Bessel van der Kolk Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Bessel van der Kolk  

Psychiatrist & Expert in PTSD

Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. has been active as a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress and related phenomena since the 1970s. His work integrates developmental, biological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment. His book Psychological Trauma was the first integrative text on the subject, painting the far ranging impact of trauma on the entire person and the range of therapeutic issues which need to be addressed for recovery.

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 in traumatized children and adults, and the psychobiology of trauma. He was co-principal investigator of the DSM IV Field Trials for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His current research is on how trauma affects memory processes and brain imaging studies of PTSD.

Dr. van der Kolk is past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School, and Medical Director of the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, Massachusetts. He has taught at universities and hospitals across the United States and around the world, including Europe, Africa, Russia, Australia, Israel, and China. His book, Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society, co-edited with Alexander McFarlane and Lars Weisaeth, explores what we have learned in the past twenty years of the re-discovery of the role of trauma in psychiatric illness. In Dr. van der Kolk's most recent 2014 book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma, he 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 neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score offers proven alternatives to drugs and talk therapy—and a way to reclaim lives.

News


Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD: The VA's treatment has ...

“It is important to emphasize that exposure [therapy] may lead to serious complications,” wrote Bessel van der Kolk in his widely cited 2006 book Traumatic ...

'Taking charge of yourself': How yoga helped a US Marines vet ...

“[Yoga allows] getting in touch with the body and beginning to own your body's sensations,” study author Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a psychiatrist who has studied  ...

UCLA Extension and Lifespan Learning Conference Explores Play ...

Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, Sharon Salzberg, Barbara Fredrickson, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Alanis Morissette, Dr. Allan N. Schore, and many others present in March.

Feeling Through Trauma - To the Best of Our Knowledge - WNYC

Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk is studying the healing power of helping people with post traumatic stress disorder focus less ...

The Future of Trauma

Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. of Boston University Boston has also published research on the efficacy of Tai Chi, Yoga, and involvement in theatre as a ...

4 Myths About Eating Disorders Debunked

Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., the medical director of The Trauma Center in Boston, spoke at the conference about the relationship between eating disorders and ...

Related Speakers View all


More like Bessel