Trauma and Memory: Brain and Body in a Search for the Living Past: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Working with Traumatic Memory

the cover of Trauma and Memory

Dr. Peter Levine introduced the world to his pioneering approach to trauma therapy, the Somatic Experiencing method, in Waking the Tiger and In an Unspoken Voice. Now, with Trauma and Memory, he takes the next step in his work as a scientist, storyteller, and master clinician, tackling one of the most difficult and complex questions of trauma therapy: Can we trust our memories? While trauma therapy work frequently addresses “explicit” memories, less attention has been paid to how the body itself stores “implicit” memory, and how much of what we think of as “memory” actually comes to us through our interoceptive bodily sense. By learning how to better understand this complex interplay of past and present, brain and body, we can adjust our relationship to past trauma and move into a more balanced, relaxed state of being and wholeness. Written for mental health care practitioners as well as trauma sufferers, Trauma and Memory is a groundbreaking look at how memory is constructed and how influential memories are on our present lives.

Some early praise

“Peter Levine has been a heroic pioneer in explaining how the damaging emotional memories associated with trauma are locked in our body … Levine explains how the intransigent and omnipotent power of the implicit memories of trauma can be diffused and transformed.”—Stephen W. Porges, PhD, author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation

 

“Memory has many layers, and Peter Levine has contributed his own unique and powerful way of thinking about how we can understand these systems and optimize their unfolding after trauma.”—Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author of Mindsight, The Mindful Therapist, and Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology

 

Only after we become capable of standing back, taking stock of ourselves, reducing the intensity of our sensations and emotions, and activating our inborn physical defensive reactions can we learn to modify our entrenched maladaptive automatic survival responses and, in doing so, put our haunting memories to rest.”—Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, author of The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Healing of Trauma