The Body Keeps the Score
Blue Knot Helpline telephone counsellors have a list of books to which they refer and sometimes suggest to callers. The Body Keeps The Score - Mind, Brain and Body in The Transformation of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk is the one of the more frequently recommended books.
Why is this so?
Counsellors feel that many callers will benefit from reading in depth about the effects of trauma and pathways to recovery. van der Kolk is a great storyteller, and a compassionate thinker: the book is interesting to read and absolutely fascinating.
He is an active clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of complex posttraumatic stress and trauma and devotes much of his life to studying, writing and working with clients in the Trauma Centre in Boston USA.
van der Kolk integrates neuroscience with his clinical research and wisdom from other disciplines, to communicate and invoke greater understanding about the long-term effects of trauma for people who have experienced it.
This book was one of the first to transform our understanding of trauma and explains how childhood trauma shapes the wiring and structure of the brain. He explains how innovative treatment approaches including body work, neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, EMDR and other therapies can help to reactivate the wiring. His research has shown many treatments can be effective in treating trauma in addition to talk therapies.
Helpline Caller Feedback:
One Blue Knot Helpline user contacted us recently to share her enthusiasm for The Body Keeps The Score. She is telling everyone she meets to read van der Kolk’s book - friends, doctors, nurses… She believes this book is a “must read” providing a good, simple, clear understanding of what happens to people who experienced childhood trauma and now, like her, have complex PTSD or post traumatic stress. She likes the way the author links what he is finding in his research to real situations.
“It was so easy to read, I couldn’t put the book down. But you don’t need a degree to understand what he is saying. I never realized how the mind and the body are so connected – now I feel like I understand what is going on for me - I’m starting to piece it all together.
So when I get triggered, I now notice that I also feel it in my body – I wasn’t aware of that before. I never realized stuff that happens is not just remembered in the brain, it is also remembered in the body.”
Bessel van der Kolk has written several books and journal articles and you can find podcasts, recordings and videos on line with interviews and talks on this book and related topics: http://www.traumacenter.org/.
Blue Knot Foundation makes every effort to provide readers of its website and newsletters with information which is accurate and helpful. It is not however a substitute for counselling or professional advice. While all attempts have been made to verify all information provided, Blue Knot Foundation cannot guarantee and does not assume any responsibility for currency, errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the information provided.