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Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma [Paperback]

Peter A. Levine Ph.D. , Ann Frederick
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 7 1997
Nature's Lessons in Healing Trauma...

Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.

Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.

Frequently Bought Together

Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma + In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness + Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body
Price For All Three: CDN$ 43.74

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Product Description


"Every life contains difficulties we are not prepared for. Read, learn, and be prepared for life and healing."
—Bernard S. Siegal, M.D., Author of Love, Medicine & Miracles and Peace, Love, and Healing

"Fascinating! Amazing! A revolutionary exploration of the effects and causes of trauma."
—Mira Rothenberg, Director Emeritus of Blueberry Treatment Centers for Disturbed Children, Author of Children With Emerald Eyes

"It is a most important book. Quite possibly a work of genius."
—Ron Kurtz, Author of Body Reveals and Body-Centered Psychotherapy

"Levine effectively argues that the body is healer and that psychological scars of trauma are reversible—but only if we listen to the voices of our body." 
—Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development and Psychology, University of Maryland
"A vital contribution to the exciting emerging science of mind/body interaction in the treatment of disease."
—Robert C. Scaer, M.D., Neurology, Medical Director, Rehabilitation Services, Boulder Community Hospital

"Peter Levine’s work is visionary common sense, pure and simple."
—Laura Huxley, lifetime partner and collaborator of Aldous Huxley
“[Waking the Tiger] is an excellent resource for those who have been traumatized or know someone who suffers from trauma, like a soldier returning from war. Finally, there is help that doesn’t ask us to relive what happened and re-experience the pain. Instead, it follows the body’s wisdom in its search for renewal and healing.”
Soaring Again

