Trauma-Sensitive Trauma-Informed (TS/TI) General Mindfulness Facilitation

Benefit Statement & Rationale:

76% of Canadian adults report some form of trauma exposure in their lifetime, 9.2% meet the criteria for PTSD. Trauma is commonly present in the room of every mindfulness course. Strategies to keep participants safe during mindfulness training, when memories of trauma can, and often do, emerge in the presence of enhanced awareness, are of great benefit and may prevent harm.  There is a need to enhance skills in Mindfulness facilitation by universally including trauma-sensitive and trauma-informed strategies in Mindfulness instruction.

Overview of Content: Course description

This 2 day, 12 hour course teaches best practices in detecting behaviours relating to past trauma, and managing dysregulated behaviours, which may particularly arise in participants during Mindfulness practice. Learners will examine how to assist participants in staying within, or close to, their “Windows of Tolerance”.  Strategies are demonstrated, and practiced, which are trauma-sensitive and trauma informed, including considerations relating to small group work, careful choice of languaging, and sensitive preambles and inquiry relating to formal practices. Body scan meditation strategies are particularly examined.

This training helps facilitators to improve their skills at inquiry, normalize their responses to behaviours triggered in participants, and increase their confidence and abilities in managing complex situations that may arise during Mindfulness courses. Empowering participants during Mindfulness courses through providing a range of choices during teaching, is also examined.

Audience: Those who have an interest and/or background in Mindfulness practices. Instructors of any Mindfulness-Based interventions.

What You’ll Learn (Learning Outcomes)

  • Develop a referral process that ensures the client is ready and appropriate for Mindfulness course entry.
  • Structure Mindfulness courses in a trauma-informed trauma-sensitive way
  • Role model and use language with sensitivity to past trauma.
  • Recognize behaviours which suggest triggering of past trauma
  • Assist participants to stay within, or close, to their “window of tolerance”.

Prior Mindfulness training in any MBI is recommended.

Recommendations: “Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness” by David Treleaven; “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine Aron.

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