Alej's Picks - ☼ Psychology / Therapy ☼
My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies (Paperback)
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This book has been wildly popular and has been read by a wide variety of people from varying backgrounds and disciplines. I have to say, as a clinician in training, I don't recommend this book for the unseasoned pedestrian who has not addressed their own traumas or difficult experiences or any individuals who would have a challenging or triggering time reading about violence. Bessel van der Kolk is explicit as he describes the trauma of his patients, ranging from children to teens to adults. There are themes and descriptions of war, sexual violence, incest, battery, and neglect. The best parts of the book are when neuroscience is discussed and when we really look at the affects of trauma on the brain, and how the brain redirects messaging to the body and how the body is influenced and damaged by the trauma. The responses to trauma are vast, complex, and everyone responds differently. The common fact that is the most important for healing is this: you must feel safe in the present, in your environment, and safe to feel the way your body is handling the trauma in order to begin healing. This book could have been much shorter than it is, as van der Kolk takes much space to reiterate himself throughout. Nonetheless, the research is incredibly important. If you're not ready to dive into this book, because it may cause more harm than good, there are resources online that can be helpful. He talks about attachment theory, which could be a good first place to reflect, as well as the plasticity of the mind and neuroscience. Trauma-informed therapy is on the rise and may also be helpful to read about. You can learn about these things without having to read the very descriptive trauma Bessel van der Kolk's patients endured. Much love for this, but I want to emphasize that it is not necessary for beginning your healing journey.