The Body Keeps the Score Review – Best for Readers Interested in Understanding and Treating Traumatic Stress Via Embodiment Work

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on September 14, 2023
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Welcome to our review of “The Body Keeps the Score” – a must-read for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress with an interest in embodiment.

This ground-breaking book ranked #1 on Amazon in categories of psychiatry and neuropsychology, delves into how trauma can reshape our bodies and brains, impacting our ability to experience pleasure, engage with others, exercise self-control, and build trust. 

It’s not just an exploration of the effects of trauma but also a beacon of hope, offering innovative treatments such as neurofeedback, meditation, sports, drama, and yoga.

Emphasizing the body and how trauma is stored in the body separates this book from other trauma books. The key is idea is that experiencing trauma, even years ago, is not only stored in the memory but also creates imprints in the body.

  • For example, other trauma approaches focus on remembering the past traumatic events from childhood, which are often forgotten.
  • This book focuses more on how these events are stored in the body, implying it might not even be necessary to remember past traumas if you have the tools to release stored body trauma.
  • The power of relationships in causing and healing trauma is another central theme, providing readers with a hopeful path toward reclaiming lives affected by trauma.
  • This book is best suited for individuals who emphasize embodiment and somatic experiencing, or in other words, getting more into their bodies.

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into this enlightening read.

The Body Keeps The Score Review
  • Third-Party Reviews
  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Design


Best for Readers Interested in Understanding and Treating Traumatic Stress

This trauma book is unique since it discusses the body and stress storage. The most significant component of this theory is that stress, even years ago, leaves traces on the body and mind but can be healed through mind-body or relational connection.


  • Informative: The book provides an in-depth exploration of how trauma affects the Body and brain, offering readers a comprehensive understanding of its impacts.
  • Innovative Treatments: It presents a range of innovative treatments for trauma, including neurofeedback, meditation, sports, drama, and yoga, providing multiple pathways to healing.
  • Focus on Relationships: The book emphasizes the role of relationships in causing and healing trauma, shedding light on the social aspect of mental health.
  • Inspiring Stories: Through personal stories like Tom’s, the book offers hope and motivation for those affected by trauma, demonstrating the potential for recovery.
  • Accessible Language: Despite dealing with complex topics, the book maintains clear and accessible language, making it suitable for many readers.


  • Not a Quick Fix: The book delves deep into the complexities of trauma and its treatment, which may not appeal to those seeking quick solutions.
  • Graphic Descriptions: Some readers might find the detailed accounts of traumatic experiences distressing or triggering.
  • Requires Professional Guidance: While the book is informative and offers various treatment approaches, there are other substitutes for professional help. Readers are encouraged to seek advice from qualified professionals when dealing with trauma.

About The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score is a transformative book that unravels the intricate relationships between trauma, our bodies, and our emotions. Penned by the esteemed trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk, this book offers a deep dive into trauma and its profound impact on our biology.

The Body Keeps the Score transcends traditional boundaries, shedding light on neuroscience’s critical role in understanding and interpreting grief and trauma. It’s not just about unraveling the complexities of trauma but also about providing innovative pathways to healing. From neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga, the book presents a range of therapeutic approaches born from decades of working closely with survivors.

A key theme woven throughout this influential book is the power of relationships.

Van der Kolk emphasizes their dual role – as potential sources of trauma and as crucial elements in the healing process. With its empathetic voice and clear language, this book guides readers through the labyrinth of trauma, offering an insightful perspective on making informed decisions about healing.

Having spent over 4½ years on the New York Times paperback nonfiction list, “The Body Keeps the Score” is a testament to its relevance and impact. As we delve deeper into this book, we invite you to join us on this enlightening journey toward understanding and overcoming trauma.

What Makes The Body Keeps the Score Unique

  • The Body Keeps the Score uses recent scientific research to explain trauma’s physiological and behavioral effects.
  • The author, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, is a world-renowned expert on trauma, lending credibility and depth to the book.
  • The book offers unique insights into innovative treatments such as neurofeedback, meditation, sports, drama, and yoga that activate the brain’s natural neuroplasticity.
  • It uniquely emphasizes relationships’ dual role in causing and healing trauma.
  • The book provides hope for reclaiming lives, making it not just a study of trauma but also a guide to recovery.

Overall, we give The Body Keeps the Score a Design Score of (4/5)

Who is The Body Keeps the Score Best For (And Not For)

Understanding the Differences: Trauma Coach vs. Therapist

The Body Keeps the Score is a powerful read that resonates with many individuals.

