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Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma Paperback – Jul 7 1997


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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
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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 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"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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8 of 8 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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6 of 6 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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5 of 5 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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Format: Paperback
...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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Format: Paperback
I give this book five stars for two key points, one of which I almost missed near the end of the book and in a single sentence. The first winning point is his criticizm of how we treat people who are traumatized. We leave them alone, thinking they just need time. Time does not, as we are taught, heal all wounds and many of us have waited decades for that misconception to kick in and become real. First Aid for trauma is crucial. If you think you or someone in your family might encounter trauma at least once in their life, you might want to be prepared to help. This book will teach you much about trauma.
The second winning point states simply that our memories were never intended for reliving and recalling trauma ad infinitum. I had to stop wonder what I was taught about memory. Does this sound familiar: "Don't make me remind you again or I'll give you something you'll never forget!"? Mix that with the pressure in school to remember stuff for testing and grades leading to success or failure before the whole world. How many of us developed memory skills in fear? It's little wonder our brains can incubate a memory that can become strong enough to just take over... bigger than godzilla! That insight deserves 5 stars because I then realized that I have a brain as I have a foot, but I am more than a collection of parts and bigger than any one of them that isn't working properly. This book quietly flipped a switch and the light bulb came on so I could see that my poor brain was killing itself trying to perfectly remember events that the rest of me would like to forget. I give my brain an E for effort, but I am retraining it now; and I can say, "thanks, brain, but no thanks. I'm too busy too think about that right now. And you don't have to remember this to remind me later, either because I have a better idea. Want to hear it?"
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