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The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment
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The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,645 ratings  ·  49 reviews
This book illuminates that physiology, shining a bright light on the impact of trauma on the body and the phenomenon of somatic memory.

It is now thought that people who have been traumatized hold an implicit memory of traumatic events in their brains and bodies. That memory is often expressed in the symptomatology of posttraumatic stress disorder-nightmares, flashbacks, st
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 17th 2000 by W. W. Norton Company
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Sep 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
I think if I'd read this as a textbook, I'd feel better about it, although I'm pretty sure I'd have still reacted to the line about how rape survivors need to understand how they "put themselves into that situation" as part of trauma recovery. Rothschild immediately follows up by saying that of course this doesn't imply that rape survivors are responsible for their rapes, but they also state that therapists put too much (?) guilt on the perpetrator and not on the survivor.

No, sorry, there's alw
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are a multitude of books on trauma, post-traumatic stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder. There are overviews (and underviews), workbooks, guides, pairings with meditation, mindfulness, yoga and an irksome panoply of theories. There are trauma memoirs and trauma fictions and navigations through specific trauma treatments. To put it in the vernacular of our cyber landscape, it could be said that trauma is trending. However, as with most fields of study, there are but a few works that c ...more
Amanda G. Stevens
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Essentially a textbook, divided into two parts--theory and practice--this is one of the most valuable resources I've ever bought. I'm a layperson writing fiction who, naturally, has traumatized a character (or two), and I wanted to get this stuff right. I doubt I could have found a better resource for my purposes. I "knew" PTSD is a complicated condition, but before reading this book, I truly had no idea what I was talking about. (Alongside a trauma therapist, I still don't, of course.)

The autho
jessi lee
Apr 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: therapists, bodywork folks, survivors
Recommended to jessi lee by: prof. seglin
i really enjoyed this book. rothschild explores the physical impact of experiencing a traumatic event--the way memories are stored throughout your body, not just in your frontal cortex. i love her stories about paying attention to little movements that people make while they're speaking, exploring the meaning of those movements, and exploring the texture of body sensations that accompany memories.

and she gives really concrete steps for paying attention to people's bodies in therapy and giving c
Oct 17, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a good introduction to the psychophysiology of trauma. It is, however, a bit dry, and there's a little bit of victim-blaming at some points that I REALLY could have done without.
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really excellent description of ways to include somatic work in trauma therapy. Case examples are an integral part of the text, thank goodness, and are very clear and illustrative. A lot of concrete suggestions and techniques. The discussion of memory (and the science of memory) early in the book was really interesting.

