top of page

Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life 

  • Writer's pictureTerri K. Lankford, LPCS

Juneteenth: Holistically Healing from Historical Trauma

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. Although President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had officially freed enslaved people in Confederate states on January 1, 1863, it was not until two and a half years later, after the end of the Civil War, that Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed  enslaved African Americans of their freedom. Juneteenth celebrates the delayed but pivotal moment when the last enslaved individuals in the United States were finally emancipated, marking the end of one of the darkest chapters in American history and the beginning of a new era of freedom for Black Americans.

Even with the end of legal slavery in the United States, the legacy continues to reverberate through generations, manifesting as intergenerational trauma that impacts the mental, emotional, and social well-being of Black communities. The trauma inflicted upon enslaved individuals, including violence, exploitation, and dehumanization, has been passed down through generations, shaping collective narratives, beliefs, and behaviors. Moreover, systemic racism and social inequities perpetuate the trauma of slavery, exacerbating disparities in access to resources, opportunities, and quality of life for Black Americans. Recognizing and addressing intergenerational trauma is essential for promoting healing, resilience, and social justice within impacted communities.

What are holistic strategies to heal intergenerational trauma? The counselors at Rise and Thrive are here to help! Check out three strategies below about holistic ways to recognize and heal intergenerational trauma.

Strategy #1: Cultivate Cultural Connections

What is the first step to healing intergenerational trauma? Know thyself. Get to know the stories of your culture and of your specific ancestors. Getting to know your culture’s story has several benefits - a sense of connection, increased community, learning coping skills through metaphors, and much more. Consider:

  1. Explore Cultural Heritage: Take proactive steps to explore and learn about your cultural heritage. This can involve researching your family history, traditions, language, and customs. Engage with elders in your community to hear their stories and wisdom, and participate in cultural events, festivals, and ceremonies that celebrate your heritage.

  2. Connect with Community: Build connections with others who share your cultural background or interests. Join cultural organizations, clubs, or community groups where you can engage in meaningful dialogue, exchange experiences, and celebrate shared traditions. Participate in community service projects or advocacy efforts that promote cultural awareness and empowerment.

  3. Express Creativity Through Art: Use art and creative expression as a means to connect with and celebrate your cultural identity. Explore traditional art forms, music, dance, storytelling, or culinary practices that are meaningful to your heritage. Create your own artwork or participate in cultural workshops and classes to express your identity and deepen your connection to your cultural roots.

  4. Engage in Rituals and Ceremonies: Participate in rituals or ceremonies that honor your ancestors, ancestors, and cultural traditions. This can include ceremonies of remembrance, ancestral veneration practices, or rituals of renewal and empowerment.

Strategy #2: Explore Healing Modalities

Finding a therapist is a little like dating - sometimes you need to meet more than one person to find the RIGHT person. The right person has an interpersonal style you like, they honor your identity and experience, and the way you two engage is both helpful and supportive. You may want to try a variety of modalities in order to see which interests you the most. You can: 

  1. Research Holistic Approaches: Take time to research different holistic healing modalities that resonate with you. This can include practices such as acupuncture, Reiki, herbal medicine, sound therapy, or traditional healing methods from your cultural background. Explore books, articles, online resources, and workshops to learn more about each modality and how it can support your healing journey.

  2. Seek Guidance from Practitioners: Reach out to practitioners or experts in various healing modalities to learn more and seek guidance. Schedule consultations or sessions with professionals who specialize in the modalities you're interested in exploring. Ask questions, share your goals for healing, and discuss how each modality aligns with your needs and preferences. Also, make sure the provider honors your identity and affirms your trauma experience!

  3. Experiment with Different Techniques: Take a hands-on approach to exploring healing modalities by experimenting with different techniques and practices. Attend introductory workshops, classes, or group sessions to experience firsthand how each modality feels and affects you. Keep an open mind and pay attention to how your body, mind, and spirit respond to each modality, noting any benefits or insights gained along the way.

Strategy #3: Engage in Social Advocacy

There’s something so healing about engaging in advocacy today, in honor of the ancestors who did not get an opportunity to experience the world they helped create. Consider the following acts of social justice advocacy

  1. Get Involved in Grassroots Movements: Join grassroots organizations (like NAACP), community groups, or activist networks that are actively working to address systemic issues and promote social justice. Participate in rallies, protests, marches, and community events to amplify your voice and demand change.

  2. Support Black-Owned Businesses: Foster economic empowerment and community resilience by supporting Black-owned businesses and initiatives. Invest in Black entrepreneurship, patronize Black-owned establishments, and advocate for policies that promote economic equity and opportunity for Black entrepreneurs and workers.

  3. Engage in Intersectional Advocacy: Recognize and address the intersectionality of social justice issues by advocating for the rights and liberation of all marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, indigenous peoples, and people with disabilities. Work collaboratively with allies from diverse backgrounds to build inclusive movements for social change.

  4. Practice Self-Care and Community Care: Prioritize self-care and community care practices to sustain your well-being and resilience as you engage in social justice advocacy. Take breaks when needed, set boundaries, seek support from friends and family, and engage in activities that nourish your spirit and replenish your energy.

We hope this blog post provided three holistic strategies to begin healing intergenerational trauma. If you want more holistic help, look no further than Rise and Thrive Counseling. Our holistic counselors can help address all areas of life. Reach out today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!




Welcome to Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life.


I’m Terri Kiser Lankford, owner of the Rise & Thrive Counseling Practice, a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (in NC), and the host here at Rise & Thrive Counseling, PLLC and the Embrace| Overcome|CreateYourLife Blog.


I’m also an entrepreneur, Syltherin, foodie on a fitness journey, complete book nerd, photography novice who happens to think music is life. 


Warning! This site is about motivation, health & wellness, and self love.  but its also about various mental health issues and may talk about subjects such as suicide, self-harm and other touchy subjects at some point. This site is not intended for youth and may be “too much” to some.


Nothing on this site should be considered a medical recommendation. I am not a doctor. Anything of interest should be discussed with your doctor or therapist, or me (in person) if you are my current client.  No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. (Sorry, I have to say that.)


All writing and mental health information here are accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. However, keep in mind my opinion, and available information, changes over time.

Join our mailing list

Be the first to know when a new post gets published and never miss an update!!!

*** Be Sure to Check your Spam/Junk Folder in case that's where your Welcome Email lands!! ***

bottom of page