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Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma - The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences [Paperback]

Peter Levine
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.99
Price: 11.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 Sep 1997
Nature's Lessons in Healing Trauma...

Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.

Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.

Frequently Bought Together

Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma - The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences + In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness + Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body
Price For All Three: 34.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books,U.S. (29 Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155643233X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556432330
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 16.6 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Author

Nature's Lessons in Healing Trauma
Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question--why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed. Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through a heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
175 of 179 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A redeeming message for trauma survivors 8 Mar 2003
Format:Paperback
As a psychiatrist and author of "Lost in the Mirror: an Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder," I have dealt with many kinds of trauma and am always interested in new approaches to this difficult area. I found "Waking the Tiger" an engrossing approach to the problem of how trauma creates damaging and often enduring symptoms. Dr. Levine's concept of the "freeze response" in the face of overwhelming threat provides a missing link to symptoms such as dissociation that our old ideas of "fight or flight" fail to explain.
Even more important to trauma survivors and their therapists is the redeeming message that immobilization in the face of threat is an automatic biological response that is not voluntarily chosen by the victim. The January 2003 issue of Clinical Psychiatry News reported that an overwhelming majority of victims of sexual assault describe a moderate or high level of paralysis occurring during the assault, consistent with Dr. Levine's observations.
Dr. Levine also provides an astute portrayal of the nature of memory by acknowledging that memories are not literal recordings of events but a complex of images that are influenced by arousal, emotional context, and prior experience. Like a painting, memories may even transform over time as new experiences add layers of meaning to the images. While remembering the past can be an important aspect of therapy, appreciating the subjective quality of memories is crucial to integrating them appropriately into the healing process.
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93 of 99 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As someone who was directly impacted by the September 11 tragedy this book was recommended by my counsellor on my return to the UK. I could readily identify with the third scenario of 'freeze' and how this affects the body in addition to the mind. The book is well written and it is easy to grasp the concepts and apply them to real life situations with good examples being used throughout. Peter Levine also extends the book into the impact and management of trauma in Children and this is particularly relevant, given that I am also a father of three small rugrats. The structure of the book is not convoluted and addresses each section and sub section briefly but to the point. I would recommend the book to those who feel trapped in their own cycle and cannot see a clear way out.
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81 of 90 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Insightful Generalisations 22 Jan 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book focuses on `shock trauma'; - the result of an isolated event or series of events with no consistent history of previous trauma. It also is written from the perspective that there is a community of family and friends - or caregivers - to support the traumatised through the healing process. Whilst it may help individuals who suffered long term childhood assault at the hands of their primary caregivers - that is not its focus or intent although the self help exercise in this book may help many traumatised people get into bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts. And that's really great and a positive aspect of the book. But whilst undoubtedly contributing to an understanding of PTSD and trauma (not the same thing), this book's fundamental flaw seems to be that it is written by someone who has a limited personal understanding of the impacts of long term sustained trauma without a normal and caringly supportive context.

Levine switches from an apparently factual style of writing to use of "I" and "we" throughout - so the reader never really knows the extent to which his own personal experience(s) of trauma influences what he puts forward as fact and influences his own interpretation of his client's stories. For example he claims one patient must have been "in denial" because she claimed not to have been frightened during a kidnapping a few years ago. What if that patient had been persistently assaulted at a very young age and lived a life of emotional numbness as a consequence? She truly may not have felt fear at the time of kidnapping in adulthood - having lived her whole life dissociated and devoid of feelings. Yet to say she is `in denial' of her fear is intensely disrespectful - she maybe had no fear resource available to her to deny.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Levine posits that human beings are animals, and ergo they must respond as such to traumatic events. He suggest that in the hurly burly of the modern world humans have intellecutalised and sanitised our animal natures and often rejected them. We have often blocked the natural responses that are built-in to us that would allow us to overcome trauma quite naturally, and are frequently doomed to struggle in an intellectual traumatic loop.

Levine calls this lost nature the 'felt sense' and describes a number of scenarios where individuals are blocked by trauma. He encourages the reader to learn about their felt sense, recognises that the freeze response is natural (and therefore not a product of folk who eg, 'asked for it', didn't try to escape), helps the reader try to locate their own in-built mechanisms, and complete the natural processes in us that have left us blocked, allowing victims to move on. This process does not require reliving the event, which is a relief. He also looks at the plasticity of memory, citing the (established) idea that the brain uses memory to resolve things in a very creative, specifically non-linear (A-to-B) way, storing and reworking memories to solve eg, trauma.

Levine encourages us to revisit the trauma in our imagination and get out of it, survive it, escape. Break the freeze response in our imagination. Break the loop. He does not suggest creating false memories, he just asks us to imagine escaping, surviving, get out of the trauma loop. I did just that and I revisited the trauma afterwards in a later session with my therapist... and was amazed to find I finally remembered what really happened next. I knew the truth and we explored that together, not the imagined escape which was had served its purpose.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Some great ideas concerning the nature of trauma- less good on ...
Some great ideas concerning the nature of trauma- less good on healing exercises but some of Levine's other books do them.
Published 4 days ago by Andy V
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wife reading it. Very thought provoking
Published 7 days ago by Jules
4.0 out of 5 stars a book about healing trauma
An interesting book delving into the mind and how it works after suffering a trauma . It gives food for thought and it is easy to
dip into to and mull over . Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. Valerie M. King
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
I have been reading this slowly. concepts need time to grasp and take in . using it as a text book.
Published 2 months ago by Rosalind Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars life changing
speedy deliver. This is an all-round and useful practical and emotional guide for those living with the results of trauma. Read more
Published 2 months ago by burn
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding trauma
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma - Peter Levine Delivery was good. I thought the book was very enlightening and explained what trauma was in easy to understand language. Read more
Published 2 months ago by rosey
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is an excellent book with an interesting, and different, approach to these very overwhelming and debilitating conditions. Read more
Published 3 months ago by STEPHEN W
5.0 out of 5 stars book review
a fantastic book that helps with understanding the implications of trauma ,a fab book to help with healing trauma to ..im so glad i bought this book ..thank you .
Published 4 months ago by Barbara
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
I was recommended this book by my counsellor. I have been reading very slowly and I think that is what's so great about it- the format is really easy to take at a fast or slow... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ellie Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I found the book informative and easy to digest, it lived up to my expectations to satisfy my curiosity as to why the author said what he said and what was his theory about trauma,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Songlines
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