The Body Keeps the Score

Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

    • 4.5 • 588 Ratings
    • $12.99
    • $12.99

Publisher Description

#1 New York Times bestseller

“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.

Health, Mind & Body
September 25
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

smallpkgs ,

The best book on trauma, for professionals and patients. Explains, and offers hope

I was abused throughout my childhood. I ended up a runaway in the late sixties, and at 14 was assaulted for five days in the St. Louis youth facility.
Nothing matches this book for explaining me to me. With accessible and powerful language, anecdotes, and good science, van der Kolk makes the case for how trauma rewires us, and what we can do about it.
I have waited for this book my whole life.

Hands Off My Data ,

For all trauma survivors


As a survivor who has only had issues during times of family drama brought on by either my parents or siblings, I thought I had the past taken care of years ago with therapy in my twenties. I was surprised when the darkness returned and again took control of my life in my mid-fifties, bringing all of its friends. In search for the how and the why of its return and new therapies to replace talk therapy, I purchased an almost useless mental health book, only useful in that it offhandedly mentioned The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Van der Kolk’s medical studies, and unique therapies for trauma, PTSD, and the many comorbid disorders that accompany trauma. I was curious.

I purchased the audio book and after two hours of listening, I purchased the book. After a day including two additional hours, I purchased my daughter the audiobook, and purchased the book for her husband (three deployments, two of which were in Afghanistan). I gave both of them trigger warnings, although I have had only “so that is why!” reactions.

Dr. Van der Kolk has spent his life in complete curiosity surrounding PTSD, studying trauma causing PTSD and its lifelong effects on a person’s mind and body. He walks you step by step through different traumas and gives patients’ firsthand experiences of its effects.

In the second section, he discusses different therapies, studies, with firsthand experiences from patients who have undergone various treatments. As he mentioned those treatment I began taking notes and looking for therapists who used some of the therapies. You don’t have to take notes if you have the book. He has every quote, study, or book he has mentioned or quoted text from broken down by chapters in Notes. The Notes section is after Resources and Further Reading and before Index at the back of the book.

I have just begun the path to heal the trauma, and am hopeful it will be my last time dealing with “those” memories. I have become empowered with knowledge. I see the fifty-plus year old invisible trail of destruction that has lead, rarely trailing my life. Post-trauma years physical damage has included back, neck, and shoulder pain, migraines, abdominal issues, etc. The mental health alphabet includes Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, OCD, etc., which act as self protection, need to finally take a much needed rest. The Body Keeps the Score has taught me this. The trail is now visible, and I am making changes and asking for help to become whole and heal that inner child. She can now become a healthy part of me no longer needing her army, her only protectors early in life, but who never got the message telling them to stand down - the danger was gone.

Noway777 ,

The Body Keeps the Score

Something to ponder to help better our children, family and society.

More Books by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.