Life of Bessel van der Kolk

  • Birth in the Netherlands

  • Graduated University of Hawaii

    Studied pre-medical with political science major
  • M.D. from University of Chicago

  • Completed Psychiatric Residency at Harvard Medical School

  • Became Director of Boston State Hospital

  • Developed Interest in Traumatic Stress

    As a psychiatrist at the Boston Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic, he became interested in traumatic stress.
  • DSM Research Assistant

    DSM = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  • Started the Trauma Center in Brookline MA

  • Published "Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Psychological and Biological Sequelae"

  • Published "Psychological Trauma"

  • Began Directing the Annual Boston International Trauma Conference

  • Published "Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on the Mind, Body, and Society," with McFarlane and Weisaeth

  • Created the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

  • Published "The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma"

    This book is still a best seller in 2023
  • Terminated from the Justice Resources Institue; Sued them for misrepresentation and defamation and won

  • Founded the Trauma Research Foundation as a non-profit with funds won from the Justice Resource Institute

  • His National Child Traumatic Stress Network had grown to 150 sites