Exercises for Generational Healing
MY PARENTS CHILDHOOD
- Take a few minutes to think about this question…what important information do you do remember hearing about one of your Pick something out to draw a picture of, a scene of your parent as a child.
- Form a group of 5-7 people. If you choose share the story in the picture with the members of your group. Group members will listen but not comment.
- After all who wish have shared, discuss similarities and differences.
- Pick a story to show experientially. Discuss ways to do that in your professional setting.
- Share with the larger group.
DIGGING IN THE BONES OF MY ANCESTORS
- This exercise can be done in an imagined cemetery, with Halloween or made gravestones, or paper bones.
- Imagine that you are standing at the site of your great grandparents and older generations.
- At this point stories can be told of their lives.
- Write on index cards the positive characteristics passed down (resilience, courage, hard work, risk taking)
- Add characteristics that you are pioneering to overcome.
- People can role play ancestors and encourage change, pride or ask forgiveness.
CARRYING THE WEIGHT OF THE FAMILY
- This is a good exercise for heroes and codependents who carry the shame or responsibility for others disease or trauma. Sometimes that pain is generational.
- A cloth or cape can be weighted with lunch sized paper bags filled with some gravel and pinned on. Or role players can gently pull on the cloth after it is placed around the shoulders. Pillows can be stacked on the shoulders or held by the participant. Black trash bags or even trash cans are effective too.
- The importance of this drama is to distinguish between what “belongs” to us and what belongs to others. This exercise can lead to feelings, but it is important to encourage letting go and taking care of oneself.
PASSING IT ON
- This exercise relates to the one above. Many people in recovery feel shame for passing their disease to their children. Generational healing is important forward as well as backward.
- Have one role player for the disease. Use a fairly good sized ball like a soccer ball. Have the participant name something passed on to children and hand the ball to the disease. The disease then turns and pushes the ball onto the role players for a child.
- Other things that can be passed on are paper with characteristics written on them
- To process, allow feelings to happen and name how the child has been impacted. Then validate change happening and amends.