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The Physique Retains the Rating: Mind, Thoughts, and Physique within the Therapeutic of Trauma

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

  • The Physique Retains the Rating Mind Thoughts and Physique within the Therapeutic of Trauma

“Important studying for anybody curious about understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impression on society.” —Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Research

A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and presents a daring new paradigm for therapeutic on this New York Instances Science bestseller
Trauma is a reality of life. Veterans and their households cope with the painful aftermath of fight; one in 5 People has been molested; one in 4 grew up with alcoholics; one in three have engaged in bodily violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of many world’s foremost specialists on trauma, has spent over three a long time working with survivors. In The Physique Retains the Rating, he makes use of latest scientific advances to indicate how trauma actually reshapes each physique and mind, compromising victims’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and belief. He explores progressive remedies—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports activities, drama, and yoga—that supply new paths to restoration by activating the mind’s pure neuroplasticity. Based mostly on Dr. van der Kolk’s personal analysis and that of different main specialists, The Physique Retains the Rating exposes the large energy of each to harm and to heal—and presents new hope for reclaiming lives.


The Physique Retains the Rating: Mind, Thoughts, and Physique within the Therapeutic of Trauma
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3 thoughts on “The Physique Retains the Rating: Mind, Thoughts, and Physique within the Therapeutic of Trauma

  • May 15, 2018 at 11:46 am
    1,215 of 1,230 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The new Bible for Trauma, November 4, 2014
    Mark R. (Sydney) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    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.

    I suffered PTSD and severe anxiety for many years, and tried all the usual therapies (CBT, medication, analysis, diet, exercise, acupuncture, vitamins, group therapy etc.). Frankly, nothing really worked until I discovered – and applied – the somatic (body) techniques espoused by van der Kolk, and other luminaries such as Peter Levine, Pat Ogden, and Eugene Gendlin. It took me a long time to understand – and accept – their message that trauma impacts the more ancient (reptilian) part of the brain where talk-therapies just can’t reach, let alone affect.

    The only way to ‘communicate’ with this pre-verbal system is through the body, which can signal to the brain stem that it is OK to begin the process of unfreezing the emotional paralysis that has plagued us for decades. So much depends on our willingness and capacity to feel and experience what is going on inside us – not just think about it.

    Of course, it is also important to understand what is going on at a cognitive level in order to make sense of things. So there is certainly a role for traditional talk therapy, but it is not the main game. By combining a bottom-up (somatic) and a top-down (cognitive) approach, as van der Kolk suggests, it is possible to move towards genuine healing – not just a suppression of symptoms. This is not theoretical for me. I have experienced it.

    The other truly great book on this subject is Peter Levine’s ‘In an Unspoken Voice’, which explains his ‘somatic experiencing’ (SE) therapy. Levine’s book is arguably narrower in scope than van der Kolk’s, but his writing has such a poetic quality that it communicates more than the words themselves. The first time I read Levine’s book I felt my body respond to his truths at a visceral level. It is a deeply healing and magical work.

    UPDATE 2018: One of the treatments that Bessel van der Kolk mentions in his book – MDMA (Ecstasy) – was recently granted ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ status by the FDA for phase 3 trials. This is because the phase 1 and 2 trials were so successful, that nearly 70% of participants no longer had PTSD after just 3 MDMA sessions (most of these participants had suffered PTSD for decades). Do yourself a favour and Google MDMA therapy and MAPS (the organisation running the trials) – and watch people tell their stories on YouTube. They will make you weep with joy and hope.

  • May 15, 2018 at 12:33 pm
    451 of 466 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Please buy this book and start loving your life, September 24, 2016

