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Conversation on "The Body Keeps the Score"

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    • #40575
      Ernest Izard, PhD
      Guest

      With this post I want to initiate a book conversation on Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D.’s book, The Body Keeps the Score: Body, Brain and Mind in the Healing of Trauma. I suggest this book for this forum because of the number of children in our schools who show up traumatized from events in the past, frozen in that moment and their education in the balance. Van der Kolk, as a psychiatrist, has been there since before PTSD was ever a recognized diagnosis. He says pharmaceuticals are not always the answer and that there are clues teachers can look for in the care of their stressed students.

      I am inviting my colleagues to share and build up an approach to better equip classroom teachers to work with these children instead of labeling them or removing them from the classroom.


    • #40978
      Dr. Margo Turner
      Guest

      thanks Ernest for setting up this forum. I look forward to checking out this book. Having taught students in trauma (abandoned kids in Honduras) I understand how skill building and wise teaching is critical to help these students make progress. In working with other teachers in Central America in very rural poor areas, my goal was to leave them with strengthened hope that they can really make a difference…books like this will help this hope grow!


    • #42175
      Ernest Izard, PhD
      Guest

      The Body Keeps the Score is a veritable workshop in how the brain responds to trauma. Van der Kolk describes how the brain responds to the trauma and how the brain keeps the trauma frozen in disorganized pieces in the body until somehow, through therapy or other events, the prefrontal cortex and the lower limbic brain get together and place the trauma in the past and frees the body and the brain to live in the present. He explains why traumatized children go silent–the speech center of the brain is geographically farthest away from the sensory perception part of the brain.

      The key takeaway I want to develop from this book is what do teachers need to know about students who have trauma hidden in their bodies, what they can do to help and not hinder their healing, and what they can do to encourage learning in the face of living through trauma and its healing.

      In upcoming posts I will go into more detail and will finish out my part with a mind mapped dashboard for teachers to use to guide them as they suspect trauma in the lives of their students who exhibit symptoms.


    • #42445
      Karan Young, M.Ed.
      Participant

      Ernest, Thank you for this post. It is sad that this has become such a prevalent problem. The book will definitely be on my “to Read” list. I look forward to your upcoming posts regarding this subject.


    • #42446
      Karan Young, M.Ed.
      Participant

      Ernest, Thank you for this post. It is sad that this has become such a prevalent problem. The book will definitely be on my “to Read” list. I look forward to your upcoming posts regarding this subject.


    • #42892
      Ernest Izard, PhD
      Guest

      Look for articles that contain the words, “Trauma informed” schools for how schools are beginning to incarnate what The Body Keeps the Score teaches. These schools decide to do more than call students at -risk and then proceed to treat them like any other student. These schools create a safe environment to care for and educate students who have had adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. Also join http://www.acestoohigh.com for ongoing blogs, articles and discussion of childhood trauma.


    • #42988

      Ernest, I have been reading and rereading this book for the last few months. Thank you for bringing it up as a discussion. As a yoga therapist and social worker working at an alternative school, I highly recommend this book. I think Bessel does an outstanding job of explaining the science and neuroscience in an accessible way that folks with non-science backgrounds can understand. He points out that some things need to worked out in the body and that there are limits to talking about one’s trauma – and that it can even re-traumatize when we keep telling the story. As brain-based learners, this is great information to reinforce the need for movement in the classroom. We know that movement can facilitate learning. Now, with “The Body Keeps Score”, we know that we need to move to heal, at least according to Bessel. My observations over the last 8 years of working with acutely depressed and anxious youth concur with this premise. On my new website: http://www.yogainschools.org, there are some free resources to get started with movementful movement in the classroom.


    • #43384
      Ernest Izard, PhD
      Guest

      Joanne, thanks for the words from yoga. I used to not think much about yoga and now Bessel has put if square on my radar. Another resource to use along with the book is viewing the movie, Antwone Fisher. The details in the movie are well done, such as how he reminds people that he has survived because of his Self-Leadership. Also a great scene when the camera pans across the counseling office and you watch as the trauma becomes unembedded from his body, legs to mouth. Derek Luke is left handed and his eye movements so match what I have learned about NLP neurological eye movements.


    • #43480
      Erik Smith
      Member

      Timely book review. Just finished Go Wild by Dr. Ratey and Richard Manning, whereby they reference Bessel’s work. In particular, they synthesize his findings by explaining how abused individuals, especially children, are engaging in a normal, adaptive process to abuse by freezing. This mechanism is a normal response to an abnormal situation. Yet, this response becomes a way of life that locks in a destructive bio-chemical and neurological pattern. This abnormal cycle can be broken by understanding how breath control, rhythm, whole-body movement, narrative, social ties and cues interplay with the visceral nervous system, which is what Dr. Bessel teaches. As such, I am very eager to acquire this book to help supplement my knowledge gleaned from Go Wild. Thanks again for the post.


