Today there is evidence that most minority groups in the United States suffer from symptoms related to intergenerational transmission of collective historical trauma. For those with additional mental health issues, treatment can become complicated unless underlying historical hostilities are addressed.

This practical text, by David S. Derezotes, helps readers understand the causes and treatment of historical trauma at an individual, group, and community level and demonstrates how a participatory, strengths-based approach can work effectively in its treatment. The first to offer a combination of theory, literature review, and practice knowledge on dialogue, this book begins with a definition of historical trauma and transformation, includes the dialogue necessary to aid in transformation (such as self-care, self-awareness and professional self- development). The author proposes six key models of dialogue practice—psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, experiential, transpersonal, biological, and ecological—and shows how these models can be used to help transform sociohistorical trauma in clients. He then applies these six dialogue models to five common practice settings, including work with community divides, social justice work, peace and conflict work, dialogues with populations across the lifespan, and community therapy.

Dialogue in Social Justice Work
Dialogue in social justice work

In this chapter, dialogues are described that may foster the relationships necessary for social justice work.

What Is Social Justice Work?

Social justice work is about co-creating more fairness in community. Our word justice has Old French and Latin roots that referred to “equity” and “righteousness.” Social justice work is based on many of the same values that guide dialogue work; both see the worth of every person and respect the diversity of perspectives and characteristics. According to the National Association of Social Workers (2012), “Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities.” A just society is a sustained and fair system of human cooperation (Rawls, 1993).

There are at least ...

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