Waking the Tiger

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Waking the Tiger is a self-help book by American therapist Peter A. Levine, which presents therapeutic advice for healing past traumas. The techniques presented in the book are based on Somatic Experiencing, the naturalistic therapy developed by Levine. The book uses metaphors from classical mythology to illustrate how one could deal with trauma without being overwhelmed by facing head-on, not the trauma, but its "reflection" in our nervous system. The book asserts that animals in the wild are persistently subject to threats yet rarely exhibit symptoms of trauma. The book's title is a symbol of returning to a more natural, energetically freer state, but also a more "natural" emotionally and intellectually freer state, being the goal of psychotherapy in general, including the particular approach developed by Levine.


This book was reviewed by an adherent to Primal Psychology, a distinctly different approach to trauma healing. This reviewer notes that this approach to trauma is notably different, sometimes even directly in contradiction, to some other theories. He notes that the concept of repression is largely absent from this book, while it is a key component of methods such as regressive therapy. He also comments that Levine focuses on traumatic incidents such as car accidents or abuse, while the absence of parental love, a common source of emotional anguish, isn't addressed in detail. Despite these critiques, the reviewer concluded overall that the premise is plausible, if surprising, and could potentially be helpful.[1]

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  1. ^ Speyrer, John A. "Book review of Waking the Tiger". The Regressive Psychotherapies Book Reviews. International Primal Association. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 

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