About Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

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.

For publications and products that Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has been involved in developing, go to our Publications and Products section.

Lecture Series

The Trauma Center at JRI is pleased to present the free Monthly Lecture Series for mental health professionals. Lectures will be held from 12-1:15 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at The Trauma Center at JRI, 1269 Beacon Street, First floor conference room.

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Speaking Engagements

For a complete list of Bessel van der Kolk's speaking schedule, click more info.

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WHAT'S NEWVIEW ALL>>

26th Annual International Trauma Conference, Boston MA, May 27-30, 2015

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4th Annual Summer Training Institute, Cape Cod MA, July 20-24, 2015

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Join us in Establishing an Endowed Research Directorship: The van der Kolk Chair

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Join our Challenge Match - Child Neurofeedback Study

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NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for 2015-2017 Postdoctoral Fellowships at MBHC

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NOW RECRUITING: DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA DISORDER - PHASE III NATIONWIDE STUDY

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NOW RECRUITING: CHILD BIOFEEDBACK STUDY at the Trauma Center

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NOW RECRUITING: INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS (IFS) STUDY at the Trauma Center

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NEW BOOK by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk: THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE: Order today!

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NEW BOOK by David Emerson: Trauma-Sensitive Yoga in Therapy

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Books by Trauma Center Faculty and Colleagues available on Amazon.com

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