#436 – Brain, Mind, and Body in The Healing of Trauma with Bessel van der Kolk MD

Bessel van der Kolk


Bessel van der Kolk, MD is a world renowned researcher and clinician in the field of traumatic stress. His innovative work to integrate mind, brain, body, and social connections in the healing of trauma has had a profound impact on the care and treatment of trauma victims all over the world. Dr. van der Kolk’s research includes brain imaging studies on trauma’s impact on childhood development and the effects of therapies such as yoga, neurofeedback, EMDR, theater and movement on traumatic stress. Dr. van der Kolk, a professor in the department of psychiatry at Boston University Medical School, is the founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston and the director of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), established by Congress to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities. Dr. van der Kolk’s newest book, The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma (Viking, 2014)—a New York Times Best Seller—offers a sweeping and revolutionary new understanding of the causes and consequences of trauma and how to heal the traumatized brain.

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

copyright 2014: David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Robin Warr
    Posted January 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful podcast to start the year off right!!
    Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to furthering discussions, regarding Mind/Body/Brain connections.
    Dr. van der Kolk was a wonderful, knowledgable guest, to bring to the listeners of this great show!
    Here’s to many more great interviews in 2015 and beyond… Cheers!

  2. Jackie
    Posted January 2, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Very informative and I wish more people knew about trauma and how it effects the brain and body!

  3. Posted January 8, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this interview. Bessel van der Kolk is so insightful and his work has made a big difference in many lives.

  4. Jacinda Doogue
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this interview and will definitely be buying the Body Keeps the Score. Thanks Dr Dave.

  5. A
    Posted January 12, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Good interview—what a sensible, smart, observant researcher/clinician!

  6. Posted January 28, 2015 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Fantastic interview. Thanks

  7. A
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I recently attended a conference in Los Angeles and Dr, Van Der Kolk was the keynote speaker. It was a delightful evening. Go see him speak if you can.

  8. Dr. Michael Ocana
    Posted September 20, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Here’s the review of Bessel’s book I posted to Goodreads.

    “Bessel Van der Kolk is one of the great champions of a new paradigm of understanding mental health through the lens of development and interpersonal neurobiology. In this book he shares his own personal journey as a psychiatrist who personally witnessed the hope inspiring advent of the psychopharmacological era. However he soon learned the limits of medication interventions and went courageously on to explore other formulations and interventions for our most challenging patients. Van der Kolk shares his discoveries and personal experiences here. He explores the neurophysiological impact of adverse life events on the brain and on affect regulation and self awareness, demonstrating fascinating neuroimaging studies that help make sense of some of the most baffling presentations. He includes personal examples from his own life and clinical practice that illustrate his points. He includes chapters on some of the latest innovations in treatment that have left me wanting to learn more. I personally plan on delving further into the practice of EMDR, neurofeedback and internal family systems theory after reading this book.”

    5 stars

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