Bessel van der Kolk

Bessel van der Kolk

Bessel van der Kolk (born 1943, Netherlands) is a Boston-based psychiatrist noted for his research in the area of post-traumatic stress since the 1970s. His work focuses on the interaction of attachment, neurobiology, and developmental aspects of trauma’s effects on people. His major publication, the New York Times bestseller The Body Keeps the Score, talks about how the role of trauma in psychiatric illness has changed over the past 20 years, what we have learned about the ways the brain is shaped by traumatic experiences, how traumatic stress is a response of the entire organism, and how that knowledge needs to be integrated into healing practices.

Van der Kolk has published extensively on the effect trauma can have on development of mind, brain and body. He has found connections to dissociative problems, borderline personality disorder, self-mutilation, and a wide range of other issues.

He was a co-principal investigator in the PTSD field trials for the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

Currently, he is researching how trauma can affect memory using brain imaging studies of PTSD patients. He is also researching how yoga and neurofeedback can be used as effective treatments for trauma.



The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
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The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Bo...

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