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The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma Paperback – 24 Sep 2015
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An incredible book on trauma (William Leith, 'Books of the Year' Evening Standard)
Van der Kolk draws on 30 years of experience to argue powerfully that trauma is one of the West's most urgent public health issues... Packed with science and human stories ... van der Kolk has a lot to say, and the struggle and resilience of his patients is very moving (New Scientist)
The Body Keeps the Score is clear, fascinating, hard to put down, and filled with powerful case histories. Van der Kolk, the eminent impresario of trauma treatment, who has spent a career bringing together diverse trauma scientists and clinicians and their ideas, while making his own pivotal contributions, describes what is arguably the most important series of breakthroughs in mental health in the last thirty years. We've known that psychological trauma fragments the mind. Here we see not only how psychological trauma also breaks connections within the brain, but also between mind and body, and learn about the exciting new approaches that allow people with the severest forms of trauma to put all the parts back together again (Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself)
This is masterpiece of powerful understanding and brave heartedness, one of the most intelligent and helpful works on trauma I have ever read. Dr. Van der Kolk offer a brilliant synthesis of clinical cases, neuroscience, powerful tools and caring humanity, offering a whole new level of healing for the traumas carried by so many (Jack Kornfied, author of A Path With Heart)
Dr. van der Kolk's masterpiece combines the boundless curiosity of the scientist, the erudition of the scholar, and the passion of the truth teller (Judith Herman, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; author of Trauma and Recovery)
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It is a lifetime of knowledge (and it is clear that it had taken a very long time to write) from a practising clinician who, as far as I can tell, is THE most well-informed person on the subject, all in one book.
It can be applied to you. Therapy like this would cost thousands, and that is even if you have the good fortune to find a therapist who knows anything about it.
It is perfectly written and laid out, starting with explanations about the problem and ending with explanations of how to recover.
At first it was hard to read because I was only just coming to terms with having childhood trauma, and was still feeling very upset about it. However the great thing about a book is that you can take as long as you like to finish it. As I read more I understood more and more and began to feel more and more free, understood, and positive. There is SO MUCH information in here, and it is all extremely useful and interesting. I often read one sentence several times because it made such an impact on me, and after some pages (most of them!) I would think for ten minutes until I read more.
This is the most helpful book I have read on the subject, and I have read a lot. It has taken me a long time to read, but recovery takes a long time. I think that if you have not been traumatised and are just reading it for interest that you would read it quickly, as it is such a great book. I feel like it has transformed me.
I am training to be a play therapist and I would recommend this for any child development or neuroscience enthusiast. It has thrown light in my own personal journey and I felt like parts of this book were written for me... absolutely brilliant and proves that we all have the capacity to heal.
Definitely recommend to anybody who works in the world of therapy. Also highly recommend to anybody who does body work (nurses/doctors/physios/yoga instructors/PTs/massage therapists...etc) also those who work with children & vulnerable adults.