Traumatic Stress:
The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on the Mind, Body and Society

Critical Acclaim

"This is a book of great scope and lucid intelligence that integrates the work of many pioneers and captures the keen spirit of inquiry that animates this rapidly developing field. As a comprehensive summary of our current state of knowledge and a guide to the next generation of clinicians and researchers, Traumatic Stess will be the gold standard reference for years to come."
- Judith Herman, MD, author of Trauma and Recovery

"An impressive and important book. . . . From children to the elderly, from psychoanalysis to psychopharmacology, from the individual to society at large, the clinical material is all there. . . . Both comprehensive and integrative, Traumatic Stess will reshape the way that we understand trauma."
- Frank Putnam, MD, author of Diagnosis and Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder

"The study of psychological trauma raises profound intellectual, ethical, and political questions, and this book is essential reading for anyone who wants to participate in the discussion."
- Carol Gilligan, PhD, author of In a Different Voice

"Encyclopedic. . . . The volume is an important contribution to the field and should become a basic work of reference for the growing legion of mental health professionals concerned with the role of traumatic stress in the production of human illness."
- John Nemiah, MD, former editor of The American Journal of Psychiatry

Table of Contents

  • Preface (on Web)
    By Bessel van der Kolk, Alexander McFarlane, and Lars Weisaeth
  • 1. The Black Hole of Trauma
    By Bessel van der Kolk & Alexander McFarlane
  • 2. Trauma and Its Challenge to Society
    By Alexander McFarlane & Bessel van der Kolk
  • 3. History of Trauma in Psychiatry
    By Bessel van der Kolk, Lars Weisaeth, & Onno van der Hart
  • 4. Stress versus Traumatic Stress: From Acute Homeostatic Reactions to Chronic Psychopathology
    By Arieh Shalev
  • 5. Acute Posttraumatic Reactions in Soldiers and Civilians
    By Zahava Solomon, Nathaniel Laror, & Alexander McFarlane
  • 6. The Classification of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    By Elizabeth Brett
  • 7. The Nature of Traumatic Stressors and the Epidemiology of Posttraumatic Reactions
    By Alexander McFarlane & Giovanni de Girolamo
  • 8. Resilience, Vulnerability, and the Course of Posttraumatic Reactions
    By Alexander McFarlane
  • 9. The Complexity of Adaptation to Trauma: Self-Regulation, Stimulus Discrimination, and Characterological Development
    By Bessel van der Kolk
  • 10. The Body Keeps the Score: Approaches to the Psychobiology of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    By Bessel van der Kolk
  • 11. Assessment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Clinical and Research Settings
    By Elana Newman, Danny Kaloupek, & Terence Keane
  • 12. Trauma and Memory
    By Bessel van der Kolk
  • 13. Dissociation and Information Processing in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    By Bessel van der Kolk, Onno van der Hart, & Charles Marmar
  • 14. Traumatic Stress in Childhood and Adolescence: Recent Developments and Current Controversies
    By Robert Pynoos, Alan Steinberg, & Armen Goenjian
  • 15. Prior Traumatization and the Process of Aging: Theory and Clinical Implications
    By Petra Narts & Wybrand Op den Velde
  • 16. Legal Issues in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    By Roger Pitman, Landy Sparr, Linda Saunders, & Alexander McFarlane
  • 17. Trauma in Cultural Perspective
    By Marten deVries
  • 18. A General Approach to Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    By Bessel van der Kolk, Alexander McFarlane, & Onno van der Hart
  • 19. Prevention of Posttraumatic Stress: Consultation, Training, and Early Treatment
    By Robert Ursano, Thomas Grieger, & James McCarroll
  • 20. Acute Preventive Interventions
    By Beverley Raphael, John Wilson, Lenore Meldrum, & Alexander McFarlane
  • 21. Acute Treatments
    By Gordon Turnbull & Alexander McFarlane
  • 22. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    By Barbara Olasov Rothbaum & Edna Foa
  • 23. The Psychopharmacological Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    By Jonathan Davidson & Bessel van der Kolk
  • 24. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: The Nature of the Therapeutic Relationship
    By Jacob Lindy
  • 25. The Therapeutic Environment and New Explorations in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    By Stuart W. Turner, Alexander McFarlane, & Bessel van der Kolk
  • Conclusions and Future Directions
    By Alexander McFarlane & Bessel van der Kolk

Gender Neutral Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Class on Saturdays


Trauma Center at JRI awarded federal grant of $633,405 to help those affected by human trafficking


Suffolk University and the Trauma Center at JRI Receive $3 Million National Child Traumatic Stress Network Grant


Books by Trauma Center Faculty and Colleagues available on