In An Unspoken Voice by Peter Levine
This book is a game changer in the field of trauma treatment. Like Bessel van de Kolk’s book that I also blogged about recently, Peter Levine’s latest work, In An Unspoken Voice is marvelous. His work has touched and influenced mine on so many levels.
In the opening paragraphs of his book he writes about the power of a safe presence in times of trauma. He has been hit by a car in a cross walk and a kind stranger appears, gentle and grounded, and holds his hand, sustaining him through the traumatic experience of waiting for the ambulance to arrive, not knowing how seriously he may be injured. His words are clear, “I feel emotionally held by her encouraging presence.” Echoing Stephen Porge’s theories on how one must feel safe to heal trauma, Peter recounts how this safe connection allows him to release the trauma from his body shaking it off layer by layer. He teaches us how he utilized what he knew about PTSD to figure out that he was going to be alright after the accident.
This book is a must read for all those working with trauma. He covers so many aspects of how trauma works in our nervous systems. I especially like the later chapters where he writes about The Embodied Self and Trauma and Spirituality.