Book: The Body Keeps Score
Updated: Aug 25
Trauma awareness is a key aspect that helps us understand ourselves and others. While most people recognize post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially in the military community, there are other forms of trauma that affect us in various ways including, but not limited to:
Intimate partner violence
Sexual, emotional, or physical abuse
Anyone can suffer from a traumatic experience, but not all of us know how to heal from it. In this book, van der Kolk tries to explain not only the effects of trauma and how our minds and bodies hold on to it, but also the various therapeutic methods aside from talk therapy that can help. There's a companion workbook as well to aid recovery.
If someone hasn't explored their traumatic experiences, this book might be a good entry into understanding their effects and why it's important to dedicate time to healing. However, according to many critics, the neuroscience presented by van der Kolk isn't as sound as it should be, so maybe look at the book as a gateway to a greater effort.
Unfortunately, van der Kolk isn't without controversy as an individual, either, as he was released from the institution he founded due to negative behavior toward others. So keep an open mind, and consider this book as step one in an important journey that deserves reinforcement from and exploration with qualified professionals.
Also consider researching yoga instructors in your area who specialize in a trauma-informed or trauma-sensitive approach to practice (the two terms are often used interchangeably but do have slightly different methods). This might be helpful if you've not felt comfortable in other styles of yoga.