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 Across the Life Span
Dialogue across the life span

This chapter offers dialogue applications across the life span. Dialogue approaches with children, adolescents, adults, and the aging are described.


Many children are capable of engaging in age-appropriate dialogue during their later grade school years (Grades 4–6), although they may have such limitations as less-developed attention span, self-awareness, emotional control, capacity for empathy, language skills, and social skills.

What does the facilitator especially want to pay attention to with people this age? First, dialogue should be focused on age-appropriate topics. What kinds of dialogue might be age appropriate for children between 8 and 13 years? The best answer is probably another question: What are these children usually most interested in? The wise facilitator asks each group of children ...

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