The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Series: Favorite Books of 2019

I didn't read this for so long because I thought it was going to be hard and heavy since it This book has been repeatedly recommended to me over the past year, and despite purchasing my own copy on fall book tour, I postponed reading it. I expected it to be hard and heavy—it does have "trauma" in the title, after all—but while van der Kolk certainly addresses difficult subjects, the main descriptor I'd use is fascinating. Burying our traumatic experiences comes at a great cost, because they can't truly be ignored—those experiences manifest themselves in our very bodies. Van der Kolk explores what that looks like, and what to do about it. Some of the treatment options were so unexpected (and effective) that I couldn't resist reading paragraphs out loud to my husband.

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About the Book

Publisher’s description:
“Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society.” —Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies

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 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.

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