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Join Dr. Bea Hollander-Goldfein, director of the Transcending Trauma Project (TTP), The TTP is working to make contributions to the fields of trauma, coping and adaptation, and intergenerational transmission of trauma.
Writes Dr. Hollander-Goldfein:
Going beyond the oral histories documenting the events of the Holocaust conducted by many Holocaust memorial organizations, the TTP conducted deepened life histories with survivors designed to elicit the thoughts, feelings and internal experiences of those who went through the horrors, in order to understand how survivors coped and how they were able to rebuild their lives after the war. The life histories focused on pre- and post- war in order to understand the full person.
TTP also conducted deepened life histories with the children and grandchildren to explore how the parents’ experiences impacted the next generation. Many findings emerged from this investigation including, most importantly, the reality that family differences in the quality of parent-child relationships influenced the impact of trauma on the next generation. We also observed the intergenerational impact of hearing the stories of the war and its “transformative” impact on the children. The stories were, of course, painful to hear but through these stories the
children learned who the parent is on a deeper level.
Seeing qualities in the parent that become apparent through the war stories inspired admiration in the children and the desire to be like the parents. This raises the issue of how transformative narratives affect all of our lives, often in ways that are not known to us.
Dr. Hollander-Goldfein lectures on a variety of clinical topics including the process of therapy, conflict management, infertility, spirituality and the psychological legacies of the Holocaust. She has co-authored two books, Transcending Trauma: Survival Resilience and Clinical Implications in Survivor Families and Narrative Reflections: How Witnessing Their Stories Changes Our Lives. Dr. Hollander- Goldfein received her doctorate from Teachers’ College at Columbia University and did her post-doctoral research at NIMH. She is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.
The program is based on her work with the TTP only, not as a private therapist.
This free program is part of the Federation’s Connecting With Community Series.