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Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma Paperback – Jul 7 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 1 edition (July 7 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155643233X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556432330
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2 x 22.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4 2004
Format: Paperback
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1 2004
Format: Paperback
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20 2004
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 7 2003
Format: Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ariel Giarretto MS, LMFT on May 25 2001
Format: Paperback
I just logged on to order yet another copy of "Waking the Tiger", a thoroughly invaluable book which I am constantly recommending to friends, colleagues and clients. This groundbreaking book that has permanently altered the way I approach therapy, trauma, and the body. "Waking the Tiger" completes an essential piece that has been missing in therapeutic and medical practices, namely that trauma is not in the event or the story, but in the nervous system. Dr Levine, through his research and vast clinical experience, has discovered how so many common physical ailments and so-called medically untreatable syndromes are actually residues of thwarted trauma reactions incurred during routine surgical procedures, falls, perinatal stress and other childhood accidents and traumas. He shows us how the body has a natural and innate, and seemingly miraculous, capacity to heal once these reactions are understood and guided. It is a very exciting and empowering book, and offers new hope and common sense explanations to people who have up to this time been unable to understand their symptoms or to find relief.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. Row on Sept. 23 2003
Format: Paperback
After suffering a major life threatening illness several years ago, I've struggled with chronic pain that lasts every day, all day. I've literally seen EVERY specialist, every test conceivable to diagnose let alone treat my pain. I've been left with the conclusion that an inner, holistic manner is the only thing left to treat the pain, because drug treatment leaves me basically in a state better left to those in hospice and who have given up.
Dr. Levine has 30 years experience in dealing with patients suffering severe pain and the overiding factor that the pain interferes with even the most simple aspect of living a normal life.
Waking the Tiger presents case studies that are representative of how pain affects us. Levine gives simple exercises to help break through the web of pain so that we can go about enjoying life again.
I can't just recommend going out and buying this workbook and all your problems and pain will be gone by the time you finish reading it. But it does give you faith in the inner strength we all have to control our pain in conjunction with other treatment. And believe it or not, that inner strength MAY be enough to make the difference between needing to be doped up all the time, not being able to enjoy life.
I recommend Dr Levine's material. I'm not pain free and never will be but I am better because of it.
John Row
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