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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The New York Times and Audible best seller.

The effects of trauma can be devastating for sufferers, their families and future generations. Here one of the world's experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for treatment, moving away from standard talking and drug therapies and towards an alternative approach that heals mind, brain and body.

This inspiring and timeless audiobook is read by Sean Pratt.

©2019 Bessel van der Kolk (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"An astonishing and important book. The trauma Bible. I cannot recommend it enough for anyone struggling with...well...anything." (Tara Westover)

"Dr. van der Kolk's masterpiece combines the boundless curiosity of the scientist, the erudition of the scholar and the passion of the truth teller." (Judith Herman, author of Trauma and Recovery)

What listeners say about The Body Keeps the Score

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Must read for health practioners.

Understanding that pain and suffering can be explained and treated from a traumatic point of view is really helpful and insightful. This text opened my eyes to new ways to approach psychological pain in my own healing process as well as in my therapeutic process.

3 people found this helpful

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A piece of art.

An amazing piece of art. I am strugling with several personal problems and this book helped see myself in a different light. Why I am judgmental, why I habe outbursts of anger an so on. A must read for those on the path of self alchemy.

2 people found this helpful

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amazing journey on understanding trauma

The body keeps the score brought so much needed light on the profound impact trauma has in life...

I loved the detailed narrative of the psychiatric, psychological ramifications and the holistic approach of how trauma should be address (the medication focused treatments that only address symptoms and not the underlying trauma on many diagnosis, let me speachless) was mind-blowing for me.

As trauma survivor, and with a sister with diagnosed bipolar disorder (which luckily found solace in yoga) this book puts in words the life lasting effects of the early trauma we suffered, but also highlights the extraordinary resilience we have to overcome adversity... specially with the right knowledge at hand.

I strongly recommend this reading to everyone because it won't leave you untouched...either you will find explanations of sensations you deal with daily, or will provide you with tools to be compassionate and helpful with those who need either guidance to seek professional support, or kindnesses to be able to hold their hand in the path to recovery.

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Life changing, but really life changing!

Finally I saw a realistic and efficient set of tools to deal with ptsd 😄. Great book

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Phantasmorical.

tithe amount of care, detail and understanding is truly remarkable and greatly appreciated. Thank You

May God's Abundant Grace follow you.

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Good material. Poor narrative

The author knows what he's talking about. He has rich experience to communicate buut unfortunately he does a mediocre job at it. The story is repetitive and boring. It is too much about himself and his achievements.

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Insightful read

Fantastic book. Incredibly well researched. A wealth of knowledge.
Living in South Africa, trauma and violence is so rife here. Understanding the impact it has on the body is empowering. Thank you for the important work you do Bessel.
I will be referring more patients to read this.

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Helps to understand correlation between trauma and body

Very valuable for anyone with childhood trauma. Highly recommended read for psychologists who completed they degrees some time ago. Explains obvious that is omitted but in a plain sight.

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Mind Opening

This book was packed with realisations of better understanding myself as well as my family. My wish is for everyone in my life to read this book so together we can heal better and be better for the future.

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One of the best books I’ve ever listened to

All people should read this book. I have learnt so much about children, adults and myself. I feel privileged to have reading this profound book. I express my deep gratitude to Dr. van der Kolk for changing how I see the world and how I can have a positive impact on it.

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  • Deborah
  • 07-11-20

Good advice but hard to relate to

This book commences with examples of traumatic experiences and personal experiences. although it is useful to illustrate and describe what brings the author to certain conclusions it is hard to relate to. Particularly as it describes a lot of terrible experiences his patients suffered in the Vietnam war. Most people cannot relate to extreme war situations or terrible sexual abuse. And although the author explains that a large ratio of people have some type of trauma in their lives he then goes on to describe these extreme scenarios. Not helpful, as it undermines the impact of everyday trauma that is, bullying, abuse, fatal accidents, bereavement and watching a loved one suffer. This is how the book begins but it kind of sets the scene and I didn't find it very helpful.

117 people found this helpful

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  • Oak
  • 02-19-20

Changed my life

If you've had significant trauma in your life you need to read this, it deals with some pretty triggering topics but it's definitely impacted my life for the better

62 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 02-07-20

A treasure!!!

If you had traumatic childhood or life experiences or simply there was something missing in your family that made you feel alone and unprotected- this book will help you to start accepting what happen to you and move on.

45 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 11-13-19

A book for professionals, but still accessible

Full of science and the latest theory. Very interesting even for the lay person. I would recommend to professionals and amateur psychologists alike.

27 people found this helpful

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  • EDC
  • 11-07-19

Great Insight into Trauma and Ways to Deal wit it.

It's a brilliant book which is very informative and insightful on Trauma and possible ways of dealing with it. It's very holistic and Dr Van Der Kolks vast experience and insights make it very valuable.

I'm in the process of training to be a Counsellor, and I know this book will have a very positive and lasting impact on my practice.

