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Transforming Historical Trauma through Dialogue

Transforming Historical Trauma through Dialogue

  • David S. Derezotes - University of Utah, USA, Director of the Peace & Conflict Studies Program, University of Utah


April 2013 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

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.

Section I: Sociohistorical Trauma, Transformation, and Dialogue
Introduction to Section I
Chapter 1 What Is Sociohistorical Trauma?: What Is Historical Trauma?
Chapter 2 What Is Transformation?
Chapter 3 Dialogue Practice
Chapter 4 The Development of the Dialogue Facilitator
Chapter 5 Basic Dialogue Phases, Tasks, and Issues
Section II: Dialogue Models
Introduction to Section II
Chapter 6 Psychodynamic Dialogue: Telling Our Stories
Chapter 7 Cognitive-Behavioral Dialogue: Exploring Attitudes and Behaviors
Chapter 8 Experiential-Humanistic Dialogue: Talking From the Heart
Chapter 9 Transpersonal Dialogue: Talking From Spirit
Chapter 10 Biological and Environmental Dialogue: Communicating With Our Bodies and Nature
Section III: Dialogue Applications
Introduction to Section III
Chapter 11 Bridging DividesThrough Dialogue: Transforming Our Spaces of Misunderstanding
Chapter 12 Dialogue in Social Justice Work
Chapter 13 Dialogue in Peace and Conflict Work
Chapter 14 Dialogue Across the Life Span
Chapter 15 Community Therapy: Transforming Mental Health Challenges Through Dialogue
Key features


  • Comprehensive coverage of historical trauma includes an overview, a discussion of trauma's impact on multiple levels and on multiple groups, and the skills needed to become an effective facilitator.
  • Case examples in each chapter help illustrate dialogue models and intervention approaches in various settings.
  • Experiential Learning activities allow for reflection and discussion of the topics and information presented.
  • Examples from various cultures illustrate how historical trauma impacts various groups of people over time.
  • Questions in each chapter keep readers engaged in a process of self-exploration.
  • Dialogue is described in an inclusive way that includes individual, couple, family, group, community, and international work.
  • New terms for 21st Century practice settings are introduced, such as "sociohistorical trauma" and "community therapy."

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