David Treleaven, PhD

Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness in Education

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What You'll Learn

  • Hear 3 myths about the relationship between trauma and mindfulness, and learn what you can do avoid the common pitfalls of each

  • Understand why it’s vital to present mindfulness to your students in a way that takes each child’s history and experiences into account

  • Learn how to recognize non-verbal signs of trauma and take away modifications you can offer for those experiencing challenges in mindfulness

About David Treleaven, PhD

David Treleaven, PhD, is a writer, educator, and trauma professional whose work focuses on the intersection of trauma and mindfulness. He is author of the book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing (W. W. Norton, 2018), which was acclaimed by Rick Hanson as “a rare combination of solid scholarship, clinically useful methods, and passionate advocacy for those who have suffered from trauma.” He’s lectured on trauma-sensitive mindfulness at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the Omega Institute in New York. Trained in counseling psychology at the University of British Columbia, he received his doctorate in psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is currently a visiting scholar at Brown University.

You can learn more about David's work and upcoming events on his website. You're also invited to join the free, online Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness Community, where David continually offers various resources around TSM work, including monthly calls with TSM practices and time for Q&A.

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  1. Amber October 18, 2019 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    So looking forward to reading your book cover to cover. Just picked it up last week! Thank you for your incredible work!

  2. Sue Landsberg October 18, 2019 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    An incredible video. I needed to hear this thank you so much.

  3. Megan Fellows October 18, 2019 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Thanks it’s great to hear the other side which will only strengthen our awareness and approaches.

  4. Jay Killough, Ph.D. October 18, 2019 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Thank you David for pulling this all together is such a meaningful and accessible way. Part of my training as a psychologist addressed the area of psychological defenses. Fortunately, this training also involved the need to honor and respect these defenses as necessary for the safety and possible growth of those in our care. Your careful way – both with the providers and and receivers of that care – of negotiating the challenges of working with the issues of mindfulness and trauma, is much appreciated by this elementary school psychologist; especially with the stepping stones you have provided here. Both the kiddos with whom I work and this caregiver have received a blessing. Thanks again!

  5. Lindsay Devereux October 18, 2019 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Wonderful and new information (for me). Thank you

  6. Sinem Degerli October 18, 2019 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Hi David. When I started my meditation/therapy, focusing on the breath or the heartbeats did not work for me. What worked for me is the heartbeats of my son. At night, I lay down next to him, put my hands on his heart and breath with him at the same time. I was questioning myself why I needed to find another way to meditate. After this webinar I would say, we all different that allows us to find our own ways. Thank you for reminding us that we could have different anchors!

  7. Sinem Degerli October 18, 2019 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Hi David. When I started my meditation/therapy, focusing on the breath or the heartbeats did not work for me. What worked for me is the heartbeats of my son. At night, I lay down next to him, put my hands on his heart and breath with him at the same time. I was questioning myself why I needed to find another way to medidate. After this webinar I would say, we all different that allows us to find our own ways. Thank you for reminding us that we could have different anchors!

  8. Gitte October 18, 2019 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Thank you so much – Very important and useful knowledge!!

  9. Irene Kenison October 18, 2019 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Thank you for some practical suggestions for how to help students who may be struggling but are seeking the benefits of mindfulness. I think providing the possibility up front that there are some who struggle or by providing options, you give choice and agency to some who would not necessarily come forward on their own.

  10. Karyn Dobson October 18, 2019 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Great presentation David, thank you so much.
    As a teacher I am very interested in trauma and all that it entails.
    Found this very interesting and informative.
    Thanks again
    Melbourne, Australia

  11. Andrew October 17, 2019 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Extremely interesting and informative webinar, particularly the second myth and your ‘hints’ on spotting trauma which, as a non specialist, I found quite well explained. Thanks.

  12. Alicia Benitez October 17, 2019 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    David your topic helped me to open and consider this different scenario for people struggling with trauma. My personal experience with breathing has been great so far but thinking about other anchors I realized that I have enjoyed sounds around me and feeling the wind on my face.
    Thank you I must share with some friends that had faced difficult experiences practicing meditation.

  13. Paula October 17, 2019 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Very nice topic!!!! Very good speaker! Thanks a lot

  14. Carrie October 17, 2019 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    So helpful and a great start to my inquiry into trauma-sensitive mindfulness with teachers of preschoolers affected by trauma. Thank you!!

  15. Clara October 17, 2019 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Very nice topic, very clear explanation. Thanks.

  16. Shoshanah Findling October 17, 2019 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Hello, David. Thank you for delivering the wise and practical techniques promised in the summary. Very worthwhile and helpful.

