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EP13 Workshop 35 - The Body Keeps Score: Integration of Mind, Brain, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma - Bessel van der Kolk, MD

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Topic Areas:
Workshops |  Trauma |  Neuroscience |  Psychotherapy
Evolution of Psychotherapy 2013 |  Evolution of Psychotherapy
Bessel van der Kolk, MD
Course Levels:
Master Degree or Higher in Health-Related Field
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Dec 14, 2013
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We will examine how neuroscience research has elucidated how, in the course of development, children learn to regulate their arousal systems and to focus on what is most relevant. We then will examine how trauma, abuse and neglect derail these processes and affect brain development. Since traumatic imprints are stored in subcortical brain areas and are largely divorced from verbal recall, a central focus needs to be to the somatic experiencing of trauma-related sensations and affects. These deep imprints are the engines for continuing maladaptive behaviors. Fixation on the trauma and learned helplessness require interventions aimed at restoring active mastery and the capacity to attend to the here-andnow. With the aid of videotaped demonstrations and experiential demonstrations of affect regulation techniques, we will examine the role of body oriented therapies—neuro-eedback, yoga, theater, IFS and EMDR—in resolving the traumatic past, and discuss the integration of these approaches during different stages of treatment.

Educational Objectives:

  1. Review recent developments in the treatment of PTSD, and the effects that they have been shown to have on the recovery of traumatized individuals.
  2. Emphasize techniques of physical mastery, affect regulation and memory processing.
  3. Examine how mind and brain process trauma, and its lasting traces on multiple psychological and biological processes.

*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*



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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.