Bring David to Your Next Event

David offers workshops and
keynote speeches internationally

Customizable programs range from 1-hour talks to 5-day professional trainings.

1-3 Day Workshop

Becoming Trauma-Sensitive

The Path to Making Mindfulness
Meditation Safe and Effective for
Trauma Survivors

2.5 Day Workshop

First, Do No Harm

Foundational Competencies for Working Skillfully with Meditation-Related Challenges

Keynotes

1-2 hour keynote speech

First, Do No Harm

Why Mindfulness Providers Need to be Trauma-Informed

1-2 hour keynote speech

Nothing Can be Changed Until it is Faced

Mindfulness, Trauma, and Social Change

Organizations and Institutions that David has partnered with:

Becoming Trauma-Sensitive

The Professional’s Path to Making Mindfulness Meditation Safe and Effective for Trauma Survivors

This workshop presents foundational principles of trauma-sensitive mindfulness and can be organized and delivered to fit a 1 to 3 day event format. Designed for mindfulness providers (e.g., meditation and yoga teachers) and wellness professionals who offer mindfulness practices and interventions, the workshop draws upon up-to-date empirical research to inform best-practices for trauma-sensitive care.

Through lecture, case study, and experiential practice, participants will leave the workshop:

Understanding why meditation can create dysregulation for people who’ve experienced trauma and specific ways you can prevent this;

Prepared to recognize symptoms of traumatic stress while offering mindfulness interventions;

Informed about current empirical research regarding mindfulness and trauma, including evidence-based interventions you can apply immediately to your work;

Equipped with tools and modifications to help you work skillfully with dysregulated arousal, traumatic flashbacks, and trauma-related dissociation.

Workshop Description:

From elementary schools to psychotherapy offices, mindfulness meditation is an increasingly mainstream practice. At the same time, trauma remains a fact of life: the majority of us will experience a traumatic event in our lifetime, and some will develop post traumatic stress. While this may appear to be a good thing – trauma is an extreme form of stress, and mindfulness is a proven stress-reduction tool – the reality creates a complex challenge.

Emerging research suggests that mindfulness interventions can help or hinder trauma survivors, raising a crucial question for mindfulness educators everywhere: How can you be prepared to minimize the potential dangers of mindfulness for survivors while leveraging its powerful benefits at the same time?

Designed for mindfulness providers and wellness professionals, this workshop – led by bestselling author and trauma specialist, David Treleaven, PhD – will equip you with the tools you need to offer mindfulness in a safe, effective, trauma-sensitive way.

First, Do No Harm

Foundational Competencies for Working Skillfully with Meditation-Related Challenges

This 2.5 day workshop (offered with David’s colleagues Willoughby Britton and Jared Lindhal) explores research related to meditation safety training. Previously offered at the UMass Center for Mindfulness and UCLA, we cover empirical research regarding meditation-related difficulties, propose best practices, and attempt to close the “science to service” gap in this area of the literature.

Day 1: Research Overview of Meditation Related Difficulties

On this first evening, we review findings from the Varieties of Contemplative Experience research project, as well as related adverse effects data on mindfulness-based interventions. The discussion includes detailed descriptions of meditation-related challenges–including subject quotes–how often they occur, how long they last, risk factors, and the different ways they can be interpreted and appraised.

Day 2: Foundational Knowledge and Skills

Day 2 focuses on steps you can take to ensure safety for participants in your practice or program. Modules include:

Informed consent: We review the informed consent process and its legal implications
(e.g., advertising brochures, and other statement of benefits versus limitations and risks).

Screening: We offer training in how to screen participants interested in taking a mindfulness-based program, review inclusion/exclusion criteria for participation, and cover screening instruments.

Monitoring: We examine the importance of adequately monitoring potential adverse reactions in mindfulness clients, and best-practices for monitoring (e.g., asking specific questions, anonymity).

Mechanisms: We explore the psychological and biological mechanisms underlying meditation related difficulties (e.g., hyperarousal and sensitization, and hypoarousal and dissociation).

