What is collective trauma integration?

  • The Collective Trauma Integration Model is informed by the current state of science and based on several premises: Prevention is always the first goal. Once we understand the nature and effects of collective trauma, we can more effectively work together as a global society to prevent the atrocities and systemic disruptions that lead to this phenomenon in the first place.
  • In order to address collective trauma, we need to examine how ancestral, historic and transgenerational trauma intertwine and operate in our unconscious, underlining and forming many of our cultural conceptions.
  • The effects of collective trauma do not just unfold in the immediate aftermath of an event, but potentially continue for a very long timespan. In some cases, the original event is evident, e.g. a natural disaster or war. At other times, the original event may be shrouded in the mists of the past, or rooted in a complex web of decisions and actions, e.g. a failing healthcare system.
  • There is a natural tendency in both individual and collective systems that leans towards healing. When provided with a trauma-informed expertise of heightened attunement and the safety of a well-held, coherent space, trauma will naturally show up for healing.
  • When we are aware of collective trauma as part of our unconscious framework and cultural architecture, this helps us to have the foresight necessary to mitigate collective fear, panic, and resulting behaviors in times of crisis.

It is this background upon which the Collective Trauma Integration Model has been designed.

As Thomas Hübl began to lead retreats in Germany in the early 2000s, he realised that many experiences of participants were rooted in the past, and specifically, related to the Holocaust and World War II. As he continued this work, he brought Germans and Israelis together to process their shared history. Since then, he has worked with tens of thousands of people from more than 40 countries in the facilitation of Collective Trauma Integration Processes. Further explanation can be found in Hübl’s newly released book Healing Collective Trauma: A process for Integrating our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds.

The goal of a collective trauma integration process is to release and thereby integrate the trauma that is stored both within individuals and within groups of people who share a similar trauma pattern in their collective unconscious. An essential component of this technique is to strengthen the relational coherence of the group. When this happens, Hübl believes, the group can release a portion of trauma, and thus, a portion of frozen intelligence of humanity. As we continue this work, together, we create a more open, creative global culture that has the potential for a brighter future.

The collective trauma integration process (CTIP) model has six core stages:

  • Forming relational coherence as a group
  • Accessing denial or repression of the trauma
  • Becoming a conduit for the collective past to be voiced, expressed and witnessed
  • Tracking the specificity of individual and collective voices that arise during the process
  • Small group work: Synchronizing body, emotions, mind and spirit to begin integration
  • Transpersonal witnessing and integration of the process