It’s well-known that we inherit our physical traits from our family, but it’s newer research that we also inherit our emotional patterns as well. These emotional patterns many times can be considered intergenerational trauma. EVERY SINGLE PERSON needs to know about their intergenerational trauma as it can keep us from living fruitful and fulfilling lives. Therapist Johanna Lynn is the expert when it comes to this topic and she’s teaching you on this episode all about what intergenerational trauma is, how to find yours and how to overcome it.


Apr 6, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

“As life begins, none of us arrive with a clean hard drive. We can think about it like we’re sharing an operating system with our parents and even our grandparents.” – Johanna Lynn

It’s well-known that we inherit our physical traits from our family, but it’s newer research that we also inherit our emotional patterns as well. 

These emotional patterns many times can be considered intergenerational trauma.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON needs to know about their intergenerational trauma as it can keep us from living fruitful and fulfilling lives.  

Today we’re talking with Therapist Johanna Lynn, an expert on this topic and she’s teaching us what intergenerational trauma is, how to find yours and how to overcome it.  


  • Show up in your marriage
  • Affect your relationship as a parent to your child
  • How having a lack-of a relationship with a member of your family can cause a ripple effect

And so so much more. 

Listen to this impactful episode at the top of this page.


Apply to coach with me

Continue the conversation in my free online community

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Johanna’s website


In Utero documentary

Full Transcript

This is the Become an Unstoppable Woman podcast with Lindsay Preston Episode 39,
Intergenerational Trauma.


Welcome to the Become an Unstoppable Woman podcast, the show for goal-getting, fearfacing women for kicking ass by creating change. I’m your host, Lindsay Preston. I’m a wife,
mom of two, and a multi-certified life coach to women all over the world. I’ve lived
through enough in life to know that easier doesn’t always equate to better. We can’t fear
the fire, we must learn to become it. On this show, I’ll teach you how to do just that. Join
me as I challenge you to become even more of the strong, resilient, and powerful woman
you were meant to be. Let’s do this.


Hi there, Miss Unstoppable. Welcome to another episode of the show. I have a treat for you
today with this interview. I am interviewing Johanna Lynn. She is somebody that I was
introduced to about a year ago listening to a random podcast with a random podcast
episode. It was almost like magic how I found her and I was in love with her. I just thought
she was so articulate. What she was talking about on that interview blew my mind, it
opened up my world to a whole new way of thinking. Despite listening to many, many
hours of podcast interviews on various podcasts, she’s somebody that just stood out to me.

I continued to follow her, continued to think more about that interview over and over
again. There was just a point when I said, “No more, I need to reach out to Johanna and I
need to bring her on the show to share her wisdom with my audience.” That wisdom is
centered around something called intergenerational trauma. It was something that was
actually mentioned on a previous episode where we were talking about patriarchy stress
disorder with Dr. Valerie Rein that was a couple months ago at this point. In that episode
with Dr. Valerie, she was talking about how this intergenerational trauma has caused
women to hold themselves back because the patriarchy has been in full force for
thousands of years.

I knew I wanted to dig deeper on this intergenerational trauma thing and Johanna was the
person to do that. Today on the show, you’re going to learn all about what
intergenerational trauma is, that’s a mouthful, my goodness. We’re going to talk about the
benefits of doing that work and what it can open up for you to do that work. Just a little
tidbit to give you now, everybody should be doing this work. Every single person should be
looking at their intergenerational trauma. Trauma is not necessarily these big, huge things
that have happened to you or someone in your family lineage. It is just little things of
somebody just doing something that made them feel unsafe. Consequently, our brain
develops way around that. Johanna will go into more detail about it.

Such a fascinating interview. Oh my gosh, I had so many questions. You’ll hear me ask all
the questions on this interview. We go to different places, we talk about marriage and how
it impacts that and how it impacts our parenting. Goodness, so many things. Just to give
you a little more information about Johanna. She has a background in sociology,
psychology with a social arts and sciences degree. She has multiple different certifications.
Her big thing is obviously inherited trauma or this intergenerational trauma thing we’re
talking about. She also has an institute, The Family Imprint Institute, where she’s training
other therapists and coaches on these principles.

