Top 18 Quotes of Peter A. Levine

While studying the effects of accumulated stress on the nervous system, I began to suspect that most organisms have an innate capacity to rebound from threatening and stressful events.

Peter A. Levine

Whether trauma will be a cruel and punishing Gorgon or a vehicle for soaring to the heights of transformation and mastery depends upon how we approach it.

Peter A. Levine

We may forget, or be unaware of, how prevalent it is to be sexually traumatized by events that are generally not thought of as traumatizing.

Peter A. Levine

Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.

Peter A. Levine

Trauma causes us to have an internal experience that is frightening, angry, and shameful. When we feel threatened, as we do when we are traumatized, our entire organism is geared up to find the source of that threat and to do something about it.

Peter A. Levine

Trauma and sexual abuse are two of our most pressing human and societal problems. They must be studied by unbiased scientific investigation rather than polarized by hysteria and politics.

Peter A. Levine

To my parents, Morris and Helen, I give thanks for the gift of life, the vehicle for the expression of my work, and for your continued full and unequivocal support from both sides of the physical plane.

Peter A. Levine

Though suffering and trauma are not identical, the Buddha’s insight into the nature of suffering can provide a powerful mirror for examining the effects of trauma in your life. The Buddha’s basic teaching offers guidance for healing our trauma and recovering a sense of wholeness.

Peter A. Levine

The paradox of trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the power to transform and resurrect.

Peter A. Levine

The effects of unresolved trauma can be devastating. It can affect our habits and outlook on life, leading to addictions and poor decision-making. It can take a toll on our family life and interpersonal relationships. It can trigger real physical pain, symptoms, and disease. And it can lead to a range of self-destructive behaviors.

Peter A. Levine

Now, what happens whenever there’s a loud sound is that it startles us, right? And we arrest what we’re doing, and we try to localize that sound because that sound could be a threat. That’s something that’s hard-wired in our bodies.

Peter A. Levine

My career began somewhat accidentally. In the 1960s, I started a practice in the fledgling field of mind-body healing. Around that time, it was completely in its infancy. I had been developing a protocol to use body awareness as a tool for stress reduction.

Peter A. Levine

In top-down processing, which is normally what we do in psychotherapy, we talk about our problems, our symptoms, or our relationships. And then the therapist often tries to get the client to feel what they’re feeling when they talk about those kinds of things.

Peter A. Levine

If frightening sensations are not given the time and attention they need to move through the body and resolve or dissolve, the individual will continue to be gripped by fear.

Peter A. Levine

I am profoundly indebted to the legacy of Wilhelm Reich, whose monumental contribution to the understanding of energy was taught to me by Philip Curcurruto, a man of simple wisdom and compassionate heart.

Peter A. Levine

I am often asked how I can work with a subject as morbid as trauma without becoming burned out or depressed. My answer to this question is that witnessing the transformation that takes place in people when they master their traumas has proven to be a deeply sustaining and uplifting experience in my life.

Peter A. Levine

Basically, in the fight-or-flight response, the objective is to get away from the source of threat. All of our muscles prepare for this escape by increasing their tension level, our heart rate and respiration increase, and our whole basic metabolic system is flooded with adrenaline.

Peter A. Levine

Abortions can be, and frequently are, traumatizing, as are other invasive surgeries performed to the sexual and internal organs. All or any of these ‘violations’ can cause loss of vitality, diminished capacity for erotic connection and pleasure, and other symptoms of trauma.

Peter A. Levine