Despite advances in trauma research and claims of “gold standard” treatments, one method doesn’t work for everybody. Trauma treatment requires addressing many different systems that can be affected in different ways in different people. Understanding how to adapt and apply interventions for individuals experiencing traumatic stress is as important as the interventions themselves.
Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, is a clinician, researcher, and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress. His work integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic, and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment.
Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater, and EMDR.
He is the founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, and President of the Trauma Research Foundation, which promotes clinical, scientific, and educational projects.
His 2014 #1 New York Times bestseller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma, transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring – specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, somatically based therapies, EMDR, psychodrama, play, yoga, and other therapies.
Dr. van der Kolk is the past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and professor of psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at conferences, universities, and hospitals around the world.