23 people found this helpful

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  • R C JONES
  • 06-05-20

Essential reading for anyone working in health and social care and education

I wish the psychiatrists, therapists and nurses that I have been treated by over the last 15 years had read this book and were trauma informed. I felt like I was finally understanding and joining the dots in relation to my own difficulties. I hope that with the knowledge of why I feel, think and act in these ways I am now able to start finding ways to resolve the trauma and start feeling connected and safe I. The world. There’s a thorough review of the biology of trauma responses as well as discussion of the impact of post-traumatic stress on the individual and society followed by the ways in which people can heal and leave their trauma in their past. An interesting and well researched book by a pioneer and leading professional in trauma therapy and research. Highly recommend

17 people found this helpful

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  • Sam
  • 04-25-20

A master key for understanding trauma

Essential reading for anyone dealing with, or working with children or adults dealing with trauma. Informative, thorough, inspiring and engaging. Both complex, yet accessible to a wide audience. This key work on trauma will provide listeners with a comprehensive understanding of the wide-ranging effects of trauma on the body and mind. More importantly it offers real hope in varied and innovative solutions to working through and resolving the scars of trauma. For those with a trauma history the content can be triggering in places and self-care and patience are essential to work through it at a safe pace. However, the level of understanding and sense of hope gained will be well worth the challenge. This should frankly be required reading/listening for anyone working in fields such as social work, health care and education.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Cassie J
  • 02-27-20

A must read

Brilliant book. Fascinating, interesting, thought provoking. Reorientates your views on trauma. Just a must read.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Hanna
  • 01-26-20

Absolutely brilliant!

This book was / is amazing! Highly recommend. Enlightening, inspirational, educational... a must have book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Ethel Tambudzai
  • 01-15-20

Want to better understand people around you? Read!

Reccomended reading for anyone who works with other people, necessary on the dynamics and body languages of others in different situations. A reccomended read/ listen for all lesders and managers of people.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Starbuck
  • 11-09-19

Well worth the credit

I listened to this book after listening to "The boy who was raised in a dog cage", which by the way is another amazing book!
This book is so informative and insightful. I have learnt more from this book regarding the effect of trauma and the mind/body than I have throughout my 35 year career in emergency nursing. I recommend it !
I found the narration a little slow at first but soon realised that this was a good thing as there is so much information to digest. The slightly slow narration allows some extra time to digest the meaning.

46 people found this helpful

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  • andrew clift
  • 09-05-20

possibly life changing

this is possibly the most important book i have listened to on audible, fantasticly delivered crucial information for anyone diagnosed with ptsd or interacting with those who have suffered trauma

18 people found this helpful

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  • Desi
  • 08-29-20

Incredible work

This book, together with 'Trauma and Memory' by Levine, were instrumental in teaching me how important it is to be connected with and paying attention to my body and what it can tell me, which is a big leap for someone who has been living above the neck for 30+ years.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 10-30-19

outstanding

Ive been waiting for this book to be released and I'm so glad Ive listened. highly recommended!!!!

15 people found this helpful

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  • Pete
  • 11-28-19

Seminal work, well read

A long time coming to audiobooks. A great launching pad for those who want a broad understanding of the impact of traumatic experiences on body, brain and mind and the scope of treatments beyond what has been disconcertingly ineffectual.

Sean Pratt is a terrific narrator. So many readers of more clinical / educational texts sound either disconcertingly robotic or breathlessly earnest, whereas he nails the emotional tone throughout, like it was being read by Bessel (but without the accent).

14 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-15-20

This book will change your life

What a fantastic book! Bessel explains the way the human brain works and how trauma defines us throughout our life. It’s changed my life; not only on how I perceive those around me, myself but as an OT practitioner and Yoga Teacher how I want to work with people. It’s opened doors to how I want to contribute to society through my work but also imbues a loving kindness to all people you come across because it’s very likely that every room is a trauma room, and everyone has been through some kind of experience that has shaped how they respond to day to day occurrences. Highly recommend!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-20

This book changed my life and my clinical practise

A must read for all therapists and those interested in trauma and how to appropriately understand and deal with it. the body keeps the score encourages us to tackle the biggest public health issue in the world - trauma. something that Bessl Van der Kolk has spent his life trying to understanding and make meaning of. Please read or listen, you will be equipped to deal with both other peoples and possibly your own trauma with a greater insight. 11/10.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Anna Schulz
  • 11-22-19

Resonance with Life

Absolutely loved this book, kept me engaged. has amazing insight, real life examples and stories. Insight and research. Thankyou Dr van der Kolk

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-31-21

Highly recommended for educators

Was full of insight for those working with children and adults who have experienced trauma.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-20

Changed my life

As a psychology student & a human with a great interest in trauma, this book has changed my life, my focus of learning.

Beautifully written for anyone to understand, this book will give you a new perspective on how we label children & their behaviours.

An absolute must read for anyone with a history of or interest in trauma.

4 people found this helpful