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Publisher's Summary

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 up to 20 percent of us will develop post-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, psychotherapist and educator 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, survivors 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. Part I provides an insightful and concise review of the histories of mindfulness and trauma, including the way modern neuroscience is shaping our understanding of both. Through grounded scholarship and wide-ranging case examples, Treleaven illustrates the ways mindfulness can help - or hinder - trauma recovery.

Part II distills these insights into five key principles for trauma-sensitive mindfulness. Covering the role of attention, arousal, relationship, dissociation, and social context within trauma-informed practice, Treleaven offers 36 specific modifications designed to support survivors' safety and stability. The result is a groundbreaking and practical approach that empowers those looking to practice mindfulness in a safe, transformative way.

©2018 David A. Treleaven (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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For Mindful Practitioners Only

This isn’t a book for trauma survivors; but to show how to make a mindfulness business more trauma-sensitive.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Relevant! Relevant! Relevant!

For those who recognize that the perpetuation of humanities systemic trauma and abuse is probably not going to go away by itself. For those who want to become actively involved in seeing humanity live together in a peaceful, expansive joyous way. Not just cartoon fantasy but actually doing the honest work of allowing that potential to bloom in our lifetime. For those who are not afraid to wake up to what’s really happening inside themselves and around themselves. For those who are more interested in truth then disassociated fantasy. for those who just want the tools to create a safe space for their clients to engage in a mindfulness meditation practice. This book is for you! (This book was most definitely for me. Five stars all around!)

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Unnecessarily Political and Off-putting

I am a trauma survivor diagnosed with complex PTSD. I have been in trauma resolution therapy for nearly 5 years and am well versed in this topic. But I couldn't get past the framing of trauma through the author's political lens. I wanted factual, practical help in how to incorporate mindfulness in my overall treatment regimen. What I got was identity politics and the contextualization of heinous violations of the human person's dignity as symptoms of systemic racism, sexism, and classism. If I want preaching, I'll go to church.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

<br />no stars

to political wanted help not fake news, was horrible no back up to outrageous statements

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • chimene
  • 10-09-18

Trauma revisited for the 21st century

Certainly one of the most intelligent books on trauma I have read to date. The particular emphasis on how the blythe use of mindfulness can be inappropriate and damaging in the hands of inexperienced therapists.