Historical trauma specialist keynotes BSU's annual student achievement day
March 7, 2016 — Clinical psychologist Dr. Eduardo Duran, a recognized expert in trauma-related psychological issues, will deliver the keynote address at Bemidji State University’s 17th annual Student Scholarship and Creative Achievement Conference on April 6.
Duran’s address will begin noon in the Beaux Arts Ballroom of Bemidji State’s upper Hobson Memorial Union. The presentation is open to the public free of charge.
Duran, who operates Bozeman, Mt.-based 7th Direction Psychotherapy, Assessment and Consulting with partner Dr. Judith Firehammer, has focused his clinical and research work on issues surrounding the legacy left by historical trauma. Duran also explores ways in which Western concepts of illness and therapy can be integrated with traditional or indigenous concepts to create a meaningful and effective way to deliver care for Native people.
“Dr. Duran was selected to be the keynote speaker because of his expertise in inter-generational historical trauma, which affects American Indians at an alarming rate,” said Dr. Vivian Delgado, assistant professor of languages and indigenous studies at Bemidji State. “Natives refer to this as a ‘soul wound.’ But, his work involves all people, as Natives and non-Natives alike can benefit equally from his healing approach.”
Duran’s research has helped guide treatment for addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and other veterans’ issues, violence, chronic illness, liberation psychology and historical trauma.
His 2006 book, “Healing the Soul Wound: Counseling with American Indians and Other Native Peoples,” explores case material and his own clinical experience to provide a framework for counselors who work with Native people. Through that framework, Duran provides strategies for dealing with issues that are common in Native communities including substance abuse, historical and intergenerational trauma and internalized oppression.
Delgado has used “Healing the Soul Wound” in her Spiritual Lifeways class, and Duran has participated in the class via Skype.
“He received rave reviews from my students,” Delgado said. “They said it was one of the best classes they ever attended at BSU.”
In addition to “Healing the Soul Wound,” Duran has written four other books including the 2003 novel “Bhudda in Redface.” The novel explores the connection between ancient ceremonies held by “power dreamers” in what later became known as Los Alamos, N.M., and the scientists who used that same site to develop and test the world’s first atomic bomb.
Duran’s visit to Bemidji is part of a collaboration between Bemidji State and tribal colleges at the Red Lake and Leech Lake nations. Duran will be speaking at Red Lake Nation College on April 7 and Leech Lake Tribal College on April 8.
About the Student Scholarship and Creative Achievement Conference
Bemidji State’s annual Student Scholarship and Creative Achievement Conference is a day-long celebration of the scholarly and creative work of its students. Each year, hundreds of students representing BSU’s full range of academic disciplines give oral or poster presentations, participate in a panel discussion or give a creative performance in front of peers and faculty proctors. All student presentations are sponsored by a member of BSU’s faculty or staff and reviewed for inclusion in the conference.