Trauma & Memory: Brain and Body in a search for the Living Past
In Trauma and Memory, bestselling author Dr. Peter Levine
(creator of the Somatic Experiencing
approach) tackles one of the most difficult and controversial questions of PTSD/trauma therapy: Can we trust our memories? Building on his 45 years of successful treatment of trauma and utilizing case studies from his own practice, Dr. Levine while acknowledging that memory can be trusted, he argues that the only truly useful memories are those that might initially seem to be the least reliable: memories stored in the body and not necessarily accessible by our conscious mind.
While much work has been done in the field of trauma studies to address “explicit” traumatic memories in the brain (such as intrusive thoughts or flashbacks), much 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 (often unconsciously accessed) felt 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.
Written for trauma sufferers as well as mental health care practitioners, Trauma and Memory is a groundbreaking look at how memory is constructed and how influential memories are on our present state of being.