Lesson on Trauma and The soul wound. Write a reflection on the week’s lesson on Trauma and The soul wound reflecting on the chapter, I provided all of the chapter pages in images bellow, from the book “Healing the soul wound” By Eduardo Duran
1. Carefully explain the main message from the week using the chapter information we learned (read pages provided below) ‘what is Trauma and the soul wound pointing us to’? Taking a sociological approach, what do we see that is not necessarily evident when looking from the dominant perspective? Why is the sociological perspective really important? And why isn’t it taken up more often?
Compared to traditional Western views about counseling, the multicultural-social justice movement promotes very different ways of thinking about mental health, psychological development and the important roles counselors can play in fostering these concepts. The issue of trauma is an excellent example. Significant differences exist in the way many traditionally trained counselors think about trauma and the manner in which culturally competent counselors conceptualize the meaning of this term and the roles they can play in addressing the needs of traumatized clients.
One of the most respected multicultural experts in the mental health professions today is Eduardo Duran, and he presents a very different view of trauma. He describes trauma from an American Indian viewpoint in his book Healing the Soul Wound: Counseling With American Indians and Other Native Peoples (Teachers College Press, 2006).
Some counselors are likely to dismiss the manner in which Duran describes trauma and the approaches that can be used to effectively deal with this experience. Nevertheless, we have written this month’s column to help expand the thinking of counselors who remain open to new ways of thinking about trauma and different approaches to addressing this experience from a multicultural-social justice perspective.
Culturally different approaches
In discussing issues related to mental health in general and trauma in particular, Duran emphasizes the American Indian belief in holism. This perspective includes directing particular attention to the important interconnections that are thought to exist between a person’s mind, body and spirit, as well as one’s connections with the larger cultural community and environment to which she/he is a part. Although space restrictions limit our ability to address these issues in much detail, we want to illuminate several central points about the American Indian perspective of holistic interconnectedness and harmony as they relate to the problem of trauma.
As Duran points out, healthy human development is intimately linked to the holistic and harmonious mind-body-spirit connections that individuals can realize in their lives. Thus, unlike traditional Western counseling theories that focus on the manner in which traumatic events adversely impact a client’s mental and physical state of being, this American Indian perspective emphasizes the need to attend to the ways that traumatic events disrupt a person’s mental, physical and spiritual life forces. This perspective further suggests that traumatized clients commonly exhibit problems in their lives because some recent or historic event has fractured the harmonious interconnections believed to naturally exist between their mind, body and spirit.
The emphasis placed on ensuring that individuals’ spiritual energy is in harmony with their mental and physical life forces is an important consideration that distinguishes American Indian psychology from most traditional Western counseling theories. Duran’s writing directs particular attention to the ways in which traumatic events inflict “a wounding on the soul.” This phenomenon is referred to as the “soul wound.”
A second important concept asserted in the theory of the soul wound relates to what Duran calls “historical and intergenerational trauma.” This trauma involves the recognition that horrifically violent experiences inflicted on individuals in the past result in unhealthy outcomes that are passed on to one’s offspring and manifested in future generations.
Duran notes that the past genocide of American Indians represents the sort of historical violence that results in intergenerational trauma. Briefly stated, this means that the horrific physical suffering, death, psychological harm and soul wounding that occurred during the genocide continues to be experienced today by many persons of American Indian descent. Multicultural-social justice counseling theorists and researchers suggest that the disproportionately high levels of substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide among American Indians today is partially due to a failure to heal the soul wound that was transmitted intergenerationally as a result of the historic trauma that their ancestors experienced.
Duran encourages mental health practitioners to address three levels of interventions when working with people who are suffering from trauma: