Would you go back to your familial roots and learn about the importance of your ancestors? A relatively new discipline of psychogenealogy therapy, developed in the 70s, will help you. Learn how this approach can help you heal the wounds of your past and find the source of your troubles.

What is psychogenealogy?

Anne Ancelin Schützenberger, professor of psychology, coined the term “psychogenealogy” in the 80s to better explain to her students the significance of family ties and the notion of transmission and transgenerational. The term was then popularized and it now refers to the process through which we can understand our psychological inheritance, apply it better and, if necessary, change it.

This psychotherapeutic approach can help a person lay down the baggage of his past and let go of the damage to overcome the traumas he has incorporated. Thus, psychogenealogy is a new opportunity to treat psychological wounds and relieve a person of his shame, guilt, regret, uprooting, loss, grief, and untold secrets.

Register its existence within a lineage

Psychogenealogy can keep track of certain shortcomings that are deposited in us unconsciously. Psychogenealogy can help uncover the web, from one generation to another. It helps to discover why some needs remain on hold and some voids left to be filled.

Psychogenealogy can also help you better understand your life, your personal and professional choices, and light your path even if it is not tinged with trauma. That is why psychogenealogy is also interested in happy moments that punctuate a pleasant life and lineage.

How can you benefit from psychogenealogy?

Psychogenealogy proposes an approach that takes into account objective and subjective stories of your life and relationships between them. A first step would be to identify individuals who are or have been significant in your life.

Then, draw your family tree (genogram), and identify those who have played a major role in the family, and chart out the relationships you had with each person. The authors also recommend that you gather information from other family members. Ask questions about photo albums, for example. Finally, here are some questions you can try to answer:

  • In my family, whom do I resemble the most?
  • How was the relationship of other people with that person (conflictual, distant, close, etc.)?
  • What were the rights, duties and prohibitions that existed in my family?
  • If I wanted to date an accounting psychogenealogy, does it reveal a deficit or surplus?

Thus, by taking an inventory of your personal background and family, psychogenealogy help relieve you of heavy burdens and make yourself more available to accommodate your choices and experiences.

Some concepts used in psychogenealogy

Mammals lick their pups at birth to mark their relationship. This process can obviously be affected. The analogy to this practice, in humans, may mark a handicap in terms of socio-emotional skills, for example, the person may be clumsy in life.

The transition to financial independence is essential but often overlooked. Some people do not easily reach that stage before the death of their parents. Ability to become independent of the family thus represents access to a fuller maturity.

Finishing what was started (the Zeigarnik effect) is extremely important. Mourning not expressed, losses and other traumas that remain in memory can make us ruminate over them for years. It is therefore very important to close these events to get free and to reduce tension.

Other tools that psychogenealogy uses are the family tree, psychodrama, life context, nonverbal communication (body language, acting out) and the genogram.

Without self awareness, we are doomed to replicate our flaws in future generations. Psychogenealogy places the lives of individuals and families on a continuous path, influenced by the context of the eras in which the ancestors have lived.