Intergenerational Trauma

Intergenerational Trauma
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-02-17
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Intergenerational Trauma
Unit 2 Transcript: Intergenerational Trauma
Unit 3 Workbook: Intergenerational Trauma
Unit 4 Recording: Intergenerational Trauma

People who find themselves entangled in the system are dealing with some form of trauma. This does not only refer to the victims, as even perpetrators may also have been impacted by trauma causing them to commit abuses and violent crimes. Criminal justice professionals must be made aware of this fact to be able to work with this population more successfully and provide long-term and effective solutions that address the root cause of the issue.

This session’s speaker is Duane Bowers. Duane Is a licensed professional counselor and educator in private practice. He provides support to victims and families experiencing trauma and traumatic loss. He also works with staff and volunteers who deal with these issues.

Topics Duane covered for his webinar include:

  • What is trauma, how it is experienced based on perception, and the core issues surrounding it?
  • Defining the concepts of intergenerational trauma, intragenerational trauma, transgenerational trauma, and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance which are central in this discussion.
  • The modes of intergenerational trauma: Genetic, developmental, environmental, and cultural/historical.
  • What is epigenetics, the changes it creates in the genetic makeup, and how it may manifest in behavior.
  • The developmental means of intergenerational trauma seen in the pre-natal to first two years of life.
    • How trauma experienced by the mother during pregnancy interferes with the baby’s brain development and ability to modulate anger and fear.
    • How the environment that a baby is raised into can aggravate or reverse the effect of the trauma they’re exposed to prenatally and eventually affect the child’s learning, concentration, and memory functions.
    • The misdiagnosis the tends to happen when the concept of developmental intergenerational trauma is not probed into.
  • The concept of fetal programming where the prenatal environment results in lasting psychological imprint once the baby is born.
  • Insecure attachment style where an uninvolved, inconsistent, and unpredictable caregiver prompts the baby into a state of hyperarousal and fear due to its needs not being met.
    • How a baby raised in this condition can grow up to become a mother with a similar uninvolved, inconsistent, and unpredictable parenting style which then is passed on onto her own children.
    • How this phenomenon is also observed in male species based on an experiment conducted in male mice.
  • The concept of trauma patterning where being born and raised into a situation where one feels unsafe results in a constant fight-flight-freeze-shutdown loop which when prolonged manifest as anxiety and depression.
  • Environmental trauma through learned behavior where beliefs and behavior are shaped by the example set by people within the immediate environment.
  • Secondary trauma where exposure to details of trauma that an individual did not directly experience or witness produces the same traumatic response as directly witnessing or experiencing it.
  • How historical or cultural trauma is collectively experienced by a group of people who share an identity, affiliation, or circumstance and then passed on intergenerationally through socialization or epigenetic markers.
  • Elements that exist collectively within the environment and immediate circle of a victim that perpetuates transgenerational trauma, and must be understood by those working in the criminal justice system.
  • How the ACES study recognizes the role played by historical, cultural, and transgenerational trauma in people’s potential risk-taking behavior and health outcomes.
  • A brief review on the neurobiology of trauma and how it impacts the development of the different parts of the brain.
  • Factors to consider on intergenerational trauma intervention and how to effectively create change for people afflicted with this condition.
  • The Q&A touched on topics surrounding references to break the cycle of generational trauma and how experiencing the pandemic created trauma and epigenetic markers as well.


Other Webinars with this Speaker


Or click here to view and register for other upcoming Wellness and Mental Health webinars on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “You always have awesome speakers and I learn a lot from each of them! Learning how trauma is intergenerational and that secondary trauma is also a type of vicarious trauma that listeners experience–my words and that education is not enough to change the behavior…it takes determination and work to make change thank you for these great trainings!” — Teresa
  • “I loved his examples of all the types of intergenerational trauma.” — STACY
  • “Everything was new for me. it was AMAZING info, and great presentation delivery!” — Kiya
  • “Presenter was knowledgeable and presented in a way to keep participants attention.” Thank you. — Kati
  • “The information is very beneficial. The presenter was very thorough.” — Florence
  • “Explaining intergenerational trauma by giving concrete examples and walking through those examples helped to demonstrate the huge impact trauma has; information was very comprehensive and presented clearly; great webinar.” — Martina





NACP and D-SAACP Advocates can earn 1 CEU by attending this webinar through the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP). Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.  To learn more about NOVA, visit




Additional Resources
1 year ago
Online Course: Understanding Trauma and Trauma Informed Responses
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2 years ago
After the Webinar: Intergenerational Trauma. Q&A with Duane Bowers
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4 years ago
Thoughts on the Effects of Childhood Trauma from Duane Bowers
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