    • #43489

      Eric, I was recently at the Yoga in the Schools National Symposium and Dr. Ratey was the keynote. He mentioned his new book “Go Wild”. If you liked that book, you will definitely get a lot our of “The Body Keeps the Score”. I love this quote from the book: “In order to overcome trauma you need to get back in touch with your body, with your Self.”


    • #43708
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Good morning all!

      I came across this new research on memory formation and issues related to autism, alcohol dependency, and depression (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150424105012.htm). Is this another way that the body and brain keep score?


    • #43726
      Ernest Izard, PhD
      Guest

      The filopodia illustration raises the question: Do the filaments look for connections and find learning or does learning promote their looking for connections.

      On another autism note: Gemiini (not a typo) claims to be able to stimulate speech in non-verbal autism and even Down’s Syndrome. The woman who developed the videos to be watched by students in groups had two autistic children who went from non-verbal to speaking in sentences and they are now win college pursuing their goals.


    • #44145

      Ernest,

      Do you know of anyone who has successfully implemented the Gemiini program? Do you recommend it?

      Thanks,

      Joanne


    • #44296
      Ernest Izard, PhD
      Guest

      No, I am looking into whether the Gemiini program has been successful beyond the sales pitch. Key people I trust in Dallas have not heard of it.


      • #73822
        Brian Kasbar
        Guest

        Hi. I am the founder of Gemiini. We have peer reviewed, independent published research of efficacy of Gemiini for children with speech delays due to various disorders. We have anectodal stories of success with aphasia fue to TBI or CVA. We are running a pilot in the LA area to study gains in word retreival for CVA patients. If tge pilot shows gains, we will be working with the Keck School of Medicine at USC to run a clinical trial. You can direct any questions to me at bkasbar@gemiini.org


    • #44297
      Ernest Izard, PhD
      Guest

      It’s the end of year crunch in school. When things calm I will share the gleanings from The body Keeps the Score as I am collecting the teachings on the anatomy and physiology of trauma as it shows up in the brain and body. will post soon.


    • #44404
      Eric Jensen
      Guest

      Great Posts

      From a neuroscience perspective, I cannot fathom any scientific or intuitive way that the body WOULD NOT keep score.

      It is simply TOO connected and wired up to everything else.

      I will be interested in reading the book also.

      Thanks, Ernest


    • #47310
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      Regret not being online recently. Two family deaths and an aborted attempt to put my mother in a nursing home. For the moment let me pass on a summary done by a media show of an interview with Bessel Van der Kolk, MD. The link is http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/healing-trauma-through-the-mind-and-the-body/6425638. You may also want to grab the link to the media program since its focuses on things of the mind. Can’t vouch for their validity yet. Back again soon.


    • #47410
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      http://crosscut.com/2014/12/the-neglected-brain-1-stacey-solie/

      The above link comes from the daily blog from ACES TOO HIGH. It is the beginning of a four part series on the effect of neglect on the development of the brain, especially in children. It tracks the Romanian study on the children found in the orphanages after the dictator was removed. I learned a lot and hope you and those you touch will also benefit.


    • #47411
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150629142150.htm

      Here’s a link to s study of an apparently successful therapy that lay people can perform with traumatized children in Third World Countries. It also has been used in the USA among students of poverty using lay people. May be worth suing in our schools where there are not enough professionals to go around.


    • #47839
      Eric Jensen
      Guest

      Hi Ya’all
      You might be interested in a therapeutic tie-in known as “Havening.”
      A friend a mind has completed a certification in it and has found great
      value in the process. It is a brain-based technique for quickly and permanently releasing trauma.Good for all of you readers.


    • #48653
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/descendants-of-holocaust-survivors-have-altered-stress-hormones/
      This is a link to an article that says descendants of Holocaust survivors may have inherited issues with stress hormones that make them less likely to be a survivor than their progenitors. This expands the conversation about trauma to include the unborn children of children living in poverty and if their stress hormones will do the same making for even more challenges in teaching with poverty in mind. The researcher says all of this is not a foregone conclusion. Research studies are pointing in that direction, though.


