The Body Keeps the Score Book Summary - The Body Keeps the Score Book explained in key points
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The Body Keeps the Score summary

Bessel van der Kolk

Mind, Brain and the Body in the Transformation of Trauma

4.5 (1059 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk is an insightful exploration of trauma, its effects on the body and mind, and various healing techniques.
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    The Body Keeps the Score
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    Trauma is incredibly common in our society.

    Trauma isn’t just something faced by war veterans – it’s far more prevalent in our society than we realize. The truth is that trauma can happen to anyone, and it’s time we found out what this really means.

    Traumas result from an experience of extreme stress or pain that leaves an individual feeling helpless, or too overwhelmed, to cope with adversity. Experiences involving war typically result in traumas, but violent crimes and accidents cause them too.

    Rape and child abuse are terrible events, and they are also unfortunately more common than you might think. Reports reveal that 12 million women were victims of rape in the United States in 2014 alone, and that more than 50 percent of those women were under the age of 15 at the time of the assault. Every year in the United States, there are 3 million cases of child abuse.

    These traumatic experiences can change the lives of those affected, as well as the lives of their friends and family. Traumatized people often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can lead to depression and substance abuse.

    In addition, traumatized people tend to mistrust anyone who hasn’t experienced the same suffering they have, and assume that nobody can understand them. This was illustrated in one of the therapy groups the author set up for Vietnam veterans.

    While the group helped the veterans find friends and share their experiences, those who weren’t traumatized by the war were considered outsiders by the group – including the author. It took weeks of listening, empathizing and building trust with the veterans for them to accept him.

    Establishing a rapport with someone suffering from PTSD is a challenge on its own, so just imagine trying to maintain a marriage, a close friendship or a stable parent-child relationship. Traumatized people find it difficult to trust even those who love them most, including partners and kids. This can be very tough on friends and families, often leading to estrangement or divorce.

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    What is The Body Keeps the Score about?

    The Body Keeps the Score (2014) explains what trauma is and how it can change our lives for the worse. These blinks investigate the wide-ranging effects experienced not only by traumatized people, but also those around them. Nevertheless, while trauma presents a number of challenges, there are ways to heal.

    The Body Keeps the Score Review

    The Body Keeps The Score (2014) is a groundbreaking book on understanding and healing trauma. This important work stands out for its:

    • Comprehensive overview of trauma's impact on the body, brain, and emotions.
    • In-depth discussion of various therapeutic approaches, from traditional to alternative methods.
    • Empowering message that promotes resilience and recovery for trauma survivors.

    Learn about the science of trauma and the path to healing by reading The Body Keeps The Score.

    Best quote from The Body Keeps the Score

    People who have not shared the traumatic experience cannot be trusted, because they cant understand it.

    —Bessel van der Kolk
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    Who should read The Body Keeps the Score?

    • People struggling with chronic pain, anxiety or depression
    • Family and friends of PTSD sufferers
    • Students of psychology and medicine

    About the Author

    Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a physician, researcher and teacher specializing in post-traumatic stress. His other books include Psychological Trauma and Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society. Van der Kolk is a professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine and directed the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute.

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    The Body Keeps the Score FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Body Keeps The Score?

    The main message of The Body Keeps The Score is the profound effects of trauma and the potential for healing and recovery.

    How long does it take to read The Body Keeps The Score?

    It takes approximately 13 hours to read The Body Keeps The Score, while the Blinkist summary can be read in about 15 minutes.

    Is The Body Keeps The Score a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Body Keeps The Score is a must-read for understanding trauma and its effects on body and mind.

    Who is the author of The Body Keeps The Score?

    The author of The Body Keeps The Score is Bessel Van Der Kolk.

    How many chapters are in The Body Keeps The Score?

    The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk has 20 chapters.

    How many pages are in The Body Keeps The Score?

    There are 464 pages in The Body Keeps The Score.

    When was The Body Keeps The Score published?

    The Body Keeps The Score was published in 2014.