This is actually some training that I’m going to be doing and adding to my programs within
this next year. Exciting stuff. Johanna knows her stuff. She has a beautiful energy. She’s
just very grounded and peaceful in the way that she speaks. I really hope you love this
interview as much as I do. Without further ado, here is my interview with a beautiful
Johanna Lynn. Johanna, it is such a pleasure and a gift to have you on this podcast today. I
told listeners how I found you about a year ago on just randomly listening to another

Despite listening to many podcast episodes of many guests throughout the year, you were
somebody who stuck out in my mind tremendously last year. I always just thought one day
I’m going to have her on the podcast. Just about a month ago, I just had this feeling of it’s
time, reach out to her, see if she’ll come on. I’m thrilled that you’re here today. Thank you
for being here.

Johanna Lynn: Oh, it’s my pleasure, Lindsay. Thank you.

Lindsay: I want to start with going right to the heart of the matter of what we’re talking
about today and that’s intergenerational trauma. Can you explain to everyone what
intergenerational trauma is?

Johanna: Absolutely. As life begins, none of us arrive with a clean hard drive. We can think
about it like we’re sharing an operating system with our parents and even our
grandparents. It’s really looked at as the family story, it resides in us, the good and the bad.
Like it or not, it’s a part of us. It’s super well-known that we inherit our physical traits from
our parents, but what’s much less known is that we also inherit their emotional patterns.

Lindsay: Yes. Tell us where this research has come from, Johanna, to show this.

Johanna: It’s come from many different places. One of my favorite researchers, her name is
Rachel Yehuda. She was doing a study on the descendants of Holocaust survivors. What
surprised her in her research were they were showing many of the same stress markers in
their brain as if they had been a part of the Holocaust themselves. It’s really started more
understanding of epigenetics and how intergenerationally things are carried. It’s as if we’re
born prepared to deal with the strains and the stressors and the traumas that our parents
and grandparents lived before.

I really view this as the intelligence of our body, this sense of we’re not going to be caught
unprepared. We were learning and we’re sharing that learning with our parents and our
grandparents. Where we get into trouble with that is we may be living in upstate
Connecticut and everything is abundant and safe and beautiful. We live with this
hypervigilance in the body because maybe our grandfather was a prisoner of war or our
grandmother grew up with a lot of poverty. It doesn’t seem to matter how much positive
thinking we do. The reality feels safe and prosperous but yet how we feel inside can’t be
separate from what lives in our family tree.

Lindsay: Fascinating, isn’t it?

Johanna: It really is.

Lindsay: Survival mechanism, right?

Johanna: Yes.

Lindsay: Let’s go back to the term intergenerational trauma for a second. You and I were
just talking before we hit record on this about the word trauma and how some people
think it’s got to be these huge things like a Holocaust prisoner of war, a severe abuse that’s
happened for it to be considered trauma. Tell us what trauma really means.

Johanna: For many of us, trauma can be a very intense experience, where in more of an
everyday occurrence, mom went back to work developmentally before we were ready to be
separated. Mom potentially lost a child before we were born or after we were born. When
we look to her, we’re seeing a lot of her sadness and her trying to process this loss. Many
of the times, it can simply be a space and experience where we have stopped feeling safe
and it can really leave its residue in the body.

Lindsay: I see a lot with my clients, I don’t know if you see this too is school experiences.
Even just a little bit of bullying, not even severe stuff or things that happened
academically. Would you consider that trauma?

Johanna: I think a lot of it is how well we bring that experience home. If mom and dad take
it seriously, if we feel acknowledged and heard or if we were really hurt by a teacher or
somebody in the schoolyard and the sentiment at home is strengthen up, or that’s not a
big deal. It can lodge more as a trauma in the body when we feel we don’t have the
resources or we don’t have mom and dad at our back to deal with where we feel really
overwhelmed with whatever life is serving up to us.

Lindsay: Again, it goes back to our parents in those instances.
Johanna: A lot of the times it does. I think it can make or break the situations that life
shows us out there in the world.

