Reducing the vulnerability of helping professionals through inner peacebuilding : working through transgenerational trauma with body focused systemic constellations
Robertson, Patricia Kathleen
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SubjectBody and Embodied; Burnout and Compassion Fatigue; Helping Professionals; Systemic Constellation; Systemic Healing and Transformation; Transgenerational Trauma
My research is a case-within-a-case study concerned with the wellbeing of helping professionals who work with those who are traumatized. The demands from constant technological growth, globalization, and migration, which effect societal change at an unprecedented pace, push the capacity of many helping professionals to cope with the resulting burnout, secondary trauma, vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and overall lack of inner peace in their own lives. My research focuses on unresolved transgenerational trauma carried by helping professionals into their work, which can create heightened emotional responses to the trauma of others, limiting effectiveness and the capacity to affect peace. The science of epigenetics shows the measurable emotional inheritance of descendants, with the wounds of parents and ancestors passing down through the body, impacting thoughts, belief systems, motivations, behaviours, actions, relationships, and wellbeing. Research reveals that traditional methods of addressing trauma such as talk therapy, which tend to pathologize symptoms, are not sufficient for addressing trauma or transgenerational trauma, since both require a body focus. An inward turn is needed, and yet, proactive and preventative inner peacebuilding continues to receive little attention or resources. This research examines my own wellness praxis as the overarching case, examining client files as subcases, and the feedback of clients through an interview and a survey. The research revealed a new approach for working through the embodied nature of transgenerational trauma utilizing body focused systemic constellations as ritual. The approach is adaptive for use in many helping professions and promotes access to embodied and collective knowledge in a way that is transformative, systemic, ancestral, and body focused. Keywords Body and Embodied, Burnout and Compassion Fatigue, Epigenetic, Helping Professionals, Inner Peacebuilding, Systemic Constellation, Systemic Healing and Transformation, Systemic Practitioner, Transgenerational Trauma, Secondary and Vicarious Trauma
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