A Road Map for Trauma-Sensitive Practice
A groundbreaking and practical approach
to making mindfulness meditation safe and effective for trauma survivors.
“This book is a rare combination of solid scholarship, clinically useful methods, and passionate advocacy for those who have suffered trauma.”
– RICK HANSON, author of Buddha’s Brain
Practices For Safe And Transformative Healing
Published by W. W. Norton & Company
Trauma isn’t something that happens to a few unlucky people. The majority of us will experience a traumatic event in our lifetime, and some will be left struggling with symptoms of traumatic stress.
This means that anywhere mindfulness is being practiced, someone in the room is likely to be struggling with trauma.
At first glance, this appears to be a good thing: trauma creates stress, and mindfulness is a proven tool for reducing it. But the reality is not so simple.
Drawing on a decade of research and clinical experience, educator and trauma professional David Treleaven shows that mindfulness meditation―practiced without an awareness of trauma―can exacerbate symptoms of traumatic stress. Instructed to pay close, sustained attention to their inner world, people struggling with trauma can experience flashbacks, dissociation, and even retraumatization.
This raises a crucial question for mindfulness teachers, trauma professionals, and survivors everywhere: How can we minimize the potential dangers of mindfulness for survivors while leveraging its powerful benefits?
Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness offers answers to this question.
Through this book you will:
Through this book you will:
“This book is a rare combination of solid scholarship, clinically useful methods, and passionate advocacy for those who have suffered trauma. It contains riveting case examples, excellent summaries of research on mindfulness, the brain, and trauma, and extremely clear descriptions of effective approaches in psychotherapy. Throughout, Dr. Treleaven carries the reader along with clarity, enthusiasm for his topic, and heart. Truly a gem.”
— RICK HANSON, Ph.D.
Author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom.
“Meditation is sweeping through our culture, offering unprecedented potential for healing our psyches and transforming consciousness. Yet, like all powerful processes, if not well understood it can be mis-used and cause damage. This is particularly the case for those who are living with trauma. In his groundbreaking exploration of meditation and trauma, David Treleaven looks at this issue through multiple lenses, drawing on current research about the physiology and psychoneurology of unprocessed trauma. . . This is essential and fascinating reading for meditation teachers, mental health practitioners and all those who have suffered from trauma and want to engage on a meditative path in a wise and healing way.”
— TARA BRACH, Ph.D.
Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
“A seminal work of outstanding scholarship, Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing is impressively informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented so as to be of enduring value for both academia and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject. Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness is a critically important and unreservedly recommended contribution to community, professional, college, and university library.”
— MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“Integrating Dr. Treleaven’s wisdom, the mindfulness movement can gain an inclusive and trauma-informed vision which the practices truly need for integrity and effectiveness. If you are a mindfulness teacher or practitioner, Treleaven’s book should be required reading to receive the profound benefits of mindfulness while practicing in a safe and nourishing way.”
— DANIEL RECHTSHAFFEN, MFT
Author of The Way of Mindful Education