I don't think it's an overstatement to say that this one of of the most important books of this century. Certainly for people who have opened themselves to the developing worlds of voice science, sports/body science, and neuroscience, Bessel Van Der Kolk's research, insight, and profound practical life experience as heard in these pages serves as a beacon for the influence that these new fields of study offer. His primary topic focuses on people who have experienced deep trauma ("Big T" trauma, as we've begun to call it). With little effort, however, a reader can see that the mental and emotional challenges that effect people who are living with "Big T" trauma, occupy similar spheres to those who are not. Everyone has important things to learn from how those who experience tragedy find ways to live fully. The voice world, in particular, is full of enough "Big T" and "little t" trauma to complete an encyclopedia set. On the topic of trauma itself, Van Der Kolk helps the reader find immediate and deep compassion for people who have experienced excruciating life situations. In often just a few sentences, he is able to capture overwhelming emotion, and engage the reader in story after story of people who have found meaningful realignment of their minds and bodies such that they can live a more fruitful life free from inner torment. Since statistically so many people in the world suffer from this "Big T" trauma, this book is essential for the compassion that it generates in its readers, particularly those who will be helping people to guide their voices and identities through voicing. The second important reason that this book holds place as essential reading revolves around his measured and clear explanation of body-centered, mind-engaging treatments for trauma. Treating trauma has been a long-standing challenge for the medical profession, and, their record includes more failure than success. Van Der Kolk shows through practical experience and research how approaching the brain through the body has power, and how that power overshadows every attempt at "take two of these and call me in the morning." All of life, he suggests, is a process that requires meaningful, compassionate engagement. For the voice world, this message remains our abiding truth. For all that voice science tells about muscles and acoustics, the brain/body connection has always and will always be the intersection of greatest yield. Like "Big T" trauma survivors, vocalists who spend their time honing brain/body connections that help to sharpen access to emotion, neuron chains, and focused brain activity are vocalists who find the combined success of technique and joyful engagement with their art. Mostly, though, page after page, Van Der Kolk invites the reader to dream through his deeply creative, artistic prose. "Imagination" he tells us in the first chapter, "gives us the opportunity to envision new possibilities–it is an essential launchpad for making our hopes come true. It fires our creativity, relieves our boredom, alleviates our pain, enhances our pleasure, and enriches our most intimate relationships." Imagination is the launchpad of science and art alike, and we are reminded through this heart-opening book that new opportunities are waiting for us to dream them and put them into action.