The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships


Product Details

W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.2 X 9.3 inches | 1.63 pounds

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About the Author

Bonnie Badenoch, MA, LMFT, is a marriage and family therapist. mentor, and speaker. She is executive director of the nonprofit Nurturing the Heart with the Brain in Mind in Vancouver, WA, offering support to those in the healthcare professions through year-long immersion trainings in interpersonal neurobiology.
Stephen W. Porges, PhD, is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he directs the Trauma Research Center within the Kinsey Institute. He holds the position of Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of both the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including anaesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. In 1994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders. In 2018, Dr. Porges received the Pioneer Award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy.


Throughout this book, Bonnie Badenoch demonstrates how research in neuroscience helps us to find effective ways to heal from the damaging effects of trauma in our lives. Every few pages she invites us to pause to meditate on our own experience and understanding of the guiding principles of healing being explored. Adding to the overall quality and effectiveness of this book is the atmospheric quality of compassion that invites us to experience the healing power of learning to being tender-hearted toward ourselves and others in the midst of our difficulties. The process of neuroscience, expanding into personal experience, expanding into compassionate love, expands into an open-ended invitation for us to ponder the spiritual depths in which we as human beings seek to find the ultimate meaning of our lives.--James Finley, PhD, author of The Contemplative Heart and Merton's Palace of Nowhere
Badenoch's book guides us in how to use neuroscience for deepening our relational capacity with ourselves and others. In this exciting book, Badenoch uniquely captures the poetry of neuroscience and makes a compelling case for the relational responses in trauma and recovery. She integrates the latest neuroscience, supporting our left-brain comprehension. Using this left-brain research can support greater deepening in our right-brain, relational-functioning; vital in our current unbalanced left-shifted culture and in mitigating and healing traumas.--Susan Gantt, PhD, Director, Systemics-Centered Training and Research Institute, Emerita Faculty, Emory University School of Medicine
Bonnie Badenoch's mastery of nonjudgmental presence and her honoring of the sacredness and depth of heart in each person create a profound safety and tenderness that foster deep healing from trauma. With extensive grounding in neurobiology, her book will be a guiding inspiration to therapists who focus their work on providing a nurturing, life-changing relationship experience for clients.--Robin Ticic, HP Psychotherapy (Germany), co-author of Unlocking the Emotional Brain
Deepening our understanding of the inherent desire for connection, our capacity to experience the traumatic events that disrupt it, and the relational presence that heals it, Badenoch's book should be required reading for all therapists.