Getting to Yes, And

Break the Cycle: A Guide to Healing Intergenerational Trauma


Dr. Mariel Buque

Subscribe on

Kelly connects with psychologist and professor Dr. Mariel Buque to discuss her new book “Break the Cycle: A Guide to Healing Intergenerational Trauma.”

One of the things I really responded to in your book is how breaking the trauma cycle is more than an individual process.

“My idea of cycle breaking is one that is not done in isolation. I think that because, especially here in the North American context, we have this very individualistic mindset, especially around healing, that we're just healing one human and not really accounting for the ways in which, when a person is healing, or when they have been healed from their emotional woes, how they then step into the spaces that they inhabit: into their family spaces, into their work, environments, back into the communities that they're a part of how they step into these spaces. Being a person that is holding on to healthier types of coping mechanisms means that they're engaging with these environments in a healthier way. So, there's always gonna be some sort of a collective connection to the healing that we even do individually. However, for cycle breakers, many of us are not seeing healing as something that just happens within us. For us we see it as a way in which we can actually engage in a process where we can bring people into the healing with us, and actually help them to heal as well to whatever extent they are able to heal.”

And while this has likely always been true for trauma, it feels especially relevant right now.

"We've been in these moments before. But the more recent history that we have on a global scale of when we've had these collective crises - for sure, 2020 and beyond - you know it in in this almost kind of collective grief that we're experiencing around the people that are being impacted within the Middle East, and even any of us who empathize with that experience of feeling targeted or feeling like our cries for help aren't being heard. So, there is a collective grief and a collective crisis, an emotional crisis that's bubbling up and really making it so that the work around generational healing is that much more important in the now.”

But you also feel like young people might be in a better position than ever to break the cycle?

“I'm keeping an ear out into the next generation. And I feel like we're looking at a generation that is more open to a lot of the things that our generation and generations past have been closed off to. And what I do believe is likely to happen as a result is that people will be able to get into the practices that can actually help them to feel more human, more whole, more well. And, you know, not have to spend decades of their lives in immense pain. And then, all of a sudden, have these breakdowns - which we see a lot in the mental health world - where people start coming to us because they just couldn't take it anymore.”

Photo Credit: Ambar Jimenez

Related Episodes