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Helping Clients Integrate Past and Present

Bessel van der Kolk on Integration and Healing in Trauma Treatment

Imagine the helplessness of being unable to distinguish painful past experiences from present ones. According to Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, this is what happens when a traumatic memory is triggered. Old emotional responses bubble up even when the current trigger has little to do with the original trauma.

That’s why Bessel says treating trauma correctly means helping clients integrate past trauma with their present lives. They need to understand that trauma did occur, he says, then fold it into the overall narrative their lives while understanding its separateness from the present.

In this brief video clip, Bessel explains the pitfalls of traditional cognitive-behavioral exposure therapy. Having a client confront trauma until they become desensitized just numbs them overall, he says. Instead, he recommends therapists guide clients through a more mindful, embodied process of reintegrating the original trauma.

In the Networker Webcast series The Trauma Treatment Revolution, Bessel offers specific methods for helping clients overcoming trauma and restoring the capacity for pleasure to their lives.

Are you ready to master the latest trauma treatment approaches?
Gain a deep understanding of trauma and learn the methods you need to address them in this all-new 6-session Webcast series—The Trauma Treatment Revolution.

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