Strategies for Healing With Holocaust Survivor Dr. Eger & Her Daughter Dr. Engle

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Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Dr. Eger & Dr. Engle

Edith Eger was a Jew living in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe when she and her family were sent to Auschwitz, a death camp. Dr. Eger and her sister survived, but their parents did not. 

After the war, Dr. Eger got married and had a baby. She and her husband moved to the United States in 1949 and she got her degree in psychology. She began treating people with PTSD, which inspired her to continue working on healing herself. 

Now, she’s written two books, "The Choice" and "The Gift," where she chronicles her journey and the lessons she learned along the way.

Dr. Eger’s first child, Marianne Engle, also became a psychologist. She contributes to the newest edition of "The Gift." And she talks about what it was like to be raised by a Holocaust survivor. 

Why Dr. Eger Is Mentally Strong

Dr. Eger survived the torture of the death camp. She makes it clear, however, that she isn’t a victim. But she was victimized. 

She chose to take what she learned from her experiences and help other people. She became a psychologist who specializes in treating people with PTSD. And she wrote books about the lessons she learned so she can help others who are struggling. 

She says the suffering she endured helped her grow stronger. And now, she’s inspiring people around the globe with her story and her wisdom.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • How Dr. Engle learned her mother was a Holocaust survivor
  • How Dr. Eger discovered that even though she was helping others heal from PTSD, she had not yet healed
  • Why she recently decided to go back to Auschwitz and how doing so helped her find more inner peace
  • The question Dr. Eger poses to children of Holocaust survivors
  • The one question Dr. Eger recommends everyone asks themselves if they aren’t happy in their relationship 
  • How Dr. Eger creates an atmosphere that helps people feel comfortable talking about their feelings
  • Dr. Engle’s advice for parents who are helping kids cope with the pandemic
  • Why it’s important to help people feel heard and how to validate kids’ feelings
  • How to experience healing from pain
  • Strategies for becoming more resilient

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

Traumatic experiences can greatly impact your mental health. But not everyone who goes through something traumatic develops PTSD.

PTSD isn’t a sign of weakness. There are many factors that determine how someone will fare when they experience trauma. Some of those factors are within your control, some of them aren’t.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to heal from trauma. But what works for one person might not work for another. There are many different paths to healing.

Quotes From Dr. Eger

Dr. Edith Eger

I am able to see myself, [as] not a victim of anything or anyone at any time because suffering makes me stronger.

— Dr. Edith Eger
  • "I was beginning to speak about PTSD and not realizing that I really wasn't qualified because I couldn't take people further than I had gone."
  • "You can't heal what you don't feel. So crying is good."
  • "There is a difference between reacting or responding. So I teach people how to respond. And when someone tells you anything that is possibly derogatory you take a deep breath and say, ‘thank you for your opinion.’"

More About the Podcast

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Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you.

For media or public speaking inquiries, contact Amy here.

Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.