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma (Paperback)
    Of all the non-fiction books I’ve read, this is by far the best one ever. I grew up in a tough way. Lots went wrong. My brother and I believed we were unwanted and we had plenty of evidence to back up our sentiment. We suffered shared abuse and individual abuses of every kind imaginable. When I became an adult, I subscribe to the concepts of people like Rush Limbaugh and drove around listening to his radio show proclaiming that there is no such thing as post-traumatic stress disorder. I believed I could gut it out, that the past was the past and that only weak people needed to talk through their problems. I believed only losers behaved badly as adults due to anything in their childhood or past and that claiming you were affected by any past problem was a crutch to allow you to embrace failure. Frankly, for a time, that approach worked for me. I got married, had some great children (still have them thankfully), built a company. But it didn’t take too long until it all came crashing down. And, when it did, I spent nearly 1.5 decades down. The anxiety that was always in my throat and chest was, to put it mildly, a distraction. It’s very hard to be kind to people, to focus on your work, to love others when all your power is spent trying to pretend you don’t feel like s***. When you can’t sleep because your heart is beating so forcefully that the entire bed is vibrating – at least it feels that way – you not only lose the joy of sleep, but you feel hopeless and miserable and even more so when you’re not able to understand why you feel this way. When you see everything you have go away and can only occasionally find the strength to take care of yourself and your business and need others in your life to carry you from time to time (much to your embarrassment) and yet you think you’re smart and capable and have no understanding of why you are where you are, life becomes a slog. You trudge through it wishing you were dead or that something would kill you even if, like me, you’d never kill yourself. Literally, when I was a believer, I went to bed every night and my prayers went something like this, “Dear Jesus, please have a bus run over me. I will never kill myself but I’m miserable. Please let me die so my family won’t hate me for killing myself but so that I can stop hating the sun coming up. In Jesus name, Amen.” If you’re like I was (and it’s hard to tell you how I was and hold the tears down even now), this book will help you change all that. It will describe in detail what you’re going through and it captures so many of those subtleties as to make it absolutely amazing. For the first time, I don’t have depression (and I don’t take pills). I don’t have anxiety (it still bubbles up on occasion but using mindfulness, it goes nearly as fast as it comes). My life is pointed in the right direction, my business future is hopeful, my love-life is stabilizing, I know I’ll no longer lose friends. I’m finally on track to getting what I want in every area of my life from women to money to friends and deep connections with my family. While I can’t attribute every part of my success to this book alone as it takes many things to get where you want to go (mostly you), I can absolutely attest to the power of this book. If you’ve suffered any sort of major and/or persistent trauma in your life, please buy (and read) this book. You will one day thank yourself for doing so.
  • May 15, 2018 at 12:49 pm
    93 of 93 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Trauma Survivor Must Read, April 24, 2017
    This review is from: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma (Paperback)
    It was the title “The Body Keeps the Score Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” that caught my attention. Having been a survivor of childhood onset trauma who has been striving to live a life beyond my past, this book really resonated with me.

    Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., who has been in the field of psychiatry since the 1960’s, chronicles his experience working with veterans with PTSD, survivors of child sexual abuse, and adults with other body related trauma. From traditional talk therapy to medications for depression and anxiety, to yoga and neurofeedback, Dr. Bessel gives case study examples of the effectiveness of various types of treatment with the focus being on the nervous system, the brain, the mind, and the body combined.

    Over the past 20 + years I have utilized many forms of therapy for the trauma I experienced with moderate success. Despite the time and energy I have applied, there have been areas that have proven to be resistant to letting go, and despite my best efforts, have been unresolved. I found myself feeling very frustrated until I read “The Body Keeps the Score”. At long last, I feel like someone heard me, understood my deepest inner conflicts, and could give me answers as to why I was thus far unable to let go and move on. In chapter 3 under the section “Speechless Horror,” Dr. Bessel describes an area in the left hemisphere called Broca’s area (speech center) that shuts down when trauma is experienced. In fact, according to Dr. Bessel, trauma shuts down most of the left hemisphere which controls out logic and being in the present while the right hemisphere where our emotions live, goes unchecked putting both hemispheres in conflict. It’s like walking several large dogs (the right hemisphere) whom all want to go a different direction at the same time while the dog walker (the left hemisphere) tries to maintain control; chaos ensues. Having this new understanding of how my brain was affected by the trauma, I now can consciously be aware of when the dogs won’t follow my commands.

    In chapter 19 Dr. Bessel writes about neurofeedback. The type he refers to is different from the Low Energy Neurofeedback Sessions I have received. Traditional neurofeedback is interactive where LENS is passive, however, both are very effective for trauma, anxiety, and depression.

    What a relief it has been to read this book and apply some of his suggestions. Dr. Bessel speaks about “top down and bottom up” regulation in Chapter 5 whereby focusing on breathing while engaging the left hemisphere of the brain, one can learn to consciously manage their anxiety. I have applied this concept with great success. That something so simple could have such a profound impact on me is wonderful. I have also incorporated yoga and neurofeedback. And again I have experienced tremendous results. I feel more aware and able to identify when my past neural patterns are influencing my present and then make a choice as to whether or not I want to follow the past or move forward into the present.

    I highly recommend this book for therapists and survivors of trauma. The insights Dr. Bessel has put into this book are enlightening and helpful, especially to those who are not familiar with the persistent aspects of trauma.

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