The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score Summary

#1 New York Timesbestseller

“Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society.” —Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies

A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times bestseller

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.

Book Reviews


For a better understanding of trauma…5 star

This book is so insightful, so informative…my only regret is not knowing about it sooner in life. A must read for most people!55


Absolutely incredible and informative5 star

I have been through a lot of trauma and I cannot express how much clarity this book has given me. I found myself rereading a lot of pages, sharing them, and interpreting how this fits my life so well. I will be buying the actual book. I’ve talked about it nonstop. It’s incredible to see another perspective and science behind trauma. Mental health is so stigmatized. Trauma has a truly incapacitating effect on my life. I’m in awe of how educational and magnifying this book is.55

Clean diner

The Body Keeps The Score5 star

I thought this book was an excellent compilation of studies, experiences, and life stories. Different types of therapy work for different people. We’re not a “one type fits all” culture. The very nature of humanity is that we’re all different. We will all grow, learn, and change through different processes.55


A Must Read5 star

A must read for anyone that seeks to understand themselves and society. A must read for all who strive to learn, heal, grow and love.55


Great Book!5 star

This was such a great book! It really shows me how my childhood has effected me and now I just have to consciously want to make changes!55


Excellent5 star



Excellent book on trauma.5 star

This book is a must read if you suffered from trauma yourself or want to better understand trauma in others.55

Ace Rah T

Horrifying, yet revelatory1 star

This book makes it easier to understand how scientists created the atomic bomb. To believe a mother that lost two children in a car accident that was her fault should just put it behind her; to believe a 5-year old with a solution for 9/11 suicide he witnessed is insightful; to assert that a patient would mend better if they weren’t receiving disability pay they earned, all simply add up to one thing: you should spend more time with lab animals than humans.15


Such a wealth of information!5 star

I love this book. As a person of a very traumatic childhood. Abuse from dad, mom, grandparents on both sides, other family members and their friends. No where safe to run. Although a functioning person of society in my mid 40s I still live in a cage with my mind. I’ve been to a lot of counselors w/ small amounts of progress and have felt discouraged. After reading this book, it has given me lots of understanding of why I didn’t benefit much from traditional counseling. I’m very hopeful for the future! I’ve already began the process and see a lot of hopeful progress and look forward to living a life of freedom and being who I was created to be! Thank you Dr Bessel van der Kolk for caring enough to do what you do and for writing this book!55


Truly scientific approach to mental health extremely informative5 star

Thank you so much for your honest perspective Dr Vander Kolk! What a wonderfully informative explanation of your life’s work with Trauma. My wife and I are already benefiting she has had debilitating chronic health problems from family trauma but we see a light of hope.55

   Users Online