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  • Writer's pictureJeff Goodrich

Emotional Inheritance

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

Summer is usually a time where I really dive into my reading list – as opposed to reading what I have to. Fortunately, I have a few good friends that continue to recommend some books that they think I’ll like – they are usually right! I inhaled both of these books, and immediately bought copies for my library.

Emotional Inheritance (Galit Atlas)

One of those books that has already made an impact on my counselling practice, for the better. I love the explanation of how the weight of trauma is felt and carried, but that it becomes especially heavy when cloaked in silence and secrecy. The power of open and honest conversations can be so liberating – reducing the burdensome weight that can at times, feel crippling.

When considering the legacy of trauma, we can respond by repairing (re-creating) or we will likely repeat. Seems like most of us catch ourselves repeating undesirable patterns at some point. How could I possibly be so like my parents when I’ve worked so hard not to be? Repairing, often requires us to pull the band-aid off of our wounds – not easy, but so worthwhile.

What Happened to You? (Bruce Perry, Oprah Winfrey)

I’d heard good things about this book, but cringed when I saw Oprah’s name attached to it. I’m sure she is a lovely person, but not the kind of expert that I’d go to for anything. Thankfully, the format of this book allows her to do what she does best, ask questions and have open conversations. Everyone has a “What Happened to You?” story, but it is the subsequent question that has more immediate importance to me – “What did you need, but didn’t receive?” This is the big ask that allows us to move forward with our lives, if we are willing to do the work.

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