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Bessel van der Kolk

Professor of Psychiatry

Bessel van der Kolk is a psychiatrist noted for his research in the area of post-traumatic stress since the 1970s. His work focuses on the interaction of attachment, neurobiology, and developmental aspects of trauma’s effects on people. His major publication, Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society, talks about how the role of trauma in psychiatric illness has changed over the past 20 years.

Dr. van der Kolk is past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School, and Medical Director of the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, Massachusetts. He has taught at universities and hospitals across the United States and around the world, including Europe, Africa, Russia, Australia, Israel, and China. 

His most recent book is The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma.

BOSTON - AUGUST 26: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, founder of Brookline's Trauma Center and author of a new book, believes options for treating traumatic stress beyond drugs are crucial. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)