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Bessel van der Kolk (born 1943) is a psychiatrist, author, researcher and educator based in Boston, United States. Since the 1970s his research has been in the area of post-traumatic stress. He is the author of The New York Times best seller, The Body Keeps the Score. Van der Kolk formerly served as president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and is a former co-director of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. He is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and president of the Trauma Research Foundation in Brookline, Massachusetts.Van der Kolk has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles and four books. Early life and education Van der Kolk was born in the Netherlands in 1943. He studied a pre-medical curriculum with a political science major at the University of Hawaii in 1965. He gained his M.D. at the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, in 1970, and completed his psychiatric residency at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Harvard Medical School, in 1974.After his training, van der Kolk worked as a director of Boston State Hospital. He became a staff psychiatrist at the Boston Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic. Van der Kolk developed an interest in studying traumatic stress in 1978 while working with Vietnam war veterans suffering from PTSD. and serving on the Harvard Medical School faculty. He was a member of the PTSD committee of the 1980 and 1994 editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders., and conducted the first studies on the use of Prozac and Zoloft in the treatment of PTSD. Career In 1982, Van der Kolk started the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts while he was working as a junior faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Since then, he has conducted numerous training programs and clinical trials. Van der Kolk has performed extensive studies on the nature of traumatic memory, and took a leading role in the first studies on the psychopharmacological treatments of PTSD. He conducted some of the earliest studies on the biological substrates of PTSD and on stress-induced analgesia. Involved in the first neuroimaging studies of PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder, van der Kolk received the first grants from the National Institutes of Health to study EMDR and yoga.In 1999 van der Kolk initiated the creation of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. By 2019, it had grown to a network of 150 sites specializing in treating traumatized children and their families around the US. In that context he and his colleagues studied over 20,000 traumatized children and adolescents to formulate Developmental Trauma Disorder, which has not yet been accepted within the DSM. He has systematically studied innovative treatments for traumatic stress in children and adults, such as trauma-sensitive yoga, theater, embodied therapies, neurofeedback, and psychedelic therapies.Since 1989, he has been course director of the annual Boston International Trauma Conference, which brings together leading scientists and clinicians specializing in trauma, developmental psychopathology, attachment studies, body-oriented therapies, theater and expressive arts.In 2017, the Trauma Center closed after a contentious dispute with the parent organization, the Justice Resource Institute. Funds won in a legal settlement with JRI were used to form the non-profit Trauma Research Foundation, that engages in a host of educational ventures and research projects on diverse populations of trauma victims, including the use of neurofeedback and psychedelic substances (MDMA) to treat PTSD. Writings and views Van der Kolk has a particular interest in developmental psychopathology and the study of how trauma has a differential effect, depending on developmental stage and the security of the attachment system.Van der Kolk's book, The Body Keeps the Score, was published in 2014. As of July 2023, The Body Keeps the Score had spent over 245 weeks on The New York Times best seller list. It has been translated into 43 languages. In part, Van der Kolk's The Body Keeps the Score focuses on female primary caregivers, in humans and in primates, and does not discuss paternal behavior, beyond incest. Joint and equal parental care (regardless of the sex of the parent) is not discussed as a trauma prevention structure. He coined the term "Developmental Trauma Disorder" for the complex range of psychological and biological reactions to trauma over the course of human development, also known as complex post traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). Works Van der Kolk, B. A., ed. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Psychological and Biological Sequelae. Washington DC: American Psychiatric, 1984. Van der Kolk, B. A., Psychological Trauma. Washington DC: American Psychiatric, 1987. Van der Kolk, B. A., McFarlane, Alexander C., Weisæth, L. (eds.) Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body and Society. New York: Guilford, 1996. Van der Kolk, B. A. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. Viking, 2014. ISBN 9780670785933.References Further reading Carr , Danielle. "Tell Me Why It Hurts: How Bessel van der Kolk’s once controversial theory of trauma became the dominant way we make sense of our lives". New York Magazine, July 31, 2023.External links Official website Trauma Research Foundation. Discover the Bessel Van Der Kolk M D popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Bessel Van Der Kolk M D books.

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