The trans-generational nature of trauma

There are many instances in which we are not the master’s of our fate. Yet our helplessness in these areas is tolerable because all human beings are in the same boat. And we need each other to counter the darkness, to keep out the cold, to provide meaning to existence. Human beings are social creatures. It is with other people that we find the warmth, the excitement, and the challenge of life. And only within the human community do we dare face the frightening unknown.
 – Alexander Lowen

Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a reporter about the upcoming April events. The conversation headed in the direction that conversations often go when I am involved, toward trans-generational trauma.

  • Women pregnant during 9/11 gave birth to infants with stress hormone levels that correlate with trauma.
  • Attachment researchers identified compelling evidence that mothers with unresolved grief and trauma are frequently unable to provide the secure attachment necessary for babies’ optimal health and emotional / intellectual development. Many of these babies throughout their lifetime have increased risk of physical, emotional and relational difficulties, and increased risk of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The myth that children are “resilient” persists. As child trauma expert, Dr. Bruce Perry, put it, children are not resilient; they are malleable. Continue reading


Bruce Perry: “Children are not resilient, children are malleable”

Stressed kid

Dr. Bruce Perry is well known for helping us understand the potentially lasting devastation trauma can cause in the lives of young children and “how states become traits”.  Below are a few excerpts from his article Childhood Trauma, the Neurobiology of Adaptation, and ‘Use-dependent’ Development of the Brain: How ‘States’ Become ‘Traits’. 

Adults interpret the actions, words, and expressions of children through the distorted filter of their own beliefs. In the lives of most infants and children, these common adult misinterpretations are relatively benign. In many cases, however, these misinterpretations can be destructive. The most dramatic example occurs when the impact of traumatic events on infants and young children is minimized. It is an ultimate irony that at the time when the human is most vulnerable to the effects of trauma – during infancy and childhood – adults generally presume the most resilience.

Continue reading

Ubuntu Group in Orange County, February 2013

We are rhythm-bound organisms.
 – Bruce Perry

Hi everyone,

I’ve always liked that quote.  It is simple and succinct, yet a profound and apt descriptor of the very essence of our lives.

When our body grows tense, when stress consumes us, we tighten up and lose the ability to feel our own inner and bodily rhythm.  When we are able to feel it, it becomes the basis for being in rhythm with another; we resonate.  This mind-body resonance from one to another enables empathy and supports compassion.  Keeping our body soft and open enough to feel our own inner sensations is the key to feeling connected to one another.  Being in a grounded state supports us as we feel not only our shared connection, but the connection to the earth below our feet.

Last weekend, eight of us were at the Living Ubuntu 2013 Winter Retreat in Julian.  With grounding exercises each morning and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) before bed each night, it gets easier to feel, and feel deeply.  The harder part is to keep it going upon returning home.

The Ubuntu group is only once a month, but our group TRE practice with shared vibratory experiences provides an important part of honoring the fact that we are rhythm-bound organisms.

I hope you will be there for the next one.

If you would like more information on how to join the Ubuntu group, please get in touch with us. : )


Barbara English
(949) 891-2005

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Ubuntu Group in Orange County, CA

Friday, February 15 2013
6:30p – 9:30p
TRE starts promptly at 6:30p

Optional:  bring veggie foods to share

We have been doing the Ubuntu group since the very beginning (2004).  Held on the 3rd Friday of every month, it is a time to connect with one another in an authentic way about whatever is happening in life, to share from the deeper self, from our most known truth.  For more information, visit or call (949) 891-2005.

[Ubuntu] n.
Every human being truly becomes a human by means of relationships with other human beings.