In this podcast (episode #539) and blog, I talk to author, intergenerational trauma expert and psychologist Dr. Mariel Buqué about the impacts of intergenerational trauma, her amazing new book Break the Cycle, how to find healing and peace in every area of your life, and so much more!
Dr. Mariel is an Afro-Dominican psychologist. She received her doctorate in counseling psychology from Columbia University, where she also trained as a fellow in holistic mental health. She is a world-renowned intergenerational trauma expert and the author of the book Break the Cycle: A Guide to Healing Intergenerational Trauma. Her clinical framework is holistic and infuses ancient and indigenous healing practices into a modern, comprehensive therapeutic approach. She has utilized her training in holistic care to integrate holistic practices, like sound bath meditation and breathwork, into therapy, which has helped to deepen trauma healing for an entire generation of clients.
In Break the Cycle, Dr. Mariel weaves together scientific research with practical exercises and stories from the therapy room to create a guide to transforming intergenerational pain into intergenerational abundance. teaches readers how trauma is transmitted from one generation to the next and how they can break the cycle through tangible therapeutic practices, learning to pass down strength instead of pain to future generations.
Why is breaking the cycle so important? As Dr. Mariel pints out, mental wounds can act like physical wounds. “When emotions are left unhealed, they cause harm that spreads to other parts of our lives, hurting our family, friends, community members, and others. Eventually, this hurt can injure an entire lineage, metastasizing across years and generations. This is intergenerational trauma.”
As Dr. Mariel notes, “this trauma is why some of us become estranged from our families, why some of us are people pleasers, why some of us find ourselves in codependent relationships. This trauma can be rooted in the experiences of ancestors, who may have suffered due to unhealthy family dynamics, and it can be collective, the result of a shared experience like systemic oppression, or harmful ingrained behaviors in a culture like the acceptance of physical discipline of children, or even a natural disaster like a pandemic. These wounds are complex, impacting our minds, bodies, and spirits.”
Thankfully, we can break these cycles and find true and lasting peace and freedom! The first step to healing intergenerational trauma is acknowledging it: if we don’t know what it is we need to heal then we will not find the healing we need. Next, we need to look at healing from a holistic perspective: how it feels in our body, and how we can recenter our body awareness and grounding after the physical effects of trauma. Once we have gone through this process, we can transition into the mind-based work of breaking the cycle: looking at the roots of the trauma and working on healing it’s mental and physical impact on our lives to find true and lasting peace.
This is not just an individual process, but also a communal one. Holistic healing also means examine the social and cultural beliefs and behaviors we have been handed down through the generations (through a process Dr. Mariel talks about in her book call generational tree mapping) that impact the way we think and act, and changing these from the root up to have a more positive impact on our life, our communities and future generations.
For more on healing intergenerational trauma, listen to my podcast with Dr. Mariel (episode #539) and check out her amazing work. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
This podcast is sponsored by:
OneSkin. The holidays are here which is perfect timing for today’s sponsor OneSkin! We all know that with all the holiday fun and festivities comes stress and harsh weather that can really take a toll on your skin. But thanks to OneSkin’s disruptive approach that targets skin aging at the source, you can finish off 2023 with your skin at its healthiest! Their products are powered by a groundbreaking peptide, OS-1, which is the first ingredient scientifically proven to prevent the accumulation of aged, senescent cells—the primary culprit behind skin aging. And the real magic? OS-1 has actually been proven in the lab to actually reduce the biological age of skin by several years, meaning it not only prevents but slows down skin aging leaving you with healthier, more hydrated, and glowing skin. In a third-party 12-week clinical study, performed by Third PartyResearch Organization OS-01 FACE was clinically proven to strengthen the skin barrier, improve skin health markers, and diminish visible signs of aging: Wrinkles were diminished in 87% of users. OneSkin just launched their mini bundles which include face and eye topical supplement, body lotion, and cleanser which all come in a cute travel bag. If you’re traveling this Winter, OneSkin has your mini skincare essentials covered. And if you are gifting this holiday season, OneSkin’s mini bundles are the perfect stocking stuffers! For a limited time, our listeners can enjoy an exclusive 15% off OneSkin products using the code DRLEAF when you checkout at oneskin.co . This holiday season, give yourself and your loved ones a head-start on New Year's Resolutions to swap your skin care for skin longevity.
ButcherBox. Planning holiday meals can be a lot of work—especially for a large family! Thankfully, ButcherBox has all you need for a tasty, stress-free holiday season with high-quality protein delivered to your door. They make it so easy to prepare holiday meals and share food with the people you love. One of my favorite meals to make this time of year is my family’s ricotta lasagna, which I make using Butcher Box’s delicious, 100% grass-fed ground beef. It truly makes all the difference in this recipe! In fact, I use Butcher Box for all my meat and seafood recipes! They take the guesswork out of finding high-quality meat and seafood you can trust with 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken, pork raised crate-free, and wild-caught seafood. All of their products are humanely raised; with no antibiotics or added hormones. With ButcherBox, I get just what I want delivered right to my doorstep with FREE SHIPPING in the continental U.S. and no surprise fees! Plus, I get to choose from a variety of box plan options, from curated to customized, and change my plan whenever I want! Plus ButcherBox makes the perfect gift for a fellow foodie! I have given ButcherBox as a gift to several friends, and they love both the quality of the meat and the delicious recipe suggestions from ButcherBox. The holiday season truly is made better with ButcherBox. For a limited time, they’re offering our listeners Turkey FREE in your first box plus $20 off your first order. Sign up today at butcherbox.com/drleaf and use code drleaf to get this deal.
Cognitive Switch by Juv Labs. Don’t you love that feeling when you’re in the zone, on a roll, and going above and beyond everything you wanted to get done in your day? With all the research projects, travel and events I have on my schedule right now, sometimes I find it hard to keep up with what I need to do daily, which is why I am so happy I discovered my new secret weapon, Cognitive Switch! It is a newly launched ketone ester drink developed by scientists at the healthy aging company, Juvenescence. Its formula gives your body the building blocks to create its own ketones, which are an efficient fuel for your brain that give you a boost in focus, concentration and even sustained energy without the crash. Here's the exciting part! Cognitive Switch just launched, and for a limited time, our listeners can enjoy a special offer of 20% off. Visit juvlabs.com/DRLEAF.
2:00 Dr. Mariel’s work
4:41 Dr. Mariel’s incredible story
5:35, 9:25 What intergenerational trauma looks like
12:00 The intergenerational nervous system
17:00 The power of acknowledging intergenerational trauma
18:40 How to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma
27:00 The importance of generational tree mapping
28:40 Breaking the cycles for future generations
30:30 The spiritual component of healing intergenerational trauma
33:22 Dr. Mariel’s amazing book Break the Cycle
40:00 Giving yourself space to grieve as well
41:05, 46:13 Racism & healing intergenerational trauma
Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.