On Wednesday November 30th, I will give a presentation entitled “Relationship Themes in Families of Holocaust Survivors: Strengths and Vulnerabilities“. The event is open to the public, and will start at 6:45 pm at Easthill Synagogue, 255 Walnut St., Englewood NJ 07631.
The concept of “Historical Trauma” has been established by research on many different trauma-exposed populations across the globe. It has been shown by trauma studies that prior history of extreme traumatic experiences and losses in the lives of parents have persistent long-term effects which influence the family atmosphere and intergenerational relationships with children born after the trauma ended. These experiences are associated with particular strengths which have allowed the survivors to re-build their lives and cope with the challenges of migration, despite their suffering. There are also particular interpersonal sensitivities and vulnerabilities that are associated with having grown up with trauma survivor parents. These characteristics, both assets and liabilities, might reverberate through the generations in the family. This presentation will focus on identifying such “icebergs” in the psychological world of the descendants of Holocaust survivors and on strategies to amplify the strengths and minimize the liabilities associated with them.
The event is organized by the Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson (http://www.jfsbergen.org/). There will be refreshments, and parking is available.