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Healing Trauma: Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body
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Healing Trauma: Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  760 ratings  ·  50 reviews
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 23 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders- many as a direct result of trauma. As a young stress researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, Peter A. Levine found that all animals, including humans, are born with a natural ability to rebound from these distressing situations. Now on Healing ...more
Audio CD, 46 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Sounds True (first published 1999)
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Morgan Blackledge
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Healing Trauma: Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body is a brief introduction to Dr. Peter Levine's research, theory and clinical work in assisting recovery from PTSD symptoms.

Somatic Experiencing is the clinical modality based on Dr. Levine's theory and research.

Somatic Experiencing differs from conventional talk therapy. Rather than linguistically interpreting the trauma and reframing the event in a more adaptive way (cognitive restructuring and narrative integration).

Somatic Experiencing facilit
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to be cautious when approaching a significantly alternative philosophy: some can be pretty far out, and even detrimental. An open mind is a good thing, as long as you take care about what you’re letting in! I had all my radar on for this book, which begins with a quote from the Gnostic Gospels and the four noble truths of Buddha:

Suffering is part of being human
Find out why you suffer
Suffering can be transformed and healed
After finding the cause of suffering, you must find the right
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is much more readable than Peter Levine's other, for the lay person anyway. I like the way it talks about healing trauma in terms that a person can hear it without feeling it's the end of the world to get past trauma. Not to mention all the little things that can actually traumatize that we don't even realize can have an impact, especially for little children.
Kumari de Silva
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would not recommend this short book as an introduction to Dr Levine's work. If you read and enjoyed his work "Waking the Tiger" this book is a how-to with that process. The first time I listened to the audio I felt very hypnotized. I very easily sensed my feelings in my body because I was already on board with the idea, I meditate with regularity and practice body conscious exercises like running, hiking and yoga. It may take a little longer for you if the idea is new to you.

I fully expected t
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Practical somatic interventions to be used at home to restore connection with the body. Good starting point for psychoeducation of trauma survivors. Easily accessible to people without a psychological studies background. Would recommend to anyone who experiences out-of-body numbing.
This reads like a cliffs' notes version of Peter Levine's other works. I found the book interesting and helpful until the end of the practical exercises. The sections after felt like filler.

Levine's work is really interesting, especially since it deals more with body work vs intellect. Much of the time, trauma isn't bound in logic so thinking your way through it in order to process it doesn't work. Processing trauma through body exercises is another strategy and it seems to be effective.

This boo
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people with a lot of hang-ups like me.
"If you bring forth that which is within you, then that which is within you will be your salvation...
If you do not bring forth that which is within you, then what is within you will destroy you" - The Gnostic Gospels

done reading...have not come to exercising it yet. i think this book is helpful in terms of information about trauma - its level of helpfulness though will depend upon the result/s i get when i finally come round to doing the exercises.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very informative book that I found useful (and working as a psychologist I'm always looking for books that might help me with helping others). It has many examples and exercises you can use on your own, and I also like how he compares our reactions to those of other animals. There are also some great case studies in the book, that demonstrates eloquently what he means when he explains the theory behind the treatment. An essential book for all trauma therapists!
Sarah Marble
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book and CD are amazing. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I read. It made me appreciate that my difficulties stem not from being a lazy or bad person but from having a body trying to protect me, and a body with stuck energy. The exercises work. Truly life changing.
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've just started doing the course of exercises, and it's been influencing me greatly so far. I don't know what the final result will be, but, generally, the the author says many true things which I can personally relate to. I am very hopeful about the result)
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
I thought this was going to be similar to "trauma release exercises". There were some good exercises here but they seemed more like mindfulness (which is good) than training my body to let go of stress
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, practical book that also comes with a CD with exercises to help the listener develop a deeper awareness of the body's "felt sense". Written with clarity, compassion, and well-grounded faith in the human being's innate capacity to triumph over trauma.
A "somatic experiencing" book. I've had a couple of sessions of this bodywork modality, and might want to read a book about it at some point.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trauma, psychology
Events that so profoundly shatter our sense of safety grip our bodies. Trauma symptoms appear on a tier of time, first come acute hyperarousal symptoms like a pounding heart or rapid breath lock our bodies, while relational troubles and addictive behaviors and chronic pain bear down further from the trauma if it is not resolved. Trauma expert and clinician Peter Levine advocates that while we protective protection from trauma cannot be sought, it is not something that has to haunt us viscerally ...more
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Favorite quotes:
“I have come to the conclusion that human beings are born with an innate capacity to triumph over trauma. I believe not only that trauma is curable, but that the healing process can be a catalyst for profound awakening—a portal opening to emotional and genuine spiritual transformation."

