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CBD 2022: Healing Trauma in the Brain, Mind, and Body: A three-session series with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

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Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score will present a three-session series on the ways traumatic events affect the brain, the mind, and the body, as well as methods for healing and preventing the suffering that can persist after traumatic events. Dr. van der Kolk’s series illuminates the most recent neuroscience of traumatic stress and a wide range of treatment approaches that meet the needs of different individuals’ specific difficulties. Treatment methods discussed will include several that originated from contemplative practices including breath work, yoga and other forms of contemplative movement, acupressure, EMDR, neurofeedback, psychodrama, chanting or singing, and the essential components of a psychotherapeutic relationship.

Recent world events have included ones that have been traumatic to many people. Collectively and individually, we are all too familiar with the toll this can take on our health and well-being. Trauma changes a person’s orientation to self-worth and efficacy, capacity to deal with conflict or cultivate intimacy, as well as skills for emotion regulation and long-term planning. Also, trauma’ s impact varies according to different developmental ages, changing brain circuitry differently, and thus: perception, self-regulation, and reciprocity.

Dr. van der Kolk’s series provides foundational insights that will enrich the benefits gained from participating in any or all of the subsequent 40 free contemplative science and practices sessions in the 2022 Contemplation by Design Summit. See the full Summit schedule here. The Summit offers knowledge and skills for healing trauma and for promoting sustainable health and well-being through contemplative practices for the mind, body, and spirit.

Dr. van der Kolk’s first session focuses on:

- Scientific advances in the neurobiology of trauma that support the skillful healing process.

- Ways traumatic childhood experiences effect brain development, emotion regulation, cognition, attention, self-perception, and systems of meaning.

- Trauma’s negative impacts, which can include: Affect dysregulation and dissociation; Derailed information processing; Chronic dysfunctional relationships toward self and others; Self-blame, guilt, and shame.

- Treatment of Trauma Disorders, including Developmental Trauma Disorder and adaptations to trauma early in the life cycle, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

- Methods for identifying, evaluating, and understanding the origins of trauma-based suffering in oneself or other people to whom you wish to offer support as they heal.

The final portion of this session will be a Q&A discussion.

Information on Sessions 2 and 3 in the series is in the links below:

Session 2: Polyvagal Theory, the Body and How to Heal Prevalent Aspects of Trauma with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk.

Session 3: Trauma-specific Treatment Interventions including Contemplative Practices and Other Non-pharmacological Methods and Activities with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. is a pioneer, clinician, researcher, and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress. His work uniquely integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic, somatic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment.

His #1 New York Times Science best seller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma (translated in 38 languages), transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, psychedelic therapy, psychodrama, mindfulness techniques, parts work, yoga, and bodywork. Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater and EMDR.

He is founder of the Trauma Center (now the Trauma Research Foundation) in Boston, MA; past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School and Principal Investigator Boston site of MAPS sponsored MDMA assisted psychotherapy study. He regularly teaches at universities and hospitals around the world. Visit for more information. 

Healing Trauma in the Brain, Mind, and Body is part of the free Contemplation by Design Summit, Oct. 9 - 16 and Oct. 28 - Nov. 2, 2022.

The full Summit schedule is posted at: All events are FREE and online.

Registration is now open here:

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