Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a pioneer clinician, researcher, and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress. His work uniquely integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic, somatic, and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment.
His #1 New York Times science bestseller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma, transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring — specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including body work, psychodrama, mindfulness techniques, parts work, yoga, and neurofeedback.
Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, developmental trauma, yoga, theater, and EMDR.
He is founder of the Trauma Center (now the Trauma Research Foundation) in Boston, past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at universities and hospitals around the world.