‘The trauma of our ancestors lives on in us,’ says psychotherapist Eugene Ellis

  • Written by Eugene Ellis
  • Published on 14th March 2021
This image was posted on the Voice-Online website
  • “What keeps this cycle of trauma in place is the added stress of living in a racialised society” – Eugene Ellis
  • In psychotherapist Eugene Ellis’ new book ‘The Race Conversation’, he comments on the unprecedented violence and psychological abuse that was inflicted on black people during slavery has psychological scars that continue to negatively impact black communities in the UK today. Ellis argues that this trauma is passed down across generations in black families in the UK.
  • Ellis reflects on how the physical violence his father inflicted on him as a child filled him with overwhelming anxiety, which he carried with him into adulthood. At the age of thirty, he undertook therapy, and with help, was able to face his trauma and understand the origins of it and how it continued to affect him into adulthood.
  • Also, Ellis points out that the love a child receives from their family is not enough to deal with this trauma. Living in a racist society means black people will face overt and subtle racism on a daily basis which will negatively impact their emotional well-being. Until society changes, this collective trauma cannot fully be healed.


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