Traumatic Legacies: Reconciling Our Emotional Baggage with Galit Atlas Ph.D. & Elizabeth Rosner

Original Air Date Wednesday, October 19, 2022 

Even though humans grasp the double-helix-shaped chain of our DNA strands, very little is understood about the information that is passed down from generation to generation. Physical attributes can be decisively attributed to the traits of our ancestors but what about the memories, and traumas that make up our emotional inheritance?

To discover the ways emotional inheritance can nurture us, and cause grief, secrets, and confusion, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two female authors about their findings about the legacy of trauma. Galit Atlas is a psychoanalyst whose book, Emotional Inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients, and the Legacy of Trauma, explores how multigenerational trauma is held in our minds and body. Author of the bestselling, Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, Elizabeth Rosner reveals the importance of unearthing the path, and atrocities of our ancestors so we may move into the healing phase.

Galit Atlas Ph.D. — Traumatic Legacies:

  • Galit explains Emotional Inheritance and how traumas can be held in our minds and bodies as our own. [1:51]
  • Three attachment styles categorize how children and parents acknowledge each other after separation. [6:08]
  • In her book, Emotional Inheritance, Galit has real-life examples of how some have an innate knowledge of their family history and how they process it. [14:05]
  • Galit explains how parents carry their own childhood burdens and traumas into relationships. [21:31]
  • The prize of this type of work is becoming ourselves and taking risks in life and love. [24:40]

Dr. Galit Atlas is a psychoanalyst and clinical supervisor in private practice in Manhattan. She is a clinical assistant professor on the faculty of the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis and faculty at the National Training Program (NTP) and the Four-Year Adult training program at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP) in New York City.

Book: Emotional Inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients, and the Legacy of Trauma



Galit Atlas
@GalitAtlas on Twitter
Galit Atlas on Facebook
@Galit_Atlas on Instagram

Elizabeth Rosner — Reconciling Emotional Baggage:

  • Elizabeth describes how certain hormones are transmitted throughout generations and her quest to name and heal them. [27:42]
  • Children and grandchildren of holocaust survivors or enslaved people will enter therapy with PTSD-type symptoms. [29:39]
  • In her new book, Deep Listening, Elizabeth investigates how what we hear in utero affects the way we come into the world. [34:44]
  • In her bestselling book, Survivor Cafe, soul retrieval and moral injury can cause trauma when we don’t collectively do the right thing. [39:10]
  • Elizabeth warns that all people should pay attention to the slogans and slang they use because language matters. [48:09]
  • Elizabeth describes why we need to acknowledge and discuss the atrocities of our ancestors. [52:24]
  • How meaning can be derived from purpose. [56:16]

Elizabeth Rosner, guest of podcast episode about emotional baggage and trauma with Galit Atlas Elizabeth Rosner is a bestselling novelist, poet, and essayist. Her most recent book of nonfiction, Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, was featured on NPR and in The New York Times; it was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award and named one of the best books of 2017 by the San Francisco Chronicle. She’s received literary prizes for her novels in the US and Europe; she is based in Berkeley CA and leads writing workshops internationally.

Book: Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory


Elizabeth Rosner
@ElizabethRosner on Twitter
Elizabeth Rosner Books on Facebook
@ElizRosner on Instagram

This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio about emotional baggage and traumatic legacies is sponsored by:

Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now? 

HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.

“As humans we are complicated and we don't intend to hurt the people we love.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Think about just how bad humans can be with one another.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“A lot of secrets are based on trauma that is shameful.” @galitatlas on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “For their survival babies are tuned into their parents and they know everything about them.” @galitatlas on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “Our minds sometimes attack anything that may create anxiety.” @galitatlas on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “Ruptures are part of every relationship. The moment of repair is what is important.” @galitatlas on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Our job as parents is to do the hard work.” @galitatlas on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“The biggest risk we take in life is loving other people.” @galitatlas on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “Cortisol levels get transmitted to subsequent generations.” @elizabethrosner on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Children and grandchildren of holocaust survivors show up in therapy with symptoms that seem like PTSD.” @elizabethrosner on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“We are collectively carrying human history.” @elizabethrosner on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “We only recently started recognizing whale songs and how elephants are communicating through vibrations in the earth.” @elizabethrosner on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “Moral injury is so nuanced and I am intrigued by it.” @elizabethrosner on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“I felt Facebook was enabling these propaganda reports about the Rohingya in Myanmar.” @elizabethrosner on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “We can’t look away because we want to feel better about our own lives.” @elizabethrosner on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Don't borrow and repeat slogans and slang you've heard without checking it first.” @elizabethrosner on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet



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