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Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Show 980: Brain, Mind and Body in Healing from Trauma (Archive)

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We often associate the term “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” with military veterans. Indeed, war creates many traumatic experiences, but it is not the only source of reactions that may cause people to shut down or blow up. Car, train or plane crashes, a life-threatening illness episode, family violence or other events can create a dysfunctional reaction that may be largely out of conscious awareness.

One of the world’s leading experts on PTSD explains how such reactions are rooted in the body’s response to threat, and how it can be successfully treated.

Yoga, neurofeedback, mindfulness meditation and EMDR may all sound implausible, but when used appropriately they can be more useful in treating the trauma survivor than psychiatric medications.

This Week’s Guest:

Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a leading researcher and clinician in the field of traumatic stress. He is founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston, MA, and professor in the department of psychiatry at Boston University Medical School.
Dr. van der Kolk is co-director of the Complex Trauma Treatment Network of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, established by Congress to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities. His website is

His book is The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma (2014).

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