  17. Gina De Los Santos October 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much, David! This was incredibly insightful for me. I’m an avid meditator and former trauma therapist to children and teens and I often found myself against a wall when a mindfulness technique didn’t land with a client. I definitely felt a pressure from my superiors for some things to have “worked or landed”. I wish I had had these insights when I was doing that work since I feared causing more harm. I found your breakdown of the myths easy to follow and accessible and I’m so happy I tuned it! I’ll be purchasing your book ASAP!

  18. Martha October 17, 2019 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    At last! You answered so many questions that I have been asking for a long time. So grateful for your insights.

  19. Adrian October 17, 2019 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this David! I also found it very useful, especially the suggestion to experiment with different meditation anchors. In addition to the breath being a potential trauma trigger, I think it is a very challenging anchor especially for a beginner. It’s hard to passively notice it without interfering with it or controlling it.

    One comment I had is regarding your example of the person struggling with mindfulness meditation despite lots of effort. I understand and agree with your important point about adjusting the mindfulness practice to be trauma sensitive, but I wonder if it’s also important to simply reduce the effort/striving. Many people seem to be into mindfulness these days with a goal-orientation and chasing expected benefits. The paradox is those who practice purely for the sake of re-connecting/coming home, and value the practice itself, are more likely to sustain their practice and to realise these benefits?

    • pge October 17, 2019 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      excellent point, thanks
      intention is important essential part of practice to integrate
      non striving
      beginners mind
      non jugment
      let gp let be

  20. Lisa Remsburg October 17, 2019 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Fantastic research and work! This was much-needed as we continue to venture into this topic. Thank you!

  21. İlksen Dinçer Baş October 17, 2019 at 11:29 am - Reply

    My anchor is my hands. Has always been my hands. And I could not name it before I watched your video. And ı shall not push my daughter to anchor only on her breath anymore. Thank you.

  22. Baruch Shulem Jeruaslem israel October 17, 2019 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Greatly appreciate your insights. I work with trauma and would like to suggest an alternative way of thinking about what you suggested: simply getting feedback and empowering… from client to unique agent. How would you know if this was helping you?

  23. Yvette October 17, 2019 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Hi David, I didn’t realized how bad my own trauma was / is. Within 20mins of listening to you I started crying.
    I’ve been working on meditation about forgiveness and letting go of the pain I’m holding on to, do to the people that cause it. I just end up more angry and still in pain.

  24. Lorraine A. Potter October 17, 2019 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Wow, use mindful practice without fear. All people are not gong to respond equally to mindful practices and it is OK to respond and approach with the benefits of the practice.

  25. Keili October 17, 2019 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Thank You! Very good material (topic).

  26. Sandra October 17, 2019 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Hi, my name is Sandra and I am an Accredited Integrative Counsellor and Psychotherapist, I would like to thankyou for bringing the important tools with which to work to my attention. I think I will be purchasing your book. I would really like to get my teeth into trauma and how to recognise the signs so that mindfulness practice can benefit all.

  27. may zaw naing October 17, 2019 at 4:46 am - Reply

    thank you for the clear explanation.

  28. Susanne October 17, 2019 at 4:39 am - Reply

    sorry for the typos. The same things I do experience with students who seem not to be interested or willing to study or have blockades. Always since I am teaching I see it as they have a difficult time and it is great that you began going to research it deeply. In Japan it is unfortunately a kind of tabu to talk about dicfficulties so your navigation system and explainations help to act for the godd without forcing those cultural environment to “look straight into the eyes of Medusa” ps I do appreciate as well deeply Peter Levines work which was the first step to find out about those processes in connection with mindful exercises and doing music etc. Thanks again.

  29. Susanne October 17, 2019 at 4:32 am - Reply

    Hello David, as a long term zen practicioner in Japan and educator
    and muscian I can say I do deeply appreciate your work and like to express that what you are explaining is exactly what I was and I am experiencing in meditation practices and seeing it in the faces of other fellow practioners and it is a pity that highly respected worldwide meditation teachers mostly do not learn about this and guide people which do not come to adepp enlightment experience because of trauma trackings and feel isolated in a group which should shelter them, only because of the fact they are not navigated through their difficulties. I waould like to concentrate and apply that kind of work you are doing. Then those who do not struggle with trauma and so for receive teacher licenses as well do not know how to navigate thse peple
    There is a nessicity to study trauma-sensitive meditation for those teachers. Anyway thank you.
    I do apply it to my work and will study your navigation lines. Best wishes. Susanne

  30. Shaz October 17, 2019 at 2:32 am - Reply

    Thankyou David. It is a eye opener. It is good to get two side of mindfulness pros and con so that we prepare ourselves.

  31. laimei ho October 17, 2019 at 1:44 am - Reply

    Very interesting topic! Willing to know more.

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