Day 3: Management

On day 3, we focus specifically on how to manage meditation-related difficulties once they arise, as well as modifications to minimize the likelihood of adverse reactions. This module draws heavily from trauma-informed therapies, especially Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness. Specific exercises and practices are provided, as well as other resources for further training about trauma informed approaches.

First, Do No Harm

Why Mindfulness Providers Need to be Trauma-Informed

This 1-2 hour keynote speech makes a case for adopting a trauma-sensitive approach to mindfulness and meditation. Drawing on his fifteen years of experience as a trauma professional and mindfulness practitioner, David weaves engaging stories with up-to-date empirical research, offering practical tips and a vision for safe and transformative practice.

Through lecture, case studies, and experiential practice, audience members will leave the keynote:

Understanding why meditation can create dysregulation for people who’ve experienced trauma and specific ways you can prevent this;

Prepared to recognize symptoms of traumatic stress while offering mindfulness interventions;

Informed about current empirical research regarding mindfulness and trauma, including evidence-based interventions you can apply immediately to your work;

Equipped with tools and modifications to help you work skillfully with dysregulated arousal, traumatic flashbacks, and trauma-related dissociation;

Motivated to adopt trauma-sensitive practices in their mindfulness-based work.

Keynote Description:

From elementary schools to psychotherapy offices, mindfulness meditation is an increasingly mainstream practice. At the same time, trauma remains a fact of life: the majority of us will experience a traumatic event in our lifetime, and some will develop post traumatic stress. While this may appear to be a good thing – trauma is an extreme form of stress, and mindfulness is a proven stress-reduction tool – the reality creates a complex challenge.

Emerging research suggests that mindfulness interventions can help or hinder trauma survivors, raising a crucial question for mindfulness educators everywhere: How can you be prepared to minimize the potential dangers of mindfulness for survivors while leveraging its powerful benefits at the same time?

Designed for mindfulness providers and wellness professionals, this talk – led by bestselling author and trauma specialist, David Treleaven, PhD – will equip you with the tools you need to offer mindfulness in a safe, effective, trauma-sensitive way.

“Nothing Can be Changed Until it is Faced”

Mindfulness, Trauma, and Social Change

This 1-2 hour keynote speech explores the relationship between mindfulness, trauma healing, and social change. Drawing upon David’s decade of experience in trauma-healing work with social and environmental justice organizers, he examines systemic aspects of trauma that make some groups of people more vulnerable to experiencing traumatic events.

Through lecture, case studies, and experiential practice, audience members will leave the keynote:

Informed about current empirical research into the relationship between trauma stress and social context;

Equipped with tools and practices to help create trust and safety for people practicing mindfulness;

Prepared to incorporate language the evokes a sense of choice and agency for individuals and groups practicing mindfulness;

A framework of practices enabling one to work competently across social difference.

Keynote Description:

Trauma is not just an individual tragedy—it is rooted in larger social systems that shape our lives. When we peel back the layers of a traumatic experience, we find that they’re bound up within a larger social context. Whether it’s violence someone experienced because of their gender, or the dangerous work someone took on because they were poor, trauma never takes place in a vacuum.

Anyone who is adopting a trauma-informed practice will benefit from knowing this. Whether we’re a meditation or yoga teacher, or healing practitioner, becoming a trauma-sensitive professional requires more than adopting traditional therapeutic skills: It asks us to recognize the ways trauma connects to the world around us.

To establish safety people need to feel trust in those guiding them—a visceral sense that they’ll be seen, cared for, and understood for the complex people they are. One way we can generate this kind of trust is to preemptively establish a basic understanding of another person’s world—including the social conditions they are shaped and impacted by. This involves developing a greater awareness of our social context. By ensuring we’re attuned to the social identity that someone carries—and considering how those identities might interact with ours—we can adjust our interventions to try to effectively meet the needs of the person we’re working with.

This isn’t a static process, but a dynamic one, asking us to listen to others and be in continual self-reflection about how social context is shaping interactions we’re having. If we are not doing this, it becomes easy to unintentionally reinforce dynamics that are connected to the proliferation of trauma—not just for our students or clients, but in our communities, cities, countries, and world.

Contact David today and book him for your next event.

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