Lindsay: Can we go back to the science piece? [chuckles] We have a lot of science lovers
that are listeners, including myself, Johanna. You said there’s been a study about Holocaust
survivors. Do you know of any other studies that you’re aware of where this is proving to
be true that intergenerational trauma is something that’s happening?

Johanna: Oh, yes. There are countless. If we could go back to the most I guess replicated
study in all of epigenetics where we’re looking at mice because mice really move through
the generations much more quickly than people do. We’re seeing in a much shorter of time
the certain effects and how they show up across generations. In this study, they took baby
mice and separated them from their moms. We’re seeing these patterns of broken
attachment that are seen throughout three generations.

It’s quite remarkable to notice the gene expression and how it changes based on these
limited separations. Sometimes it’s only a few hours a day for the first two weeks of life
and we’re seeing the same expression show up across generations. It’s quite remarkable.
Lindsay: Wow. It makes you want to cry almost to think about those mice, oh my goodness.
If you think about all the species on the planet and they’re going through experiences like
that, it just shows how so many of us are dealing with this intergenerational trauma.
Johanna: Absolutely.

Lindsay: You mentioned in that, Johanna, it goes back three generations that they’re
showing with mice. Is that what they’re showing with humans as well?

Johanna: In the scientific studies, we’ve only looked or focused on three generations back.
There are different models of thought that talk about seven generations back and even
further than that. I tell you, Lindsay, when I work with clients, I’m building a threegeneration genogram and there is more than enough material just right there. I tend to
stick really close to the science and so in order to serve my client best, I can just really stay
within those three generations and we can accomplish everything we need with that.

Lindsay: Tell us more about this genogram. What is that like?

Johanna: When I’m working with a client, perhaps they’re coming to see me because
they’re worried about their teen child becoming distant or their marriage is on the rocks or
they have a health concern. I only give that example because nobody comes into my office
and sits down and says, “I want to look at my inner generational trauma.” This is not the
language we use. Yet, by building out the genogram, I’m able to look at patterns. A really
common one might be, “My marriage is in trouble. We’ve been married about 11 years. I
look and mom and dad separated around the same age.”

Sometimes seeing an echo of the past, or I might say I use something called the Core
Language Approach. I’m looking for something called core descriptors. The way we express
our problem, the way we describe our parents. Maybe I ask the client, “Tell me about your
dad. Was he cold and critical or was he more warm and loving?” She’ll give me a list of
adjectives that perhaps he was cold and shut down, he was always at work. Then I go and I
say, “Okay. What’s really going on in your marriage? What are you finding most
challenging?” “He’s always at work. He prioritizes that. When we get into an argument, he
shuts down or he gets very critical.”

What I’m noticing is a mirror effect what we really blame or feel still hurt about with one
of our parents, we’re going to end up replaying that in our marriage. We can see straight
away “Oh, wow. This isn’t a relationship problem any longer. We’ve got to really look at
integrating how I’m storing or how I’m living this relationship with my parent because it
just goes on to be repeated otherwise.”

Lindsay: How much of that though, Johanna, is environment versus biology?

Johanna: Great question. It’s one of those, what comes first, the chicken or the egg, right?

Lindsay: Yes.

Johanna: All of us are so steeped in our environment that I believe, and we were seeing a
lot of scientists show this, that this now becomes what triggers certain genes to express in
certain ways. What changes that gene expression is our environment. If we have a
precursor to certain disorders in the body and we live in a home that’s full of anger and
criticism and strife, we may in fact be turning on some of those genes by living under
those conditions. It’s one of those it really depends which way you look at the science in
order to answer that question.

Lindsay: In essence what I’m hearing is, say if we have this wire in our brain of
intergenerational trauma or whatever we are going to call it and it’s around feeling safe
and secure around critical people. Then you’re around a critical person, that may ignite in
your brain and say “Hey, this is how you need to handle it based off past generations.” Is
that what I’m hearing, Johanna?

