Mark Wolynn is the director of The Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco and is a leading expert in the field of inherited family trauma. A sought-after lecturer, he has taught at the University of Pittsburgh, the Western Psychiatric Institute, Kripalu, The Omega Institute, The New York Open Center, and The California Institute of Integral Studies.
Mark specializes in working with depression, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, fears, panic disorders, self-injury, chronic pain and persistent symptoms and conditions.
Mark’s book It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle has just been published by Viking/Penguin. His articles have appeared in Psychology Today,Elephant Journal and Psych Central, and his poetry has been published in The New Yorker.
In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood—
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.
In A Dark Time, Theodore Roethke
What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?
Mark shares the story of how an eye condition in his youth, in which he began to lose his sight, inspired his work in the field of trauma.
A Crucial Early Mistake
Mark talks about how he used to have his clients punch pillows in order to alleviate their anxiety, pain and suffering, and how that didn’t really quite work in the end.
I would see mysteries. We all walk around with unseen mysteries or anxieties–I wanted to provide help for the people who were suffering from the effects of family trauma.
- Try not to get too invested in your client’s story. We risk following them into the place where they’re perpetuating their anxieties. Instead, find their language that is connected to their trauma.
Mark’s go-to books
- It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle, Mark Wolyn
- Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by Schnarch Ph.D., David 1st (first) 1st (first) Edition [Paperback(1998)], David Schnarch.
- Maria Rainer Rilke
- Tao Te Ching