I found some of the descriptions of physiology in the early part of the book difficult to follow, and the diagrams didn't help much. I went into this reading with a fair amount of
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book for one of my graduate courses on trauma and biology. As someone who is really interested in incorporating somatic work into therapy, I loved this book. Trauma survivors often need more than traditional talk therapy since traumatic memory is stored within the body. Trauma changes the brain and I could geek out forever about all that but I will refrain. Although this book is just 200 pages, it reads somewhat like a text book, so I only recommend it if this is an area of interest ...more
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've lost track of the number of times I've gone through these pages over the years. Whilst there's a host of other trauma therapy books out there these days (since it's 2000 publication), I return for the brief case studies which walk through how to work with the various manifestations of trauma response in an individual, and the very clear explanation of one way to understand trauma. The title alone for me is a much needed fact to remember. A classic text in a field now saturated with theories ...more
Initially NO
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crisis-healing
This book begins very technically, detailing physiology of what occurs during trauma. For example the way sensory memory is encoded. It is well worth giving this part of the book a second read, as it is quite technical, but could be a useful way of seeing what’s going on.
The rest of the book looks at way of working with various cases of trauma. There is a good detailed look at boundary issues and how to overcome fears associated with this that are interfering in a person’s life and sense of wel
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This book was recommended to me by a colleague when I started working with patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It was a great eye opener to what the physical effects are of trauma and treatment options. I wouldn't recommend this book to trauma survivors as a self-help manual however.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Appreciated the reminder of how trauma effects people physiologically and emotionally. Provided prep work (anchors, safe places, etc) and body work that will be helpful to my practice. Have volume 2 of this series, which I look forward to reading as well.
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well written, useful and illustrative case histories. As a social worker and trained psycho-therapist about to embark on opening her own clinic, I found this to be extremely instructive.
I very much appreciate approaches that don't rule out differing points of view. Every method helps someone, sometimes doing nothing at all helps someone. Very often practitioners get "married" to a method and dismiss what other techniques and theories have to offer. This book helped me to understand something th
Jessica Diedrich
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful and clear description of trauma theory and biochemical responses. It also includes well-written, practical advice and strategies for counseling. In addition to the great knowledge side, Rothschild uses a very evocative narrative in describing the relationships between body, memory, and coping with trauma. The personal stories as case studies are haunting, but illustrate the biochemical relationships that are reviewed in the earlier part of the book. Outstanding book and a must-re ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting book on the differences between cognitive vs. somatic memories, how they're created and their affects on us. Lots of useful insights for people who work with people who've suffered trauma, have PTSD, etc. Readable not just for professionals but anyone who's willing to pick up a dictionary or has some science background.
Lara K
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Best book on trauma I've read. It really helped me gain clarity on theory, techniques and what to look out for in trauma work. I really liked how the cases provided illustrated and guided the theory, rather than just showing how skilled the therapist is as they do so many other therapy handbooks. A very valuable reference.
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
wonderfully written book on how trauma victims store the trauma in the body, and how clinicians can effectively treat PTSD and other trauma issues. very practically written, with some great case studies.
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
it was a random sale find looking for something hard to read. it was hard but she made it easier with the way she wrote, cant stop reading till the last page and i learned so much new things about the brain!
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book. This text explores the physical experiences we have from trauma that may have happened long ago. It brings the physiological up to the psychological level and completely knocks all those "fluffy mind-body theorists" out of the water. Seriously enjoyed this read.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
The first part of the book was a great overview of the somatic symptoms of trauma, triggers, and the nervous system. The second was about psychological/psychiatric methods to put in practice with patients--interesting, but not necessarily useful to me personally.
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: counseling
What a great book! It is definitely not written for the lay person but I think this was an amazing introduction to trauma and trauma treatment. I will be recommending it to any counselor dealing with trauma cases and will be using it as a reference in the future.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Victim blaming toward rape survivors was highly problematic.

However, the practice/clinical skills portion of the book was helpful in working with clients and tying back trauma to the body and mind.
Joanna Bedggood
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
this really affected the way I view work with trauma survivors
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
An absolute classic and excited to be training with BR in person in London next month.
Rod White
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rothschild manages to simplfy as topic that is very complex. She takes us through the brain science of what trauma does to us. Very helpful.
Portland Therapist
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The quintessential book on working with trauma through the body. A must read for clinicians and clients alike.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Incredible depth and guidance into working psychotherapy with the body.
Christy Baker
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
A well done academic/professional text on bridging neuroscience, biology, psychological theory with clinical practice/techniques in the field of treatment for PTS and PTSD and autonomic nervous system regulation and deregulation. The main focus was on somatic integration, but also incorporated other modalities. An accessible if somewhat technical book. It felt like a good blend of explanation of theory, straight-forward recommendations for clinical practice and case studies by way of example. I ...more
Leanne Albillar
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a solid book covering the basics of dealing with PTSD. It translates the science behind trauma to easily understandable terms and takes a very common sense, patient led approach to treatment.

Some of the theory and information is out of date now (the book was published in 2000), and there was a brief section towards the end that felt like victim blaming. Even with those caveats, this is still a worthwhile read.
Taylor Mason
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I immensely enjoyed reading this book. It provides a wealth of knowledge in easily digestible formate--which makes it great when considering trauma. The only criticism I have it that it, like other trauma-focused books, makes the work look easy. The case studies, while complex, and reduced down to a few points that seem unlikely outside of these "best case scenarios".
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
absolutely brilliant resource for working with Trauma. combines theory and practice nicely. better than most theory that doesnt explain how this looks in practice but this book does giving some very useful techniques grounded in theory that she explains well.
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“The symptomatology of PTSD.
In PTSD a traumatic event is not remembered and relegated to one's past in the same way as other life events. Trauma continues to intrude with visual, auditory, and/or other somatic reality on the lives of its victims. Again and again they relieve the life-threatening experiences they suffered, reacting in mind and body as though such events were still occurring. PTSD is a complex psychobiological condition.”
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