Johanna: Yes. It’s almost as if we go back to that child part of ourselves that needs to
defend or that needs to maybe move into people-pleasing just to stop the criticism. A lot
of the times I’ll find myself saying to my clients, notice where you lose yourself with your
boss, with your parent, with your spouse. Where do you feel I can no longer be my
authentic self because I go into more of a reactive stance that is very much connected to
how we may be survived a situation as a child? If we had a highly critical parent and we
just want to avoid that, we might even be more finely attuned, “Oh, my spouse’s face is
looking a little irritated and crunched up, what can I do to soften things?”

We begin to sidestep important conversations that perhaps we need to have to have the
relationship feel healthy and we don’t know why that is. We’re not seeing what’s behind
the scenes. What I’ve come to appreciate so much about this work is that it really has the
big picture in mind always. This is how we can get out of taking things personally, this is
how we can get out of habitual patterns and habits we wish to become free of. It’s really a
roadmap to our own freedom and living life more from who we are than just those default

Lindsay: Because so many people I guess are just living in a state where they just think the
present is the problem but they’re not seeing how the past has impacted the present. Is
that what I’m hearing, Johanna, from you?

Johanna: That’s a good way to say it. That’s exactly right, Lindsay. A lot of the thoughts
that we think are the same thoughts we had yesterday and the very same thoughts we had
last week. We really truly are creatures of habit. What we’re including a misunderstanding
is that it’s not just our own experiences where habituated to but also our parents maybe
their perceptions, maybe even some of their prejudices where they’ve been taught to think
a certain way. This begins to become part of what informs us. It’s a lot of information
coming at us.

Lindsay: Like you said, it takes blame off the table because I think so many people
especially the women I work with are, “What’s wrong with me? Why do I feel this way?” It’s
really you’ve been handed this platter of problems that other people haven’t dealt with
that you may be the generation to deal with it.

Johanna: That’s just it. I’ll never forget working with this lawyer. He was on the cusp of
bankruptcy. He was dealing with the shame and he was thinking, “My gosh, everything was
going along so well until I hit my 47th birthday.” He says, “I could even tell you I made
these four really, now looking back, bad decisions that really turn things in this financial
crisis.” We began to do the genogram and he became more and more open a little less
frozen where shame can just shut us down. We began to look at his own father.
Unfortunately, he had had a gambling addiction, his father, and at the age of 47 lost

The family lost their home. This client was in the late stages of his teenage time so loving
his sports and all of that had to come to a halt. Their parents’ marriage came apart and dad
became the bad guy. Dad became the one who made all these mistakes and nobody could
count on him. He hadn’t spoken to his father since this time. Now what we know about this
work is within the family, it does not allow for an exclusion. What I mean by that if we kick
dad out because he made this series of mistakes and the family lost so much, it has a
tendency to be repeated over again. What he found very astounding was he was at the
exact same age that his father was when he lost it all.

In the awareness of this repeating pattern, he was able to have a much less shame for
himself. He could see it as a larger context, a larger part of his life experience so it made a
much easier to move forward. We also got a little window, a little opening of compassion
for his dad because what would it mean for this client if his children close their heart to
him because of the series of business– A gambling addiction is different than a series of
business mistakes but man to man at that age, losing it all for their families has the same
humbling effects. We see these repeating realities unless we can open our hearts to
understand them from a larger perspective.

Lindsay: Johanna, I have a question for you on that. I understand how intergenerational
trauma goes from in essence a mother to a child in utero, right?

Johanna: Yes.

Lindsay: It’s just building all those brain wires in her body. In this case with this lawyer, he
was already born, and then his father experienced something. Was it just then a behavioral
pattern that he was replicating or was that considered intergenerational trauma and
reverse biology?

Johanna: Got it. Biologically, the imprint that happens is very much at the cellular level.
Chromosomally, biologically we are half our mom and half our dad. We carry half in each
egg and sperm to become us. That’s an element of the biology and its impact. Now we go
forward into our environment, how we’re raised, what we observe, what we see happen.
There are four ways that our life force gets diminished. In this case, with the lawyer, the
life force that we were looking at being diminished was the rejection of his dad.

