Research suggests that most people learning mindfulness do not experience any major negative effects and, on this basis, those who have not received a thorough training can have an ill-informed attitude that mindfulness practice is intrinsically benign and that anyone could teach what seems so simple: 'Just follow your breath with awareness...'.
But how concerned should we be about the minority who are not 'most people'? It is only recently that this has begun to be researched: Willoughby Britton and Leigh Burrows have found that a significant number of people have trauma-associated reactions to certain mindfulness practices. Their research suggests that, of those that do experience negative reactions to particular mindfulness practices, many do not feel able to report their experience to their mindfulness teacher. Of particular concern are people who experience traumatic reactions while practicing mindfulness: either re-triggering of old trauma or experiencing new trauma in the context of mindfulness teaching. The limited research suggests body focused and breath focused practices are more likely to provoke trauma reactions - especially when the person is in a quiet environment with eyes closed and body still.
While mindful awareness is central to trauma recovery, what is emerging is an understanding of how crucial it is to ensure that the mindfulness practices chosen to cultivate mindful awareness are appropriate to the person practicing them - easier to do 1-2-1 but harder in groups.
This webinar will be an opportunity to discuss these issues, consider how we can teach mindfulness practices with confidence in their safety, and explore a reflective framework that can help match individual needs to the mindfulness practices we teach.
You might find David Treleaven's excellent book, Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness, a helpful resource.
4-6pm, Tuesday 12th February
How to Join:
When you book on the form below, we'll email you a link for the online video calls platform Zoom - simply click the link at the start time to join the online video call. Click here for a short video on how to use Zoom.
Associate Teachers: Free