Bessel van der Kolk by Matthew Woodson (NYT)
Bessel van der Kolk by Matthew Woodson (NYT)

“The single most important issue for traumatized people is to find a sense of safety in their own bodies,” van der Kolk says. “Unfortunately, most psychiatrists pay no attention whatsoever to sensate experiences. They simply do not agree that it matters.”

It’s so fantastic to find this article about Bessel van der Kolk in the New York Times!

I discovered Bessel van der Kolk (through my friend Alicia who was writing her Final Integrative Paper on trauma like I was) at Naropa in 2008. He runs the Trauma Center in Boston and have written over 100 peer reviewed papers. What is so incredible about him is that he has done so much research, has years of clinical practice and comes from an academic background and at the same time he wholeheartedly support the whole person, somatic approach to healing trauma and PTSD. In fact, he has said that talk therapy doesn’t work for trauma therapy, you have to work with the whole person, their body and their nervous system. His work intersects with Pat Ogden and Kekuni Minton (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy), with Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) and all the other new somatic psychotherapies that include the body and the new neuroscience in their approaches. This article describes van der Kolk using this particular approach, “psychomotor therapy”,working with a US veteran with PTSD and that this approach was first described by Albert Pesso, a dancer who studied with Martha Graham.

“Back at the Trauma Center in Boston, van der Kolk and his colleagues are working on what he sees as the next step: redefining trauma itself. “We have a tendency now to label everything as PTSD,” he says. “But so much of what we see is the result of long-term, chronic abuse and neglect. And that produces a different condition than one-off, acute traumatic incidents.” Van der Kolk and his colleagues call this chronic form of traumatic stress “developmental trauma disorder”; in 2010, they lobbied unsuccessfully to have it listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a condition separate from PTSD. They’re hoping that with more data, they might finally prevail. Formal acceptance, van der Kolk says, is the key to getting support.”

click here for the article;

A Revolutionary Approach to Treating PTSD –