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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

What listeners say about The Body Keeps the Score

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Recommend 100%

This book had been an amazing benefit to my life! It really answered so many questions, some that I didn't even know to ask lol I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who suffers from PTSD and Childhood Trauma. Thank You for this book 🙏

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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.

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  • jazzsinger
  • 2021-04-07

Overall Worthwhile, Lingers Too Long in the Why

I found this book to be extremely well documented and quite frankly, without the exceptional narration I don’t feel I would have gained as much from the authors knowledge in trauma. If you’re a fan of Sam Harris you’ll love this narration. As to the content, as someone who is a survivor of childhood trauma, I felt the book lingered too long in the multiple case histories and ‘why’ of the traumas and missed an opportunity to provide actionable solution, tools and resources for the reader. If you’re a trauma survivor the last thing you want or need is 20 hours of dark and triggering accounts, you’re living your own trauma already. What would have been invaluable to me would have been a sense of hope and possibility for healing and again, tools and resources to help those of us highly functional but quietly suffering, a chance to take what this obviously brilliant clinician has to share and incorporate it into our own lives. Still well worth the investment.

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  • Shannon
  • 2021-03-22

Eye opening

Wow. Never has an intro to a review been more appropriate. This book opened my mind and delivered an understanding of myself and everyone around me in a manner I had not considered before. Bottom line for me: everything matters. The body doesn’t forget anything, no matter what our brain tries to do to help us cope with life. Truly worthwhile listen for me. My gratitude to the author and his years of researching that brought this work to light.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Melissa Day
  • 2021-03-04

Great addition to audible!

I've long loved this work by Bessel van der Kolk, now I am really glad to own it in audio format - the narrator is great and I really hope it makes this read accessible to more open minds!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-04-09

Incredible

I am close to finishing this book and I have already recommended it to everyone I know. There are no negative words which I could use to describe this book. From the writing, to the consistency, organization, level of comprehension, detailed examples/stories, knowledge and much more, this book is the most put together piece of writing that I have ever had the pleasure of reading/listening to in my life. Not only that, but the information given about Trauma has been life changing for me. This is a book I'm going to be coming back to many times.

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  • Meah
  • 2021-04-09

Book is amazing

My plan is to listen several more times. So much to absorb. All great information. 👍This book is a definite keeper. Author is caring, concise, with appropriate stories to accompany technical terms. I felt as if he was speaking directly to me. Will definitely pass it onto others. Thank you Author from thw bottom of my heart.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-04-29

Written for therapists but learned a ton

This book was a recommendation to me from a health professional. Although it was dense with research for the first 11 chapters, it was a good foundation to build on for future chapters. The narrator did a good job keeping pace and tone consistent to keep interest. I wouldn’t have made it through the book without audible. Start at Chapters 12/13 for those who want specific, evidence based interventions.

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  • C. Fairbanks
  • 2021-04-16

listening to book is so different than reading it!

my book club and i decided to read this book. we all work in the homeless shelter and felt this would help us with working with some of our clients/guests. My son kidnapped my book and i decided that i would check out the audio version of the book. i love it! i am facinated by the key points that stuck out while lustening compared to reading it! I am playing with the idea of this being something i can adopt and apply with other books in the future; Reading the book and then going over it again with audio version. anyways besides that, the book is great subject matter is really thought provoking.

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  • Charlie :)
  • 2021-04-13

good info but seemed a bit biased

Good info but seemed a bit biased. the book almost seemed like 2 different books. The first half was very good but I felt the second have drifted into personal bias at times.

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  • Jesse Alexander Moreau
  • 2021-05-01

Best book of this type I have ever read!

This man's body of work is so impressive and makes a wonderful foundation or addition to anybody working in the field of mental health.

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  • Arielle Ricksecker
  • 2021-05-01

Everyone needs to read/listen to this book!

Whether you have suffered trauma or not, you should read this book for the simple reason of understanding and having empathy and compassion for those who have suffered trauma. I loved this book. I felt understood which is unique for me. I love storytelling that uses analogies to explain what the speaker means and this doctor did a superb job of explaining himself. We are told about many different types of therapies we can get to help us with any trauma we suffer which is in and of itself useful to know how to help ourselves. Although I will admit I was left nit knowing which one is right to help me nor knowing how to find out. but at least I know what to research and look for. The reader does a pleasant job of reading!