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In this culmination of his life’s work, Peter A. Levine draws on his broad experience as a clinician, a student of comparative brain research, a stress scientist and a keen observer of the naturalistic animal world to explain the nature and transformation of trauma in the body, brain and psyche. In an Unspoken Voice is based on the idea that trauma is neither a disease nor a disorder, but rather an injury caused by fright, helplessness and loss that can be healed by engaging our innate capacity to self-regulate high states of arousal and intense emotions. Featuring a coherent theoretical framework and compelling case examples, the book blends the latest findings in biology, neuroscience and body-oriented psychotherapy to show that when we bring together animal instinct and reason, we can become more whole human beings.
“In this masterpiece Peter Levine has captured the essence of trauma as residing in the ‘unspoken voice’ of our bodies. Combining a thorough study of animal ethology, brain research, and indigenous healing rituals with vast clinical knowledge, Levine provides a marvelous and original perspective on how trauma results in injuries that can be transformed and healed by attention to the natural healing powers of that reside deep within every human being.” –Bessel van der Kolk, MD, medical director and founder of the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, director of the National Complex Trauma Treatment Network, and professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine
“To be traumatized is to be condemned to endless repetitions of unbearable experiences. In this beautifully written and engrossing book, Peter Levine explains how trauma affects our body and mind and demonstrates how to call upon the wisdom of our bodies to overcome and transform it. The accounts of his personal and therapeutic experiences, integrated with the essentials of the sciences of trauma and healing, are highly informative and inspiring. His distinctive voice should be widely heard by survivors, clinicians and scientists.” –Onno van der Hart, PhD, Honorary Professor of the Psychopathology of Chronic Trauma, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands, and co-author of The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation of the Personality
“Like a wise old weaver Peter Levine painstakingly blends together strands of many dense colors into ever-fresh patterns emerging from his honed intelligence and fertile imagination. These strands comprise careful reflections on his own personal healing, his work with others, insights from studies with animals, different views from indigenous peoples here and elsewhere, various scientists exploring the biology’s of the body, spiritual practices in many traditions and whatever else passes in front of his sparkling eyes. His first (and now iconic) book, Waking the Tiger, is now part of the canon for the education of therapists. This major new book is a welcome landmark in his long history of creating an intricate tapestry of Somatic theory and practice.”–Don Hanlon Johnson, PhD, professor of Somatics at California Institute of Integral Studies, founder of the first accredited graduate studies program in the field, and author of Bone, Breath, and Gesture: Practices of Embodiment and Everyday Hopes, Utopian Dreams: Reflections on American Ideals