The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Bessel van der Kolk

Book review by Melanie Rowen

In “The Body Keeps the Score,” psychiatrist Bessel Van der Kolk explains how traumatic experiences leave a lasting impression—not just in our conscious minds, but actually in our bodies. The book also explains why human beings need to have deep connections with each other in order to be able to recover from trauma. As I read it, I found myself wanting to recommend it to all of the mediators I know—if we are committed to going beneath the narratives of conflict, we need to attend to how the body experiences, knows and remembers what our conscious minds do not. And fundamentally, as mediators we are here to shore up the connections between people. For anyone interested in exploring these ideas from a neuropsychology perspective, “The Body Keeps The Score” gives an accessible and engaging overview of the science of trauma, offering insight into how we can better understand ourselves and others.

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