Transgenerational Trauma: Development of a Neurobiological Therapeutic Tool

Cassandra Garmston


Members Download: TNPTvol4issue3pp36-46

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have experienced extensive trauma and transgenerational trauma over the decades since white settlement.  The population has experienced severe and multiple chronic stresses deliberately inflicted upon them as federal and state governments have attempted to alter cultural norms to form westernised communities.  These experiences have been occurring over many generations and have resulted in trauma to modern generations quite removed from the events of past generations and has been passed from adults to children. Such intense trauma changes neural networks to avoidance patterns resulting in over activation of the autonomic nervous system.

This psychoeducational tool investigates the use of traditional Indigenous stories presented to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations from a bottom up perspective, using the integrated model of the base elements theory of neuropsychotherapy, beginning with establishing safety to provide a healing environment.  The cultural focus will aim to establish a thriving environment using elements of basic needs including: pain avoidance and pleasure, control and orientation, and approach attachment patterns.  The stories create and provide the power to guide identity by connecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with their culture to fulfil their sense of belonging…

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