Book by Eduardo Duran
Review by Neva Baron
Graduate Student, College Counseling Program
Eastern Michigan University

While geared towards the fields of psychology and counseling the subject matter of the text would be useful for academic advisors.  Advising professionals should know the historical trauma that American Indians and other native peoples have encountered.  

The author employs liberation psychology to explain how the reader can bring dignity to working with American Indians and other native peoples. “By operating in a manner that liberates the individual and community, we humanize and restore human dignity just because it is a dignified thing to be human. Through the creation of liberation discourse, we help the patient address the immediate problem and simultaneously set in motion the act of decolonizing…the intent of this book is to begin a healing process for all of those who want to restore their humanity in a way that is harmonious with natural laws” (p. 14).

When professionals in helping roles “do not deal with their own history, they bring unconscious contents into the therapeutic setting” (p. 29). It’s important that advisors know how to manage their own issues before they advise and counsel students. This is especially true when working with native peoples because of their distrust of professionals who operate within bureaucracies such as those found in higher education. “When therapists and healers do not deal with their own history, they bring unconscious contents into the therapeutic setting. The natural consequence of this is projection of unconscious fantasies and ideas on the patient. This projection process is known as transference” (p.29).

The text is recommended reading for any professional who wants to gain a better understanding of the potential positive counseling that can occur with this population if s/he takes an active interest in the cultures of native peoples. It is a beneficial start to gaining knowledge of multicultural foundations of psychology and counseling.

Healing the Soul Wound: Counseling With American Indians And Other Native Peoples (2006) Book by Eduardo Duran. Review by Neva Baron. New York: Teachers College Press. $32.95 Paperback, ISBN # 0-8077-4689-4

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