Bessel A. van der Kolk


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Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D. has been the Medical Director of The Trauma Center in Boston for the past 30 years. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School and serves as the Director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Complex Trauma Network. He is past President of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Though he identifies himself primarily as a clinician, he has published well over 100 peer reviewed scientific articles on various aspects of trauma, including his current projects: 1) yoga for treating PTSD, funded by the National Institutes of Health; 2) the use of theater for violence prevention in the Boston public schools, funded by the CDC; 3) the mechanisms of EMDR; 4) sensory integ
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New videos and updates on our Neurofeedback Research 2015!

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Click here to support Neurofeedback Research 2015 by Bessel van der Kolk MD
fundly.com
Completion of the first rigorous scientific study of Neurofeedback to treat children with histories of trauma, abuse and neglect. Read more of this blog post »
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Published on May 20, 2015 15:16 • 225 views
Average rating: 4.56 · 11,383 ratings · 1,024 reviews · 20 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Body Keeps the Score: B...

4.61 avg rating — 9,888 ratings — published 2014 — 21 editions
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Traumatic Stress: The Effec...

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4.29 avg rating — 275 ratings — published 1996 — 8 editions
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Psychological Trauma

4.22 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 1986 — 3 editions
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disor...

4.62 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 1984 — 2 editions
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Body keeps the score, traum...

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings
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The Assessment and Treatmen...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2014
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El cuerpo lleva la cuenta

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Smart Trauma Interventions

liked it 3.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Overcoming Trauma through Y...

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4.22 avg rating — 489 ratings — published 2011 — 6 editions
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Trauma: Explorations in Memory

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3.92 avg rating — 171 ratings — published 1995 — 2 editions
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“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.” (p.97)”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

“Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality.”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society

“BEFRIENDING THE BODY

Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.

In my practice I begin the process by helping my patients to first notice and then describe the feelings in their bodies—not emotions such as anger or anxiety or fear but the physical sensations beneath the emotions: pressure, heat, muscular tension, tingling, caving in, feeling hollow, and so on. I also work on identifying the sensations associated with relaxation or pleasure. I help them become aware of their breath, their gestures and movements.

All too often, however, drugs such as Abilify, Zyprexa, and Seroquel, are prescribed instead of teaching people the skills to deal with such distressing physical reactions. Of course, medications only blunt sensations and do nothing to resolve them or transform them from toxic agents into allies.

The mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness are able, with practice, to connect their physical sensations to psychological events. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves.”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

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