Bessel Van Der Kolk’s The Body Keeps The Score

I have to say that I really liked this book. For those who have experienced some serious trauma, this one’s for you, your journey to self-healing if you don’t know where to start. It focuses on trauma and the responses the body has naturally. Bessel Van Der Kolk uses some real examples such as various wars, the Holocaust, and 9/11.

“We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body.”

Kolk has a way of clearly explaining the effects of trauma on memory, reoccurring or resurfacing symptoms, and the neurobiological responses of the body. Memory in relation to trauma in particular seems to be important in what we know, remember, and how we perceive the world. It’s connected to that feeling of disconnection from self and others, what it means to self-regulate, and how to grow self-awareness when the symptoms of trauma resurface.

“Incidents of abuse are never stand-alone events. And for each additional adverse experience reported, the toll in later damage increases.”

Many people are still rather ignorant on what are some appropriate ways to approach a trauma situation or person. Kolk outlines the different therapeutic approaches. He certainly does not rule out the importance of the actual neurology of the brain, how the connectivity of the electrical circuits affects trauma, and how attempts to restructure the inner maps could help. Essentially, he gives a strong overview of trauma psychology from single events or recurring minor episodes: event driven like a bombing, relational such as domestic violence, and/or sexual abuse. This is for those readers that really want a good jumping point into further research. Highly, highly recommended.

Work Cited

Van Der Kolk, Bessel. The Body Keeps the Score. New York: Penguin Publishing, 8 September 2015.


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5 thoughts on “Bessel Van Der Kolk’s The Body Keeps The Score

  1. This recommendation is definitely I will try to remember in the future whenever I am in a bookstore. I find this comment outlines how the book “The Body Keeps The Score” deals articulates how overwhelming trauma can be not only mentally but actually physically. Personally I would love to read into the processes of trauma healing process on a scientific level since this is a new approach on the topic of trauma in literature. Nonetheless I wonder to what extent the book might as well support people who have experienced a lot of trauma in their past and are still experiencing trauma in the present. As far as I am concerned I think Bessel Van Der Kolk’s might be a good help to understand what is going on in our bodies when we are healing what has been damaged.


  2. I would like to reply to your text 🙂 First of all, it is so overwhelming how experiences affect the development of brain, mind and body awareness! The human being psych is really complex and a lot of people are suffering from traumata, so it is really important that someone is writing about that topic. Additionally, in my opinion it is also really essential that the author is an expert! I hope that I will read that book in the future!


  3. I have such interest in the books or studies that go on a topic in specific like the traumas, but based on brain study. I keep very present the power of the mind, so the studies of it for me are just wonderful.


  4. I really like the two quotes from Kolk that you put in your articles, we understand that trauma is not just memory of the past but that it is a part of us, it continues to affect us all days.
    Then he gives several therapeutic approach or speak speak with someone traumatized and even if he does not denigrates in any case the cases where it is necessary to intervene I find it interesting.


  5. In the first place, according to
    read in the criticism of the book, it speaks of trauma and the human mind. It is very interesting how psychology talk about it.
    As you said:
    “Many people are still rather ignorant on what are some appropriate ways to approach a trauma situation or person”
    I like that part of the comment because shows that this author puts traumas at a level which is not usually given.


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