Feeling Through Trauma - Bessel van der Kolk

September 28, 2014

“In the culture people talk about trauma as an event that happened a long time ago. But what trauma is, is the imprints that event has left on your mind and in your sensations... the discomfort you feel and the agitation you feel and the rage and the helplessness you feel right now.”

Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk is helping people with post traumatic stress disorder focus less on talking about their stories, and more on how their stories feel, how they sound, look, or smell.

You can also hear van der Kolk's extended interview, including more on yoga and the neuroscience of trauma.



Is it possible to do a home version of this eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy by training or exercising your eyes' peripheral vision? I was thinking about a conversation with a person that invoked memories of childhood trauma, and I found that I could stop thinking about it by looking up down and side to side of my fingers, anything to get my eyes to track objects by moving my eyes. After doing this I stopped thinking about the bad memories.