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Mindfulness Can Help or Hinder Trauma Survivors. 
Are You Prepared to Support Them?

The relationship between mindfulness and trauma can be a deceptive one.

At first glance, the two seem like natural allies: trauma creates stress, and mindfulness is a powerful tool for reducing it. It would seem that anyone struggling with trauma would benefit from mindfulness practice.

But the reality is not so simple.

Emerging research suggests that mindfulness can both support or burden people struggling with trauma. 

On the one hand, mindfulness can bolster trauma recovery by supporting emotional regulation, focused attention, and body awareness—all essential components to healing trauma. 

On the other hand, mindfulness meditation can create problems for trauma survivors. Instructed to pay close, sustained attention to their inner world, survivors can experience flashbacks, dissociation, and at worst, retraumatization. It depends on how it’s practiced.

For those of us offering mindfulness to others, this raises a crucial question: 

How can we minimize the potential dangers of mindfulness practice
for trauma survivors while leveraging its benefits?

The Need for Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness

If you’re reading this, you know how popular mindfulness has become. From elementary schools to psychotherapy offices to meditation apps, more and more people are seeking out mindfulness programs and providers. 

At the same time, trauma remains a fact of life. The majority of us will live through a traumatic event, and some of us will develop debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress. 

This means that anywhere mindfulness is being practiced, someone in the room is likely to be struggling with trauma. 

If we care about offering mindfulness in a safe way, this lays a certain amount of responsibility at our feet. 

Unless we’re tracking for trauma, students and clients under our care may unknowingly be re-experiencing distress under our direction. And no matter how sincere their practice or how well-intentioned our instruction, we may be leaving people triggered, isolated, and absent the tools they need to heal. We may even learn that some people we worked with simply fell through the cracks of our awareness.

Empower Yourself with the Knowledge and Tools to Practice Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness

But there’s good news.

There’s a path to gaining competence — even mastery —when it comes to mindfulness and trauma. 

In a relatively short amount of time, you can learn the theory and practices to recognize trauma, respond to it skillfully, and help people avoid retraumatization.

This is the inspiration behind Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness — an online course developed for those who want to offer mindfulness practices in a safe, effective, trauma-sensitive way.

Through lecture, case studies, experiential practices, and Q&A sessions, you will leave the Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness course:
  • Understanding why meditation can create dysregulation for people who’ve experienced trauma and specific ways you can prevent this;

  • Prepared to identify symptoms of traumatic stress while offering mindfulness interventions, and to tailor practices in a trauma-sensitive way;

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

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

  • Understanding the relationship between individual and systemic forms of trauma, including responsibilities to educate oneself about power, oppression, and social context.

About David Treleaven

As a long-term meditator and trauma professional, David has spent his professional life focused on mindfulness and trauma. 

As he detailed in his book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing (Norton, 2018), David came to this topic after a challenging personal experience in meditation. He’d found himself dissociating during practice, and following basic instructions was causing him more pain. 

Curious and galvanized, David set out to understand his experience. He set upon a path of study, interviewing mindfulness educators, mental-health professionals, and trauma survivors. Eventually, he wrote a dissertation on the topic. 

After a lecture he’d given on trauma-sensitive mindfulness went viral, he began receiving emails from trauma survivors who’d had difficult experiences in meditation but had never talked about it before. 

This was alarming. He imagined most mindfulness educators would know what trauma was, but he was less convinced that they were equipped to work with it effectively. 

From that point forward, it became David’s goal to empower mindfulness providers with the competence they’d need to recognize trauma, respond to it skillfully, and help survivors avoid retraumatization in practice. 

This is why David created the Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness course. Using a combination of live lecture, Q&A dialogue, and a dynamic space, he realized his work would translate perfectly through an online platform. 

Join David for Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness:
The Beginner’s Guide to Recognizing Trauma, Responding
Skillfully, and Preventing Retraumatization

David has led live workshops globally, and here’s what people are saying about his work:


“David’s Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness modifications have helped me teach mindfulness in a safe and inclusive way inside my classroom. It’s helpful, supportive work for mindfulness teachers that makes our own work have more integrity.”

Elementary School Teacher and Mindfulness Curriculum Developer

“I believe David’s work should be read by every therapist who works with mindfulness practices in treating trauma. What he did when he put “trauma-sensitive” in front of “mindfulness” is radical and of critical importance. It’s a paradigm shift.”

Founder/Curator of The Trauma Project

After participating in the Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness course, you’ll be:

  • More confident in identifying non-verbal signs of traumatic stress
  • Equipped with a diverse set of modifications to offer people you’re working with, including different internal and external anchors of attention;
  • More aware of the ways trauma can manifest in communities you work and practice with;
  • Clear about the relationship between interoceptive and exteroceptive sensations, and how this relates to trauma-sensitive mindfulness practice;
  • More secure in knowing you’re doing everything you can to prevent retraumatization in your work.

Course Materials and Resources

Here’s what you’ll receive during this 6-week, LIVE online course:

A 75-minute course orientation, Tuesday, October 1st, 9am - 10:15am PT where David will provide an overview of the curriculum, establish shared agreements, and answer any questions.