  • Survivors of Trauma: This book is a beacon of hope for those who have experienced trauma, providing them with an in-depth understanding of their experiences and offering innovative pathways to healing.
  • Mental Health Professionals: Therapists, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists can gain valuable insights into trauma’s effects on the mind and Body, as well as learn about various treatment options.
  • Loved Ones of Trauma Survivors: Those who care for or support individuals dealing with trauma can gain a better understanding, enabling them to provide more effective support.
  • Students and Academics in the Field of Psychology: The book is a valuable resource for those studying psychology, neuroscience, or related fields, providing real-world examples and explanations of complex concepts.

However, it’s important to note that “The Body Keeps the Score” might not be for everyone:

  • Individuals Seeking Quick Fixes: This book delves deep into the complexities of trauma and its treatment, and it may not suit those looking for quick, surface-level solutions. Healing from trauma is a process that requires patience, understanding, and time.
  • Readers Sensitive to Graphic Descriptions: The book contains detailed accounts of traumatic experiences that could trigger distress in some readers.

Remember, while “The Body Keeps the Score” is a comprehensive guide to understanding and dealing with trauma, it is not a substitute for professional help. Always seek advice from qualified professionals when dealing with trauma and its aftermath.

My Experience with The Body Keeps the Score 

As someone deeply interested in mental health, I found “The Body Keeps the Score” to be a powerful and transformative read. From the moment I turned the first page, I was captivated by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s empathetic approach to understanding and treating trauma.

Tom’s story particularly moved me. Tom’s journey of healing and recovery is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. It serves as a beacon of hope, illustrating that no matter how dark things may seem, there is always a path toward healing.

This story spoke to me personally, reminding me of the power of perseverance and the importance of seeking help. It highlighted that we are not alone in our struggles and that resources and techniques are available to guide us on our journey to recovery.

Reading about the various therapeutic techniques discussed in the book, such as neurofeedback, meditation, and yoga, was enlightening. It expanded my understanding of trauma treatment beyond traditional talk therapy. 

These techniques, backed by scientific research, offer alternative ways of healing that can cater to different individuals’ needs.

Moreover, the book emphasizes the significance of relationships in causing and healing trauma. This insight was a powerful reminder of how our interactions with others can impact our mental well-being.

My experience with “The Body Keeps the Score” was impactful precisely because of these unique perspectives regarding healing trauma through the body and relationships.

Even though I’ve read many similar trauma books, it was more than just a book; it was a guide, providing valuable insights into trauma and recovery. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to broaden their understanding of mental health.

Always remember, it’s okay not to be okay, and seeking help is a strength, not a weakness.

Overall, we give The Body Keeps the Score a Quality Score of (4.5/5).

The Body Keeps the Score Third-Party Reviews

  • 4.8/5 from 69,451 ratings > Amazon
  • 4.42/5 from 147,797 ratings and 12,506 reviews > Good Reads
  • 4.8/5 from 9,774 ratings > Audible

Overall, we give The Body Keeps the Score a Third-Party Review Score of (4.8/5)

How Much Does The Body Keep the Score Cost


  • Kindle > $13.99
  • Hardcover > $11.29
  • Paperback > $10.73

Barnes And Noble

  • Hardcover > $28.99
  • Paperback > $16.99
  • eBook > $13.99
  • Audio CD > $34.98

Thrift Books

  • Hardcover > $25.43
  • Paperback > $15.31


  • Audiobook > $20.42

Good Reads

  • Kindle >$13.99

Overall, we give The Body Keeps the Score a Cost Review Score of (4.5/5)

Is The Body Keeps the Score Legit Conclusion

A Comprehensive Guide to Effective Therapy Techniques for Dealing with Past Traumatic Events

“The Body Keeps the Score” is a legitimate resource for understanding and dealing with trauma.

The author, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, is a highly respected expert in trauma. His decades of experience working with survivors lend credibility to the insights and treatments presented in the book. This isn’t just a collection of theories; it’s a compilation of tried and tested methods that have helped countless individuals on their healing journeys.

“The Body Keeps the Score” delves into how trauma reshapes our bodies and brains, disrupting our capacity for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. 

But it doesn’t stop at merely explaining these effects; it offers innovative treatments such as neurofeedback, meditation, sports, drama, and yoga. These are not one-size-fits-all solutions but a range of options, allowing readers to explore what works best for them.

Furthermore, the book underscores the power of relationships in causing and healing trauma. 

This focus on the social aspect of mental health provides a holistic view of trauma, emphasizing that recovery isn’t just about treating symptoms but about rebuilding connections with ourselves and others.

The Body Keeps the Score is a legitimate and invaluable resource for anyone seeking to understand trauma and its effects. Its blend of scientific research, personal testimonies, and practical advice strikes a balance between being professional and conversational, making it accessible to a wide range of readers. 

Remember, while books like this can provide vital insights, they should complement, not replace, professional help. Your journey towards healing is unique, and you deserve support tailored to your specific needs.

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