The Body Keeps the Score Review

One of our favorite books is The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk. 

Van der Kolk is one of the world's leading researchers on trauma and its treatment. His book is all about how our bodies react to trauma. He explains that trauma is not just a problem of the mind; it’s physiological. 

Trauma is anything that threatens your emotional or bodily integrity. Traumatic stress is commonly triggered by war and combat, physical violence, sexual abuse, childhood abandonment or prolonged illness. It affects our minds and our bodies in dramatic and powerful ways. 

The Body Keeps the Score helps people who have experienced trauma identify what is happening in their bodies. The fight or flight response can cause panic attacks, night-mares, out of body experiences, flashbacks, hypervigilance, insomnia, depression, and rage. Van der Kolk explains how we can learn to identify signs of nervous system arousal and nervous system relaxation. His clinical experience and research brilliantly demonstrates that talk therapy doesn’t always effectively treat trauma. 

Many trauma sufferers need to engage in some type of somatic work such as yoga, martial arts, Rolfing or EMDR. The Body Keeps the Score will challenge, encourage and bring great hope any trauma sufferer or clinician.


Welcome to the Gesell Psychotherapy Blog

I founded Gesell Psychotherapy because I believe that therapy isn't just about eliminating your psychological issues. Rather, our psychotherapy practice understands and accepts that there is value in our psychological symptoms. Your suffering is calling you to grow and expand. Painful symptoms  (i.e. fear and anxiety, depression and hopelessness, unexplained somatic issues, anger or rage) are powerful unconscious messages informing you that there is an imbalance in your life. Psychotherapy offers you the opportunity to deeply examine your life and reflect on your relationship patterns and life choices. Are you living an authentic life that is truly fulfilling or are you living out someone else's image of an ideal life? Often, it is the latter. Deep anxiety, sadness, anger and helplessness often emerge when the priorities of our lives are not truly our own. So often we are unconsciously living out someone else's life dream. Symptoms can awaken us to that reality. Therapy can help us make sense of our symptoms and motivate us to live a more fulfilling existence. Gesell Psychotherapy is a group of skilled clinicians who would like to help you listen more deeply to yourself - and to help you live more meaningfully and authentically. - Dr. Brenda Gesell


“There is value in your psychological symptoms. Your suffering is calling you to grow and expand”.

-Dr. Brenda Gesell