Trauma Informed Mindfulness

Research tells us that 90% of us will live through a traumatic event, and some will develop debilitating symptoms in its aftermath. I have been working as a trauma informed mindfulness trainer since 2018 (Trauma-Informed Education, LLC, David A. Treleaven) because the chance that we welcome someone in a group or tour who has experienced a traumatic experience is high.

Working trauma informed means so much that you have basic knowledge about trauma in the context of your work.
1. Empower you to become trauma-sensitive in your mindfulness practice, teaching and facilitation
2. Understanding why meditation creates dysregulation for people who’ve experienced trauma
3. Prepared to recognize symptoms of traumatic stress while offering mindfulness interventions
4. Equipped with tools and modifications to help you work skillfully with traumatic stress

Safety in our mindfulness programs
By taking preemptive steps in the development, planning and teaching of mindfulness, we make sure to keep people as safe as possible because we obviously want to avoid re-traumatization. The Four R’s of Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness form the practical framework in which the programs are built. (Based on the work of David Treleaven, PhD)
1. Realize
2. Recognize
3. Respond
4. Re-traumatization (avoid)

We’re experience people without a conscious traumatic experience and/or (C)PTSD but who are familiar with (recurrent) depression complaints, burnout complaints, bore-out complaints, anxiety complaints and other tension complaints also indicate that they experience a lot of benefit from trauma-sensitive practice.

The 7 Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness principles form a practical framework from which we practice mindfulness in the museum (David A. Treleaven & Louise Thompson)

1. Assume – starting under the assumption that someone in the room has experienced, starting and develop your program from that point

2. Informed Consent – ensuring that every participant in the class has consented and is informed as to what the practice will actually entail

3. Keep the practice short – by keeping practices short, we can ensure that people, even if they find it difficult ore the become triggered, they know that it’s going to be over soon

4. Sensory based
 – If you have experienced trauma in your past, particular anchors like the breath or body can be quite problematic and challenging. Research has shown that Sensory Based practices are much safer. And this is really where museums and galleries come into their own. It is a perfect opportunity to use the artworks to help people learn the skill of mindfulness!

5. Offer choises and alternatives – it is important to ensure that participants know that they have a choice or alternative anchor for their attention if they find a painting or a particular object difficult or getting trigger by it.

6. They are in controle – Ensuring people that they are in control of the situation. If they don’t want to take part in a practice, that’s okay

7. Person centred
– Always keep a person-centered approach as we must keep people at the center of our thinking.