Transgenerational Trauma and Resiliance

On Sunday September 29th, 2019 over 50 people gathered as part of the 70th
Anniversary of the end of the Greek Civil War. The lecture was organized by
the Macedonian Canadian Health Professionals Association and the Canadian
Macedonian Historical Society. This event was in recognition of the continued
trauma being faced by the Macedonian Refugee Children of the Greek Civil war and
how this trauma has been passed on to the offspring of these former refugee children.
The lecture was presented by Dr. Biljana Bujko (Ph.D.) who is a Clinical Psychologist
from Pasadena California. Dr. Dan Mallin, a board member in both associations, organized
the event and introduced Dr. Bujko.

Dr. Bujko began by stating that trauma is not leaving the country but is the effects
of war, torture, etc., experienced in the country, with the psychological effects
lasting for years and also being transmitted to the next generation.

All forms of oppression, whether it is racism, genocide, or exclusivity of a dominant
group within a country or a region, is a system that impacts everyone within it,
pervasively, deeply, and for the dominant group, often unconsciously.

The Transgenerational Trauma is experience of violence perpetrated upon parents
and transmitted to subsequent generations, a colonized mind of unbearable and
unprocessed psychic experience without conscious knowledge and interest in being
processed and transformed. The last 20 years research intensified on this topic,
addressing the questions: How do we understand the vicissitudes of historical
trauma? How do we help people create a vital connection to the “Other” given the
shifts and splits still alive in today’s culture. And most importantly, how do we
understand and facilitate a relationship to a deeply felt, individual sense of self
so that each may live a more authentic, meaningful life?

Topics Covered in the lecture include:
- Describing the concept and different kinds of trauma
- Understanding how shared historical trauma become entwined with transgenerational
- Understanding the transmission and manifestations of transgenerational trauma
- Understanding the aspect of resilience in subsequent generations of survivors
of shared historical trauma, why do some offspring adjust well and others don’t
- Discussed the psychology of the Macedonian ethnic identity
- Discussed the Aegean exodus of the Macedonian Child Refugees of the
Greek Civil War and healing the wounds of the TGT
- Community awareness and empowerment

Dr. Biljana Bujko is a licensed psychologist who practices in Pasadena, California.
She is deeply connected to her Macedonian roots and advocates for the Macedonian
identity, social awareness, and social justice. She is the founder and owner of the
American School Macedonia (ASM) in Skopje, where she oversees the training of staff
and provides teaching positions for domestic and foreign educators.

Macedonian Canadian Health Professional Association

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