The Body Keeps Score

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma:

* The most natural way for human beings to calm themselves when they are upset is by clinging to another person. This means that patients who have been physically or sexually violated face a dilemma: They desperately crave touch while simultaneously being terrified of body contact.
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…

* “The roots of resilience . . . are to be found in the sense of being understood by and existing in the mind and heart of a loving, attuned, and self-possessed other.” (Diana Fosha)

* We could only conclude that for abused children, the whole world is filled with triggers. As long as they can imagine only disastrous outcomes to relatively benign situations, anybody walking into a room, any stranger, any image, on a screen or on a billboard might be perceived as a harbinger of catastrophe.

* If you have no internal sense of security, it is difficult to distinguish between safety and danger. If you feel chronically numbed out, potentially dangerous situations may make you feel alive. If you conclude that you must be a terrible person (because why else would your parents have you treated that way?), you start expecting other people to treat you horribly. You probably deserve it, and anyway, there is nothing you can do about it. When disorganized people carry self-perceptions like these, they are set up to be traumatized by subsequent experiences.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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