“The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk is a book about the mechanisms of trauma and its impact on both the individual and society. The book is based on van der Kolk’s decades of experience as a psychiatrist specializing in trauma and its aftermath.

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The Body Keeps the Score has been published in 36 languages. As of July 2021, the book had spent more than 141 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List for Nonfiction, with 27 of those weeks spent in the #1 position.

What is trauma according to van der Kolk?

Trauma is an emotional response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Trauma can be caused by physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; natural disasters; car accidents; and other life-threatening events.

In this book, the author explains that trauma is a fact of life. Namely, one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors.

In “The Body Keeps the Score”, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust.

He also writes about different treatments — from meditation, and physical activity, to drama and yoga. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s research and other leading specialists, “The Body Keeps the Score” exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal — and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.

Who needs to read this book?

Trauma survivors and their loved ones, therapists, counselors, and mental health professionals will find “The Body Keeps the Score” to be an essential resource. Bessel van der Kolk’s book is a necessary contribution to the conversation about trauma and its aftermath. It should be read by anyone who wants to understand the dynamics of trauma, and how it can shape and reshape our lives.

This important and helpful book makes sense of suffering and offers opportunity for healing.

Here’s what do others say about it:

This is the new Bible for anyone affected by trauma, or who works in the field. Van der Kolk has synthesized the most important new breakthroughs in neuroscience, psychology, and body-centered therapies, to create a coherent blueprint for understanding and treating trauma. He writes simply and lucidly, and brings his deep insights to life with engaging anecdotes.

 

So, this book changed my life. No, really. In fact, it’s *saved* it.

 

SO LIFE-CHANGING!!! I don’t want to “trigger” my husband and he doesn’t want to “trigger” me because we love and care about each other. When you read this book, you will gain insight and knowledge about yourself, your past, your adverse childhood experiences, and how those experiences frame your perspective NOW. I hope everyone in the world considers reading this book with an open mind so they can clearly identify their own “mental operation” so can enjoy a fulfilling future ahead of themselves.