Healing the hidden wounds of racial trauma

Hardy, K. V.
Year Published: 2013
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Reclaiming Children and Youth
Volume: 22

Issue: 1
Reclaiming Youth International
Spring 2013

A disproportionate number of children and youth of color fail in school and become trapped in the pipelines of treatment, social service, and justice systems. This author says that our difficulty in meeting their needs is not because of greater pathology but because we fail to appreciate the role of racial oppression in their lives. In this article, he examines racial trauma and outlines strategies for healing and transformation. Discussion focuses on four race-related hidden trauma wounds: internalized devaluation, assaulted sense of self, internalized voicelessness, and the wound of rage. The author also summarizes eight critical and interrelated steps that are involved in promoting healing: affirmation and acknowledgement, creating space for race, racial storytelling, validation, the process of naming, externalizing devaluation, counteracting devaluation, and rechanneling rage.

Correspondence to: Kenneth V. Hardy, PhD, Professor, Couple and Family Therapy Department, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA; E-mail: kvh24@drexel.edu, Website: http://reclaimingjournal.com/node/1412
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