The Body Keeps the Score

Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Bessel Van der Kolk
Health and Fitness


Trauma can occur anywhere, any time and to anyone. It takes on many forms – war, rape, crime, car accidents and so on. To the onlooker, it might appear that a traumatic event has a beginning, middle and end. But for those who have experienced it, the trauma just doesn’t end. It becomes a part of them, an inescapable horror present throughout their daily lives – an endless, visceral reminder of their terror and helplessness. In The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk, one of the world’s preeminent psychiatrists specializing in post-traumatic stress, reveals how traditional methods of therapy – talk therapy and medications – are limited in their effectiveness to treat trauma. He takes us step-by-step through the physiological effects of trauma, and explains why the brain remembers trauma in a completely different way than it remembers everything else. Then, he takes us on a journey through holistic methods of treating trauma – methods that engage the body and soul together in order to rewire the brain and provide relief from the devastating effects of post-traumatic stress.

About the author

Bessel van der Kolk is a Boston-based psychiatrist noted for his research in the area of post-traumatic stress since the 1970s. His work focuses on the interaction of attachment, neurobiology, and developmental aspects of trauma’s effects on people.