An Autobiography of Trauma: A Healing Journey (Paperback)

An Autobiography of Trauma: A Healing Journey By Peter A. Levine Cover Image
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An intimate memoir from Peter Levine, renowned developer of Somatic Experiencing and bestselling author of Waking the Tiger

• Shares the author’s personal journey to heal his severe childhood trauma as well as his breakthroughs on the path to create Somatic Experiencing

• Explores how he came to view Einstein as his personal spirit guide and mentor, only to discover a profound real-life connection to him through his mother

• Explains how the SE method is derived from the author’s studies of animals in their natural environments, neurobiology, and 50 years of clinical observations

In this intimate memoir, renowned developer of Somatic Experiencing, Peter A. Levine—the man who changed the way psychologists, doctors, and healers understand and treat the wounds of trauma and abuse—shares his personal journey to heal his own severe childhood trauma and offers profound insights into the evolution of his innovative healing method.

Casting himself as a modern-day Chiron, the wounded healer of Greek mythology, Levine describes, in graphic detail, the violence of his childhood juxtaposed with specific happy memories and how being guided through Somatic Experiencing (SE) allowed him to illuminate and untangle his traumatic wounds. He also shares the mysterious and unexpected dreams and visions that have guided him through his life’s work, including his dreamlike visitations from Albert Einstein, whom he views as his personal spirit guide and mentor.

Explaining how he helped thousands of others before resolving his own trauma, he details how the SE method is derived from his studies of wild animals in their natural environments, neurobiology, and more than 50 years of clinical observations. Levine teaches us that anyone suffering from trauma has a valuable story to tell, and that by telling our stories, we can catalyze the return of hope, dignity, and wholeness.

About the Author

Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., is the renowned developer of Somatic Experiencing. He holds a doctorate in Medical and Biological Physics from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in Psychology from International University. The recipient of four lifetime achievement awards, he is the author of several books, including Waking the Tiger, which has now been printed in 33 countries and has sold over a million copies.

Praise For…

“This book is a peek behind the curtain of one of the greatest leaders of our time in the fields of spirituality and psychology. An Autobiography of Trauma is a powerfully transparent, knowledge-drenched, and generous invitation into the personal world of a man who birthed one of the most impactful models of trauma healing of all time. I felt giddy beholding his story of emergence, persistence, resilience, and leadership. This book moved me to apply Peter’s awareness and perception to my own ongoing and deepening personal practice of returning to wholeness. Peter’s work fosters healing, cohesion, and a ‘coming home’ to who we were each born to be.”
— Alanis Morissette, artist, activist, and wholeness advocate

“Peter Levine is a wise and kind pioneer of somatic therapies who has been a beacon for clinicians all over the world for understanding and dealing with the physical imprints of traumatic stress.”
— Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., author of The Body Keeps the Score

“A valedictory ode to humanity penned by one of the seminal trauma pioneers and master healers of the past half century, this book is the account of a remarkable soul journey from searing pain to joy, from self-hatred to selflove. Its every page is infused with poetic eloquence, dramatic story-telling, unsparing honesty, and touching vulnerability. Prepare to be enchanted and to be instructed and, above all, prepare to be moved.”
— Gabor Maté, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and

“A brave, self-revealing memoir of a man and his journey into wholeness. Levine intimately recounts the traumas and experiences that helped shape his legacy.”
— Mark Wolynn, author of It Didn’t Start with You

“This intimate and authentic memoir by Peter Levine, the developer of Somatic Experiencing, may serve as inspiration for all of us in our healing journeys.”
— Esther Perel, New York Times bestselling author of The State of Affairs

“I was so deeply touched by Peter Levine’s story of facing severe violence and trauma as a child and how he transformed these wounds, restoring psyche, body, and soul. I am moved by his grace and authenticity in how he used his own deep wounding to help countless people around the world to heal from their wounds. After the first page, I could not put the book down as I accompanied him, as Chiron the wounded healer, on his healing journey. What I also found fascinating was his ‘conversations’ with Albert Einstein as an inner ‘spirit guide,’ a virtual mentor on his quest for knowledge, wisdom, wholeness, and connection.”
— Dr. Edith Eva Eger, New York Times bestselling author of The Choice: Embrace the Possible and The Gi

“Peter Levine’s vulnerable sharing of his own attachment and bodily assaults to well-being in this painful yet illuminating set of reflections reveals the inner workings of his psyche—soul, spirit, and mind—and a glimpse of the impact of both the inner and outer mentors that have guided him during various life stages. The raw human realities offered to us here may be triggering for some, yet they may also serve as an example of intellectual inspiration and courage. In these pages we see a journey to challenge dogma, to be open to the limitations of empirical linear science, and to see the liberations of a systems view of emergence and the importance of the body in healing. It is this openness to being a conduit of life’s truths that can empower us all to embrace the fullness of life even in its most difficult moments.”
— Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Aware

“This book is a powerful vehicle for a heroic narrative. True to the title, An Autobiography of Trauma, Levine provides the reader with an unfiltered glimpse into his personal traumas and his journey of healing. As the preeminent trauma therapist, it may not be surprising that his life was greatly influenced by adversity. Clearly his passion to reduce the burden of pain and suffering in others, and especially the consequences of childhood adversity, finds root in his own history. However, as Peter tells his story, we are privileged to see how he heroically repurposed the insights he gained through his own experiences to go well beyond a journey of self-healing to develop treatment models that are literally changing the world through their powerful positive impact on humanity. In this book we get to meet the bold, intuitive visionary who courageously convinced the mental health community of the important role that the body plays in experiencing the impact of trauma, both in expression and in serving as a welcoming, but often reluctant, partner in a journey of healing.”
— Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., originator of the polyvagal theory and author of The Pocket Guide to the P

“Peter Levine’s autobiography explores the depths of his untold trauma story. The vulnerability he shares will help readers understand why he took the path toward being an accomplished healer. I believe his new book will inspire others to share their stories and find a place of wholeness.”
— Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D., author of The Power of Attachment

“A kaleidoscopic personal quest for sexual healing. An Autobiography of Trauma is beautifully written with smooth transitions between a myriad of shifting facets. At times this book is heartbreakingly painful and personal. It’s also highly scientific, informative, and intellectual, highlighting the influence of Eros in letting go and ecstatic expansion while maintaining conscious awareness. Brilliant, breathtaking, and masterful.
— Diana Richardson, author of Tantric Sex for Lovers, a 3-volume boxed set

“We always want to know who the man or woman is behind the model, but too often their memoirs are promo pieces. In contrast, in this remarkable book, Peter Levine courageously reveals his own severe childhood trauma history, his consequent struggles to find intimacy, and how much connecting to the divine influenced his work and life. Somatic Experiencing is a powerful approach to healing trauma, and I’m so glad Peter is sharing the fascinating backstory to its development and to his healing journey. I was particularly touched by the chapters on sexuality and expect they will help people be more honest and open with themselves and others about this delicate and tender topic.”
— Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D., founder of Internal Family Systems

“An inspiring journey of trauma and triumph. A uniting of science and shamanism in transforming trauma and restoring wholeness.”
— Joachim Bauer, M.D., professor of medicine and neuroscience, University of Freiburg and Internationa

Product Details
ISBN: 9798888500767
Publisher: Park Street Press
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 200
Language: English