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130 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear development of new theory and practice for trauma, 12 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
The Body Remembers by Babette Rothschild
This book gives a fascinating account of some of the ways trauma work has evolved in recent years. It is framed around a particular episode of traumatisation which is developed in parallel with the theoretical model. Various other case histories are cited which give a real "hands-on" feel to the writing. The physiology and theory sides are clearly developed with references to other people working in the field - there is a strong influence of Dr. Peter Levine. Some of the physiology is not yet fully verified by research eg the apparent link between lack of cortisol production (one of the glucocorticoids produced in the adrenal glands) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This line of research has huge possibilities. Rothschild states clearly in the introduction to her book that the theory is speculative and that controversy abounds amongst researchers in the field. She realistically refers to her book as minimalist and short-winded and it is all the better for that. People's ego-attachments to their beliefs in theory, as I know so well for myself, can only hinder their capacity to really listen. Rothschild quotes neurologist Antonio Damasio on the subject of scientific theory .... "I am sceptical of science's presumption of objectivity and definitiveness. I have a difficult time seeing scientific results, especially in neurobiology, as anything but provisional approximations, to be enjoyed for a while and discarded as soon as better accounts become available".
Although the theory is speculative, the practice is thoroughly grounded in years of successful clinical experience. About half way through the book Rothschild really gets on a roll - this is when she introduces the practical aspects of her work - much is related to tracking signs or autonomic nervous system (ANS) arousal and ways of using this as an indicator of when to start slowing the process down and helping to resource the client. I have been having a long internal debate about to what extent this work is directive and analytical. As a client I have always felt at least a vague sense of discomfort when in the hands of a therapist coming from a directive and analytical viewpoint, due to a sense of being subtly (or not so subtly) manipulated by the therapist to do whatever they think is necessary, rather than respect for my own process and inner wisdom. Working with trauma is not the same as normal process work however, as Rothschild makes abundantly clear. My sense of this type of work, having been on the receiving end of it, is more that it creates a necessarily extensive framework of safety within which healing can occur. It is a method of work where the therapist takes a lot of initiative in terms of establishing clear boundaries, slowing the process down or finding resource. The concepts of attunement, misattunement and reattunement (not Rothschild's), despite being horribly ponderous terms, do lead to a very useful understanding of the development of therapeutic trust and progress. Briefly the phenomenon described is the shifting from an empathic state of well-being (attunement) to a polarised stand-off or conflict (misattunement) which then gives the possibility for finding the health in the situation which allows a greater level of empathy to develop (reattunement). This is seen as not only an inevitable but also a useful part of the healing process. In some ways similar to the way the immune system develops its strength as a result of coming in contact with say measles and then dealing with it (my analogy).
Babette Rothschild counsels against the use of therapeutic touch with the most vulnerable and de-stabilised of PTSD clients (classed as type II B -where "clients have suffered such massive and/or multiple trauma that they lack the resources and resilience necessary for any direct confrontation of traumatic memories to be constructive. A betrayal of trust appears to figure in the overall picture of these clients." Whether it is possible for body therapists to have a clearly enough developed sense of safety and boundaries to be able to work with people experiencing this type of distress is open to debate. The author points out that it certainly is something where extreme caution is essential because of the likelihood of transference issues where the client will start to see the therapist as the perpetrator of the trauma.
Rothschild investigates the phenomenon of different levels of trauma and PTSD in a number of ways - all of them useful and interestingly presented. Her explanation of the history of development of understanding of the phenomenon of shock and traumatisation is grounded in years of successful practice and teaching. She has enormous clarity and a transparent appreciation of the dynamics of trauma, which enable the reader to make a deep exploration of her work in a way which is readily understandable. There are two chapters on the ways of developing the somatic resources of the body - presented as simple exercises. This book breaks new ground in the understanding of trauma-related work, particularly with respect to the development of resource in relation to what happened after the traumatic incident. Every therapist who reads this book is likely to find their work benefits from it and all other readers will some hitherto unknown solace from it.
Reviewed by Mij Ferrett RCST (Editor The Fulcrum)
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashbacks need not be visual or auditory - 'just' physiological, 28 Oct. 2011
By 
Miss T Fied (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
I can't believe I haven't written a review of this book before- I first read it in 2006/7, shortly after I'd resolved life long complex PTSD with associated physiological problems. I can't remember the exact sentence but somewhere in this book it confirms how flashbacks can be triggered by certain movements or positions which trigger the physiological memory of the trauma - ie flashbacks are not always visual nor triggered by noise. I didn't know this - even though I'm fully aware of PTSD through contact with traumatised soldiers. As far as I was concerned, the trauma I'd experienced ended when I was 18 so how could it still be affecting me afterwards - and anyway - I didn't have visual flashbacks so it never occurred to me that I could have PTSD even though I had other symptoms including hyperarousal and extreme avoidance of certain situations.

For me, crying, breathing and heart rate were the triggers or 'flashbacks'. As soon as I exercised, even walking up stairs, my heart rate and breathing went off the scale so I've always been exercise intolerant since my very early childhood - yet despite many medical investigations once I became an adult, no one knew why.
In my early 40's I decided that I just had to hammer myself to try to get fitter and once completed a half marathon (having trained very thoroughly for it) almost last in 2:20 with an average heart rate of 180 bpm. Other 1/2 marathons and even a full marathon didn't result in any improvement at all in my fitness or exercise abilities.

