The Body Keeps the Score

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Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

By Bessel van der Kolk.

L ong before trauma became a subject we all talk about, I witnessed its impact daily with my clients. Psychotherapists have long understood that trauma is held in the body when the psyche is unable to find a place for it through expression and understanding.

While I understood this and worked with it, I deeply wish that I had had access to this book decades ago. It lays a clear map of the territory.


y own copy is bristling with sticky-notes marking all the most relevant passages. I quote it for clients. I lend it. I recommend it. Bless van der Kolk and his colleagues (for indeed there are others) for this life-saving work.

I remember one client who was very traumatized by a work-place situation. The only time she felt at peace was when she was with her horses. This put her back together enough to manage family life and to gradually heal. It meant a lot to her that Dr van der Kolk recounts a similar story in this book.

With trauma coming closer to us all, through bushfires, drought and other emergencies, we need to learn what this book teaches. This book will help you through and will help you to help others.

I’ve put it back on my bedside table to read again.