Widen the Window

Elizabeth A. Stanley

Widen the Window



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Widen the Window is an interesting journey into the mind-body connection. Through telling her own story and the stories of her patients, Dr Stanley reconstructs the complex relationship between body and mind. She affirms that our memory is able to record even the smallest events at any given moment. When these recorded events relate to childhood trauma, a disassociation between mind and body sets in and can lead to illness and personality disorders. The link between trauma and stress is strong, and the boundary between past and present is blurred. In fact, stress presents itself as an amplifier of past trauma, which comes back to speak to us through gestures, reactions and chronic pain. If we do not apply ourselves to carefully rebuilding the alignment in our mind, between the logical part of the brain and the part always on the look-out for quick-fix solutions, the disconnect can lead to chronic illness. Widen the Window by Elizabeth Stanley offers a truly effective method to open the window to dialogue, so that past trauma and present disorders can realign and harmony can be regained.

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Analysis and key concepts


The human body is an incredible, complex system which records and remembers everything that happened in the past


The art of ignoring and hiding negative emotions and the metaphor of the window of tolerance


Causes of dissociation in adulthood can be found in our past


Illness as a psychosomatic manifestation of past trauma


If the thinking brain and the survival brain do not speak the same language they end up conflicting with one another, which leads to dissociation and illness


How can we heal from past trauma?




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Provide further information on the link between trauma and illness.
  • Understand the importance of introducing a meditation practice into everyday life.
  • Live a full, balanced life in spite of the trauma still to be overcome.
  • Begin a journey of awareness to heal the trauma of the past.

Elizabeth A. Stanley, Ph.D. is an American professor at Georgetown University. Author of the bestselling book, Widen the Window, she is also a consultant on healing past trauma. Using the Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT) she created, she helps people find a fresh start in the most challenging situations. The method is based on extensive work and over 15 years of research on the neurobiology of stress, trauma and resilience. For years, she has worked in the U.S. Army on various operations in Asia, Europe and the Balkans. She has practiced yoga and Mindfulness daily, since 2002.

Publishing house:

Avery Pub Group