Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Understanding and healing from trauma

Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change ​the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience ​and learning to befriend what is going on inside ourselves.

The Body Keeps the Score

Published in 32 Languages

Being able to feel safe with other people is probably ​the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.

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Bessel van der Kolk MD has spent his professional life studying how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences. He translates emerging findings from neuroscience and attachment research to develop and study a range of effective treatments for traumatic stress and developmental trauma in children and adults.

Integrating Therapy with Science

In the past 3 decades, we have learned an enormous amount about brain functions and interpersonal attachment systems. This new knowledge has not always been systematically applied to help traumatized children and adults heal from trauma. Dr. van der Kolk's work is focused on integrating therapy with science.

Dr. van der Kolk has published over 150 peer reviewed articles, diversely ranging from neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, developmental trauma, yoga, and theater to EMDR.

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MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD

If you, or patients you work with have moderate to severe PTSD and might benefit from MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, please consider volunteering for our study.

MAPS is starting a 14 week online training program to help practitioners become certified in MDMA-Assisted Therapy. Click the link below to learn more.
Summer 2021 Cohort: May 14 – Aug 15
Fall 2021 Cohort: Sept 10 – Dec 21

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Being able to feel safe with other people is probably ​the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.

- The Body Keeps the Score

Trauma Research Foundation

32nd Annual Trauma Conference

Psychological Trauma:
Neuroscience, Embodiment and The Restoration of The Self
May 26th - 29th, 2021

Trauma Research Foundation and Bessel van der Kolk would like to extend a warm welcome to the 32nd Annual Boston Trauma Conference!

The study of trauma has probably been the single most fertile area in helping to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship among the emotional, cognitive, social and biological forces that shape human development. Starting with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults and expanding into early attachment and overwhelming attachment and social experiences in childhood (“Developmental Trauma”), this endeavor has elucidated how certain experiences can “set” psychological expectations, bodily experiences and biological selectivity. This conference will present both basic research about the impact of trauma over the life cycle, and a range of effective interventions that are being practiced in clinics, schools, prisons, families, and communities around the world.

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Breathing exercise

Activating Your Neural Pathway

Restoring a sense of self is critically important in recovering from trauma. Body-centered activities like deep breathing exercises help us regulate our internal states and restore and repair the connection between our minds and our bodies. In this video, Bessel van der Kolk introduces us to the concept of deep breathing as a practice to activate the neural pathway that allows us to access our internal experience.

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Simple is Profound: MNRI® Reflex Integration

TRF TUESDAY: Free Community Event

Join the Trauma Research Foundation in this 8 week series where we will explore how our primary reflexes lay the foundation for survival. These reflexes govern our ‘fight and flight’ and ‘freeze” response. By working with this ancient code, we will explore how we can find safety in our bodies and quiet down our nervous system. Once we quiet down our survival response, we will explore additional reflexes that allow freedom in our body to experience the ‘here and now’ and joy.

You will learn practical tools and exercises from the Masgutova Method to help your body and the clients you work with become more stress resilient.

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Upcoming Events

03 - 03 May 2021

University of Chicago: BodyTalk Peer Health Advocates

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13 - 13 May 2021

Trinity Church Lecture Series

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15 - 15 May 2020

23rd International Energy Psychology Conference

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