The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score is a book on trauma by Bessel van der Kolk. van der Kolk makes the case that trauma is the most pressing public health crisis. It is everywhere, affects a huge number of people and is the number one treatable condition that can improve people’s mental health, give millions of people a chance to live a better life and reduce intergenerational abuse.

He discusses both PTSD, which occurs when someone experiences a traumatic event or events as adults, and childhood trauma, which affects the individual’s development, attachment style and ability to form relationships. Memories of the event(s) are often frozen in time with the individual unable to process it. By process, we’re talking about our ability to form a coherent narrative, with closure, that allows the memory to fade into the background and allow us to move on with our lives even if the scars remain.

He discusses the limitations of talking therapy, though somewhat focusing on CBT over more humanistic approaches, and explores what other evidence-based approaches may work. Notably EMDR, but given the need to physically rewrite the body, also the possibility of using yoga, theatre and other lived-out approaches.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2023 at 11:00 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.