Frontiers of trauma treatment


The study of psychological trauma has been accompanied by an explosion of knowledge about how experience shapes the central nervous system and the formation of the self. We have learned that most experience is automatically processed on a subcortical level, i.e. by “unconscious” interpretations that take place outside of awareness. Insight and understanding have only a limited influence on the operation of theses subcortical processes. When addressing the problems of traumatized people who, in a myriad of ways, continue to react to current experience as a replay of the past, there is a need for therapeutic methods that do not depend exclusively on understanding and cognition. This workshop surveys current research on how people’s brains, minds and bodies respond to traumatic experiences, and will specifically address the use of affect modulation techniques, EMDR, yoga, theater, and neurofeedback in overcoming various aspects of the destabilization and disintegration caused by trauma. Educational Objectives 1) To describe three new approaches in the treatment of trauma. 2) To describe the differences between how ordinary memories are stored contrasted with the memory processing of traumatic experiences.






Bessel A. van der Kolk

Original Work Citation

van der Kolk, B. A. (2009, December). Frontiers of trauma treatment. Presentation at the 6th Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference, Anaheim, CA



“Frontiers of trauma treatment,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 22, 2020,

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