Meet Guest Speaker Dr. Bessel van der Kolk & Licia Sky

Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a clinician, researcher, and teacher best known for his work with posttraumatic stress. Active in the field of mental health since the 1970s, he currently serves as Co-Director, Complex Trauma Treatment Network, National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Van der Kolk was born in The Hague in 1943, during a time of strife as German forces occupied the Netherlands. Exposed to trauma from an early age, he grew up in the great Dutch famine, surrounded by Holocaust survivors. His own father had been imprisoned in a Nazi work camp. Van der Kolk describes his mother as cold and unhappy and has also disclosed experiencing abuse at the hands of his father, who was prone to rage. He began traveling as a teenager, at one point considering becoming a monk after staying in a French monastery.

Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a clinical psychiatrist whose work integrates mind, brain, body, and social connections to understand and treat trauma. His research ranges from the impact of trauma on development and brain imaging to the use of yoga, neurofeedback, EMDR, and theater for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Bessel is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston. Bessel is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles and several books including the New York Times best-seller The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.


Licia Sky

Licia Sky, LMT, BFA will guide participants through guided focused exercises which integrate music, movement, vocalizing, enhanced noticing, listening, and touch, to foster safe, transformative inner and interpersonal connection.   Her methods are informed by over 25 years as an artist, musician, bodywork therapist, yoga practitioner, and dancer; and integrate poly-vagal theory, parts work, and the latest research on trauma and the body.