Dr. Bessel van der Kolk in a dark suit with his hands clasped, smiling.
Courtesy Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Body, Mind, and Soul: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s Virtual Trauma Conference

By Aileen Kwun
May 23, 2020
1 minute read

With #StayHome campaigns driving home the importance of social distancing while the race to find a vaccine continues, professionals are expressing concerns about our mental health in this era of prolonged isolation. As post-traumatic stress expert Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of the book The Body Keeps Score (currently No. 1 on The New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list), said on Ep. 2 of our At a Distance podcast, now is as good a time as any to start a meditation practice or new exercise routine to calm your autonomic nervous system. Maintaining control of our bodies at a moment like this, explains van der Kolk, is crucial “because we are our bodies. In our culture, we see our bodies as an appendage, but our body needs to eat, sleep, and run, and though it’s not celebrated as such, we actually have a brain in order to take care of our bodies.” Van der Kolk will further delve into this topic next weekend at “Psychological Trauma in the Age of Coronavirus: The Interplay of Neuroscience, Embodiment, and the Regulation of the Self,” a virtual conference he’s hosting with the Trauma Research Foundation—a healthy reminder that learning about self-care is a lifelong journey.