July 15, 2022
For many of us who grew up with families and communities that did not speak openly about emotions, we may experience discomfort and uncertainty that comes with trying to find the right words to describe the feelings, wants, needs, etc. Many of us, especially the children of immigrants and refugees, might sense a reason that our elders do not want to speak about how they feel; for instance, it might be too sad, or scary, or too painful to relive. The fear of reliving past traumas may be too overwhelming for some of our family members, and when the trauma goes unprocessed, it may leave some kind of emotional “residue” within our bodies that can be passed on throughout generations. This “residue” might feel like anxiety, fear, shame, anger, or some other emotions that might feel like a lot to manage (because in a lot of ways, it’s not quite our own emotions).
A way to begin exploring our intergenerational traumas is to become more familiar with it. Getting to know how intergenerational trauma shows up in the body can be a challenging task, especially since the emotional “residue” may be decontextualized due to how much time has passed since the traumatic event occurred. When we give ourselves permission to feel into our bodies and to strengthen our intuition, we may begin to better understand and work with what is stored within us.
Through the use of collage, we are able to offer the body an opportunity to intuitively connect to a variety of imagery that can offer more insight into our embodied experiences. The collage activity invites the maker to select imagery that evokes feelings or sensations for them, whether it be from the colors, image, background, or whatever else calls to them. Collaging offers permission for the subconscious and intuition to come to the forefront. Once finished, the maker will have a tangible finished product that also serves as a tool to further explore their emotional processing. The collage-making process may be able to evoke feelings, sensations, and reflections that may not be immediately accessible to the neocortex (the “thinking” part of the brain), therefore the process of unpacking emotions becomes more accessible to those who may not have language or the felt-sense of comfort to dialogue about their emotions.
During this workshop, we will move through a collage-making exercise that pieces together the fragments of our lived experiences to tell the story of who we are and where we came from. You will learn about the ways that trauma is experienced across generations, and how those trauma responses might show up in your body. Lastly, this workshop is intended to help provide context and language to the ways that intergenerational trauma shows up in your body, as well as to honor and highlight the intersections of your identity and lived experiences that make you, you.
– Increased understanding of intergenerational trauma
– Increased understanding of somatic sensations related to trauma
– Experiencing collage-making
– Opportunity to explore verbiage and language that best describes your lived experience and identity
– Practicing self-inquiry about expressing emotional wants/needs
– Increasing self-awareness and body awareness of trauma responses and other emotions
About the Speaker
Mindy Tran (she/her) is a second-generation Vietnamese-Chinese-American woman, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, and currently works as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist serving residents of California and Washington. A majority of her therapy work focuses on trauma healing, and she implements body-based techniques to explore with her clients how trauma is stored and remembered within their bodies. She is also passionate about working with her fellow Asian Americans and other BIPOC folks to address the ways that intergenerational trauma impacts their lives. In addition to her role as a therapist, she is also a 500-hour certified yoga teacher. She currently offers public and private classes on restorative yoga, trauma-informed yoga, mindfulness, and sound healing.
Student discount and sliding scale available. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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