If we reject our parent for even good reasons, this is a pretty darn good reason, dad lost all
the money, his life changed. Yet, if we close our heart to a parent, we can end up living life
the same way that they– Almost we can carry the same pain that we judge them for. It
happens two-fold; biologically and also based on relationships. Relationally and

Lindsay: I’m just digesting that for a second. How do we know then that we’ve closed our
heart to our parent because I encounter so many people who say, “Yes, my parent did X, Y,
Z, however, I have forgiven them and I’ve made peace with that.”?

Johanna: [chuckles] Absolutely, Lindsay. I have a whole workshop called the Myth of
Forgiveness because I hear this so often too. If we have, in fact, forgiven our parents, we
wouldn’t be living in a situation like what the lawyer is, if we go back to that case study.
The why I call it the forgiveness myth is what’s much more powerful words, even bigger
than I forgive, is moving towards I understand. If I go back to the genogram of this lawyer,
what had happened to this father as a young boy was dad was never around. He actually
ended up leaving the family, and they had very little money, very little choice, being raised
as a single mom.

To him, the gambling gave that dopamine hit of, “I’m going to make it. I’ll have all the
choices. I’m never again going to be in poverty,” and yet it swung to the very other

A lot of the times what lives in our family history may drive certain addictions. This feeling
of if we can really step into this lawyer’s father’s shoes and the client-lawyer could look at
his father and say, “No wonder you were chasing the money. There was never enough
when you were growing up. Without your dad there to model what it might be to be a
good provider, what it might be to be lit up and passionate and fulfilled about your work,
you found very off the rails way.”

The I understand is something that generates compassion, that can open something while
I forgive actually might sometimes put us above our parent. This place of, “I’m better
because I found a way to forgive.” It doesn’t open anything. It keeps things static. We’re
over there away from our parent, and we still don’t have that love flowing.
Lindsay: If we’re saying I understand and we’re seeing the patterns of that, is that then
saying that we’re opening ourselves back up to that parent, even if we don’t have a
relationship with them?

Johanna: What a great distinction. There’s a lot of my clients who just have not been in
contact with their parents for a variety of reasons. The very best step that we can do is
begin to shift the way we carry that relationship inside of us. We know through
neuroscience that we can do all kinds of shifts internally and that has a great effect on our
stress response on all kinds of the internal workings of our body.

I’ve seen time and time again that it is more than enough to begin to work internally with
how you hold that to become free of the heart, to really strongly move into the I
understand so we’re not taking it personally. We’re trying to look at, what’s behind mom’s
criticism or why was dad so quick to anger so that we can step out of taking it personally,
and then some healing can happen.

Lindsay: Got it. I hope everyone out there listening has got it because I am following this
for sure. What have you found and what has science found as the biggest benefits of
finding and healing your intergenerational trauma?

Johanna: I think the primary piece is we get to be much more authentically us. We’re not in
reaction to, this place where we didn’t get enough love in the family, or we’re not like that
lawyer case, set to replicate something that happened with one of our parents. We’re much
more free to make our own decisions and we have a much more clarity inside of ourselves
for what’s right for us. We’re not lost in people-pleasing. We’ve got healthy boundaries.
We’re really grounded in our own choices, and moving forward in the direction that we
choose, instead of what’s on this pattern repeating phase.

Lindsay: How can someone know if they’re authentic self or not, Johanna? How would you
describe that?

Johanna: I suppose there’s a sense of resonance with your decisions. There’s a feeling at
home with yourself, with your own choices. I think a big clue is if you find yourself with a
decision, and you think, “Let me go ask seven of my friends, and then I’m going to take a
poll on who thinks–” We know we’re in hot water if we’re reaching out to ask other people
what they think we should do. That place of really knowing ourselves might look like, “You
know what, friend? Let me sit with that. Let me think about that and let me get back to
you.” We give ourselves enough time to really be with that decision and we can find our
own internal yes or have the courage to express a no if that’s what comes up?

Lindsay: We know ourselves enough to get where we need to go to find what it is that we
want. I can’t even say it. It is so hard to describe, though, because I encounter people all
the time who asked what I do, and they don’t really understand coaching. I try and explain
it to them. I say, “I primarily work with women who are seeking a deeper fulfillment.” I
think some of them get this look of, “Am I fulfilled? I’m not quite sure.”
Johanna: Like, “How do I know when I’m there?”

