Waking The Tiger – By Peter A. Levine

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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. 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. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

Reading books on healing is something that I’m very into right now, so I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this book.

Waking the Tiger is an interesting collection of ideas about trauma and healing. And while I was able to gather some insight, this book was definitely not my favorite. I’ll go briefly into what I did and didn’t like.

What I really liked that the author encourages the reader to consider going to therapy. I think it’s super important for people who talk about healing to be positive about therapy. I also felt like Levine had a lot of great imagery surrounding what it was like to live a life with trauma. I learned a lot from the first few chapters for sure. There were some exercises in the book that I thought would be good to go over with my therapist.

There was some stuff that I didn’t like about this book. Levine is a little bit rambly and I didn’t end up reading the entire book.  I really didn’t like Levine’s graphic stories of trauma, it was traumatic to say the least. So definite trigger warnings for violence and death in this book. I was also unsure about the author’s talk about Shamanism. A lot of people from his generation loved shamanism but they couldn’t eradicate the word primitive from their dictionary.  In what I read he never crossed the line, but again I didn’t read the whole book.

Overall, Healing the Tiger was not the most helpful but I did find a few things that I liked. In the end I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.

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