The Body Keeps Score


The Body Keeps Score is a book about trauma. It covers the landscape of what trauma looks like, how it affects people, especially children, and how the means of survival comes at the cost of burying the "most sensitive, creative, intimacy-loving, lively, playful and innocent parts [of ourselves]".

Kolk establishes a firm connection between trauma and time. Those that experience trauma are unable to move forward. Rather they live with past trauma as if it were an ongoing and immutable aspect of their lives.

What is particularly tragic is the trauma experienced by children. This is a primary focus of Kolk's work.

How do you turn a newborn baby with all its promise and infinite capacities into a thirty-year-old homeless drunk?

According to Kolk, trauma is the inescapable terror of past events. Such being the case, recovery can only start when there is a feeling of safety in the present. This involves being "truly heard and seen" and "feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart". Love and friendship.

The final part of the book focuses on techniques to foster safety. These range from "simple techniques like paying attention to bodily sensations and yoga to more esoteric treatments like EMDR (Eye Movement desensitization and reprocessing) which focuses on promoting side to side eye movement while recalling a painful memory.

"The Body Keeps Score" does an excellent job at communicating trauma, what it feels like, and steps that humans can take to address it.


Created 2023-12-31T02:06:54.089000, updated 2023-12-31T02:07:26.478000 · History · Edit