Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Director at Truama Center in Brookine, MA

Author of The Body Keeps theScore 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

"The single most important issue for traumatized people is to find a sense of safety in their own body."

Research can help those with PTSD

"We can now develop methods and experiences that utilize the brain’s own natural neuroplasticity to help survivors feel fully alive in the present and move on with their lives. There are fundamentally three avenues:

1) top down, by talking, re-connecting with others, and allowing ourselves to know and understand what is going on with us, while processing the memories of  the trauma;

2) by taking medicines that shut down inappropriate alarm reactions, or by utilizing other technologies that change the way the brain organizes information, and

3) bottom up: by allowing the body to have experiences that deeply and viscerally contradict the helplessness, rage, or collapse that result from trauma." 

                                           -Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score

Those traumatized or betrayed by

loved ones feel "unspeakable" pain

“The most natural way for human beings to calm themselves when they are upset is by clinging to another person. This means that patients who have been physically or sexually violated face a dilemma: They desperately crave touch while simultaneously being terrified of body contact."

                                          -Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score

Now you know the worst
we humans have to know
about ourselves, and I am sorry...

If you will have the courage for love,
you may walk in light. It will be
the light of those who have suffered
for peace. It will be
your light.

                                                        Wendell Berry, Now you know the worst  

Traumatized individuals with PTSD

have overcome unsurmountable barriers to achieve healing.

"For me the decision not to identify with the past was a decision, not just a change I went through in the healing process. I had to make a quantum leap that I was no longer going to have the abuse be the cause and my life be the effect. Right now, you have to choose what standing point you are going to life live from. And it’s a constant choice."

                                                         - Bass and Davis, The Courage to Heal    

"Traumatized persons are extremly resilient and find ways to cope with often incomprehensible situations. Instead of focusing on survivor's pathology and disease, we should be examining their survival and self-healing strategies. This needs to be a sicence of resiliency and wellness. 

                                        Richard Mollica, M.D., Healing Invisible Wounds