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.

What Is Transformation?
What is transformation?

In this chapter, we will explore multidisciplinary perspectives on personal transformation. Transformation is viewed as an intentional process in which the person gradually uses her trauma as an opportunity for increased growth and service to others. Although transformation can occur after any kind of trauma, this chapter will focus particularly on the transformation of sociohistorical trauma.

Especially for oppressed populations, transformation is associated with the empowerment necessary to protect and improve their lives. For more privileged populations, transformation also provides opportunity for people to use their privilege in ways that support the self-empowerment of others less fortunate. In the transformation process, growth is most significant in those whose development was frozen in response to sociohistorical trauma. Transformation is particularly relational (or ...

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