Bessel van der Kolk

Psychiatrist, Author and Educator

Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. is a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress. His work integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and itstreatment.

Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater and EMDR.

He is founderof the Trauma Research Foundation in Boston, MA; past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at universities and hospitals around theworld, His most recent 2014 New York Times Science best seller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring — specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies

14:00

Tuesday 22 June

Presentation Two - Bessel van der Kolk

Can Drugs Help with Trauma Processing?

Bessel will present an overview of some trauma treatments, including psychedelics. Bessel is one of the world's foremost experts on trauma and was the principal investigator in a rigorous 15-site, phase III, clinical trial. The object was to evaluate the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in patients suffering from extreme Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The results from those sessions are striking. Two months after participating in the study, more than two-thirds of those who took MDMA no longer had diagnosable PTSD, investigators report in an article expected to be published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine. The subject must be handled sensitively, given the harm that drug misuse can bring, but the early signs of clinically approved and monitored use are encouraging.
15:00

Tuesday 22 June

Q & A Session - Bessel van der Kolk

Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. has been active as a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress and related phenomena since the 1970s. His work integrates developmental, biological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment. His book Psychological Trauma was the first integrative text on the subject, painting the far-ranging impact of trauma on the entire person and the range of therapeutic issues which need to be addressed for recovery. He is also the author of many other books on the subject including “The Body Keeps The Score”.

Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development in traumatized children and adults, and the psychobiology of trauma. He was co-principal investigator of the DSM IV Field Trials for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. His current research is on how trauma affects memory processes and brain imaging studies of PTSD.

A former Harvard Medical School professor of psychiatry, Bessel van der Kolk has served as president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, medical director of the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, Massachusetts, director of the Complex trauma Network within the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, and professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at The Meadows drug rehab and psychological trauma treatment center in Arizona.