Listen free for 30 days

  • The Body Keeps the Score

  • Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
  • Written by: Bessel A. van der Kolk
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 16 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (927 ratings)

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo + applicable taxes after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
The Body Keeps the Score cover art

The Body Keeps the Score

Written by: Bessel A. van der Kolk
Narrated by: Sean Pratt
Try for $0.00

$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $29.14

Buy Now for $29.14

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Number one New York Times best seller

“Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society.” (Alexander McFarlane, director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies)

A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times best seller.

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent more than three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments - from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga - that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal - and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.

Cover image: © 2020 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Courtesy of the Archives Henri Matisse, All rights reserved.

©2014 Bessel van der Kolk (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Editorial Review

How does trauma affect our physical bodies? How would your life be improved if you knew how to treat the parts of your brain affected by traumatic stress? The Body Keeps the Score is here to help you find out.

The Body Keeps the Score, a New York Times bestseller, is a captivating examination of the world of neuroscience and traumatic stress, its sometimes devastating consequences, and the innovative treatments that have proved to improve the lives of those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders. Statistics say that most people will experience one or more traumatic events. The physical manifestations of those events will vary among trauma survivors, but the effects of stress hormones on our neurobiology are undeniable. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is one of the leading authorities on traumatic experiences and their physical impacts on the mind and body. The Body Keeps the Score is the culmination of decades of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s groundbreaking research on psychological trauma treatment and the psychiatry behind trauma healing.

How traumatic experiences reshape our brains can affect self-regulation, the ability to feel happiness, and even build trusting relationships with loved ones. These effects can prove detrimental to individuals dealing with traumatic memories resulting from things like childhood trauma. This audiobook examines the innovative treatments that have shown great success in healing trauma and improving neurofeedback in the impacted parts of the brain, including various forms of physical activity and meditation and innovative psychotherapy like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

The Body Keeps the Score is an essential listen for understanding trauma and the interventions you can take to carve hopeful paths to recovery. Whether you are grappling with unresolved trauma from child abuse or looking for general guidance on improving your mental health with reliable research from a world-class clinician, this is one audiobook you should add to your library.

What listeners say about The Body Keeps the Score

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    820
  • 4 Stars
    81
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    7
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    633
  • 4 Stars
    70
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    636
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Naz
  • 2021-10-29

Amazing book, not so amazing narration

This book deals with heavy stuff, specially if you have a trauma history. The narration is absurdly depressing. The content is already tough to stomach, so I couldn’t have really done without the funeral tone. Also, it’s “overwhelmed” not “overhelmed”.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Long and heavy

Some really interesting content but quite heavy and depressing material. I feel like the author could have described many of these findings and cases without going into extreme detail about the actual trauma the individuals experienced. I took quite a while to finish because it was so long and depressing which unfortunately obfuscated a lot of the interesting content. Narrator had a calm and soothing voice

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thorough Trauma History

Love the explanation of trauma and the historical unfolding of the understanding of the impact of trauma on us. The author was on the ground floor of the research many years ago. He is a trusted source. I also appreciate the explanation and recommendations for healing from trauma.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Huge trigger warning

This book goes into a lot of detail of specific traumas that children have experienced. I was not expecting that nor did I want to hear that my listening to it. I will finish the book but it’s very triggering and I want people to know that.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read book

This book start from finish has been critical to my healing, I am so thankful for all the reasearch and dedication of the author, and all other people involved, thank you sooo very much for writing this book.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Chronological, academic, informational

It presents content in a chronological timeline for the first chunk of the book and ends with different examples of therapy options. Bessel talks about how psychology practices have changed over time from what he's seen and experienced. The last few sections discuss therapeutic options in detail so you get an idea of what to expect and what the success results are like. It can be triggering at times as some of the stories are detailed. Definitely feel it was targeted more towards fellow mental health professionals. But, as a person going through trauma therapy, I found it to be very validating and helpful with normalizing the experiences I've had in my body and the disconnect I've felt. It's also helped me explain things better with family and friends and also have better conversations with my psychologist. It also helped me with some of my worksheet exercises as the example stories helped unlock some memories for me. I had to take breaks but overall found the content to be more beneficial than detrimental for me.

If you find it helpful to understand "how" your body and brain works in order to feel some relief, this is a very interesting book. If you're looking for soothing comments about trauma, I would look elsewhere. This does read academically so it's very matter of fact in style.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Recommended

I had so many AHA moments listening to this book and had to listen a second time!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S.H
  • 2022-02-16

A must read for all carrgivers

Loved it! lots of examples and strategies. Engaging narrator. Now i need the hard copy for reference.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Learning to Deal with Trauma and Stress

The book itself is very insightful. Parts one through four go into different kinds of PTSD (for example, did you develop it as an adult or a child?), how it can affect your behaviour and brain, and drops hints at potential therapeutic guidelines that can be taken depending on the circumstances. Part five goes into depth of potential treatments which I thought were very interesting considering I've always been on the team that medication helps alleviate symptoms, but doesn't solve the root problem. Even if you haven't gone through what you might assume is a "typical" PTSD event, The Body Keeps the Score can help you confront stresses that you experienced, are experiencing, or will experience in your life. Though if you're sensitive to hearing about trauma, it should go without saying that this book does include recounts of horrifying experiences.
The reader is quite slow and I was able to listen at 1.5 to 2x the speed comfortably. Any higher and I would have the accompanying text with me. But otherwise, Sean Pratt did a good job.
Only a single complaint about the book I can think of: sometimes the book gets a bit repetitive in order to drive home a point.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good

The book is well worth the listen. It makes you realize that you can overcome suffering.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!