Family Conflict & Generational Trauma

Southern Soul - Live Stream

Jul 20 2022 • 1 hr 11 mins

“Family trauma really just extends from trauma that one person experiences and If it's not resolved, it just keeps going,” shares Jamesha Williams, licensed marriage and family therapist. In today’s episode7 host D-Rich sits down with guests Jamesha Williams and Christian psychologist Dr. Juanita Britt McDonald to talk about the impacts of family conflict and generational trauma on the Black community.

Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, or TEI, is essentially an imprint in our DNA from our parents and grandparents and so on. Unresolved traumatic experiences from our direct ancestors are embedded into our own DNA and have impacts on our behaviors, personality, and mental health. In the Black community especially, there is a lot of stigma surrounding mental health, frequently accompanied by a lack of healthy communication regarding trauma. People may not realize that when dealing with anxiety, shame, alcoholism, or any other host of challenges, their behaviors can often be traced back to a parent or grandparent's experiences. When we break the chain by getting support, whether it be through talking it out with a therapist or a close friend or even getting medication and we commit to resolving our own trauma, we can stop that domino effect of generational trauma in its tracks. By establishing healthy boundaries and clear channels of communication, we can set our kids up for successful future relationships and lessen the burden of TEI.

Join Jamesha Williams, Dr. Juanita Britt McDonald and host D-Rich on this week’s episode of Southern Soul Live Stream - Podshow to learn more about transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and how trauma impacts the community as a whole rather than just being an individual issue.


• “When you and I began to look at stigma in the Black community, guess what? We don't do that. And excuse my ebonix but we don't do that. We don't need therapists. We don't have those personal issues. And you're crazy if you need a therapist. That's the biggest overall. And that's why you're looking at a form of learned behavior that we don't need that type of support and help.” (4:45-5:15 | Dr. Juanita)

• “It is really a taboo to air your dirty laundry. And so a lot of people just suffer in silence because of it.” (5:32-5:40 | Jamesha) Social Media

• “When Miss Jamesha’s grandmother was carrying her mother, at five months old, she was also carrying Miss Jamesha.” (9:02-9:12 | Dr. Juanita)

• “Family trauma really just extends from trauma that one person experiences and how it really affects our system. So the people who are around us, it affects our community. And again, if it's not resolved, it just keeps going.” (11:51-12:06 | Jamesha)

• “There was never ever any form of communication. There was never ever a form of education. There's a lot of things that we never did receive.” (27:21-27:28 | Dr. Juanita)

• “It is okay to say no. It is okay to put yourself first. It's okay to be selfish. Sometimes if you have kids, I understand you have to walk a fine line, but teaching them boundaries will then help them when they're in a difficult situation and feeling uncomfortable.” (44:13-44:33 | Jamesha)


Connect with Jamesha Williams:

Connect with Dr. Juanita Britt McDonald:

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