The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score

Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Book - 2015
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An expert on traumatic stress outlines an approach to healing, explaining how traumatic stress affects brain processes and how to use innovative treatments to reactivate the mind's abilities to trust, engage others, and experience pleasure.
Publisher: New York, New York : Penguin Books, 2015.
Copyright Date: ©2014.
ISBN: 9780143127741
Characteristics: xvi, 445 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm.


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Oct 20, 2018

I'm on chapter 11 and emailed comments and bookmarks to email

squib Apr 04, 2018

Accessible, thorough, and human approach to the challenges of dealing with a population that suffers from traumatic experience. Dr Van der Kolk states that trauma and child abuse are at the heart of so many addictions, ailments, incarcerations...

well written from a compassionate perspective, with lots of scientific and medical studies as well as exploration of alternatives that successfully provide relief to sufferers. This and Judith Herman's "Trauma and Recovery" are two of the best works on the subject.

Aug 03, 2017

Amazing book. So good I bought if off Amazon for 8 bucks.

Jan 14, 2017

Bessel van der Kolk is my hero. Literally, he is fighting for me and others like me, and I sincerely love him for it. Thank you Bessel.

Dec 27, 2016

Excellent. Digs into intriguing clinical research and discusses the social and political blockages and implications in trauma treatment (funding issues; lack of prioritization; etc), so you get not only a survey of medical treatments, but also a strong contextualization for why certain treatments are prioritized or ignored in America.

The patient examples in this book veer towards some of the most extreme scenarios, and I wish this discussion of childhood trauma included examples and symptoms for patients at the less extreme end of the spectrum. That being said, still a lot of eye opening information.

Also liked the presentation of the 6 or so treatments– I think this is the first time I'd ever seen all these options for PTSD treatment laid out. I have to wonder why I have never met a health care provider who is not versed in the spectrum of choices for PTSD treatment and why insurance doesn't cover "alternative" treatments like yoga, that have been clinically proven, over and over again, to be highly effective.

I wish the resources at the end included more about how to access certain kinds of treatments– for example, there's a whole chapter in the book about neurofeedback, but no resources listed at the end for where to learn more about it, find a provider, or determine if it is right for you.

All therapists, medical professionals, and anyone dealing with traumatized populations should read this book and be trained in this science. It is appalling that isn't already the case.
This is a health issue that causes so much pain and detriment, on personal and social fronts that it is simple egregious that more is not being done to treat, intervene, and prevent cycles of trauma.

Aug 17, 2016

Knowledge is power and this book is chalked full of knowledge about how our minds and bodies store and process trauma throughout our lifespans. Van der Kolk helps us better understand ourselves and people around us, from the person in the check out line, to family members, to possibly those we work with in a professional setting as healers. It is written in a way that you do not need an advanced foundation in psychology or recovery to further understand how we all move through our suffering and scars day to day.

Jun 27, 2016

Excellent book. I highly recommend reading for anyone dealing with PSTD or any childhood disruptions. Real concrete understanding along with natural solutions. Finally a book that puts all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Sep 10, 2015

Great and wonderful updated understanding with a wide viewpoint.

Starling16 Jun 23, 2015

Recommended by G Mate.


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Mar 29, 2017

Trauma affects the mind and body immensely and prevents those affected from living in the present. Van der Kolk, who has researched trauma since the 1970s, first became interested in trauma after meeting with Vietnam veterans who had a very hard time living their lives after returning from the war. They would become very angry, numb to their regular life, and unable to leave behind traumatic moments that occurred during war time. Van der Kolk was instrumental in identifying posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and creating strategies to help those afflicted by it.

Van der Kolk also realized that there are millions of people affected by trauma in their everyday lives, especially children. For example, one in five Americans were molested as children, and one in four people living in the United States has an alcoholic parent. Through work with these people, van der Kolk identified another trauma based disorder, Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD). Van der Kolk wrote this book, in part, to argue for the inclusion of DTD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM VI).


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