The Body Keeps the Score Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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The Body Keeps the Score Summary

About The Body Keeps the Score Book

#1 New York Times bestseller

“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 bestseller

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 over 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.

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The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel A. Van der Kolk

Every decision of self sabotage and self neglect has an impact. The body keeps the score.

Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

The book delves into the ways that trauma can affect the body and mind, and how it can be treated.

1. The Nature of Trauma: Dr. van der Kolk begins by explaining what trauma is and how it can shape an individual's brain, body, and perception of the world.

2. Brain Changes: Trauma can alter the brain's structure and function. The author delves into how different areas, like the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, are impacted by traumatic experiences.

3. Survival Mechanisms: Traumatized individuals may exhibit behaviors such as dissociation or freezing as a way to cope with threatening situations.


The Impact of Trauma

The Impact of Trauma

4. Developmental Trauma: The book also covers the impact of trauma on children and how early traumatic experiences can shape the developing brain and influence adulthood.

5. Paths to Recovery: Dr. van der Kolk outlines various therapeutic approaches that can be effective in treating trauma. This includes talk therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), neurofeedback, yoga, and more.

6. The Social Aspect: emphasizes the importance of community and social connection in healing trauma.


Understanding Trauma

Understanding Trauma

Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way the mind and brain manage perceptions.

Trauma reshapes our cognitive framework, affecting how we perceive and interact with the world. Recognising this helps in understanding behaviours in oneself and others. Leaders should approach their team members with empathy, knowing that past traumas might influence their reactions.


By understanding how trauma fully impacts us, we can become more self aware and find the capacity to overcome.

Trauma & The Impact On The Imagination

It is easy to acknowledge the direct impacts of trauma but some of its more life altering impacts are what it has on the mind.

In addition to the impact from the direct interaction, the imagination is not only stunted but also becomes a place where you relive the origin of the trauma, over and over, snowballing new trauma from the imagination with the initial trauma, maimed by things like regret and guilt.

Eventually, the imagination only becomes familiar with the past, being rooted only in what has happened and not being able to fathom a future any different.


Trauma Hijacks The Imagination

The imagination is the mind's eye: how we perceive & even interact with intangibles in the cosmos.

When we experience trauma, the imagination relives the moment over & over, searching for ways to avoid the experience in the future or overcome it. With every replay of that moment, we experience a second hand trauma compounded on our original experience.

Eventually, we blame ourselves for what happened, taking on guilt, shame & regret. Through repetition in the mind, the imagination conforms to a reality where only shame, guilt & regret are the only thinkable outcomes. This stunts our perception.


Trauma Influences Imagination Escapism

In other instances, instead of guilt, shame & regret, we seek to escape from a reality that we feel is too much to bear. We begin to fantasize on the what ifs, & explore those mythical timelines in our imagination. Slowly, we begin to yearn more for the fantasy as it temporarily eases our stress, but it also removes us from the present & in turn impede our ability to impact it for the better.

Fantasizing may seem harmless at first but it is teaching the mind to interact with the unreal parts of your experience. The escape isn't just from the pain, but also a vacancy from your driver's seat.


Trauma shapes us, even our bodies. Dr. van der Kolk digs deep onw how trauma shapes us and how we can rise above it.

Trauma, whether it is the result of something done to you or something you yourself have done, almost always makes it difficult to engage in intimate relationships. after you have experienced something so unspeakble, how do you learn to trust yourself or anyone else again? Or onversely, how can you surrender to an intimate relationship after you have been brutally violated



4 Fundamental Truths

1. Though we have the capacity to destroy one another, we also have the capacty to heal one another.

2. Language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences to help us define what we know and find a common sense of meaning.

3. We have the ability to regulate our own physioogy.

4. We canchange social conditions to create environments in which children and adults feel safe, where we can thrive.


...deep down many traumatized people are even more haunted by the shame they feel about what they themselves did or did not do under the circumstances



Let it go

Release or it will make u sick


Healing trauma Through Theater Arts:

Healing trauma Through Theater Arts:

When I first heard this, I felt like:" okay; there it is, this Great book that describes me so well , has told me a about the trouble , but has left me stuck with it , as.if there's little more person can do about their PTSD then to pronounce surround, has some type of wannabe Shakespeare actor, and to be honest, I felt sort of disrespected by you, as if a lifetimes worth of attempts at trauma recovery give me trivialized by sang, will just put them in all in theater groups and they’ll be better🤣


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