A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times bestseller
Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of...Read More
Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world's foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers' capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments--from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga--that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain's natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk's own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal--and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.
Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., is the founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is also a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and director of the National Complex Trauma Treatment Network. When he is not teaching around the world, Dr. van der Kolk works and lives Boston.
"The trauma caused by childhood neglect, sexual or domestic abuse and war wreaks havoc in our bodies, says Bessel van der Kolk in The Body Keeps the Score. . . . Van der Kolk draws on 30 years of experience to argue powerfully that trauma is one of the West's most urgent public health issues. . . . Packed with science and human stories, the book is an intense read. . . . [T]he struggle and resilience of his patients is very moving." - Shaoni Bhattacharya, New Scientist
"War zones may be nearer than you think, as the 25% of US citizens raised with alcoholic relatives might attest. Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk argues, moreover, that severe trauma is 'encoded in the viscera' and demands tailored approaches that enable people to experience deep relief from rage and helplessness. In a narrative packed with decades of findings and case studies, he traces the evolution of treatments from the 'chemical coshes' of the 1970s to neurofeedback, mindfulness and other nuanced techniques." - Nature
"An astonishing amount of information on almost every aspect of trauma experience, research, interventions, and theories is brought together in this book, which . . . has a distinctly holistic feel to it. The title suggests that what will be explored is how the body retains the imprints of trauma. However, it delivers much more than this, delving into how the brain is impacted by overwhelming traumatic events, and is studded with sections on neuroscience which draw on the author's own numerous studies as well as that of his peers. In addition, it investigates the effects of adverse childhood attachment patterns, child abuse, and chronic and long-term abuse. . . . [T]his book is a veritable goldmine of information." - European Journal of Psychotraumatology
"Dr. van der Kolk . . . has written a fascinating and empowering book about trauma and its effects. He uses modern neuroscience to demonstrate that trauma physically affects the brain and the body, causing anxiety, rage, and the inability to concentrate. Victims have problems remembering, trusting, and forming relationships. They have lost control. Although news reports and discussions tend to focus on war veterans, abused children, domestic violence victims, and victims of violent crime suffer as well. Using a combination of traditional therapy techniques and alternative treatments such as EMDR, yoga, neurofeedback, and theater, patients can regain control of their bodies and rewire their brains so that they can rebuild their lives. The author uses case histories to demonstrate the process. He includes a resource list, bibliography, and extensive notes. This accessible book offers hope and inspiration to those who suffer from trauma and those who care for them. It is an outstanding addition to all library collections." - Medical Library Association, Consumer Connections
"[A] wonderful new book that everyone involved with trauma ought to read and have available. . . . [B]eautifully, compellingly and sweepingly written in its grand vision of integrating medical, psychological and mixed or alternative approaches, based on a careful reading of the client and a holistic mind-body view. . . . There are very few practitioners who could not learn from this book and become more effective, as well as inspired, by reading and studying it." - Henry Strick van Linschoten, European Society For Trauma And Dissociation Newsletter
"Psychological trauma can befall anyone, not just soldiers, refugees, or victims of rape. . . . This important and helpful book makes sense of suffering and offers opportunity for healing." - Booklist
"[C]omprehensive in scope. This valuable work . . . offers hope for the millions of sufferers and their families seeking meaningful treatment and relief from the ongoing pain of trauma." - Library Journal
"Dr. van der Kolk's masterpiece combines the boundless curiosity of the scientist, the erudition of the scholar, and the passion of the truth teller." - Judith Herman, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; author of Trauma and Recovery
"This is an absolutely fascinating and clearly written book by one of the nation's most experienced physicians in the field of emotional trauma. The Body Keeps the Score helps us understand how life experiences play out in the function and the malfunction of our bodies, years later." - Vincent J. Felitti, M.D., chief of preventative medicine, emeritus, Kaiser Permanente San Diego; co-principal investigator, ACE study
"In this inspirational work which seamlessly weaves keen clinical observation, neuroscience, historical analysis, the arts, and personal narrative, Dr. van der Kolk has created an authoritative guide to the effects of trauma, and pathways to recovery. The book is full of wisdom, humanity, compassion and scientific insight, gleaned from a lifetime of clinical service, research and scholarship in the field of traumatic stress. A must read for mental health and other health care professionals, trauma survivors, their loved ones, and those who seek clinical, social, or political solutions to the cycle of trauma and violence in our society." - Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and neuroscience; director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY