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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 90 customer reviews

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  • Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma - The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences
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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books,U.S.; 1st Edition edition (29 Sept. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155643233X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556432330
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

By J on 20 Jan. 2017
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Has helped me begin to understand why things have been the way they have been - thank you!
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brilliant
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Love it
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Excellent book read in conjunction with others around healing developmental trauma and inner child work. The thing that stood out for me in this book is the work around the completion of the effects of trauma (and the fight/flight/freeze response which characterises people affected by and permanently living with the effects of trauma) by re-engineering memories which can help the person to feel powerful and heal.
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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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Waking The Tiger was easy to understand and read. It gives a great insight in how the brain protects the body and is immensely intellectual in the way it carries out protection from trauma. I was interested in the symptoms trauma manifests and how to release the trauma
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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: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm giving a bad review because the kindle version of this book was really unusable. It had no table contents to be able to jump around the book. You could jump to a specific page number but nowhere was a list of page numbers with the chapters. So there was no practical way of getting around the book easily on kindle. Such a bad design I'm having to buy the hard copy now even though I bought the kindle version.
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