Lindsay: Right. Of course, I use the term like authentic self, but I think some people just
still look at that of, “I don’t quite understand that.” I love how you said about the decisionmaking because I do encounter a lot of women who they’re asking a million people to
make a decision, or they go back and forth about should I even sign up for coaching? Or
they have trouble standing up to their parents, or their partner, or whatever it is. Go ahead.

Johanna: I’m just going to add to that that how could anyone else know what the right
decision for you is? Even your spouse who likely wants the best for you and loves you and
wants to support you, but even you and your spouse, probably the most intimate, close
person, you each come from different life experiences, from different families. It can be a
courageous thing to step into, “I’ve got to sit with this decision until I know what’s right for
me.” Not putting that off on a friend or even a therapist or whomever but to find that truth
for you.

Lindsay: This could be a whole nother topic, Johanna, but it is a lot trickier when you are in
a committed relationship or married to bring all your beliefs and traumas and all of that
into the equation and try and move forward collectively as a couple in making decisions.
Do you work with couples at all and have them both sit down and do their genogram and
all that?

Johanna: I sure do. Well over 80% of what goes on in a relationship has to do with each
other’s family of origin. If a couple wants to sit down, often they want to, dive into he said
this and she does this. It’s this litany of complaints. If I let that go on, I’m more of a referee
than really being of service to them. The first step is to really build each other’s genogram
so I can understand the tension, even the repetitive arguments, how they actually make a
lot of sense. 9 times out of 10, this is not a marriage issue. This has to do with the repair
work that’s needed for each other in their family of origin. That work goes on first and
their relationship takes on a whole new frame of reference. I love working with couples.
It’s beautiful.

Lindsay: A total side note question there too. When you say 80% of it is coming from our
family of origin in essence, what is that other 20% coming from?

Johanna: I think it can really be difference in communication styles, different in attachment
patterns. Do we come from a securely attached place? Are we more insecure? It can be the
simple things of, “Am I introverted, am I extroverted?” The friendship and social needs may
differ inside that relationship. Some of those things they’re very important but they’re
easier to negotiate than some of those deeper, more fundamental pieces.

Lindsay: My mind is just spinning. I want to ask you working with couples, at what point
would you say that somebody should break up versus this is just something we can heal a
bit, be it attachment style or intergenerational trauma, what would you say to that,

Johanna: Oh, that’s every couple’s own decision. I’m really there as a facilitator to look at
the larger picture. A big part of the training that I do with clinicians and coaches is that we
as the facilitator take the very last place. Meaning my clients, their parents, they have first

I’m here to shine some light on some dynamics and then the couple has to take that home
and decide, “Does this feel healthy? Are we on the right track? Can we improve things?
What are we modeling to our children? If our marriage, for the last 10 years, it’s been this,
are we willing to let that go on for the next 10 years? Are we capable of really loving each
other differently?” Those are some of the questions that may be opened up in our time
together and they take home and really decide.

Lindsay: I love that answer. It goes back to what you have said earlier about when you’re in
that authentic self, you can make decisions from that place of where to move forward and
making those decisions where it feels good to move forward in that direction. Right?

Johanna: Exactly, because we could take that example and we go and we talk to our
girlfriends, Sally, whose father had a series of affairs. What do you think Sally’s advice is
going to be if you should leave that marriage or not? Then we go and we talk to your
friend, Heather, whose dad is this amazing, loving person and Heather’s advice is, “Oh,
you’ve got to work it out. There’s got to be a way.”

Now, you the person, are even that much more confused because you’ve diluted your own
inner knowing by asking people who really in all due respect, they don’t belong in your
marriage. It’s a very sacred place that’s rich with learning. Sometimes we have to be in that
I don’t know place that can be very uncomfortable, but to look at all of the different
moving parts.

Lindsay: It’s not just, they don’t need to be in your marriage, they don’t really need to be in
your life in a way of giving you life advice. Instead, you need someone who can hold space
and teach you tools of here’s how to find the right answers for you. Would you agree,


Johanna: I love it. That’s even more succinct.

