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Self-help / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder > The Pain We Carry

The Pain We Carry: Healing from Complex PTSD for People of Color

By Natalie Y Gutiérrez, Jennifer Mullan

Where to buy

Publish Date

October 01, 2022


Social Science / Discrimination
Psychology / Psychopathology / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder



It’s time to heal the invisible wounds of complex trauma and reclaim your mind, body, and spirit.

If you are a person of color who has experienced repeated trauma—such as discrimination, race-related verbal assault, racial stigmatization, poverty, sexual trauma, or interpersonal violence—you may struggle with intense feelings of anger, mistrust, or shame. You may feel unsafe or uncomfortable in your own body, or struggle with building and keeping close relationships. Sometimes you may feel very alone in your pain. But you are not alone. This groundbreaking work illuminates the phenomena of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) as it is uniquely experienced by people of color, and provides a much-needed path to health and wholeness.

In The Pain We Carry, you’ll find powerful tools to help you understand and begin healing from repeated trauma. You’ll discover ways to feel safer in your body, build self-compassion and resilience, and reclaim your health and wellness by reconnecting with your sense of self and your ancestral wisdom. You’ll learn how trauma is connected to grief, how it can affect both the mind and the body, and how it can persist from one generation to the next. Most importantly, you’ll find the validation you need to begin mending your heart, and the skills you need to live a life of intention—even in the midst of an oppressive system.

It’s time to find relief from the trauma and burdens you have been carrying and start celebrating and rediscovering who you are. With this guide, you will uncover your own strength in order to work toward healing C-PTSD within the external constraints you face to live a life of resilience, empowerment, reflection, and perseverance.

Natalie Y. Gutiérrez, LMFT, is founder of Mindful Journeys Marriage & Family Therapy PLLC, and a licensed marriage and family therapist working primarily with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) survivors of complex trauma—ranging from racial trauma, sexual trauma, attachment trauma, and intergenerational trauma. Natalie is a certified internal family systems therapist and prospective trainer at the IFS Institute. Natalie’s individual and group healing work blends the intersections of psychotherapy, activism, and curanderismo. She has more than 23,000 followers on Instagram, where she shares her journey of healing and empowerment. She currently resides in New York, NY.

Foreword writer Jennifer Mullan, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and published author. She currently serves communities as a consultant, therapeutic coach, and ancestral wound worker who seeks to unpack the oppressive legacy of modern mental health practices, particularly for Queer, Indigenous, Black and Brown People of Color (QIBPOC). She has been featured in Allure, GQ, Cosmopolitan, on The Today Show, and more.

ISBN: 9781684039319
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Published: October 01, 2022

“All of us who were raised in the United States carry legacy burdens derived from our White Supremacist culture, but those carried by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) are particularly onerous and are triggered on a daily basis. I know of no book that better describes this sad condition and presents a variety of practical ways for people to unburden than this one.”
—Richard Schwartz, PhD, developer of the Internal Family Systems Model, and adjunct faculty in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School“Natalie helps us unpack and understand how systems of oppression contribute to our imposter syndrome and attachment wounds. The journal prompts and meditation guides lovingly bring us back to ourselves and connect us with our ancestors. A must-read for our souls’ healing.”
—Alyssa Mancao, LCSW, licensed clinical social worker, writer, and owner of Alyssa Marie Wellness Inc. located in Los Angeles, CA“The Pain We Carry is the kind of book they should’ve assigned us in our multicultural counseling class.... It is a rare, systems-centered book written by a therapist and thought leader needed for our times. The book offers a blend of stories (not focused on White identities), education, and practice—and that is sure to fill in the gaps that your grad school program left behind.”
—Oumou Sylla, NYS-licensed therapist and wellness doula, and founder of Joko Wellness LLC“In The Pain We Carry, you will find Natalie’s heart and spirit spilled out onto every page. Not only does she provide a practical framework and concrete exercises that expand hearts and deepen our individual healing journeys, but the compassion with which she guides us toward collective healing is unmatched in any other work. This is a true labor of love for our community and our humanity.”
—Leslie Priscilla, latinx parenting founder, parent coach, facilitator, consejera, first-generation Xicana, and mother of three“Every word in The Pain We Carry is intentional, powerful, and vulnerable. Natalie has beautifully crafted a book for racial trauma understanding and healing for survivors using knowledge grounded in anti-racism, parts work, and de-pathologizing language. This book is a wholesome contribution to the field of psychology and trauma recovery expertise.”
—Adriana Alejandre, trauma therapist, founder of Latinx Therapy, and president of the Alejandre Foundation“Stunning and soulful! This book is an essential tool to understand and heal intergenerational trauma. It offers simple-to-use skills to achieve and maintain optimal living in present-day toxic environments this trauma has produced. Our own healing and resilience become the most effective pathway for evolving ourselves, family, community, nation, and world. Written for and embracing BIPOC survivors, it is a gem for anyone wanting to understand, heal, and transform.”
—J. Eric Gentry, PhD, FAAETS, forty-year veteran of working with survivors of trauma, developer of Forward-Facing Trauma Therapy, and director of five trauma-training/certifying organizations“Congratulations to Natalie for writing an outstanding book on such an important topic. This book sheds light on complex trauma in BIPOC, and offers useful tools in caring for yourself within external constraints.”
—Frank Anderson, MD, author of Transcending Trauma