I resolved my trauma issues using EFT (learnt from this book Emotional Freedom: Techniques for Dealing with Emotional and Physical Distress and only after I'd resolved it did I realise I'd had complex PTSD - and at the same time my breathing and heart rate improved very noticeably indeed - although I still can't exercise like most people and think the overtraining caused other problems which I now have.

When I came across the section in this book which confirmed that flashbacks can be triggered by movement / position / physiological states I suddenly realised that yes - that's why I've always had so many problems in the past. It just helped me understand what had happened to me and why my body reacted the way it did whenever I experienced any form of stress. I hope that drs and consultants and especially neurologists become more aware of these triggers as well, because no one ever asked me if I'd ever experienced any trauma or assaults and it just didn't occur to me to mention them because I didn't think them relevant.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillaint, 19 May 2012
This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
This book explains a complicated subject in simple terms, making it easy to understand from the start. However, just because it's a complicated subject, it doesn't mean it not a relevant subject, and I think this is. As a health care provider for over 35 years, I can recall many patients who I believe actually had hidden trauma and were being treated for something else. Put simply, the medical profession hasn't got a clue about it, and usually just write people off as either crazy, or time-wasters if a medical 'diagnosis' isn't found. I honestly think lots of ailments, from depression to fibromyalgia to ME, even cancer, can be traced back to unresolved trauma. If you, or anyone you know, suffers from a chronic disorder then read this book. It'll maybe change a life!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 21 Jan. 2012
By 
K. Fearon (York, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
This is a very informed and well written book, backed up with medical research, evidence and years of experience in practice. It is worth the read for the enormous insight it gives into the way the body responds to situations in which life and safety is threatened.

For me the most powerful message from this book is that the 'fight or flight' response is actually the 'fight, flight or freeze' response: often when someone is attacked they are paralysed with fear and cannot respond. So many people ask rape victims why they didn't DO something as they were being attacked that it's obvious this is not common knowledge. It really needs to be widely known that freezing is a natural response to a threat, it immobilises you and you simply cannot overpower the physical response with your conscious mind.

It should be required reading for anyone dealing with rape.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!, 17 Nov. 2009
By 
Katie Tish (Yorkshire, England.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
I have had this book on loan from my library for two years, yes two years! I thought I'd better buy my own copy!

For the Counsellor / Psychotherapist this book is absolutely fantastic. Rothschild explains the happenings within the brain and the nervous system to help the practitioner understand the physiology that a person may experience through trauma, post traumatic stress.

Rothschild also provides 'tools' to equip the practitioner and client to enable them to approach traumatic material.

This book is an absolute must.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A way of working safely with Trauma/PTSD, 9 May 2012
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This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
Have this book and the casebook quite a while now and have found it very easy to work with.
Babettes method provides a safe and gentle way for the client and the therapist in helping clients with stressful memories and feelings. It is uncomplicated and just requires practice and the building of observation skills. Once I got the technique, I found it useful in tracking myself and the client resulting in providing a safer place to work through unresolved trauma. Highly recommend it for anybody in dealing with Trauma as it can provide some new coping strategies to empower a client.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, in-depth yet concise introduction to trauma, 10 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
I am immensely impressed with this book. As a psychotherapist, I found it very useful not only to help me understand my clients' experience of trauma on a physiological, psychological and emotional level, but it also helped me to find the right words to explain to them what they were experiencing.

Babette Rothschild uses accessible language to explain really complex terms; her writing is really easy to understand and she enriches the text with case studies and examples from her own professional experience of helping people to overcome the debilitating effects of trauma and PTSD.

I would only caution those readers who find it very difficult to grasp neuroscience concepts- I am inclined towards neuroscience and therefore found it quite easy to follow the text. It is made easier by diagrams and explanatory notes; however if you are really struggling with these terms, you might find the book slightly more challenging than you expected.

Either way however, I would still recommend it, whether you are a professional working with traumatised people, or if a loved one has survived trauma. It will give you a great insight into their experience and how to best support them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fatastic book for any therapists who offer Trauma treatment including PTSD, 5 April 2014
By 
J. L. Threadgold (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
This book is excellent and comprehensive book on Trauma, how it is acquired, and also how we can heal from trauma. Trauma is not mainly a cognitive problem, it is a body oriented physiological response to threats, where our Fight or Flight mechanism is triggered, but where our physiological processes are incompleted, leading to PTSD and other unresolved trauma issues. This book integrates insights from Somatic approaches to Trauma, effect regulation, safety issues in treatment, the role of narrative and cognitive functioning, and is more comprehensive even than that . Its a must read for any therapist offering Trauma Treatment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable resource, 13 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
This is quite possibly the most useful book I have in my library; it is extremely well written in a style that is difficult to put down, and is clinically applicable. So many professional books just re-state what we already know but without adding anything or being a useful resource for clinicians. Babette Rothschild's book is both theoretically sounds and practically useful and gives an excellent overview of trauma treatment. If you are interested in trauma, and particularly if you work with trauma patients, I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an absolute must, 14 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton Professional Books) (Hardcover)
this book is an absolute must for people working with young people in a care setting. it explains brain development with trauma in a very understandable way. brilliant
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