Trauma and associated stress disorders have fascinated Dr. Bessel van der Kolk for more than 40 years. Born in the Netherlands in 1943, he immigrated to the United States to study these conditions. He has since shared his findings in various ways with the public and other medical professionals.
Most of the time, this Bostonian psychiatrist treats patients directly for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, in his private practice. However, Dr. van der Kolk is also very active in research. He has published volumes of scientific articles and some books about the connection between the brain’s reaction to trauma and the long-lasting physical effects.
Dr. van der Kolk’s best-seller, “The Body Keeps the Score,” gives context to the most recent findings on PTSD and walks readers through rewiring their thought processes. His insights have helped his peers learn how to diagnose trauma-related illnesses. For patients, his work continues to demystify self-help practices, such as yoga and mindfulness.