Psychogenetic and family trauma

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Psychogenetic and family trauma
Psychogenetic and family trauma

Psychogenalogy is associated with the choice of a name, family secrets and family trauma.

a family

Choosing a name

Anyone who is already familiar with psychogenalogy and is going to study in detail the history of his family in order to find parallels with his own life should first find out under what circumstances you got your name. Most often, parents name a child after their own father or mother, after the name of a deceased child or relative, their idol or former lover / lover.

It is incredible, but many experienced psychotherapists will tell you that at some point in psychotherapy, the patient suddenly begins to remember his deceased relative (for example, brother, sister, etc.), after whom he was named. And willingly or unwillingly, draw analogies with his life, as if he is living the life of that very person (at least partially).


It's actually not that hard to explain. Psychologists know the phenomenon of the so-called psychological message, which parents unconsciously give to their children. We will talk about him later, but one of such unconscious messages is precisely the choice of a name. Parents seem to "say" to their child (without words, of course): "We want you to be like a deceased relative, a person whom we admire, whom we love, whom we remember." Despite the good wishes of the parents, it can even ruin their child's life or simply hinder him in anything - from career to family life.

All the nuances of this process are difficult to explain within the framework of one article, so we refer you to the book of the famous psychotherapist Anne Anselin Schutzenberger "Psychogenetic. How to heal family wounds and find yourself”, as well as to the cycle of video programs by Alexander Gordon with psychologist Olga Troitskaya“Happily ever after. Everything about man, woman and family."

Silent transmission of the experience

If you are not yet a psychologist, but are interested in this path, you should know that the most serious psychological trauma is caused by something that is silent about. And in the family they are often silent. So it is customary: "why bring up unpleasant topics." Many people are sincerely convinced that if you don't talk about something and “don't think” about something, it will stop worrying. But the point is that the painful topic not only will not cease to bother - it will acquire a much more formidable scale than it had originally. Often such suppression leads to pathological repetitions of a similar fate for many generations in a row ("the women of our family have always married alcoholics - this is our cross, we are so unlucky") or to a disease that doctors cannot cure, although the person is in the fifth circle can undergo numerous examinations. Experienced doctors, by the way, in such cases send a patient to a psychotherapist, realizing that we are talking about a psychosomatic illness, but not all patients go to it, and everything starts all over again. Read about psychosomatic diseases and the reasons for their occurrence in the cycle of our articles: "Psychosomatic diseases", "Psychosomatics: where the legs grow from diseases", "Psychosomatics: who hurts" and "Psychosomatics: neurodermatitis, cancer and all-all-all" …


It's not about luck or lack of it, but about hidden "scenarios" unconsciously laid in us by our parents, and in them - by their parents, and so on. And the question is not only that "the child assimilates what he sees" - more often it is much more complicated.

"Pictures of past traumas, both personal and family, can be passed down from generation to generation, for example, in the form of nightmares, as well as in the form of accidents that unexpectedly occur on special significant (for a particular family - NS) dates," writes Ann Anselin Schutzenberger.

Imperfect mourning

It is customary to deceive children when one of the adults dear to them dies, or, at least, not to take to the funeral ("why should a child look at this"). If the unenlightened well-wishers knew what kind of trauma they inflict on the child in this way, they would certainly refuse such a practice.

The loss, no matter how terrible and intolerable it may be, must necessarily be mourned (literally), it is necessary to talk about it with the child. It should be told simply and calmly, without embellishment, unnecessary consolations, it is necessary to be with the child - not only physically, but also mentally, to be attentive and sensitive to his state of mind. A child needs to accept the death of a loved one, and this requires a natural “work of grief”. Only then will neither he nor his children and grandchildren have any problems with this unmourned loss.


Anne Anselin Schutzenberger: “When mourning is not perfect, there is an interrupted,“unfinished action”that makes a person and his descendants“wander”(just like dough or wine is said to ferment).

The same can be said about "family secrets" and similar "secret" things. It is customary, for example, not to inform the adopted child (if the parents took him from the orphanage as a baby) that he is adopted. It is difficult to underestimate such terrible harm. If you are preparing to take a baby from a shelter, be sure to tell him that he is not native, but add that it does not matter to you and that you love him as a family (true, only if this is true. If you are honest enough with themselves and feel that this is not entirely true - do not lie: this will cause even more harm). Talking about such topics with your child should be calm and confident. Read about family trauma in our interview with psychoanalyst Lyubov Zaeva "Fathers, children and historical trauma".

Double coercion

Or a double message. This is the scourge of almost all (with rare exceptions) children and adults who have grown out of them. “I am reminded of a classic case of double coercion: a mother offers her son two shirts for his birthday,” writes Ann Schutzenberger. - The next day, the son puts on one of them (blue), and his mother pushes him away - he does not love his mother, because he did not wear another (green). When he puts on the green one, his mother pushes him away again - he doesn’t love his mother because he didn’t wear the blue one. And when the son puts on both shirts one on top of the other, the mother exclaims: My son is crazy!"

We see similar messages everywhere every day. When a father forces his son to be obedient and not cry, when he is scolded, and at the same time teaches to give back to the boys in the yard: "You are a man!" When the mother says to her daughter: "Where did you dress up!" like a man "and so on.


Especially frequent are such parental messages: "Don't live (don't be)" (if not for you …; before your birth … (a story about something good), after your birth … (a story about something bad); we wanted a boy, but you were born (and vice versa), etc.), “Don't grow up (don't be an adult)” (small children are so good!; “I love small children so much; small children are all good, but then …; we are dad wanted to divorce, but decided to wait until you grow up; mom will love you if you are next to mom, etc.), "Don't be yourself" (we wanted a healthy child, but you were born; we wanted a girl, but you were born; we were very worried about the death of our first child and decided to give birth to another), “Don't be happy” (a situation when parents tell the child how they suffered in order to raise him / dress / feed / educate him. realizing that they suffered so much for him, he feels guilty, but he cannot repay the “debt.” Therefore, he cannot be happy either; a situation when a child, being sick, receives much more love and attention than when he is healthy - in the future he may unconsciously get sick to be loved), etc.- there is a great variety of parental messages. You can learn more about them here.

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