    • #48818
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I am on my 5th reading through The Body Keeps the Score and am amazed at the nuggets and gems that I did not catch the previous times through. On the other hand, it sure makes for enjoyable, anticipatory reading. For instance in an explanation of a brain cross section on page 206, Van der Kolk says the rational brain has no direct connections with the emotional brain. Simple, yet profound. Imagine what it would be like to instantly have a rational thought along with a sensation! Or maybe not! Don’t try that at home. On the serious side, the time lapse, no matter how small is significant as the rational brain receives not only a later arriving emotional message, it also has that message enriched and informed by many other parts of the brain on the way. At the same time this gap allows for the disconnect that comes from trauma and allows so much of the brain to either be shut down in trauma and a flashback and other areas to be accelerated in their functioning. Ultimately it looks like these connections act as a circuit breaker or throttle that keeps the brain from frying all its circuits when the unthinkable happens.


    • #48841
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      While not exactly on target with the book, I took my two older grandsons to see Inside Out. It is a wonderfully animated demonstration of how the brain works, including some elements of the Internal Family Process ideas from the crew in the girl’s brain. Worth the price of admission just to have aha! after aha! of connections to reuroscience research.


    • #53672
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma shared a link. Want you to know that this book keeps ons giving through the author’s Facebook page. Recently he began to release a number of current, relevant brain research articles on a regular basis. Today an article on the necessity of rest for the brain to replenish was articulated with powerful insights of what and how and why. Good stuff! Grateful for the worth of Van der Kolk, his work, and his continuing impact on my learning about the brain.


    • #62828

      I have just watched “Inside Out” for the second time and received a copy of the DVD for Christmas. I am very impressed with it and plan on showing excerpts to kids to reinforce lessons on emotional regulation. I think the movie will become a classic. I may use it with adults too.
      Ernest – it was cool that you took two of your grandkids to see it. So many great conversations can come from this excellent movie.


    • #63188
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What’s even better is that I took my wife to see it. Always helps me to see something second time. AND for her to experience it with me helps her be more of a part of what I do. Of course, she has helped me on some of my projects for which I am grateful.


    • #63189
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Keeping the Score in 2015

      Let me take it as a point of privilege to share with you, here at the end of 2015, a claiming of the journey that has been mine most of this year.

      In March Bessel Van der Kolk’s book, The Body Keeps the Score, was recommended to me for reading because one of my roles is in ministry, as well as education. Once I got into reading it I was hooked, first by an Audible version and then reading and re-reading it a total of 4 times by early summer. The book referred me to Richard C. Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems Therapy where I learned about the parts of the mind and how they work and speak and protect and screw up things, all in an effort to assist the Self in leadership. In conversations about The Bod Keeps the Score, Eric Jensen recommended, Born for Love by Maia Szalavitz and Dr. Bruce Perry where I learned about attachment, attunement and empathy. along the way there were other book recommendations and many “side” trips to blogs, Facebook pages, and web sites. One web site contained a book in progress about the lack of attunement and attachment from a woman who made the journey through regression and back to wholeness. You can find that one by searching at “Don’t try this at home adult attachment disorders.” Yep, that will get you there.

      The most important thing about this multifaceted journey is that I have been working on developing a trauma informed school at the school where I teach. I am writing a handbook for a national organization on the subject. And most of all, all along the way there has been healing in my life of stuff that always been nipping at me–splinters in my soul. Every turn of the way seemed to be a guided path for me to take the next step in being free from things I had no control over. I knew that the tragic death of a husband had an impact on my mother before my mother gave birth to my older sister. I knew it had impacted me that at one point in her ongoing grief she could not talk and had insulin shock therapy. What I didn’t realize was that the holding and attunement I don’t appear to have received has had so much to do with events and experiences much later in my life. Sparing a repeat of details, the good news, for me, and hopefully, our students, is that healing can and does take place later, even if what you needed for good in the first three years, you did not receive. Fro me, I call that JOY! And the icing on the cake has been (confident more learning lies ahead) coming across in this process, the work of Brene Brown in her research on shame, vulnerability, courage, and wholeheartedness. There will not be any fireworks tonight that can better celebrate 2015 and usher in the hope of 2016 than the sparkle in the sky, in my eyes, and on my face, evidencing the journey that has been mine this year as a member of this community. Thank you for your inseparable role in it and for sharing the journey with me as I have shared yours also! Blessings!


    • #65089
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      Bessel Van der Kolk posts neuroscience research surrounding trauma on FaceBook at a site named after his book, The Body Keeps the Score. The posts are not regular and sometimes several are posted in a day. All of them are of value to keep up with the research being done to heal and understand trauma.


    • #65090
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      From last week’s ACEs Connection Digest, there was an interesting article on juvenile sex offenders who are labeled for life for offenses that they might not have been old enough to know was wrong. Some ten year olds live with that label for texting a nude photo. What really caught my attention was the researched data that showed only 5% of sex offenses are perpetrated by a repeat sex offender and the justice system focuses 100% on dealing with the 5% and not the 95% who do not need aversion therapies which do not work. Transformation is needed to provide the type of rehabilitation and restoration the 95% need.