Lindsay: Okay, Johanna. A couple more questions for you as we wrap this up. I know that
you work heavily with your clients on finding their intergenerational trauma among many
other things. What could somebody do today to start to understand their own
intergenerational trauma?

Johanna: There are some really key questions and so some of your listeners could just ask
these questions for themselves in their own history. A primary one is, did something
stressful happen while your mom was pregnant with you, while she was carrying you?
Now, when we look at that epigenetically, we could even go as far back as grandma,
because when grandma was five months pregnant with mom, all the eggs that mom would
ever carry are being built in grandma’s womb. This imagining was grandma feeling happy,
was grandma loved and supported, what was going on in grandma and grandpa’s

Some of us don’t have access to that information, but it’s enough to know that the imprint
that starts in the little egg that is us is all of those years ago. Then if mom has something
super stressful, she loses her job, or there’s all kinds of stress going on between mom and
dad, or somebody gets a scary diagnosis in the family and her attunement is pulled away
from you in utero, this has all kinds of compromising effects on how loved and welcomed
we feel.

This can all be worked with, this is not a life sentence by any means. There is an
exceptional documentary called In Utero that goes into great depth on this very question.
Actually, Rachel Yehuda, that scientist I brought up a little earlier is one of the featured
guests on the documentary. Your listeners might like to take this topic a little further and

Lindsay: I can’t wait to watch it. I haven’t even heard of it. That’s so exciting.

Johanna: It’s a few years old now. It’s great. Another question to look at in your own family
history is has there been anybody excluded from my family? If we go back to that example
with the lawyer who dad was excluded. There was so much pain, there was so much loss
that if we have somebody that’s excluded, we’re very bound to have that repeated in a
similar way. It could be with us, the child of that father, or it could be our children. For
whatever reason, Lindsay, sometimes it can skip a generation its expression.

Maybe if this lawyer, as if we go back to that example, maybe he never speaks to his dad
again, but it’s enough for him to do the work to no longer hold him with such disdain, to
come to this place of I understand, dad. Then he’s able to repair his own life and his
children are less likely to crash and burn financially at the age of 47.

Lindsay: My mind’s just [chuckles] spinning on so many things that I want to ask you.

Johanna: Go ahead. That’s what we’re here for.

Lindsay: My next question and this is something I’ve wondered now and you’ve brought it
to light by talking today is I did a lot of work after I had my daughter. A lot of mental work,
and with coaching and things of that sort. I wonder because she was born before I did that
work, I have passed onto her probably the genetics of before that weren’t. Correct,

Johanna: Here’s another element. How we attuned to our child. If only we could cherrypick the good stuff to pass along to our children, but it doesn’t work that way. They get a
wide variety of the good and the bad. What begins to shift to the way maybe let’s say
anxiety might be shared between mother and child as an example. Now we’ve done our
own personal work and our child is three, four, five years old, and even older.

The way that we parent that child coming from a place of calm, coming from a place of
trust in the world, looking at where they may be expressing anxiety and getting right down
to eye level with them and saying, “Oh, sweetheart, I know that pulse in the body. I want to
share with you what worked for me. Let’s breathe together right where that nervousness
starts from deep in your belly. Is that your heart racing, let’s slow down our breath.”
Our ability to pick up what we once knew in our child to offer some techniques to help
them through it but the awareness that as we work on ourselves, it’s like we take more and
more bricks off of our children’s shoulders that they’re lighter and lighter. They’re less
likely to carry forward what’s ours.

Lindsay: I love that. I see that and the light now, as you say that, because I see old patterns
of myself and my daughter, especially around anxiety and people-pleasing even. I’m able
to explain to her, “Here’s how you work through it.” She’s not carrying on these big
patterns anymore because I can teach her here’s how it works, here’s how you can. Is that
what I’m hearing, Johanna?

