THIS PROFOUNDLY HUMANE BOOK offers a sweeping understanding of the causes and consequences of trauma, offering hope and clarity to everyone touched by its devastation. Trauma has emerged as one of the great public health challenges of our time, not only because of its well-documented effects on combat veterans and on victims of accidents and crimes, but because of the hidden toll of sexual and family violence and of communities devastated by abuse, neglect, and addiction.’
This is the opening paragraph of the inner-sleeve description of one of the best books I have read in recent years—The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. In the clip below, Bessel talks about psychiatry’s ‘stubborn history’ with trauma. A clip well worth watching.
Acclaimed psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk explores his field’s long, complex, and stubborn history with trauma. Dr. van der Kolk explains how psychiatry as a whole avoided progress, often misdiagnosing trauma as hysteria or, in the case of shell-shocked soldiers, malingering. The experiences of abused women and children were more or less ignored for a century. They’re still being ignored in ways, he says. Psychiatry is still too focused on abstract diagnoses and not cognizant enough of the traumatic experiences that lead to them.
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