Internationally Recognized Psychotherapist, Theorist, Educator, and Author, Marilyn Murray discusses whether or not trauma and abuse can be passed on to future generations.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: In fact, one of the things I talk about a lot is that we carry our parents pain, and so not only the way they role modeled to us how not to deal with this pain, or how to deal with it, but the fact of how that pain has affected them definitely affects how they treat us, and how they respond to us.
And so for me when I had finally dealt with this, and then started teaching about it, and developing this theory it was not only on how can I help other people, but how can I continue to change my life, and for my children, my grandchildren so that they do things differently than I did, and encouraging people to be able to feel. So going back to your question about trauma so if you're able to deal with it immediately you know as soon as possible afterwards then the long-term damage is much less.
So I talk with people today if they have a child that has been sexually abused by teacher or someone or has been in some type of major trauma and traumatic situation to allow that person to deal with it as soon as possible. And the good news is today, and here it is 2012, and we live in the United States of America help is available now. And so when you were talking about what kinds of treatments? I think it's always important to know that like back here, this was a trauma whether its childhood or more recent or whatever you learn how to anesthetized, create diversionary tactics often and not, not deal with it.
And so what happens over the years, those things, many people use anesthetizers, alcohol, drugs, nicotine, caffeine, sex, food and etcetera or like I did diversionary tactics work, working hard, becoming a workaholic, taking care of other people. Then what happens is as the years go by those behaviors then become condition learned bad habits which then can become compulsions and addictions. And then what happens if you go to therapy or like to a Twelve-Step program just to work on this behavior, but you don't work at the root cause. You just end up changing behaviors.
Michelle King Robson: Changing habits.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Yeah absolutely you're just going, going around what I called the Addictions Track when you think of how many people stop smoking and gain weight. Many of the sex addicts that I work with and in the office here are dry alcoholics, and so you need to change the behavior, but you also need to get out the roots just like you have an infected plant out there just cutting it off at the base. It doesn't help and maybe dig the roots out. So at the same time if you only work on the roots not work on the behavior that's not okay either.
So therapeutically, people need to do both, need to do something that can help them dig out their roots as well as some behavioral whether it's in a support group, Twelve-Step program something that can continue to help them have long-term follow-up because it just takes a little while to break that habits.