Johanna: That’s it. I think when our children observe us, let’s say establishing a boundary
even if it’s with grandma or auntie, they see that modeled. Then they begin to pick that up
and it’s some of the best learning that we can offer them. I think we teach our children
boundaries and self-regulation and all of these beautiful parts of having life go a little
easier if we’ve got these pieces in us that we can model that to them. That makes a huge

Lindsay: Oh my gosh. I love this topic so much.

Johanna: It’s endlessly fascinating. I love it too.

Lindsay: It is. It’s fascinating. I love the science piece of it, of course. Johanna, you
articulated all so well. Thank you for taking the time to explain this to us. I know this is
just the tip of the iceberg. Today we’re just trying to create awareness in every one of,
“Hey, this is a thing. If you are feeling these ways, here’s a way that you can start to heal
that.” Johanna, can you explain to us if someone is feeling that call to reach out to you
where they can find you and what the next steps maybe?

Johanna: Absolutely. You’re more than welcome to visit my site. I’ve written lots of articles
and there’s a few different interviews on there just like yours, Lindsay, that they can tune
in and listen. It’s www.Johannalynn.ca. You can find me on Instagram, under the Family Inprint Institute, that’s the name of my institute? My favorite part of what I do is teaching
clinicians and coaches how to bring this work into the way that they serve clients. Then, of
course, I have my private practice. I work internationally on Zoom. It’s so nice to bring this
work. There’s no barriers. It’s whoever is open to do it, we can certainly find a way.
Lindsay: If somebody is feeling that inkling of, maybe they should work with you, Johanna,
explain to them what you could give them as you work with them.

Johanna: All of my sessions are in 90-minute blocks because I love the ability to do that
deep dive work. The first session, maybe about a third of it, we’re going to go through your
map of the world, building out that three-generation genogram. Then as soon as I have
your complaints, your language, your relationships, and where love flows, and maybe
where it’s gotten tangled up over the years, we can then move directly into resolution.

What I’ve come to appreciate about this work is it’s very experiential because it’s one thing
to understand certain concepts in the mind, but we really have to get that down into the
body for real change to take place. Right from the very first session, we go into
experiential applications of the work. It’s just quite remarkable, I have to say. Typically I
work with clients for about three sessions and we come to a place of resolution. It’s very
different than talk therapy or perhaps what many of your listeners have tried before.

Lindsay: Wow. In three sessions, Johanna?

Johanna: That’s typical. There are certainly people who need more and of course,
depending on what they’re coming for. That’s very typical, three.

Lindsay: Wow. I love it. What you do is such a compliment to what I do so anyone out there
listening, Johanna is just taking a lot of the elements of what I’ve done, but doing it in a
different way and especially incorporating more body into that. I highly encourage, if you
are feeling called to go out and reach out to her, I’ve followed her for about a year now
and just incredible content she’s putting out there. Johanna and I are even talking about
me going through her training programs because I love what she does. You’re going to get
incredible value from her. Please go reach out to her. Johanna, thank you for being here,
sharing all your wisdom with us. We are also appreciative.

Johanna: It was such a pleasure, Lindsay. Thank you so much for the invitation.

Lindsay: Oh, of course. I can’t wait to see you all the ahas that are opening up from this
episode today. Thank you again.

Johanna: Wonderful. Thanks for having me.


Hey there, Miss Unstoppable. Thanks so much for tuning into this episode. If you enjoyed
it, share it with a friend. Send them a picture of this episode via text, via email, share it on
social media, I’m sure they would be so appreciative to know these strategies and tips on
how to accomplish your dreams. If you are ready to guarantee you’re going to accomplish
your goals and dreams, then it’s time to start coaching with me.

In my nine-month simple success coaching system, I am going to walk you every single
step of the way to ensure that you get the goals and dreams that you want. The first step is
to apply for a free 60-minute consult call. Just go to LindsayEpreston.com/apply to get
started. As always, my friend, remember, you’re only as unstoppable as you believe you can
be, so believe in yourself. You got this.

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Hi! I'm Lindsay

Hi! I’m Lindsay Elizabeth Preston. I’m a certified & trauma-informed life & leadership coach who has spent the last decade helping successful women create lives that feel as good on the inside as they look on the outside by using my neuroscience-backed coaching process called, Awakened Woman.

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