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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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Transformative

This book patiently guided me through everything I needed to know about the mind and how early experiences affect the adult brain.

It was highly enlightening, yet not overly technical or hard to understand. Thank you to Vessel for writing such a comprehensive work.

5 people found this helpful

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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 🙏

5 people found this helpful

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incredibly triggering

couldn't get through it, half of the book are detailed accounts of violence and trauma

2 people found this helpful

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  • 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”.

2 people found this helpful

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Dealing with trauma

This book is for anyone dealing with personal trauma or know of someone who is dealing with trauma. It’s a very easy to understand break down of how and why people act the way they do after a traumatic experience. It helped me to understand as a traumatized person why I do the things I do in life, but also how to overcome the traumas I’ve experienced. Beautiful 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.

2 people found this helpful

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The best window into how to help the world.

As someone suffering from so much trauma, healing and recovering - I needed this book. I've listened to it twice. It has helped me become a better person, parent, wife and friend. It helps me understand why people act out their trauma, and makes me want to change the world.

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Excellent read

An informative book about the affects of trauma and the connection to the body. I enjoyed learning about the many scientific approaches to reduce suffering and promote healing.

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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.

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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

1 person found this helpful

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  • LittleBeadsOfMercury
  • 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.

203 people found this helpful

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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.

73 people found this helpful

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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.

71 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-05-21

Interesting read....a little retraumatizing

This book was very interesting however I had a hard time listening to more than 15 mins at a time due to explanation of others traumatic experiences. Kind of retraumatizing if you are still in a healing state

53 people found this helpful

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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.

47 people found this helpful

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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.

33 people found this helpful

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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.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Val
  • 2021-05-30

Am excellent book!

This book has helped me tremendously. I was recently diagnosed with complex ptsd. After being misdiagnosed as bipolar for my entire adult life. It has been life changing.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 2021-05-06

Jam packed with helpful therapies

This book helped me understand why therapies beyond CBT and meds are often more appropriate for people struggling to find their way with the effects of developmental trauma.

23 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!

22 people found this helpful