Bessel A. van der Kolk
- Description: Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D. has been the Medical Director of The Trauma Center in Boston for the past 30 years. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School and serves as the Director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Complex Trauma Network. He is past President of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Though he identifies himself primarily as a clinician, he has published well over 100 peer reviewed scientific articles on various aspects of trauma, including his current projects: 1) yoga for treating PTSD, funded by the National Institutes of Health; 2) the use of theater for violence prevention in the Boston public schools, funded by the CDC; 3) the mechanisms of EMDR; 4) sensory integration; and 5) the use of neurofeedback in PTSD.
He participated in the first neuroimaging study of PTSD, in the first study to link Borderline Personality Disorder with childhood trauma; was co-principal investigator of the DSM IV Field Trial for PTSD and is chair of the NCTSN DSM V workgroup on Developmental Trauma Disorder. He has written extensively about using neuroscience research to identify appropriate treatments for PTSD and completed the first NIMH-funded study of EMDR. He has taught at universities and hospitals around the world.