It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Written by:
Mark Wolynn
Narrated by:
Mark Wolynn

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2016
8 hours 17 minutes
A groundbreaking approach to transforming traumatic legacies passed down in families over generations, by an acclaimed expert in the field
Depression. Anxiety. Chronic Pain. Phobias. Obsessive thoughts. The evidence is compelling: the roots of these difficulties may not reside in our immediate life experience or in chemical imbalances in our brains—but in the lives of our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. The latest scientific research, now making headlines, supports what many have long intuited—that traumatic experience can be passed down through generations. It Didn’t Start with You builds on the work of leading experts in post-traumatic stress, including Mount Sinai School of Medicine neuroscientist Rachel Yehuda and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score. Even if the person who suffered the original trauma has died, or the story has been forgotten or silenced, memory and feelings can live on. These emotional legacies are often hidden, encoded in everything from gene expression to everyday language, and they play a far greater role in our emotional and physical health than has ever before been understood.
As a pioneer in the field of inherited family trauma, Mark Wolynn has worked with individuals and groups on a therapeutic level for over twenty years. It Didn’t Start with You offers a pragmatic and prescriptive guide to his method, the Core Language Approach. Diagnostic self-inventories provide a way to uncover the fears and anxieties conveyed through everyday words, behaviors, and physical symptoms. Techniques for developing a genogram or extended family tree create a map of experiences going back through the generations. And visualization, active imagination, and direct dialogue create pathways to reconnection, integration, and reclaiming life and health. It Didn’t Start With You is a transformative approach to resolving longstanding difficulties that in many cases, traditional therapy, drugs, or other interventions have not had the capacity to touch.

Includes a bonus PDF with diagrams and writing exercises
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Tosha K.

This book was eye opening and life changing for me. I highly recommend it!

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Interesting as a concept, but the way it was carried out was sensationalized and brought into “woowoo” territory — i.e. the author was playing on emotion and a few examples rather than logic and science. It felt like the author was trying to sell it in the way a psychic would try to convince someone they were legitimate. Also trying to back it up by comparing it to a line in the bible was incredibly dumb in my opinion, as anyone can find a line from the bible, or any other book in the world, and use it to apply to any theory they want. Overall, interesting, but all of the sensationalizing detracted from any credibility. It’s a nice thought and can stimulate interesting discussion or discovery, but the author’s claims about how it works rely quite a bit on confirmation bias.

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Elizabeth W.

An eye opening book to take you deeper into knowing yourself and where your being comes from.

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How fascinating! makes you think there is so much more to ourselves and how we are linked to our family and ancestry...

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Becky M.

This book contains critical tools to uncovering life-long held traumas. This is an important book. Most helpful!

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Important book. Life changing.

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Scientific evidence was selectively presented and misinterpreted to match the author's opinions, resulting in a biased and misleading message.

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Lise King

Extremely insightful!

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Anita M.

The scientific information at the beginning of the book is fascinating and informative, it’s when clients stories started that it seemed rather unrealistic. The majority of the stories come across as a quick and easy fix by mending your relationship with your parents and that’s it. It seems like it is a book for people who have parents or grand parents that experienced trauma and is therefore only for you if you have experienced their trauma second hand and as long as you fix your relationship with your parents then you will be better and live happily ever after. That is why I am giving this book only 2 stars.

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Kimberly B.

Awesome information on how to release yourself from family trauma.

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Too short

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