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.

Cognitive-Behavioral Dialogue: Exploring Attitudes and Behaviors
Cognitive-behavioral dialogue: Exploring attitudes and behaviors

In this chapter, theories and interventions associated with cognitive-behavioral dialogue are presented. As is true of any methods described in the text, the methods (rituals) described below can be used in concert with methods drawn from other models described in other chapters.

Two “Kinds” of Cognitive Conversation

People can engage in either relatively safe conversation or in conversation that is relatively more courageous. Both kinds of conversation can be useful in the process of transforming historical trauma.

Everyday conversation usually includes the sharing of relatively “safe” attitudes that are likely to be accepted by others. Such conversation may help us initially connect with other people, so that deeper connection may follow. For example, we might say, “Nice ...

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