How to Treat the ‘Wounds to the Soul’

A Therapist Assembles an Emotional Toolbox to Help Us Grapple With Collective Trauma

he subterranean strata of U.S. wrongdoing run deep—the genocide of Native Americans, the long history of slavery and racism, the effects of xenophobia, the illegal wars of aggression around the world. Today we are faced with the question: As a society, how will we remember and respond to these many past wrongs?

Approaches that take into consideration participants’ histories—along with their experiences of physical and mental trauma, and moral injury—seem to pay off.

For the past 25 years, I have worked as a researcher and practitioner in the field of large-scale psychosocial …