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Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma - The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences Paperback – 29 Sep 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books,U.S. (29 Sept. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155643233X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556432330
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" Every life contains difficulties we are not prepared for. Read, learn, and be prepared for life and healing."
- Bernard S. Siegal, M.D., Author of "Love, Medicine & Miracles" and "Peace, Love, and Healing"
" Fascinating! Amazing! A revolutionary exploration of the effects and causes of trauma."
-Mira Rothenberg, Director Emeritus of Blueberry Treatment Centers for Disturbed Children, Author of "Children With Emerald Eyes"
" It is a most important book. Quite possibly a work of genius."
-Ron Kurtz, Author of "Body Reveals and Body-Centered Psychotherapy"
" Levine effectively argues that the body is healer and that psychological scars of trauma are reversible -- but only if we listen to the voices of our body."
-Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development and Psychology, University of Maryland
" A vital contribution to the exciting emerging science of mind/body interaction in the treatment of disease."
-Robert C. Scaer, M.D., Neurology, Medical Director, Rehabilitation Services, Boulder Community Hospital

"Every life contains difficulties we are not prepared for. Read, learn, and be prepared for life and healing."
Bernard S. Siegal, M.D., Author of "Love, Medicine & Miracles" and "Peace, Love, and Healing"
"Fascinating! Amazing! A revolutionary exploration of the effects and causes of trauma."
Mira Rothenberg, Director Emeritus of Blueberry Treatment Centers for Disturbed Children, Author of "Children With Emerald Eyes"
"It is a most important book. Quite possibly a work of genius."
Ron Kurtz, Author of "Body Reveals and Body-Centered Psychotherapy"
"Levine effectively argues that the body is healer and that psychological scars of trauma are reversible but only if we listen to the voices of our body."
Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development and Psychology, University of Maryland
"A vital contribution to the exciting emerging science of mind/body interaction in the treatment of disease."
Robert C. Scaer, M.D., Neurology, Medical Director, Rehabilitation Services, Boulder Community Hospital
"Peter Levine s work is visionary common sense, pure and simple."
Laura Huxley, lifetime partner and collaborator of Aldous Huxley
["Waking the Tiger"] is an excellent resource for those who have been traumatized or know someone who suffers from trauma, like a soldier returning from war. Finally, there is help that doesn t ask us to relive what happened and re-experience the pain. Instead, it follows the body s wisdom in its search for renewal and healing.
"Soaring Again""

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
I won't enter into a discussion, as some more experienced reviewers here rightly have, about whether Levine's techniques, approach and so-called solution (more on that below) are in general good or bad or even dangerous - I'm just not knowledgeable enough about the subject, although I do have some perhaps limited authority to write this, having agoraphobia and severe anxiety, and of course having read this book.

I agree with another reviewer or two here who said this book needs to be seriously edited down. It is pretty repetitive, which is a great shame, as I truly think the approach could have been helpful, certainly to me, and importantly much better than many CBT approaches and techniques which for me are just basically inadequate (indeed much of CBT irritates me beyond belief). Interestingly, Levine's theory links up well I think with the approach taken by a writer on agoraphobia and anxiety, Claire Weekes, who I really like, and who spoke about the body becoming sensitised as Levine speaks about hyper-arousal. The two are closely related concepts, if not the same. Okay, it's not rocket science, but I feel it is a key aspect of trauma, anxiety and panic which is virtually ignored by most CBT techniques. So, there are great similarities, on certain levels, between Levine's and Weekes' respective approaches. Perhaps that's why I ultimately give this book 3 stars instead of 2, because I recognised his theory's affinity to Weekes' theory.

However - and it's a big however - I really felt let down at the end. After trawling through 200 pages of often repetitive, but sometimes insightful and almost revolutionary or at least very intelligent ideas, I was thinking, well, thankfully now in the last part of the book he will provide a solution or two. For me, he didn't.
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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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