Trauma can arise for a number of reasons. People can experience trauma from violent or extreme situations, but they can also develop trauma due to more emotional problems such as an NPE.

NPEs, or non-paternal events, are situations in which a child realizes that they are not actually the biological child of the person that raised them. The term is the subject of a bit of controversy, because it doesn’t necessarily convey the full scope of the issue at hand. In fact, other terms used to describe the same or similar situations include: non-parental events / experiences, false paternity, non-patrilineal transmission, ancestral introgression, or Not the Parent Expected.

As you can see, there is a bit of confusion surrounding the definition of NPE. However, in this article I’ll do my best to explain what an NPE is and how it can contribute to trauma. Then I’ll talk about how you can overcome this trauma with holistic treatments.


What Are NPEs?

In its most technical definition, as used by genetic genealogists, an NPE is an event that causes a break in a hereditary surname and the Y chromosome – in other words, when a son takes on a different surname than that of his father.

However, that doesn’t neatly cover all aspects of what we’re referring to as NPEs – especially because it’s not just males who go through this difficult situation. Both males and females are liable to experience an NPE.

In a broader sense, an NPE can be considered a situation in which a child finds out that they’re not actually the child of the person that they were raised to believe was their parent.

Unfortunately, this is actually a fairly common situation. Some 15% of fathers listed on birth certificates are not actually the biological father of their child. This could happen for a number of reasons.

  • Adoption or similar situations
  • Cheating and adultery; a mother has a child with someone other than her husband or the child’s primary caretaker
  • Lies or deception for other reasons to prevent the child from knowing who their real father is

Whatever the case, there’s no doubt that NPEs can lead to difficulty for the child and everyone else involved. Unfortunately, thanks to the availability of websites like, more and more people are finding out that their parents may not be who they thought they were.


How NPEs Can Cause Trauma

People who have gone through an NPE often report significant trauma. Finding out that your biological father is not the man that you thought he was can lead to some serious issues.

At the very least, an NPE is likely to result in some feelings of grief and confusion. There will likely be some changes in the family dynamic, and in serious situations the child might end up with some sort of identity crisis. All of these issues can contribute to the development of trauma.

NPEs can also have a compounding effect and lead to trauma that affect more than just the child.

When a child finds out about their NPE, there is most likely a lot of deception and trickery that is going to be unraveled. Suddenly, the whole history script of the family is flipped upside down. The father who has been raising the child may himself be unaware that there was another man involved.

Some families may even be willing to go as far as isolating themselves from the child, or isolating the child, to prevent the NPE from being exposed. The ramifications of this and the further deception are very apparent, and it’s easy to see how this could lead to further trauma.

One of the reasons that an event like this is so traumatic has to do with our tribal ancestry and evolutionary psychology. Humans are deeply ingrained to seek connection with others – be that a friend, a family, or a community.

When our sense of community and family is uprooted, it leads us to experience deep feelings of rejection. Historically, being rejected from a tribe or community often meant certain death – a feeling that we may hold on to in our ancestral genes.

We often lack the coping mechanisms to deal with such severe rejection, and as such internalize these feelings in the form of trauma.


Treating Trauma Related to an NPE

Fortunately, there are lots of different ways that you can work through a trauma related to an NPE. One of the best ways to do this is with holistic treatments.

Conventional psychotherapy may have its uses, but in regards to trauma, it doesn’t always help clients work through the full spectrum of the issue. Holistic treatments, such as those I will describe below, work with the client’s entire being and help to bring relief to all areas of mind, body, and spirit.

  • Somato-emotional repatterning is a form of therapy that helps to release traumas and other emotions that are stored in the body. Emotional patterns from trauma often lead to energy blockages and certain behavioral responses. By unlocking these patterns and replacing them with newer, healthier patterns, somato-emotional repatterning can help someone fully heal from trauma.
  • EMI, or eye-movement integration, is a practice similar to somato-emotional repatterning. By using certain eye motions and understanding their relation to emotional cues, a coach can help guide a patient through their trauma. By developing an understanding of their trauma and its related effects, clients can fully overcome their issues.



NPEs can lead people to experience serious traumatic difficulties. Fortunately, holistic treatments like somato-emotional repatterning and EMI can help people overcome their traumas.


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Trauma, Non-Paternal Events (NPEs) and Recovery