"As we move from fixity to flow, we begin to experience a sense of coherency. We begin to feel reconnected to life. We feel more peaceful, at home with others, the world, and ourselves. We are no l
Tom Weissmuller
Apr 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
I have spent a lifetime as a martial artist and a career as a Judge in Native American communities. I have researched and heard testimony in trauma throughout my career and always look for additional resources. Levine borrows from the worlds I have lived in, the animal kingdom, Buddhism, and other cultures as he formulates his questionable theories and creates a series of exercises and therapeutic responses to trauma. He does so here without so much as a single reference to scientific methods th ...more
This book is incredibly hard to read, unfortunately. I found it much duller than similar books of the same topic. Further, to be able to access all the exercises requires a CD player - do people still have those?? Was surprised (and disappointed) that there wasn't an online version of the audio that could be accessed.
The mindfulness exercises are decent but, again, there are other books that are much easier to digest that contain the same and easier to access apps such as Insight Timer that lik
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting book, my first read of not only this authors work but really this type of “healing trauma” methods was new to me and a learning experience.

I thought it was a bit prolonged and more repetitive than it needed to be, but interesting nevertheless. If it works it’s great because something like this can be accessible and easy to implement for many people who need it most for one of their aids to recovery / healing ( reason I say if it works is because I didn’t find any need for the techni
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s certainly a very interesting book, I think st times it can be a little “wordy “ especially if it’s a lay person trying to understand by way of self help. It’s a book I will likely go back to and pick bits out of it. I have a lot of respect for the work of Peter Levine . For me, this was more digestible when I read it in small parts, it was not a book that I devoured from cover to cover, it did however learn me a lot of things and provoke my thoughts both personally as professionally .
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: soul-care, health
Audiobook. Very interesting. Different paradigm. I didn't go through the exercises slowly, as recommended. Possibly check book out again or buy hard copy to practice the exercises. Seems hopeful, yet seems this is just an introduction to how to heal from trauma.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Trauma is a fact of life and can be naturally healed, leading to transformation and reconnection to instincts and other beings. Tools for processing and healing trauma, creating peace within, and interactions with others and the world.
Gregg R.
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to this back to back with Waking the Tiger and took copious notes. Reading it this way really helped me really understand his philosophy.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
I recommend the audiobook for the exercises and the gentle voice of the author.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This a short helpful book, their is a CD in the back of my copy which I have not investigated yet.
Jonathan Bergh
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is essential.
Kellie Barlow
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Wow!! This audio book was amazing! Highly recommend.
Cecilia Hernandez
Dec 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
this book is really boring and a drag . its a dull read. not informative did not help me at all. I did not find the information in it useful what so ever .
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, that has been helping me in dealing with my trauma, and getting in touch with my body.
Ben Blue
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
While his description of what trauma is is good, his methodology is lacking. I think his physical exercises have value, but they are merely taken from other systems that also seek to heal the inner pain, such as Christian Splankna.

Finally, his chapter on sexual trauma is down right dangerous. He literally says that sexual attraction between parent and child is NATURAL. Horrifying.
Kitty Jay
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Levine's book is a decidedly practical one, focusing on actual activities victims of trauma can practice to "release the stuck energy" of unresolved trauma.

His analogy goes back to the animal world, not only in the traditional fight/flight/freeze paradigm, but also in the shaking and trembling motions animals make when dealing with a life-threatening event. Interestingly - and somewhat suspiciously - this almost exact analogy of an impala freezing when caught by a predator was used in another bo
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Peter A.Levine, Ph.D. is the originator and developer of Somatic Experiencing® and the Director of The Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. He holds doctorate degrees in Medical Biophysics and in Psychology. During his thirty five-year study of stress and trauma, Dr. Levine has contributed to a variety of scientific and popular publications.

Dr. Levine was a stress consultant for NASA during the

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“Feelings of helplessness, immobility, and freezing. If hyperarousal is the nervous system’s accelerator, a sense of overwhelming helplessness is its brake. The helplessness that is experienced at such times is not the ordinary sense of helplessness that can affect anyone from time to time. It is the sense of being collapsed, immobilized, and utterly helpless. It is not a perception, belief, or a trick of the imagination. It is real.” 8 likes
“The symptoms of trauma can be stable, that is, ever-present. They can also be unstable, meaning that they can come and go and be triggered by stress. Or they can remain hidden for decades and suddenly surface. Usually, symptoms do not occur individually, but come in groups. They often grow increasingly complex over time, becoming less and less connected with the original trauma experience.” 7 likes
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