Bessel van der Kolk Quotes Page 2

Books by Bessel van der Kolk


Best 60 Quotes by Bessel van der Kolk | Page 2 of 2

The Body Keeps the Score Quotes

“If your parents’ faces never lit up when they looked at you, it’s hard to know what it feels like to be loved and cherished. If you come from an incomprehensible world filled with secrecy and fear, it’s almost impossible to find the words to express what you have endured. If you grew up unwanted and ignored, it is a major challenge to develop a visceral sense of agency and self-worth.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“In my practice I begin the process by helping my patients to first notice and then describe the feelings in their bodies—not emotions such as anger or anxiety or fear but the physical sensations beneath the emotions: pressure, heat, muscular tension, tingling, caving in, feeling hollow, and so on. I also work on identifying the sensations associated with relaxation or pleasure. I help them become aware of their breath, their gestures and movements.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“It is amazing how many psychological problems involve difficulties with sleep, appetite, touch, digestion, and arousal. Any effective treatment for trauma has to address these basic housekeeping functions of the body.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“It takes enormous trust and courage to allow yourself to remember.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Many of our patients are barely aware of their breath, so learning to focus on the in and out breath, to notice whether the breath was fast or slow, and to count breaths in some poses can be a significant accomplishment.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Mindfulness not only makes it possible to survey our internal landscape with compassion and curiosity but can also actively steer us in the right direction for self-care.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

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“More than anything else, being able to feel safe with other people defines mental health.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going inside ourselves.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“No matter how much insight and understanding we develop, the rational brain is basically impotent to talk the emotional brain out of its own reality.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Our bodies are the texts that carry the memories and therefore remembering is no less than reincarnation.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Over the years our research team has repeatedly found that chronic emotional abuse and neglect can be just as devastating as physical abuse and sexual molestation.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Psychiatry, as a subspecialty of medicine, aspires to define mental illness as precisely as, let’s say, cancer of the pancreas, or streptococcal infection of the lungs. However, given the complexity of mind, brain, and human attachment systems, we have not come even close to achieving that sort of precision. Understanding what is 'wrong' with people currently is more a question of the mind-set of the practitioner (and of what insurance companies will pay for) than of verifiable, objective facts.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Psychologists usually try to help people use insight and understanding to manage their behavior. However, neuroscience research shows that very few psychological problems are the result of defects in understanding; most originate in pressures from deeper regions in the brain that drive our perception and attention. When the alarm bell of the emotional brain keeps signaling that you are in danger, no amount of insight will silence it.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

Products by Bessel van der Kolk

“Scared animals return home, regardless of whether home is safe or frightening.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“The brain-disease model overlooks four fundamental truths:
(1) our capacity to destroy one another is matched by our capacity to heal one another. Restoring relationships and community is central to restoring well-being;
(2) language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences, helping us to define what we know, and finding a common sense of meaning;
(3) we have the ability to regulate our own physiology, including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through such basic activities as breathing, moving, and touching; and
(4) we can change social conditions to create environments in which children and adults can feel safe and where they can thrive.

When we ignore these quintessential dimensions of humanity, we deprive people of ways to heal from trauma and restore their autonomy. Being a patient, rather than a participant in one’s healing process, separates suffering people from their community and alienates them from an inner sense of self.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

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“When you learn how to cope with panic and all the other sensations that you dread, you gradually lose your fear of them, and when you are unafraid, there is no longer any it, because it is the fear you create.”

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“The greatest sources of our suffering are the lies we tell ourselves.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“The mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness are able, with practice, to connect their physical sensations to psychological events. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“The more you stay focused on your breathing, the more you will benefit, particularly if you pay attention until the very end of the out breath and then wait a moment before you inhale again. As you continue to breathe and notice the air moving in and out of your lungs you may think about the role that oxygen plays in nourishing your body and bathing your tissues with the energy you need to feel alive and engaged.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Trauma, whether it is the result of something done to you or something you yourself have done, almost always makes it difficult to engage in intimate relationships.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Traumatized people are terrified to feel deeply. They are afraid to experience their emotions, because emotions lead to loss of control.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present. Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

“When something reminds traumatized people of the past, their right brain reacts as if the traumatic event were happening in the present.”

Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score

Traumatic Stress Quotes

“In important ways, an experience does not really exist until it can be named and placed into larger categories.”

Bessel van der Kolk
Traumatic Stress

“The introduction of the PTSD diagnosis has opened a door to the scientific investigation of the nature of human suffering. Although much of human art and religion has always focused on expressing and understanding man’s afflictions, science has paid scant attention to suffering as an object of study. Hitherto, science has generally categorized people’s problems as discrete psychological or biological disorders — diseases without context, largely independent of the personal histories of the patients, their temperaments, or their environments.

PTSD, then, serves as a model for correcting the decontextualized aspects of today’s psychiatric nomenclature. It refocuses attention back on the living person instead of our overly concrete definitions of mental 'disorders' as 'things' in and of themselves, bringing us back to people’s own experiences and the meaning which they assign to it.”

Bessel van der Kolk
Traumatic Stress

“The scientific study of suffering inevitably raises questions of causation, and with these, issues of blame and responsibility.”

Bessel van der Kolk
Traumatic Stress

Products by Bessel van der Kolk

“Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality.”

Bessel van der Kolk
Traumatic Stress

“Victims are members of society whose problems represent the memory of suffering, rage, and pain in a world that longs to forget.”

Bessel van der Kolk
Traumatic Stress