Prince Harry has said he wants to break the royal family’s “genetic pain” cycle during his lifetime first big interview since he sat down with Oprah.
Harry joined the Podcast Armchair Expert with hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, and revealed that he wanted to leave real life at the age of twenty, calling it a cross between living at The Truman Show and a zoo.
Speaking about his upbringing, he said: “There is no guilt. I don’t think we should point the finger or blame anyone, but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I have experienced any kind of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering my father or mine may have suffered. parents, I will make sure to break this cycle so as not to basically go through it.
“It’s a lot of the pain and genetic suffering that is transmitted anyway, so as parents we should do our best to try to say‘ you know what, this happened to me, I’ll make sure no ’no it happened to you ”.
We asked two counseling psychologists what we need to know about “genetic pain”.
What is “genetic pain”?
Instead of “genetic pain ” Jo Coker, a counseling psychologist who works with the College of Sex and Relationship Therapy, prefers the term “unresolved intergenerational trauma ”.
“There is growing evidence that there may be some genetic link to intergenerational trauma, but this is at a very early stage, “he told HuffPost UK.” I think Prince Harry may end up cottoning with that term, but maybe it is not a term we would tend to use. “
Intergenerational trauma is when someone has had a traumatic event in their childhood (or an experience they did not like or did not like) and they are repeating this same pattern with their children, he explains.
“Even with all the intentions of doing things differently, people tend to repeat history, because that’s the pattern that exists,” Coker says. “It’s a bit like having poor people [romantic] relationship they say, “I won’t repeat a relationship like that again,” and then they happen to have a relationship exactly so again. We all tend to repeat patterns that have been set for us ”.
How does intergenerational trauma manifest itself?
There are a number of boxes that can be checked to see if your family is affected by intergenerational trauma or genetic pain, says the counseling psychologist. Dra. Chloe Paidoussis Mitchell.
“It is often invisible and can cause mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression and addiction problems, “he told HuffPost UK.” Often children who bear the wounds of generational patterns feel very little self-esteem and self-esteem, and as there is no obvious cause, they don’t understand it and try to mask it or avoid confronting it. “
This trauma, or pain, can be very destabilizing and affect a person’s sense of well-being and happiness for several years, he adds. “Therapy to cure genetic pain involves learning to build a positive relationship with oneself and becoming aware of what has contributed to that pain.”
How to break the cycle
Both experts agree that avoiding guilt is key to breaking the cycle. Cross-generational trauma is “involuntary and unconscious” and “distressing for all parties” in almost all cases, says Dr. Paidoussis Mitchell.
“Stopping bosses doesn’t mean rejecting parents or accusing them,” he adds. “To prevent patterns from recurring, it’s important to do so from a place of compassion, not judgment and anger, so you’re sure you don’t subconsciously adopt a pattern of repressed anger at your own children.”
Learning about the historical context of your parents ’(or grandparents’) experience can help you approach the issue more neutrally, Coker says.
“For example, if we go back to the previous century and look at the twenties, thirties and forties, people would send their children halfway around the boarding school and not see them for a year, but now we would consider it quite barbaric, ” she says.
“Stopping bosses doesn’t mean rejecting parents or accusing them.”
– The counseling psychologist, Dr. Chloe Paidoussis Mitchell
“So you also have to see a trauma in the context of the story. If you are trying to recover from an intergenerational trauma, you need to be able to understand the events that happened, not just see it in isolation and in the context of today’s world. What seems unacceptable today may have been acceptable then. “
Talking to your parents or grandparents about their childhood is the obvious first step to a better understanding of the historical context. “It’s about having sensitive conversations about childhood with all generations with a spirit of love and care, rather than rejection and judgment,” says Dr. Paidoussis Mitchell. “People make mistakes and parenting is always about being good enough.”
Making an active decision to deal with these troubling memories and breaking a cross-generational pattern “requires courage and can be very destabilizing for the whole family,” he adds. Career guidance is often advised, so that intentions are validated and properly understood.
Useful websites and help lines
Ment, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans offers a listening service open 24 hours a day, every day 116 123 (UK and ROI: this number is FREE toT to call and will not appear on your phone bill).
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