Updated: Jun 29, 2022
Bessel van der Kolk is a Boston based psychiatrist noted for his research in the area of post-traumatic stress since the 1970s. His best-selling book The Body keeps the Score was recommended to me by a GP friend who has been sharing it with many of her patients.
In it, Bessel talks about how the role of trauma in psychiatric illness has changed over the past 20 years. He shares what has been learned about the ways the brain is shaped by traumatic experiences, how traumatic stress is a response of the entire body, and how that knowledge needs be integrated into healing practices.
This means a move away from standard treatment (talking and drug therapies) and towards an alternative approach that heals mind, brain and body.
Once again, The School of Life has produced a thought-provoking short video to capture the essence of this work.
It highlights the growing body of research that suggests that mental unwellness doesn’t just take a toll on our minds, it affects our physical selves as well. We need to listen to what our bodies are telling us - and care for them as diligently as we care for our thoughts.