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Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma Paperback – July 7, 1997
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"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.”
From the Back Cover
Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity to heal as well as an intellectual spirit to harness this innate capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question - why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed. Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them.
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I have major problems with Levine's general approach in this book. He presents dubious stories and anecdotes as if they were scientific evidence (all supporting his theory, of course), and his language is often inaccurate. To me, this book is just another product from the huge industry that thrives on other people's suffering, promising release but delivering nothing.
Before you order this book, (or any book on trauma) you should be aware that most people who profess "professional ability to address and cure trauma" have apparently never really been a true victims of serious and/or complex trauma and apparently don't understand certain key elements of how SEVERE trauma and abuse affects individuals, as well as their community, workplace and families. The few examples Levine offers are extremely limited examples and seem to be part of a marketing objectives for his trademark invention of "somatic experiencing"...think he'll treat you for free without some sort of financial compensation?
I will give him some credit for recognizing some aspects of the body and mind's innate natural responses as an aid to cure itself through its own accord, but he fails to exemplify or recognize that healing comes in varying degrees of personal capability, but this isn't anything new...it's what the body and mind does on its own through time, and especially with personal effort and awareness and a keen willingness to escape continued abuses and trauma! Levine's approach to "ignoring memory", stating that memory is even "false", is something that needs to be seriously considered, as memory is what often saves us from being victimized in the future by similar or repeated circumstances.
This book seriously fails to recognize that certain people in life are inherently in a vulnerable position to begin with; (i.e. elderly people or foster children with no family, single property owners living next to abusive/dangerous/harassing and/or criminal neighbors, psychiatric and/or medical patients dependent on caregivers whose doctors seem to enjoy the facilitation of keeping them drugged to bypass deeper issues that could otherwise be resolved, but keep the financial wheels of the machine turning...and even worse, individuals whose families with powerful political and legal ties have victimized a family member through scapegoating, legal and financial malfeasance, even turning their backs on a particular family member they may have singled out and abused intentionally, while using him/her as a scapegoat for their own selfish, criminal agendas. Levine's book fails to address those aspects of even more serious or complex related trauma resulting from those types of victimizations through generally "uncontrollable" circumstances that cause horrible trauma on victims!
It seems that this book addresses the more mundane types of trauma as with auto accidents or situations one CAN take measures to more easily prevent. He certainly overlooks some important key factors of the importance of memory and specific strategies for avoiding future abuses. Certainly the industry doesn't want you to know that you won't be treated or "cured", unless they are financially compensated for their efforts, and most can't or won't even address the deeper interrelated problems connected with continued abuses in the legal and justice systems, financial markets and businesses, government and political abuses of everyday life!
Failing to bring to light these other aspects of abuse and potential for "preventing or healing them" is a serious flaw of this book. I think Levine needs to do much more research in this area before writing another book that can actually help those in such situations.
This book does not adequately address situations where you are forced to live in dangerous conditions or address dangerous living conditions, such as bad neighborhoods, disaster prone areas, violent and manipulative agendas with political, legal and social problems that face society everyday that continue to be the root of trauma that is being completely ignored by professionals, including corruptions of law enforcement and the justice systems that fail to address root causes of trauma, abuse and violence that actual increase the adverse effects of related trauma! These are serious aspects of serious abuse issues in our society that are unfortunately being overlooked and/or ignored by policy makers, as well as "therapists." The latest legal, political, legal and psychological catchphrases of "spousal abuse", "child abuse", and others at least address some family issues, have some legal recourse, but what about political, legal, medical, financial, and justice system abuses? If your lawyer is screwing you, do you think your therapist will really tell you the truth of the political situation of the legal system, even if he/she is aware of it? It's doubtful! Most will claim they can't give you "legal advice."
The only way this author could ever change my opinion after my extensive experiences with severe trauma, abuse, and serious corruption that has facilitated public illusions that I have witnessed in the mental health fields, legal fields, law enforcement fields, medical fields and many other professional fields bombarded with rampant and latent corruption, is for this author to address those absolute traumas perpetuated by those responsible, contributing entities, factors and root causes of trauma induced intentional victimization that Levine horribly fails to confront in this book. I personally know what kind of guts it takes to be willing to be hated for the truth...
It makes me wonder if the "rave reviews" aren't the undertakings of fellow members of academia, or if they are from those who are not fully capable of addressing abuse, absent of self-serving agendas.