The study of psychological trauma has been accompanied by an explosion of knowledge about how experience shapes the central nervous system and the formation of the self. We have learned that most experience is automatically processed on a subcortical level, i.e. by “unconscious” interpretations that take place outside of awareness. Insight and understanding have only a limited influence on the operation of these subcortical processes. When addressing the problems of traumatized people who, in a myriad of ways, continue to react to current experience as a replay of the past, there is a need for therapeutic methods that do not depend exclusively on understanding and cognition. This workshop surveys current research on how people’s brains, minds and bodies respond to traumatic experiences, and will specifically address the use of affect modulation techniques, EMDR, yoga, theater, and neurofeedback in overcoming various aspects of the destabilization and disintegration caused by trauma.
*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*
Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. has been active as a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress and related phenomena since the 1970s. His work integrates developmental, biological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment. His book Psychological Trauma was the first integrative text on the subject, painting the far ranging impact of trauma on the entire person and the range of therapeutic issues which need to be addressed for recovery.