Five, 60-minute Live Modules where David will present on a principle of Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness

These will be held from
9am to 10am PT on:
Thursday, October 3rd
Thursday, October 10th
Thursday, October 17th
Thursday, October 24th
Thursday, October 31st

Recordings of each session will be made available.

Five, 60-minute Course Engagement Sessions designed to focus on the corresponding week's content module and answer any specific questions you may have about the teaching

These will be held from
9am to 10am PT on:
Wednesday, October 9th
Tuesday, October 15th
Tuesday, October 22nd
Tuesday, October 29th
Tuesday, November 5th

Recordings of each session will be made available.

Five, 15-minute Course Breakout Sessions (optional) with fellow participants immediately following the Course Engagement Sessions 

These will be held from
10am to 10:15am PT immediately following the Course Engagement
Sessions on:
Wednesday, October 9th
Tuesday, October 15th
Tuesday, October 22nd
Tuesday, October 29th
Tuesday, November 5th

A special 60-minute Course Finale, Thursday, November 7th, 9am - 10am PT to celebrate your completion of the course, offer you ongoing resources, including next steps on your trauma-sensitive mindfulness training path.

Each module builds on the last and recordings of all classroom and engagement sessions will be made available should you want to reference those materials.

A Module-by-Module Course Overview

Orientation & Introduction:
Activating a Community of Practitioners

In the Introductory Module, we’ll come together as a community of practitioners to orient to the field of Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness, gain clarity about the commitment to “do no harm,” and cover the roadmap for the next 5 weeks of the course together.

You’ll also:

  • Understand what’s at stake for participants and practitioners when there’s trauma in the room;

  • Learn how to begin identifying “at risk” students and clients who may be struggling with symptoms of traumatic stress;

  • Discover how a trauma-sensitive orientation in mindfulness communities can support safety, healing, and transformation.

Module One:
Facing The Trauma that Surrounds Us

In Module One, we’ll anchor into a foundational understanding of trauma, discuss its prevalence, and define the principles and practices of Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness.

You’ll also: 

  • Deepen your understanding about how trauma is defined and how this relates to mindfulness practices;

  • Increase your awareness about the prevalence of trauma, including which groups of people tend to experience which kinds of traumas;

  • Discover the “spectrum of trauma,” how this relates to mindfulness, and how it can empower your interventions and instruction.

Module Two:
Exploring the Window of Tolerance and Why It Matters

In Module Two, we’ll explore the Window of Tolerance—a fundamental tool for assessing whether we are helping or hindering trauma survivors, and a principle upon which all other trauma-sensitive practices are built.

You’ll also: 

  • Discover why arousal is a key indicator for traumatic stress, and how you can integrate this knowledge into trauma-sensitive practice;

  • Become equipped with resources to help you assess whether a practice is supporting stability and self-regulation for someone struggling with trauma;

  • Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of paying attention to the breath in trauma-sensitive mindfulness practice.

Module Three:
Understanding the Double-Edged Sword of Mindful Attention

In Module Three, we’ll focus on the double-edged sword of mindful attention and unpack skillful ways to shift and reorient attention during mindfulness practice.

You’ll also: 

  • Understand why basic meditation practices can retrigger traumatic states;

  • Learn three ways you can guide your students and clients to shift their attention to support self-regulation and healing;

  • Become aware of the fear/immobility cycle, why this is key to understanding trauma, and ways you can integrate this knowledge into your teaching and practice.

Module Four:
Keeping the Body in Mind

In Module Four, we’ll turn our attention towards the body, focusing on how it can often become a minefield for people struggling with trauma. You'll also learn specific tools and adaptations you can offer trauma survivors to support them in practice.

You’ll also:

  • Discover why trauma survivors can come to mistrust their sensations, and how you can safely welcome people back into connection with their bodies;

  • Understand the risks and rewards of having trauma survivors pay close and sustained attention to their bodies in practice;

  • Learn about the difference between interoceptive and exteroceptive sensations, how this relationship goes awry with trauma, and ways you can support healing and integration.

Module Five:
Leveraging the Power of Relationship

In Module Five, we’ll look at the connection between the seemingly solitary act of mindfulness meditation and the neurology of belonging – including tools to help establish interpersonal safety and support mindfulness practice.

You’ll also: 

  • Discover why interpersonal connection can be regulating and healing for people who are struggling with trauma—and how you can incorporate this knowledge;

  • Gain confidence in screening for trauma, and learn about the variety of tools you can use when preparing to offer mindfulness instruction;

  • Master the practice of establishing community agreements to generate safety in a group (e.g., confidentiality, “I” statements);

Integrating our Learnings and Looking Ahead

In our final module, we’ll have the opportunity as a community of practitioners to integrate our learning from the course and identify next steps to support your skills as a trauma-sensitive practitioner.

You’ll also: 

  • Be provided with a number of free resources to support ongoing trauma-sensitive mindfulness practice;

  • Have the opportunity to reflect upon key learning;

  • Be able to ask any remaining questions you have about trauma-sensitive mindfulness practice.

Bonus Workshop:
Working with Social Context

In this bonus workshop, we’ll explore the importance of understanding the social conditions that shape people’s experience of trauma.

