Elizabeth Kipp has dedicated her life to unraveling these intricate patterns and unlocking generational trauma through her expertise in Ancestral Clearing®, Compassionate Inquiry®, and Trauma-Informed Addiction Recovery Coaching. Join this interview written by Katarina Todorovic with Elizabeth in “Unlocking Generational Trauma: A Deep Dive with Elizabeth Kipp on Ancestral Clearing and Trauma Recovery” in Mystic Mag.  Explore her groundbreaking approach to stress management and historical trauma healing and discover the powerful impact of her work on the journey towards holistic well-being.

WRITTEN BY KATARINA TODOROVIC | Published On July 08, 2024 in MysticMag

In the complex tapestry of our lives, the threads of ancestral history and personal trauma often intertwine, creating patterns that can shape our present and future. Elizabeth R. Kipp, a distinguished Stress Management and Historical Trauma Specialist, has dedicated her life to unraveling these intricate patterns through her expertise in Ancestral Clearing®, Compassionate Inquiry®, and Trauma-Informed Addiction Recovery Coaching. With a unique blend of ancient wisdom and modern therapeutic techniques, Elizabeth helps individuals transcend their inherited pain, fostering profound healing and personal transformation.

Join Mystic Mag as we explore her groundbreaking approach to stress management and historical trauma healing, and discover the powerful impact of her work on the journey towards holistic well-being.

Can you share your personal journey and what led you to specialize in stress management and historical trauma?

I was born into a family with parents who had just come out of the Second World War.

My dad was in the Pacific, serving in the Navy, and my mother lost her mother due to a German U-boat bombing a passenger ship in the Atlantic. This created a lot of trauma for them, and they didn’t know how to process it. There was a lot of social drinking in their circle; it was just how they dealt with things. I remember my parents talking about how some of their friends were fighting with one another, and instead of checking the alcohol, they just changed the kind of alcohol they drank, switching from gin to vodka. This gives an idea of the environment I grew up in as a child.

My mother had undiagnosed and untreated bipolar disorder on top of chronic back pain, and no one knew how to handle it.

She would treat her pain with alcohol, creating a lot of chaos and unpredictable rage at home. Despite having wonderful things like beautiful clothes, good food, and a nice house, the energy at home was quite unpredictable, like walking on eggshells. This created a feeling in my body that I was not safe. I wasn’t allowed to express my emotions, which added stress, both at home and in school, where we had to behave a certain way to avoid discipline.

When I was 14, I had an accident where I fell off a horse and landed on a rock, breaking the 5th lumbar at the base of my spine. I didn’t realize I had broken my back because I could get up and walk away from the accident. I saw others at horse shows get carried off, but I wasn’t one of them, so I figured I was just hurt.

We never had an X-ray; life just went on as normal.

I took about two weeks off from riding before getting back on the horse. The bone had split in two, and the front part slipped forward, so the two parts didn’t mend together. Seven years later, I started having problems with the strength of my legs. A chiropractor diagnosed the old injury, and I managed with their help for another seven years before needing surgery.

Fourteen years after the accident, the bone had slipped 80%, pulling the leg nerves with it, creating instability and pain. I had four surgeries, and each time, the pain worsened. The treatment was always opiates and benzodiazepines, and I was told I couldn’t heal from chronic pain. My science background made me respect their knowledge, but I felt something was not right.

The science framework is self-limiting because it can only comment on that which it can observe, measure, or describe.

We live within the world that the scientific framework references, but our existence lives beyond into the All That Is, not just the part on which science can comment. We heal in the All That Is, including within the scientific reference point. So, science has some of the answers to our healing, but not all of them.

In addition, scientific discoveries are constantly changing, so medical conclusions, which are based on the scientific framework, are not fixed. Because I had this basic understanding of the medical landscape, I knew when the doctors pronounced that I would not be able to heal that their conclusion was not necessarily accurate. It told me more about the limitations of the healing model the doctors were using than it told me about the body’s ability to heal.

It took me 31 years to find a doctor who understood chronic pain and helped me detox from the medications and heal.

I entered his pain management program with 40 years of chronic pain and 31 years of opiates and benzos and walked out 52 days later clean and with no pain. During those 31 years, I met many chronic pain sufferers in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and rehab centers. People with chronic pain often create blocks to their healing; this is part of the nature of chronic pain itself. My experience allows me to see where a chronic pain sufferer is thwarting their own healing, and I help them move through that.

While in detox and treatment, there were 100 patients on campus. Twenty of us attended the pain management program, while the other 80 patients went to relapse prevention. Concerned about my relapse training, I asked my counselor, who told me that 80% of people relapsed within the first year. This statistic stunned me and made me question the model we were using for recovery. I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to improving the relapse rate, which led me to my current work.

How do Trauma-Trained and Yoga-Informed Addiction Recovery Coaching differ from traditional addiction recovery methods?

