Book Club: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk

PSCSW Clinical Book Discussion Program presents:

Clinical Title: Healing from Trauma: The Ethical Considerations of Putting the Pieces Together

Book Title: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk
Presenters: Sylvia Gentry, MSW, LCSW, BCD and Deborah D. Shain, MSS, LCSW, BCD
Date:     Sunday, January 19th, 2019
Time:     11am-2pm | 3 CEUs (Please arrive by 10:30 for refreshments and conversation)
Place:  Lansdowne, PA (detailed address provided after registration)

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk is based on the author's 30 years of trauma research and treatment. Van der Kolk states that though humans may be resilient, trauma is one of the most urgent public health issues. Its effects on mental and physical health, include employment, education, crime, relationships, domestic or family abuse, alcoholism, delinquency, and drug addiction.  He states that though we would like to “live in a world that is safe, manageable, and predictable, trauma survivors remind us that this is not always the case.”  An individual person’s trauma and a culture’s trauma manifests itself in the body. For example, the author and his treatment team found that female incest survivors exhibit abnormalities in their immune cells, exposing them to autoimmune diseases.

Case studies of Vietnam veterans who committed war atrocities, incest survivors, and broken adults who were terrorized as children or shunted between foster homes allow Van der Kolk to cite hundreds of studies to back up his claim that “the body keeps the score”. Not only do extreme experiences linger; family disturbance or generalized neglect can wire children to be on high alert, their stressed bodies tuned to fight or flight. Or they may become so “numbed out” by keeping their demons at bay that they can’t engage with life’s pleasures nor can they protect themselves from future trauma. Van der Kolk demonstrates that with a combination of 1) talk therapy, 2) medication and, 3) bodywork , art, and/or neuro-feedback treatment, victims can recover from trauma and transform their experiences into “a bad memory”. In addition to exploring trauma treatment, Van der Kolk criticizes the common practice of dealing with symptoms rather than addressing causes. Stories of the trauma struggles, treatment options, the resilience of Van der Kolk’s patients and suggestions for the prevention of trauma moves the reader from despair to a hopeful outcome

Clinical Objectives: By reading this book and participating in the discussion, attendees will:

  1. Recognize trauma and its effects on the body of a survivor and its impact on the survivor’s life-choices.
  2.  Explore various treatment modalities for survivors of trauma
  3. Operationalize methods of preventing trauma as a necessary component of the ethical Clinical Social Work practice.

 About the Presenters:

Sylvia Gentry, MSSW, LCDW, received her MSSW from the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work. She has been Director of Campus Services at The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, Director of Clinical Services and Case Management at Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, as well as an Adjunct faculty member at Edgecliff College and the University of Cincinnati. After moving to Philadelphia 13 years ago, she worked for the Bucks County Behavioral Health System as an Adult Services Specialist. She had a part time private practice in Cincinnati, and continues to supervise people for licensure, as well as consultation. She is a member of the PSCSW Professional Standards, Ethics, and Licensing Committee.

Deborah D. Shain, MSS, LCSW, BCD is a Board member of PSCSW and as the Chair of the PSCSW Professional Standards, Ethics, and Licensing Committee, she provides free ethics consults to members of PSCSW. She is the author of “Study Skills and Test-Taking Strategies for Medical Students, is an Education Coach, Supervisor, Clinical Consultant, and has a private practice in Elkins Park.  She earned her graduate degree in Clinical Social Work from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, where she became an adjunct member of the faculty. At Drexel University Medical School, she teaches methods of history-taking and clinical communication skills to psychiatry residents grades PGY 2, 3, and 4. Ms. Shain was an adjunct professor at Cabrini College where she taught Crisis Intervention and Group Dynamics.

This is a PSCSW Members-Only Event. Participants who attend this program must be present for its entirety in order to get the continuing education credits.
: No charge for PSCSW Members to attend. There is a $10 fee for anyone wishing a CE certificate.
Cancellation Policy: There is a $5 non-refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program. No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours’ notice is given for this program.

Continuing Education Credits:
FOR PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS: This program is approved for credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for ethics credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).

FOR NEW JERSEY SOCIAL WORKERS: This program is approved for clinical or ethics credits. Attendance at programs or courses given at state and national social work association conferences, where the criteria for membership is an academic degree in social work, are a valid source of continuing education credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)4).

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  •  January 19, 2020
     11:00 am - 2:00 pm
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