About the Author

Peter Levine, Ph.D. is the originator and developer of Somatic Experiencing® and the Director of the Foundation for Human Enrichment. He holds doctorate degrees in both Medical Biophysics and Psychology. During his thirty year study of stress and trauma, Dr. Levine has contributed to a variety of scientific, medical, and popular publications. His book, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma is in its fifth printing and receiving wide international attention. Peter was a consultant for NASA during the development of the Space Shuttle, and has taught at hospitals and pain clinics in both Europe and the U.S., as well as at the Hopi Guidance Center in Arizona. He lives near Lyons, Colorado, on the banks of the St. Vrain River.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much needed March 4 2004
By A Customer
I purchased this book (along with a few others on the subject) initially because I was interested in the topic.
Not a medical person or psychiatrist of any sort, I just thought it was something that I would enjoy looking into. For those that know how the subconscious works, you'll appreciate the fact that I discovered that I was a victim of PTSD while delving into the subject.
It was as if the universe was trying to tell me something. All I can say is that it opened my eyes and changed my life in ways I never knew possible.
For those interested in fiction dealing with a topic along these lines (and also Dissociative Identity Disorder) I would recommend reading a book called "Bark of the Dogwood" by Jackson McCrae. It's an intricate study of PTSD, child abuse, dysfunction, and a little of everything else, and packs quite a wallop. And it's actually quite funny in places--probably the ONLY book I know of about child abuse that has a bright side.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book March 1 2004
By A Customer
This is a very good, excellent resource for those wanting to make the step forward on the healing path. It certainly covers a broud range of lessons. Ranks right up there with books such as NIGHTMARES ECHO and LOST BOY. Teaches the victim how to become a survivor. Excellent Excellent Book I would recommend for everyone to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh insights May 20 2004
By A Customer
This is a well written book that provides a different perspective on how to work with traumatic experiences. As one who has always "lived in my head" to get through not only the trauma is it occurred, but also as I work through the aftermath, this book provided good insight into WHY I needed to include a physical aspect to my healing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great New Thinking About Healing Trauma Nov. 9 1997
By A Customer
This is a fantastic book because it clarifies what we go through during trauma and how we can continue the process instead of stopping it. Once we stop it, as we humans like to do, stop the emotions, we stop the process of healing. The authors help us to understand that we can release energy that otherwise gets "stuck" within us and benefit from that release. Letting go, for some of us, is a good lesson for life.
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By A Customer
This book will seem somewhat vague at first, but it will sink in better if you re-read it several times, especially the later sections. Levine and Frederick capture the essence of post-traumatic stress; your whole body is perpetually reliving the traumatic experience(s) and triggering distorted thinking, feeling, and behavior that otherwise make no sense. Levine's hook is to compare human trauma reactions to animal reactions. This gives him a model to break down the blocked cycle of somatic and mental reactions into pieces: hyperarousal, constricted consciousness - sometimes wrongly called "repression" - dissociation, and helplessness in and/or avoidance of triggering situations. Like all good psychology books, it also makes useful analogies and comparisons so that non-sufferers can get a glimpse of what it's like.
I recommend this book together with Babette Rothschild's The Body Remembers. That book is aimed at a medical/clinical audience, not at patients, but it carries the same message in a different way: the frozen, endlessly repeated body reactions are the lever to freeing the patient. It's like an alarm that was never shut off. The feelings, thoughts, and memories will follow. This approach entirely circumvents the sterile "false memory" controversy and quasi-Freudian approaches that use catharsis and abreaction - these methods make the PTSD reactions worse, while distorting the patient's memories and feelings further.
The key is to DE-sensitize the patient, not to recycle the original trauma. Desensitization not only defuses the trauma, it allows the patient to remember the event(s) more accurately. If the trauma is not defused, the patient cannot remember properly. Accurately remembering is a byproduct of successful treatment, NOT the starting point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A redeeming message for trauma survivors March 7 2003
...I found "Waking the Tiger" an engrossing approach to the problem of how trauma creates damaging and often enduring symptoms. Dr. Levine's concept of the "freeze response" in the face of overwhelming threat provides a missing link to symptoms such as dissociation that our old ideas of "fight or flight" fail to explain.
Even more important to trauma survivors and their therapists is the redeeming message that immobilization in the face of threat is an automatic biological response that is not voluntarily chosen by the victim. This was vividly portrayed in an episode of the TV series "Cagney and Lacey" in which Cagney, a tough and well-trained police officer, becomes the victim of a rape and later struggles with the helplessness she experienced while it was occurring. The January 2003 issue of Clinical Psychiatry News reported that an overwhelming majority of victims of sexual assault describe a moderate or high level of paralysis occurring during the assault, consistent with Dr. Levine's observations. The "freeze response" is also addressed in an article on fear in the March 2003 issue of Discover magazine.
Dr. Levine also provides an astute protrayal of the nature of memory by acknowledging that memories are not literal recordings of events but a complex of images that are influenced by arousal, emotional context, and prior experience. Like a painting, memories may even transform over time as new experiences add layers of meaning to the images. While remembering the past can be an important aspect of therapy, appreciating the subjective quality of memories is crucial to integrating them appropriately into the healing process.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
Peter Levine's book "Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma" is insightful and directly applicable to addressing "trauma". Read more
Published 4 months ago by una
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !
I found Peter Levine's information about trauma so informative, helpful and interesting due to PTSD in my own life that it put me onto further in depth research. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dalana
4.0 out of 5 stars why more ??
I do not mind giving feed back , however some times the stars are all that is necessary, and it would seem are quite self explanatory
Published 8 months ago by judith Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I am in therapy right now and my therapist uses his techniques in Healing Trauma, which is a condensation of Jo's theory and practice. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Shelby
3.0 out of 5 stars This book was ordered as a gift and I haven't discussed the book with...
Walking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
It was a gift and I was very impressed at how quickly the book arrived.
Published 18 months ago by Larry Jeffery
4.0 out of 5 stars Walking Tiger, Interesting Read
Received product quickly and in "like new", shape. Gotten through part of the book. Interesting read. Can open your eyes to a few unexpected things. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2012 by Wes
1.0 out of 5 stars Psychobabble
Rambling, poorly written and anecdotal. Many of the hypothesis anthropomorphised animals. I grew up on a farm and I have seen animals retain and 'hold' their trauma's for... Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2010 by Ann Noymus
5.0 out of 5 stars Promising is right
Too often I get pulled into buy a book, especially a self-help one, for all the wrong reasons. Not so with WAKING THE TIGER. Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful insight
What a wonderfully honest book! It shares the heartbreak of what rape does to the human soul. I also highly recommend reading Peaceful Heart: A Woman's Journey of Healing, by Aimee... Read more
Published on April 8 2004 by Laura mathews
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