    • #65091
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      The role of childhood trauma came home to me as I watched the Public TV special on The Carpenters. That led me to read the background story. I found out that Karen’s mother preferred her brother over her and her brother control her role in the singing. The only control she could find was in her eating disorders which eventually took her life when she unwittingly poisoned herself with ipecac which weakened her heart muscles and caused the fatal heart attack.

      Traumas come in many forms, including the neglect that Karen received from her mother. Her mother also demanded she follow through with her wedding even though her prospective husband admitted a few days before the event that he had had a vasectomy and had lied about wanting to have children which was Karen’s dream. The trauma of going through a wedding and beginning a marriage like that, even as an adult took its toll. She died before the divorce papers were signed.

      For me, the tragedy reminds me of the loss of such a unique voice and sound in music that continues to live on through the recordings. How many more gifts are lost to us today and future generations by adverse childhood experiences and those traumas that are perpetuated even into adulthood?!!! Other musicians, singers, and other talents we will never know about are robbed by trauma inflicted wounds.


    • #65098
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      The resource listed below offers free access to trauma related training online accessed through NICAPM’s website.

      Ruth M. Buczynski, PhD
      President and Licensed Psychologist
      The National Institute for the Clinical
      Application of Behavioral Medicine
      http://www.nicabm.com


    • #72679
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This conversation started for me last year when Ernest talked about this book during our recertification event. My interest was piqued around the topic. Trauma’s impact on the brain does not rest in any one population. As I work with districts with high impoverished rates, I typically see students who have deep need of teachers, administrators, and mental health professionals who understand how each person is connected—the body with the ability to think. One of my favorite quotes from the book follows, “…as long as the mind is defending itself against invisible assaults, our closest bonds are threatened, along with our ability to imagine, plan, play, learn, and pay attention to other people’s needs.” How often do we see this in the classroom? How often do we sense it with the teachers just down the hall who are adjusting to an adverse situation of life? These realizations push me to think holistically about each child instead of in one lens or another.

      The reflection questions that I have when working with our counselors have to do with our approach to students. Are we working to make sure that we have the appropriate support services offered? Are we providing the right kind of resources in our classrooms that students can use / explore to help with the healing process? Can students find themselves in the books that we read, the materials that we use, and the resources that we view? The whole world is not a Hallmark movie. Literally I am just a toe dip into thinking about the healing of trauma. I think it would be good for me to do what Ernest has done and reread. I’m grateful that you recommended the book last year. It has been a great connection between me and the school psychologist.


    • #72688
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      Craig: Thank you for the affirmations. I did not know it at the time I began this journey into adverse childhood experience that I would uncover my own trauma and experience healing. I will say that a couple fo months ago I read a book titled Childhood Disrupted. This research based book is so well written that it is an easy read except that I needed to stop and chew on some of the items along the journey. Here is my takeaway from this book. It was a great review and affirmation of an almost two year journey to discover how to identify and heal childhood trauma. The author summarized my learnings that included Bruce Perry’s book, Born for Love that was co-authored and is a must read because of the role of empathy in childhood development. The biggest new aha! moment was when the author quoted research that the uptick in cases of autoimmune disease in America can be attributed to the last 30-40 years of neglect and abuse of children. That was chilling, knowing I carry the gene for Sjogren’s Syndrome. And the journey continues until the last child is protected and healed. What’s amazing is, that outside of major loss of brain structure, not a single adverse childhood experience cannot not (love not having to answer to an English teacher. Sorry, Eric!) be healed–those in the Kaiser Permanente study in the late 1990s.


    • #72726
      Iliana Aljure
      Guest

      I have read all the postings from everybody and have learned a lot from each and every comment you have made. “The Body Keeps the Score” and “Go Wild” will be on my list for 2017, because as a former dance teacher for 28 years, I was able to detect emotions and feelings form the moving bodies of my students. I learned, form myself and from watching my students, there is nothing you can hide when you move. Your body is a clear place, as Erik Hawkins once said. And when doing improvisational exercises, children literally open themselves, just like the movie INSIDE OUT, and show their true selves. That’s the reason why careers like Dance Therapy exist. You liberate trauma, sadness, fear, joy, boredom and anger when you are able to express with movement.

      Thanks for an insightful thread of posts…


    • #74525
      Ernest Izard
      Guest

      IIiana: Thank you for your post. You eloquently summarized the posts we have shared together. The body Keeps the Score remains my anchor as I continue to chase the research and applications that will heal children who been abused and neglected.


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