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CBD 2022: Trauma-specific Treatment Interventions including Contemplative Practices and Other Non-pharmacological Methods and Activities with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

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Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score is presenting a free 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.

In this third of Dr. van der Kolk’s three-part session, he will discuss:
- The role of body-oriented and neurologically-based therapies to resolve the traumatic past.
- Interoceptive, proprioceptive, and kinesthetic qualities of contemplative movement that contribute to healing.
-Methods for unlocking underlying trauma embedded in the mind and body and transforming it in a healing manner that is permanent, safe, and welcomed by the person who is suffering. The following methods will be presented along with information on the neurobiological mechanisms and physical and psychological pathways by which these methods offer a healing experience:

  • EMDR (eye-movement desensitization)
  • Self-regulation, including Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • Breathing
  • Reprocessing, including Play and Theatre
  • Dance, Movement, and Sensory integration
  • Touch
  • Neurofeedback
  • Recommendations for alignment of methods with an individual’s needs, as well as any contraindications that do or do not exist for engaging in each of these healing methods.

Information on the first of the three sessions is available here.
Information on the second session is available here. The final portion of each session will be a Q&A discussion.

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. 

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