Clare Myatt, somatic, coaching, somatic coaching, psychotherapy, London, trauma, Dr. Bessell van der Kolk

Dr. Bessell van der Kolk was one of the first trauma experts who made sense to me. Here’s a piece I wrote last year about the experience of attending one of his lectures in 1998:


I am speechless, horrified, pinned motionless in my chair. Grainy images of emaciated men appear on the screen in sepia tones. They jerk as if possessed, limbs flying uncontrollably. There is no sound yet mouths shape, screaming in terror. Male attendants attempt to steer them. A hopeless task.

Groans in the audience become audible, repelled by the visual onslaught. Someone stands and says before exiting “I don’t want to see this, it’s too awful.” My neighbour murmurs “Oh God, I’ll have nightmares for weeks.”

The unmistakable suffering of these World War One veterans is visceral. I am appalled, shaken, not breathing. If merely witnessing a tiny slice of the aftermath creates such distress, I dare not think what those poor men endured. It’s intolerable.

Attending “Treating PTSD” with Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., San Francisco, 1998
© Clare Myatt 2014, published in Coachlines

A recent (brief) interview is reported via this link, well worth reading if you’re new to the world of trauma and want to understand more about its origins and grip through life.…

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