Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Understanding and healing from trauma

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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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.

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.

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.

Scientific Publications

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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Embodied Practice

TRF TUESDAY: Free Community Event

Election Day Event with Licia Sky and Bessel van der Kolk - A Moment of Calm

Join Licia Sky and Bessel van der Kolk for a special TRF Tuesday event. A Moment of Calm: A Guided Session of Embodied Awareness Practices to Calm our Nervous Systems and Ground in the Present Moment.

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1 day workshop

Beyond Words: Nonverbal Foundations of Embodied Self-Experience through Rhythm Synchrony & Play

Led by Bessel van der Kolk & Licia Sky

How we experience our bodies impacts how we process sensations and memories, and also affects how we heal from traumatic events. Join Licia Sky and guest speaker, Bessel van der Kolk in this one day workshop focusing on experiential exercises drawn from theater, guided focusing, dance, meditation, yoga, bodywork, and Embodied Voice.

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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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2020 Virtual Conference (See you next year)

Psychological Trauma in the Age of Coronavirus

The Interplay of Neuroscience, Embodiment, and the Regulation of the Self

Fantastic lectures given by world leading experts. If you miss the conference, please join the TRF community. The lectures are available for purchase.

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Upcoming Events

03 - 03 November 2020

TRF Tuesday: Election Day Event with Licia Sky and Bessel van der Kolk - A Moment of Calm

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09 - 03 November 2020

Let's Talk Therapists: Clinical Challenges November

Online Event | Add to your calendar Register Now
11 - 11 November 2020

Cracked Up "The Evolving Conversation": Trauma & The Apology

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