The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score

Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Book - 2014
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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 :, Viking,, 2014
Description: xvi, 443 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780670785933
Branch Call Number: 616.8521 Van


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Apr 16, 2021

This book was recommended to me; I waited over 5 months to get it on hold. I've been reading it bit by bit. Initially way too scientific and dry, parts of the brain. When it moved into stories of his patients, way too many details of their abuse. Who would want to read this, some kind of voyeur? It triggered horrific nightmares for me. If you're a childhood sexual abuse survivor, I would suggest "The Courage to Heal".

Mar 16, 2021

I hope every parent, teacher, therapist, companion, and doctor that wants to help someone or themselves reads this book. Obviously, that wont happen. I'm glad I read it. It was somewhat triggering at places to me. I had to put it down a few times, but glad I finished it. I plan on purchasing or otherwise acquiring this book.

Dec 09, 2020

Absolutely fantastic book! Recommended reading for everyone not just survivors of traumatic abuse, war or accidents. I've never been a victim of such things fortunately but I think we all get a little roughed up by life sometimes and struggle to find our way through it, this book gives a lot of eye opening insights and even examples to follow. Not a work book exactly but it makes you think, pause and take stock of whats going on inside you. Felt pretty vulnerable the day after reading when I realized how often I engage in self destructive habits when stressed, but the next day I felt much better and started instead to look at what I could do in the future based on the examples in this book.
I admit I sometimes skimmed through the last quarter of the book as the in depth info on the science could get a little heavy before bed, but by and large it wasn't overly technical that I couldn't take something away from it.

Mar 02, 2020

Can't recommend this enough. Comprehensive on trauma, bodily effects, contrasting theories, and ways to cope. The way patients describe their pain is succinct and empathizing. If you want to understand how trauma affects us, start here.

Jul 29, 2019

I have learned a lot from this book which has many cases of patients. Body connects to brain and it remains years. Unfortunately happy childhood is not a common nowadays. If you are parents with children, make them happy and safe because they cannot choose parents.

Mar 27, 2019

This book has a lot of information - research, anecdotes, statistics, all of these things that have been screaming at me in the form of symptoms that my loved one has had for years, all of these things that, in the end, I can do nothing actually for besides becoming more understanding and patient. Psychological injury during traumatic childhood is real. Developmental trauma disorder is real, and it infuriates me that the diagnosis never made it into the DSM. Instead, we get to throw multitudes of other conditions and names at a person and leave them to list it all off, time after time after time.

I very much enjoy our good Dr. Van Der Kolk's style of speaking and storytelling; he seems like the caring professional I would love to have at my side in an investigation of the dark things. The stories he tells of those of his patients are extreme, and all too common. I came away from all of this with, at least, options and pathways to explore. I've recommended this work to several support groups already.

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.

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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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ArapahoeMaryA Jul 22, 2021

We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present. Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think.

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