It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle (Paperback)
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.
One of Cosmopolitan’s 15 Books About Mental Health That Everyone Should Read
One of Men’s Health’s 20 Best Mental Health Books to Read in 2022
One of Choosing Therapy’s 10 Best PTSD & Trauma Books for 2021
Winner of the 2016 Nautilus Book Award in Psychology
Finalist for the 2016 Books for a Better Life Award
“This groundbreaking book offers a compelling understanding of inherited trauma and fresh, powerful tools for relieving its suffering. Mark Wolynn is a wise and trustworthy guide on the journey toward healing.”
—Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
“Mark Wolynn does a masterful job of illuminating the ways in which our ancestors’ unresolved suffering, often unknown to us, disables us and binds us painfully to them. He gives us the tools and skills—an approach that combines understanding, imaginative dialogues, and compassionate reconnection—to free and heal ourselves.”
—James S. Gordon, MD, author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression
“It Didn’t Start with You takes us a big step forward, advancing the fields of trauma therapy, mindfulness applications, and human understanding. It is a bold, creative, and compassionate work.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
“Mark Wolynn’s extraordinary book cracks the secret code of families and proves that you can go home again—once you understand how history made you. Full of life-changing stories, powerful insights, and practical tools for personal healing, It Didn't Start With You deserves a place on your bookshelf next to Alice Miller’s The Drama of the Gifted Child and Dan Siegel’s The Developing Mind. You’ll never see your family the same way again.”
—Mark Matousek, author of Ethical Wisdom
“Bridging both neuroscience and psychodynamic thinking, It Didn’t Start with You provides the reader with Mark Wolynn’s hard-earned toolbox of do-it-yourself clinical aids and provocative insights.”
—Jess P. Shatkin, MD, MPH, Vice Chair for Education at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Child Study Center and author of Child & Adolescent Mental Health
“After reading It Didn’t Start with You, I found myself immediately able to apply Mark Wolynn’s techniques with my patients and saw incredible results, in a shorter time than with traditional psychotherapeutic techniques. I encourage you to read this book. It’s truly cutting edge.”
—Alexanndra Kreps, MD
THE SANTA FE LITERARY FESTIVAL
Celebrating the power of story, the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival will be an unforgettable weekend dedicated to a shared love and language of ideas. Collected Works Bookstore is thrilled to be the official bookstore of the Festival.
Bestselling, prizewinning authors and literary legends like Margaret Atwood, Joy Harjo, Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, John Grisham, amongst others, will headline the festival, discussing their work with readings and book signings that set the stage for further inspired conversations.
NOTE: If you purchase a festival event ticket that is INCLUSIVE of the author's book, you will receive that book upon check-in for your event at the festival.
To order books by festival authors directly from CW, see below. Collected Works will be carrying a wide selection of books by all participating authors available for online pre-order and at the on-site festival bookstore May 20-23.
Purchase your books by festival authors directly from CW below: