American Journal of Dance Therapy

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 151–156 | Cite as

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk

New York, NY: Viking, 2014, Hard Cover $27.95, Soft Cover $18.00
  • Amber E. L. Gray
Book Review


The Body Keeps the Score is Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s most recent, and possibly most significant, contribution to the field of traumatic stress. This book covers history, theory, research, and very human clinical and therapist stories, with sensitivity, clarity, and ample scientific backing. This very readable and enjoyable book focuses on trauma and the body. The body as the site of all human experience and, in particular, trauma, is central to this book making makes a strong case for the use of body and creative arts-based therapies. While The Body Keeps the Score is written in a language that will be familiar to all dance/movement therapists, the book does not acknowledge the important role dance/movement therapy (DMT) has played since its origins in the 1940’s, following World War II. The explanation and rationale that support other forms of somatic and arts-based therapies easily support DMT’s place in the field of trauma recovery and restoration.


Bessel van der Kolk Body Creative arts therapies Dance/movement therapy Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Trauma Veterans 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Restorative Resources Training & ConsultingSanta FeUSA

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