The Body Keeps the Score


We recommend this…
for anyone with a deep interest in the connection between experiences and health, or in the impact of trauma, in healing from trauma, or in developing a trauma-informed practice as a professional in health, wellbeing or education.
A quick summary
This book is a thorough exploration of how trauma is experienced in the body, and the impact it has on emotional and physical health. It’s a very detailed account, and we would not necessarily recommend it if you are feeling very raw or lacking support. However, if information helps you, it is a seminal text and could point the way to self-healing. It is also a ‘must-read’ for any helping professional.
Content note: contains references to sexual abuse, assault, drug and alcohol misuse, suicidality and violence. Please go gently if these may be triggering.


Our full review

People’s experiences can physically change their brains and how they function in the world – how they feel about things, how they relate to others, and how they behave. In particular, trauma can affect people in any number of life-limiting ways, physically and emotionally.

The Body Keeps the Score is a thorough exploration of this topic. We would not necessarily recommend it if you are feeling very raw or lacking support, as it could be shocking and distressing. However, it is highly compelling and surprisingly accessible for something so detailed. The personal stories of Bessel van der Kolk’s patients link the theoretical parts to people’s real lives. The book takes you through what happens to the brain in response to trauma and the evidence for this. It explores how responses to trauma show up in nightmares, harmful or addictive behaviours, or in subtler ways such as ill health or poor relationships. It also looks at physical consequences of trauma, such as a lack of bodily awareness, chronic pain, and numbness.

The information here is important for raising children well, for prevention, and also for healing.

This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the impacts of trauma or working with trauma-informed practice.

Additional information

Format Paperback
Weight 316 g
Dimensions 196 × 128 × 23 mm
Book Author

ISBN 9780141978611

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