About the Book

A pioneering researcher and one of the world’s foremost experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for healing

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. Such experiences inevitably leave traces on minds, emotions, and even on biology. Sadly, trauma sufferers frequently pass on their stress to their partners and children.

Renowned trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score offers proven alternatives to drugs and talk therapy—and a way to reclaim lives.

About the Author

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.

About the Reviews

I have read close to 20 self-help books in the last 4 months. This book is the best book I have read about emotional issues due to childhood trauma, including emotional trauma that did not involve physical abuse. Van der Kolk's message that many diagnosed mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, and ADHD, are really just the results of and reactions to childhood trauma, stored in the body and the brain, was like getting hit by lightning. No more do I believe that there is something wrong with how my brain was wired from birth, or the chemicals in it. No longer do I have to feel despair that talk therapy has never helped me after 20 years. No longer do I worry that I am hopeless because meds or herbs or acupuncture or exercise haven't helped me. Now I know there are concrete things I can do to help heal my wounds, such as meditation, neurofeedback, and the right kind of therapy (not plain vanilla talk therapy). I have learned more about myself in the last 3 months than I have in 20 years of therapy, and already feel like I have improved my ability to interact with other people. Thank you, Dr. van der Kolk. The other book I would highly recommend is: https://www.amazon.com/Adult-Children-Alcoholic-Dysfunctional-Families/dp/0978979702/


This is the greatest book ever written on trauma and especially PTSD. This book has changed my life even after 23 years of dealing with this problem which included 8 years of counseling with 4 different counselors. It explains what you are going through in a compassionate way and gives you a means to heal, change and become who you want to be! Just DO NOT BUY FROM TOTAL BOOKS-It did not arrive even after 30 days.


I rarely write reviews, but this book has been so life changing for me that I feel the need to review it in the hope that others who are searching for answers might be led to read it. For decades I felt less-than, broken somehow, plagued by guilt, shame, and confusion about why I was so stuck in a paralyzing rut of self doubt that kept me from the sense of self I craved. Intellectually I understood that I felt the way that I did because of past and ongoing trauma, but I could never fully bridge the gap between knowing and actually FEELING. For example, no matter how many times I told myself that my traumatic feelings were valid, no matter if I knew it to be true, I couldn't stop the voice inside berating me as weak, too sensitive, dramatic, undeserving, etc. which was a source of constant stress and triggering. This book helped me to be able to detach enough to observe what triggered what emotional responses and enabled me to practice understanding self care in a manner that seemed impossible before. The book is also incredibly well written and interesting for just about anyone with an interest in body-mind connection and trauma. I recently sent a copy to a veteran with PTSD since the author has so much experience and knowledge with that population. This is a book I will keep and reread regularly. This is a book with great healing potential and I am truly and fully excited about my future for the first time in a long while.

Product Info

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Viking; 1 edition (September 25, 2014)
Language: English
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 1,836 customer reviews

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