The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk: Book Review

If you’re curious about how our bodies hold onto our past experiences and trauma, “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk is a must-read. This book delves into the complex ways our minds and bodies are connected, offering valuable insights into healing and understanding ourselves better.

Sneak Peak

In “The Body Keeps the Score,” Bessel van der Kolk explores the impact of trauma on the body and mind. Through engaging stories and scientific research, he explains how trauma affects our brains, emotions, and even our physical health. Van der Kolk also explores various therapeutic approaches that can help individuals overcome trauma and reclaim their lives.

My Take

I found this book incredibly enlightening as it sheds light on the often overlooked connection between trauma and the body. Van der Kolk presents complex scientific concepts in a way that is easy to grasp, making it accessible even to those unfamiliar with psychology. One aspect I appreciated was how he emphasized the importance of incorporating body-based therapies like yoga and EMDR alongside traditional talk therapy. These practical insights make this book a valuable resource for anyone interested in trauma healing.

However, some readers might find the content heavy at times, especially when delving into the neuroscience behind trauma. Additionally, while the case studies offer a valuable real-world perspective, they might be triggering for individuals who have experienced trauma themselves.

What Makes the Book Unique

What sets “The Body Keeps the Score” apart is its holistic approach to trauma healing. Van der Kolk not only explains the effects of trauma on the brain but also provides actionable steps for individuals to start their healing journey. By combining scientific research with personal anecdotes, this book bridges the gap between theory and practice, making it a comprehensive guide for both professionals and individuals dealing with trauma.


In conclusion, “The Body Keeps the Score” is a groundbreaking book that challenges the traditional ways we think about and treat trauma. Van der Kolk’s insights are invaluable for anyone looking to better understand the impact of trauma on the body and mind. While the content can be heavy at times, the practical advice and real-life stories make this book a must-read for anyone interested in trauma, psychology, or personal healing.

4.5/5 stars

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