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.

Community Therapy: Transforming Mental Health Challenges Through Dialogue
Community therapy: Transforming mental health challenges through dialogue

I have often thought when I have sat with clients in the role of a psychotherapist that, if I could only give them one thing, I would give each of them a community. Most of the people I know are more alone than they want to be. Most of us live in community poverty.

In this final chapter, the concept of community therapy is introduced, which is an approach that uses dialogue to prevent and respond to mental health issues in the family, local community, ecosystem, and global community. As shown in Chapter 1, although the etiology of what we today call mental illness is complex, we do know that trauma ...

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