Dr Bessel van der Kolk: an interview with Lynne Malcolm from the ABC’s “All in the Mind”

Boston Trauma Centre director Bessell van der Kolk believes that traumatic events affect people’s bodies as much as their brains. He explained to Lynne Malcolm from the ABC’s “All in the Mind” program, why self-awareness is at the centre of his unconventional approach to therapy.

‘The whole issue of self-regulation, calming your brain down and helping your brain to be focused in the present is central,’ he says. ‘The key brain area that is necessary to be online to get over your trauma is your capacity to observe yourself and to notice yourself.

‘So any intervention that helps you to really know where you are and what you are and what you’re feeling would be helpful. That may range as far as martial arts, where you need to know exactly where your body is in order to do it well, to mindfulness meditation, where also you’re focusing yourself.’

Full story here.


Click the play button above to hear this interview with Bessel van der Kolk.

Bessel van der Kolk in Australia, 2019

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane:
March — April 2019

Agency starts with what scientists call interoception, our awareness of our subtle sensory, body-based feelings: the greater that awareness, the greater our potential to control our lives. Knowing what we feel is the first step to knowing why we feel that way. If we are aware of the constant changes in our inner and outer environment, we can mobilize to manage them.

The mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness are able, with practice, to connect their physical sensations to psychological events. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves.

Bessel van der Kolk

Author, The Body Keeps the Score

Bessel van der Kolk

Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a clinical psychiatrist whose work integrates mind, brain, body, and social connections to understand and treat trauma. His research ranges from the impact of trauma on development and brain imaging, to the use of yoga, neurofeedback, EMDR, and theater for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

He is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston, and co-director of the Complex Trauma Treatment Network, NCTSN.

He is the author of more than 150 peer reviewed scientific articles and several books including the New York Times best-seller The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

The Body Keeps the Score:
Mind, Brain, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

by Bessel van der Kolk

The Body Keeps the Score is clear, fascinating, hard to put down, and filled with powerful case histories. Van der Kolk, the eminent impresario of trauma treatment, who has spent a career bringing together diverse trauma scientists and clinicians and their ideas, while making his own pivotal contributions, describes what is arguably the most important series of breakthroughs in mental health in the last thirty years.

We've known that psychological trauma fragments the mind. Here we see not only how psychological trauma also breaks connections within the brain, but also between mind and body, and learn about the exciting new approaches that allow people with the severest forms of trauma to put all the parts back together again.

Norman Doidge

Author, The Brain That Changes Itself


Look at Bessel van der Kolk's PTSD Relief Therapy at wisemind.com

Can't wait for Bessel's 2020 workshops? He's currently online at wisemind.com, along with other renowned figures such as Janina Fisher, Pat Ogden & Iain McGilchrist. Bessel offers his ground-breaking insights into PTSD Relief Therapy.


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Bessel van der Kolk in Australia, 2019

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane:
March — April 2019

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