I actually incorporate all of it. Traditional recovery coaching includes support around a 12-step program, which I already do. Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a beautiful process that helps people reframe their language and beliefs. It’s very powerful and helpful. I have seen its effective action for me and for others close to me who are in recovery and work that particular program.

As traditional recovery coaches, we also point people towards counseling and emphasize the importance of doing service work in their community and being in community with like-minded recovery individuals. This goes beyond just the 12-step program; it’s about being part of a community of people who are recovering.

The trauma training part includes understanding that addiction is a disease of connection.

Everyone I know who suffers from addiction was a chronic pain sufferer first, and before that, they had some kind of unresolved trauma. Chronic pain is defined as any pain felt for 15 days out of 30 for three months or more. This can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain, as the brain sends the same signal for all types: it hurts.

Trauma, as defined by Dr. Gabor Maté and Bessel van der Kolk, is not so much what happens to you but what happens inside of you because of what happened to you because you are alone with the hurt and the meaning you make of the trauma. This leads to disconnection from others, from a sense of a Higher Power, and from your true Self. This is why, in trauma-trained addiction recovery, we include working on the trauma piece because it is at the root of the addiction issue. This is why, in trauma-trained addiction recovery, we include working on the trauma piece because it is at the root of the issue.

While I am not a trauma therapist, I am a trauma coach.

Once someone is in trauma therapy and looking for daily maintenance, I help them stay centered in their program on a daily basis. I also include yoga, a targeted movement practice that includes breathwork. While traditional recovery might include some breathwork, I focus on more targeted, refined, and nuanced practices. While traditional recovery might include some breathwork, we focus on more targeted, refined, and nuanced practices. Movement practices, in addition to breathwork, are very helpful in helping us connect back to ourselves, which is essential in healing from addiction.

This is a brief overview, and we could have a much longer conversation about this topic.

What type of services do you offer?

Another thing I would add is that I do things differently from traditional trauma and trauma-trained, yoga-informed addiction recovery. I bring in the ancestral piece, which is where the historical trauma aspect comes in. I do Ancestral Clearing and include a real understanding of how our present moment experience is imprinted by the past, which can create addictive behaviors. This topic could warrant a whole other couple of hours of conversation, but I include that piece in my work.

It’s very important to understand that many people come to me and say, “I have this behavior, and I don’t even think it’s mine.” That’s the ancestral imprint. From a biological perspective, it’s information in the system. If you look at evolution, the next generation receives information that the system believes will be necessary based on past experiences. When you think of it like that, it makes perfect sense, and there is a lot of science around it.

In a nutshell, the services I offer include one-on-one coaching, group coaching, and a lot of Ancestral Clearing for people, not just those in recovery. I do Ancestral Clearing almost every day with someone around the world who is specifically looking for that. I also conduct group Ancestral Clearing online and in person. Additionally, I teach trauma-informed yoga. While I can teach traditional yoga, I tend to focus on trauma-informed yoga because of the population I generally work with. For someone with trauma, you wouldn’t want to do a yoga practice that overly activates the nervous system, as an example.

How does Compassionate Inquiry integrate into your practice, and what benefits have you observed in your clients?

In Compassionate Inquiry, we are not aiming for a specific outcome with the client. In traditional recovery coaching and therapy, we are typically goal-oriented. When I bring on a new client, the first thing I do is send them a form asking what goals they want to achieve with me. Everyone is focused on achieving a specific outcome, and we work towards that goal.

Compassionate Inquiry, however, doesn’t work that way. Instead, it allows for whatever is showing up in the present moment. We engage in a kind of mirror work with the client, focusing entirely on the present. This approach creates a very precious and safe environment because we are not looking for a specific outcome. We are accepting whatever is here right now, which is profound. Most people want to heal and move from their current state to a desired state.

One of the big challenges for people with addictive behaviors is their difficulty with the present moment. They often dislike their present experience and use substances or engage in certain behaviors to avoid it. Therefore, having a present-moment experience with another person in a safe space, where however they show up is fine and where we are not trying to change or move anything, is incredibly powerful. It’s all client-directed, and that’s what makes it so effective.

How do you tailor your coaching and healing techniques to fit the unique needs of each individual?

I love the question, and we could talk for hours about how I do that. However, I feel that my own meditation practice, recovery program, yoga practice, and training in trauma, Ancestral Clearing, and Compassionate Inquiry enable me to be a good active listener.

I listen very carefully to what the client is bringing in at that moment. How I approach things depends on what they bring to the table. One thing I am very careful about is creating a safe space. There is no variation in that. I also make sure the client is seen and heard, supported, and challenged.

I act as a guide to point the client back to themselves as the answer. I’m really a guide showing them their own ability to heal. These are the constants with all my clients.

How we achieve that can vary. We might do Ancestral Clearing, use Compassionate Inquiry, engage in a yoga practice, or something else. I have many tools in my toolbox, and it depends on what the client needs. So, while there is a consistent framework, there is also a lot of variability.


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