Generational trauma is multi-layered and, in my experience, takes years to clear. Yet, with dedication, a positive mindset, and a willingness to challenge the fears and pains that dwell in our unconscious, you can heal generational trauma.

Once you’ve identified some generational trauma, what then?

Our traumas live in our unconscious, under the emotional equivalent of reinforced concrete. Breaking through that concrete to access the trauma is a difficult, painful and painstaking task.

But, if you commit to healing and push yourself to engage with the generational trauma and bring it to the surface, change happens. To do this, you must be willing to step outside your comfort zone.

No one is going to—or even can—clear this emotional blockage for you. It’s up to you. But just as the trauma was originally created on a consistently predictable basis of unprocessed experience, trauma can consistently be cleared using a few simple steps.

1. Time

Clear some time to deal with the trauma. Prioritise it. Don’t try to do it while other people are around, the kids need feeding or you would rather be watching Netflix.

Schedule a few hours when you know you will have peace and quiet. Stay away from social media and turn off your mobile.

2. Space

Clear some physical space to deal with the trauma. Find a comfy environment like your bedroom or living room. Choose a large comfy chair, sofa or bed. Get some cushions and blankets.

If there’s anything valuable or fragile around, move it out of harm’s way. Sometimes breakthroughs release rage and we lash out in the heat of the moment. If you need to punch something, punch a pillow. Apologise afterwards—pillows have feelings too.

3. Water

Have plenty of water to hand—preferably a couple of litres a day.

Drink plentifully throughout the process as well as afterwards. It will help flush away the toxins released when you break through. Inner work consumes a lot of energy and generates heat inside the body. Drinking water keeps your radiator cool.

4. Breath

Settle into your comfy chair, sofa, or lie down on the bed. Breathe deeply and consciously. By consciously, I mean place your awareness on the breath as it washes in and out of your body. This will make you feel a little drowsy. You’re disengaging your rational mind. That’s what you want. Keep going.

5. Focus

Keep your conscious breathing going. While you’re doing that, focus on the issue that the trauma centres on. What’s the issue? If you’ve been using this toolkit, by now you’ll probably have a fair idea of what it’s about.

You may not know exactly. It doesn’t matter; this is something that improves with practice. The important thing is to focus on the issue, knowing with absolute certainty that because a difficult situation is manifesting in your life, there’s an underlying psychological trauma or blockage that needs releasing.

These blocks dwell in our unconscious. By consciously recognising their existence, we draw them out of our unconscious into our conscious awareness. Here we can deal with them.

It’s like a psychological game of hide and seek. When you precisely identify the trauma, the game’s up.

6. Touch

If you have a physical object that connects you with the trauma, this can help dislodge the blockage. It may be a document, photograph, a military medal or an item of jewellery.

Hold it. Feel it. Feel into it as deeply as you can. Can you connect with the repressed trauma associated with this person, event or object?

Now comes the tricky part.

7. Accept

If healing generational trauma were easy, we would have a shiny, happy society. We don’t. We have a society full of people with emotional triggers that go off all the time.

This is because whenever our emotional traumas are activated—i.e. something triggers them—we unknowingly switch from consciously directing the course of our lives to unconsciously acting out from the wounded place of our trauma. The trauma stays stuck and whatever damaging feelings or behaviours are associated with it just keep on looping around.

It’s our ego that does this. It’s been programmed to defend us from anything that it perceives as a threat. To clear the trauma, you must negotiate with your own ego. This is a tricky business because the ego knows it needs to let go but doesn’t want to.

Acceptance and neutrality are the tools you need here. As much as you can, remove all emotional ‘spin’ from the situation. It was what it was.

Acceptance and neutrality are the tools you need here. As much as you can, remove all emotional ‘spin’ from the situation. It was what it was.

Start a dialogue with your ego. Sounds silly, but it works. Tell your ego it has done a great job in protecting you—so great in fact that it’s in line for a promotion. It just needs to let go of this trauma and then it’s free to serve at a higher level. Be gentle and patient. The process takes practice but with time you will nail it and—

Bam! Breakthroughs can be short, sharp and painful. Buried pain floods through you, often accompanied by anger. If you’ve done your prep, you’re in a safe place to handle it. This too shall pass.

8. Rest

You need it and you’ve earned it, so don’t skimp on this bit. Get some sleep. Keep drinking water. Have a couple of early nights. In a few days you will feel a level of wellbeing you’ve never know before.

Well done.

Healing Generational Trauma