Mark Wolynn

Author of Bestselling Book

IT DIDN’T START WITH YOU: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes

Who We Are and How to End the Cycle
Winner of the 2016 Nautilus Book Award in psychology
Finalist for the 2016 Books for a Better Life Award

About Mark Wolynn

It Didn’t Start With You shows how the traumas of our parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents can live in our unexplained depression, anxiety, fears, phobias, obsessive thoughts and physical symptoms—what scientists are now calling “secondary PTSD.”

Documenting the latest epigenetic research—how traumatic memories are transmitted through chemical changes in DNA—and the latest advances in neuroscience and the science of language, It Didn’t Start With You is an accessible and pragmatic guide to breaking inherited family patterns.

The book leads readers through a process of self-discovery and healing, helping them identify the emotionally-charged language of their worries and fears that link to unresolved traumas in their childhood or family history. Through provocative questions, relevant case studies and a series of body-centered exercises, readers are guided to become detectives, mining their family history to unearth the source of their issues. Ultimately, readers learn how to convert old, fearful images into ones that bring strength and healing. It Didn’t Start With You is the first book of its kind to offer step-by-step guidance to help people break the cycle of destructive inherited family patterns.


“Mark Wolynn does a masterful job of illuminating the ways in which often unknown to us, our ancestors’ unresolved suffering disables us and binds us painfully to them. He gives us the tools and skills — an approach that combines understanding, imaginative
dialogues, and compassionate reconnection—to free and heal ourselves.”
— James S. Gordon, MD, author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Through Depression

“It Didn’t Start with You takes us a big step forward, advancing the fields of trauma therapy, mindfulness applications, and human understanding. It is a bold, creative, and compassionate work.”

— Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

“This groundbreaking book offers a compelling understanding of inherited trauma and fresh, powerful tools for relieving its suffering. Mark Wolynn is a wise and trustworthy guide on the journey toward healing.”
— Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

“Mark Wolynn’s extraordinary book cracks the secret code of families and proves that you can go home again—once you understand how history made you. Full of life- changing stories, powerful insights, and practical tools for personal healing, It Didn’t Start With You deserves a place on your bookshelf next to Alice Miller’s The Drama of the Gifted Child and Dan Siegel’s The Developing Mind. You’ll never see your family the same way again.”
— Mark Matousek, author of Ethical Wisdom

“Bridging both neuroscience and psychodynamic thinking, It Didn’t Start with You provides the reader with a tremendously helpful toolbox of do-it-yourself clinical aids and provocative insights.”
— Jess Shatkin, MD, author of Child & Adolescent Mental Health: A Practical All-in- One Guide

“After reading IT DIDN’T START WITH YOU, I found myself immediately being able to apply Mark Wolynn’s techniques with my patients, and saw incredible results in a shorter time than by using traditional psychotherapeutic techniques. I encourage you to read this book. It’s truly cutting edge.”
— Alexanndra Kreps MD,  Psychiatrist and Fellow in the American Psychiatric Association

“Utterly invaluable and endlessly fascinating, Mark Wolynn’s book, It Didn’t Start With You, links our psychology and biology in a profound new way, giving us the power to understand and transform ourselves in the face of what seems inevitable.  Identifying our unconscious loyalties to our ancestor’s trauma through a series of practical questions and exercises, gives us the keys to unlock our own freedom and compassion. Reading this book is like being a part of one of Mark’s transformative workshops, a brave and powerful journey to self realization.”
— Brenda Strong, Emmy Nominated Actress Desperate Housewives and Dallas and CEO of Strong Yoga4Women

“This book is essential reading. A must read. Mark Wolynn’s approach to inherited and early developmental family trauma and its effect on health and wellbeing is groundbreaking.”
— Dr. Bruce Hoffman, Medical Director, The Hoffman Centre for Integrative Medicine

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