You’ll also:

  • Discover a framework designed to help make connections between personal and social experiences without ostracizing them;

  • Hear stories about the way one’s lack of awareness around social context can break trust instead of building it;

  • Gain confidence in working across social difference with respect to TSM.

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  • One Time Payment

100% Money-Back
Satisfaction Guarantee

We’re so confident in the value Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: The Practitioner’s Guide to Recognizing Trauma, Responding Skillfully, and Preventing Retraumatization we offer a full, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee if you decide you want to cancel your registration within 14 days of the start of the course. You can even keep any early-registration bonuses you receive – at no cost.

A Limited-Time Early Registration Bonus

Because it helps as we plan our resources to know how many course participants we’ll have, we’re offering an early registration bonus package for a limited time only.

Register before Midnight Pacific time on Thursday, September 12th and you’ll receive 
Empowering Trauma Survivors Through Yoga: A In-Depth Interview with Zabie Yamasaki (Value $97)

Join David and Zabie Yamasaki—a rising star in the field of trauma-informed yoga who is currently the Program Director of Trauma-Informed Programs at UCLA, and the Founder of Transcending Sexual Trauma through Yoga. Zabie’s groundbreaking work on trauma-informed yoga that has been featured on NBC News, CNN, and the Huffington Post.

In this workshop, you’ll discover:

  • The most practical tips Zabie has learned about offering yoga and movement practices in a trauma-informed way;
  • Specific cues you can offer to reinforce a sense of one’s choice and agency;
  • Guidelines on creating a safe, trauma-informed environment;
  • The ways that boundaries, assertiveness, and strength relate to trauma-informed yoga, and how this supports, acceptance, trust, and ultimately trauma healing;
  • Her insights about offering yoga to survivors of sexual violence (her area of speciality).

This powerful resource is valued at $97 and you’ll receive it at no-additional-charge when you register for Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness by Midnight Pacific Time on Thursday, September 12th.

**Bonus Extended Through Thursday, September 5th at Noon PT**

When you register for the Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness course by Noon Pacific Time TOMORROW, Thursday, September 5th, you’ll also receive an autographed copy of David Treleaven’s book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing (Norton, 2018).

In Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness, David draws on a decade of research and clinical experience to demonstrate that mindfulness meditation―practiced without an awareness of trauma―can exacerbate symptoms of traumatic stress.

An important reference tool for mindfulness practitioners, this book will serve as a complementary resource on your journey.

Simply register for the course by Midnight TOMORROW and your personally autographed copy of  Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness will be sent directly to you. (Value $27 + free shipping)

*Hard copy books are only available for shipping to valid U.S. mailing addresses. A digital copy of the book will be sent to anyone residing outside of the U.S.

Course Begins on Tuesday, October 1st

Two Ways to Register:

Pay in Full

  • One Time Payment

Payment Plan

$167 x2
  • 2 Payments of $167

*Two-payment plan option expires on Tuesday, September 24th at Midnight PT.

100% Money-Back
Satisfaction Guarantee

We’re so confident in the value Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: The Practitioner’s Guide to Recognizing Trauma, Responding Skillfully, and Preventing Retraumatization we offer a full, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee if you decide you want to cancel your registration within 14 days of the start of the course. You can even keep any early-registration bonuses you receive – at no cost.

Acclaim for David’s book, Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness


“An essential ‘upgrade’ for anyone who thinks of her or himself as a mindfulness teacher, or is in training to become one. Respect for the ubiquity of trauma in our world and its multiplicity of harmful and enduring aftermaths is essential in teaching any mindfulness-based intervention to others, particularly in large and diverse classes, whether in person or online. David Treleaven has done us all a great service to articulate this landscape so clearly and compassionately, and suggest how to navigate it in skillful and emotionally intelligent ways—while recognizing and honoring in every moment the sovereignty, profound strengths, and potential for resilience of even the most wounded of us—the wholeness and beauty that holds the scars and invites great healing.”

Founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and author of Full Catastrophe Living and The Healing Power of Mindfulness

“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.”

Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge


“David’s work 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.”

Author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

About David Treleaven

David Treleaven, PhD, is a writer and educator working at the intersection of mindfulness and trauma. He is the author of the acclaimed book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness, and founder of the Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (TSM) Community — a group committed to setting a standard of care within mindfulness-based practices, interventions, and programs.

Through workshops, keynotes, podcasts, and online education, David focuses on offering mindfulness providers with the knowledge and tools they require to meet the needs of those struggling with trauma. He is passionate about connecting his audience with on-the-ground experts, and is closely engaged with current empirical research to inform best practices.

His work has been adopted into multiple mindfulness teacher training programs around the world, including UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, and Bangor University’s MA in Mindfulness program in the UK. 

He’s currently a visiting scholar at Brown University (partnering with the Brown Mindfulness Center), and has worked with a number of organizations to bring trauma-sensitive mindfulness to their staff and programs. Some include:

  • Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, developed at Google
  • University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
  • Institute for Mindfulness South Africa
  • UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness
  • The Mindfulness Training Institute of Australia and New Zealand


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