers a compelling understanding of inherited trauma and fresh, powerful tools for relieving its suffering. Mark Wolynn is a wise and trustworthy guide on the journey toward healing.” —Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

A groundbreaking approach to transforming traumatic legacies passed down in families over generations, by an acclaimed expert in the field
Depression. Anxiety. Chronic Pain. Phobias. Obsessive thoughts. The evidence is compelling: the roots of these difficulties may not reside in our immediate life experience or in chemical imbalances in our brains—but in the lives of our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. The latest scientific research, now making headlines, supports what many have long intuited—that traumatic experience can be passed down through generations. It Didn’t Start with You builds on the work of leading experts in post-traumatic stress, including Mount Sinai School of Medicine neuroscientist Rachel Yehuda and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score. Even if the person who suffered the original trauma has died, or the story has been forgotten or silenced, memory and feelings can live on. These emotional legacies are often hidden, encoded in everything from gene expression to everyday language, and they play a far greater role in our emotional and physical health than has ever before been understood.
  As a pioneer in the field of inherited family trauma, Mark Wolynn has worked with individuals and groups on a therapeutic level for over twenty years.
It Didn’t Start with You offers a pragmatic and prescriptive guide to his method, the Core Language Approach. Diagnostic self-inventories provide a way to uncover the fears and anxieties conveyed through everyday words, behaviors, and physical symptoms. Techniques for developing a genogram or extended family tree create a map of experiences going back through the generations. And visualization, active imagination, and direct dialogue create pathways to reconnection, integration, and reclaiming life and health. It Didn’t Start With You is a transformative approach to resolving longstanding difficulties that in many cases, traditional therapy, drugs, or other interventions have not had the capacity to touch.

The Reviews

This has been insightful so far. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it matches up with some of the things I've learned about epigenetics in college and it helps to show how we might be predisposed to certain things that are out of our control and our family's control. It also helps to give us some empathy toward what our parents and grandparents suffered.

I would love to see the whole world read this book, it changed my perspective of others and myself. This book is so full of solid information. I'm doing a re-read now and I am excited to see what comes up this time around.

I have read a lot of self help books over the years but this one was amazing and opened me up to something I had never considered and made so much sense. So glad this book crossed my path! I highly recommend it.

This book is an important one that I'm glad that the author took the time and effort to write. However, since it falls under the "self help" genre, I feel its also important to make some distinctions about the audience this book best serves. Like another reviewer who wrote "avoid if you've overcome a toxic family", I think this book does not serve them well or anyone who was abused or severely neglected by primary caregivers, at least not initially in their healing process (and maybe not at all). I think a point not emphasized enough in the book is that the author himself spent 2 years on a spiritual journey BEFORE coming to the realization that emotional disconnectedness with his family was at the root of his own health problems (in other words, he did a lot of self-healing before attempting to connect with his parents). It makes perfect sense for him that re-establishing the emotional connection with his parents would be the logical solution to his own healing. Assuming his story is accurate about how his family was merely emotionally disconnected due to a mother stuck in grief and a father who suffered from low self esteem and there was not much in the way of emotional, verbal or physical abuse, this a perfect and beautiful situation in which re-establishment of emotional connection is the answer. However, in the case of abused and traumatized children by their caregivers, this is generally NOT the answer, and especially NOT the first step in the healing process. Abused and traumatized children have serious boundary issues, self-worth issues, difficulty forming healthy relationships, etc., that need to be dealt with first and foremost before attempting to restore relations with very unhealthy and toxic people who perpetrated the abuse. The caregivers are in fact the cause of the trauma and the issues and it is not simply a case of emotional disconnectedness with them. In other words, how can you emotionally connect with a person who is so emotionally shut down and disconnected that they abused their own children? It might be possible in some cases, but it is going to take a lot of energy and effort on the part of the abused child (now an adult) to make it happen and they may even put themselves in danger by doing so. Plus this type of therapy can place an intense internal conflict on the abused child to "make right" what the parents did wrong to them by trying to reconnect with them. I think that's where this type of therapy can do some psychological damage if the facilitator/therapist is not careful. If there is a way to utilize this type of therapy with abused children, this book did not cover it, at least not in much depth and did not recommend resources for people who come from those types of families and situations. I hope that will be rectified in a new edition or perhaps another book.

Very interesting read. The connections throughout generations is not some thing I’ve ever considered-however I find to be plausible

Everyone should read thisb

I am only on chapter 3 and my mind is blown and my soul has peace! I want everyone I love and the ones they love to read this and experience healing!

I don't know what else to say except there has been a massive release in the neurosis I have been carrying around after reading this book. There are prompts to jour al through, I have had multiple conversations with my parents and found out really enlightening things. Highly recommend. This book changed the way I live my life.

Great book about how trauma can be inherited. If you suffer from mental health ailments I highly recommend reading, it may change your world!

It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle
⭐ 4.7 💛 7726
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paperback: $9.29
hardcover: $19.13
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