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.

Psychodynamic Dialogue: Telling Our Stories
Psychodynamic dialogue: Telling our stories

Psychodynamic dialogue is, most of all, about telling our stories. When people are in difficult conversations, talking about issues that strongly divide us, the exercise of storytelling can help further the relationship-building process. Most people enjoy talking about themselves and will willingly tell stories about their past experiences. The sharing of such stories can help shift focus from ideological differences about such subjects as religion and politics. As we better understand other people, especially “where they are coming from,” we seem to often become more willing to try to understand their ideologies, beliefs, and feelings.

Psychodynamic dialogue can also help participants better understand and accept themselves. As I explore my own personal story, I start to gain ...

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