The field of psychological research recognizes that human beings receive not only the biological and genetic heritage of their ancestors, but also a psychological heritage; traumas, successes, failures, accidents, even illnesses sometimes have their origin in the remote history of one’s ancestors. Thus, seemingly like a chain of transmission, one often comes across puzzling facts that may find their explanation by going back to the events of the past and accessing the family tree.
Psychogenealogy, as a method of investigation, is an aid not only to avoid reading such happenings from a purely individual perspective, but to inserting them into the larger fabric of family history, recognizing events of the past that continue to affect the present in a negative way, hindering the realization of one’s plans and desires.
This approach to personal and family history was developed during the 1970s by Anne Ancelin Schützenberger (1919-2018), founder of the Transgenerational school. Drawing on the research of Françoise Dolto (1908-88), Jacob Levi Moreno (1889-1974), Gregory Bateson (1904-80) and Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy (1920-2007), Anne elaborates a therapeutic program that can help understand events and wounds of the past.